Cotati Councilman's Blackface Blog Draws Criticism

Blogging pol's attempts to keep Cotati funky may have backfired

By Jackson West
|  Thursday, Mar 26, 2009  |  Updated 2:30 PM PDT
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Cotati Councilman's Blackface Blog Draws Criticism

George Barich

When politicans blog, everyone wins.

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Looking to spur economic development in Cotati, councilman George Barich decided to declare the hamlet "The Funky City" on his blog.

The former funk bassist and current electrical contractor, who won his seat on the council without accepting contributions, updated the city's logo.

To feature himself, in an afro wig and dark makeup.

Barich argues it's all in the name of humor. Local pub owner Cynthia Nixon thinks it's offensive.

And she's not talking about the fact that it's impossible to turn off Kool and the Gang's "Funky Stuff" when you visit Barich's page.

Barich has also criticized President Barack Obama's stimulus spending package, at one point comparing Air Force One to Soul Plane.

Nixon and other local business owners dropped by the council to ask for Barich's resignation, which prompted Barich to write:

Keeping Cotati "funky" brought outrage from the Cotati Chamber of Commerce. What appeared to be an orchestrated move by a far-left fringe group of the Cotati Chamber of Commerce, three chamber members called for Barich's resignation at a city council meeting but failed to articulate exactly the reason why.

Nevermind Barich's use of the third person, that may be the first time in history "far-left fringe group" and "Chamber of Commerce" were ever conflated.

If Barich's goal was to draw attention to the tiny town of 6,471, he's certainly suceeded.

Jackson West lives for small-town news items like this.

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