State of Jefferson dialog shows few commentators in the hard-right blogosphere — just activists

The commentary on the hard-right political blogs is dominated by a handful of people and a very narrow demographic. In the recent State of Jefferson dialogue, I counted only 10: George Rebane, Russ Steele, Nancy Garcia, Barry Pruett, Don Bessee, Gregory Goodknight, Todd Juvinall, The Union columnist George Boardman, “Bill Tozer,” and “fish” (AKA David Larsen of Carmichael ).

Nearly all of them are hard-right,  tea-party or State of Jefferson political activists or “all of the above.” Rebane’s blog is used as a tool to whip up the activists. Todd Juvinal’s blog is dominated by anonymous sock puppets — all personal attacks and nasty. On the SOJ discussion on Rebane’s blog, most of the commentary is comprised of personal attacks and nasty comments or outright lies. “Anything goes” with George; he does not moderate. In addition, many of the people hide behind fake names or vague ones such as “Gregory” or “fish.”

On this blog — posted here and on Facebook — I counted 23 comments, from a broader demographic (yes, a few activists but also school teachers, real-estate agents, artists, successful business people and entrepreneurs like Boga paddle boards, and so on). There was a mix of men and women too.

It is far broader than on Rebane’s blog, almost exclusively dominated by like-minded, white male, hard-right activist retirees (Rebane and Steele have long dominated this demographic).

The count on my blog for SOJ includes myself, highly conservative John Stoos, Lindy Beatie, Nina Bigley, Chip Wilder, Jim Firth, Brian Smith, Sean O’Hara, Ed Peritz, Linda Hempel, Frank Patch Way, Steve Frisch, John Daly, Carole Pendledon Hyde Chapman, Sue Williams Clark, Michael Keiser, Chris Bishop, Larry Miller, Audrey Ohlson Smith, Tony Loro, Trish Myler, Katherine Smith-Schad, and Ben Emery.

That’s more than two comments here for every one on Rebane’s blog. If this is any indicator, the State of Jefferson initiative will go down in flames — and it will.

Meanwhile, the initiative will cast a major pall over our economic development efforts, making people wonder if they should “invest” in our county: whether it’s a private investment or a government one. In short, our hard-right activists are undermining our future.

Here are some signed comments from my blog post — either on here or below the post on my Facebook page:

Lindy Beatie: “Total waste of previous time and taxpayer dollars.”

Sue Williams Clark: “I can’t help but wonder why this is given front-page priority. Well, I think I know.”

Audrey Ohlson Smith: “Sick!”

Ben Emery: “What SoJ supporters are realizing is that organizing and numbers help them move their position forward. Hopefully they will start to understand that workers need to be able to do the same.”

Trish Meyler: “Two stories on pot, 3 new Dollar Stores (are you kidding me?), and headline news the State of Jefferson. It’s the state of something alright.”

Katherine Smith-Schad: “Ugh.”

John Daly: “I am ashamed that we have such a “news” paper for our community. The State of Jefferson would be a complete financial failure and Nevada County should exclude itself from it. Front page news? Really.”

Jim Firth: “County Boards of Supervisors all around our region are withdrawing any support for the Jefferson’s.”

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.

23 thoughts on “State of Jefferson dialog shows few commentators in the hard-right blogosphere — just activists”

  1. So what am I, chopped liver? I post here too, but far more of my time is spent on Facebook, where i am the admin for the Vents Series, including the original, with over 3,200 members, and 2016 Vents, dedicated to strictly political stuff, Vents 3.0 humorous stuff, and Vents 2.0, where you have to have at least one mutual friend in common with me.

    I also host (admin in FB Speak) Peeper Exiles, for folks who want an NC Peeps like environment, after they have been thrown out of Nevada County Peeps, for reasons known only to their admins. Peeps proper is well over 12,000, and Nevada County News and Information is around 7,000. Blogs generally have way smaller audiences. I haven’t had the time for Rebane in ages, and Goodknight, my favorite nemesis, just doesn’t seem to be on Facebook.

    I also spend a lot of time in other FB political groups, including State of Jefferson, where I learned that some of them are so lacking in US history, that they believe that the Louisiana Purchase, etc., somehow belongs to the states that didn’t even exist back then. They seemed startled to learn of the Homestead Act, and some were blaming Feinstein and Pelosi for the existence of BLM, instead of realizing that it all went down with the elected representatives of 150 years ago.

