Lancaster’s Little Red Scare

Click on the above images to get a larger image.

Once again the local paper in Lancaster, California grabbed my eye as I was waiting in the drive through last week. Lancaster’s city elections start at 7:00 AM tomorrow morning. It has been a very strange election season here in Antelope Valley. We have the current mayor, Rex Parris the wannabe theocrat, versus a handful of clueless competitors.

Mayor Parris has a very creepy ad campaign going on for this election. His placards all over over town state “Rex Paris, Our Mayor”. Our Mayor who art in Lancaster? And his radio ads are even worse. He is portrayed as Lancaster’s benevolent father figure who will take care of everyone. For their own good of course.

The above ads were not paid for by the local Democratic Party, but independently by one of its members. Here is a cached version of another Antelope Valley Press story of the incident a couple of days after the story above ran. I’ve reprinted the entire story as it no longer resides at the AV Press website.

Ex-candidate: ‘Red’ ads all my own doing

This story appeared in the Antelope Valley Press
Friday, April 2, 2010.

Valley Press Staff Writer

LANCASTER – Former Democratic candidate Robert Davenport came forward Wednesday to claim sole responsibility for local TV commercials that criticize Mayor R. Rex Parris and his attempts to bring Chinese- or Taiwanese-funded jobs to the Antelope Valley.

The commercials, which encourage voters to cast ballots for mayoral challenger Arnold Rodio Jr., were created without Rodio’s knowledge, said Davenport, who said he stands by the messages he funded himself. The ads were created by his media company.

Rodio also has denied any involvement with the ads, saying this past week he neither funded nor endorsed them, nor even knew they existed until questioned about them.

Parris disputed Rodio’s statements, saying his election opponent could have repudiated the attack ads as soon as he learned about them.

Davenport’s commercial messages assert that an influx of Communists from China into Lancaster could jeopardize the military projects and jobs at U.S. Air Force Plant 42 and Edwards Air Force Base.

Parris said Davenport’s ads are “moronic” and “racist” because their creator doesn’t understand the reality of what would happen if the city is successful in getting commerce from China to settle in Lancaster.

According to Davenport, “Bringing a few hundred Communist Chinese to live in Lancaster represents both a tremendous threat to national security as well as the potential impetus to lose several thousand good-paying local defense industry jobs that play a significant role in our national security.

“The high-tech, high-security-clearance jobs as well as the assembly, fabrication, engineering, and design jobs at and around Plant 42 and the Skunk Works could disappear as fast as the shuttle maintenance jobs that went to Florida a few years back” if potential spies are brought to Lancaster, Davenport said.

Parris said the goal of his recent trip to Asia was to attract funding for Lancaster business opportunities by Chinese and Taiwan investors.

In return for an investment of at least $1 million into a venture that creates at least 10 new jobs for American workers, an investor would be granted a permanent residency card by federal immigration officials, Parris said.

“It’s EB-5 program, which means that if a person from a foreign country passes all the background checks, including, I presume, Homeland Security background checks, they are issued a green card,” he said. “The foreign national who is putting the $1 million into the job creation doesn’t even have to live in the EB-5 (jobs) area and usually does not.

“With the people we’re talking to, the anticipated investment is in excess of $200 million, and so Arnie Rodio and Robert Davenport got together and figured out that meant 200 people were moving to the Antelope Valley, and it’s the typical … thought process we see from these people,” Parris said.

“They can talk until they’re blue in the face about this having nothing to do with Arnie Rodio, but I’m telling you I do not believe it,” Parris said.

In discussing his ads, Davenport said: “Here is a news flash for Mayor Parris and all other China appeasers out there: According to the current version of the Central Intelligence Agency’s ‘The World Factbook,’ the government in China is a ‘Communist state.’

“That Communist regime has robust espionage efforts aimed at our areas of strategic superiority, and they currently have nukes targeting the United States of America and our military units overseas,” Davenport said.

“That Communist state is developing an anti-ship missile that will potentially render our surface Navy – which includes all the sailors and Marines who serve therein as well as our multi-billion-dollar, nuclear-powered super carriers – an endangered species,” he said.

Parris said allowing foreign money to create jobs for Lancaster residents would do nothing to jeopardize the future of America’s armed forces.

“If there was any danger to our country, (American investor) Warren Buffet would not have bought 10% of BYD,” a firm with which the city is doing business, Parris said.

“I will rely on Warren Buffet before I rely on Mr. Davenport,” he said.

“It is absolutely racist, derogatory and demeaning to the entire Antelope Valley for him and Arnie Rodio to be saying this,” the mayor said. “This is saying anybody who is from China is a Communist, and that’s racism.

“The entire time I was over there, I never met anybody who said they were a Communist. It’s like saying everybody from the United States is a Democrat.” Parris said.

