Oh wow, I get it now. The intense spending to pass Measure L is not just about huge profits at our expense and Mr. Peebles reputation as a salesman and developer. He also has a book coming out -- The Peebles Principle (John Wiley & Sons, $24.95, out in April). This book seems to be at least partially about, are you ready, how to pummel small communities into submission so they vote for your development. How timely!
Do you enjoy being manipulated? Then you will love the chapter called "Co-opt the Opposition without Revealing your Game." Darn it! And I thought that was a charrette process we were having. There is even a chapter likely to include tips for monkey-wrenching a local election called "Political Power is the Ultimate Trump Card". I am not making this up, as surreal as it may sound.
But uh oh, It might not bode well for book sales if "The Peebles Principal" doesn't work its magic here in our little berg. If we don't fall in line, we might have one cranky developer/author on our hands!
To help him work his "Principles" on us, Mr. Peebles has found a soul-mate in Davies Communications, the PR firm who told him to stick with the bogus Walmart/Big-Box threat. They seem to share the sentiment that voters are nothing but little headless tokens on their big-money board game. Here is some chilling copy straight from the Davies web site (and just in time for Halloween!):
"With a deep understanding of the real estate business, and a unique knowledge of the fears that motivate people to fight developments, we know how to accelerate your entitlement process."
Gee, might that be by pretending to live in Pacifica and blogging about how special and trustworthy the developer is? Or maybe by hiring telemarketers to lie to Pacificans about their City Council? But wait, there's more.
"We overcome neighbor and community fears with scientific persuasion principles. Our proven process -- the Entitlement Accelerator -- engineers positive perceptions for projects in the toughest environments. At DAVIES, we say opposition is never insurmountable -- our 95% winning track record speaks for itself."
Scientific persuasion principles? Does that include waterboarding? The "Entitlement Accelerator"...does that come with batteries or run on dylithium crystals? I'm not sure I'm old enough to have my "perceptions engineered," and anyhow it sounds painful. I think many in town right now would agree that it is painful.
Here's my favorite though: the Davies corporate motto -- "Perception is Reality". To skew that perception Peebles/Davies are already going into full Karl Rove mode. As support for L erodes, you can expect extreme and untruthful attacks on the opposition. I and others have already been personally warned what might happen if we did not "get on board". Mommy, make them stop!
I hate to be the one to break it to them, but here in Pacifica reality is reality, and no amount of "up is down, black is white and a whole new neighborhood makes less traffic" is going to change that. If you are as tired of this horse manure as I am, please vote No on Measure L.
The above was printed as a Letter to the Editor in the November 1st, 2006 Pacifica Tribune, and is republished here with the author's permission.