Tuesday, October 31, 2006

 

Fender- benders on the information superhighway

Until next week's election. We're going to be bombarded with election ads. Listening to KHUM tonight. The kids went down after hours of partying and trick-or-treating, after which I settled into the evening with a bowl of my special pumpkin stew. Too tired to get on the stationary bike or make it through a movie, I came online for a soothing dose of vitriol and hysteria.

Good choice of music on KHUM's programming tonight, and only heard about 5 or 6 political ads from two candidates (Mike Jones and Dave Meserve).

Got my bookshelves up - the standards and bracket combo. My carpenter father visited over the weekend and told me that only amateurs install the brackets to come all the way out to the edge of the wood. Real men bring in brackets a couple of inches shorter and drill holes for the little notches to penetrate, so you're looking at an unobstructed wood edge. Unfortunately, my wife agreed, so drilling I was. I'll admit that they do look nicer, but these little projects always remind me of why I went to law school - especially when the studs aren't evenly spaced. They're roughly 16 inches apart, and we're missing one for some reason. So that it doesn't look totally stupid, I'm putting up a purely cosmetic standard with mollies, and hope that I remember to warn the next owner that that one isn't bearing. As the center of this old house is sinking, I'm having to split the difference between level and the actual state of the ceiling - and ask my wife not to put anything up there that rolls. Now my wife can put her collection up, including one or two of her broken old clocks that look like they might be valuable antiques but probably aren't.

So I have a few minutes to type and think before I slip into bed with my wife who's watching POV on one of the two stations we get (just watched the DVD of The Education of Shelby Knox POV episode last night and wow! More on this another time.). I'm sometimes dubious about the benefits of the Internet, not just the lack of personal accountability that often leads to some of the "discussions" we have on these threads, but I also wonder if it's made the world too small.

Way back in college a particular girlfriend made on me what I will call for the lack of adequate words a "strong impression." I won't blame her, but her religiosity was a significant factor in my own questioning of my atheism and sent me off on a wild journey that maybe I'll blog at some later time. She in the meantime felt drawn into the monastic milieu of Catholicism. God's plan as she understood it was to commit to a cloistered life with the Carmelite nuns. When I last spoke to her brother, she had made an initial vow after one year of prayer and reflection, and her final vows were to be taken some seven years later. She was a rather intense young woman, and I have spent the past 20 years assuming that she was somewhere back in the midwest baking bread and praying. (Carry that Weight is playing, one of my favorite Beattles songs). She had abandoned feminism, vegetarianism, and pretty much everything she associated with worldly pride - a personal transformation that reminds me of the transformation of the cousin in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Recently I happened onto some sad news about one of my favorite professors, and it evoked a bout of nostalgia. Then while in a hotel in Ukiah on court business, I channel surfed to the Catholic network and saw Sister Mary something praying the Rosary with a room full of young nuns. I found myself looking for any sign of my ex.

So when I got home I started googling up names of old friends and professors. Eventually I typed in my ex's name. Turns out she's not cloistered, but living in California and serving as a veterinarian - something to which she had aspired before embarking on more spiritual endeavors. On the first hit was a photograph which triggered a simultaneous flood of emotions on all sorts of levels. Immediately I thought I'd made a mistake. Immediately I brought my wife to the screen to introduce her. My wife is not a jealous person and without a second thought suggested that I make contact. We're all adults, right?

I sent an e-mail to the office but it came back telling me that I had to be identified to get through the spam buster. I figured maybe this was an omen, and while I might be ready to work through it all I decided I had no right to put her on the spot. I'd at least had the opportunity to process my feelings. I sent her a card with some basic life information and specifically told her that I'd understand perfectly if she didn't want to respond. That was several weeks ago and her nonresponse evinces the right decision on my part.

And I wonder if our emotional make-up was really constructed for this sort of thing. Is it really a good thing that any of us can pretty much locate anyone else after so many years within moments of some movement of our fingertips? It was possible to locate people before the Internet, but the time allowed more of a processing or preparation - and reflection to really consider what you were doing.

Bad enough to learn so easily that the Niemen Marcus cookie was just an urban legend! World views shattered at the movement of a mouse.

Okay, during the time I typed that I heard ads for both Jeff Leonard and Ron Kuhnel.

Update: My ex did try to contact me by e-mail but it came in the name of her pets so I probably zapped it thinking it was spam. She was very happy to hear from me and we are renewing our friendship.

 

Prop 90 redux

I'm going to emphasize my opposition to Proposition 90 for the next week, because I really do believe this is the worst proposition to make it to the California ballot since Lynden LaRouche's concentration camps for AIDS victims proposal. I'll write more about it myself, but right now I'm going to post in its entirety a comprehensive post from Daily Kos, because it's rich with links. I really hope that California voters see through this. We don't have Oregon's excuse. Given the polls, I'm not hopeful. The majority really believe this measure is about emminent domain reform, and the either the opposition has failed to deliver its message, or voters are simply too lazy to read this one through.

A Hog Farm Next Door To Your House Hotlist

Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 03:24:29 PM PST

There is a law on the ballot in four states that says if I want to open a hog farm or a chemical plant next door to your house and you don't want me to do that, then YOU have to PAY ME not to -- you have to pay me ALL THE MONEY I MIGHT HAVE MADE. I am not kidding. This new law says that if you want to stop a corporation from dumping toxic waste into the river from which you get your drinking water, or stop them from venting dangerous chemicals into the air, then YOU have to PAY that company not to. I am NOT kidding!

The far right says that a government stopping a company from dumping waste into a river is "taking" money from that company. I am not kidding. And you had better take this seriously or YOU will be PAYING companies to not harm you and your families.

Along with EVERYTHING else going on in this election, the far right has managed to get stealth "takings" initiatives on the ballot in four states. In California it is Proposition 90. In Washington it is Initiative 933. In Idaho it is Proposition 2. In Arizona it is Proposition 207.

This is a "private property" and "takings" amendment disguised as a limit to "eminent domain." This means that it is supposed to be about keeping the government from seizing property so it can be used by commercial interests. But what this really does is prevent the states from ANY regulation of property, including ANY environmental regulations, ANY zoning laws, etc.

These ballot initiatives are all funded by one person - a New York real estate tycoon named Howie Rich. And he did this through front groups - organizations disguised as something else. See if you can guess what he plans to do the day after these laws pass? (Hint -- think "hog farm next door to your house.")

See Calitics: Soapblox California :: Prop 90: A Battle we MUST Win and The Left Coaster: Deceptive Initiatives Designed To Blackmail Your Community and TomPaine.com Monster Stomping The States and The Nation: Rich's Stealth Campaign.

