Cute Politics: Bunny Statues Tearing Newport Beach Apart

Newport Bunnies (City of Newport / Facebook)
City of Newport / Facebook

Several Newport Beach residents and city council members are up in arms over an installation of 14 cute, life-size bunnies, deemed “BunnyHedge,” that is being labeled as a symbol of unforgivable government waste.

“The bunnies, to me, they’re lighthearted and fun, which is what Newport Beach used to be before it became so absorbed in this kind of controversy,” one resident told the Orange County Register. The $221,000 price tag has irked those who think it too high a price to pay for “intrigue and discovery.”

The BunnyHedge installation, created in conjunction with a costly new civic center, has many fearful that Newport’s tradition of fiscal responsibility is in danger, the Register notes.

Scott Peotter, who is the new Councilman-elect for Newport Beach City Council’s 6th District, went so far as creating a YouTube video demonstrating his solution to ending the furry fracas. “You’ve heard the expression that we need to think outside the box? Well, some people take it a little bit further, and they say we need to blow up the boxes. Well, in this case, we need to blow up the bunnies!”

A disclaimer at the end of the video points out that no bunnies were injured during filming.

Peotter is reportedly seeking a new home for the dainty hares. Among his suggestions was the Pasadena Bunny Museum, which the Register points out is at full bunny capacity.

The milk-white bunnies are a tribute to the desert cottontail rabbit, which are native to the region and commonly seen in Newport Beach. The hares are adorned with ornaments for each special holiday season and have so far proven successful in engaging the children and members of the community:


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