Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Taxpayer's League To Address Council

The moment we've all been waiting for is around the corner! The Board of Directors of the Humboldt Taxpayer's League has agreed to meet with the Eureka City Council regarding their threatened lawsuit over the waterfront redevelopment project. I'll have to say that, at this point, I don't know what can be said that hasn't been said already. Everyone should know by now what the Directors of the League want and, seems to me, the City has already responded. But maybe I haven't been paying close enough attention.

Of most interest to me is whether the League will permanently drop the lawsuit. I suspect that won't come out at this meeting though. Word is, if the League does drop the lawsuit, some other entity might well pursue it. Wonder who that might be? A little bird told me that it would be board member Howard Rein, himself. That's second hand information, so don't bet money on it.

It will be nice to get everything out in the open, though, and hopefully get the Taxpayer's League distanced somewhat from the lawsuit.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Dems Try To Monkey Wrench Solar Power

I think solar power is kinda neat but not so sure it should be subsidized by the government as some propose. Nonetheless, I found this commentary by the Sacramento Bee's Dan Weintraub to be somewhat of a surprise. Ok, maybe not that much of a surprise. Looks like the Democrats are trying to sandbag some solar power proposals in California.

Monday, August 29, 2005

To Hell With Memorials

I guess I'm just not one of those touchy feely type of guys, at least not as much I like to think sometimes. This item from today's Times- Standard irks me, probably more than it should. Fortuna City Councilman Dean Glazer seems to be upset that there isn't much support in his town for an official memorial ceremony or parade in rememberance of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.

Don't worry, Dean. Everyone remembers 9/11. What's the point in having yet another 9/11 memorial? Being one who wasn't surprised by the 9/11 attacks and certainly wasn't shocked, maybe it would be expected that I'm less than enthusiastic about participating in a memorial in rememberance of 9/11. But such proposals seem more to me as a way to try to boost the blind nationalism that reared its ugly head immediately following 9/11 and continues in some circles to this day.

Dean: If you really want to have a memorial activity in Fortuna commemorating 9/11, have at it. There's nothing stopping you from getting together a group of people to do so. But leave the government out of it.

Aside: I'd actually got wind of the 9/11 attacks a month or so before 9/11, although I wasn't told of exactly what would actually end up happening. If interested in the details, let me know in the Comments section.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Job Searching

Boy it's scary looking for a job when you're fifty years old and you've been self employed for thirteen years. I'm still a self employed gardener, but decided it's time to try something different. I'm not looking for a full time job, right now, just something part time to make up for accounts I've lost over time. I'm just kinda taking my time checking out the Help Wanted ads looking for something with FRED WANTED written all over it.

I want to find something not so physical and some of the jobs offered at the Times Standard and Tri City Weekly sounded inviting. Problem is, they have the same parent company and all those jobs require drug testing. What is it with all these drug testing requirements? I don't use recreational drugs, anymore. Last time I smoked pot was over twenty years ago. But this is a matter of pride. I've been self employed for thirteen years and I figure I shouldn't have to piss in a cup for anyone, to prove my worth.

Some might say that employers shouldn't be able to require piss tests. I tend to think that's their perogative but they might well miss out on a potentially good employee just cause a guy smokes pot. I suppose if I get desperate I might have to swallow my pride and do the pee thing but hopefully not in the near future. Until then I'll just take my time and hopefully find the perfect part time job that might lead to something full time later on.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

LP of CA Election Recommendations

I guess I'll have to get my Fred's 2005 Special Election Recommendations web page up and running now that it looks like the election will be held and the Executive Commitee of the Libertarian Party of California has come up with their recommendations on how to vote on the initiatives.

The LP of CA assessment of the ballot is pretty much in line with mine with one or two exceptions. They voted to Support Props 74 through 77 and Oppose 78 through 80. They voted to take no position on 73 (to get a brief synopsis of what each initiative is about, check out State Senator Tom McClintock's recommendations, included below, which mirrors the LPC's except for Prop 73). Unlike LPC, Tom McClintock does take a position on 73 (Support) but takes the LPC positions on the other ones.