I am not kidding. I understand that saying the things I am saying here makes ME sound like the extremist, but you'd better go read up on these laws right now and see for yourself.

So here is ONE MORE THING to worry about this election. ONE MORE THING to tell friends and family to watch out for. ONE MORE THING to spread the word about. But it's one more IMPORTANT thing so get the word out.

Tags: TABOR, Howard Rich, Americans for Limited Government, eminent domain, Proposition 90, Recommended (all tags)


 

New Local Blog (sort of)

Due to human error, the blog Humboldt Nation is no longer in existence. It has reincarnated as Greg's List. Greg is setting up the first local group blog and inviting certain folk to join. I was lucky enough to be on the list, and I will post there occasionally.

Just made my first post in fact.

 

Senate battles - polls and more polls

Here they are. It looks like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Rhode Island are certain Democratic pick-ups. I would add Montana to the list even though some of the recent polls have Tester's lead shrinking. The polls have Menendez making a break for it in New Jersey, and the Steele surge in Maryland hasn't panned out.

So the question is whether the Democrats can pull two wins out of the Virginia, Tennessee, and Missouri (and it's not inconceivable that they could pull a surprise in Arizona). Missouri has been a see-saw for weeks, and I'm not even going to touch that one. Ford has actually been ahead in a couple of polls recently, hopefully the product of a backlash against the racism from the Corker camp.

But the real surprise is that after months of inching up Webb has moved ahead of Allen in recent Virginia polls. I like to think this is also the result of a backlash for the stunt Allen/Drudge pulled with out-of-context passages from Webb's novels. Probably a mistake also to emphasize that Webb is a candidate who can read and write.

Lastly, I had all but given up on Lamont, but he's finally made a move in the polls. Too little too late probably, but as Kos notes the loss of Democratic support probably accounts for Lieberman's tirade against the NY Times for endorsing Lamont.

Still a whole week for "suprises," the magic ambush day often being Thursday on the theory that it allows for a few days to sink in without giving the the opponent an adequate chance to respond.

Photo taken from Kos.

Update: Lesson for kids - treat your little siblings well or they will get even when they grow up!

Meanwhile, Lincoln Chafee's last ditch ad is probably more of a lamentation. He should have switched parties a couple of years ago. Now he's toast.

Second update: Everybody's talking about Congress, but it's possible that Democrats could pick up 9 governorships as well. In California, if only...

Third update: Chris Bowers thinks it will all come down to Missouri.
Watch Missouri, and watch it closely. For a campaign this important, it is stunning how little press coverage it has received outside of Michael J. Fox. I'm not saying that there couldn't be some surprises on Election Day that would shift Missouri's position as the deciding factor, but I am saying that it currently strikes me as impossible for Democrats to win the Senate if we don't win Missouri. I am also not saying that we have a good chance to retake the Senate--I still think the odds are against us. However, with surges by Webb and Menendez, the brass ring is within our grasp once again. Right now, I'd peg our odds for Senate control at around 10-20%, because we do have to sweep all of the close races in New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Montana for Missouri to be the deciding factor.

 

TS Balloon Track poll

While it's certainly less scientific on its face than the HBC poll, the numbers are closer to what I would expect in an accurate poll. I do agree that the "pressure" question is a little odd.

But I suspect that of those who have made up their minds, the pro-Marina Project folk outnumber the anti by about 3 to 2, with a large undecided factor which would incorporate more potential opponents than supporters. I would number among the "undecided" at this point, and I would probably vote the progressive slate in any case because I do believe in what has been termed "public process." However, Brian Morrissey did make some very persuasive arguments in my meeting with him, and if they got that presentation around they may even have persuaded some of the bleeding hearts. If the poll is accurate, it'll be interesting to see how it translates into votes next Tuesday.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to meet with Mark Lovelace who's asked for equal time. Maybe I need to invite players from each side to a radio show.

 

Meanwhile across the ocean

Taking a break from the local soap opera and election news for a minute, over a hundred American soldiers were killed in Iraq this month and the Brits are evacuating their consulate in Basra (and the generals are pissed about it). No mention of the latter story in the major American networks. This as the Shiite coalition is falling apart as pro-Iranian militias take over entire towns and possibly cities.

Can we call it a "civil war" yet?

Monday, October 30, 2006

 

Open thread on tonight's special city council meeting

Some posts have already appeared in the threads below, suggesting that some want to talk about it. I don't know anything about what happened except that Channel 3 says about 150 people showed up. These comments were posted here within the past hour or so.
SOMEBODY SAID: Maybe they ought to drug test anyone attending the "special" city council meeting. You know the one called to get votes for LaVallee !

I SAY: If LaVallee had been trying to use the meeting to score political points, he would not have treated every speaker with equal respect and given each speaker the same exact amount of time.

LaVallee ran that meeting in a way that did Eureka proud.
and a response:
Actually I heard from a pretty conservative attendee that LaVallee did run the meeting as it should have been run. My beef is that the meeting was run at all. The mayor just getting some last minute FREE campaining in. Shameful.

Vote for Bass, vote for Donald Duck, just don't vote for LaVallee.
Have at it.

Update: Heraldo was apparently there and reports on it, and where I just learned that Cheri Moore's son filed suit naming among others Officer Liles. The community is in for a rough ride no matter who wins next week.

 

LaVallee's October surprise?

No, not this afternoon's meeting. The ER quietly broke this story a few days ago. Now according to Captain Buhne, LaVallee is commenting: "I am disappointed in my opponent."

The plane trips themselves don't amount to much in terms of intrinsic value, but it's not an image you want tossed into the field a week before the election. Probably won't make a huge difference as there probably aren't many fence sitters at this point anyway, but it can potentially take her into what wonks like to call "off message."

Between this, the HBC poll, and tonight's special city council meeting, there'll be plenty on the front pages tomorrow. Just in time for the holiday.

Update: According to the ER article, and Mr. Ferguson who was the first to post in this thread, the trip was for a Bill Simon campaign event and thus not a gift under campaign finance guidelines, which certainly makes sense on the face of it as Bass probably wouldn't be campaigning for a local office in Palm Springs. If she did any schmoozing for funds or support when she was there it might be ambiguous, but we have no facts to make such an assumption. I will assume then that Bass is amending her statement in an abundance of caution rather than an admission of omission. Besides, how many of you have ever accounted for your frequent flyer miles in your income taxes?

That being said, Ferguson's counterpoint about Pierson's donations to LaVallee are only relevant if they were not reported. Perhaps he's more concerned about the image of Bass riding on the Arkley plane than the material aspects of the issue. Wierd how the plane trip invokes more of a negative image than an above-board $15,000 donation from the same source.

