Another tea party candidate’s forum — “isn’t that special”

As they have for years, the Nevada County League of Women Voters has announced a series of candidate forums to help inform the public about the June 3 election, as reported previously. March 20, 2014 — State Assembly District 1 and U.S House of Representatives District 1; March 27, 2014 — Nevada County Board of Supervisors, Districts 3 & 4; April 3, 2014 — Superior Court Judge; April 10, 2014 — District Attorney and any other contested race for county offices. All forums will be held from 7-9 p.m. in the Supervisors Chambers at the County Adminstrative Office at the Rood Center at 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City.

1926913_612604125478518_1232234002_nBut that’s not good enough for local tea partiers, who are hosting their own “Nevada County Tea Party Candidate’s Forum” — another tangible sign of the political polarization in our community that is influenced by vocal hard-right politics (albeit it only a minority of the electorate).

One-time “anointed” clerk-recorder Fran Freedle, who has been active in the California Federation of Republican Women, is sending around the emails as a “tea party leader” on her HotMail account. To me, the Nevada County Federation of Republican Women and Nevada County Tea Party have practically morphed — a political travesty since GOPers come in different stripes. It offers real insight to the hard-right bent of our local Republican political groups, which has alienated some GOP moderates.

The Tea Party Candidate Forum is planned for Wednesday, February 26 at 6:30, in Ponderosa Hall at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. It includes an opening statement, moderated Q&A and closing statements. Participants include the five candidates in the County supervisor races in District 3 and 4.

A second Tea Party Candidate’s forum is planned for Wednesday, April 23, at 6:30 p.m., at the Fairgrounds for Superintendent of Schools, Sheriff, Assessor, DA, Clerk-Recorder and so on.

I’ve never been comfortable with this forum. Despite its claim of “nonpartisanship,” the tea party supports hard-right candidates. Duh. I also imagine it is uncomfortable for candidates who don’t support the tea party, but they feel obliged to participate for fear of political repercussions. At the same time, it’s a comfortable crowd for the staunchly conservative candidates, such as Dan Miller and Hank Weston. The bright red T-shirts tend to tip off the crowd.

In 2010, Elaine Meckler, who sent out the email inviting candidates to a “meet the candidate” forum sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots/The Union/KNCO, was actually listed on clerk-recorder candidate Barry Pruett’s website as one of his endorsers — a farce.

The League of Women Voters Forums are a longer series, so I view them as more comprehensive — and nonpartisan. Rooted in the movement that secured the right to vote for women, the League of Women Voters is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed participation in government.

In the past, The Union and KNCO have lent legitimacy to the Tea Party Forums, hanging their banners and acting as moderators. Two years ago, the then-publisher of The Union, Jeff Ackerman, was a moderator.

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.

34 thoughts on “Another tea party candidate’s forum — “isn’t that special””

  1. I know the Tea Party candidate forum at the GV Vets Hall there was a very creepy vibe throughout the hall for those who do not share the Tea Party political ideals. I also think asking for those attending for donations is in poor taste. A public forum for public office in a public building should be considered a community service. For many who don’t have money to contribute to candidates only exposure outside tv advertisements are at the candidate forums. If we want an educated electorate we need to make the information on the issues accessible. I thought the beef with the IRS status was the TP wants to be considered 501(c4).

  2. The Tea Party is aggressively moving into our community’s political candidate forums and longtime GOP groups, such as County’s Federation of Republican Women, to gain a stronger political foothold in our community. The Tea Party’s 40-year plan to “take back our country” (and community) is well documented: https://sierrafoothillsreport.com/2010/11/13/tea-party-patriots-40-year-plan-to-take-back-our-country/ Wake up folks (if you haven’t already)!

  3. Speaking of creepy, now Russ Steele and Todd Juvinall are threatening and insulting me on Barry Pruett’s blog:

    Barry Pruett February 21, 2014 at 7:08 AM —
    Kim went to the Contractor’s fundraiser, I ran kids to and fro… Anyway, Kim said that the event was well attended (as always) and that she had a lot of fun. Are you going to the Red Light Ball on Saturday? I think that I saw your name on the seating chart.

