The first thing they teach you in political video-making school is never let the visuals bury the message, and that’s the flaw in the new video attack on Mayor Robert Garcia and his Yes on Measure BBB proposal that could allow him to run for a third term as the city’s top elected official.

The message: Robert Garcia is hungry for a third term.

The visuals: My God! How much food can our Falstaffian mayor put away in one minute?

While the viewer might barely register the narration about Garcia pushing for something or other, the viewer instead sits amazed and stunned at the mayor’s ability to eat his way across town without ballooning up a half-dozen pant sizes.

Here, he shoves a taco or quesadilla (Supreme!) into his face; now he Hoovers through a country breakfast of corned beef hash, fried eggs and hash browns and seconds later greedily chases it with a quarter of a pizza while the narrator has stopped nattering on and the Eagles launch into their soprano anthem, “Take It to the Limit,” which has something to do with term limits, one supposes.

Finally, the viewer is urged to vote no on BBB if for no other reason than to stop Garcia from continuing to wolf down more of his city’s fine culinary offerings, which he appears to be ready to do as he hops on a bike-share cycle on which a crown magically appears in the basket, and, presumably, your glutton-in-chief is off to Burger King.

The video was produced by People of Long Beach, a non-partisan grassroots community organization. When asked how it acquired so many videos and photographs of the mayor devouring food, the group’s Executive Director Carlos Ovalle was relatively generous toward Garcia. “It took a little sleuthing, but it wasn’t very difficult to find videos of Garcia eating. Nothing’s hidden anymore in this world. And he likes to indulge, but so do I. I’m pretty sure you could find some of me eating, too.”

Nor is Ovalle an Eagles fan. “Back in my youth I gravitated more toward the nascent punk movement.” And the Eagles were the enemy? “No, it was disco. I had a Disco Sucks bumper sticker on my VW bug,” he said. “The Eagles are OK, they’re just not my cup of tea.”

The point of the video, besides urging people to vote no on Measure BBB, is to reach young people, a demographic that happens to eat up videos like your mayor with a Philly steak sandwich.

“A lot of people say we’re wasting time and money trying to reach young people,” said Ovalle. “We old farts tend to dismiss them, but that’s a disservice to them. We can’t ignore that segment of the population.”

Ovalle said his group wanted to make the No on BBB video “easy and entertaining.” And, he says, the group has more videos in the pipeline, in case Garcia is hungry for more.


Tim Grobaty is a columnist and the Opinions Editor for the Long Beach Post. You can reach him at 562-714-2116, email [email protected], @grobaty on Twitter and Grobaty on Facebook.