Long stands by book after accusations of inaccuracy
South Lake Tahoe City Councilman Ted Long said Tuesday he stands by the accuracy of his autobiography “Recycled” after a former San Bruno city councilman came forward with claims that details in the book are not accurate.
Lawyer George Corey contacted the Tahoe Daily Tribune after an article ran last week that detailed some of the book’s main points.
Long is running for El Dorado County District 5 Supervisor on in the June 6 election against incumbent Norma Santiago, who offered no comment on the book, saying it was irrelevant to the issues facing the county.
In the book, Long claims that after he was recalled from the San Bruno City Council, he won the “next election.”
“In the next election, I received overwhelming support from the same voters, winning with many more than the 13 votes that I had won by in my first election. Dick was elected mayor in a landslide,” Long wrote on page 57.
Corey, among other readers, assumed Long was claiming he won the next election for the San Bruno City Council, when Dick Griffith was elected mayor.
According to the San Bruno City Clerk’s office, Long never ran again for city council.
Long said the election to which he was referring in his book was the June 6, 1972, primary for the California Assembly, which he never mentions in the book. He said he should have written, “Later, Dick was elected in a landslide.”
“The point is, the very next chance I got, I faced the voters,” Long said Tuesday. “It was important to me that I got in the next election and faced the voters. I dealt with it and people voted for me. I was not going to walk away from that (recall) as a defeat.”
Long later lost the assembly race.
Long was recalled in March 1971 on the grounds he “violated the basic fairness inherent in democratic processes by refusing to consider, discuss or debate the selection of a San Bruno City Manager” according to the ballot language.
Long said the city manager was selected at a regular city council meeting, and alleges there were other forces out to get him because he was fighting a highway nearby.
The councilman said Tuesday if there are those who believe his San Bruno recall is relevant to the upcoming election, it was even more relevant to the primary in 1972. He said he won over the voters in the next election because he was able to prove concerns raised in the recall were baseless.
Long said more people in the city of San Bruno voted for him in the primary than in his council election, which he won by 13 votes. The San Mateo County elections office could not confirm by press time the numbers in that election.
Meanwhile, a former business partner of Long’s confirmed a few other details of the book.
John Renesch said Tuesday that Long and singer John Denver socialized in the same circles, and he would not be surprised if they were friends.
He also said the two brought daredevil Evel Knievel to San Francisco for the first time.
“We were involved in giving (Knievel) more profile than he’d ever had before that,” Renesch said. According to Renesch, the two did not sign a management contract with Knievel, as the book states.
Renesch also confirmed that Long took part in resolving the Altamont Raceway debacle involving the Rolling Stones, as the book claims, and appeared on TV because of it.
Renesch is now a business futurist who writes articles and books, and gives keynote speeches. Renesch said he had been out of touch with Long for 18 years until 1 1/2 years ago.
Meanwhile, Corey remained critical of his former fellow councilman.
“Unless you nail this guy right to the wall, he will keep dodging and twisting and turning,” Corey said. “My recommendation to voters there: run away as fast as you can.” Corey served 8 years on the council, including the term after Long’s recall.
But Renesch had strong recommendations for his old friend.
“I love Ted. He’s an incredibly competent, creative and smart guy, he’s an open thinker, he doesn’t get locked into set ways of doing things,” Renesch said. “I would vote for him.”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.