RANCHO MIRAGE — Then-Mayor Pro Tem G. Dana Hobart, from the dais at a Feb. 20, 2020 City Council meeting, belittled, mocked and disparaged a candidate in the April 2020 City Council meeting.

Hobart’s dutiful colleagues — Richard Kite, Ted Weill, and Charles Townsend — sat silent while Hobart, who is nearly 90, railed on Stephen Jaffe for more than 25 minutes. At its conclusion then-Mayor Iris Smotrich thanked Hobart.

The rambling, sometimes incoherent, verbal lashing was often interrupted with long pauses so Hobart could sip water or collect his thoughts for find his place in a document from which he was reading.

Hobart’s attacks on then-candidate Jaffe were directed at him as a member of Save Rancho Mirage, an opponent to the In-N-Out project at 42-560 Bob Hope Drive on a vacant lot in the Rancho Las Palmas Shopping Center, according to a complaint Bruce T. Bauer filed against the city. He is the attorney representing Save Rancho Mirage,

The “diatribe,” as Bauer characterized it, lasted 25 minutes — almost a third — of a 1 1/2-hour public meeting  designed to do the people’s business. Members of the public are given a maximum of 3 minutes to speak.

You may read Bauer’s complete complaint here.

Hobart, often referred to publicly as King Dana, had recused himself from the In-N-Out vote, so why did he continue to attack Jaffe who was closely aligned with the restaurant.

Hobart made an effort to put out Jaffe’s fourth place finish in a November 2018 Congressional race in San Francisco, even going so far as to say how many votes Jaffe received, By the way, Nancy Pelosi, a formidable candidate, won. What did a 2018 Congressional race in San Francisco have to do with a Rancho Mirage City Council election.

You can watch it yourself here. Hobart’s meandering starts about minute 11.

Hobart mocked the candidate’s love of Rancho Mirage.

He further called into question Jaffe’s profession saying “if” he’s a lawyer. Hobart referred to himself as a member of the “political class.” So, Rancho Mirage is now a class system?

The 2020 Rancho Mirage City Council election is in the history books. Jaffe, of course, did not win.

One question, among others, is this: What candidate in the future would subject himself or herself to such blistering attacks and ridicule?


Image Sources

  • G. Dana Hobart: YouTube