 

Humboldt Business Council poll on the Marina Center

Just received an e-mail from them containing the following press release. Basically, it indicates a 59% support for the project in Eureka, with 22% opposing when a summary of the arguments are presented side-by-side (the information so far doesn't state whether both sides were consulted regarding the wording of the arguments for their side). Sounds pretty high to me, but I guess we'll find out how accurate the poll is a week from tomorrow. I do also have to say that the pro-project information is much more detailed than the opposition information, and question number 5 is classic push poll language. However, the support is indicated high even before you get to that language.

Marina Center Project Enjoys Widespread Support According to New Poll

Eureka, CA (10/30/06) --- The Humboldt Business Council (HBC), today (Oct. 30) released the entire results from a new poll of Eureka voters regarding the Marina Center project. The survey found widespread awareness and support for Security National Property’s mixed use project proposed on the former Union Pacific’s Balloon Track on the southern end of downtown.

The project includes office, retail, light manufacturing and residential housing on the 33 acre parcel. The proposed plan includes a clean up of the toxic contaminations to a standard that meets or exceeds state and federal environmental standards. Additionally the project includes a ten-acre wetland preserve, a Home Depot, a new home for the children’s Discovery Museum and walking and biking trails.

There has been considerable debate about the merits of the project with claims and counter claims dominating the civic dialogue.

“There are so many different opinions about the Marina Center project that we felt it was important to get a neutral reading of the attitudes of the Eureka community”, said Chris Crawford, the Humboldt Business Council chair.

The poll found that 75% of Eureka residents have a high awareness of the Marina Center with 64% supporting the project and 23% opposing the current plan.

When arguments are presented supporting and opposing the project, almost 2 of every 3 residents support the proposed Center.

“We presented neutral language about the plan to get an objective understanding of public attitudes. This was followed by a question that gave the strongest views from both sides”, said Crawford. “Our goal was to get unbiased results that would not be affected by the political views of the poll sponsor”.

The survey was conducted by national research firm, Fairbanks, Maslin, Maullin and Associates from October 26 –28, 2006. FMM&A is recognized as one of the top survey firms in California and has worked on hundreds of research projects throughout northern California and the state. The survey randomly interviewed 300 Eureka voters and has a margin of error of 5.7%. The poll in its entirety will be made available later this week for public review and inspection on the HBC website at www.Humboldtbiz.org

“We hope this survey is used by our city leaders to chart a positive course for this project”, Crawford concluded.

The decision to commission the poll came after a unanimous vote by the HBC membership.

# # #

FAIRBANK, MASLIN, MAULLIN & ASSOCIATES OCTOBER 26-28, 2006


EUREKA ISSUES SURVEY
220-2232
WFT2 N=300

MARGIN OF ERROR 5.7%

Time Began_____________

Time Ended_____________

Minutes________________

Hello, I'm ___________ from FMMA, a public opinion research company. I am definitely NOT trying to sell you anything. We are conducting a survey about issues that interest people living in Eureka, and we are only interested in your opinions. May I speak to______________? YOU MUST SPEAK TO THE VOTER LISTED. VERIFY THAT THE VOTER LIVES AT THE ADDRESS LISTED, OTHERWISE TERMINATE.

1. First, does anyone in this household work for a radio station, a television station, a newspaper, an advertising agency, for an elected official, or as a paid political campaign worker?

No---------------------------------------------- 100%

Yes---------------------------------- TERMINATE

DK/NA------------------------------ TERMINATE

2. Next, in November there will be an election for U.S. Senate, Governor and other state and local offices and ballot measures. How likely are you to actually vote in this election? Will you definitely vote, probably vote, are the chances 50-50 that you will vote, will you probably not vote, or will you definitely not vote?

Definitely vote--------------------------------- 95%

Probably vote----------------------------------- 3%

50-50--------------------------------------------- 2%

Probably not vote----------------- TERMINATE

Definitely not vote---------------- TERMINATE

(DON'T KNOW/NA)------------- TERMINATE

3. Have you seen or heard anything recently about the Marina Center? (IF YES, ASK: “Have you heard a great deal, something, or very little about it?”)

Yes, a great deal--------------------------- --57%

Yes, something----------------------------- --18%

Yes, very little ------------------------------ --11%

No, haven’t heard anything--------------- --13%

(DON'T READ) Don't know--------------- --0%


4. The Marina Center project would change zoning regulations in the 38-acre Balloon Track area to authorize the Marina Center, a retail, office and residential development, including a Home Depot. Would you support or oppose this proposal?

Support----------------------------------------- 64%

Oppose----------------------------------------- 23%

(DON'T READ) Need more info----------- 6%

(DON'T READ) DK/NA---------------------- 7%

5. Let me give you some more information about The Marina Center Project. It would include a new home for the children’s discovery museum, provide walking and biking trails, generate sales and property taxes by more than a million and a half dollars annually for city services, would clean up Clark Slough (SLEW) and create an eleven-acre wetlands preserve. Knowing this would you support or oppose the Marina Center Project?

Support----------------------------------------- 70%

Oppose----------------------------------------- 19%

(DON'T READ) Need more info----------- 5%

(DON'T READ) DK/NA---------------------- 6%

6. Now I am going to read you a pair of statements that have been made about the Marina Center Project. Please tell me which statement is closer to your opinion. Please choose just one even if it is hard to decide. (ROTATE)

[ ] The Marina Center project is a good idea because it would include environmental clean up that meets and exceeds all state standards, creates an eleven acre wetland preserve, provides a thousand quality jobs, builds affordable housing and retail stores, and generates additional revenue for public services including public safety.--------------------------------------------- 59%

OR

[ ] The Marina Center project is a bad idea because it inadequately cleans up the environment, would put a big box store on the last piece of Eureka’s waterfront property, hurts area businesses and will not benefit local residents, creates more traffic, and has circumvented the public process to decide the best use of the land.--------------------------------------------------------------------- 22%

(DON’T READ)

(BOTH)----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2%

(NEITHER)----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4%

(MAKES NO DIFFERENCE)------------------------------------------------------------------------ 2%

(DON'T KNOW/NA)---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 11%


 

Steve Lewis vs. KMUD

Steve has written up a piece on his blog about his run-ins with KMUD program director Michael Jacinto. A few months back Lewis cancelled a Sunday afternoon show after being told by Michael that he couldn't air his personal disputes with Bear River Tribal Council chair Leonard Bowman because it would make for bad radio. Steve insists that the differences are a matter of public interest. Lewis' show was subsequently ended.

