Claremont Insider: Do No Harm

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Do No Harm

Our post about former Claremont mayor Karen Rosenthal upset a reader, who disliked our dredging up something her husband, Michael Rosenthal did to lose his medical license in 2001:

Date: Thu, March 24, 2011 11:43:46 AM
Subject: Rosenthal

While the re-emergence of former mayor Rosenthal may be newsworthy, to bring up the near decade-old issue concerning her husband is just plain mean and totally irrelevant. Your humanity has hit a low point. Please apologize to your readers and to Mr. Rosenthal.

We stand by the post, dear reader. Yes, the former Dr. Rosenthal's license revocation happened 10 years ago, but we consider the matter quite relevant because it illustrates the egocentrism and the lack of empathy that the Rosenthals and the Claremont 400 possess still. They have yet to apologize for their own behavior. It's been our contention here at the Insider that the 400 put the citizens of Claremont through the wringer when they ran the town and then played extremely ugly politics when they saw their hold on City Hall weaken.

After the 2005 Preserve Claremont campaign, not one of the hardcore PC backers apologized publicly, even though they were roundly chastised in letters to the Claremont Courier and in several ads taken out by private citizens outraged by the PC witchhunt. In fact, they've continued to be very active in local campaigns.

A prime example is Mrs. Rosenthal, who quietly reentered the local political scene and who served on council member Joe Lyon's campaign committee. Not only did Karen fail to learn anything from the PC mess she and other supporters of Lyons and candidate Robin Haulman borrowed the same strategy this time.

Rosenthal's unapologetic behavior is consistent with the pattern of her public life. Consider the 2000 Black Hole Award the California First Amendment Coalition (CFAC) gave to Claremont and then-Mayor Rosenthal for their handling of Irvin Landrum shooting and for many other things. A CFAC press release from 2000 said:

Claremont was cited for:
  • its refusal to disclose records relating to a lawsuit settlement;
  • its protests contrary to fact that a federal court order precluded disclosure,
  • its short-lived proposal to have mental health professionals standing by to assess the threat level posed by citizen speakers at public meetings;
  • its city manager's disclosure of the criminal records of a man, in order to discredit him, who had called for an investigation of the death of his nephew, shot by police officers;
  • its use of council committees to hold unannounced meetings on a variety of matters; and
  • its refusal to allow citizens, during a permitted parade, to hand out leaflets to curbside spectators.
CFAC sent a faxed copy of the award citation, with a letter invitation to respond at the Assembly or otherwise, to Mayor Karen Rosenthal. In comments to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario on Sunday, October 15, after the Assembly, she denied having been given notice and dismissed the award as "a public relations scam" and fund-raising effort.

Mayor Rosenthal was not quoted on most of the specifics, but said overall, "They just like to fabricate these very volatile stories out of things that didn't happen or weren't as dastardly as they claim or are unresolved at this time," with the last item apparently referring to a continuing investigation into the shooting. She said the mental health observer was simply a committee recommendation that had not been adopted, and the anti-leafleting restriction was "to prevent littering and disruption of neighborhoods" and had "nothing to do with free speech."

Similarly, the attitude both Rosenthal and her husband demonstrated after Michael Rosenthal lost his medical license was unremorseful, unapologetic. Mr. Rosenthal was more concerned about any harm to wife's reputation than to the patient who lost 2,000 cc of blood during a D & C procedure Mr. Rosenthal performed. The woman later had to have an emergency room hysterectomy. Some things time cannot heal, dear reader.

Mrs. Rosenthal (photo, left) continues to display the same lack of remorse she did publicly as mayor and as Mr. Rosenthal's wife when the news of his license revocation became public. This failure to own up to their past actions occurs repeatedly among the Claremonsters. It's why we at the Insider keep coming back. Every time we think they've finally learned to play nicely and we go into hibernation, this group returns thinking they can turn the clock to 1998, before Landrum, before they started losing elections.

The harm Karen Rosenthal and her fellow 400 members caused cannot be undone, and without some little public act of contrition on the part of the 400, a good segment of the city's voting population will always suspect the Claremonsters of the worst motives in anything or anyone they back.

You are right, dear reader. Apologizing is always a good place to start, but Mrs. Rosenthal and her compatriots are the ones who need to step up and take ownership of their actions. That, unfortunately, is a step they have been incapable of taking.