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GOP campaign manager Brandon Gesicki

Brandon Gesicki

Four years ago, campaign manager Brandon Gesicki ran for political office himself, taking a shot at a seat on the Cypress Fire Protection District board of directors. As usual when Gesicki’s involved in a campaign, it was an exceedingly disputatious affair and, when it was over, he had not won.

Now, he’s going for a board seat again and is breaking with Gesicki tradition. This time there will be no name-calling or backbiting. This time, he will prevail. That’s because this time, there are only three seats open in the district, which operates the Rio Road and Carmel Hill fire stations, and only three candidates.

There is a twist, however. One of the other three candidates is Andrea Borchard, Gesicki’s longtime girlfriend and his sometimes partner in the business of running campaigns and creating non-existent political organizations for the purposes of producing misleading campaign mailers and hit pieces. For details, contact the Fair Political Practices Commission.

The good news is that with no opposition, Gesicki shouldn’t need to dish out any dirt, but old habits die hard. When he filed his candidacy papers with the elections office, he described himself as a “small business owner.” That he is. It would have been more accurate, however, if he had put down “campaign manager” or “political consultant,” for that is what he does.


Andrea Borchard

Borchard listed herself as a marketing consultant. She has also been a member of the Monterey County GOP Central Committee and a member of the county fair board, an Arnold Schwarzenegger appointee.

Gesicki says there’s nothing up their sleeves, that they’re running for the best of reasons.

“We are both looking forward to giving back in the form of public service to the area we have lived in most of our lives,” he said Thursday. “Our top priorities are making sure Carmel has first class fire and ambulance services.”

When Gesicki ran for a Cypress seat four years ago, charges and counter-charges flew, most of them involving statements or misstatements from Gesicki. There was something about him graduating from college and his declaration that the district was considering cutting back on its ambulance service though it doesn’t provide ambulance service.

More of you will remember Gesicki from last year’s Monterey County sheriff’s race, in which he used every trick in the playbook to help Deputy Steve Bernal unseat Sheriff Scott Miller. He’s the one who told one group that it shouldn’t endorse the incumbent because he was about to be indicted for a sex crime. There was no truth to the assertion but it worked. The group chose not to endorse.

Gesicki’s the guy who keeps running campaigns for Abel Maldonado, who was briefly lieutenant governor. It was Gesicki who cooked up the idea to have Republican Maldonado run in both a GOP and Democratic primary and then insisted it wasn’t a strategy. He maintained that Maldonado’s mother was a Democrat and therefore had never had the chance to vote for her son in a primary election. Really. That’s what he said.

We could go on and on about Gesicki’s history, but you get the idea.

Good luck, Brandon. Good luck, Andrea. Good luck, Cypress.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a member of the Armed Services Committee and the Homeland Security Committee, tells reporters that he will push for a vote in Congress to kick the Palestinian Liberation Organization out of its Washington offices and threaten to withhold U.S. financial assistance if the Palestinians seek to use enhanced U.N. status against Israel, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Lindsey Graham appears to have a southern accent in this photo but it might be just the lighting or the lens

The other day Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who is dropping hints he may join the Republican herd stampeding for the White House, said it’s high time for another president with an accent. That struck me as a odd, since it’s only been seven years since President George W. Bush drawled and cut brush mightily on his Texas ranch.

And it’s been an equally short a time since President Dick Cheney announced he was taking America into his dark bunker with an accent reminiscent of old black-and-white creature features.

Graham was really talking about was it being time for another southern president. And the South Carolinian was betraying yet another prejudice by asserting only Southerners have accents.

Well, everyone has an accent, even those smart-phone voices that tell us where we can buy killer chimichangas in the next town.

I’m a native Californian, and my parents were native Californians. I’m fairly certain I have a distinct California accent, seasoned slightly by growing up in Bakersfield and having a gang of childhood pals whose families accented Oklahoma at the dinner table. That’s why I have always used the word ain’t in my normal conversation, though I say it with a distinct California accent. I ain’t fooling, dude.

For over a year while living in Portland, Ore., I mumbled a lot to conceal my accent, for I had heard horror stories about what real Oregonians do to arrivistes from California. When confronted with the chilling prospects of pronouncing common Oregonian geographic words like Willamette, Wallowa and Tualatin, I would sneeze and curse my hay fever. 

Oregonians, a polite, pale and hip people by nature, would commiserate. For if it wasn’t raining in the “Willy Met Valley,” you could be sure the pollen count was in the stratosphere.

From movies and television, we all are familiar with Boston, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Fargo and Simpson Family accents, not to mention the Austro-Calliforniaye accent of former Gov. Terminator and Moon Unit Zappa‘s Valley Speak.

Is Graham pushing Schwarzenegger ( I am so glad I no longer have to spell this name in daily copy) to enter the race? The gentleman from South Carolina should be careful for what he wishes. Or do more research on accents.

Hillary Clinton spent several years in Arkansas, and she isn’t above dropping the g’s in her present participles when speakin’ to the good folks who like grits, gravy and floatin’ down the Whitewater River.

Why, Bill Clinton himself — no matter how much a citizen of the world he has become since leaving the White House — still delivers his $100,000 speeches with an Arkansas drawl. And Jimmy Carter, it must be recalled, spoke folksy Georgian when calling upon the nation to save energy by wearing his line of cardigan sweaters.
No one party, nor one part of the country, has a monopoly on accents.

And the true language of politics, as Sen. Graham should know, doesn’t speak anything but dollar signs, with the accent heavy on the dollars.