Wednesday, October 19, 2005

"Santa Paula for Vinick" Campaign Successful

Editorial on Santa Paula's campaign from the Ventura County Star.

The campaign the California town of Santa Paula was successful. The official biography of Arnold Vinick states how he spent his childhood in Santa Paula after moving there from Brooklyn.

From the Ventura County Star:
"Hollywood has caved in to Santa Paula.

Eight months after city officials started campaigning to get Santa Paula named as the hometown of Alan Alda’s character on "The West Wing," writers of the Emmy-winning show granted their wish.
Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce Manager Ken Brooks spotted the mention on the NBC show’s Web site Friday afternoon and sent off an e-mail to a delighted City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz.

"I’m just tickled," Bobkiewicz said.

Santa Paula officials have previously promoted the town they complain doesn’t get its due respect. But they went to new lengths to tie the city to Sen. Arnold Vinick, the show’s fictional Republican candidate for president.

They began writing letters and sending gift packages of oranges to Alda and others after Vinick said in a January episode he was from a citrus-producing area. They opened a campaign headquarters for Vinick, calling him Santa Paula’s favorite son.

The chamber sold Vinick T-shirts and campaign buttons, attracting hundreds of orders from around the country.

And just about every week, Bobkiewicz sent a note to story editor Lauren Schmidt. By last month, he had decided maybe he should let up.

"Honestly, I thought I was making a fool of myself," he said.

Then, for the first time Friday, the show’s Web site portrayed Vinick as a Santa Paula boy who labored in the orange groves after his family moved from Brooklyn.
Schmidt was in a story conference and could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

Bobkiewicz, though, said he expects a Santa Paula storyline to be appearing soon. "

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