Thursday, October 26, 2006

 

In fair Eureka...

Finally got around to reading Hank Sims' piece on the Eureka city council election that's been getting raves on the other blogs and across the ideological divide. For me the best part of the article is the first section, which describes the rise and clash of two political machines, even if it's a little early to call them machines. For Hank the story begins with the scuttling of the master plan a couple of years ago at what was apparently the request of Union Pacific, ostensibly so that it would not interfere with the plans of a certain iconic-yet-iconoclastic wealthy purchaser we all know and love or hate. It continues with the re-emergence of another character and the creation of a lib base "dream team" to face down the home team. All about the herein referenced local culture war - old money vs. new money - red vs. blue - deep Eureka vs. counterculture.

Sims is sanguine about it, and cites the political divide as a sign of maturity.
What it finally amounts to, though, is growing pains. Eureka is becoming a city in the true sense of the word, and it's also developing true city politics -- interest groups battling each other for control, rather than hometown luminaries sent up to the council as a matter of routine. It's a sign of maturity. And on all sorts of matters currently facing the city -- from big ticket items like the Marina Center project, reform of the police department and economic development, all the way down to seemingly mundane matters like traffic -- what happens in this election is going to determine the course of Eureka's future for quite a few years to come.
Real politics, and real issues. But I'm not so sure - not when it boils down to two sides with no compromise. No chance for nuance. I get a picture of an emerging City of Hope (John Sayles again - great film by the way. Don't believe the critics.). I'd love to see the instant run-off, and multiple candidates for each position a la Arcata.

I was uplifted when I got to the descriptions of each of the candidates. It seems that every one of them are trying to downplay the gang rumble drama that admittedly makes the election so intriguing to an outsider like me. For promoting familiarity with the candidates, it's a good piece to pass around, although I think I was pretty well caught up on the dynamics. No surprises for me, except maybe Leonard arguing that the master plan became moot once there was a buyer because the whole plan had been about attracting a buyer. Was that really the sole purpose of the plan?

And I have to say that I'm a bit confused as to why the incumbents are surprised at the reaction to their votes in 2004. Whether the decision to ditch the plan at the private request of certain parties was the right one or the wrong one in terms of the best interests of the city, did they really expect that there wouldn't be political fallout? They aren't amateurs. They had to know how it would look.

Comments:
The incumbents are (have been and will remain like Bush) "staying the course."
 
Well, they didn't stay it with the general plan.
 
Erik my man. We are talking the neo good ole boys n girls. Or as Sims calls them "Eureka profundo." Staying the course with their view of what is right has nothing to do with a general plan.
 
The article was very close to home, as in well done.
 
If people would listen they would have been warned about the Salzman Progressive Political Machine last year when Rose and I brought it to everyone's attention with columns and KMUD radio shows.

You've got people coming into Humboldt for political opportunity and they don't care who they hurt in the process of making careers for themselves. Community crisis means opportunity for advancement and we citizens become the victims.
 
But of course, Rose and I aren't part of the Progressive Political Machinery like eric in effect is, so, it will be Hank Sims and the NCJ who gets the credit for what Rose and I accomplished a year before him.
 
I've asked this over on Rose's blog too.How exactly is Salzman more of a player to the left than Chris Crawford is to the right?Is Salzman concurrently the chair of local solutions and a campaign manager.Is Crawford the chair of the Humboldt Business Council,and a former campaign manager for Rex Bohn and current campaign manager for Mike Jones?The answer to one is no,the other yes.I'm not saying Richard isn't an influential politico,he is. Hank should have been more even handed than he was,and should have included Crawford's specific role in campaigns as well.
 
Oh, I think Hank pretty well slammed the machinations of the old guard as well. Hell, he had Rose pounding on her table!
 
Hey - Hank. Way to go brother....great job!
 
Actually, it was "Hank's" table - Hank's being a coffee shop in Arcata. :)

My frustration has to do with the inordinate amount of energy going into the so-called "right-wing" groups - the TS threatening a full investigation, Patty Berg jumping on the bandwagon, and NO ONE willing ot discuss the granddaddy of shadow political groups locally, the so-called "Alliance for 0h-so-ethical Business" and it's many offshoots.

Hank didn't go into great detail, but he got the high points, Salzman structuring the ticket, pressuring people not to run, recruiting people to run.

There's more of course - and you see some of it in today's Times Standard, Team Salzman's talking points, going after Flemming using the Native American angle they've carefully set up over the last many months.

They get away with it because it sounds crazy when you call 'em on it.
 
I notice in today's paper that Larry Glass and Nan Abrams each got a $5000 donation from a gal in Petrolia. Maybe she's one of the few HC ranchers left? maybe she's not. But with all the buzz in local politics it just doesn't look good when someone from Petrolia is the biggest contirbutor to two Eureka City Council hopefuls. I smell AEB, or whatever they go by today.
 
Petrolia is also the home of Alex Cockburn. It's not a poor neighborhood.
 
so what, who is Alex Cockburn ? Is he kicking in thousands to a Eureka City Council race? if not SO WHAT Eric?????

Ettersburg, Shelter Cove, Honeydew are not poor neighborhoods either!
 
I was just pointing out that people out there have money. It doesn't have to be an AEB conspiracy.
 
But who is this woman from Petrolia? I've been doing this a long time and never heard her name before.
 
Chris Crawford has never bullied anyone to not run for office. How can you compare Chris with Richard Salzman?
 
Well, I suppose you can't. Richard has been successful.
 
Is there anyone from Petrolia who has a reportable income?
 
Yes Eric but most people out there who have money are marijuana growers ! Don't get too pissy I said MOST, not ALL.
 
Is there anyone from Petrolia who has a reportable income?

Alex Cockburn.

5:24 - You're probably right.
 
And he's probably the only one.
 
What does Alex do ? A rancher?
 
Writer.
 
Steve, wondering why you and Rose don't get more credit? Hank isn't a crank.

He may have missed a few relevant points, but his article is pretty thorough and pretty fair.
 
Rose,
the grand-daddy is Arkley.
 
Chris Crawford has and does lie and bully on a regular basis.
Check him out before defending him. You might not like what comes out.
 
My impression of Crawford is that he's a straight-shooter, if a little grumpy at times during the last campaign. I wish accusations like this would include detail so that Crawford himself or others could intelligently defend/discuss them.
 
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