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Monday, 12 April 2010

Lancaster's Little Red Scare


Click on the above images to get a larger image.

Once again the local paper in Lancaster, California grabbed my eye as I was waiting in the drive through last week. Lancaster's city elections start at 7:00 AM tomorrow morning. It has been a very strange election season here in Antelope Valley. We have the current mayor, Rex Parris the wannabe theocrat, versus a handful of clueless competitors.

Mayor Parris has a very creepy ad campaign going on for this election. His placards all over over town state "Rex Paris, Our Mayor". Our Mayor who art in Lancaster? And his radio ads are even worse. He is portrayed as Lancaster's benevolent father figure who will take care of everyone. For their own good of course.

The above ads were not paid for by the local Democratic Party, but independently by one of its members. Here is a cached version of another Antelope Valley Press story of the incident a couple of days after the story above ran. I've reprinted the entire story as it no longer resides at the AV Press website.

Ex-candidate: 'Red' ads all my own doing

This story appeared in the Antelope Valley Press
Friday, April 2, 2010.

By BOB WILSON
Valley Press Staff Writer

LANCASTER - Former Democratic candidate Robert Davenport came forward Wednesday to claim sole responsibility for local TV commercials that criticize Mayor R. Rex Parris and his attempts to bring Chinese- or Taiwanese-funded jobs to the Antelope Valley.

The commercials, which encourage voters to cast ballots for mayoral challenger Arnold Rodio Jr., were created without Rodio's knowledge, said Davenport, who said he stands by the messages he funded himself. The ads were created by his media company.

Rodio also has denied any involvement with the ads, saying this past week he neither funded nor endorsed them, nor even knew they existed until questioned about them.

Parris disputed Rodio's statements, saying his election opponent could have repudiated the attack ads as soon as he learned about them.

Davenport's commercial messages assert that an influx of Communists from China into Lancaster could jeopardize the military projects and jobs at U.S. Air Force Plant 42 and Edwards Air Force Base.

Parris said Davenport's ads are "moronic" and "racist" because their creator doesn't understand the reality of what would happen if the city is successful in getting commerce from China to settle in Lancaster.

According to Davenport, "Bringing a few hundred Communist Chinese to live in Lancaster represents both a tremendous threat to national security as well as the potential impetus to lose several thousand good-paying local defense industry jobs that play a significant role in our national security.

"The high-tech, high-security-clearance jobs as well as the assembly, fabrication, engineering, and design jobs at and around Plant 42 and the Skunk Works could disappear as fast as the shuttle maintenance jobs that went to Florida a few years back" if potential spies are brought to Lancaster, Davenport said.

Parris said the goal of his recent trip to Asia was to attract funding for Lancaster business opportunities by Chinese and Taiwan investors.

In return for an investment of at least $1 million into a venture that creates at least 10 new jobs for American workers, an investor would be granted a permanent residency card by federal immigration officials, Parris said.

"It's EB-5 program, which means that if a person from a foreign country passes all the background checks, including, I presume, Homeland Security background checks, they are issued a green card," he said. "The foreign national who is putting the $1 million into the job creation doesn't even have to live in the EB-5 (jobs) area and usually does not.

"With the people we're talking to, the anticipated investment is in excess of $200 million, and so Arnie Rodio and Robert Davenport got together and figured out that meant 200 people were moving to the Antelope Valley, and it's the typical … thought process we see from these people," Parris said.

"They can talk until they're blue in the face about this having nothing to do with Arnie Rodio, but I'm telling you I do not believe it," Parris said.

In discussing his ads, Davenport said: "Here is a news flash for Mayor Parris and all other China appeasers out there: According to the current version of the Central Intelligence Agency's 'The World Factbook,' the government in China is a 'Communist state.'

"That Communist regime has robust espionage efforts aimed at our areas of strategic superiority, and they currently have nukes targeting the United States of America and our military units overseas," Davenport said.

"That Communist state is developing an anti-ship missile that will potentially render our surface Navy - which includes all the sailors and Marines who serve therein as well as our multi-billion-dollar, nuclear-powered super carriers - an endangered species," he said.

Parris said allowing foreign money to create jobs for Lancaster residents would do nothing to jeopardize the future of America's armed forces.

"If there was any danger to our country, (American investor) Warren Buffet would not have bought 10% of BYD," a firm with which the city is doing business, Parris said.

"I will rely on Warren Buffet before I rely on Mr. Davenport," he said.