I spoke to Michael about it briefly at the Battle of the Bands fundraiser some weeks ago. Michael's response was that Steve is a pain in the ass to work with and he got tired of it, though he's interested in airing a conservative talk show (Steve isn't really conservative, but he falls on the side of conservatives on local issues).

If you have questions about it, you should take it up with the station.

I should say that while I have had some run-ins with the management team while on the Personnel Committee, I have had a number of conservatives speak on my show, and dealt with numerous topics of great controversy to KMUD listeners from debunking 911 conspiracies, to questioning global warming canon, and even taking on some of the common lore around marijuana. Michael has never batted an eye, even when receiving complaints from listeners.

Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to hear a Steve Lewis show. Sunday afternoons have been pretty well covered by kid stuff for the past 4 years. If I'd known about it I would have gone out of my way to listen for it.

In the meantime, KMUD should have a conservative commentator with a radio show. Who should it be? Jerry Partain? Chris Crawford? Rose Welch? Mike Harvey? I'm going to talk to Michael about it some more, and I'd like to have names to toss out.

 

Like a watermelon - why the Greens won't get my protest vote for Senator

In the civil war in El Salvador during the 1980s, right wing psychopath Roberto D'Aubuisson once compared his comparatively moderate political opponent José Duarte to a watermelon - green on the outside, red on the inside. This was of course a derisive comment about alleged dupliciousness. So it was with a certain irony that perennial Gregubernatorialral candidate Peter Camejo invoked the same metaphor to describe his own candidacy a few years back. Camejo is of course a recovering Trotskyist, and a former leader of the defunct Socialist Workers Party. But he still considers himself a socialist (despite his successes as an investment broker), and he wanted to make that clear. He has however abandoned to some degree the sectarianism so brilliantly satirized in Monty Python's The Life of Brian.

Not so Todd Chretien who remains a member of the International Socialist Organization, a Trotskyist sect which has decided to engage in its own version of popular front politics (Trots used to slam the CPUSA for the same game) within the Green Party. While the writings associated with the ISO aren't quite as moronic as some of the older parties that have either died or linger on life-support provided by some clueless beneficiary of inheritancence that might otherwise be dedicated to Jimmy Swaggert, it is traditional straight-jacket "Marxist-Leninism" complete with all the trimmings of the ironically phrased "democratic centralism" and the vanguard party. I've already discussed my own history with what I consider to be more of a religious tradition than a political philosophy, and quite literally some of my best friends (and family members) are Marxist Leninists and even members of sectarian parties. They're mostly good people who live in denial of the full implications of what they believe.

Chretien may very well be a decent person and an effective leader. But he's a religious fanatic. To him Stalin's greatest crime wasn't tmassacrecer and starvation of millions, but rather that he attempted to create socialism within one state thereby abandoning Trotky's anemic "permanent revolution." Chretien's hero himself was responsible for tmassacrecer of the Kronstadt sailors in 1921. Tariq Ali's Trotsky for Beginners contains an assertion that Trotsky was later remorseful about the action, but I've never found any statement attributed Trotskyksy to that effect, though he certainly chose the wrong time to embrace peaceful means as he was attempting to face down the man who would later become the grandest mass murderer in history, Hitler included. Perhaps he was remorseful, but few of his followers shared in the sentiment. Somebody ought to question Chretien about it.

Anyway, I can't vote for Chretien, not even as a throwaway vote which would enable the denial among the Greens that allowed him to win the nomination in the first place. I can't vote for Diane Feinstein. Her war votes. Her ridiculous ads paid for with money that ought to have been spent helping the Democrats retake Congress. Her history of compromise with power and sleeze dating back to her years as mayor of San Francisco never meeting a highrise proposal she didn't like and almost succeeded in the Manhattanization of the SF skyline. She's going to win hands down anyway, so there's no compelling reason for a progressive to give her a vote.

So by default, the Peace and Freedom Party (also on life support) candidate gets my vote by default. Her name is Marsha Feinland. She's run before. She'll run again. Seems like a nice woman with a cookie cutter new left platform. And unlike the other perennial third party run folk, she's actually held office with Berkeley's Rent Stabilization Board. Hey, it's something!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

 

Time Standard Balloon Tract series

TS published a preview of the week long series on the Balloon Track/Tract controversy, timed probably not-so-coincidentally for the election. The topics of focus for each day are as follows:

Monday: History of the Balloon Tract (using the TS term)
Tuesday: The Home Depot portion of the proposal
Wednesday: Environmental issues, presumably the "capping v. clean-up" controversy
Thursday: The political alliances and lines drawn
Friday: The Arkleys

From the preview:
Which raises the question: Would the Marina Center carry as much baggage if it didn't carry the Arkley name?

Cherie Arkley seems keenly aware that no matter what she and her husband do, suspicions of an Arkley empire in Eureka probably will never go away. Nor will suspicions that the Arkleys are out to pave paradise and put up a parking lot.

Aside from the Joni Mitchell reference (I don't think anybody views the balloon track in its current state as a paradise), Marina Center opponents may find concern in this passage as indication of bias, although it's a fair question. Fact is however, the opposition to the proposal would be very much blunted if Home Depot was removed from the proposal. That's the sticking point. That and the "capping" issue.

 

The adventures of Bonnie Burgess

She's been a great source of anecdotes this week. She was the hostess mentioned in my previous post. Well, she had a couple more for me.

I guess Saturday morning, well before the Kuhnel supporter showed up, a Jehovah's Witness knocked on her door. But Bonnie felt she was kind of short - handing her an Awake and a Watchtower, without reading the good news about the meek inheriting the Earth. The woman seemed almost moody.

afterwards, Bonnie had an epiphany. The night before she had hosted a "no on Proposition 85" fundraising party, and her sign was still above her door. Probably no hope that a baby-killing supporter can make it into the first tier of chosen.

....

But I like this one even better. On Thursday night she DJed her classical music show - an 8:00 to 10:30 p.m. slot that has been classical through rotating DJs for many years. Bonnie was about 15 minutes from the end when she got a call from a gaggle of giggling young women. This is a rough approximation of the conversation.

Woman: "Hey, what's with the classical music!" (Giggling in the background)

Bonnie: "Well, this is a classical music show. It's been that way for many years."

Woman: "Well, we're all sitting around here clipping. We have to do a lot of work this time of year. And we need something more lively!"

Bonnie (showing much more tact than I would have): "The Rocker is on in 15 minutes. He'll probably have some reggae for you. Can you wait that long?"

Woman: "I don't think so. Tee hee."

