[Editor: For whatever reason, the City backed off its plan to post the video of the forum, but made DVD copies available to the public on request. This is therefore an official record of the proceedings, uploaded from the DVD by Benicia videographer Constance Beutel. Many thanks, Constance! – R.S.]
Candidates disavow Valero/Labor PAC’s offensive negative phone calls and ads
Below is the recording of the City of Benicia Open Government Commission’s “Final Word” forum held on Saturday, November 3. (Note that there is a lengthy intro with nothing happening. The meeting is called to order at 8:45.)
The Final Word Forum is convened by the City of Benicia Open Government Commission on the Saturday before an election as a means for candidates to address “last minute hit pieces.” (Municipal code ordinance 1.42.110.)
The event this year was attended by an overflow crowd, following the massive spending and offensive negative advertising of a Valero/Labor anti-Birdseye political action committee (PAC). At the forum, all four candidates for City Council roundly rejected the false and misleading claims made by the PAC against Kari Birdseye.
The Benicia Independent has endorsed Kari Birdseye for City Council. For more about Kari, see BirdseyeForBenicia.com.
NOTE SLOW START: The first part of this video shows nothing happening. The meeting is convened at minute 8:45, but nothing much happens until Public Comment, which begins at minute 12:28. Even then, the call for speakers doesn’t come until minute 13:33. To move forward through the video, hover your mouse at bottom and click/drag the little red ball to the right until you reach the minute you want.
- Public Comment speakers favoring the Valero/Labor anti-Birdseye PAC run from 13:33 to 33:36. Mr. Versace, who is eventually ejected by police for misbehavior, is called to speak at minute 22:50.
- At 33:50 Gigi Giblin leads off a series of speakers critical of the PAC’s hit pieces.
- Rules, procedures and housekeeping begins at 51:07.
- The CANDIDATE COMMENTS followed by PUBLIC QUESTIONS and CANDIDATE ANSWERS begins at 55:50.