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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]
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 national airwaves.
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 even litigation.
"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 council.
"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 city officials.
Unfortunately, this is a pretty limited forum,"
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
Maybe now Mayor Fulton might pay her a little more attention.
This blog attempts to add perspective and context to local and national politics, through a variety of disciplines, such as history, economics, and philosophy--all tempered with common sense. About the author
Eric Ingemunson's commentary has been featured on Hannity, CNN, NBC, Inside Edition, and KFI's The John and Ken Show. Eric was born and raised in Ventura County and currently resides in Moorpark. He earned a master's degree in Public Policy and Administration from California Lutheran University. As a conservative, Eric supports smaller government, less taxation, more individual freedom, the rule of law, and a strict adherence to the Constitution.