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Escondidans have important decision to make on November 6th.  There is a choice between two futures and visions for our community and our families. My opponent has saturated our mailboxes with flyers full of misrepresentations. Here is the truth about why I'm asking you to vote Paul McNamara for Mayor of Escondido:

  1. I will lead our council to establish policies that make our community attractive for new businesses to open and existing businesses to stay and thrive. I will make “City of Choice” more than just a slogan. I want Escondido to be the city that potential businesses, residents, and visitors CHOOSE because of the opportunities and quality of life in our community.
  2. Local government and schools must be strengthened together for our community to thrive.
  3. I know our diversity is our strength. I will reach out to all areas of Escondido through the creation of commissions that will be designed to breed success in addressing the challenges we face.
  4. I am committed to operating the city in an open, inclusive, and accountable manner, so residents know how their tax dollars are spent, and that their views will be considered when setting fiscal priorities.
  5. Public Safety requires not only enforcement but prevention. We need to strengthen and support the prevention and “soft” police work prevention initiatives of the EPD. We also need to establish and support partnerships with those civic organizations that address the problems that lead to crime.
  6. Recreation programs and facilities, like our pools, need work and need better access, especially in areas of the city that need them most.
  7. I will support Escondido’s children and their educators, and we will invest in our city’s present and future.

Finally, let me set the record straight on the hollow arguments made by my opponent:

  1. My Integrity  - I am a retired Marine Corps Colonel with over 27+ years of service.  I held positions of great trust for this country. I led the post 9/11 planning for Marine Corps forces on the West Coast, and received the Distinguished Service Medal which is the Marine Corps’ third highest award behind the Medal of Honor and Navy Cross. I also served in Mexico, working for the Defense Intelligence Agency. I have - and continue - to served the community as a non-profit volunteer and an elected official. My campaign statements are verifiable. Abed lacks concrete ideas for improving our city, and his attacks on my integrity is a reflection on his lack of vision. 
  2. Wendy Wilson - It is understandable that Abed is upset with the Wendy Wilson article since it exposes his mindset and character. Her account of the Abed meeting is supported by documentation that includes contemporaneous witnesses and time stamped emails. Additionally, Wendy Wilson is a highly respected gallery director. She served the City of Escondido with great integrity as demonstrated by her numerous accolades including the 2015's Distinguished Citizen Award from Assemblywoman Marie Waldron.   
  3. Palomar College Lawsuit - The misrepresentation of the Palomar College lawsuit is an example of my opponent's deflection tactics.  All five Board members are being sued over a procedural issue clearly laid out in the lawsuit, not hidden as he claims. His representation of legally required closed session board meetings as “secret meetings”, which he himself participates in on the council, is the height of misdirection. Considering the millions of dollars Abed's misguided and sometimes illegal policies have cost Escondido taxpayers, it's no wonder he's trying to make a mountain out of this molehill.
  4. Escondido Should not be FOR SALE. My opponenet has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on these shameful mailings, money from special interests. Paul McNamara's campaign has received many more donations from donors who live in Escondido.  Mac's first order of business will be to lower the maximum campaign donation and advocate for term limits so we residents can take OURcity back from the special interests and careerist politicians.

Mi Declaración de la Visión Para Escondido

Ampliamente avalado por Alianza North County, el Coronel Paul “Mac” McNamara jubilado de la Marina de los Estados Unidos tiene una visión clara para Escondido. El Coronel McNamara es un coronel jubilado de la marina, un líder comprobado, y un verdadero patriota que encabezará a Escondido hacia un futuro nuevo y mejor. Paul “Mac” McNamara es la única opción para unir a una ciudad de Escondido ya dividida y para restaurar su reputación.

