On Wednesday (catch it before it disappears) Alameda Daily News posted a self-congratulatory letter from Action Alameda with an interesting, and yes, ironic closing:
…These are just some of the reasons we insist on a 3rd-party forensic audit of the City of Alameda’s books. And we remind Alameda residents that they would do well to be critical of the party line touted by City Hall and echoed by the online carpetbagging bloggers and pay more attention to their fellow citizen whistle-blowers. Your pocket books will thank you.*
Putting aside the spin that Action Alameda (royal “we” being used since only one person cops to actually being a member of the organization these days) has been trying to put forward about being mocked because they uncovered a pot of money that belonged to AUSD in the coffers of the City (cliff notes for those that are confused, the school district and the city government are two separate entities). Action Alameda was — because these things are archived — critiqued for going around and asserting that somehow the school district neglected to properly file annual reports regarding the money. Back then Action Alameda was congratulating itself for showing that AUSD was a shoddily run organziation that they couldn’t even get their act together to file the necessary reports required. Now, Action Alameda is patting itself on the back for finally getting the money into the right hands — for the good of the children.
Notwithstanding the selective memory of Action Alameda as to what they were asserting back then, I do believe their persistence around this issue was one of the motivating factors for the school district to finally request the money from the City. So a tip of the hat for a job well done.
However, Action Alameda falls into the same old same old with the excerpt above calling for:
…a 3rd-party forensic audit of the City of Alameda’s books.
Which makes you wonder if anyone really knows what or who they are voting for these days. Which, conveniently enough, Councilmember Marie Gilmore addressed the issue of independent audits at the last City Council meeting.
If Action Alameda and others feel as though our democratically elected City Auditor is not doing his job properly — managing indepedent audits for the City’s finances — perhaps they should be finding a candidate to run against him in four more years.
And finally, you didn’t think I was going to ignore this one, right? That’s right Action Alameda has denounced the most cruel and vicious among us, the:
…online carpetbagging bloggers…
First, let’s just pretend that the “online” part isn’t redundant with the term “blogger” since blogging can only be done online. And that somehow, even though Action Alameda has its own blog, that they are exempt from the category of blogger and rather are one of the good guys, the “fellow citizen whistle-blowers” if you will.
A brief history of carpetbaggers (from a compartive essay on these roles and Iraq):
…In 1868 a Northerner reported on the “great deal of bitterness” that some Southerners displayed “in regard to the presence, and great prominence of members, of what Louisiana people call ‘carpet-baggers’—men, that is, who are new comers in the country.” A Southerner put the matter more succinctly: “I would sooner trust the Negro than the white scalawag or carpet-bagger.” …In many respects, carpetbagger rhetoric was an extension of antebellum secessionist ideology, which caricatured Northern society as excessively mercenary, lacking the “higher” ideals.
…[T]erm was actually applied with the same (or greater) vehemence to Northerners serving the Freedmen’s Bureau such as the likely thousands of Yankee “schoolmarms” educating the newly freed slaves. Moreover, even profit-driven business interests brought with them one commodity that the war-ravaged South desperately needed—capital. But many white natives hated the racial, social and economic changes these “new comers” represented. Reaction was swift, ranging from non-violent ostracism to the formation of the Ku Klux Klan. In its original usage then, “carpetbagger” was a reactionary’s word, a term of opprobrium most useful to those on the losing side of the Civil War…
I wonder who gets to determine which newcomers to Alameda get to be placed in the “carpetbagger” category or the “fellow citizen” category, since Action Alameda leaves it vague enough for you, gentle reader, to decide who these carpetbaggers are. But then again perhaps we should all just take a page out of Rhett Butler’s book: