Wednesday, August 29, 2012 – 10:30 a.m.

It’s true that in politics perception is reality.

In the race for San Bernardino County Third District Supervisor deception to create a perception has been a key factor.

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians member James Ramos has engineered two themes in his, so far, successful campaign against incumbent Neil Derry.

The first being Derry is unfit because of his 2011 misdemeanor plea for failing to properly report a campaign contribution.

The second is Ramos’ portrayal of himself as a successful small businessman.

While Ramos, a lifelong democrat, has been successful at labeling Derry, a staunch republican, as a crook, the successful use of his businessman designation has been golden.

But, as with any charade, there is a downside. That downside being the truth.

Ramos has been telling voters his success in small business is something he can bring to county government. A excellent point if it were the truth.

But, in this instance, the gap between perception and reality for Ramos is more like the Grand Canyon.

Ramos has centered his campaign around small business establishments he operates under the entity Diversity Investments.

However things haven’t gone too well the past couple of years.

The truth is Ramos has been forced to shutter two of his retail establishments, both GFE Coffee House franchises, in San Bernardino and Highland, while at the same time his two other ventures struggle to survive, relying on Ramos subsidizing them with money from his $100,000 a month casino income.

CLOSED                                CLOSED

In 2011, Ramos closed two coffee shops located at 5244 University Pkwy in San Bernardino (Left) and 7199 Boulder Ave. in Highland (Right).

Ramos’ two other businesses, Yum Yum Restaurant, located at 541 North D St., in San Bernardino and Pepitos Restaurant at 26539 Baseline St., in Highland struggle to remain viable. The later routinely having an empty parking lot during typical lunch and dinner hours.

In the June primary Ramos sent a plethora of campaign literature far and wide telling voters he’s a successful well-qualified small business owner, who knows what he’s doing and has a plan to bring jobs to San Bernardino County, while hiding the fact that his financial image is solely derived from his status as a member of a California gaming tribe.

Now it’s all about hoping those same voters forget.

So far, no one has ever heard of the Ramos jobs plan or has ever heard him speak its substance.

Maybe some of those jobs he’s promising to bring will be those he eliminated on his own.