Smoke-Free OC Beaches: No Time to Cut and Run

One of the things I love most about blogging is the ability to engage in a free and open debate about political issues. My first experiences in political debate were with my father at the dinner table. We never agreed, that was a given. But that did not stop the free flow if ideas and opinions. And while Papa will still say to this day that he always won the debates, I think I did.

A couple days ago I posted about the abysmal debut of the OC Blog’s Matt Cunningham (Jubal) on the County Harbors, Beaches, and Parks Commission. I took strong exception to his opposition to the proposed establishment of Orange County owned beaches as Tobacco Smoke-Free. I challenged his apparent belief that the facts and findings, of the Surgeon General and California Air Resources Board regarding second-hand smoke being harmful, are phony. I challenged Matt’s questions of staff as being irrelevant to the issue and called him a political hack.

Unfortunately, Matt could only whine in response that I was calling him names. He has yet to offer a fact-based reason why the rights of smokers to smoke should infringe on the rights of non-smokers not to be exposed to that same smoke. And when he was called out on his flimsy justification of his vote, Matt Cunningham chose to cut, run, and hide behind the shield of spending time with his family rather than respond. Someone should have told Matt that when you are a commissioner, making decisions and recommendations that affect 3 million people, it is likely that you will be challenged to defend you position.

Matt the unfortunate reality of your position as a commissioner is that your votes will be challenged. You will be called a political hack when you behave like one, and you will be considered a political stooge when you vote the way the guy who appointed you wants you to in spite of the contrary evidence and facts presented to you.

As a blogger on the most read blog in Orange County, it is reasonable to expect that your positions will be vigorously challenged when you broadcast your positions for all to see. Matt, it is unfortunate that you do not have the fortitude to defend you positions when people disagree with you. If you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen; but don’t try to hide behind spending time with your family to avoid debate.

So I offer yet another opportunity for Matt and anyone else who has an opinion regarding the pending proposal to make Orange County beaches tobacco smoke-free to state their case. It is important that such an issue have the benefit of a vigorous debate in the world of the blogs. If for no other reason than to let everyone have their say. On my end, I’ll make sure that the County Board of Supervisors has the opportunity to see the comments regarding this issue, to hopefully inform their decision.

  2 comments for “Smoke-Free OC Beaches: No Time to Cut and Run

  1. October 8, 2006 at 7:33 pm

    Best of luck to you as you do your part to convince the Supes to take this much-needed step to keep our beaches clean. : )

  2. October 9, 2006 at 5:33 pm

    And when he was called out on his flimsy justification of his vote, Matt Cunningham chose to cut, run, and hide behind the shield of spending time with his family rather than respond.

    Silly me, Chris. I should have told me wife and kids I have more important things to tend to — like spend my weekend responding to conceited left-wing boor on a little-read blog who has nothing better to do on a weekend other than write a long, self-congratulatory raspberry.

    I’m not done with this issue, Chris. I’ll enjoy expressing my thoughts on the smoking ban and then watching the Board of Supervisors vote it down.

    You may now resume thumping your chest.

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