Update: Cold War Still Simmers in Santee

An interesting email exchange between Mayor Randy Voepel and a resident of China.

Updated May 31 @ 3:20 p.m.

When you get an email from an African prince who wants to share the wealth or a Chinese person asking for your autograph, I bet you tend to ignore them. Santee's answers back with the chutzpah of a Vietnam veteran.

This recent email exchange between Mayor Voepel and someone claiming to live in China, who seems to collect autographs of U.S. Mayors, is an insight into the range of email the Mayor recieves and his "pull-no-punches" attitude in responding to them.

Dear Mayor:

As a great city/county of the United States, your city/county must be playing an important role to make the U.S. a prosperous county.

Your city/county has charitable conventions compared to other states, which I have seen in many TV programs. You city/county is attractive economically and democratically, these can’t not be achieved without your governance, which I am very interested in.

I’d like to have a signed photo of yours and the seal of your city/county, so I can keep them as souvenirs, can you help me?

Wish you the best

Sincerely yours

Deng zhi yong

Reply from Mayor Randy Voepel:

Dear Mr. Yong,

I respectfully decline to cooperate in any way with what I consider to be an enemy of the United States. The People's Republic of China is a repressive and evil communist regime that runs a Police State. I fought in Vietnam to stop communism and will fight communism until the day I die. Please accept me as a very determined enemy, as I assume you to be to me.

Best Capitalist regards,

Randy Voepel Mayor, The freedom and human rights City of Santee

The day after first publishing this piece, Mayor Voepel sent this reply with a bit of back-story, to a fellow Vietnam Veteran who did not agree with his reaction:

There is more to this reaction of mine than what you might know. I have a running battle with the Chi-Coms, that has been going on since my first week in office as the Mayor, twelve years ago. The Chinese Consulate sent me a very intimidating letter in 2001 asking me to officially denounce a Chinese meditation group called the Falun Gong / Falun Daffa.

I wrote a very scathing reply about protecting human rights and not persecuting sub groups. Of course that reply went viral in the media at the time. 

Do some research on this, the Chinese Communist Government puts these people into work camps and many just disappear. I personally oppose EVERYTHING the Communist Chinese do or stand for. They are evil and would be very happy (along with Iran, North Korea, al-Qaeda and a long list of others) to see the USA collapse. I am a warrior at heart and will not hesitate to strongly defend our Country against Communism. I will always react strongly to anything that comes out of China.

Whenever the United States goes to war, it is always people like me (the warrior types) that are called on. As long as the people of Santee elect me (78 percent of the vote last time) as their Mayor, I will defend this City against all threats, even silly email requests supposedly from Communist China.

As far as Chinese goods go, I try to the best of my ability to buy USA and allied products, although that is difficult to do as we all know. As far as being a laughing stock on blogs and web sites, I don't care one whit what happens on the web, what is important is taking the right stand to protect what America STANDS FOR.

Come on down to the and see what my buddies and shipmates think about the communists.