I appreciate the LPC finally taking a "No Position" on a ballot initiative since I've been critical in the past when they insisted on taking a Yes or No position on an initiative that had equally good or bad points and the general membership was split on. But I think I'll vote Yes on Prop 73, which requires parental consent for minors to get abortions. I'll comment further on that on my Elections web page, coming soon.

Anyway, here's Tom McClintock's recommendations with a brief synopsis of each inititiative:

From: "Tom McClintock's E-Team"
Subject: Tom McClintock on the Propositions
Dear E-Team,
I've been getting calls about the various ballot propositions for the Special Election. Here's how I see them:

Proposition 73(LPC- No Position): Parental Notification for Abortion.
If parental consent is required for a child to use a tanning booth or
get her ears pierced, shouldn't parents at least be notified if she's
getting an abortion? YES. Whether you're pro-life or pro-choice, this
should be the all-time no-brainer.

Proposition 74(LPC- Yes): Teacher Tenure.
Do parents have a right to expect a higher level of competence before a teacher is granted life-time tenure? YES. This modest measure simply increases the teacher probation period from two years to five years.

Proposition 75(LPC- Yes): Public Employee Union Dues.
Should public employees decide for themselves which candidates they will support with their own money? YES. This measure requires that before a public employee union can take money from that employee for political donations, it has to get the employee's permission.

Proposition 76(LPC- Yes): State Spending.
Should government live within its means? YES. This measure restores the authority that the governor of California had between 1939 and 1983 to make mid-year spending cuts whenever spending outpaces revenue without having to return to the legislature.

Proposition 77(LPC- Yes): Re-districting.
Should voters choose their representatives in legislative districts that are drawn without regard to partisan advantage? YES. The most obvious conflict of interest in government is when politicians choose which voters will get to vote for them by drawing their own legislative district lines. This measure puts a stop to it.

Propositions 78 and 79(LPC- NO): Prescription drug discounts.
Do you want the same people who run the DMV to run your pharmacy? NO. These are rival measures, one supported by drug companies and the other by liberal activists -- both of which purport to lower drug prices. What they really do is assure that one group of patients gets
to pay higher prices to provide subsidized prices for others. There's no such thing as a free Levitra.

Proposition 80(LPC- NO). Electricity Regulation.
Do you want the same people who run the DMV to run your electricity company? NO. This measure locks in monopoly control of your electricity by the bureaucratized utilities and forbids you from ever being able to shop around for the lowest-priced electricity available.

Tom McClintock


The local Greens recently took positions on some of the initiatives. This Eureka Reporter story tells about that. The Republicans took positions, as well, but I was unable to find the Times Standard article after doing a search on their web site.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Opinion Polls

These political opinion polls that are always in the news really irritate me. You never really know what to make of them and they make me wonder what sort of thinking process goes on in the average person's mind, especially when poll numbers go up or down almost daily. I'll give myself credit for being one person who doesn't change his mind on an issue each day depending on some one minute soundbite I heard on the nightly news the night before as many people apparently do.

One poll just out, that Dan Weintraub comments on, says the Governor's approval rating is at an all time low and that most Californians are opposed to his reform initiatives despite agreeing with the intent of the initiatives. Go figure.

Of course, you never know what questions were asked and why people answer the way they do. One could say he disapproves of the Governor but he disapproves cause the Governor's not conservative enough or not liberal enough. Being registered with Zogby Polls, I've found they do a pretty good job of giving plenty of options on how to respond, but some polls don't. CNN's online polls, example. CNN will ask you a question and then ask for a Yes or No answer when the question, at least to me, isn't one that lends itself to a simple yes or no answer.

All that said, I've been surprised at how accurate some polls end up being, most notably some of the pre- election polls showing who might win in a given election. Those often come pretty close although every now and then one ends up way off like when Matt Fong ran against Barbara Boxer a few years ago. All the polls were saying it was too close to call. When all was said and done, Boxer beat Fong by 20% or more. A surprise to most I think. But, if I recall correctly, the close call in the last two presidential elections was correctly forecast by most of the major poll organizations. Whether the results of a given election were affected by the polls themselves to some extent is anyone's guess. They certainly don't affect my vote.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Off Topic: Local Web Cams

Couldn't think of anything to direct my hard hitting commentaries at today so I figured I'd go a little off topic and bring up the local web cams that are avialable for viewing. I started checking at least one of the local web cams regularly after I noticed started a new listing for local web cams.

