Many moons ago, or so it seems, our family decided to contribute $500 to the campaign of incumbent clerk-recorder Gregory Diaz, because — well — we knew it would turn into the kind of nasty, mudslinging race that it did. (It was our first and only contribution, as I’ve written before.) Never mind that Diaz is the most qualified and experienced for a decidedly nonpartisan post; this is a going to be treated like any partisan political race in our county or elsewhere, mind you.
By now you know the highlights:
•email@example.com snidely commented here in March: “What did you get for your $500?” in donating to incumbent clerk-recorder Greg Diaz.
•Then snide, personal and insulting comments about me and my family began appearing on the Internet. All anonymous, as with all coward(s).
•The Union botched one story after another about the race, with the most egregious being missing the point that challenger Barry Pruett was involved in representing AtPac in its lawsuit against Diaz and “us,” AKA Nevada County.
•Our Congressman Tom McClintock, whose staffer is Pruett’s wife, calls for the ouster of the “left wing” clerk recorder — something that was never reported in The Union or elsewhere.
And just when you thought it was over, there’s one more round of cheap shots starting Monday.
•The Union runs a letter from Terry Robinson, a conservative activist, about Diaz without giving him a chance to respond. “This was in direct conflict with the union’s published disclaimer two days ago they would not do any more endorsement letters with the batch with the notice,” reader Curtis Walker writes here.
•The de facto spokespeople of the “far right” — bloggers George Rebane and Russ Steele — both write blogs bashing Diaz for a clerical error that will result in the hand count or scan in the Elections Office of some ballots. Pruett jumped on the issue as well, posting stories to his Facebook page with some snide remarks. And Russ couldn’t resist a dig at yours truly.
Worse, he responded snidely to Dixie Redfearn, whose blog he used to praise. “Diaz is doing a great job, so please don’t bash him!” Dixie wrote. “Is that a vote for the past Clerk-Recorder or a future Clerk-Recorder, or was it George Bush’s fault?” Russ shot back. Russ, mind you, sat on our county’s Transportation Commission, an important decision-making body. He also wrote a column for The Union, at the editor/publisher’s request.
•And then the county’s Republican Central Committee weighed in, with Rebane dutifully reporting their view. “The trust of the Nevada County voters has been violated by the Nevada County Clerk Recorders office,” wrote the chairman of the Central Committee, Bill Neuharth, whose own reputation is at stake in the race. You see, many moderate Republicans are angry with the Central Committee’s “my way or the highway” approach. Details are here.
The polls are about to close, and we will know later tonight who won the race. But this race — for a nonpartisan clerk-recorder, no less — shined a bright light on the worst of “Nevada County values,” a term Pruett liked to use when comparing his “acceptable” behavior to “San Francisco values.”
This is a case study of why talented professionals in our community stay out of local politics — a pitiful commentary on our “culture,” at least some of our political “appointees” such as Russ and definitely our “media.” And it was the best $500 I ever spent. See you in November!