What do Barstow, Cotati, Dublin, Dunsmuir, Monrovia, Richmond, Santa Maria, and Santa Rosa have in common, besides all being in California? In the first few months of this year, they have each carried out a method of cronyism that I call the Ooze and Cruise Method. How does it work? Simple. 1. If you have always wanted to be a member of your city council, suck up to a current member. 2. Get appointed to a planning commission or design review board. Hang around and wait for an opening to appear on the city council. 3. Ooze into the vacant seat by being appointed by other members, even though you have never run for office. 4. Cruise into the office in the next election because you are now an incumbent, and have a definite advantage.