Diaz polishes off Pruett for clerk recorder — and McClintock “machine” suffers setback

Based on the very early returns, I’m already declaring that the county clerk-recorder’s race is over: Greg Diaz beat Barry Pruett.

I’m glad to see professionalism and experience win over small-town partisan politics. Details are here. I’m batting a thousand in my first — and only — foray into local political contributions.

My sources tell me Barry was sounding angry over on KNCO tonight. I’ll be LOL to see The Union backtrack on how it covered this race. Pitiful.

•All told, the McClintock political “machine,” inherited from the Doolittle regime, is losing. His “favored child” Steve Poizner got pounded by Meg Whitman for governor. Casey Tanner is losing big time in Placer County for auditor. Aaron Klein, a McClintock fan, endorsed both Tanner and Pruett. Keene, McClintock’s guy, is losing to LaMalfa. McClintock himself won, but that was expected. What’s going to happen in 2012?

•In Grass Valley, Terry Lamphier is closer than expected with incumbent John Spencer for 3rd district supervisor. Even if he loses, the narrow margin will be a “wake up” call for the “good old boys/girls” who think they run Grass Valley. If Chauncey Poston would have run against John, he would have won, based on the results between Spencer-Lamphier.

•Sue Horne is handily beating Rolf Kleinhans for assessor. The race will be closer than the current results, but Sue will win. She’ll be in for a “Rood” awakening at the Rood Center, however. A majority of supervisors sided with Rolf. She’ll need to do some “fence mending” to be an effective administrator. Her paid, out-of-county political consultant will crawl under a proverbial rock until November, I suppose. Yuck, but that’s what he gets paid for.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

17 thoughts on “Diaz polishes off Pruett for clerk recorder — and McClintock “machine” suffers setback”

  1. Nice spin Jeff:

    McClintock is over 80% in a county you have all said does not like him, Keene is ahead and Sue Horne will win and yet the McClintock “machine” has been dealt a set back!


  2. John,
    Come on. McClintock had no competition this year. Everybody knew that.
    More important, what breadcrumbs did Nevada County bring back to Tom for district-wide races? Nothing.
    •If Keene loses to LaMalfa district-wide (the race that The Union botched badly in its early reporting) it will be a real blow to McClintock, who endorsed Keene.
    •Aanestad is losing big time in his race, another McClintock “golden child.”
    •In the political “farm leagues” in our foothill counties, Pruett (his staffer’s spouse) and Casey Tanner are losing big time. And supposed “up and comer” Aaron Klein has egg on his face for endorsing them.
    •Sue Horne has no aspirations beyond county assessor. She told me that herself at IHOP (International House of Pancakes).
    •Tom thinks our county is so important that he didn’t even give an interview to The Union on election night. How’s that for a big slap in the face?
    So, what you gonna do for 2012? Keep me posted. Meanwhile, ROFLOL. Time to go sailing.

  3. Glad you’re so excited for yourself, Jeff.

    As for me, I’m proud to have endorsed my friends Barry and Casey. They’re great guys who worked hard and had a vision for positive change in local government. I’d support them all over again.

    Congrats to Sue Horne and Tom McClintock. I was proud to support them as well.

    1. Good going Aaron! Maybe it’s time to drop the politicking, crack the books and get your college degree, since — after all — you’re a community college trustee. That’s why we elected you.

  4. Jeff:

    Two points: The “Aaron Klein” strategy — find a young, non-experienced candidate and have them run an entirely negative, nasty and distortion filled campaign — has been defeated, in both Nevada County and Placer County. Barry Pruett, here in Nevada County, will lose by 40 points, after numerous outright smears of his opponent, Greg Diaz.

    Second, the Tea Party, which has its headquarters here in Nevada County, proves once again that just because everyone they talk to nods their head in agreement, doesn’t make it so.

    They were unable to generate even 40% for their own candidate, here in their own home county.

    Hopefully the generosity the moderate Republicans extend to these folks continues to recede, and we can continue to build a moderate middle constructed of decent, experienced professionals on the board of supervisors and the other non-partisan county-wide positions, regardless of party affiliation.

  5. Shawn,
    Good points. And another under-reported detail: The TPP were unable to get enough signatures to qualify the “unplug the political machine” (AKA anti-public union campaign) to qualify for the November ballot. “Viagra” politics? Let the reader’s decide. My point has been the same all along: Just like you say let’s build a moderate middle with decent, experienced professionals, regardless of party affiliations. Then we can unglue ourselves from our Macs (or PCs) and go fishing, hiking and sailing with full confidence in our future. And what do you get for suggesting that? Name calling, insults and political labeling. I voted the Republican ballot as a DTS, but I voted for the candidates who want to unite, not divide. It seems that others largely agreed.

