Crust

Friday, October 24, 2014 – 06:00 p.m.

It’s been interesting to watch the Redlands City Council campaigns finally play out.

With just ten days before Election Day, and four days left to realistically drop campaign mail in time for delivery, the “San Bernardino Devil comes to Redlands” anti-Neil Derry campaign has nearly run its course.

That’s pretty much what it’s consisted of.

The Redlands voters have been subjected to a few negative mailers, which are almost begging them not to elect Derry.

The premise being given? Derry’s prior service on the San Bernardino City Council is really b-a-a-a-d for Redlands. Even though Derry left the San Bernardino City Council six years ago to take a seat on the Board of Supervisors.

Yes, I did say six years ago.

However, the real reason is Derry doesn’t play favorites. Never has, never will. So fear of upsetting the tranquil apple cart is unsettling to a select few. Apparently good government is the least of anyone’s concern here.

The behind the scenes machinations driving all the activity provide for fascinating entertainment though.

To put it bluntly. One can’t make this stuff up!

Anyways, after Derry announced his candidacy and filed his paperwork to run, the Redlands cheese and wine crowd went into a full blown tis. The we can’t allow this to happen mantra was the rallying cry.

A small cluster of “concerned” residents ranging from former associates of a plundered local bank, to an attorney with a problem keeping privilege, to government contract benefactors, formed and contributed to a local political action committee, with the sole purpose to oppose Derry.

So the plotting and scheming started.

Some, not all, of the local elite now had a cause. Translated, the word cause here means something to do.

That new found mission was to tell the less sophisticated residents how to vote.

First, the rumored $100,000-plus being spent against Derry never materialized. Sources say prospective donors were reportedly being pressured to contribute by Third District Supervisor James Ramos and the District Attorney. A move that apparently didn’t go over too well with many, who didn’t want to get involved.

Secondly, when forming an opposition committee, don’t involve people tied to a failed local bank, then reach out to residents who were depositors and stockholders who suffered losses, expecting them to contribute to the cause orchestrated by the very same people who plundered the bank.

The FDIC, in a previously-settled lawsuit, alleged the failure of Redlands 1st Centennial Bank cost the federal insurer $163 million, and depositors a pretty penny as well.

To read the related FDIC lawsuit settlement, click the following link: FDIC-1st Centennial Bank Settlement

To read a related story on the matter, published earlier this year, click the following link: Redlands’ 1st Centennial Bank: Five years later

The illustrious group settled their case for $7.25 million. Most of which ($6.5 million) was paid by an insurer.

Finally, don’t be shocked that a little buyer’s remorse may be setting in with regards to first-term Supervisor Ramos. The man who beat Derry two years ago.

Ramos, who doled-out millions of dollars of San Manuel gambling profits (goodwill) to local groups prior to his run for elected office, has been essentially invisible in Redlands, and everywhere else for that matter, since he assumed office.

Is anyone really shocked?

The same can’t be said for Derry, when he was on the Board of Supervisors.

Now don’t get me wrong. Some of the people involved here have used their wealth to accomplish some honest good for the city. But that doesn’t necessarily grant them the conviction to cast stones.

Derry stands a better than decent chance of prevailing in his quest for a return to politics. His solid base, combined with expected low turnout, works to his advantage. Having seven candidate names appearing on the ballot also works to Derry’s advantage.

Expect East Valley Cabernet sales to spike, should Derry take one of three seats up for election on November 4.

Some folks here have some serious crust to pull this stunt considering where their hands have been.