The Trinidad Pier Cam is the one I have fun with as you'll often see things happening. The camera is high resolution and allows you to control it by clicking on the Control button and then shifting up or down, left or right as you do on a web page. You can pan left, right, up or down and zoom in (real close, I might add). You can see birds fly by and people loading up for a fishing trip. Well done, whoever did that one.

There's also a Castle Rock web cam that pans areas of the area around Moonstone Beach. Seems like half the time there's vegetation obscuring much of the view, though. Might be a fun one if they used the same camera set up the Trinidad cam uses and removed some of the surrounding vegetation.

The Old Town Eureka one is fixed, as well. Kinda boring looking at the corner of 3rd and F Streets (at least I think that's where that one is) all the time, but it was kinda fun watching the Old Town Farmer's Market get started yesterday.

The Eel River one on top of the River Lodge in Fortuna needs some work. It seemed ok today but the first time I checked it out the resolution was so poor the image looked like something someone painted. This one periodically changes views, which is good, but I think it would be better if the used the same setup the Trinidad cam does (as should all the cams I've seen), where you can take control of the camera and focus on what you want.

Used to be an Arcata Plaza web cam but, last time I checked, it wasn't up and running. I'll have to check after I get done writing this and see if it's back up again.

I wonder what it would take to set up a web cam in my upstairs window and give twenty four hour coverage of Trinity and E Streets in Eureka? That would probably generate a lot of interest, huh? I was thinking yesterday it might be fun to have one in Henderson Center in Eureka. Not sure just where you'd want to place one there, though. Maybe somewhere near Henderson and F Streets? I'll have to ask my computer geek brother in law just what it takes to set one of these cam sites up.

If you know of any other local web cams, send the URL to Humguide so they can add it to their directory.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Humboldt's Good Old Boys

This piece from the Times Standard was one of the better ones I've read in some time. It explores the notion that there's an obscure bunch of people in the county, the Good Ol' Boys, who run the county by working behind the scenes to benefit each other. As the article suggests, yes, there is something similar to that happening, but it's the natural course of human behavior [my interpretation].

I've actually been a little concerned about this sort of thing, which is one of the reasons I'm leery of local redevelopment agencies and such. My concerns are certainly justified. But how else how will things happen around here? People involved in community projects, whether it be redevelopment or some other civic improvement effort are going to be the type of people that like to make things happen. They'll be working towards those goals, often, with people of like mind. They'll likely become friends to the people they work with on projects of similar interest. This happens at all levels, from a redevelopment agency to the Board of Supervisors and heads of county offices.

I've never really been comfortable with the Good Old Boy networks, but I realize they're a natural condition of human relations.

The most memorable quote in the whole article comes from our recently acquired gadfly, Richard Salzman. Salzman, being a hard core lefty was asked if those on the Left would be capable of monopolizing power and controlling the community since he suggests the local networks are run by right wingers. Salzman's response, "As a whole, people on the left act for the good of the community as a whole. Therefore, they’re less likely to abuse the system for self-interest...".

Unbelievable- Only the Left are righteous? Kinda like a comment I received via the Redwood Peace and Justice e-mail list when I made a comment, the specifics which escape me now. I'd made an observation regarding something where both the Right and Left had been accusing each other of the same thing, or some such. Someone e-mails back and says, to paraphrase, "That's because, unlike us, [the Left] the right wingers always lie to make their point...".

I see little hope for those that see things so strongly in black and white.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Humboldt Business Council

Earlier this year a group started up calling itself the Humboldt Business Council. It's purpose was ostensibly to support good/ pro business policies in government, with the emphasis on local government I believe. They had some pricey dues requirement, the numbers of which escape me now but, suffice it to say, it left the average Joe or Jill out of consideration. But you could sign up for their e-mail list for free so I signed up. Haven't heard a thing from them yet. Their web site hasn't changed since it first went up, either. They still have an announcement on it for an event in February of this year. If people aren't gonna update their web pages, they should take them down. Either that or just have contact info and a little about the group and their purpose, which shouldn't change much over time.