    Seems there is a woman, an attorney, making the Tea Party Borscht circuit,
    She is spreading BS about the history I’ve referenced above, and has a video that slyly leaves out the notion in her favorite section, that the fed do indeed own and control what they purchase beyond the original 13 states. She has many of the mannerisms of Donald Trump, and talks to her audiences as if they were a bunch of worthy but misguided kindergartners.

    I also contribute to Nevada County Gun Discussions and Bad Drivers of Nevada County, and even started one group I forgot about, that has grown quite nicely and calmly, all on its own, Nevada City Peeps. I will not bother with the For Sale and Pets groups here, but yes, active there too.

  2. Thanks Doug. I was referring to the people who commented on this specific issue this week, not ones who post here in general. Enjoy your weekend! Oh yes, the local tea party has had Hall speak here too. I’ve written about her.

  3. Glad to see so much support for a “no” on the State of Jefferson. We still have an election on the way in Lassen County, and potentially in our county so will need your hands-on and fiscal support if these elections materialize. Recently, Keep It California, the organization formed last April to push against a separation of California and to advocate for northern California in Sacramento, has managed to “assist” the Lake, Plumas, and Amador County Boards of Supervisors to rescind their offer to put SoJ on the ballot. Sierra County’s board adopted a resolution declining to join the State of Jefferson. Please join Keep It California” on Facebook and check out our website

    Once there, please click the “endorse” button and sign up to help stop this insanity before, as Jeff notes, it does any more damage to our economic growth prospects.

  4. I support the separation, but down at latitude 35 or so, so We keep Mt Whitney and San Simeon. And thus, NorCal does not become a de facto at creation Tea Party dominated state, which is what the SOJ are really intent on. Proof? In advance they are all in favor of guns guns guns, but mj, “well, we’ll see about that later….”

  5. After reading the last post from “fish,” I’m certain he needs considerable counseling, along with some anger management training. Between “fish,” Don Bessee, the global warming “deniers” and the rest, there seems to be a disproportionate number of unhinged characters in the local hard-right political blogosphere. Perhaps Donald Trump will find a place for them in his cabinet.

  6. Rebane writes on his blog: “Was interested in reading The Union’s editorial position on SoJ today (here). The SoJ steering committee is preparing a response.”

    Who cares about the SOJ steering committee response? This is why The Union does not have a good Op-Ed page. It should be focusing on more pertinent issues in our community than seceding from the state of California. It is a “non issue” for the vast majority of us. And the ballot measure is a waste of time and taxpayer money — just like most of the other “initiatives.” Now that would be a good topic for The Union to explore.

  7. This response from Russ Steele explains why our community goes nowhere under the “good old boys.” They burn bridges with Sacramento, rather than build them. They are ideologues and obstructionists.

    Steele has sat on the board of the NCERC and Transportation Commission. Go figure!

    He’s all caught up on seceding from the State of California, as if that were a priority for economic development, our schools and the like. What a waste of time and what a counterproductive exercise.

    BTW, I DID NOT vote for Measure S, as did others who also DO NOT support SOJ. But I did “hold my nose” knowing that Don Bessee opposed it. Yuck!

    Russ is a shining example of our local political extremists and rigid ideologues. Most of us are practical and pragmatic and want to get along with the rest of California. One example: Saving the Bridgeport Bridge and saving the Yuba state park from closing.

    No word from Russ about spending taxpayers money on this initiative either, though I’m sure he objected to most of the ones that are introduced.

    “A Former Editor of The Union writes on his blog:
    Who cares about the SOJ steering committee response? …

    “Yea, I remember the Measure S “non-issue” and how it was going to pass without any problems, because the majority of the community supported the Measure. How did that work out?

    “Why does the Board of Supervisors in some rural Counties not want to let the public to have a voice on the issue? A vote on the ballot. Why does the Former Editor of the Union what to stifle public voices on this issue? Simple deduction, they are both afraid of the answer.

    Posted by: Russ Steele | 30 January 2016 at 04:54 PM”

  8. The hard-right activists are becoming unhinged (again) over on George’s blog. Little Nevada County CA once again flexes its mighty muscle to Coastal California, because it’s going to express its “Constitutional right” on whether to secede from California — and spend upwards of $80K to do it. (That would be the cost of adding another page to the ballot). Cool. Meanwhile, our more pressing problems — economic development, our schools, our public health (mental health and homelessness, etc.), affordable housing, etc. — get pushed aside some so some selfish ideologues can debate whether to secede or not. Next thing you know Don Bessee will be our “cultural minister.” Welcome to the Lido Deck.