“Make no mistake: What (Davenport) is doing is absolutely anti-Chinese, regardless of whether they are from Taiwan or from the mainland, ” he said.

Davenport said the characterization of his ads as racist was “laughably immature.”

Having Parris label them as such “almost defies both reason and logic,” Davenport said. “I say ‘almost’ because it is an old, overused, ineffective trial-lawyer tactic to try and discredit the messenger when the facts enumerated by the messenger are airtight.

“The images used (in the ads) came from actual footage shot by the Chinese at political celebrations sponsored by the totalitarian Communist regime that controls the ironically named ‘People’s Republic’ of China with an iron fist,” Davenport noted.

“If Mayor Parris and the Communists he pals around with and wants to have as business partners thought everyone here was going to welcome them with open arms and blank minds into a region of America that plays a vital role in our national defense, they were absolutely wrong,” he said. “I believe most Americans are like me: Proud, hard-working capitalists that are strongly anti-Communist.

“I would dare say that Communism is the modern-day moral equivalent of slavery,” he said.

“Communists are not good employers or responsible business partners. They do not follow environmental or work place safety standards. They do not take care of their employees or produce superior products,” Davenport continued, referencing reports about 153 Chinese workers now trapped in a mine in Shanxi province.

In addition, the Chinese business owners “have flooded the international market with cheap products that have caused the loss of 2.4 million American manufacturing jobs,” Davenport said. “The fact that China has been able to control a significant portion of the world economy by currency manipulation and using what is in effect slave labor is why we should resist further enrichment of their totalitarian Communist regime.

“We certainly should not try to reason with them and make them economic partners in (a city near) the heart of America’s high-tech aviation arsenal,” he said.

Parris said none of Davenport’s arguments have anything to do with reality.

“This is such incredible nonsense. It has nothing to do with bringing jobs to Lancaster,” the mayor said. “We’re talking about creating jobs in Lancaster with Chinese companies. If Arnie Rodio was wearing underwear made in China, does that make him a Communist?”

As for Davenport’s remark about his profession, Parris said, “I am more proud of becoming a trial lawyer than anything else I’ve ever accomplished.

“I’ve protected injured people from powerful insurance companies for more than 30 years, and it’s not something I’m ashamed of,” he said.

In explaining his commercials, Davenport challenged Parris to reveal prior to the city’s April 13 election any measures “he has already implemented in his proposed deals with the Communists to protect America’s national security interests.

“If he has none and cannot immediately produce concrete, tangible, agreed-upon language approved by the federal government, which is responsible for U.S. foreign policy, I would suggest that it definitively demonstrates the lack of ability, lack of foresight and poor judgment of the leadership team in Lancaster that is pursuing this dangerous misadventure,” Davenport said.

Parris again noted that the EB-5 program is administered by federal officials, and the city is pursuing its new investments under that program.

All of Davenport’s reasons have been posted on Internet chat sites by supporters of Rodio’s candidacy, Parris continued.

“Word for word, what he’s told you has been on the blogs written by Denise Latanzi supporting Arnie Rodio three weeks ago. Let’s just recognize this political mud-slinging for what it is,” Parris said.

Latanzi, who ran for office on a slate with Rodio in 2008, said Parris “is absolutely, unequivocally wrong.”

“I’ll go one step further: I do not know Robert Davenport. I do not have cable. I had not seen the commercials against Parris until they were posted on the blog, and I have not seen Robert Davenport’s response,” Latanzi said.

“This is particularly irritating to me because I would not know Robert Davenport if he was standing right next to me,” she said.

Wow, just wow. Lancaster is just in its own bizarre little universe. You have a Republican, Rex Parris, who is an authority worshiper courting Chinese business opportunities (probably for personal gain), and his opponents, the local Democrats, who are starting up their own little Red Scare.

This has been one of the strangest elections I’ve seen in awhile. Unfortunately the Get Rex Parris Out of Lancaster Facebook page is gone (!/pages/Get-Parris-Out-of-Lancaster/342591791075?ref=nf). It was a great source of inside gossip about city business. The page covered the following topics and much more:

  • Rex Parris’s dealings with local developers.
  • Rex Parris deciding that he did not want a motorcycle gang to stay at a local motel, so he used a very cozy relationship with the LA county sheriff’s dept to close the motel down for being late on its taxes.
  • Since Rex Parris doesn’t like pitbulls he pushed an ordinance through banning the ownership of pitbulls in Lancaster.
  • Rex Parris routinely cuts off and derides Lancaster citizens when they disagree with him at City Council meetings.
  • Involving his church, Lancaster Baptist Church, in daily city business, especially the Community Houses planned for poor neighborhoods.
  • Paying for religious meetings with city money and personnel until he was caught red handed.
  • Sponsoring the “Prayer Initiative” up for vote tomorrow, regardless of the advice of the city’s attorney, who advised that the measure would make the city open to lawsuits.
  • Having the LA County Sheriff’s Department pick up and dump homeless people in neighboring communities, so he could claim the homeless population is down in Lancaster.
  • Personal vendettas against city personnel who don’t agree with him.
  • Speculation about his son’s flirtation with white supremacy.