See, now Bonnie missed a great opportunity here. I would have said, "I am required by FCC regulation 29976, subsection (B)(1) to inform you that your telephone call has been traced and recorded, and will be forwarded to local and federal authorities for further investigation. KMUD is a mandated informer of illegal drug activity under said regulation, and you are advised to consult an attorney. If you have any questions you may contact the station management during open hours, or you may contact Northern California District Prosecutor Joseph Haydn at 1-866-676-2676. The regulation was triggered by the oral reporting of illegal drug activity to a licensed broadcast medium."

Of course, I've had time to prepare. I'll be ready!

If they were stoned enough and you kept your tone even they just might have believed it.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

 

I wonder how many will show up

We were visiting friends in Eureka today. During the visit, a nice woman came to my friends' door asking for support for Eureka City Council candidate Ron Kuhnel. She informed our hostess of a Kuhnel fundraiser - on November 10.

Our hostess was somewhat perplexed. She asked, "isn't that after the election?"

The woman's expression changed to one of horror as she checked her notes. "The third she said. It's on the third." My hostess then let her know that she and her husband intend to vote "Neely, LaVallee, Kuhnel, Glass, and Abrams," and the woman thanked her and went on her way probably deciding whether to double back to the homes she'd already hit.

Hey, it can happen to anyone. So now you know, it's on the third. Problem is, I can't find any mention of the fundraiser at Kuhnel's site, so I can't advise as to the location or time. Maybe she had the wrong candidate?

Friday, October 27, 2006

 

Debra Bowen for Secretary of State

Probably the only statewide position candidate drawing any kind of enthusiasm this year is Debra Bowen - coincidentally the only woman running. She's got all the right left lib position in her platform, and seems likeable and professional. She's up against a formidable incumbent, a moderate Republican who was handed the office when moron-of-the-century went down in flames of scandal. McPherson should have an easy win incidently but for Bowen's campaign mantlepiece drawing accolades from grassroots, netroots, and activists around the state - election reform. McPherson's apologies for the Diebold's are making this a horse race.

Bowen offers up a Voter's Bill of Rights:

The ability to register to vote, to cast a ballot, and to have that ballot counted accurately is the very foundation of our democracy. To that end, every one of California's voters is entitled to the following rights:

  1. The Right To Register To Vote. Every Californian who is eligible to vote has a legal right to register to vote without being forced to navigate through unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles.

  2. The Right To Vote. Every registered voter has a right to cast a ballot. This means that Voters shouldn't show up at a polling place, only to find it closed for hours or be forced to stand in lines because the voting equipment doesn't work. In addition, essential information about voting should be readily available to all voters.

  3. The Right To Vote In A Tamper-Proof Election. Every voter has the right for his or her vote to count equally -- which means no one should be required to vote using machines that have been proven time and time again to lack the security necessary to ensure that people's votes are counted accurately. If a piece of voting equipment isn't secure, accurate, and auditable, it should not be used in California's electoral process.

  4. The Right To Vote On Paper. More and more counties are installing electronic voting equipment and doing away with the paper ballots that voters are used to just as voter confidence in electronic machines is plummeting. Voters should have a right to cast a paper ballot, and it should be made clear to voters that they have this choice.

  5. The Right To Have Each Vote Counted Accurately. A vote is meaningless unless it is counted as the voter intended it. In recent years, every election has brought instances of votes being inaccurately tabulated and voter confidence in the election results is at an all-time low. It's time to change that.

  6. The Right To Have Election Results Properly Audited. Audits are the only way to ensure the accuracy of the vote. Next year, when SB 1235 (Bowen) takes effect, the current law requiring that 1% of precincts be audited will be expanded to include votes cast by absentee ballot and early voting centers, and will require full transparency of the auditing process. Audits should be statistically valid, and when there are irregularities the audit should be expanded or a full recount should be conducted.

  7. The Right To An Open, Transparent, Public Process. While every voter's ballot is and must be private, that's the only thing in the electoral process that should stay a secret. We should have full transparency in elections procedures, all phases of the conduct of the election, the process used for testing, reviewing and buying voting systems, and all reports of errors and anomalies should be made public. Finally, voters should be entitled to watch the vote-counting process and the 1% manual audit process.

  8. The Right To Elections Officials Who Operate Free of Partisan Influence. Anyone who is in charge of tallying the votes and certifying the results of an election, including the Secretary of State and local registrars of voters, should not endorse candidates for office in that election.

  9. The Right To Know that Elected Officials Are Free From the Influence of Campaign Contributions From Voting Machine Vendors. The people responsible for setting the standards for voting equipment, for testing a voting system, or for deciding which system to buy should not be taking campaign contributions or gifts from voting equipment manufacturers who have a financial interest in the decisions that are made.

  10. The Right To Find Out How Money Is Being Raised And Spent In The Political Process. Voters should be able to easily find out the true identity of any person or any entity that is contributing to campaigns, as well as how candidates and campaigns are spending their money.


 

The best writing of the local blogs

I hesitate to bring attention to her blog, especially in the middle of the biggest flame war we've had on the local blogosphere since I started up a few months back. Jennifer Savage is quietly writing up the most heartfelt posts you'll find at House of Sand and Fog. A couple of the posts about her son nearly brought me to tears; but even when she deals with Monday's tragedy her writing is with deliberate thought and feeling rather than the numbness of partisan squabbling some of the rest of us are relying on.

We have some talent in the local blogosphere, but my nomination for the best blogging at the moment is hers. I don't go there as often because it isn't always topical, but she e-mailed me to comment on a coincidence in one of my posts and I made my way over there to find her latest posts which is probably the best on Monday's event.

Actually, her style reminds me of Fred, who also makes an art of his soft-spoken earnestness.

Try not to mess the place up when you visit, okay?

 

Lunch with Mike Thompson

CLMP invited Rep. Mike Thompson for a meeting, and he agreed and showed up in Garberville today. They asked me to attend to ask questions about his intentions regarding the Military Commissions Act. The other topics of discussion were voting system integrity, the Iraq war, and the drug war.

He's very personable, and very sincere. Michael DeLeon was actually pretty forceful in his dissatisfaction of the performance of Democrats in resisting some of the slide, and when somebody else tried to intervene to diffuse the conversation, Thompson actually held up his hand and responded to Michael with forceful conviction of his own that the Democrats have done what they could with a minority against a ruling majority that's willing to change the rules to its advantage on a moment's notice. Thompson described incidents such as being told that a certain vote was going to be held at four p.m. the following day and having a draft of the proposed law six inches thick dropped on his desk at seven the next morning and told that the vote would be in a hour. He described committee meetings in which bills would be brought in already typed up, and all amendments rejected, no discussion - written somewhere in the ether then delivered to be voted on as is. He described the frustration of some of his colleagues who suggest they all go home and leave the Republicans to their devices since their presence had become moot anyway.