    Russ February 21, 2014 at 8:15 AM —
    This morning on his blog Jeff has decided to take on the Tea Party and the Republican Women. He really does not understand what he is doing, nor how deep the cow pie is that he just stepped in.

    Todd Juvinall February 21, 2014 at 8:30 AM —
    I will see you at the Red Light Ball. I am bringing my new GF. The function last night was well attended and everyone was very enthusiastic. I bet a bunch of dough was raised.

    I was alerted to a new post on the big guy’s blog. He is once again alienating a huge section of the County voters. He is attacking the Tea Party, but it looks like he is once again chatting to himself. He still thinks the term he likes “hard right” is some epithet I guess. It is not. But when you are as liberal as he is, anything to the right of Mao is hard right.

  4. I scooped Rebane and Pruett on these “forums,” because Rebane is now chasing it down. LOL. Not sure what George is talking about, because the dates above are correct.

    And both got scooped on this too:

    “Don’t forget that Tim Donnelly will speak to the Nevada County Republican Women Federated on March 18 at the Alta Sierra Country Club at noon.

    “Frankly, I am excited that Nevada County is attracting a candidate for governor! Kudos to the NCRWF for getting a candidate for governor to come visit little, old Nevada County. This event is the type of event that we should be celebrating in our small community, as without the tireless efforts of these wonderful women (my wife in particular), statewide politicians would be ignoring such a small rural county. There are two Republicans running for governor, and hopefully both will come here to speak.

    “Good job ladies!

    Posted by: Barry Pruett | 21 February 2014 at 01:05 PM”

    Do people believe this bull? The TPP has subsumed this women’s group, turning it into a three-ring political circus. First Mack, now Donnelly.”This isn’t your mother’s GOP anymore”! https://sierrafoothillsreport.com/2014/02/21/local-gop-womens-next-speaker-tea-party-candidate-for-governor-tim-donnelly/

    Donnelly is the San Bernardino County lawmaker who was placed on probation for three years after taking a loaded gun to Ontario International Airport in his carry-on briefcase in 2012. Now Donnelly appears to have violated his probation agreement while firing borrowed weapons at an indoor gun range last week, as the L.A. Times is reporting.

  5. What always amazes me is that a picture of the Tea Party is that its Right Wing Extreme. We have Liberal and Far Left Progressive extremes but Tea Party has 3 ideas: Fiscal Responsibility, Limited Government and Follow the Constitution.

    Which of these 3 ideals is extreme right? Its true the Republican Party tried to engulf the movement to avoid splitting up the conservative base but most who are in the Tea Party are tired of both Democrat and Republican hogwash.

    Some Tea Party advocates in some places are extreme but that is not the case in Nevada County.
    The Tea Party is a movement to keep America’s ideals alive and does not endorse candidates.

    If you like the Unaffordable Care Act and Big government, years of extended unemployment and food stamps then vote Democrat. If you want a job you might consider anyone who is willing to create business that creates revenue and jobs.

    It might also be prudent to look at the situations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Iran and the Ukraine and wonder if the current administrations “Cut and Run” policy is working. Now that Putin calls all the shots on the world stage its looking more and more like “Dreams of my Father”.

    Its sometimes been hinted that some people are not happy with the imperialistic west…….

  6. Keep talking like that Randy and you just might be invited to be a moderator at one of the forums! Or a videographer. Thanks for sharing your views and have a great weekend.

    BTW, some invited candidates apparently asked for videos of last year’s forum but Fran said “we do not have it on file at this time.” Maybe you could help them out. If I recall, you’ve done this for them before.