A lot of crazy behavior from “Our Mayor”.


Lancaster Candidates on the Prayer Initiative

The Antelope Valley Press March 29th edition discussed the mayoral candidate’s views on the Prayer Measure that will be decided on the April 13 election. Here are the candidate’s views:

Q: How do you plan to vote on the “Prayer Initiative” (officially known as Measure I) allowing clergy to chose whether or not to mention Jesus Christ in their invocations before council meetings?

GENE GAYNOR: I have no problem since the measure allows for any clergy to offer themselves for the initial prayer.

But what are the odds that a god other that Abraham’s god would be allowed? After all, this is the town where sheriff’s deputies openly supported people who harassed a Pagan store that tried to open several years ago.

ARNOLD RODIO: I strongly support a person’s right to pray as they see fit. However, the City attorney has stated in a City council meeting that the current policy is illegal. I believe that this could have been resolved without the political posturing.

Parris’s opponent doesn’t seem to say much here.

R. REX PARRIS: As most people know by now, I not only plan on voting yes, I have campaigned for passage of this initiative and consider it critical that our community overwhelmingly show that we believe in freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The question as phrased above, is inaccurate. The initiative actually protects prayer to any deity, including Jesus Christ, as dictated by the prayer giver’s faith. The threat delivered to the city by the Americal Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) specifically sought to exclude any mention of Jesus Christ in prayer, hence the actual wording of the initiative.

And again, what are the odds that other gods would be allowed? This is the mayor who only asks evangelical Christian ministers to pray at city council meetings. And put the tab for the Christian state of the city address on the city’s tab. When this was found out, he quickly paid for it himself.

DAVID TALBOT: No city ballot initiative can overturn the Constitution of the United States, so it doesn’t matter how anyone votes, only that we will be sued with no insurance to cover the cost for sure if it passes and likely anyway if it doesn’t.

I certainly agree with this candidate.

LYLE TALBOT: “I” don’t attend religious services, so I’ll leave it to those who do.

I suppose he could be one of us, but wouldn’t he have to sit though some Jesus meetings himself?

Lancaster’s Would-Be King

Lancaster is a moderately sized city located north of Los Angeles, CA. Lancaster has been recently in the news due to remarks made by its mayor, Rex Parris. Parris told a gathering of Christian ministers that he was transforming Lancaster into a “Christian community”. Parris has been in the news a lot recently, especially with how he handled having to apologize publicly about the “Christian community” comments. Of course this is conveniently in time for the April 13th city elections.

On February 9th, the Antelope Valley Press ran with a large headline, “Mayor Parris: I Sincerely Apologize”. Parris then made a complete spectacle of himself by having a press conference and inviting all of the local religious leaders (but of course no nonreligious persons or groups were invited) and the press. According to the AV Press:

Mayor R. Rex Parris issued an unequivocal apology to groups of any faith and all faiths who he said might have felt excluded by his remarks 12 days earlier to Christian ministers about “growing a Christian community.”

“It was a week and a half ago that I spoke to the Christian ministerial association and said that I wanted to grow a Christian community”, he said during a city hall news conference. “But in talking to my friends of 30 years, it was clear that a lot of people felt excluded.”

I don’t know the mayor and his “friends” personally, but if he were friends with a lot of non-Christians for a lot of years, wouldn’t he be a little more sensitive and try not to push Christian supremacy and privilege so much?

The Antelope Valley Human Rights task Force voted unanimously Monday night to send strong letters of condemnation to Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris and Councilwoman Sherry Marquez over their recent comments about the Christian and Muslim religions.

According to the same article, Rex Parris did not attend this meeting, perhaps because the people who attended were not so willing to climb so far up his ass?

There was a very interesting article in the March 15th AV Press, “Not-so-secret contractor exits sky-spy project”. According to the paper, L-3 Communications was developing the sensors for the Sky Sentinel project. This project would have an unmanned aircraft flying over Lancaster, observing everything in sight. L-3 Communications routinely conduct business with secret contracts. While this may be required for secret US government 3 letter agencies, it’s hardly appropriate for a California city to do so in violation of California law.

L-3 abruptly pulled out of Lancaster’s Sky Sentinel project, probably because their lawyer advised them to do so to avoid being in violation of California state law. And this raises the questions, “Why does Lancaster need sophisticated, highly classified sensors for routine police business? Who does Rex Parris want to watch?

The saga continues here.