I get the impression this group might be one of those shadow groups with mostly hidden membership and all- the kind that ran that hit campaign against Chris Kerrigan last time around. Certainly some of the same players are there, although some of the known players, like Mike Harvey, are out in the open and seem to be pretty decent, if partisan, folk. Wonder if we'll ever hear of HBC in the news again? I also wonder if the same people in HBC are involved with HELP, that developer oriented group that's challenging the counties General Plan land use policies?

Only time will tell but my gut feeling is the same people are probably the driving force behind both organizations.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Mckinleyville Gets New Marshes

Neat idea what Mckinleyville is doing to help treat wastewater: Creating some marshes to not only help filter wastewater but to increase the capacity of their wastewater treatment facility as well.

I'll admit I know next to nothing about Eureka's wastewater treatment facilities and procedures. I think it would be kind of neat if they could incorporate some such thing into our waste treatment operatons. Maybe they could use the Palco Marsh for something like that? I don't know. The Mckinleyville marshes will be mostly plants, as opposed to open water like the Arcata Marsh. I'd certainly prefer the open water marsh. Wonder if that's feasible, or even desirable, for the Palco Marsh.

I do know people have been commenting and/ or complaining about the Palco Marsh for years, and it usually is an eyesore with what looks like stagnant water with all kinds of trash in it. Something should be done. It's might be a bit far from Eureka's current wastewater treatment facility, though.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

HSU Needs Advertising?

It's apparently not available online, but the front page of the Times Standard today shows a crew putting in turf and sprucing up the entrance of Humboldt State University. The accompanying story tells of HSU's enrollment being down and what a tragedy that is [my interpretation, of course]. The story goes on to say that not enough people know about the university and that's whats responsible for the low enrollment so they need to increase their outreach and advertising to give the institution a higher profile.

Hmmm... I thought it we had a crisis with people not being able to afford college and the university system funding cuts were putting the state and nation at risk. I would think potential students would be looking high and low for a college they could afford and that would appeal to their needs. I guess not. Or maybe...hopefully...more young folks are realizing they don't need to mortgage their future by paying for years of college when they can be just as successful in life without wasting their time and money for college? Probably not, but let's hope so.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Arkley Buys More Land

Looks like Rob Arkley bought yet more of the Samoa Dunes. This time it's land adjacent to the last property he bought. Both times the Friends of the Dunes were trying to buy the lands in question, but Arkley outbid them.

I'll agree with Arkley that I want to see less land in government hands but, his stated intention of fencing off the Dog Ranch area makes us private ownership advocates look bad. Wonder what he has in mind for this latest acquisition? I should hope it will be open for use by the public.

But, it looks like he's slated for a meeting with the Friends of the Dunes folks and hopefully they can reach agreement on some public access to the dune areas. In fairness to Arkley, though, if the Friends of the Dunes, along with the Coastal Conservancy, took possession of these areas, they might well be regulated out of public use anyway. Just look at how many restrictions have been applied, or are being proposed, to Clam Beach State Park.

It will be interesting to see how this works out in the long run.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

This Sheehan Thing

I've been wanting to weigh in on this Cindy Sheehan thing for a few days now. You know: the gal camping out by Bush's Texas ranch waiting for him to come speak with her? I held off, on this blog anyway, because I was trying to keep most of my comments local. Thanks to the Times- Standard for running this piece on a local gal going to Texas to help Sheehan. The praise Sheehan receives from the Left ranges from, "We should glad she's bringing such publicity to this issue..." to, "this brave women...".

For crying out loud, Brave Woman? You've got to be kidding? I'll admit we should be glad awareness is being raised about the casualties inflicted on our troops in Iraq but I'd hardly call her brave for doing so. I think she just found, as so many others do, that she likes media attention and wants to milk it for all it's worth.

Heck, she already met with Bush some months ago. Now she's asking for more face time for more attention and the Left and some of the rest of the anti- war crowd are holding her on a pedestal. I guess it's any port in a storm when you need a hero. I suppose I agree with the gist of the message but dislike the messenger since, with me, the messenger dilutes the message.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Local Solutions Gets A Candidate

The Local Solutions Political Action Committee, that group working to get progressive candidates elected to local office, seems to have found at least one candidate to run for a local school board. Shane Brinton, an eighteen year old self described Marxist, has entered the race for a seat on the Northern Humboldt Union High School Board. He's facing off against a local developer who Brinton seems to have nothing good to say about. You know: Developer= Capitalist, and all that.

