Duane Strawser was a Democrat who changed his political affiliation to “decline to state” for the District 1 supervisor race, as YubaNet has reported. Now he’s being endorsed by the staunchly conservative local Republican Central Committee (think Fran Freedle). Welcome to western Nevada County, CA politics!
In fact, Duane had a choice: to turn away our hard-right extremists who were going to vote for him, not Democrat Heidi Hall, with a polite “thanks but no thanks.” Outgoing District 1 supervisor Nate Beason set the political precedent for this when he stood up to the hard right, including their tea-party candidate Sue McGuire — and he won.
But instead, the Strawser campaign has reached out to our hard-right political culture, which includes a receiving a $3,697 contribution from the tea party-influenced “Americans for Good Government” PAC and anti-global warming activists (see below).
The argument is to give credence to all voices. But I think that’s a cop out: these extremist voices hold back our towns. They bring out the State of Jefferson movement, the “constitutional sheriff,” anti-global warming activists and the “defend rural America” contingent.
Meanwhile, other towns in our region — such as Truckee — plow ahead without this kind of distraction. We are falling behind in economic development, including drawing college-educated millennials and attracting and retaining young families from the rest of California, including — God forbid! — the Bay Area. Wackadoodle politics do not interest them. This a pragmatic issue, not an ideological one.
Nowhere is this political extremism more apparent than in a letter in The Union this weekend titled “Frank Pinney: Vote Strawser; he’s paid his dues.” Pinney contributed $1,000 to Strawser’s campaign, though it isn’t disclosed in the letter.
Here’s an excerpt but go ahead and read it: “I still don’t understand Heidi’s rejection of the Constitution, fiscal responsibility, personal freedoms and smaller government apparent in her continual attacks on the Tea Party. Her hatred is evident in her false claims that her opponent, Strawser, is financed by and his campaign is run by the Tea Party and that Tea Partiers doubt global warming and want to slash Social Security and Medicare.”
Pinney you recall ran a preposterous full-page ad on the back of The Union, which happily collects ad revenue from “all comers” (but doesn’t have to). It has long been an “enabler” of whackadoodle politics, because that includes its core demographics — staunchly conservative, aging — and declining.
But that’s not all of us. For the first time in years, the number of registered Democrats are greater than the number of registered Republicans — a trend The Union has ignored. The figures are here. BTW, I’ve been a “decline to state” voter my whole life and have voted for Democrats and Republicans.
To be sure, I like Duane Strawser. I have supported his endeavors on numerous occasions, including personal ones such as his own Nevada City Council races.
But we’re at a crossroads. As Yogi Berra joked, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” But we’re not doing that, and it’s costing us. Just look around.