If you're a politician in California the last thing you want is to be mentioned on The John and Ken Show, let alone have them dedicate a full segment to you.
Yet that's what happened to Ventura Mayor Bill Fulton Thursday afternoon, when the outspoken hosts--infamous for their anti-incumbent "heads on a stick" campaign--spent twenty minutes lambasting him for hurting downtown businesses with the installation of parking meters.
John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, who daily reach a million listeners on KFI (AM 640), said they were angered after reading a Ventura County Star article about the emotional meeting between businesses owners and city officials over the unpopular parking meters in front of their stores.
The article quoted Gary Parker, a Tea Party activist who owns American Flags and Cutlery, as saying, "I'm telling you, if my business goes down, I am going to dedicate my retirement to bringing those (meters) down."
A producer contacted Parker, and shortly after 2 p.m. he was speaking to John and Ken on the air about the mayor, who Kobylt called "Mayor full-of-it Fulton."
Fulton caught the attention of John and Ken over the weekend, when he was quoted in a Los Angeles Times profile of UCLA professor Donald Shoup, the "prophet of parking."
"It's really remarkable how he has become the godfather of this parking idea," said Ventura Mayor Bill Fulton, who as a UCLA planning student in 1982 took Shoup's class on public resource economics.
"Don has been saying the exact same thing for 40 years, and finally the world is listening to him."
Fulton, in fact, said he recently became a full-fledged Shoupista when Ventura implemented a Shoup-style parking management program and quickly saw the intended results. By charging for 400 of the 2,900 public parking spaces downtown, the city has spurred employees of local businesses to park at free city lots and walk to work rather than use curb spaces needed by customers.
Business owners, led by Parker, say that they are seeing far fewer customers since the parking meters became operational in September.
"You got to fight the stupid people, and Donald Shoup is an educated fool and Mayor Bill Fulton is an idiot for being a Shoupista. It's a cult," Kobylt ranted. [continue reading]