"It is absolutely racist, derogatory and demeaning to the entire Antelope Valley for him and Arnie Rodio to be saying this," the mayor said. "This is saying anybody who is from China is a Communist, and that's racism.

"The entire time I was over there, I never met anybody who said they were a Communist. It's like saying everybody from the United States is a Democrat." Parris said.

"Make no mistake: What (Davenport) is doing is absolutely anti-Chinese, regardless of whether they are from Taiwan or from the mainland, " he said.

Davenport said the characterization of his ads as racist was "laughably immature."

Having Parris label them as such "almost defies both reason and logic," Davenport said. "I say 'almost' because it is an old, overused, ineffective trial-lawyer tactic to try and discredit the messenger when the facts enumerated by the messenger are airtight.

"The images used (in the ads) came from actual footage shot by the Chinese at political celebrations sponsored by the totalitarian Communist regime that controls the ironically named 'People's Republic' of China with an iron fist," Davenport noted.

"If Mayor Parris and the Communists he pals around with and wants to have as business partners thought everyone here was going to welcome them with open arms and blank minds into a region of America that plays a vital role in our national defense, they were absolutely wrong," he said. "I believe most Americans are like me: Proud, hard-working capitalists that are strongly anti-Communist.

"I would dare say that Communism is the modern-day moral equivalent of slavery," he said.

"Communists are not good employers or responsible business partners. They do not follow environmental or work place safety standards. They do not take care of their employees or produce superior products," Davenport continued, referencing reports about 153 Chinese workers now trapped in a mine in Shanxi province.

In addition, the Chinese business owners "have flooded the international market with cheap products that have caused the loss of 2.4 million American manufacturing jobs," Davenport said. "The fact that China has been able to control a significant portion of the world economy by currency manipulation and using what is in effect slave labor is why we should resist further enrichment of their totalitarian Communist regime.

"We certainly should not try to reason with them and make them economic partners in (a city near) the heart of America's high-tech aviation arsenal," he said.

Parris said none of Davenport's arguments have anything to do with reality.

"This is such incredible nonsense. It has nothing to do with bringing jobs to Lancaster," the mayor said. "We're talking about creating jobs in Lancaster with Chinese companies. If Arnie Rodio was wearing underwear made in China, does that make him a Communist?"

As for Davenport's remark about his profession, Parris said, "I am more proud of becoming a trial lawyer than anything else I've ever accomplished.

"I've protected injured people from powerful insurance companies for more than 30 years, and it's not something I'm ashamed of," he said.

In explaining his commercials, Davenport challenged Parris to reveal prior to the city's April 13 election any measures "he has already implemented in his proposed deals with the Communists to protect America's national security interests.

"If he has none and cannot immediately produce concrete, tangible, agreed-upon language approved by the federal government, which is responsible for U.S. foreign policy, I would suggest that it definitively demonstrates the lack of ability, lack of foresight and poor judgment of the leadership team in Lancaster that is pursuing this dangerous misadventure," Davenport said.

Parris again noted that the EB-5 program is administered by federal officials, and the city is pursuing its new investments under that program.

All of Davenport's reasons have been posted on Internet chat sites by supporters of Rodio's candidacy, Parris continued.

"Word for word, what he's told you has been on the blogs written by Denise Latanzi supporting Arnie Rodio three weeks ago. Let's just recognize this political mud-slinging for what it is," Parris said.

Latanzi, who ran for office on a slate with Rodio in 2008, said Parris "is absolutely, unequivocally wrong."

"I'll go one step further: I do not know Robert Davenport. I do not have cable. I had not seen the commercials against Parris until they were posted on the blog, and I have not seen Robert Davenport's response," Latanzi said.

"This is particularly irritating to me because I would not know Robert Davenport if he was standing right next to me," she said.

bwilson@avpress.com

Wow, just wow. Lancaster is just in its own bizarre little universe. You have a Republican, Rex Parris, who is an authority worshiper courting Chinese business opportunities (probably for personal gain), and his opponents, the local Democrats, who are starting up their own little Red Scare.