  7. Randy,
    If what you stated were the only issues the TP took positions on then it would a compelling argument to support such a group. The fact of the matter is the TP supported the “show your papers” law in Arizona, anti same sex marriage, want government intervention on women’s reproductive rights, supported Scott Walker in Wisconsin breaking union contracts, are overtly militaristic, and continuously calling constitutional laws unconstitutional on the basiss of opposing them not according to the actual constitution. Those are a few of my problems with the Tea Party. I support the TP challenging the establishment of the Republican Party and applaud their activism but fundamentally disagree with most of their solutions.

    On a side note, all the issues I mentioned have nothing to do with their mission statement. They are not limited government, they are not fiscally responsible, and are not according to the US Constitution. They are all wedge/ side issues that get people riled up to vote but not really the nuts and bolts of what the government does.

  8. Hi Ben hope your doing well. In my entire life I have carried my ID in my pocket and never thought having to show it was invading my privacy. Your either legal or your not. As far as same sex marriage that is a personal choice not a political one and some in all parties agree and don’t agree on that one. Unions in their infancy were a great way to help the working folk get a working wage but once the leaders of the unions started stuffing their pockets and using their position to lobby politicians and eventually push so much on the business economy that we now outsource to other countries and lost jobs its not a good thing so good for Walker. Last I heard the White House has a double standard on wages between women and men so that might be a place to look for a war on women.

    I like to think I’m Independent at this stage although I support the ideals of Mark Meckler and the original options with the base Tea Party. I’m no Republican or Democrat any longer. The Tea Party has been painted with a very broad brush from the progressive left.

    I like to focus on the real issues of todays world
    Lack of any Job Market,
    Benghazi Incident,
    Fast and Furious,
    NSA Spying,
    IRS illegal activities,
    Loss of world respect due to the “cut and run” policy,
    Weak to no foreign policy allowing Putin to take over the helm of world stage is probably as bad as not supporting Israel our only true friend in the Middle East.

    Knowing you are a Green Party person I know you are interested in saving our planet and all of us who live in the United States I would hope would like to see us stay as a world power and a voice for freedom.

    We are experiencing 8 years of Change and its not exactly working. If the Senate and Administration stays with a commanding liberal spending spree then our dollar will completely crumble. We will probably not make it to the next big election.

    So I tend to lean towards a realistic economy approach of working for a living and prosperity through successful capitolism with a government with 3 checks and balances . So when you talk about constitutional law and not mention our esteemed President Barak Obama as a person who is ignoring almost all of that then I am not swayed from my thinking.

    Wish enough Independents, Libertarians, Tea Partiers, Green Party people could figure out how to form a third viable party but with all the infighting, race card baiting and talking points with a main stream media that is on vacation…………guess its not in the cards yet

  9. Randy,
    Me too, I am no fan of President Obama and many in his administration also believe he should be impeached for breaking the US Constitution and for International Crimes Against Peace. Both the Democratic and Republican Party’s are owned by big business and we are all just bystanders and most of us continue to vote for both parties in fear the one or the other might take control of the majority of the government. I vote my conscience, which means in a single election I can vote for candidates of 3 or 4 different political parties or no party preference. I believe in moving towards 21st century approach to economics not a 19th century approach of capitalism. As for the Tea Party, they have made their bed and their deals with the devil to get access and exposure. I don’t think they have been treated unfairly at all. Even my relatives from Sutter and Butte Counties aren’t Tea Party members because of the extreme positions and they have been party line Republicans since the Johnson administration.

    1. One thing thats pretty clear as far as my dealings with the local Tea Party is that its not Republicans although some are in its ranks just like some Democrats and undecided. Yes if I was wishing I would want the Venus Project in place as the future but with human nature I doubt that will happen.

  10. Hi Jeff, Yes I have filmed a few Tea Party events especially Mark Meckler ones as he has alot of very interesting things to say. But sadly I didn’t film that. I try to cover all sides of issues but sometimes my view point slips through………..If you listen to Mark Meckler, John Trudell with a little George Carlin as these are enlightened individuals it sometimes opens your mind. My other point is avoiding ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, New York Times and Washington Post as much as possible.
    Would be interesting to moderate something political. After my interview with Michael Moore became a Michael Moore interview of me I learned when swimming in the big ocean you must be careful.

