Strawser campaign brings more wackadoodle thinking out of the woodwork

You can’t make this stuff up! ” This letter is running in The Union newspaper:

“Is anyone alarmed by the tone set in The Union’s article of April 14 titled ‘Climate Change doubter donates $1K to campaign’ by Alan Riquelmy? In it, The Union reports that Board of Supervisor candidate Duane Strawser received a $1,000 contribution from a ‘climate change doubter.’

“Are the authors of this article, and Heidi Hall, implying that Mr. Strawser is violating some sort of campaign finance law? Is it wrong to accept money from a ‘Climate change doubter?’ Apparently so.

“It will surprise you, as it did me, that RICO laws are being used to prosecute those who disagree, or who are a ‘doubter.’ RICO stands for ‘Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.’ It is usually used to prosecute mobsters. It is now being used to prosecute those who call for testing the climate change null hypothesis. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., Rhode Island) last spring called on the Justice Department to bring charges against those behind a ‘coordinated strategy’ to spread heterodox views on global warming, including the energy industry, trade associations, ‘conservative policy institutes’ and scientists.”

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 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.

9 thoughts on “Strawser campaign brings more wackadoodle thinking out of the woodwork”

  1. I can’t get the article but my guess is that it informs people who gives to whoever. Isn’t it useful to know who donates to any side of a candidacy and what their views are? The postulation “that Mr. Strawser is violating some sort of campaign finance law? Is it wrong to accept money from a ‘Climate change doubter?’ ” Is that really “there” or is this just another Teabilly BS fever dream? Maybe someone can post the article.

  2. If the letter writer was referring to the pending lawsuit against Exxon/Mobile, the prosecutors are using securities fraud law not RICO. Since Exxon can’t be sued for screwing the entire planet up, the suits are based on the fact that corporate officers are legally bound to inform stockholders of potential risks to their share value. Somewhere around 1978 Exxon scientists informed the CEO, board, etc. that burning and releasing fossil fuels can cause a change in atmospheric conditions that could be catastrophic. Exxon’s response to these findings was the climate denial noise machine to preserve their equity and profit at the expense of the ENTIRE POPULATION of the planet. So, yes, taking money from a climate denier does matter because the climate deniers are so far out on the fringe that their views represent a roadblock to the necessary changes that need to be made. They are an impediment to finding solutions and to associate one’s self with them is to also associate with their ideas, which in turn makes you an impediment as well.

  3. Destroying the atmosphere through gross pollution runs in parallel with spreading radioactive particles all over the planet, and pretending that, because this is only a tiny increase in becquerels or seiverts from what we get from background radiation, it can’t cause any harm. This is false, because there is a huge difference between background radiation, and radiation from a particle lodged in say, the bone marrow of a human.

    Background radiation zings through the body at totally random points.

    Particulate radiation localizes and concentrates its efforts in one tiny region of the body.

    Background hits your big toe, and then the tip of your nose, and then your butt, in a totally random fashion. No part of your body, no cell in your body, no one piece of RNA or DNA in a particular cell it likely to get hit more than once or twice a year. No Big Deal.

    Particle sourced radiation stays in one place, and machine guns the nearby cells, over and over, and is quite capable of causing significant changes to the DNA or RNA of one or more nearby cells. These changes can lead to cancer.

    I learn of this from Dr. John Gofman, an MD and PhD in physics. He worked under Glenn Seaborg, at the original Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) out at UC Berkeley Livermore Labs. He was given the task of designing an experiment to determine the minimal doses that would cause no harm. He designed said experiment and gathered data over seven years. He found there were no safe levels. He and his staff were fired. They packed up all his papers and brought them to his house in San Francisco, neaar UCSF, where he also worked. 2 months later the garage where the papers were, “mysteriously caght on fire” in the middle of one normal Sunday afternoon. Imagine that! All the evidence was gone. My father-in-law at the time was good friends with him, and we had a nice lunch with him, about a month before the fire, so this is information I learned first hand, not some conspiracy theory.

    If you do not know of this man and his work, you should. our life and the lives of the rest of us on this planet may depend on his story becoming common knowledge. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gofman

  4. Wow. Having just read it, wackadoodle is an understatement. I would imagine the writer needed a chiropractor after all those logical contortions trying to prove a point that doesn’t even exist. Not to mention the straw men and other logical fallacies that were whipped up in the letter.

