Mansoor Smells an Opportunity.

Young racial opportunist Allan Mansoor, with close friend Dick "Judas of the Fairgrounds" Ackerman

  • Arizona makes weeks of controversial headlines with their draconian SB 1070 forcing law enforcement to check anyone who LOOKS like they might be foreign for documentation of citizenship, and imprisoning AZ residents caught without such documentation (even if they DO turn out to be legal) for up to six months.
  • Moseying over from the same backward state, anti-immigrant celebrity Sheriff Joe Arpaio enjoys a whirlwind tour of the OC in support of Bill Hunt, drawing angry, colorful protesters, ecstatic teabagging supporters, and lots of press!
  • Meanwhile President Obama and Congressional Democrats prepare to finally tackle the vital and divisive issue of immigration reform, inevitably driving today’s Just-Say-No Congressional Republicans into mindless opposition – they practically have no free will in the matter!

Well, what’s a Minuteman Mayor on the threshold of his big Assembly run, with a reputation for making life as difficult as possible for Costa Mesa latinos, CHOPPED LIVER?

So, Mayor Mansoor called a press conference at 10 this morning.  It was sparsely attended; I still haven’t figured out why he did it when he did it and why he announced it so late yesterday.  There were at most twenty in attendance, all either journalists or very in-the-loop activists who sat leaning forward frowning.  But there were TV cameras, which is probably the important thing.

It was a little hard to tell what he was announcing, it was all couched in such vagueness.  Everything is “complicated,” and he just wants to “start an open conversation” about the issue of immigration. Toward the end, one confused journalist asked him to summarize, “in bullet points,” what his new proposals are.  He responded that, number one, he would like Costa Mesa to have “a more thorough policy for upholding immigration laws,” and then he drifted off again into how complicated the whole issue is, how we shouldn’t avoid it, and how we shouldn’t be afraid to have an open conversation.

Actually there were a few specifics mentioned, although they would all take the co-operation of others to implement:

  • he wants to make Costa Mesa businesses use e-Verify, as they now do in Lancaster, to ensure all their workers are here legally.
  • he wants to end the alleged policy of police who pull you over letting you go if you simply show them a Mexican ID, or “matricula consular.” Juice friend John Earl was skeptical that such a policy exists, and repeatedly asked the Mayor for proof.  The Mayor admitted he had no proof but is “pretty sure it happens,” which is a strange thing for a mayor with law enforcement experience to say.
  • he wants his fellow Council members to make it official that they are a “Rule Of Law City,” which I guess is something like the opposite of a “Sanctuary City.”  That should be a fun meaningless debate, given portraits in courage Monahan, Bever and Leece, and a big embarrassing waste of Katrina Foley’s time.
  • he urges citizens in all cities and counties to convince their own local governments to pursue the same policies, including Costa Mesa law enforcement’s current collaboration with ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement.)

And, comically, he denied that any of this has anything to do with either his Assembly run (June primary coming right up!) or Arizona’s notorious SB 1070.  He claimed to be unfamiliar with the latter, or at least that he hadn’t read it, and so was uprepared to say whether or not a similar law would be appropriate for Costa Mesa – i.e., force all Costa Mesans to carry proof of citizenship with them at all times, and force cops to check anyone who looks foreign for such documentation.  Come on Mayor.  Even little kids know about Arizona’s law by now.

I do believe what he really wants to have is, just as he says, an open conversation on the subject. He feels this can’t help but kick some life into his Assembly campaign now that immigration is so much in the news.  He’s obviously jonesing for the glory days of ’05 and ’06, when the community was rent apart by immigration wars, and he was celebrated as the shining white knight of the nativists and xenophobes.  He has been a successful demagogue thus far, and perhaps it will work for him.  Juice freind the Pot-Stirrer elegizes on his Bubbling Cauldron:

Mayor Mansoor has ripped the scab off an issue that has festered in our city for five years. By bringing it up now he guarantees himself another term in the spotlight of national television as he makes a bid for Van Tran’s 68th Assembly seat. He couldn’t buy this kind of media coverage! … If this process goes as it appears he wants it to – a request to place the issues on a study session agenda, then later to be considered by the council in open session – I can foresee more packed meetings with vocal proponents and opponents batting the issues back and forth in the same kind of atmosphere we saw in the past… Tonight Mansoor will toddle off to a fund raiser hosted by that self-same Barbara Coe and her minions at the California Coalition for Immigration Reform (CCIR) meeting at which his praises as the “savior of California” will almost certainly be sung. What’s that old phrase, “You are known by the company you keep?” Well, somebody should have reminded Mansoor of that fact.


(ready in an hour or two)

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.