Government / Politics

OPINION: Politics ain’t beanbag, but we deserve a new act

Supervisor Botelho needs to put some originality into his role as attack-dog. This shtick is worn out.

This OPINION was contributed by Hollister Resident Marty Richman.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, “Politics ain’t beanbag” is the archaic way of saying “life is rough; get over it” to a politician who receives bruising treatment from opponents, critics, or the media. The expression dates back to a cartoon character in 1895 and little, if anything, has changed since.

If the people of San Benito County are destined to put up with Supervisor Anthony Botelho’s predictable attack-dog role from the other side of the podium where he can hide from face-to-face rebuttal, at least they deserve a new act; this one is all worn out.

Botelho was so busy trying to protect Supervisor Jerry Muenzer’s seat, a vote he owns lock, stock, and barrel on key transportation issues, that he probably forgot that he used the exact same scenario during that district’s last election. This time he went after Rob Bernosky for Muenzer, last time it was Victor Gomez, both times at official meetings of the Board of Supervisors where he is well protected by the rules from rebuttal and always gets the last word.

He’s smart, the public has a short memory; even I had forgotten he’d pulled the identical stunt during the 2014 elections until I ran across the article I had written at the time for the Hollister Free Lance. Here is the key portion from four years ago, you may recognize this tactic of attacking an empty chair from last week – as Yogi said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

“All pretense went out the window when Chairman Muenzer inexplicably sat on his gavel as Botelho recently launched a personal and political attack on Gomez who is the chairman of the Council of Governments (COG). Botelho was upset that the COG director had resigned, but both Botelho and Muenzer are also on the COG board and could have aired their complaints when COG was in session; you know – man up.

Worse, Botelho also targeted a private consultant and local law firm, neither of whom were present nor asked about their versions of events. As is his usual M.O., Botelho used belittling, derogatory terms against a private citizen – terms that the chair would never allow the public to direct toward a board member. This was a clear violation of the ‘respect rules’ that Chairman Muenzer had set for everyone else.”

With the real mess the board has made of things over the last several years and the gigantic costs to the taxpayers, it's a wonder they have the time for the petty side of politics and especially to dig up this stale act.  Well, politics ain’t beanbag, but many times the beanbags have more integrity than the politicians, that’s for certain.


Marty Richman

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Marty (Martin G.) spent his teen years in northern New Jersey. He served more than 22 years on active military duty, mostly in Europe, and is a retired U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 4, Nuclear Weapons Technical Officer. Marty then worked 25 years in various engineering and management positions in the electronics and energetic materials industries supporting the communications, computer, aerospace, defense and automotive sectors. He is a graduate, summa cum laude, from The College of Hard Knocks, among his numerous awards and accomplishments. He was a regular weekly Op/Ed columnist and feature writer for The Hollister Free Lance for seven years and a member of its editorial board for five years. Marty is a frequent commentator and contributor to BenitoLink on a wide variety of local, state, national and international subjects.   Marty was elected to represent the City of Hollister District 4 on the City Council in November, 2018. Marty and his wife, Joyce, have been residents of Hollister since 1996.