Del sitio web de Mac

A donde quiera que voy en Escondido y con todos los que hablo, se reconoce, al igual que yo, que nuestra ciudad tiene un enorme potencial que no se ha aprovechado. Cuando me imagino lo que podemos hacer juntos para liberar ese potencial, esto es lo que veo:

  • Veo a una ciudad unida con un sentido de comunidad porque nuestros residentes trabajan en conjunto para resolver nuestros retos y estar orgullosos de nuestros éxitos. 
  • Veo que el centro de la ciudad es robusto, un “Gaslamp” de North County en donde se congregue la gente, con los locales ocupados y los negocios y clientes prosperando. En lugar de letreros que digan Renta.
  • Veo a una ciudad en donde las familias vivan seguras y en armonía con sus vecinos, en donde tengan buenas oportunidades de trabajo, y sepan que sus hijos tendrán las oportunidades que ellos han disfrutado.
  • Veo a una ciudad con residentes que conozcan a sus vecinos, quienes celebren nuestra diversidad, y no sean divididos a causa del miedo.
  • Veo a una comunidad involucrada y que sea tomada en cuenta por sus oficiales electos cuando expresen su opinión, y no a una comunidad ignorada por los líderes de la ciudad.
  • Veo a una ciudad que capitaliza su clima, sus parques, sus actividades recreativas, y sus recursos naturales para proporcionar un estilo de vida divertido, saludable, y amigable, no una ciudad que considere a sus parques como simples oportunidades de desarrollo empresarial o considere las actividades recreativas como un gasto innecesario.
  • Veo a la ciudad de la que los visitantes escuchan hablar como un lugar al cual ir, no un lugar al que hay que evitar.
  • Veo a una ciudad que vive por su lema – una ciudad de preferencia – debido a las oportunidades que se encuentran aquí y por la Buena calidad de vida que se disfruta.

Cuando pienso en la ciudad de Escondido que podemos crear juntos, veo una ciudad de la que podemos sentirnos orgullosos y de la cual las visitas puedan irse diciendo, “Quisiera vivir ahí.”

Candidate McNamara Leads Abed In Donations From Eligible Escondido Voters

Jan 1- June 30, 2018 reporting period

Escondido, CA -  Candidate Paul “Mac” McNamara raised over $39,000 from local voters during this last reporting period.  This is almost double the amount that was raised during the last reporting period. 

“I’m very pleased with this amount.  It reflects that the voters of Escondido now know there is an alternative, and that they want and support change. To put it in context, the amount raised just in this period is roughly the total amount one needs to run for Mayor of San Marcos.  Unfortunately, since our Abed led city council raised the donation limits from $540 to $4300 per donor which is over 8X the city of San Diego limit and 16X the San Marcos limit, it makes our city open to undue influence from developers and outside interests.  In effect we are for sale,” said Mac.

“My decision to refuse money from special interest groups is not without challenge, but one has to do it if one hopes to serve and make decisions with integrity, and not be beholden to corporate donors.  Poorly planned development, counter to the city residents’ wishes and ever increasing traffic are just two examples of why city leaders must ensure they are supported by the people they are elected to serve - the residents of the city,” continued Mac.    

Shining a light on Abed’s donors exposes he is the candidate of the developers and special interest groups.  A detailed review of his supporters in this report combined with his poor leadership decisions confirm he is the special interest candidate.  A clear choice has emerged in this election, continue the downward spiral of the city, or elect a leader who works for the people.

Upholding the Legacy of the Founding Fathers

I was honored to be asked to speak at two 4th of July events: Two-Ward Breakfast at Kit Carson Park, and at the Rancho Bernardo Veterans Memorial.

Good Morning everyone and thank you for inviting me to speak at your 4th of July celebration. 

I know a lot of us have different ideas as to what the Fourth of July represents. For some it is a day for picnics and BBQ; for some it’s fireworks, and for some it may even be a big appliance sale weekend.  When I was stationed in Boston at one point in my career, it is the first day it finally got warm.  No matter how you think of the Fourth, today I’m going to suggest another way for you to think of it. It’s the way I think of it, and it is why I am proud and feel blessed to be an American.

The Fourth is considered our Nation’s birthday, because most would say that is when the Declaration of Independence was signed.  Well, that is partially true.  What really happened on the Fourth is that the final draft of the document was approved by Congress.  The document wasn’t fully signed, as we now know, until August and didn’t make it to England until November.  The actual resolution to secede was passed on the second of July, Thomas Jefferson wrote the document in June, and we had been in a revolution since April of 1775 (Lexington and Concord). But as you know, holidays seem to evolve and the Fourth is the day we celebrate.

