Submitted by Paul Machin
As the husband of Gerri Machin, a candidate for Coronado School Board, I thought it important to share with the community how awful and degrading the political gamesmanship has become in our hometown. While many of us have, regrettably, come to expect this in national races, Gerri and I were caught by surprise to see how ugly this has become at the local level. One thing is certain, everyone in Coronado could deceive themselves with the notion that elections for local offices are “non-partisan.” But anyone who tells you that is uninformed, naïve or simply lying. Gerri and I were naïve about what was in store for our family. After seeing firsthand the content of what our kids were being exposed to in school and the dreadful impact of COVID lockdowns on their learning, Gerri did her homework and decided she’d try to do something about it. Her reason? “If I’m not willing to do it, who will?” She has clearly stated there are many excellent teachers and principals in the district while the issues rest with top-down Sacramento edicts and school board politics.
This is no sour grapes letter about election results. It’s a wakeup call to the Coronado community. Now even local school board politics have become blood sports featuring revolting attacks on candidates’ characters as the weapon of choice. Neither of us are fans or users of social media; Gerri and I intentionally chose not to swim in that sewer. In electoral retrospect, that was probably unwise. Friends who are active on social media were continually sending us screenshots of the nasty attacks of Gerri’s character, absurd distortions of her ideas and even attacks on her Christian faith. As many now know, Gerri was attacked in a mailer by a partisan funded PAC just in advance of the election declaring her “unqualified.” There is far more ugliness I could recount, but the fact is that local political campaigns are no longer about a competition between different ideas, they are waged by destroying the reputation of those whose ideas are distorted to make them appear to be hateful, nefarious or threatening.
Gerri and I walked Coronado together. We introduced ourselves to many of you for the first time. To those who took the time to chat with us, we are sincerely grateful to you. To those hiding behind keyboards and computer screens and Political Action Committees; those who tried to destroy my wife’s good name, be assured that you will reap what you have so maliciously sown. And to the Community of Coronado, understand this: Coronado will get exactly the kind of public discourse we are willing to accept. After experiencing it “up close and personal,” as the husband of a courageous woman I couldn’t be prouder of, I thought it important to share my own wake-up call with our friends and neighbors. The ugliness and malice of the few aside, we still live in a wonderful community.