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On November 22, I had proposed that the Newport Beach City Council adopt a resolution condemning the use of anonymous Farsi language signs designed to suggest the “foreignness” of one of the candidates. My proposal was gaveled down by Mayor Diane Dixon, who misrepresented council policy to prevent discussion, and for the first time ever since I have been a member of the council, refused to hear any public comment.
The following are my prepared comments which were blocked by mayor Dixon.
The use of Farsi signs in the last election was a campaign tactic that went over the line of decency and propriety. It reflects badly on our community and reflects a bigotry and racism that is unwelcome and deserving of being denounced.
All of the three District 7 candidates in the recent election have denounced this and we as a council should denounce it as well.
This measure tests our moral clarity.
I warned that if we failed to address the loopholes in our campaign laws we would see additional violations in this election cycle. That is exactly what happened.
If we fail to denounce this despicable campaign tactic, we can be sure that similar measures will darken our community in the future.
It is important to note that this sign failed to identify the party paying for it as required by law, and we assume it was not reported as an expenditure as is also required by law. Many members of the council ran on a platform of “law and order”. Each of us took an oath to enforce the law, without concern to person or privilege. This resolution tests our commitment to fulfilling our oaths of office.
Frankly I cannot understand how any member of this council can disagree with this proposed resolution. I hope those who do will explain to our residents your tolerance for this activity.
Let us speak with one voice, in unity to say that these campaign tactics are repulsive, they will not be tolerated in Newport Beach, and the parties who violated our laws and printed them should be identified and brought to justice.
Keith Curry, Newport Beach City Council Member
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