Make no doubt about it: Brian Dahle is a conservative. But he’s found a way to win respect from the left and the middle because he’s an advocate for nonpartisan issues. One example that I support: More state funding for California’s fairs, an “economic engine” for rural communities. Here’s what Dahle had to say about it.
In short, Dahle is not an ideologue like Tom McClintock or Doug LaMalfa or some of our local “electeds.” He takes a nonpartisan issue that is important to our community and carries water for it. McClintock and LaMalfa, meanwhile, voted to shut down the government based on ideology. That hurt businesses in their district.
And guess what? Dahle won big this week. Real big. In our County, he won by bigger margins that McClintock, LaMalfa or any local conservative for that matter.
By contrast, look at the polarizing (and “toxic”) elections in District 3 — more of a “cat fight.” Dan Miller beat incumbent Terry Lamphier by a few hundred votes in a supervisor race marked by personal attacks. In fact, Lamphier has proven to be a good listener as a supervisor. He supported a cottage food law and voted for the Rincon del Rio project.
No matter what side you’re on, a few hundred votes isn’t much of a margin. The concerns raised by Lamphier about “smart growth” aren’t going away. Now he may run for City Council.
As I’ve said before, I’m happy with the supervisor representation we receive: Nate Beason in Nevada County and Jennifer Montgomery in Placer County. Beason is GOP and Montgomery is a Democrat.
But both will embrace nonpartisan issues rather than spout ideology. One example: Our county’s recent vegetation ordinance. (I do think the fire districts should be the ones to enforce this, however. They have the most clout).
The political extremists in our community — the hard right and tea party types — could learn from Dahle’s success. Most of us are in the middle and looking for reasonable representation, not rigid ideology.
One of the reasons for low voter turnout is that many people are disgusted by our polarizing politics, including the local races. All “electeds” ought to be thinking about that.