In his diary, President Ronald Reagan was quoted as saying, “If you’re explaining, you’re losing.” Newport Beach Councilman Jeff Herdman’s April 17 letter, “Reagan statue influenced my vote on arts’ package,” is proof that Reagan was right.
In 2011, private funds were raised by former Councilman Keith Curry for a statue of Reagan in Newport Beach. Led by a column written by former Daily Pilot Editor Bill Lobdell, the Democrat-dominated Newport Beach City Arts Commission objected, arguing the process was circumvented because they are responsible for determining “appropriate” art in Newport.
President Reagan’s opponents went nuts when Curry suggested locating it at the new Civic Center. The council blinked. The beautiful, bronze statue was eventually dedicated in late 2011, in a dark cul-de-sac near a public bathroom, where it was later vandalized.
Recently, Mayor Kevin Muldoon and the current City Council voted 5-1 to relocate Reagan’s statue to the Civic Center. Herdman opposed the move because there were “just too many unanswered questions.”
Sound familiar? Imagine if President Reagan had taken Herdman’s wait-and-see position when he broke the back of Communism.
The writer is past chairman of the California Republican Party.