What is the document after all?  It is not only a declaration of secession, but it is a reasoned argument of why we should, and must, secede.  Remember that point.  The Founding Fathers thought it was important to state why they felt secession was necessary and made an argument to that effect in the Declaration. They listed 27 wrongs against them.  They could have sent a note that said, “Dear King George III, we’ve had enough. Best of luck and goodbye.”  But they didn’t. Rather they stated an important concept that is our legacy as Americans:  They essentially said that, if one has the power to correct a wrong, one has the right and duty to do so.  That is more than an argument, but rather a charge to all of us and subsequent generations that, as Americans, if we see a wrong - and have the ability to act on that wrong - we have an obligation to correct it.  

The Founding Fathers, like all of us, were imperfect individuals, but on this point, they took a powerful stand. They had everything to lose but chose to risk it all and defy what was considered the normal order of the day - countries ruled by Kings, Princes and potentates - to create a concept of government that derived its power from the will of the people.  

Now I sometimes indulge myself and wonder what the conversation was like between George and Martha Washington after he rode back from Philadelphia.  I imagine Martha on the porch, because it is hot in July in Virginia, and she sees George riding up and greets him with, “Welcome home, how was Philadelphia?”  He responds with, “Pretty interesting, you’ll never guess what happened.” She, of course, responds with the question, “What?”, and he replies, “We decided to secede from England.” I wonder what Martha’s reaction was to that?  Remember they had a lot, if not everything, to lose.   Did she ask him if he had fallen off his horse and hit his head? Or did she say something like, “I’ve been telling you that for years!”  I like to think that it was something more to the latter.  Because while we don’t have any female signers to the Declaration, history demonstrates through letters and other documents that the spouses of the signers had a strong influence on the lives of their husbands. And they also recognized that something was wrong and needed to be corrected.

From this start, we were given our constitution which was another imperfect document, but it had what others did not: a way to correct itself. And, as we all know, our country’s history is filled with self-correction.  That ability and charge to right a wrong was incorporated in our subsequent governance documents.  It is why our founding is so unique among the history of mankind.  I would argue that it is the culmination of enlightened thought that made its way to people of character, who converted it into a form of government that serves as an example to the world today.

While this story sounds wonderful in the re-telling, there is another lesson and legacy for all of us.  The governance documents were not just written, they were debated, sometimes hotly, and formed through compromise and engagement.  What does that teach us?  Put another way, and a little more directly, when in our history was there a time when it was OK not to engage in the questions of the day?  We all know the answer. There never was and probably never will be.  The Founding Fathers gave us a work in progress, and it is up to us and future generations to stay vigilant and engaged in the discussions of the day.  It is up to us to recognize wrongs and correct them.  That is what distinguishes us as Americans.  So, I want to charge the youth today - and I would define youth as anyone who thinks they have more tomorrows than yesterdays in their life - to continue this gift, this legacy passed on to us. Stay engaged in your community.  Learn about and debate the issues. Vote, volunteer, and preserve this great country of ours.

Now some of you may find engagement daunting, so let me share with you a short story.  When I was in the Marine Corps, I had the opportunity to be the commanding officer of a helicopter squadron, the Purple Foxes, which had a heroic reputation in Vietnam.  After I took command, a number of veterans of different services came up to me and told me that, during Vietnam, when they were in a dangerous and life-threatening situation, no one would come and rescue them because it was too hot and dangerous. But the Purple Foxes squadron came.  The young aircrews were, as you can imagine, daring, brave and a bit irreverent. And, painted on the bottom of their helos, was their motto – “give a s**t”.

If you think about that story today, we are both those who need rescuing and those who can fly the helicopters.  All we need to do is give a “you-know-what”.  As a community, we can save what needs saving or count on our neighbors to save us when we need saving.  That is the lesson we must remember on this day every year.  By working together, being united (does that ring a bell?), we can make things right and better.  We just need to remember the courage of those who went before us and, when our challenge comes, we simply need to act.

