We’ll call it a hot scoop- I just got a phone call from my favorite photographer, Robert Rissman, who was shocked at the pre-election robo-call on his answering machine, warning the citizens of Culver City that sex offenders were being hired as babysitters.
Robert Zirgulis, the earnest and misguided city council candidate, had knocked on Rissman’s door two weeks ago canvassing for a vote. Zirgulis pointed out the “sex offender” living in proximity (the house is actually across the street and up one- In Zirgulis’ re-telling of the tale, they are the next door neighbors) and asked Rissman if he knew that there was a registered sex offender living in the neighborhood. Rissman’s ironic reply was “Oh sure, they babysit our kids.” Zirgulis was instantly outraged, and completely missed that he was being taunted by someone who did not care for his tactics.
Rissman offered “I consider this a version of hate speech. I don’t need someone knocking on my door telling me to hate my neighbors. I don’t even know the people who live in that house, and my kids are old enough to be starting college.”
Rissman was so offended by Zirgulis over-the-top hysteria, he thought a little counter provocation was in order. So- When you get that phone call about molesters babysitting Culver City kids, feel free to ignore it. That way, when someone is out on the sidewalk pointing at your house and making accusations that may or may not be true, you can know that your neighbors will not take them seriously- and certainly won’t bother to waste a vote on them.
I live two doors down from “Mr. Z”, and there’s a lot of amazing stuff that goes on around his house. The fact that he wants to take down all the Red Light Cameras, because he was stung, doesn’t make sense. He also wants to take all the money from oil drilling under Culver City, to get the city coffers filled again.
Much as I wish the world (especially my tiny part of it) never had such things as child molesters, I feel that campaigning on this subject is just hysteria mongering. I find myself in the improbable and uncomfortable position of wanting to defend the rights of rapists and molesters. They do have rights, under the laws of our nation, and someone running for public office ought to know this. I actually think Mr. Zirgulis has some good ideas, but his incessant pushing about the red light cameras and the sex offenders makes me forget what they are. It’s a real turn-off.