Of course there are those Democrats who don't want the rules changed back - to treat Republicans fairly if the Democrats take over. Thompson understands, but says that ultimately it's the institution of congress that's at stake, and one party has to stand up for it. Can't be argued with really, it's just that King Solomon isn't around to measure the virtue of the respective parties, and Republicans have won many a battle because they treat politics as war while the Democrats treat it as a debating society.

There were some other highlights that I'll discuss later. Estelle Fennel was there, and she'll have some clips on KMUD tonight at six.

 

Workforce housing proposal would be right outside my window

I'd be bummed about the change of my scenery, but it's a perfect location for such this project. Once again, my inner blue triumphs over my inner green.

And let it be said that I faced my potentially NIMBY Sartrerian existential moment and came out of it with my soul intact.

They shall sing my praises on the mountaintops!

I think you can almost make out my office window in the background behind Charlie. You have to go to the article, as the RT site doesn't let me post its photos. Wave to me!

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.

 

EPD investigation team is looking for three witnesses

Heard it on tonight's KMUD news. The following three people are asked to contact the police department as they may have been material witnesses to Monday's tragedy.

Charles Ray Nelson
Alan Chambers
Janice Chambers

If you know any of them please ask them to contact the investigation team. I don't know the number, but the general EPD number will probably work fine. They didn't say anything about what these people might have seen other than to say that they might be very important to the investigation.

 

The lines are drawn


"Nothing like a dead child to start a war." -Line from John Sayles' Matewan

Of course, it's not a new war, but rather a new front on an old war.

And somebody's almost as bad a speller as yours truly.

Oh, and the photo's from this morning's ER.

 

Jeff Schwarz: prosecutor/candidate/blogger

As Heraldo notes, Jeff Schwarz (candidate for Arcata City Council) is a blogger. He apparently has 14 blogs, although only two are on blogspot linked from his profile, and they appear to be campaign blogs with one ending in August and the other taking off from there.

I found this one in a general google search, but I don't know if it's his. The problem with google is that he's sharing hits with a professional baseball player, and possibly some others. I don't know what our Schwarz looks like, but I doubt this guy is him. And I don't think he's an advocate for intelligent design either.

In any case, he raises some interesting issues warranting some discussion. Too bad he didn't promote the blog earlier in his campaign.

Also, if his blog is going to substitute as a campaign site, he ought to put more into his profile. He should also link us to his other blogs.

Update: Jeff Schwarz posted over at Heraldo's. Apparently he either misspoke or Heraldo misheard. He has 14 posts on his blog, not 14 blogs.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

 

Robert K. Crawford, RIP

Robert was a friend of my family, and an excellent attorney. He hired me as a paralegal for my first legal industry job, excluding work-study subsidized externships for non-profits. He was among the best in trial, with a commanding presence as a large Irishman who looked quite a bit like Brian Denehey, tempered with a deep compassion.

Unfortunately, he was also a severe PTSD victim after losing nearly 50 people under him in the Vietnam War during a military intelligence operation. The experience and subsequent depression hampered him for the rest of his life, despite a brilliance that should have made him a larger player in law.

He was made famous by the same case that ruined him. He took on Firestone Tires in a case that is now hornbook law in terms of emotional distress caused by serious cancer risks resulting from toxic negligence. The case also established future medical monitoring costs as legitimate damages in such a case where cancer remained speculative, though likely. The case arose from an incident in which Firestone negligently poisoned some neighboring water, and the plaintiffs sued despite not having any physical manifestations of illness at the time.

The case was won at the jury trial stage with a cross-examination of the defense expert witness consisting of four questions. I am paraphrasing the exchange from memory.

Crawford: So Doctor, is it true that you conducted experiments with thousands of rats?

Expert: As I've testified, yes.

Crawford: And you caused the rats to ingest the water of the subject source?

Expert: Yes

Crawford: And as you testified, "only," a small percentage of these rats contracted cancer.

Expert: I believe that was the point of my testimony, yes.

Crawford: So tell us again Doctor, how did these rats get cancer?

That was it. Case won. Well, of course there was much more to it, but it was certainly a "there you go again" type of moment. If brevity is indeed the wit of the soul, the fact was exemplified in Bob's style.

The verdict was for millions, but unfortunately he never saw a cent of it as he was defrauded by co-counsel as detailed in his SF Chron obituary. Brilliant as he was in a courtroom, his disability made it very difficult for him to maintain focus to keep a practice open, and by the time I was working for him in 1992 he had already been evicted from his posh Maiden Lane office in San Francisco and was working out of his home in Burlingame. He had already filed for one bankruptcy and was on his way to a second. I was on a hard learning curve, and learned precisely how not to run a law practice. My paychecks were far and few, and the stress began to get to me as well. Unfortunately, we did not part on the best of terms, although we had some reconciliation in recent years. The VA had taken him out of practice, and somehow his family recovered financially. He was apparently enjoying life. He loved his wife and sons dearly. He had a great sense of humor, and despite his difficulties he was always deeply committed to his clients.

In his retirement he took up scuba diving spelunking (am I spelling that right?). He used some gear known as "rebreathing" equipment, which involves some recycling of air instead of sending it out as bubbles. I guess it's equipment used by Navy Seals to conceal their movements. I don't know why he was using it recreationally, and I don't know how he got separated from his group, but while on a Mexico spelunking trip he did not emerge from the cave with his fellow divers. It took several days to locate his body.

Photo source.

 

Duane Campbell objects to my position on Prop 1E

Duane has been on my radio show on a couple of occasions as an education expert. He's an education prof at Sacramento State and has a different view, figuratively and literally. He also has a blog. His objection to my "no" endorsement:
Eric,

Let me take strong exception to your recommendation on Proposition 1 E, the Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention Bond Act of 2006. I urge a Yes Vote.

First, the floods of Katrina have more than developers flipping out. A major portion of the residents of the Central Valley are at risk. In fact, we are more at risk than was New Orleans before Katrina.

The Levees need repair, yesterday. This bond issue is only a down payment on what is needed.
Yes, it is a Central Valley issue. However, the entire state depends upon the water that passes through the Central Valley. Except for people on the North Coast, the major parts of the state drink this water and use if for farming.

The current levies were build between 1890 and 1915 by mostly Chinese workers carrying dirt in baskets. We desperately need an updated system. Over 700 miles of levies are outside of the state system and not even inspected,

A major flood could collapse the system and thus collapse the water supply for Central Valley agriculture and the entire Los Angeles basin. As in Louisiana, it if far less expensive to repair the levees than it is to repair the damage after the floods. Notice, the poor people of Louisiana still are not back in their homes.

