Tea Party-influenced PAC sponsors event for Duane Strawser for Supervisor


Source: Invitation on Duane Strawser’s campaign website

Tea-party PAC money is rolling into the local races, just like it did two years ago. And the candidates are going right along. This time “Americans for Good Government,” a PAC created by local Tea Party members two years ago, is sponsoring an event for Duane Strawser in his race for District 1 supervisor.

As I’d written before, “Americans for Good Government” has identified itself as a “conservative grassroots organizations, such as tea party groups and other independent groups, who are willing to work with political operatives to recruit candidates for positions in local government.”

“(Tea-party co-founder Mark) Meckler first met with a well-known local political operative named Kim Pruett,” a website for “Americans for Good Government” (no longer working) said. “Kim is the local field representative for Congressman Tom McClintock. In that position, she is well known in local political circles. Meckler pitched her on the ‘Status Go Project,’ and she expressed immediate enthusiasm, saying that this was ‘exactly what was needed locally.’

This is interesting, because — to me at least — Duane Strawser has described himself as a registered Democrat. More mind boggling, there is no other conservative candidate running (at least for now) for District 1 Supervisor, so the battle between Duane and liberal Heidi Hall will be over “left-leaning voters.” Conservatives will have no one else to vote for other than Duane. Now Duane risks losing some of the the left-leaning support and being painted into a political corner by Heidi’s supporters as a “tea party guy.” Duane also is being courted by the Nevada County Contractor’s PAC, which is led by staunch conservatives. (Daniel Swartzendruber, a Grass Valley contractor, is Duane’s treasurer, according to campaign finance forms).

According to campaign finance filing reports, the “Americans for Good Government” PAC has donated money to the Nevada County Republican Party, Anna Ferguson (the former assistant DA who lost the judges race to Robert Tice-Raskin), Cliff Newell, Dan Miller (now Grass Valley’s Supervisor), the Lincoln Club of Placer County, and Matt Spokeley (Auburn City Council), among others.

The PAC has paid $399 for “professional services (legal, accounting)” to Former County Supervisor Fran Freedle. (Freedle was a County Supervisor during one of the most toxic times in local politics). It has donated $2,000 to “Neighbors who care … oppose Measure S” and Nevada County Republican Women Federated,which sponsored a visit by “Constitutional Sheriff” Richard Mack, among others.

“American for Good Government’s” leading contributor has been Rocklin developer Martin Harmon, who has contributed $40K.

Some background about “Americans for Good Government” is here, here, and here. “PAC money infiltrates local judicial races,” an excellent article by YubaNet, is here.

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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26 Responses to Tea Party-influenced PAC sponsors event for Duane Strawser for Supervisor

  1. jeffpelline says:

    BTW, memo to Duane: What are you thinking?

    • Sorry to disappoint you Jeff. I’ve been transparent with you and all of my constituents over my 20+ years of public service in Nevada City/County, always treating every person equally in a fair manner. Ironic that Nevada County residents have been begging for an experienced candidate that can bring the community together, yet when a person like me has finally achieved that – the “Conspiracy Theory” headlines pop up and mistruths run rampant. I am humbled to have people from all sides of the political spectrum sitting across from each other at the same table for the first time in years supporting my campaign at the County level, yet tabloid journalism jumps at the chance to undermine community-wide cooperation as our residents are now demanding. ?

      • jeffpelline says:

        It’s not tabloid journalism. It’s political analysis: Nate Beason is a conservative, but he never accepted money from a tea-party PAC. In fact, he stood up to the group in some cases, such as the airport land-use vote. That’s why the NCCA and tea party ran McGuire against him. But Nate prevailed. That was very telling. I can’t think of how the tea party PAC, funded by out of town money from a Rocklin developer, leads to “community wide cooperation.” In fact, it leads to community polarization. To be sure, I appreciate the Amgen bike race and personally contributed money to make the organizers “whole” when the city wouldn’t step forward, but accepting support from a tea-party PAC funded by out of town money is not constructive politically.

  2. Annie Fox says:

    No conservatives running? Thought Todd was going to run.

  3. Karla ARens says:

    It should be noted that Fran Freedle is also a champion for the State of Jefferson, so might we conclude that the intent is to elect a supervisor sympathetic to that cause. I don’t know how ” left” Heidi might be, but certainly not as extreme on that side as Duane has revealed himself to be on the right.

