Liar, Liar Pants On Fire: Napa Valley Wine Edition

It’s important to give credit where credit is due. And I’m willing to do that.

It’s very impressive that it only took 1 week for the proponents of the Napa Oak Woodlands Initiative (Measure C) to begin blatantly lying to the Napa community in their support of the initiative that would ban planting of vineyards anywhere in the hills and mountains surrounding the Valley.

In support of the contentious initiative headed to the June Ballot, members of the Watershed and Oak Woodland Protection Committee released a one minute video that they headlined, “Limitless Vineyard Development is Not Sustainable”.

Here’s what’s interesting:

1. There is no possibility of “limitless vineyard development” in Napa Valley
2. There never was a possibility of “limitless vineyard development” in Napa Valley
3. There are stringent regulations in place that prevent “limitless vineyard development”
4. Those who produced the video know there is no possibility of “limitless vineyard development”
5. They imply “limitless vineyard development” is a possibility.
6. They are lying about this.
7. They know they are lying about limitless vineyard development.

Now, I love America and the American political system. I think robust debate is a good thing. But I’m wondering how participants in that debate come to the conclusion that their first political ad ought to be one that lies. Does the conversation go like this?:

INITIATIVE SUPPORTING LIAR #1: “We need something hard-hitting out of the box.”

INITIATIVE SUPPORTING LIAR #2: “Let’s do an ad about all the people that signed the petition to get Measure C on the ballot!”

INITIATIVE SUPPORTING LIAR #1: “No!!  We need to really make a point. How about accuse wineries of wanting to plant vineyards in a limitless way??”

INITIATIVE SUPPORTING LIAR #3: “Wait…that’s not completely true.

INITIATIVE SUPPORTING LIAR #1: Most people don’t know that.”

INITIATIVE SUPPORTING LIAR #2: “What about an ad that discusses the need to preserve water resources?”

INITIATIVE SUPPORTING LIAR #1: “Shut Up! That’s stupid. Let’s tell people the hills will be covered with vineyards because wineries want no limits.”

INITIATIVE SUPPORTING LIAR #3: “But that’s not really true.”

INITIATIVE SUPPORTING LIAR #1: Shut Up! Who cares? We’ll call it “alternative facts”.  Call the videographer!”

Do you think this is how it went? Who knows!

In any case, the benefit of the Initiative supporters lying right out of the box is that at least the opponents of this terrible initiative know what they are up against.

Here’s what else I know. Every time I write and publish a post about the Napa Oak Woodland and Watershed Initiative, I get upwards of 3,000+ people who live in Napa reading that post, not to mention many others from surrounding areas and from around the country. 

So, the other good thing is that in the interest of robust debate, at least 3,000+ Napans will know that supporters of the Initiative already feel the need to lie in order to push their agenda.

6 Responses

  1. Rob McMillan - March 6, 2018

    Wait….. Liar? That’s harsh.

    I listened to the video and within, it quotes the City of Napa Water Manager Joy Eldridge saying “it could cost the residents of Napa $20 million dollars to install water treatment equipment, as a result of one vineyard development project in the Eastern Hills.”

    The implication is:
    1) This bill will stop vineyard development in the Eastern Hills
    2) If we don’t vote this measure in and there is one development, it will cost the City residents $20 million dollars just for new water treatment equipment!

    That must be true, no?

    • Tom Wark - March 6, 2018

      Harsh? Maybe. But at least it’s not a lie.

  2. Richard - March 7, 2018

    Maybe they’re taking a page from the “very stable genius” playbook – lying is good – lie and deny and nobody can prove you’re wrong. Sadly a lot of folks seem to be falling for the deception. BTW: if they’re lying, they need to be called on it. Calling liars out is no longer PC, but I think you’re spot on.

  3. Brad Asmu - March 13, 2018

    Wait a second, a PR guy complaining about hyperbole in promotional material? Hilarious.

  4. Tom Wark - March 13, 2018


    Say what you will about PR people. But at least we don’t lie.

  5. Bill Hanna - March 14, 2018

    Joy Eldridge spoke off the cuff with no facts to back up her statements. She had the city council of Napa backtracking. She was blaming vyds for algal blooms in Lake Hennessy at the end of the drought on the vineyard plantings in the area. Didn’t even think about the fact the lake had not overflowed in a couple of years, was not full, and was thus warmer. Not to mention that no pesticides or nutrients have detected in the Napa River watershed that were not natural (nutrients). The Regional Water Board proposed delisting the river for nutrients but have been battered by environmentalists who think it can’t be true.

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