Is a vote for Cheri West a vote for Bessee, Juvinall and their gang?


Crossing a line — again

Now that Assemblyman Brian Dahle’s legislative director Cheri West has declared she will run against Heidi Hall, the question becomes “Is a vote for Cheri a vote for nasty hard-right political activists such as Don Bessee, Todd Juvinall and others?”

Bessee uses the word “bitch slap” in his comments on George Rebane’s blog, such as Walker did bitch slap the Unions into line and won 3 elections in 6 years. He used the phrase again this week. And those are the signed comments!

And Todd calls well-meaning people in our community “turd suckers,” such as this comment to progressive Ben Emery — again on Rebane’s blog: You are a real turd sucker. Really Todd?

This wouldn’t matter much except Bessee became a de-facto spokesman to defeat the marijuana cultivation initiative, Measure “S,” supported by the Sheriff and others. Bessee addressed the Board of Supervisors on Measure “S,” as well as the hazardous vegetation ordinance. He is a board member of the Alta Sierra Homeowners Association.

Most of us do not approve of the word “bitch slap,” including, I suspect, Cheri West or Heidi Hall. Yet I did not hear the proponents of Measure S, including our Sheriff or other “electeds,” threatening to wash Don’s mouth out with soap.

Rebane lets the comments stand without moderation or warning, though most of us would find it distasteful.

Bessee’s behavior is being condoned with silence, just like Donald Trump was silent on the accusation that Obama was a Muslim. Yet silence often speaks a thousand words. It condones political bullying.

The same goes for Juvinall, founder of CABPRO and a former County Supervisor, who often crosses the line with ugly personal attacks, going back to the days of NH2020. Todd has donated hundreds of dollars to Doug LaMalfa’s campaign, as well as some local politicians — but again not a peep from Doug or the others.

All told, I hear nothing but silence from even the more thoughtful GOPers when it comes to these antics. Yet I do hear these same people make negative comments about local Democrats, such as Jim Firth.

It’s a double standard, to be sure.

So people will want to know if Cheri West condones the actions of our local hard-right political activists — on the record. Or are we just going to let history continue repeating itself.

The reason that Heidi Hall is winning support stems from people becoming tired of the hard-right antics, which do not reflect the political diversity of our community. She will win votes from the left but also the middle.

Compared with the hard right, I know of no one who is a left activist who uses words such as “bitch slap” or “you are a real turd sucker” in their commentary.

This is akin to what’s happening in national politics, more from the right than the left. It’s our locals’ version of the Jerry Springer show.

People will be watching to see if Cheri West takes a stand. It needs to be part of the conversation, for these candidates and any others in District 1.

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 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.

17 thoughts on “Is a vote for Cheri West a vote for Bessee, Juvinall and their gang?”

  1. Why does Todd entertain the posts of a man from outside our area (David Larsen of Carmichael) for local political commentary? Because no one else will comment with a signed name.

  2. I like both women as viable candidates, especially if Cheri is like her boss, Brian Dahle in her ideologies. I don’t see either as the sort that Todd and the boys will support. As for Measure S, it’s too nice of you to give Besse credit for its defeat, I believe ‘S’ (and its supporters) defeated itself. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

  3. Jon,
    You can bet that the hard-right political activists will support anyone but Heidi Hall. And yup, Bessee is the self-appointed spokesman for Measure “S,” hazardous vegetation in Alta Sierra, etc. The real issue is whether the conservatives will ignore the behavior of the local hard right activists, just as Trump ignored the comment that President Obama is a Muslim. Silence can also speak volumes.

    1. As promised I supported and voted Yes on S. It did not pass so it’s back to business as usual. Speaking of businesses, I still support those who posted Yes on S signs. Those who posted no, I simply don’t go.

  4. So if I see Brian Dahles credentials and “ideology” correctly, will Cheri “also” be a Climate Change Denier, Concealed Carry for everyone, Coyote Shooter, and a Birther too?

    1. I assumed Brian Dahle was pretty balanced as far as conservatives go. Out of the two I would most likely vote for Heidi but I will listen to Cheri and see what she has to say. As I don’t live in the district I won’t actually vote for either. I would like to see someone run against Scofield in my District that has a chance of winning. I didn’t say Bessee was a spokesman or not, I was stating he and his peers were not the only ones that were responsible for the defeat of ‘S’.

  5. I’ve known Cheri West & family for years & know her as a person of honesty/integrity who has no connection to the Juvinall’s of Nevada County. She is probably the most qualified individual we’ve had run for a Supervisor in years has no pattern of acting solely on partisan beliefs – but open minded, common sense decisions based on what’s best for all of our local residents. Give her a chance before attaching her name to Juvinall, Bessee, LaMalfa etc.

    1. I’m glad to hear that. Now I’d like to hear her take a public stand against the nasty antics of our local hard right — not just look the other way like too many other of our local conservative “electeds.” I’m hoping for a real leader. Electing conservatives who don’t speak out against the ugly antics of our hard right merely enables them. And it makes a lot of us wonder whether they condone it or not.

  6. The hard right have already claimed Cheri as their own. She has an impressive resume, but more on a State level than on County issues. Heidi has immersed herself into our community and will make an excellent Supervisor.

  7. I would love for Bessee to throw his hat in, that way you could all learn about his background, and then wonder like me why people even feel he is credible. But yes I agree about having someone run against Scofield in District 2.

    1. Ah, the one who tried to force mandatory memberships for Alta Sierra residents. I remember that. He’s pulled a few more antics as well.

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