Be interesting to see if this kid turns out to be an embarrasment to Local Solutions after all is said and done. You know: Young, full of piss and vinegar and a commie to boot. He might end up like that one guy, whose name escapes me right now, that ran for Arcata City Council, described himself as a libertarian, then proceeded to alienate not just the voters but the other candidates as well. Too early to tell if this will end up going along the same lines. I would think, though, that Local Solutions has some screening process. Then again, if you're desperate for candidates, it can degenerate into a take whatever you can get type of thing.

Wonder if Local Solutions has found any other candidates to back in these upcoming races?

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Down With Democracy

I've said before that I'm no great fan of democracy. I stumbled on to another like minded thinker when I visited the Sierra Times this morning. Lady Liberty, as she goes by, wrote this nice little piece on democracy vs. freedom. Well done! I'll be looking forward to reading more of her thoughts. Unfortunately, the link to an older piece she wrote, Who's Afraid Of Liberty, is dead but I made mention of the dead link in the comments section and I'll keep checking back for more good stuff.

Sierra Times dubs itself "The Internet Publication For REAL Americans". I don't know about that but I used to visit the site regularly until the main webmaster/ news dude, J.J. Johnson (or is it JohnsTon?) got a full time job at some TV or radio station. Then, updating the site was done piecemeal and it seemed, more often than not, that it was never updated. Then, a few months ago, they announced they were gonna try to get things going again so I started checking back more often. Some good commentary on that site regarding freedom issues and assorted news stories of the day are mixed in as well. Political thought seems to be oriented toward libertarian, probably leaning toward the right to religious right at times, depending on the author. Some of the writers seem to be Constitution/ American Independent types, but I guess that would fit in with the right/ religious right, wouldn't it?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Pay Those Taxes!

We should all be thankful to Betty Yee, one of our local Board of Equalization bureaucrats, for sending in this guest opinion to the Eureka Reporter reminding us that we should be collecting sales tax whenever we sell something at a garage sales and flea or farmer's markets. Most people are surprised to find out they also have to pay sales taxes on things they buy from out of state, as well. She doesn't mention that, though. You're supposed to get some additional form from the Franchise Tax Board to itemize purchases of out of state items.

Don't you feel better knowing that?
On a different subject, I see former Fortuna Police Chief, Kent Bradshaw, will be having some sort of retirement bash soon. What caught my eye was that the party will be held at the Elk's Lodge in Eureka, rather than someplace in Fortuna. Hmmm... the local papers have been overflowing with praise for all the good that Bradshaw's done for Fortuna in his thirty years of service. Wonder if having the party in Eureka is some kind of political statement someone wants to make?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

GMO Related News/ An HTL Blip

I found this article, related to Genetically Modified Organisms, interesting, although no real surprise: Apparently a long known nuisance weed is becoming resistant to glyphosate (aka Round Up, for those of you in Arcata). This is causing some problems for farmers around the state.

Similar things are causing problems with farmers using genetically modified crops that have been cultured to be resisitant to glyphosate, such as cotton. The result is farmers either have to spend a lot of time and money physically weeding their fields, or using stronger more potent herbicides.

I'm sure the anti GMO folks will spin this to show that GMO crops are unhealthy in one way or the other. I'm not so sure about that. Similar things have been known to happen with some of the organic movement's sweetheart pesticides. For instance, I read in Organic Gardening magazine some years ago about some farmer in the Castro Valley who found that (I believe it was cabbage moths) some pests that were controlled with Bacillus Theringisus (sic?) were becoming resistant to it. In that case it was believed he was misapplying it by using smaller than recommended doses but applying more frequently.

The one thing both instances show is that nature is quite adaptive and resilient.
Just in from the Taxpayer's League as of last night: Past President Larry Henderson reverses call for resignation of League members if their items aren't placed on today's meeting agenda, saying such action might not be in the League's best interest. He requests instead that members don't attend today's meeting. Makes sense to me, although it seems someone representing the League should be there, if only to keep an eye on things.
The Board of Directors has't added the League member's items to the agenda, or so the paper says today. It was mentioned that any of the directors could bring up those subjects during the meeting if one would chose to do so, though. Another good reason for a representative of the League's membership to be there.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Greens Want To Grow

Looks like we might be seeing a little more of the Green Party around here soon, assuming they can get some volunteers to help in their recruiting campaign. They certainly have more local activists than the Libertarian Party does, but I think it will be as difficult for them to really get the ball rolling on this project as it is for anyone. Might not be too bad in Arcata or Southern Humboldt. They could probably just set out in front of a few stores like the Co-Op and do well, but I suspect they've already been there and done that.

