Joanne Bodine, CEO of the Bodine Group, and a prominent regional Democratic contributor, has donated $1,000 to Heidi Hall’s campaign in the District 1 Supervisor’s race, according to the latest campaign finance reports. She joins local artist Judith Lowry-Croul in making a $1,000 donation to Hall’s campaign.
Joanne’s husband is Neil Bodine, a principal with the Bodine Group and Beeson, Tayer & Bodine, a well-known law firm that specializes in labor law, labor-management training and mediation. Joanne has been a significant donor to the campaign of Ami Berra for Congress and the California Democratic Party, records show. Bera, of Elk Grove, has fought off a national Republican effort to unseat him.
The latest contribution shows how the District 1 race is shaping up: Democrat Heidi Hall and proud Democrats versus a largely “anyone but Heidi Hall” right-wing contingent made up of Nevada County Republicans, the County Contractors Association, the Tea Party-influenced “Americans for Good Government” PAC, political operatives of Congressmen Tom McClintock — and of course, more apolitical friends, family and neighbors who like Duane and almost seem drown out in the race.
Ironically enough, Duane is a registered Democrat, who is changing his party affiliation to “decline to state” for this race, as YubaNet has reported. Strawser is generally well liked, though he has been criticized for what many see as a political “about face” to win support from the right in this race. Duane’s social values seem to be conservative.
Hall ran for Congress against Doug LaMalfa and lost. She’s well-educated, likable, successful and hard working but seems to carry an “X” on her forehead in some local circles, because she’s — well — a Democrat.
Local “old guard” and some old-timers have long held contempt for Democrats, going back to the days when the “gang of four” (Democrats) made up the majority of the Board of Supervisors. Their vitriol surfaced in other campaigns, such as Jim Firth’s run for Grass Valley City Council. Firth is active in the local Democratic party.
This polarization is unfortunate, because California is a Democratic, not Republican state, and most of our local problems are nonpartisan. We also are supposedly trying to attract millennials and young families, who typically are more politically tolerant.
But western Nevada County has a growing statewide reputation for a political movement that is identified with political right-wing extremists, ranging from McClintock to tea-party co-founder Mark Meckler.
Some of the attacks against Heidi are becoming nasty as the campaign unfolds — a longtime tactic of the local hard right. Here’s one from the blog of Todd Juvinall, a former county supervisor who hosts a blog that routinely allows anonymous personal attacks: “Is it any surprise that ‘ANONE BUT HEIDI’ money would pour in once they figure out who her and are friends are? NO lady we don’t want your friggin meters on our wells you eco nut job. Go back to the eco nut house democrap environmental caucus. Don’t let the door hit ya on the way our. Will Heidi Hall run for dog catcher after she loses yet another election. What a waste of an international studies degree. Heck she could be a checker at kmart with that marketable a degree.”