    By the way you ever fish for trout in Priest Lake or Pend Oreille for Dolly Varden? Very big but not something you would eat.

      1. Now why would I include the only channel that actually has some intelligence on it? The only people that avoid Fox News is the people that have never watched it. If you pour enough of the mush coming from MSNBC into your mind then its useless to add truth.

      2. Your sarcasm has been noted but it does nothing to validate your negativity or analysis, such as it was, of your commentary. And I only, and partially, mentioned some of the trite talking points that you threw out in your multiple posts. Your prose reminds me when I was tutoring a poor writer in writing various types of essays. A common fault of remedial writers is their belief that assertions equal proven fact. Your posts are fattened by clichéd assertions, but no enlightening evidence or analysis. I grant you that a rather lengthy tome would need to be composed to authenticate your many claims.

        I have over two pages of notes I jotted down to challenge your assertions, but why bother, I won’t change your mind or lessen your sarcasm.

        I shall make a couple of points, rebutting the more incredulous and preposterous of your statements. Let’s start with the Tea people and the intrinsic arrogance of their statements. Fiscal responsibility! Are you kidding me. It’s old hat by now, but Bush inherited a surplus and through his deceitful personality and his cadre of chicken hawks manufactured a war, while simultaneously lowering tax rates for the 21st century descendants of the Robber Barons ole Teddy Roosevelt routed, perhaps avoiding a civil uprising. Now that’s just plain dumb, as was his opining that he could bring democracy to Iraq. Ignoring or ignorant of the animus between the Shia and Sunni since the seventh century, still on display with daily murdering of each other via indoctrinated madrassas alumni. Human drones I call these murderers who signed the rights to their brains over to some radical Imam before they began to shave.

        There is no simple, infallible formula representing flawlessly the structure of ‘Fiscal Responsibility.’

        The same is true of the nature of limited government. From what I can discern, limited gov’t for the tea people is not being arrested at airports with loaded guns in their bags. Or perhaps it refers to any governmental entity challenging their attempts with their allies to dictate to women what they can do with their bodies, or fighting attempts to highjack education curriculum, insisting that there were indeed a couple of T-Rexes and Brontosauri in the hold of Noah’s Ark. Throw away reason, science, progress and reinstall superstition, derision of reason and expertise.

        Most laughable is their arrogance in deciding what the Constitution means. They want it to mean whatever meets their ideological mindset. Pure egoism emanating from a group composed largely of malcontented ovines dedicated to the convoluted talking points of wandering ideologues. Sheer nonsense!!

        I suspect you’re dying to learn what I think the Constitution means. I will tell you. The Constitution means whatever five selected people say it means at any particular time.

        Hardly covered the multiple topics in my notes, but I’m sure you’ve had enough of me for a long time.

        Oh, one more thing. Coming from a TV family — my deceased dad worked for CBS in NYC for many years — Foxx News is a joke; with Roger Ailes the top banana — excluding Mordor Murdock — that group of news presenters will never be fair and balanced. I learned that watching Foxx when it started out and I soon realized they were a poor substitute for the journalists I grew up watching. Right wing subjectivity obscured even a faint view of objectivity.

        But have a nice day, GrassValleyTelevision. I guess you are a person too.

  11. hehe yes I like to paint with a bucket of paint and no brush myself……….. but sometimes we all agree on some issues…

    If we really wanted stimulus they should of given everyone $50,000.00 and the economy would of soared with all the spending going on in the market place. But instead it went to banks and auto makers and ofcourse politicians.

    1. Seriously Randy, the stimulus was 787 billion, at the time there were 305 million Americans, so that would be $2500 per person. I guess Barack Obama, as a capitalist, would have been able to figure that out.

      1. By the way, that makes the President Obama supported stimulus bill only twice the size of the President Bush tax cut of 2002. So lets keep things in proportion shall we?