Biggest problem is they want to go after the higher hanging fruit rather than the low hangers by, apparently, making a blind approach to "Joe and Jill Sixpack" on the assumption that the average person is in sympathy with Green values. First, I'm not so sure that the "average person" is so sympathetic to Green values, but even if they were, I've never known of that approach to work or, if such projects bear fruit at all, it's usually not worth the effort in gains received.

The Greens are bit too Authoritarian for me, or at least I think their hierarchy is- maybe not so much with the mainstream Greens. If the Libertarian Party disappeared tomorrow, I'd still stay registered as LP, if that was possible. If it wasn't, I'd register Decline To State, not Green Party. Seems my idea isn't too outside the mainstream since the fastest growing voting group in California is Decline To State.

Monday, August 08, 2005

I Quit!!!

No, not me. I just didn't know what else to use for the title of this post.

I'm referring to the latest to come out of the Taxpayer's League debacle. Some of the biggies in the Taxpayer's League have said they'll resign if the Board of Directors doesn't add some items they want to the agenda of this week's League meeting. I guess I don't blame them and wonder how many others will follow suit? Not much point in being part of an organization if you don't agree with what they're doing and have no say in the matter. If enough of the membership walks, the League might lose even more clout, although there's no way of knowing just how much has been lost already, if any.

Will I "resign"? I don't know that I need go that far. I never really considered myself a member as I'm simply allowed membership for maintaining the League web page. I've only been to two meetings over the last two or three years. I suppose I'll keep doing the web page just to stay in the loop. It might get a bit boring if the League ends up just consisting of the handful on the Board of Directors. Then again, some would say it's always been just the Board of Directors for at least the last few years.

Stay tuned. I believe the Directors meet in closed session today to decide whether they'll add those items to the meeting agenda.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Join The Governator's Team?

If you support the Governor's proposed reforms of state government, you can now sign up to be one of his team members at his new web site, Join Arnold. I've said before that I'll be voting for his reforms, assuming they end up on the ballot and assuming we have a special election. I've also said they probably won't accomplish much, if anything. Nonetheless, I added my name to his effort but don't know if I was actually added to the list as the form said you had to print out another form, sign it and either fax or mail it to them. I didn't feel like bothering with that, aside from the fact I don't have my printer hooked up to this computer. Oh well. We'll see what happens.

On the other side, if you're one of those Arnold haters and like to hear constant put downs of the Governor, the California Nurses Association, or whatever they call themselves, started a We Hate Arnold blog with daily hate diatribes against the Governor. If you hate Arnold, you'll definitely want to add that blog to your favorites list.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Are You A Nazi?

Not sure? Take this test. Kind of a strange one. I scored as an "expatriate", so I guess I would have left Germany rather than join the Nazis.

Thanks to James Wilson's "Independent Country" blog for providing the link to the test.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Bass- Jackson For Supervisor?

Yet another local pol is mulling a run against Bonnie Neely for the 1st district seat on the Board of Supervisors. Virginia Bass- Jackson, currently on the Eureka City Council, says she may just take a shot at it. That might make things interesting as former Eureka Mayor, Nancy Flemming, has also expressed interest in running. Hard to say which one I'd prefer over Bonnie Neely. I believe both Fleming and Jackson are Republicans, but it's hard to say what kind of Republican. Then again, Neely is supposedly a Republican, as well, albeit one of the big government kind, as best I can determine.

This is one race I'll certainly pay attention to. Not sure if any of the challengers would be much of a change in the status quo. Too early to tell, though, as the campaign issues haven't been defined yet. I suspect, if both Fleming and Jackson end up running, Neely will win if only because of the advantage of incumbency and the two challengers splitting the challenger vote. If only one runs, it might be a challenge with the edge going to Neely but who actually ends up winning would be anyone's guess.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Taxpayer's League Saga Continues

The League and the City of Eureka continue their dialogue, with Eureka sending a letter to the League saying they've done nothing wrong. In related news, some unidentified guy at the council meeting said, if the League drops the suit against the City, he'll file a separate one himself. Wonder who that guy is?