This has been one of the strangest elections I've seen in awhile. Unfortunately the Get Rex Parris Out of Lancaster Facebook page is gone (http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Get-Parris-Out-of-Lancaster/342591791075?ref=nf). It was a great source of inside gossip about city business. The page covered the following topics and much more:
  • Rex Parris's dealings with local developers.
  • Rex Parris deciding that he did not want a motorcycle gang to stay at a local motel, so he used a very cozy relationship with the LA county sheriff's dept to close the motel down for being late on its taxes.
  • Since Rex Parris doesn't like pitbulls he pushed an ordinance through banning the ownership of pitbulls in Lancaster.
  • Rex Parris routinely cuts off and derides Lancaster citizens when they disagree with him at City Council meetings.
  • Involving his church, Lancaster Baptist Church, in daily city business, especially the Community Houses planned for poor neighborhoods.
  • Paying for religious meetings with city money and personnel until he was caught red handed.
  • Sponsoring the "Prayer Initiative" up for vote tomorrow, regardless of the advice of the city's attorney, who advised that the measure would make the city open to lawsuits.
  • Having the LA County Sheriff's Department pick up and dump homeless people in neighboring communities, so he could claim the homeless population is down in Lancaster.
  • Personal vendettas against city personnel who don't agree with him.
  • Speculation about his son's flirtation with white supremacy.
A lot of crazy behavior from "Our Mayor".

22 comments:

J said...
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J said...

You are correct that Parris defines Right-wing Craziness. The democratic Opposition of the AV (or at least non-republican), however, hardly offers an alternative. I understand the need for cut-throat politics when taking on the hicks and bapticks-- to some extent--but Davenport's ads were a mistake as was Rodio's attempt to cozy up to the cops and conservatives.

Skeptics, secularists, and...atheists in principle object to all forms of theocracy--christian, muslim, or jewish--do they not? Unfortunately some AV "liberals" think they must join the AV muslims (like the clown Kamal- whatever) to take on the christians. That's an ideological mistake--most of the "celebrity atheists" who you link to would agree, I believe. Sam Harris for one is not an admirer of Islam (or fundamentalist judeo-christianity)

Couragio.

J.

J said...

Reasonable AV citizens (a rarity) should oppose the Parris gang (they should be indicted--say RICO for starters)--.
The Rodio-Latanzi gang, however, hardly offered a reasonable alternative. At the very least Arnie make a blunder in hiring Latanzi for his campaign manager.

I don't know Ms Latanzi personally, nor do I care to, but have read her rants on the intheav., where the local-psychotics hang (I believe Marvin "Bozo" Crist owns the site, or it's a front for his meth biz or something [allegedly!] ).

Ms Latanzi was a republican until like, last year or so. Or at least only recently (last 5 years or so) joined up with AV "Demos". She relies on character attacks, guilt by association, mudslinging, etc. She is friends with many AV-GOP/conservatives, even the baptists (like that whack-creationist Yapp, and others on the intheav nuthouse).

Scuzi rant

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J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

O Underground Unbeliever, wherefore art thou, U.U.?

With the victory of the Parrisites, the AV Press now caters nearly exclusively to the xtian-WASP-flagwavers. That bald, calvinist know-nothing Idleman..Idlestein?.. probably makes the editorial decisions, or is it LBC head-honcho Chappell (rumored to be gay).

Not new, of course--the AV Press has always been a GOP/christian rag, even with Dennis Dunderson, supposed "Democrat" at the reins--they blessed Bush, the iraqi war, McCain, and at yokel levels, ParrisCo (or in P-dale, LackeyCo, aka the LDS zombies).

Like a little slice of Texass, a few dozen miles easy of Ellay.

Anna Lemma said...

Hi J

I've been extremely busy lately and have not had the time to do much in the way of blogging. Unfortunately, Rex and his cronies won due to low voter turnout. This let the followers of Lancaster Baptist Church dominate the election.

Bridget said...

Well "J", its obvious you have no clue who Denise Latanzi is or you would not be so quick to publish lies about her on an obscure blog.

I've known her for 12 years, worked for her for 6, and been friends with her for the last 6. She has been a Democrat for all of those years, and active in the local Democratic party for at least most of them.

She is also one of the nicest, most genuine people I know, and as a born and raised AVer, I know that folks like her are hard to find.

If she indeed worked for Rodio, he's a smart man. Because she's intelligent, organized and has one of the most determined work ethics I've ever seen.

Is she friends with Republicans? Most of us probably have a few Republican friends, not sure what that has to do with her being a Dem, because last I checked, there was no rule saying that we all had to check people's party registration before deciding whether we liked them or not.

