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The candidate who interviewed himself

Monday, October 22nd, 2012 | Posted by | 6 responses
By CHRIS SMITH / The Press Democrat

About now, many candidates for city councils strain to differentiate themselves from the pack, but not George Barich.

Barich is the character recalled from the Cotati City Council in 2009 and fined earlier this year by the state Fair Political Practices Commission for violating campaign contribution laws.

Determined to be heard in Cotati and unhappy with local media coverage, Barich launched the monthly Cotati Independent. He recounts in a recent issue how he loads up a 1992 Nissan Sentra with 147,389 miles on it and personally delivers 4,000 copies of his newspaper to homes and businesses.

It was front-page news in the Independent, of course, when Barich decided to seek re-election to the city council. A new complaint to the Fair Political Practices Commission by Cotati resident John Moore, who led the successful effort to remove Barich from the council, contends the candidate is distributing campaign materials masquerading as a newspaper. The FPPC can sort that out.

But one Cotati Independent story in particular illustrates Barich’s hutzpah. Under the byline “Story by Staff Reporters,” it reports that the paper invited all four of the Cotati City Council candidates on the November ballot to participate in a 30-minute interview with the Independent.

“All declined,” Barich’s newspaper reported, “except George Barich.”

The Independent publisher presumably interviewed himself and now ponders which candidate the paper will endorse.

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Nick Walden is our Cotati and Penngrove correspondent.
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