Finally, since another theme of today is that we are honoring Korean War veterans, I would be remiss if I didn’t say a few words about that conflict. Korea was a turning point for us as a nation.  The war itself was very different than WWII even though it was only 5 years between them.  The troops were integrated; they had night jet fighting; helicopters were used for casualty evacuation and resupply. The code of conduct was introduced.  But I think the important thing is that this was the first war that we fulfilled at an international level the charge from our founding fathers: That if we see something wrong and have the ability to correct it, we have the obligation to do so. The veterans here today have kept faith with the Founding Fathers, and so we honor them not only as veterans, but Americans.  But we must also remember that fulfillment of this charge is not ever without cost. So, I will end with this quote from Gettysburg which was put there by the state of Georgia. I think it applies to all our veterans.  “We sleep here in obedience to law; When duty called, we came, When country called, we died.”

God bless all of you and may God continue to bless our great nation.  Thank you.

Complex Problems aren’t Solved with Simple Solutions

Allianza Guest Column June 12, 2018

In this Election Year, we have been hearing a rallying cry against so-called “sanctuary cities.” But this supposed outrage is a ploy, a distraction from the real work that needs to be done in our city.

Complex Problems deserve thoughtful, long-term consideration

Our immigration problem is complex, and as unpopular as this may sound, we bear some responsibility in its cause.

When you think about it, the term “Sanctuary City” has all the elements a weak politician needs. It connotes someone who has broken the law and then runs into the church claiming Sanctuary to avoid prosecution. If only that were the real problem we had.

We are not faced with hordes of criminals who want to convert a city into a church sanctuary to avoid prosecution. We are faced with hardworking people and families who escaped the poverty and criminality of their home country without the benefit of being a winner in our country’s immigration lottery. Or they did not have the means to obtain a student visa or find marriage to a citizen allowing a relatively easy naturalization.

If we are going to truly look for solutions, we must face some facts. Our neighbor to the south suffers the effects of our country’s insatiable desire for illegal drugs. It is a cartel and crime influenced country. Every parent, faced with those daily realities, would want their children to have a better life.

And of course, all of us have benefited from this desperation. We have employed immigrants as farm workers, care givers, day laborers etc. at the lowest wages, which allowed them to stay. And stay they have, not just this election year, but for generations – contributing to our communities as workers, taxpayers, volunteers, friends and neighbors.

We have allowed them to live in a legal limbo that has created families with mixed residency status. And now we have some leaders who think all we need to do is split the families, not worry about the economic engine they fuel, or the consequence to the family – often children, they leave behind.

They think they can simply load them up on buses and send them somewhere else. This will not solve ANY problems and it will create many, many more.

Even though statistics show that immigrants have a lower crime rate than those residents with citizenship, current leadership wants us to believe that this action will somehow make us safe and somehow everything else will remain normal. Their assertions defy logic. This is simplistic thinking that won’t solve anything, and it will – and already has – caused more problems in our city.

Scapegoating is Not Leadership

Scapegoating coupled with fear is a popular tactic with ineffective politicians. Point the finger at one group, blame them for some ongoing problems, and suddenly they appear to have found a convenient solution. Perhaps they are hoping that if enough emotions are riled up, residents will not even notice that there are dozens of other, more pressing issues that need attention. Perhaps they will not even notice that the mayor’s highly publicized gesture is outside the scope of city business and has been a tremendous waste of resources causing greater harm to the city’s already diminished reputation.

We do not need to play their shell game.

As a city of faith and values, we can see through these feeble attempts at scapegoating a segment of our society in order to score political points with a small group of people. Complex problems are not solved with simple solutions, especially if those simple solutions are not solutions at all.

These are hard topics to discuss, but we need to enter a dialogue about them that incorporates the impact of our decisions, and how our decisions define us as a community. We must come up with workable solutions that respect our fellow residents and work for our community.

As a starting point, we need a Mayor who knows he is not empowered to enforce immigration laws. Spending taxpayer time and money that will have no effect on this issue is a waste. It is a waste of taxpayer resources and shows a disregard of his office responsibilities. In the military, we call this a dereliction of duties.

We are better than this. We are a community. We need leadership that respects the ENTIRE community and looks for real solutions to our problems.


