Blogging is a hobby for some, but the political blogs in our community largely are run by a bunch of like-minded, hard-right activists: “Sierra Dragon’s Breathe” (Todd Juvinall); “Nevada County Introspective” (the latest name) (Barry Pruett); “Rebane’s Ruminations” (George Rebane) and “Sierra Foothill Commentary” (the latest iteration) (Russ Steele).
These folks are all pretty dead-set about electing more of their like-minded “patriots” to office. They fancy using their blog to influence public opinion. And sometimes they can be seen as downright nasty, lying and bullying, crossing one socially acceptable line after another.
Politicos around here have got their number — Pruett’s “San Francisco values” slight during his unsuccessful run for clerk-recorder against Greg Diaz a few years ago is infamous – but the general public is probably not as aware of their tactics.
From all appearances, it looks like they are going to crank it up again this local election season. The goal this time: “The Board (of Supervisors) will have four Republicans in 2014,” as Pruett puts it matter-of-factly.
“Well, OK then.” Most of us are “in the middle,” so we’re more interested in board members who can get along and help govern rather than counting up the “R’s” and the “D’s.” We now have 3 “R’s,” a “D” and a progressive who is a “decline to state.”
A good example of the hard-right blogger’s tactics is here — this one directed against me, my family and our growing and successful business:
“Nevada County BOS: Process: 1 / Politics: O
“BOS Resists Pressure from Right-Wing Activists”
“Focus on the Person, Not the Issue
“The presence of Tea Party Patriots, local bloggers and assorted members of the public for this item was not really surprising. Pelline’s husband Jeff, a former newspaper editor, runs his personal blog – separate from their commercial Sierra FoodWineArt venture. Given the often contentious nature of the local blogosphere, a few of his fellow bloggers (Rebane, Steele and Pruett) were in attendance.
“Judi Caler, who introduced herself as a Nevada City resident and co-founder of Reclaiming Our American Rights(ROAR), proceeded to paint a scenario melding First 5 of Nevada County, Occupy Wall Street, the Constitution and the takeover by a ‘one-world government’ as cause and effect of the contract. Referring to Shannon Pelline as ‘married to a well-known blogger, I wouldn’t appreciate my tax dollars used to promote his views.’ She also reminded the BOS that ‘three of you are up for election and the people are watching.’
“Barry Pruett, an unsuccessful candidate for Clerk-Recorder, is a member of the Nevada County Tea Party Patriots, according to his blog. He chastised the board for not picking the Joint Chambers proposal over SFWA’s: ‘The Chamber of Commerce is uniquely positioned to promote – without bias – all of the areas of tourism within Nevada County and thereby create jobs in Nevada County.'”
In the end, “The process — from requesting and vetting bids, to giving the public an opportunity to weigh in and then adopting a recommendation — worked. The BOS voted 5-0 to award the contract to SFWA and Blue Cat Design.”