The Devil’s In The Details?

A message crossed my desk today from the Brea Chamber CEO, Sharon Wagner. I thought nothing of it at first, the Chamber blows stuff out constantly to boost membership, tout their programs and events or promote one sort of “Shop Brea” idea or another. Then, there it was…

The political rhetoric.

“I arrived home last night after our Candidates Forum and found my ballot in the mailbox. I began to wonder how many people will cast their votes this weekend. As they mark their ballots, what factors will they use to determine how they vote?

The Brea Chamber reviews proposed legislation from all levels of government on a daily basis. We carefully examine each piece on its merits and determine how it would impact the business community.

The authors of the legislation often have the greatest of intentions, but as they say, the devil is in the details.

Hmmm… where did I just hear that? Oh, yeah, that’s the cute sound bite Brett Murdock used to preface one twisted misstatement after another as he chopped, sliced and diced Measures T and U at the Chamber’s Candidate’s forum last night.

I don’t know who their speech writer is, but they’re apparently using the same antiquated brand of fur-lined nit-pickers used by John Beauman his entire political career and beyond.

For the people, by the people.

These measures weren’t penned by seasoned politicians, who by the way don’t always get it right, but by citizens, people like you and me. Every piece of legislation has it’s flaws. Every piece of legislation faces the possibility of legal challenge one way or another. Every piece of legislation puts a smile on the face of some and a frown on the face of others.

Measures T and U, by their very nature, are designed to do good for the people of Brea. What do you want, elected officials and city staff unaccountable to the people they serve or Brea’s city business conducted behind closed doors?

Wait… to a large extent, isn’t that what we have now?

Breans want open government, limited in it’s ability to wantonly spend the people’s money on frivolous and often unnecessary pet projects, conducted by a council and staff who are accountable to us for every vote… every penny — if that’s what it takes to ensure a safe and secure future for Brea.

The Chamber does have a history of reviewing and reporting on legislation… to local businesses about local business issues. Not to the people about our business. Most of the legitimate research is done at state and national levels and distilled by committee for consumption by Brea business owners.

And I have been told specifically, by more than one Chamber Board Chairman, that the Chamber does not endorse local candidates nor does it wade in on initiatives unless they directly effect the business community… like they did when the quarter percent sales tax increase was being discussed.

In fact, nowhere in the Chamber’s 12 page “Legislative Policy Guidelines” does it suggest they have any stated objectives regarding initiatives like Measures T and U. Not even in the section specifically addressing the Chambers objective and positions on Government Reform.

If this ruffles your feathers as much as it ruffled mine, if you think the Chamber has overstepped it’s charter, maybe you want to send them an email.

David Rader, Chamber Board Chairman –





Sharon Wagner, Chamber CEO –