The way I look at it, Arnie Rodio was the guy brave enough to take on the Parris clowns twice and spend his own money to do it. Anyone who wants to run against those parrisites better bring Denise on board, because she's the only one around in the Democratic party brave enough to go head to head with them, and has the connections in the Democratic party and resources to do it pretty well. Better than anyone else has ever done it, thats for sure.

Meet the woman before you spread garbage about her.

Bridget said...

Oh, and Dennis Anderson is not a democrat, he is a registered independent who admits to being a conservative. He's also an ass that is totally for sale to the guy with the biggest advertising budget, but thats beside the point.

BTW, I am not a xtian, and not a Democrat, and pretty much think political parties are full of %$#t, and religion is worse.

J said...

You didn't read my comment very carefully, Bridget. I have noted Miss Latanzi's comments on intheav --and in the AV Press--for some time, and she was initially siding with conservatives, with a few qualms, perhaps (once Parris started to roll). Nothing personal, but that's the way it looked. And she was religious (at least for some time).

She changed her tune, and appears to be Demo now, and probably has been for a few years, but she supported the war and BushCo when her comments first started to appear. So, that's my opinion, and Im sticking with it--for that matter, I was involved with Kerry's campaign in -03-04 and few if any local "demos" lent a hand at all--Miss Latanzi never appeared. Kerry's LA people said as much (and to be honest I said as much a few years ago on intheav, until her religious pals (not sure whether baptist, catholic, LDS, or jewish, or all of the above) started censoring/banning people).

Rodio often sounded nearly as conservative as Parris as well, and while I m not supportive of Parris, some of Rodio's tactics were as sleazy and underhanded as the good ol boys (and I suspect DL had something to do with it). And Im not a sunday schooler or currently registered Demo (though not a supporter of GOP, or TP). I've said nothing libellous about DL or anyone, and you're overreacting.

Bridget said...

I will repeat what I said before and say that you obviously have her confused with someone else. Not only do I know for a fact she opposed the war, she dragged me with her to a local anti-war protest, and one at the federal building in LA and almost lost her job over it.
A job that actually forbid political activity, even though the director was a huge Bush supporter and was active all over the place. We more liberal types called it the Latanzi rule, since it only appeared to apply to her.
This isn't secret information. She fought for and kept the local dem clubs big funding source for as long as I've known her. Can you imagine the Dem club raising money in an organization headed up by a strong rep? They had to let them stay because it was Denise Latanzi that got the votes on the board every year when they wanted to kick them out.
I have known her for 12 years, 13 years this spring, and I'll repeat, as long as I've known her she has been a vocal Democrat. So much so that the charity she worked for passed a rule that no one in management or on their board could make public political comments. She still sat on the board and handled their training when I left in 2005, so if she wasn't as involved in the Kerry campaign as you would have liked, its probably because she had kids and needed the job.
Yeah, she is a xtian, but not all of them are bad, just a bit misguided IMO. She's a great person, and very genuine. Like I said before, you should meet her, it would change your opinion pretty fast.

Also, one of the other things I know about her and her politics is that she came here from Humboldt County and had not been a rep since Reagan was president. I remember that because I left that job to take a job in the mental health field, and in talking once she said that the reason she left the Republican party was Reagan's refusal to acknowledge the AIDS crisis and his putting vulnerable mental patients on the street.

J said...

OK. I don't know her, and just go from what I read. Miss Latanzi appears to be a hard worker, and liberal, and did oppose Bush at some point. She's put her shoulder to the wheel for the local dems (a letter in the AVP from her in favor of Jerry Brown was pretty good). But in her writings online she has sounded fairly conservative--and religious (catholic? not sure). I believe she protested Walmart which was the correct position.

When I posted occasionally on the intheav I objected to the rightwing nutcases and religious types who insulted her, but she actually seemed pretty friendly with most (including Marv Nutcase Crist who runs that joint). She supported...Prop 8, Im pretty sure. Nothing personal, but that's the way it looks.

J said...

You are correct about Dennis Dunderson and the AV Press, however: pure opportunistic ...basura. Dennis's hamfisted writing wouldn't make it like out in an AVC book report class (that includes Willie Wankford, and his obese boyfriend Brian Goldie). Note all the fundamentalists the AVP regularly features as well--you get like four or five local preachers barking away on Saturdays, led by that bald Jerry Falwell-wannabe Shaun Idlestein or whatever . For real news, some of us read the LA Times, or Daily News

Bridget H. said...

