Political heat rises in Benicia

The political atmosphere swirling around Benicia’s mayoral and City Council races continued to blow over the weekend.

One of my colleagues is a Benicia resident, and he received 13 campaign brochures in his mailbox on Friday and Saturday. The majority of the mailers, funded by a combination of candidates’ committees and independent groups, promoted Bill Whitney for mayor. One item was a particularly nasty hit piece on mayoral candidate Elizabeth Patterson paid for by a group of businesses in the construction and related fields. (For Patterson’s response to the hit piece, visit her web site at www.elizabethformayor.com.)

The related furor over the firing of the editor of the Benicia Herald in a dispute over a column about the race has also incited local residents, many who say they will cancel their subscriptions. (Click here to read a Vallejo Times Herald story about the incident.)

The incident inspired Benician Roger Straw to launch www.beniciaindependent.com over the weekend, a web site that delves into the sources of cash for the independent groups spending scads of money in this election.

Does anyone think the average Benicia voter will see all those mailers — especially the nastigram — and read about all the money being spent and stay home in disgust?

Lisa Vorderbrueggen