The Orange County Register published a powerful editorial this week entitled “Stop the Politics and Build the Veterans Cemetery Now.”
It condemns the deceptive “Save the Veterans Cemetery” petition. It points out that the cemetery does not need saving (since it is already moving forward) and it condemns the aggressive and sometimes violent tactics of its paid out-of-town signature gatherers.
It urges Irvine voters not to be “fooled by the propaganda or petition gathers. They are simply attempting to mislead and deceive the community in an effort undo the approved veterans cemetery and move it.”
Here is the editorial in full:
“Politicians will exploit anything to gain political power. That’s exactly what is happening over the veterans cemetery in Irvine. It’s despicable to use veterans as pawns and our entire community should be outraged and informed.
A misleading petition drive has been launched in the city to “Save the Veterans Cemetery.” But the cemetery doesn’t need saving; it’s just a veiled effort to derail the current cemetery plans. There is already a great space approved, the veteran community supports it and the city had a dedication for the land last Friday.
But this is all about politics and trying to win next year’s city election. Sadly, this is par for the course in Irvine where creating a political wedge issue and riding it to the election seems torn right out of the pages of former Irvine Mayor and Councilman Larry Agran’s playbook. It should come as no surprise that the pro-Agran Irvine Community News and Views publication supports the referendum. Agran even wrote a column in its pages supporting it.
Don’t be fooled by the propaganda or petition gathers. They are simply attempting to mislead and deceive the community in an effort undo the approved veterans cemetery and move it.
To make matters worse, one of the petition gathers seeking to block the approved veterans cemetery allegedly assaulted Councilwoman Melissa Fox over the weekend. Fox has been an incredible advocate for veterans and the cemetery in Irvine. While demonstrating against the misleading signature gathers, one of them, a paid political consultant from Colorado, allegedly took her sign and hit her with it, according to the Register.
It’s disgusting to see how some of the political forces in the community behave. Even more despicable perhaps was the response from Councilman Jeff Lalloway who insinuated that Fox shouldn’t have tried to inform people signing petitions against the cemetery.
Lalloway has been a disappointment on the council, opposing the current plan for the veterans cemetery and bringing utter nastiness to city politics. Don’t be fooled by the bogus antics of some in Irvine trying to undo the veterans cemetery location. The creation of a veterans cemetery shouldn’t be a political football. It should be a proud moment for the city and the county.”
For more information about the Veterans Cemetery, see my blog posts:
If you signed the petition because you mistakenly believed that it would support the veterans cemetery, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will see that you get a form to revoke your signature.