I meant to get to this story earlier in the week, but Daily Pilot columnist Barbara Venezia beat me to it (you can read her column here) but there’s a boycott of Costa Mesa Council member Gary Monahan’s bar and eatery, Skosh Monahan’s, by progressive activist Chris McEvoy who organized a Facebook page to try and hurt Monahan’s business. It has fewer than 30 likes.
The boycott is backfiring and Monahan’s conservative buddies are coming to his rescue and patronizing the place. Monahan tells Venezia that last Sunday was one of his best.
McEvoy organized the boycott because of what he says is overdevelopment in Costa Mesa and broken campaign promises by Monahan.
From the Daily Pilot Story:
Resident Chris McEvoy created a “Boycott Skosh Monahan’s, Stop the Over Development” Facebook page.
On Dec. 31 he wrote, “Anyone who is displeased with the huge amount of high density development in Costa Mesa, I beg stop going to his restaurant until he establishes a voting record of opposition to these quality of life reducing projects.”
McEvoy says Monahan broke his campaign promise to reduce traffic and backs this up by posting a copy of an old campaign mailer that clearly states the councilman pledged “traffic reduction.”
Somewhere along the way Monahan “got lost,” says McEvoy, who hopes this boycott will encourage the councilman to change his pro-development stand.
“I lose a lot of sleep thinking about my city and how it’s being trashed,” McEvoy says.
The last time I looked at the Facebook boycott page it had 24 followers.
About now you’re probably thinking this boycott thing is kind of lame. I do too.
And when I say that to McEvoy, he agrees, though he says he’s surprised at all the attention it’s getting.
“These guys are making a bigger deal out of this than it is,” he says.
Mess with someone’s livelihood and it is a big deal, says Monahan.
Now if you look at the mailer, Monahan and his slate mate Steve Mensinger also broke promises of reducing crime and creating jobs. I dropped by Skosh’s last Veteran’s Day after Monahan posted something on Facebook asking if a person’s politics might hurt their business. I viewed it as an invitation and went. This blog hasn’t written a positive story about the conservative troika determined to crush public employee unions in Costa Mesa and blaming all their woes on unions when its clear they barely have a majority. But Monahan and I had a polite chat about politics.
I came away with three things from meeting him:
1. When Democrats win close elections, we reach across the aisle to Republicans to see where we might find common ground. In Gary’s case, a win is a win and conservatives “won’t turn their backs of those who supported them with votes.” So basically, “we won, you lost, we’re doing it our way.” I suspect this is exactly how the Republican majority feels in Irvine even though another two thousand votes for Democrats would have brought a 4-1 Democratic majority.
2. While you might not care for Monahan’s politics, he’s a nice guy who’s very proud of his wife and kids. He couldn’t stop talking about them. So if the PI’s who sent a comely woman to try and catch Monahan in a compromising situation thought that was a good strategy, they were completely wrong. Monahan talks to every customer in his bar and is friendly with everyone — so instead of boycotting the place, those who disagree with Monahan’s politics ought to patronize it because he can’t really run and hide from a customer. But if this is your tactic, you’ll be better engaging with him via an actual conversation that’s somewhat respectful of the man’s position and business. I found he listens. He won’t agree with everything (or anything you say), but you’ll have his ear.
3. While I couldn’t eat that much, the Irish Nachos were outstanding.
If you’re going to organize a boycott, Facebook isn’t the first place you do so. Also, let’s remember, this is an Irish bar and grill — Mid March is a better time to picket, boycott, protest Monahan’s business if you wanted to disrupt business. But all that would do is get Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and Irvine Republicans to come in droves to ring Monahan’s cash register.
“Drinking Liberally” hasn’t had a real home since Memphis in Santa Ana closed. Can we pencil in the last Thursday of the month and do a DL at Skosh’s. Barbara Venezia has already said she wants to come to this and it would be great to have a collection of lefties and right-wing whack jobs to sit down and have a cocktail and see if its possible to change anyone’s mind. Leave a note in the comments if you’re in and I’ll see if we can get some reserved seating. If anything, it shows conservatives that Democrats and Liberals possess a spine as well as intellect. Just don’t forget to keep your receipt.
If you want to beat Monahan and Mensinger — and both are beatable — start plotting a candidate or two now and rally behind those candidates with early money. Try not to play a spoiler in the race where Democrats are splitting the anti-rightwing-troika vote. The DPOC is probably a good place to start.