Outgoing supervisor John Spencer will soon ask the county Board of Supervisors to endorse Prop. 23, George Rebane writes in his column in The Union this weekend. Spencer is the most conservative board member on an already conservative board.
Both Rebane and Russ Steele — who carry water for the “hard right” in our community — have been publicly prodding business, elected and civic leaders to support Prop. 23, which effectively repeals the state’s landmark climate change law. Rebane pointed to support for Prop. 23 by the local Tea Party and CABPRO.
“Supervisor John Spencer will soon ask the county Board of Supervisors to endorse Prop. 23,” Rebane writes. “But business development outfits like the Economic Resource Council are keeping mum. Does this mean that we in Nevada County have pretty well pulled in our horns and mortgaged our future to ‘Chinese Cash from Washington’?”
No it doesn’t (and I find this an odd forum to pre-announce such a request). The support of Prop. 23 is not that clear cut, even from conservatives. The effort is being led by our very conservative Congressman Tom McClintock and Assemblyman Dan Logue, but many conservatives in our districts disagree.
•Meg Whitman, the Republican candidate for governor, has said “In all likelihood, I will vote “No” on Prop. 23,” as I reported previously.
•Some economic development voices, including ones in Silicon Valley, are arguing that Prop. 23 will “kill off the Googles of high tech.” The details are here. “Proposition 23 will kill markets and the single largest source of job growth in California in the last two years,” declared Vinod Khosla, a leading green tech investor, referring to the clean energy economy. “Not only that, it’ll kill investment in the long term for creating the next 10 Googles.” Khosla is a pioneer venture capitalist in Silicon Valley, having worked for Kleiner Perkins for years.
•Some of the state’s largest employers (among them, Google, eBay, Waste Management), as well as hundreds of small businesses, and many Sierra Nevada businesses including the California Ski Industry Association, have joined the effort to defeat Prop. 23. “This is the new economy that can help the Sierra Nevada build long-lasting prosperity for residents and the next generation,” as Sierra Business Council President Steve Frisch wrote recently.
As a result I predict our county supervisors will not agree to support Spencer’s request, even though they all are conservatives, and neither will the county Economic Resource Council. The city councils of Grass Valley and Nevada City won’t support the effort either.
The public request will act to split the GOP in our community, however — just as it did when two of our supervisors — Nate Beason and Ted Owens — supported incumbent clerk-recorder Greg Diaz because he was the most qualified. Diaz’ opponent, Tea Party supporter Barry Pruett, lost. Pruett did receive a campaign contribution from Supervisor Ed Scofield, however.
The supervisors no doubt will be politic in rejecting the request to back Prop. 23, but I would argue a more forecefull denial is called for to send a message to the “hard right,” who seem intent on leading the rest of us around by our noses. After all, most of us are in the middle.