    1. Jeff, I think we could come up with a slogan to sell your notion of spending more time on leisure than politics. How about: “Lie about your fish, not your foe.” OK, it needs work from a pro!

  6. Be on the lookout for ANY CENTRIST CANDIDATE OR OFFICE HOLDER and work to make DARN SURE “centrist” does not become the code word for “corporatist” of ANY PARTY OR DTS candidate/office holder.

    Time to congratulate those who worked hard for winning candidates.

    Time for me to go get new glasses so I can see what I type on this iPhone.

  7. Diaz ran an election that even the SF Chronicle said was a mess, so much for his experience. This will be his last term, then we will send him back to SF

  8. Mr. Mangerle — how can we trust you to represent our party when you make such a sick comment . . . “we will send him back to SF.” Just sick . . . what drives that hatred? It shows a complete lack of class . . . the votes were counted . . . stop complaining.

    The story you are probably referring to is here (Note the only people complaining is the Nevada County GOP, not the Chronicle).


    No major problems were reported in California’s primary election Tuesday but GOP officials said they were concerned about electronic vote-counting in rural Nevada County.

    Gail Smith, assistant clerk recorder for Nevada County, said scanners that read ballots at all the county’s polling stations were not set up properly, so voters’ ballots could not be counted there electronically.

    But the scanners at the county’s central count location were functioning correctly, Smith said, and voters’ ballots would be delivered there Tuesday night to be scanned and electronically counted.

    “The voters are not going to be affected in any way,” Smith said. “The ballots are all going to be accounted for and counted accurately.”

    As many as 6,000 voter ballots could be impacted. Smith said that wouldn’t delay the county’s vote reporting severely because the scanner can read 6,000 ballots per hour.

    That didn’t appease everyone.

    “The integrity of the election process is in jeopardy in Nevada County,” said Bill Neuharth, chairman of the Nevada County Republican Central Committee, in a statement. “Someone must monitor what is taking place tonight. These flagrant voting errors could sway a number of elections.”

    Chuck Bell, attorney for the California Republican Party, said he would closely watch the vote counting process in the heavily Republican area, because the unexpected error could lead to problems in the counting process.

  9. Greg is a professional, I supported him, and I congratulate him on winning after an honorable campaign.

  10. My congratulations to Greg Diaz. This was not even close, actually a rout! Greg’s honesty and integrity and hard work won. He ran for this office like the professional he is and made a very classy statement to Pruett after his win. Way to go Greg!!

  11. Congratulations to Sue Horne. Congratulations to Rolf Kleinhans, also. I didn’t see this happening this way but then I was for the most part looking at qualifications, only. I wish the staff of the Assesors office good luck and sincerely hope that you have the patience to hold Sue’s hand until she gets up to speed. For the county’s tax payers I hope that she comes up to speed in an equivalent time period to the amount of salary that she promised to return.

  12. John Stoos, you forgot to mention the Diaz/Pruett campaign. Wouldn’t you say that was a bit of a setback for McClintock, since Pruett’s wife is on the McClintock payroll, and McClintock was quoted as urging that voters get that “left-wing liberal’ out of office? Wouldn’t you say that voters’ 69+% for Diaz and 31 % Pruett should send a message of some kind to McClintock and his supporters?

  13. I hate to sound pessimistic, but the GOP/Tea Party’s losses at the local level aren’t likely to produce more moderation from the conservative side of the debate. If history is any guide, ideologically-driven groups tend to blame moderates – not extremists in their midst – for their defeats. They are more likely to say “we lost because we weren’t pure enough,” than “we lost because people disagree with us, so let’s become more moderate.”

    And let’s also remember that the local GOP and Tea Party – like political groups everywhere – are controlled by the people who show up, and they tend to be the true believers. It would take a coordinated and sustained effort over a couple years by moderate Republicans to wrest control of the local party from the fringe elements who control it today. I just don’t see that happening. Who can blame them, having watched the smearing of conservatives like Nate Beason and Ted Owens?

  14. Flash forward almost a decade from this political rout, and Pruett is still grinding his axes, spending his weekends on 4/4/19 on Todd Juvinall’s blog calling people “nuts.” Who’s nuts? LOL.

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