Well J, you're getting there ;)
I had no clue what Denise's position was on prop 8, so I picked up the phone and called her. She was surprised to hear anyone would think she supported it and said that she probably wrote a dozen letters that were printed the the AVPress opposing it, but was quite vocal on that crazy local you talked about and on channel 3.
It doesn't surprise me that she would be friendly, even to people who might have insulted her. She's just that way. She's genuinely a nice person, maybe even to nice for Valley politics.

In the last presidential election, I was a Hillary Clinton supporter. I'm not a Democrat, but my politics are definitely way left of center. I had many good natured arguments with her about the primary election, because she was a die hard Obama supporter. For someone like her who thinks that more women should be in politics, I ribbed her all the time about supporting him. She said something to me one day that has stuck with me. In the heat of a pretty passionate debate, she said she loved Hillary Clinton and in any other election, would probably vote for her. In that election though, the difference between the 2 was that Hillary was pure politics, but Obama had the ability to inspire people to much larger things.
I don't know if she's disappointed now, I hope not, because her argument worked and I ended up voting Obama.
There is value to people who can get along with people they disagree with, who can be nice to people who are not so nice back. They may be hard to peg sometimes, but I can you from experience they make for great friends.

Bridget H. said...

The influence of the churches up here is kind of scary, but in Lancaster, its crossed the line into creepy.
I am all for people believing what they want to believe as long as they leave me alone with it. The xtian community here though is very in your face, and the fundies are everywhere, including banging on my door at least once a week to try to save my soul. I'm kind of tired of the stepford types from the cultish baptist compound waking me up on Saturday morning after working all night. I even put a darwin fish wind chime and a Pagan Pride doormat out and they still knock. I'm not really a pagan either, but it makes a lot more sense to me then their vengeful tooth fairy in the sky.
One of these days I am going to greet them at the door in all black, thick black eyeliner, short black skirt, carrying the Book of Spells and act like I'm putting a curse on them. Maybe even ask for a bit of their hair..
Think it'll work?

J said...
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J said...

The doorpounders are usually Bapticks--with mormonic geeks, and the Witness nuts on occasion. Baptists seem to be the worst in terms of proselytizing--though, some of the goth/wicca types do as well, in ways.

In theory we should oppose ...monotheism of all types (christian, jew, or Islam)--really I have more respect for, say, traditional hinduism than for baptist yokels--but skeptics, freethinkers and atheists at times must compromise, alas. We have to affirm the First Amendment, even when the town's run by fundies who don't know the Constitution from their fave NASCAR video.

The altar boys and biblethumpers of the AVPress are mostly fundamentalists as well: such as Billy Warford, wannabe Roody-Guiliani, who gets paid to remind AV residents of the power of Catholics, Inc or the orthodox nuts (greek, armenian, russian, whatever). Hey, we breakayrkneecaps. He supported Carly "Evita" Fiorina, like most of the AVP (including another schickelgruber, John Hall, half-pint Hitler.).


You may be right about Miss Latanzi. Then, let's not forget the "wifey's liberal, but she's married to a nazi meme" either. Not saying that's DL. But Ive met quite a few "liberal" women such as that--they're for Hillary say, or oppose 8, but they still f*ck a klansman, or mormon conservative, so forth.

Bridget H. said...

Haha! Denise's husband is an east coast liberal. Not sure where he's from exactly, New York, New Jersey, somewhere back there, but he's more of a lefty than I am, and that is saying a lot.

We get a lot of baptists here, I know the jehovah's come through, but they never stop here except to put their things on my door. It's the baptists here that give me the willies, stopped going to walmart after I was approached by them in the store. Persistent parasites is what they are.

J said...
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J said...

You have convinced me the Latanzis are liberal, but I wasn't referring to DL in particular, B. Either way, the liberal wife/conservative hub. scenario seems fairly common--even in Tumbleweed land!. As with like Carol Parris and T-Rex. She's supposedly a bit of a liberal, married to the AV's Kissinger-lite.

You are correct re the baptist zombies, B. Obnoxious as ...f*ck, especially the older sorts. Some came by a few weeks ago--teen girls. In fact I invited them in for some milk and cookies to discuss Jeezuss but they just posted their brochure --Jeezuss and His man, Paul Chappell love you--and ran.

(Now, the link to BH in her wicca-mama ready-to- play costume, por favor. Sort of standard rule of unbeliever blogs, isn't it? :]).