By now, you think elected officials would think twice before
telling Carla Bonney that they won't answer her questions.
Yet that's what happened at Monday's Ventura City Council
meeting, with just a handful of people in attendance to listen to the council
discuss a ban on plastic bags.
Before the end of the week, Bonney was speaking to millions,
as the firebrand Tea Party organizer took her fight against the ban onto
At Monday's meeting, Ventura City Councilmen Brian Brennan
and Carl Morehouse attempted to ban single-use plastic bags, citing their
danger to the environment. Instead, they succeeded only in persuading the
council to vote 4-3 to have city staff work with agencies to find ways to
reduce the amount of plastic bags in the community.
Councilmen Neal Andrews, Mike Tracy, and Jim Monahan voted
against the resolution. Andrews said a
ban risked an unknown economic impact, household inconvenience and potentially
"I heard a lot of the same rhetoric coming out of Sacramento
from the folks that were donated to by the chemical lobby," said Brennan,
prompting Andrews to later say that he's never accepted such donations.
At that point Bonney entered the chambers to address the
"You're overreaching," Bonney said. "And the whole point of the Tea Party
is that our government is overreaching in every area of our lives."
Mayor Bill Fulton interrupted Bonney to explain that the
public is prevented from asking any questions or engaging in dialog with the
Unfortunately, this is a pretty limited forum," Fulton curtly said.
Not one to keep quiet, Bonney found a forum that wasn't so limited Thursday
afternoon when she called talk radio heavyweight Mark Levin to complain about
the council's actions.
"We have to pay attention to our city councils because
they're sneaking these things through," Bonney told Levin, whose voice reaches
8.5 million listeners a week.
"Where the hell did they get this power from?" Levin asked.
Levin is tied for
the fourth largest talk radio audience, behind Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity,
and Glenn Beck, according to Talkers magazine. He is also a bestselling author.
Bonney is most likely the first person to take the
proceedings of a Ventura
council meeting to millions of people across the country.
Maybe now Mayor Fulton might pay her a little more