This is in response to Ron Fink’s rather odious column: “UCSB Students Ought to Ditch Gail Marshall” (Daily Nexus, Feb. 5). First, it should not be lost on the campus community that Mr. Fink is from Lompoc, one of the North County bastions of Gail Marshall’s political enemies. North County political groups are doing their best to separate themselves from the rest of the county and Isla Vista, so don’t let his concern fool you: the people behind the recall are the same people who were behind Larry Mills in the last election. This is a case of sore losers playing dirty politics with I.V. landlord money (your rent).

Secondly, Mr. Fink poses the question: “do you like to go to the beach?” I am sure that you do and that you would prefer that the water be free of trash, oil and, most importantly, disease. Mr. Fink is right, the “environmental lobby” (which, as everyone knows, is super-wealthy and all-powerful, just like big oil) does support Ms. Marshall because she is committed to keep the environment clean, not keeping students off the beach.

Thirdly, Mr. Fink asks “Do you like paying hundreds of dollars a month to live in a closet or sleep on the floor with 15 other people?” Well, if you do, then by all means support the recall effort because Isla Vista landlords are funding it and those same landlords will fund her opponent in the next election. The fact is that one of the reasons North County hates Gail so much is her unabashed commitment to Isla Vista and the student community.

So far this year Ms. Marshall has been responsible for all the newly paved roads in town, and a tenant’s rights ordinance that guarantees inspection of housing units, forces landlords to pay interest on security deposits held for more than one year and requires landlords to provide relocation assistance when buildings need repair – those items are only the beginning. In the future look for new sidewalks, dramatically improved lighting and a complete remodeling of El Colegio Road to make it more efficient, better looking and, best of all, safer.

In sum, if you like the idea of crappy housing, filthy water, unsafe streets, greedy landlords and being disenfranchised by a summer election, then by all means support the recall.

If, on the other hand, you enjoy the right to vote, want to surf without getting dangerously ill, want improved streets, lighting, housing and safety, then please reject the recall. If you signed a petition and want to take your name off you can simply find one of our tables by the UCen or contact the Campus Democrats at .

Jim Keenley is the director of public affairs for the Campus Democrats.