The League is torn apart over the issue, with what looks like a strong majority opposing the suit and the Board of Directors having what seems like a "We're the Board and we'll do as we see fit..." attitude. I can't help but wonder why the Board, if they cared much about the survival of the Taxpayer's League, don't drop the suit permanently, at least as far as it being identified as a League function, and file it themselves as individuals as that one guy at the city council hearing said he'd do. The end result, good or bad, would likely be the same but the League might be able to rebuild its reputation after getting out from under this sordid affair.

I'm not sure why the Board insists on dragging the League down with them. It could be that some on the Board feel, as some Libertarians do, that bad publicity is better than no publicity at all. :-)

The next meeting of the Taxpayer's League on August 10 should be interesting. Past League President, Larry Henderson, has moved that some possible changes in the Bylaws be included in the meeting's agenda. He's also trying to fill the empty seats on the Board with, shall we say, "fresh minds". Current President, Leo Sears, says that it can't be done that way and that Bylaw changes can only be done at a meeting specifically held and announced for that purpose. Larry Henderson says, not so. A real cat fight going on within the Taxpayer's League.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Speaking of campaign finance reform and disclosure, once again, Eureka's very own Rob Arkley makes the news again today. This time, it's an article in the Sacramento Bee where he's listed as on of the eight major donors contributing to the campaign to pass Prop. 75, the one that requires unions to get written consent of members before they can use their money for political purposes. They say he tossed $100,000 into the pot. What a guy! As naive as Rob Arkley comes off to me politically, it's good to see him sending his money in the right direction, at least this time.

I'm ambivalent about Prop 75, although I'll probably vote for it, assuming the special election is held. I certainly wouldn't hold anything against someone for supporting it financially, though. Don't know that I could say the same for someone opposing the initiative.

BTW: Here's a web site you can go to to see who's giving what money to what candidate. The site I linked to is for the 2004 campaign season and I haven't checked to see if they've updated it to more recent campaigns. I can't believe there's so few people listed. Must be because they only report donations over a certain amount, probably over $200, as that's when people are required to report who they are and what they're occupation is (I think). And, yes, you'll find the Arkleys listed here if you do a search of the 95501 zip code.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Disclosure Requirement Bill Nixed

There was a bill making its way through the state legislature that would have required contributors to certain political campaigns to identify themselves. That bill met its demise due to lack of support, suprisingly enough. Part of the reason this bill was introduced, aside from this silly "campaign reform" effort that never seems to end, was the hit campaign against Chris Kerrigan last time he ran for Eureka City Council. Some people, who wouldn't identify themselves, ran a number of hit pieces on TV and snail mail running down Kerrigan.

I'll be the first to admit I find it cowardly when people publish anything, whether it be opinions or political ads, anonymously. The answer to that is simple, though: If someone's running ads against someone, or some thing, and they won't identify themselves, don't vote the way they want you to vote. That is, of course, unless you already have some other reason to vote one way or the other on an issue.

Seems to me that might well be what happened in the Kerrigan/ Bohn race. Most were surprised at the margin of victory Kerrigan acheived over Rex Bohn. Most, myself included, figured that race would be pretty close. I suspect some folks voted for Kerrigan because of the anonymous hit campaign against him and I don't blame those who did. I suspect, though, the biggest reason for the large margin of victory was Bohn's relationship to Renner Petroleum.

Along the same lines, the same thing happened in the recall effort against District Attorney Paul Gallegos: Much was made of paid petitioners from outside the area gathering signatures to put the recall on the ballot. After all was said and done, and those petitioners made their money, the recall effort lost. So much for money in politics. Yet, one local group, whose name escapes me now, wants to make it illegal for corporations outside the area to contribute to local political campaigns.

If you don't like who a candidate or cause's supporters are, don't vote for them. If they don't identify themselves and you have no other issue on which to base your vote, don't vote for them. As for me, I usually make my mind up independent of whatever ads a campaign may run. I suggest others do the same.