“The news people who keep repeating lies or things that are not such, and they — it doesn’t matter if you tell them it is not like that, they just keep saying it. It’s like Goebbels, in the days of Hitler,” he said. “Repeat a lie, repeat a lie, [so] that it stays.”
Souto’s comments came at a meeting where commissioners debated charter amendments to put on the November ballot. Several commissioners sharply criticized deep-pocketed outsiders (read: auto billionaire Norman Braman, who spearheaded last year’s recall of former Mayor Carlos Alvarez) for “threatening” commissioners to reform the county charter — or face recalls themselves. “Are we going to listen to the people, or are we going to listen to a few special groups who push us and who threaten us, who try to scare us?” Souto asked.
Some commissioners also railed against the media, which they said have cast the commission in a negative light. They took particular issue with reporters referring to the tens of thousands of dollars that commissioners dole out from their office budgets to community organizations, with scant oversight, as “slush funds.”