    • jeffpelline says:

      “I don’t know how ” left” Heidi might be, but certainly not as extreme on that side as Duane has revealed himself to be on the right.”
      My straw poll this morning has a lot of people asking exactly that very same question.

    • Amazing to see people who obviously don’t know anything about me coming up with these assumptions. I have no affiliation with the Tea Party or State of Jefferson, but Nevada County residents who are still deserve to be treated fairly and their beliefs honored by elected officials. If you have questions about my beliefs, take the time to look at my track record over the 20+ years of volunteer public service I’ve willingly given to our community or look at my voting record in the hundreds of meetings I’ve attended on the community’s behalf. Have a great weekend and here’s to a integrity based campaign season.

      • jeffpelline says:

        When you agree to fundraisers hosted by a tea-party PAC you do become affiliated with them. Fran Freedle is an officer of this PAC, and she is a tea party and State of Jefferson activist in our community. It is better to just politely say “no thanks.” There are so many other ways to reach out to all of the community’s constituents, including the extreme ones, to “honor their views.”

  4. Jon Shilling says:

    I don’t have a vote in this race but this doesn’t bode well for Duane. Speaking of the tea party… wondered if you had thoughts on the upcoming water discussion on KVMR. The Democratic Party, Republican Party, and the Tea party will have representatives speaking. So are the tea party reps going to be from a party other than the republicans ?

    • Joe Koyote says:

      Good question. If the TP is treated like a third party would it not give the conservative viewpoint a 2 to 1 advantage? Fair and balanced, Fox news style.

  5. jeffpelline says:

    KVMR is generous with the tea party: after all George Rebane has commentary on the “news hour”!

    • Jon Shilling says:

      The water conversation I spoke of was in the Prospector section of today’s Union… Crossing The Political Divide.

  6. Joe Koyote says:

    Maybe the reason KVMR is so generous is to let the rest of the world see just how misinformed and out of touch the tea party is. I read what they have to say and the reasoning behind their views and I laugh/cry. They attach themselves to words like “liberty, freedom, free market, small government, lower taxes, etc.” without really being able to define in policy terms what they mean. Does freedom give one the right to pollute and poison the environment in order to provide jobs? Does free market mean the right to vote with our dollars except there are only 5 gas companies to choose from and they are all in collusion? Or does it mean corporations have the right to out-source jobs, close factories, and then stash the profits in the Cayman Islands? etc. etc.

  7. jeffpelline says:

    It’s a real stretch to include the tea party “perspective” in that debate. I think it’s a marketing move by KVMR for subscribers/membership. After all, we are a conservative, aging, declining demographic. The idea of drawing millennials is becoming more and more unlikely (unfortunately).

  8. brucelevy says:

    Crabb, Emory, The Union…they’are all clones of each other.

  9. brucelevy says:

    At this point.

  10. Paul Emery says:


    It’s Emery

  11. jeffpelline says:

    You are the epitome of a big fish in a small pond. A musician masquerading as a journalist. Let it go man.

  12. Paul Emery says:

    The Union has no involvement in the March 15 in studio discussion. Bruce, it’s Emery

  13. Jon Shilling says:

    How are the tea party members registered as voters, Paul? If they are registered Republican that would be kind of redundant or are you just trying to not be unabashedly progressive?

  14. jon smith says:

    Triple ditto to your comment reposted below. Duane can’t have it both ways. I was quite likely to vote for him based on a passing relationship from doing business in his bike shop. Duane painted a big yellow stripe down the road when he affiliated with the hard right. I’m certain mine isn’t the only support he lost.

    jeffpelline says:
    March 11, 2016 at 11:36 am
    When you agree to fundraisers hosted by a tea-party PAC you do become affiliated with them. Fran Freedle is an officer of this PAC, and she is a tea party and State of Jefferson activist in our community. It is better to just politely say “no thanks.” There are so many other ways to reach out to all of the community’s constituents, including the extreme ones, to “honor their views.”

  15. jeffpelline says:

    A troll on Todd’s blog scribbles: “Anonymous March 11, 2016 at 5:07 PM
    The TP has not endorsed Mr. Strawsers (sic).”

    I wonder if he read the invitation posted here from the tea party-influenced “Americans for Good Government” PAC that said it is hosting a cocktail party supporting Duane.

    The local politics never change around here. Never.

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