Sunday, February 26, 2006

Update on "Santa Paula For Vinick" Campaign

From the Santa Paula Times:
"When it came time to show support for her favorite candidate Anita Pulido didn’t hesitate, and now her script signed by “The West Wing” cast members as well as a formal portrait of the NBC players is displayed at the Depot, the campaign headquarters of Sen. Arnold Vinick. Pulido was the winning bidder of the rare signed script during the city-sponsored screening of the presidential debate segment of “The West Wing,” held in November at the Community Center.

Santa Paula has been rooting for its fictional favorite son candidate, Sen. Vinick played by award-winning actor Alan Alda. Last year, led by then-Mayor Mary Ann Krause and City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz, the city did some heavy campaigning of its own to get Vinick – who mentioned at the kickoff of his faux presidential campaign that he had grown up in a California citrus area – officially declared a hometown boy.

A lobbying effort was launched to convince NBC that Santa Paula was the natural place for Vinick to have come from. The City Council declared Vinick a favorite son and - amid much fanfare - the Depot was designated the candidate’s campaign headquarters. In September, NBC conceded defeat and good-naturedly posted details of Vinick’s Santa Paula roots.

“In her usual generous way, Anita has offered to share this with the community so everyone has an opportunity to view it,” said Krause.

Pulido noted that after she won the signed script at auction, “I had it framed…. It’s special to me, but rather than hang it at my home I thought, gosh, this would be nice to share at the Vinick campaign headquarters.”

Home to the Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Paula Society of the Arts Gallery & Gift Shop, the Depot has been adorned with red, white and blue bunting since the Vinick rally last year. The Depot is also home to everything Vinick, from campaign buttons to T-shirts.

“Mary Ann and Wally were so much a part of the Vinick for president campaign, they worked so hard on it,” noted Pulido.

Alas, “The West Wing” has been cancelled, the victim perhaps of fans’ fleeting loyalty in the face of the program being yanked from its longstanding timeslot to Sunday evening. Although the series is coming to a close, “The West Wing” will have the outcome of its presidential election between Alda’s Vinick and Jimmy Smits’ Rep. Santos.

Pulido remains a staunch Vinick supporter, “because it’s part of the Santa Paula adrenaline… I did go to the debate party and ice cream reception to help, donated my $10. It was only done in the spirit of cooperation and to support our city. People are trying so hard to get Santa Paula to shine… and I’m behind them all the way.”

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