There is a place where the developers are blocking progress. They are preventing laws from establishing that you can not build new homes in a flood plane. This is a disaster. It needs to be changed.

The amount in the bond issue is too little, but it will make a start. We need a complete over haul of the system and a rebuilding of hundreds of miles of levees.

I live behind a levee. But, if the system is not re built, Sacramento would face a disaster on the scale of New Orleans in case of a major flood. In 1986 and 1997 we came close. Sacramento’s flood risk is the highest in the U.S.

If the Central Valley faced a flood like that in New Orleans, the entire state would suffer an economic crisis. It would cost the state over $20 billion to re build. And hundreds of thousands would be forced to move to higher ground temporarily for emergency shelter, such as the North Coast.

Property owners in the Sacramento and Central Valleys are paying increased costs to build new, improved levies. The bond issue of 1E would provide money to get federal matching funds of billions of dollars to continue to prepare for floods.

For more see www.safca.org

Thanx for the rebuttal Duane.

I'm not saying the levees shouldn't be constructed. I'm just saying that the bulk of the money will go to protect developments that should not have been built to begin with, and the question for me is who should pay for it. I'm certainly willing to pay to protect Sacramento proper.

However, the urgency of your tone tells me that I may need to research this a bit further in terms of whether Californians can afford to wait around for the proper parties to be forced to pony up. In either case, the readers now have the info.

 

Sage words from the mayor

As quoted by the Times-Standard.

We don't need this right now,” LaVallee said. “I think we're still reeling from the Cheri Moore thing."

No kidding. And we're probably just getting warmed up.

 

Old habits

Assuming this blogger is telling the truth, and I have no reason to believe s/he isn't, an old player in southern politics is rearing its ugly head in Tennessee.
A friend of my mother owns a small shop on the main street of her town in Middle Tennessee. Her car has a Harold Ford, Jr., bumper sticker on it. The other day, a young man came into the shop and asked her if the bumper sicker was hers. She said yes.

The young man said, "You better watch out that you don't get your store burned down, because we don't vote for n*****s around here."

I did ask her permission before retelling this story, and she requested that I not give any more specifics than "Middle Tennessee" because she takes the threat very seriously.

I find this story heartbreaking.

I imagine some will say we should feel grateful that there aren't many more similar anecdotes considering that Harold Ford just may be the first black person elected to the Senate in the south since Reconstruction. That the race is close is a testament to progress, but the point is that an individual should be affforded the right to place a bumper sticker on her car without threats of violence - end of story.

Update: It gets more surreal. Check out the "jungle drum ad."

Second update: The Republicans pulled another ad alleged to be racist. I'm on dial-up right now, so I can't attest to the content.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

 

An EPD press conference was held this afternoon

On the shooting of course. Heraldo has the details.

 

Can't comment on the Tooby Ranch lawsuit

There are lots of letters about it in this week's Redwood Times and somebody asked me my opinion. I represent people in the matter. I couldn't comment against their interests, and thus anything I say that's consistent with their interests is meaningless on a forum like this even if it does represent my personal opinion. I'll have to leave the discussion to the other bloggers.

Feel free to comment on your own however. Consider this the "open thread" for that purpose.

 

Asher is 5 today

After a big party on Sunday, we asked him what he wants for his birthday dinner tonight. The answer, and I'm not making this up: tofu and broccoli over rice with his mother's special stir-fry sauce and pumpkin pie instead of cake for dessert.

The kid eats broccoli like other kids eat lollypops, and we didn't drill that into him. His sister is much more of a meat and potatoes kid in whom we have to sneak vegetables.

We're giving him a little bit more, but what he wanted for his birthday was a watch, a wallet, and a Spiderman action figure. Fortunately he can't read so I can tell you that he's also getting a soccer goal - the hockey sized goal used for the younger kids.

 

No real words of wisdom on the teen shooting

Reading both the TS account and the ER account, there's way too much information missing to be making judgments about what happened. I imagine that some police critics are concerned that the police are already on a whitewash campaign and want to provide some spin disruption pre-emptively. It's already heating up the local bloggsville at Fred's and Heraldo's. And looking at the family photo on ER, I'm certain that the argument will evolve, or rather devolve, into attacks on that family particularly if any of them are caught so much as jaywalking from here on in. We're going to hear about how bad this kid was and his history. People are going to call for heads at the EPD. Gallegos will be criticized for his response, or non-response. The city council candidates will be making their statements. The letters pages will be filled to their brims.

Is it possible to set the agendas aside for maybe a day or two? There'll be plenty of time to argue, speculate, pontificate, and attack later. There'll be an inquest no doubt. If the police are whitewashing it, all the blog flaming in the world isn't going to stop it. Investigating the facts themselves might.

In the meantime, why not give the family a short break?

From the ER:
Prior to the shots being fired, Washington Elementary School Principal Lee Ann Lanning said school officials went into immediate lockdown, a standard procedure, with students moving under their desks.
That must have been scary.

 

Second chances vs. public confidence

This time with a controversial new hire. An anonymous poster brought my attention to it yesterday, and Rose has the details including all of the links I came up with and more.

His name is Alan L. Dollison. He has a history of State Bar discipline in which his license was suspended for acts of dishonesty attributed to depression. He runs for office. And he has a distinguished military record which took place after his suspension (a penance maybe?).

Obviously if you hate Gallegos with the passion of some of his fan club around here, you're going to seize on this as just another example of his propensity for corruption. Dollison didn't just miss deadlines, he lied to a client even to the point of forging documents that he claimed he'd filed with the court. This is not a minor transgression. You might also seize upon it for the argument that nobody of value wants to work here so Gallegos is scraping the bottom of the barrel.

If you a Gallegos supporter you probably already believe in second chances, and you'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he is convinced that Dollison is reformed with depression in check, and that his subsequent record of public service in and out of the military mitigates his earlier actions.

I lean toward the latter view, but I do find the anonymous poster's argument compelling - namely that a second chance might warrant a return to private practice but not a position with law enforcement requiring not only honesty and integrity; but also the impression of honesty and integrity so as have the confidence of law enforcement, the community, and especially the jury pool. I do wish that this argument can be made without the slash-and-burn personal attacks, which wouldn't be present but for the rather impulsive anger directed against Gallegos. Blame Gallegos for what you believe to be another grievous error in judgment, propensity towards corruption, or however you need to frame it. But don't presume to know whether this individual has reformed or that you can judge his character as it is today.

The above photo of Dollison was taken from here.

