The Union’s Boardman: Now a water boy for the hard-right in our local elections

Boardman

Boardman (Credit: The Union)

From the get-go, we wrote that the new weekly columnist for The Union, George Boardman, was a Jeff Ackerman “mini me,” in tone and in “content.” It is a defensive strategy by The Union to prop up its diminishing readership of aging, conservative readers instead of reaching out to new readers. There is no weekly columnist to counteract Boardman.

Now George has upped the ante: He has become a water boy for the hard-right in his election season blog posts, which The Union links to weekly from its print edition. It’s time that he disclose his financial arrangement for this “communication.”

Diaz (Just doing his job)

Diaz: Hard right tried but failed to find an opponent

In his latest “observation,” Boardman concludes that Gregory Diaz running unopposed for clerk-recorder this year is somehow a sign of miscalculating that there is any coordinated politicking going on by the hard-right contingent in our community. He downplays the activities of a “hard right machine” and its ringleaders.

In fact, Diaz running unopposed is merely a sign that the hard-right couldn’t find anybody to run against him – though it sure tried. And Boardman’s political ally, hard-right and tea party activist Barry Pruett provides the proof: “Will somebody please run against this guy …”  Pruett pleaded in a Facebook post in January, referring to Diaz. Pruett then linked directly to this post on Boardman’s blog that chastised Diaz. (See screen grab below).

“Tea Party’s 40-year plan”

Pruett: Tried to recruit an opponent to Diaz

Alas, they tried but no one was brave enough to come forward, not to mention Pruett, who lost in every precinct when he ran against Diaz for the same post. (The tea party also tried to find a candidate to run against Supervisor Richard Anderson in Truckee a few years ago — but failed). The tea party’s “40-year” plan calls for recruiting politicians, judges and educators who share its views to “take back our country.”

Then Boardman goes on to downplay the tea party PAC donation to District 3 supervisor candidate Dan Miller for his first mailer, even expressing pride that The Union has failed to report on it. From over in Penn Valley, Pruett chipped in $300 to Miller’s campaign, a nice politically collaborative gesture though he can’t vote in the District 3 race.

And Boardman is also proud that neither he, nor The Union, has reported on Tom McClintock’s contribution to the developer of the proposed Dorsey Center “lifestyle” shopping mall, even though McClintock later ranked the interchange a “high priority.” Regardless of your perspective on a “lifestyle” center, many cities have banned development on ridge-tops in their communities because it is unsightly.

And the one to quickly come to Boardman’s defense on his blog is none other than hard-right advocate Todd Juvinall, whose nasty partisan tone is legendary among locals.

Why is The Union censoring routine campaign contribution filings about this year’s election, along with activities of a hard-right political machine? I suspect I know why: Because The Union is the “Tea Party Gazette,” and Boardman is the latest political pawn, in exchange for being perceived as “a player” in our community. I’m sure The Union also thinks it can generate new ad revenue from a new lifestyle mall (though it is in for a rude awakening: direct mail is changing how businesses advertise).

Hard right wants “low information voter”

Along with Boardman and Pruett, The Union is contributing to the hard-right’s campaign for a “low-information voter” turnout this year, hoping their aggressive coordinated politicking is swept under the rug — or ignored. They are trying to counter transparency (and Boardman is supposedly a former journalist).

As we’ve said all along, Boardman is an angry-toned conservative retiree who hasn’t had enough to do since his family-run restaurant, The Stonehouse in Nevada City, shut down several years ago.

So instead of looking at his own shortcomings trying to run a small business in our community in his commentary, providing an educational outlet, Boardman shoots “verbal harpoons”  from his perch in a gated community, where I suspect he routinely turns “left” to shop when he gets to Highway 49 — outside our county.

In short, George is not a complete enough community stakeholder to be taken seriously. Yet his column is the only one in The Union that appears weekly. And now he’s being used by the political operatives in a bid to be “important” (AKA yet another “big fish in a small pond”).

Pruett’s Facebook page, where he openly recruits for a candidate to run against Diaz, pointing to Boardman’s blog (to no avail):

Screen shot 2014-04-05 at 6.01.19 AM
(The illustration on Boardman’s blog is by RL Crabb).

About 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 years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.
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9 Responses to The Union’s Boardman: Now a water boy for the hard-right in our local elections

  1. Michael Anderson says:

    Jeff,

    While Boardman’s commentary is certainly fair game, I’m not sure what his Stonehouse endeavor has to do with anything. It’s not like he’s running for office.

    Michael A.

  2. jeffpelline says:

    He’s “running” as an economic development expert and business “know it all” in his weekly column. “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” No pun intended. I’d like to see him address the issue one day. It’s real for me — different than standing on the sideline and throwing rocks.

  3. jeffpelline says:

    BTW, here’s one for Pruett/Boardman or Boardman/Pruett to address. I notice a lot of Paul Haas signs in the same yards as Dan Miller signs throughout Grass Valley when I drive around. I always wondered about whether that was a coincidence or not. In some cases, the signs sit right next to one another. I wonder if the Haas signs now will be quietly pulled over the weekend: “Haas, candidate for county superintendent of schools, denies former employer’s fraud accusations,” http://www.theunion.com/news/10898168-113/haas-gcc-documents-fraud A political disaster.

  4. jeffpelline says:

    Hmmm. You could hear a pin drop in the hard-right blogosphere this weekend.

  5. Brad Glasse says:

    I found it interesting that Anna Fergason, our Judge Candidate accepted a large amount of money from the TPP.

    Isn’t this supposed to be a non-partisan race, and why would she do this?

  6. jeffpelline says:

    This morning, Boardman wrote about the low vaccination rate in our county and had a real chance to bring readers along. Until the end when he wrote: “So don’t expect me to get anywhere near your adorable child or grandchild if I don’t know you well. For all I know, the kid’s a ticking disease time-bomb waiting to go off.” A nasty refrain that lost a bunch of readers. A real rube.

  7. jeffpelline says:

    This statement, which George Boardman published on his blog, is telling about Russ and his political circle:

    Russ Steele says:
    April 8, 2014 at 5:01 pm
    The real issue is that Jeff wants to have a seat at the head of the political table, but he cannot even get a chair in the room, let alone at the table, and this is very upsetting to him. He is not one of the “old boys”, or the “old girls” or related to some one born in Nevada County. He is a transplant with San Francisco values, and it is highly unlikely he will ever become gain the respect he thinks he deserves.

    It also explains this:

    http://yubanet.com/regional/Nevada-County-BOS-Process-1-Politics-0.php#.U0XUr5RgY6o

    BTW, Jeff is doing just fine.

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