  5. Mr Levy, I agree with you about donation transparency, and my husband has been questioned about this on another blog. So, if Jeff will kindly indulge a lengthy explanation I would like to offer my reason for donating to Heidi Hall’s campaign.

    Aside from her superior administrative experience on two important Nevada County issues which I consider top tier, water and Indian tribes, she has a fine education and provides a much needed breath of fresh air to this campaign season. The political stagnation in Nevada County needs a fresh face and new ideas to help retool for the next century. The transparency and honesty of Heidi’s campaign exhibits more independent thinking than her deeply inculcated GOB opponent.

    The regional and global problems we are seeing now will be exponentially worse for our children and their children. Sadly, not many people wish to talk about this, but Heidi will not shrink from opening this conversation wider than ever before, and getting traction on the problems we are facing. For what we are about to confront in the future we need an experienced, practical, informed leader and most importantly, a candidate who is not tethered to special interests. In all of this Heidi Hall outshines her very popular but unseasoned opponent.

    Strawser’s campaign literature cites his experience as a business man, fair enough, he has a bike shop and runs an annual event in Nevada City. Attendance in recent years has dropped off some, but a few thousand of us do remember how thrilling it was the year Lance and Levi and other top cyclers came to race here. So, I was not surprised one morning when my husband told me over coffee that he had donated $1,000.00 to the funds being gathered to rescue Duane from his sponsorship shortfall of $15,000.00 from the bike race he organized. My husband walks downtown to see the race every year but had never sponsored it. So, he explained he decided on a sponsor donation level of the race, multiplied it by the number of years he enjoyed the event for free and came up with the amount of one thousand dollars to help replenish Strawser’s personal bank account. I applauded his generosity and compassion toward Strawser’s predicament. However, while I appreciate what the Councilman has done for the bicycling enthusiasts of our community, I had a somewhat different take on the situation as an ordinary citizen.

    If I plan an event and there is a shortfall of funds, that failure falls upon me. If my husband loses money in a business deal, that’s on him. We have no expectation that this community would rally to lift us up and make us whole again. Aside from lacking the kind of long standing relationships that folks who grew up here enjoy, we simply would not ask anyone else to pay for our mistakes. It’s about personal responsibility.

    I am not a legal scholar and this is really more about principles, but my question was this, was it proper or ethical for a sitting public official to have accepted the replacement money from the public while in office? Should he have owned his mistake, learned from it and moved on? Should Councilman Strawser have allowed others to petition the community for those funds or should he have put a stop to that public plea for his rescue? This is the question I yet ponder. Why accept such special treatment when it might compromise one’s governmental ethics?

    I understand that small towns sometimes make up their own rules and favoritism is part of the mix. However, I still struggle with the answer and having also noted some handsome donations to Duane’s political campaign, I decided to level the playing field a bit by supporting Heidi Hall’s campaign with a like donation of my own. It just seemed more fair. And more sporting.

  6. I don’t have a vote in the Hall/Strawser race (I’m in district 5) but, the old saying “think globally act locally” comes to mind. In my opinion the two most important issues facing America and the planet are #1 climate change and #2 Citizens United. The influx of big money into our political system in unheard of amounts skews the discussion in favor of the moneyed interests, ie. the owners of the large multinational corporations who have screwed the American public via outsourcing jobs, polluting the environment, and then sending our young people to their deaths and destruction to protect “American interests” i.e.. the moneyed interest’s investments, sources, and markets in the global economy. This is the status quo and it will continue as long as the super wealthy can buy and sell politicians (at all levels as in where does the tea party, etc. get their anonymous donations?) like so many slaves. Secondly, without Congressional approval, no meaningful laws, requirements, regulations, etc. are going to happen in the effort to combat climate change.

    Even at the local level, candidates should take a stand on these two issues because the only thing that defeats big money is big people. Big people starts at the local level and as long as Nevada County politics is controlled by right wing extremists, those with different viewpoints and solutions will not be part of the discussion…… as measure W well illustrates.

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