Respectfully (with the exception of Communist Chinese),

Randy Voepel Mayor, the freedom loving City of Santee

Also read

L.P. May 31, 2012 at 06:22 PM
This is the second time today that a friend has sent me a story, thinking it was a joke but it turns out to be true! So if a Chinese school kid admires the democratic principles and economics of a CA town, we should insult them and refuse a rather sweet request for, god help me, a FAN PHOTO of the mayor. You go, Mayor! Maybe we can make you an ambassador some day, with those diplomatic skills of yours.
patchy_the_pirate May 31, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Hurray for retards!!
patchy_the_pirate May 31, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Maybe the chinese kid is researching American retards and needs a good reference picture.
Kevin Hippensteel May 31, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Maybe a little rough but love the balls he has to write it.
Larry May 31, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Not exactly what you'd expect from a Mayor.
retarded_baboon May 31, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Thanks for being a typical ignorant American douchebag and representing our country so well, Mayor Voepel! U-S-A!! U-S-A!!
Arcturus D. May 31, 2012 at 08:54 PM
What an absolute dick. I assume Voepel doesn't shop at that good 'ol 'Merican company Walmart, nor does he carry an iPhone... right? Right?
Steven Bartholow (Editor) May 31, 2012 at 10:17 PM
I highly doubt he has an iPhone- not his style.
Larry May 31, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Steven, do you think the Mayor is kidding around, or was he serious?
Steven Bartholow (Editor) May 31, 2012 at 10:32 PM
I publish what I think Santee readers would be interested in. I think this qualifies. When it's a slow news day... there's always Mayor Randy
Steven Bartholow (Editor) May 31, 2012 at 10:33 PM
I think the follow up email makes it clear he's serious. Randy doesn't joke about communism.
Larry May 31, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Thanks Seven, I just read that. Wow.
Matt Topper May 31, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Wow - didn't know we had an ape for a Mayor. Yet another reason why I can't wait to move out of this town and buy a home elsewhere.
Bryceson Cabading May 31, 2012 at 10:50 PM
I love how Mayor Voepel automatically assumes that everyone who lives in China agrees with their government 100 percent and wants to destroy the United States. Mr. Voepel, most people in China don't care about the United States. They have more pressing issues to focus on, such as political suppression, the crisis in Tibet, etc... Santee residents always complain about how outsiders view this city as a trailer-trash hicktown. Well, now they know why.
Matt Topper May 31, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Well said, what a wasted opportunity by the Mayor. I've defended Santee since I moved here three years ago but I just can't do it any longer.
Joe Spencer June 01, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Never questioned your publishing it Steven.....I was simply suprised that the Mayor chose to send you his emails to begin with.
Larry June 01, 2012 at 03:56 AM
No need to defend Santee, Matt. I don't agree with Randy's rant, but he hardly represents a majority of Santee residents and how they think. If you think he does, feel free to move elsewhere.
adam paul June 01, 2012 at 06:01 AM
My dad was a Vietnam vet and served 2 tours and I know he would be so embarrassed by the actions of Voepel. It wasn't like this person actually did anything wrong but only asked for an autograph. You know it obviously wasn't silly to the person who sent the email inquiring about an autograph and its disgraceful that Vopel would say something of this nature that it was a silly email request. Seriously a person in his position needs to learn tact and not be a jerkoff. I work in a position of customer service at Grossmont College in the Athletics dept and if I treated a person or people the way he treated the emailer id be reprimanded.
Wendy June 05, 2012 at 05:35 AM
There is no way for Chinese people to watch the tv programme of USA, since the mayor say it's a police state. Why made up this story? Want attention or totally insane!
Maggie Acerra June 05, 2012 at 03:09 PM
I think that for people here that have had the most fortunate of lives not to have had to engage in fighting the communists, whether it was in Korea or Vietnam, it's easy to read Mayor Vopel's email and call it grandstanding. For those that know that communism is the cause of death and oppression for millions of people worldwide, and have buried family and friends in wars against this evil, it truly is a perfectly reasonable outlook to have. Especially for those that fought to keep this nightmare from speading and then had to come home to their own fellow citizens spitting on them and calling them "baby killers" While some "say" they have ought in Vietnam and they would never do this or that - good for you - but YOU especially ought to know WHY the veterans that fought in these wars feel the way they do and have more understanding in regards to not wanting to make "global nice nice" Don't fool yourselves with the smoke and mirrors of trade agreements made by greedy politicians and those in our government that wish to "even the playing field" to the point they have killed our manufacturing industry in our own country. There isn't one person in China that wouldn't jump for a ticket out of there to settle in the United States. It does seem unusual that, out of the blue, some Chinese "kid" suddenly wants an autograph from a Mayor of a small town that most people have never even heard of outside of San Diego County - doesn't it?
sheeple herder June 05, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Steven, I thought you said no profanity was allowed on the forum? Or does that only apply to select individuals? BTW, how's WC? He in jail yet?
Steven Bartholow (Editor) June 05, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Adam: no profanity on these boards please, according to our rules of use- http://santee.patch.com/terms -this is in response to the comment that was below, now deleted. Thanks.
Steven Bartholow (Editor) June 05, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Sheeple: Thanks for the heads up. It applies to those that I catch. I have to ask, why the enmity?
sheeple herder June 05, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Well, you responded to the post that the person used the profanity in. Yet you erased the post I had because I used the "a" word. It was in response to a threat of violence that was made toward an individual who claimed to be a LEO. We discussed this via email and you said "it was out of your hands after forwarding it on to the powers that be". Sounded like a brush off. If YOU / patch want to make people accountable, make this where you can only post with a legit Facebook account. Like most forums do...
Steven Bartholow (Editor) June 05, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Posting rules and terms of service are out of my hands, I do my job and moderate according to them. I treat all comments and users equally, and moderate accordingly. My role is to get interesting content on this site and keep the boards in check, not to report back to you about other commenters. I treat you no different than any other user and would appreciate it if you would respect that.
Joe Spencer June 06, 2012 at 02:33 AM
I agree 1000% that Patch should be like many other boards (such as the U.T.) and require a Facebook account to log in. Would see far less of the cyber-harassing that goes on here under screen names.
Joe Spencer June 06, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Maggie....I think some here (myself being one) dont begrudge the Mayor for holding those personal views. It just seems the response was if nothing else extremely unprofessional coming from someone in his position. Not to mention...if the Mayor wanted to give such a response...why would he just not do it...and leave it at that...private between the two of them? Instead he had to "brag" or whatever it was by sending it to the Patch for publication to everyone. I just dont get what he was looking for with that. I agree the email request was absolutely strange. BUT...was there a way to absolutely know it was not sincere? Seems that the Mayor could have ignored the email completely....or sent a short response declining the request.
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