“We have nothing to fear but fear itself” may be a cliché but it’s still true today

Times Advocate Guest Column June 21, 2018

Since this summer is the 42nd anniversary of my Marine Corps battalion conducting an evacuation of Lebanese citizens from war torn Beirut, I read Mayor Abed’s Washington Times op-ed reprinted in our local Times Advocate with particular interest. In the op-ed he compared Escondido to war torn Beirut.

Lebanon – a Case Why Having a Strong Community Matters

If you are not familiar with the troubles in Lebanon, the events are covered in many history books. Suffice it to say, the country devolved into a civil war with sides divided by religion and cold war politics. When I returned in the early ‘80s as part of a Marine Corps peace keeping force, not much had changed except the city itself, that was once known as the Paris of the Middle East, had become part of a failed state and pockmarked by the results of direct and indirect fire weapons. Even in that terrible condition, one could see how beautiful and prosperous the city had been. It is no wonder that Abed abandoned his home and sought a better life, like all of our immigrant families, here in America.

Like Abed, people from all over the world want to come to the U.S.

Now I don’t blame Abed for wanting to leave his home rather than stay and fight for it. We see that all the time on the news and certainly there are many examples in history. People from all over the world in similar situations want to come here. The problem of course, is that there aren’t enough visas for everyone. Abed was one of the lucky ones who managed to succeed in that effort. Not everyone from Lebanon who wanted to come could come, and if we had shared a contiguous border with Lebanon, during that timeframe, we would probably be talking about the undocumented Lebanese. And if we shared it with Syria today, it would be the Syrians, and the list goes on. Simply put, our way of life has provided us with peace and prosperity and those who don’t have it seek us out.

Abed now makes the comparison between Beirut and Escondido, and claims the influx of immigrants is making us less safe and more like Beirut. Abed is a politician, so exaggeration comes with the territory, but this claim is so far over the line it leaves the domain of reasonableness. As a quick aside, it is worth noting that in his 2018 state of the city speech, he said we have the lowest crime rate since 1980 and claimed credit for it. The claim by the way is really a national trend that started at least 10 years before he got here. But you see the immediate contradiction. What he is really upset about is SB 54 – the California Values Act.

SB 54 Does Not Prevent Police from Reporting Criminals to ICE

Abed claims SB 54 somehow prevents the execution of the duties of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. And that is just not true. Undocumented immigrants convicted of a serious misdemeanor or felony, and there are 800 listed in SB 54, can be reported to ICE. Unless you are in law enforcement, I don’t think many of us could take a blank sheet of paper and write down 800 things that would break the law. I would argue that when it comes to listing important laws, we’re covered. So, what is so upsetting to Abed? The law also states that we can’t use local law enforcement to enforce a responsibility that lies with the federal authorities. In this case, we are talking about immigration. That is a good decision because the immigration problem is a complex Federal issue and didn’t start this election year. There are real dangers when local officials feel they can interpret and enforce federal mandates. So let’s look at the facts.

Facts Matter

First, we need to remember that research shows that the undocumented immigrant population has a lower crime rate than the rest of the population. That means everyone who is here is not a member of an MS 13 type gang and they are not causing chaos in our streets.

Second, undocumented immigrants came here for the same reason as documented immigrants – to escape their poverty, lack of opportunities, and in some cases dangerous, and even life-threatening situations, and have a better life. And they were able to stay here because the citizens of this country employed them in jobs Americans didn’t want to do and at very low wages.

Third, keeping the crime rate low requires police officers having a good rapport with the residents. Putting our police department into the position of ICE agents closes that door. It also has the unintended effect of increasing criminal boldness and endangering our officers and residents.

Finally, Abed ends his op-ed by claiming that one of the reasons people are leaving California is because of his imagined chaos and anarchy caused by immigrants. Sorry, that’s not true either. People are leaving because it’s expensive to live here. If Abed wants to help Escondido, he needs to narrow his focus from Sacramento and Washington, D.C. back to our city and work on bringing in good paying jobs, helping young families find affordable housing and improving the reputation of Escondido. After all, isn’t that what a mayor is supposed to do. Abed is entitled to his own opinions but not his own facts.


Charter School Lease Extension

Mac speaks against extension of Charter School Lease.

Privatizing Escondido's Public Library

Mac speaks against privatizing Escondido's only public library.

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