Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Faux Life in Dana Point Today

Have you read "Dana Point Today" lately? This newsletter bills itself as a publication that's "keeping the residents of Dana Point informed on issues affecting our beautiful coastal community". How nice. So where's the news on the issues affecting this beautiful coastal community? This seems like an innocent public interest newsletter, but something just doesn't seem right about it. I wonder why I have this uneasy feeling about "Dana Point Today".

So please do follow me down below... We need to talk...

(Cross-posted at JOMO Blog and The Liberal OC)

Where's the news on whatever is being done on affordable housing? Where's some real news on the Headlands? Where's some real news on improving the nasty water quality at Doheny? I guess there's a little blurb about Doheny in there, but there doesn't seem to be much discussion on the real issues affecting Dana Point. All this newsletter seems to be is happy talk on city projects. There's even a letter on the city budget from Mayor Diane Harkey. Oh wait, that must be because this is from the City of Dana Point! After all, this does have the official city seal.

Oh wait, but this can't be a city publication. This is not from the city. So where is this thing coming from? Maybe this can help us find the answer. Dana Point Today's headquarters happens to be conveniently located right next to Harkey for Assembly headquarters on Del Prado. And while Harkey penned a nice, long letter about the city budget for this publication, there's nothing official from the city in this publication... Not even the seal.

And speaking of the city seal, whatever happened to Dana Point Policy #102?

The use of the City Seal/Logo or facsimile or reproduction of, or make or use of any seal/logo or any design which is an imitation of said seal/logo or which may be mistaken for said seal/logo, for any purpose other than official business of the City, its City Council, City Advisory Boards, Commissions, Task Forces and Staff, shall be prohibited unless otherwise approved by the City Manager and/or City Council. In addition, the use of the City Seal/Logo for any political campaign materials or literature shall be prohibited. (Refer to Ordinance No. 92-14 for specific regulations.)

Oops. I guess whoever did this newsletter for the Harkey for Assembly Campaign forgot about that. So did the Harkey Campaign (or whoever did this for them) receive approval from the city to use the deal in this publication? This may not seem like a major issue, except that this may coax unsuspecting Dana Point residents into believing this is some type of community interest newsletter or some city related publication, when this appears to be something connected to Harkey's partisan campaign for State Assembly. If this is actually the case, then this is not something that the campaign should be engaging in.

Even if we forget the whole specific issue of a possible violation over the use of a city seal, this is still wrong. People are being duped into thinking that this is nonpartisan information when this may actually be tied to a partisan campaign. At best, this is playing fast and loose with basic ethics. I don't even want to talk about the possible worst-case scenario here.

So if people connected to the Harkey for Assembly Campaign are publishing this "newsletter", then they need to cut it out. This just isn't right. And yes, the people of this truly beautiful coastal community deserve better than this.

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