Monday, October 23, 2006

 

Off the record! Off the record! Off the #&@%ing record!

Why do people keep telling me the juiciest stuff off the record?!!!!

Arrrrrrggggggg!!!!

 

Did the CDA violate Measure T?

Kevin Hoover asked the question last week. Apparently the California Dental Association donated 5 grand to the fluoride cause in Arcata. Measure T (not sure what ordinance number it was given) reads in pertinent part as follows:
Section 7. Statement of Law.

The Prohibitions in Section Five shall apply to all municipalities, districts and special districts in which the jurisdictions are located wholly within the geographical boundaries of Humboldt County, California.

Now, as to whether this provision is enforcible, I can't say.

.....

Also on the fluoride issue, a friend of mine was on my case the other night as we were waiting in the check line based on my comments in favor of fluoridation and against Measure W on my last radio show. A very nice woman in front of us chimed in to differentiate between "calcium fluoride" which she says is found in food naturally, and "sodium fluoride" which she said is a waste product of aluminum and dangerous for all the reasons stated by opponents. So I just looked it up on Wikipedia and apparently Naf isn't used in most fluoridization processes anymore, although it is added to toothpaste. The entry for calcium fluoride makes no mention of the controversy. The entry for fluoride in general has a little information, but not much.

Found an interesting fluoride history here. I'm trying to find some impartial analysis.

Also, I'd like links to any studies of 1. dental benefits and 2. health detriments.


 

Phil Angelides for governor

The media has really performed a disservice to the California voters this year. From the moment Angelides pulled out a win against primary opponent Steve Westley, the story has been no story - the race was over. This despite two close polls early on, and a growing tide of resentment against the Republican Party nationwide. Schwarzenegger ducked the debates, and the media gave him a pass. He's getting the endorsements of the L.A. Times, the Chronicle, and even Hollywood liberals and at least one union on the basis that he's acted like a Democrat for the past three months and they assume he's "learned his lesson" from last year's special election results - despite the fact that he still regards his propositions stripping unions of political power, gutting education, and creating an imperial governor's office as "good ideas" that weren't sold well.

The meme has been that Californian's either don't know or don't like Phil Angelides. What's not to like? He's a straightforward liberal pol who built things for a living for many years before he became Treasurer. As treasurer since 1998 he has been phenomenal actually, having successfully converted the state fund investments to support inner city development, small business incubation, and green technologies. He has been slammed by conservatives for placing the funds "at risk," but its flourished very nicely during some very rough economic years, including the 2000 high tech collapse.

So far, I've found only one article that even begins to go into his work as treasurer with any detail. The story was never told. The campaign rarely makes the front pages, even two weeks from the election. They allow Schwarzenegger to paint Angelides as "just another Gray Davis," when there's almost nothing in common between them other than party membership. They certainly don't cover the under-the-table settlements the governor has made with the women who sued him following the recall election's groping revelations. They praise him for signing the global warming bill into law, and fall silent when he basically rewrites the law by what may be an improper use of the executive order.

And next year when Schwarzenegger remembers that he's a Republican and starts pushing the old crap again, so many liberals will be "shocked," and feel taken. But really, they'll have only themselves to blame.

Photo source.

 

It's all men for the Times-Standard

After endorsing Peter LeVallee for re-election as Eureka mayor, the paper endorsed yesterday Larry Glass, Ron Kuhnel and Mike Jones for city council. For those who live out of the area or who've been living in a cave, the first two are progressive challengers to incumbents who are generally perceived as favoring the Security National balloon track proposal, while Jones is one such incumbent himself. So basically, the TS has crossed ideological lines in order to endorse all the men against the women. Hmmmmmm.

Actually, newspapers tend to avoid voting slates, and Jones' seems a reasonable choice for token conservative. I do have to question the wisdom of an endorsement made while quoting the candidate as stating that he's sometimes too busy to perform his duties as an elected official. And lest you question the tokeness of the endorsement, the TS seems to admit it:
But, despite his reluctance, we believe Jones has a role to play and that he represents a segment of the community who should have a voice on the council.
I expected TS to endorse more progressives than conservatives, but I would have expected a Wolford endorsement over Glass just because Glass is probably the more controversial of the progressive candidates.

So far I haven't seen any lawns with cross-slate candidate signs, though on 14th Street there is a home with signs of both Mike Jones and Bonnie Neely. And where Henderson meets Broadway I saw a Thompson sign next to a Leonard sign. Other than that, TS is right. The lines are drawn.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

 

My candidate picks

I'll post some of the explanations over the next few days. But here's how I'm voting.

Governor - Phil Angelides
Lt. Governor - John Garamendi
Secretary of State - Debra Bowen
Controller - John Chiang
Treasurer - Mehul Thakker
Attorney General - Jerry Brown
Insurance Commissioner - Cruz Bustamente
Board of Equalization, District 1 - Betty Yee
Senator - Marsha Feinland
US Rep. District 1 - Mike Thompson
State Senator, District 2 - Pat Wiggins
State Assembly Member, District 1 - Patty Berg
Superior Court Judge - Timothy Cissna
All justices - Yes

 

Some quick personal notes

I've completed my analysis of the statewide ballot propositions, and anybody who would like to read my thoughts in order should send me their e-mail address and I'll be happy to send them to you. I've posted most of them, but I'm happy to send them to you in one document in numerical order.

.....

Asher got another two goals today, and blocked a would-be goal against the Blue Sharks in Fortuna. He also inadvertently knocked the ball into his own goal, but hey, he made up for it, right?

.....

Couldn't make it to the CLMP event tonight. I'm preparing a "haunted forest" vegetable dish for Asher's Halloween teamed birthday party tomorrow (I wonder if he's going to get sick of Halloween themes for his birthday). Priorities.

Please feel free to report on the event here.

.....

We got hit with some minor vandalism last night. Some teenagers painted on a bunch of cars in the neighborhood, and TPed a couple more last night. Fortunately it was water soluble paint. It wasn't Shakespeare. One one of our cars they painted "I (heart) penis." On another one, they painted "Go penis." That was pretty much it around the neighborhood except for one "I (heart) dick." Oh, and it was done in the South Fork High colors, so at least they exhibited some school spirit.

My wife was annoyed more so than I. When I suggested that it was harmless, she responded, "it's disrespectful." Well, it is certainly. I'm wondering if I'm more willing to give it a pass because it was obviously girls - not just the subject matter, but the writing was very neat and stylish. Well, okay, that's a bit of a stereotypical assumption, but I'm pretty sure it was girls.

So I called the Sheriff. Two cars showed! Must have been a slow morning.

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