The first time I interviewed then-Redlands City Councilman Pete Aguilar in 2009, I wanted to knock on his suit and ask, “Is anybody in there?”
In my 20 years of newspaper reporting, I’ve interviewed thousands – if not 10,000 – politicos of all kinds, ranging from sitting congressmen to aspiring school board candidates. Rarely in that time have I ever come across an empty suit like Aguilar.
Empty suits are easy to spot in politics. They are the ones who are running to become somebody rather than statesmen, who run to accomplish something. Aguilar clearly fits into the first category.
For those who have never had to sit down and talk with somebody like Aguilar, his recent behavior clearly reinforces what I first thought of him when I was a reporter covering Redlands for The Press-Enterprise.
Most recently, Aguilar – coasting on being the liberal establishment candidate – did not even bother to submit a candidate statement to the well-read and trusted Voter Information Guide and Sample Ballot. The so-called “voter guide” is how voters get acquainted with upcoming elections. He is so arrogant about having the inside track among Democrats that he blew off unfamiliar voters heading into the June 5 primary.
Also, Aguilar chose to ignore conservative voters -- his future constituents if he wins -- altogether in April when he blew off a well-attended candidate forum of the Redlands Tea Party Patriots.
At least liberal candidate Justin Kim had the balls to appear. It takes guts to stand before unlike-minded voters and tell them that he would cut the military. I would never vote for Kim, but if he were win the new congressional District 31 seat in November, I would have mountains of respect for him.
C’mon Democrats. Aguilar is the best you’ve got? At least pick a Kim on June 5 – a candidate with some character.