One rule that I have learned in politics and life is to first, clean up whatever mess you've made before you do anything else. Second, pay your dues. We all make mistakes but we also must admit to them, and then work to clean them up. That rule is especially true for Mario Juarez, who's running for the Oakland City Council District Five seat currently held by Ignacio De La Fuente.
What spurred me to write that paragraph is this "hit blog" someone made called "Oakland City Crook" and to which this blog is part of the blog roll over there -- to our surprise.
I discovered this while checking our traffic statistics and noticing an a blog with "Oakland" in the title I had not seen before, "Oakland City Crook."
It's a hard-hitting blog that leaves no stone -- it seems -- un-turned in telling every negative aspect of Mario's life. And because he's running for public office, such efforts like that one are fair game. The question is can he weather this unprecedented use of New Media to smear an Oakland political candidate.
The answer is "yes, if.."
If Mario uses New Media to defend himself and to be honest. Also he needs to apologize at the very least to "Norma" who is in this video:
The bottom line lesson is not to treat people in a way such that they feel taken advantage of and regardless of their position in life. The beauty of New Media is that it's the great equalizer in a democracy, or a dictatorship for that matter.
Mario has a lot of supporters; this is their first test. If they have any backbone at all, they'll stick with him during this dark time; if they're spineless, they will jump ship. But Mario has to show leadership to give them comfort that he can be a great elected official. He's got to deal with this and it starts with Norma.