Uncivil civic race
Amid a high-stakes City Council campaign in Menlo Park, the veneer of political civility disappeared for a few moments at a rally Thursday.
A shouting match broke out. Insults were hurled. Fingers were pointed. Just another day in American democracy.
Tension is thick in Menlo Park these days because there's a possibility that the pro-growth council majority might lose power. Lee Duboc, Mickie Winkler and Nicholas Jellins have enjoyed control the past four years. But now Jellins has decided not to seek another term, and Duboc and Winkler are running with transportation commissioner John Boyle.
If just one of a trio of challengers -- Rich Cline, Heyward Robinson and Vince Bressler -- is elected, it could shift the balance of power and mark a new day in Menlo Park. Cline and Robinson both are endorsed by the Service Employees International Union.
Which brings us to Thursday's rally, called to decry a union mailer opposing Duboc and Winkler. Things degenerated after a member of the public who opposes the Duboc-Winkler-Boyle slate tried to speak and was shouted down by some of the incumbents and their supporters.
The unidentified woman was ordered to shut up and leave before she asserted herself and said, ``I am a citizen of Menlo Park. You can't tell me where to be.''
Suffice to say, the rally backfired.