  12. The stimulus should have been $2 – $3 trillion into infrastructure projects. But both parties would rather piss off 300 million Americans instead of a few thousand wealthy individuals and large corporations. They did it with the banks and TARP in 2008 when something like 70% of the people didn’t want them to bail out the banks, so why would either party listen to the American people if it means their owners (industry) will get angry?

  13. I’m sure it would have been better to let GM go bust. Just think of all those workers who would still be w/o jobs. In the end GM paid most of the money back. What wasn’t paid back doesn’t figure in the taxes of workers who didn’t lose their jobs, or the contributions to the economy that go hand in hand with employment and having money to spend.

    Regarding the banks — I do ask this seriously — would not the government (FDIC) had to reimburse those depositors up to $100,000 or $250,000, whichever it was at the time. I never hear anyone mention this when blasting the bailout. How much would that cost if indeed the Gov’t had to shell out money equaling the limit of millions of peoples bank accounts?

    Maybe there is some obscure reason the FDIC wouldn’t have had to pay, but I don’t study the banks much and don’t know.

    And how crazy would it be to vote because of what critics are trying to turn Benghazi, F & F, the phony IRS scandal into. Obviously they’ve never been in a combat situation and probably think we should have a court reporter covering every similar type of event. And NSA spying certainly didn’t begin with Obama, nor is the lack of a job market the fault of unions. Union busters always want to pay as low as wages as they can get away with. Unions gave us a middle class despite early organizers getting their heads smashed in by Pinkerton thugs, with many deaths. Too many King Midas running the show; they want it all and screw everyone else. The meism of the GOP.

    I could go on and on, but what’s the sense. But if the inequality continues to grow, in a decade or so, there’ll be blood in the streets, especially the streets of gated communities. Just visit The Winter Palace or Versailles and one instantly understand why some revolutions erupt so violently.

  14. Hey Ed, I get a tingling on my leg just ready that post 🙂 I admire someone who can put more talking points in a short post then I can.

    Yes a “Phoney” IRS scandal ahh where is Lois Lerner hiding nowdays? and Benghazi….what difference does it make? Whats a little gun running to Mexico anyway its long forgotten in lamestream I think we should focus on the Bridge Scandal its one way to divert everyones attention from Obummercare. Lets face it, we all read George Orwell and new Big Brother was coming so its no big deal…. Wonder why cartoonists always use lemmings running off a cliff…..what does that mean anyway??

    Hey the job market is booming the banks are happy the automobile industry is happy GE is VERY happy and only a couple pesky Senators in California are in the news lately so its a win win for the future. I sure hope Hillary gets elected as she will be able to save our country in crisis with her swift decision making

  15. Randy/ GrassValleyTelevision,
    First off let me say I love the fact you do your own news show.

    The Fast and Furious program much like the entire “war on drugs” was ill-conceived and then managed horribly by both the Bush and Obama. The “war on drugs” is so convoluted that nobody within ATF, DEA, FBI, and CIA understand the over arching goal. They understand their agency role, which contradicts or overlaps into other agencies. Both were started under Republican administrations and continued without pause by Democratic administrations.

    Benghazi is something hot but not for the reasons TP are going after the Obama administration and more specifically who they presume will be the 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidate. There were covert CIA actions going on in the region, which is what got enough people pissed to actually attack the US Embassy or its outpost. This has less to do with the Obama administration and Hilary Clinton and more to do with the disgusting agency known by most as the CIA. The CIA in my opinion should be discontinued and apologies in the thousands should be sent out for the atrocities the agency has inflicted on innocent people all over the world since its inception.

    IRS scandal is nothing more than the Tea Party challenging the establishment within the Republican Party. Spying on, infiltrating, suppression, and oppression has been happening to civil liberty/ rights groups since the founding of our nation.

