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Letters to the Editor

Video was unacceptable and unnecessary

In our city’s politics, it is critical that we all demonstrate respect for each other. We need to spend more time listening than talking. We must call out threatening behavior when we see it. Most of all, we must condemn violence against each other, real or depicted.     

Last Saturday, the Good Morning Newport website posted a video on its social media platforms regarding Measure B. It featured the last of a three-part series entitled “The Godfather.” The ending of the four-minute video depicted a character playing the mayor of Newport Beach being shot by two other politicians. The scene was totally unacceptable and unnecessary.   

Fortunately, the video was taken down within 20 minutes of being posted on the No on Measure B website.

Apparently, a consultant for the No on Measure B campaign posted the video without reviewing its contents. The No on B Committee has taken responsibility for the posting and has apologized to anyone who felt threatened or concerned about the video’s content. While the Measure B campaign paid for a previous video (non-violent) it did not commission or pay for the final video of the series. Good Morning Newport has apologized and described the video as satire. 

Gun violence against political figures is real. In the final days of the contentious Measure B campaign, and during a period of extreme gun violence in our country, the ending of the video demonstrated a complete lack of awareness of our current national news cycle and this moment in our local election. 

We are fortunate to live in a peaceful city. This incident can be a lesson for us. While we have the right to speak and create, all of us, including political rivals, must remain vigilant against increasing to the erosion of societal norms which help keep us safe. 

Brad Avery, District 2 

Newport Beach City Council 

Inappropriate political satire video; divisive Measure B

I did not see the video. From reports, it was inappropriate and in bad taste.  Political satire run amuck. Not created or produced by “NO on Measure B,” I know, but nonetheless unprofessional and unthinking by those folks responsible for it.   

But as I mulled over the Measure B conflict which has divided Newport since it was announced by its chief proponent on Friday, September 3, 2021 (over nine months ago), it occurred to me that perhaps the proponents of ill-advised Measure B should long ago have DESAVOWED the firestorm they created resulting from the poorly conceived and sloppily drafted Measure B. I have not seen such community division in my 68 part-time and full-time years of residency in this great City.

The proponents must have seen the explosion of immediate and continuous opposition from former Mayors, present and past Councilmembers, current and past Citizens of the Year, numerous members of City Boards and Commissions, and other concerned influential residents. 

Would more thoughtful proponents have stopped the festering conflict?  Would more thoughtful proponents have DISAVOWED the idea? Would more thoughtful proponents have lobbied for an ad hoc blue-ribbon committee appointed by the co-equals Council to study the issue, hold public hearings, and draft a comprehensive, thoroughly researched, well written Charter Amendment for Council to approve and on which our residents could then have voted?

A DISAVOWAL in the face of clear overwhelming opposition would have sent the right message: the proponents would be taking the high road, the less traveled road, the ethical road, the more reflective less impulsive road, the democratic road. A costly campaign on both sides would have been avoided.

Well, unfortunately, the train has left the station and the voters will have the last say on what many view as a fatally flawed, defectively drafted proposal.

Please vote “NO” on Bad for Newport Measure B.

Paul K. Watkins

Newport Beach

A waste of money has been spent on Measure B

Anybody who is familiar with people who have played a strong role in the “No on B” campaign knows that they are community leaders who are strong on integrity. They would never knowingly take a foolish step to compromise their position. 

On the other hand, some of the leaders of “Yes on Measure B” put questionable things in their fliers; they exaggerate the truth, and they overreact to situations to try to influence voters. 

You need to look at the players of “No on B” and, if you know them as well as I do, you know that they want what is best for Newport Beach, not for themselves. 

If the “No on Measure B” campaign wins, and I sincerely hope that it does, we can look at all the money it cost the city and individual donors and say how much better it would have been to donate that money to a worthier cause, like the children in Ukraine or the homeless in Orange County, instead of trying to play with the minds of the voters. 

Lynn Lorenz

Newport Beach


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