By Eric Longabardi
When it comes to political spin, some people never give up. You have to hand it to a small but vocal group of die-hard Democrats and their political allies in the local media here in Newport Beach. They sure are a dedicated bunch.
Take the faux controversy manufactured by them regarding the project to place a statue of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan at the new Newport Beach Civic Center now under construction.
Newport Beach City Councilman Keith Curry last January received approval from the City and successfully raised $50,000 of private money to erect a statue of the 40th President of the United States Ronald Reagan. The project is in honor of the former President's 100th Centennial celebration.
To Curry’s credit the entire effort was done without taxpayer money or cost. Something former President Reagan would have supported and extolled. President Reagan was not a big fan of big government like most of the people now opposed to honoring the late President.
Let’s be blunt, despite the minority opposed to the privately funded statue being placed at an appropriate public venue here in Newport Beach, the idea of having a U.S. President honored in this way is nothing new and it’s been done across the country and around the world many times over. Other cities, like Temecula, CA. are proposing to do the same as we speak, without the contrived controversy created by hard core political liberals here in Newport Beach.
Despite this vocal minority of Democratic Party loudmouths here in Newport, a Gallup poll published just this past week named Ronald Reagan as the “Greatest U.S. President” in American history. Now I think the poll numbers would have been even higher here in town, which is a longtime conservative political bastion of support for Reagan and the Republican Party.
In 1988 Ronald Reagan said “There seems to be an increasing awareness of something we Americans have known for some time: that the 10 most dangerous words in the English language are, "Hi, I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help.''
Now some people in town, including local Daily Pilot newspaper columnist William Lobdell would have you believe that President Reagan spoke only 9 words and that this quote means that the City of Newport Beach should not be in the business of erecting statues honoring U.S. Presidents.
Councilman Curry’s Reagan statue memorial project is proposing to do just that, but in a way that Reagan would have admired and supported in my opinion.
Opponents of the project. like Lobdell claim Newport city government commissions and processes were overridden in order to make the project a reality. Now in a very anti-Reagan like gesture they want the ever efficient, cost effective (note: sarcasm) local government arts commission and other city government bodies to determine what artist will create the statue, where it will be placed and whether or not it will even be allowed on city property at all.
I think if Reagan were alive today he would simply tell them, "get off your butt, take the initiative and raise the money yourselves for your own statue or whatever else you might want to do to honor a U.S. President that you want". I think he'd also agree with me and ask the City of Newport Beach to place a memorial to a U.S. President in an appropriate venue befitting a U.S. President. That place in my opinion is Newport's new civic center, not private property.
If and when Democrats in Newport Beach get around to funding a statue honoring whomever they want, I would recommend 42nd U.S. President Bill Clinton. He finished third in the recent Gallup poll. Unlike the political hacks of a vocal Democratic Party minority here in Newport, I would be all for it. As long as it doesn’t cost me a dime of my taxes and they do it without exposing anything other than the former President’s accomplishments as President.
Councilman's Curry's proposal to build and place a statue of Ronald Reagan at Newport’s new civic center is a good one. We should all support it. Never mind the petty politics and political spin of a few angry Democrats.
The Newport Beach City Council will be taking up the issue tonight at its 7PM council meeting. If you want to lend your support to the project, be there and let your opinion be heard. I will be there myself to see what happens. I'll just have to DVR the Laker game!