    As for “news” today we have turned news into a profit motive de.partment of media, which has decided being divisive or ideological based “news” is the best way to get loyal viewer/ readerships. It has always been this way but when tv media came into the news game the big three actually had a good firewall between business department and news departments until 1987 and 1996 telecommunication reforms. Fox is 100% a partisan/ ideological propaganda media outlet.

    The good news is we have stepped on the gas of bringing down this consumerism/ military empire that has the scorched earth strategy when it comes to its self preservation. So many issues attached to that statement I will have to leave it up to you to figure out. We are at the beginning stages of a major down period in the US, which will cause massive suffering but it will unite the people. It will become we are all in this boat together and we will switch back from a “me” society (Reagan Revolution) to a “we” society. Bio regionalism and cooperative economic systems will evolve not out of desire but rather out of necessity. Simplified living will bring us to the roots of self determination and we will experience a great two or three generations and then we will repeat the same mistakes in a 22nd Century way.

    Ravi Batra 2007
    http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/ravi-batra

    1. I wonder how much either Bush or Obama were Involved or even knew much about F & F. It’s not like that relatively minor op should be micromanaged by a President. For many years it was political suicide for a candidate for president to suggest decriminalization of pot, much less the drugs that do real damage. Thus Clinton played the role of crusader against even pot, but I don’t believe for a minute that he was sincere. The ones with a continuing stake in the prohibition are those agencies you mention, plus many local police forces; pay, pensions are at stake.

      I think one is on shaky ground when attributing anything specific to the actions of the people of the Maghreb. Desert warrior cultures predated the military onslaught of Islam and just being from a different clan was enough to get you skinned alive. And did not the Ambassador refuse more security and act recklessly when the upheaval began. The attraction of the adrenalin rush can be potent when confronted by dangerous situations. Perhaps that’s why (in overwhelming probability) most heroes are dead and their exploits unrecorded.

      Don’t think events are as clear cut as presented. And maybe Ravi Batra is on to something, or totally off course. Optimism is often necessary, but a close look at societies over the last few millennia sure teaches the history is usually pretty ugly — at least to some.

  16. Ed,
    Despite my seemingly pessimistic attitude towards our current government it really is done in the most optimistic belief of when the people understand the facts they will make the correct or moral decisions. When people are sidetracked with Bread and Circuses they make poor decisions. It’s really is that simple. I don’t think most people including myself truly understand what many of the agencies I mentioned above actually do? Just the way they like it.

    1. Ben,
      I certainly agree that a comprehensive and correct understanding of what those agencies mentioned is beyond our ability to untangle; and, as you say, that’s the way they want it. I’m also of the opinion that no matter what type of government is in place, the quality of people running the show will morph for the worse when confronted with the realities of the powerful forces doing what ever they can get away with to sabotage programs they dislike. Compromise — or making ‘bargains’ — is inherent in a societies that try to be democratic. In the authoritarian governments, shrewdness, ruthlessness and self preservation are necessary qualities for survival and perhaps, ultimately leadership.

      I don’t mean to be argumentative, but I believe facts can, and moral decisions, indisputably, are subjective mental constructs. Or moving targets, if you will. Nor do I think more than a quarter, if that, of the electorate will ever bother to research issues in order to truly have some idea of the forces at work. Such effort is simply too time consuming and difficult and the emotional sound bites are much easier to digest for those whom just go to work and try to raise a family. Then there is the 25 to 30 percent of voters whom have impenetrable force fields surrounding their minds which deflect any ideas arrived at through reason, expertise, logic and other legacies of the Enlightenment. I’m talking about, of course, evangelical fundamentalists who allow others to do their thinking for them and become, in a highly technological world, part of the problem and in no ways, part of the solution.

      I’ll remain somewhat optimistic as long as the right wing is a minority in governance. That doesn’t mean “the best of all possible worlds” will ensue under more progressive leadership.

  17. I spoke to some people who went to this. About 125 people. Questions with a tea-party slant (one was even about declining grants at the local level); Barry Pruett and George Rebane actively supporting Dan Miller (with buttons, no less); no outbursts; no media moderators.

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