  9. This post from Gregory Goodknight is a classic: “The loony left … will see anything the right does as loony.” No, Gregory. As I said many people who voted against Measure S also are opposed to SOJ. Ideologues like Gregory see the world in black or white when it is gray. So much for a Harvey Mudd education.

  10. This anonymous post on Todd Juvinall’s blog sounds like Don Bessee: “The queen of crazy cat ladies and eco nut Heidi Hall is going to regret the day scoopy swung his tonnage in line to support her candidacy. His record of being the kiss of death to campaigns is epic. In the last cycle alone he was for measure S and his prognostications were 180 degrees from the outcome (before he got in a fight with that pot group). Poor little Fran Cole got the endorsement of death from scoopy and she went down in flames exactly like measure S. Then you have Jim , friend of Leland yee, Furths electoral successes and who can forget Terry Lamphiers stellar career after the scoopy touch of death! Go on big boy keep actively supporting your favs it helps keep the County on the Right track. ROFLOL.”

    What is he talking about? I did not vote for measure S and I have not endorsed Heidi Hall. I did not endorse Fran Cole either. I don’t know whether it’s Bessee, but I moderated him off this blog long ago. I couldn’t run the risk of what he’d post after I went to bed. He’s a walking “libel” lawsuit.

    1. Now I see what’s eating Don Bessee. He should at least sign his name. Heidi Hall: “The decision of the BOS this past Tuesday with regard to the medical marijuana outdoors ban and ballot decision is disappointing. There are children fighting for their lives and elders needing help with their pain. Medical marijuana is a legal drug, and should be made available to those in need of it. I have faith that law enforcement personnel are capable of enforcing well-written and understandable regulations to ensure that legal medical marijuana is grown with proper safety parameters. Our leaders should be working with the community to come up with reasonable regulations that are in compliance with State law.”

      1. Sounds like Heidi Hall is a top notch candidate who is very intelligent. I wouldn’t say the same about Bessee.

  11. This cracks me up! Gregory writes: “I’ve also never lorded my education over anyone;” Lacks self-awareness. I increasingly find that the commentators in the local hard-right blogosphere — all six of them — have nothing to say. Or do.

    1. That does seem a puzzling claim, since the following indicates severe Dunning-Kruger affliction.

      In a comment at Gregory writes:
      “They determined this not by an anonymous web survey, or a survey of papers by an activist without any real science background (Oreskes) or by a quick scanning by a team of activist “citizen scientists” without much if any science education (John Cook et al)… they actually asked them.”

      As best as I can tell, he’s a long-time software developer.

      ‘Naomi Oreskes is Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences. She recently arrived at Harvard after spending 15 years as Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego, and Adjunct Professor of Geosciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

      Click to access Oreskes-CV.pdf

      ‘1990 PhD Graduate Special Program in Geological Research and History of Science, Stanford University… Advisors: Marco T. Einaudi (Applied Earth Sciences, Geology) and Peter Galison (History, Philosophy, Physics)
      1981 B.Sc. First Class Honors, Mining Geology (IC ~M.I.T. of the UK)
      The Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, University of London’ …
      1991-1996 Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences and Adjunct. Asst. Prof of History, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH’

      [Cook et al 2013] authors include:
      John Cook has a BS Physics, finishing climate-related/social sciences PhD.

      Dana Nuccitelli has BA Astrophysics UC Berkeley and MS Physics UC Davis.

      Sarah Green has a BA Chemistry, PhD Oceanography, MIT+WHOI

      Mark Richardson has PhD (remote sensing, climate modeling), now at JPL/Caktech

      Click to access Mark%20Richardson%20CV.pdf

      Robert Way is PhD student with many papers, incl. major Cowtan &Way(2014)

      Peter Jacobs is a grad student in Environmental Sciences at George Mason U.;

      Andrew Skuce has an M.Sc. in Applied Geophysics and worked as a geophysicist for decades.

      Most attend AGU Fall meetings in San Francisco at least occasionally.

  12. I have rented so much space inside Juvinall’s and his sock puppets’ head that he anticipates what I might be writing before I do! He has nothing else to write about, even on Iowa caucus day. LOL.

    1. Readers: This thread wound up being disjointed, but I think Margaret is endorsing Annie Fox’s comment: “Sounds like Heidi Hall is a top notch candidate who is very intelligent. I wouldn’t say the same about Bessee.”

      Don, meanwhile, is one of the most obnoxious characters I can think of. And he relishes it!

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