Locals Hodge and Senum make Sac Bee’s “Capitol Report”

“Symposiums about water policy don’t typically spark dust-ups about ticket refunds and allegations that members of Congress are trying to duck their constituents,” the Sacramento Bee is reporting this morning.

“But some people living in the districts of Reps. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, and Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove complain they were summarily disinvited from Friday’s conference of the Mountain Counties Water Resources Association entitled, ‘The New Trump Administration – A View from The Top.’

“The all-Republican lineup of elected officials at The Ridge Golf Course and Event Center in Auburn includes LaMalfa and McClintock, as well as state senators Jim Nielsen, Tom Berryhill, and Ted Gaines, and Assemblyman Kevin Kiley.

“Among those who bought $40 tickets to the event were Hilary Hodge, the executive director of Sierra Commons, a small business education center in Nevada City, and Nevada City Councilwoman Reinette Senum. Hodge said they wanted to question McClintock and LaMalfa about water policy.

“Last week, though, Hodge and several others received refunds and were told the event was sold out. The real reason, Hodge alleged, is that she and others are not ‘politically aligned’ with the speakers.

“’It’s an unfortunate exclusion because they are now having a conversation with themselves because they’ve excluded people with an outside perspective,’ she said.

“But John Kingsbury, the association’s executive director, said he made the decision – free of political interference – to refund more than 20 non-member tickets after demand greatly exceeded that of past conferences. Some people, he added, view Friday’s event as a town hall, which it isn’t.

‘”Normally we don’t have anybody register,’ Kingsbury said. ‘I needed to make sure I had capacity for my dues paying members.'”

The rest of the article is here.

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 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.

15 thoughts on “Locals Hodge and Senum make Sac Bee’s “Capitol Report””

  1. The Union columnist George Boardman is going to have an apoplectic attack now that his “arch enemies” Reinette and Hilary made the Bee! Hope Mimi’s got some warm milk at hand to soothe him.

  2. How hard could it be to find a different venue that would accommodate the number of people interested in the meeting? In fact, there’s still time to do that.

    Something doesn’t add up.

    I hope some members of the media are there to report on it.

  3. What is most interesting about this is some of the ticket holders were called, initially, by the Executive Director, John Kingsbury, and asked why they were going to the water symposium. Then, about a week later, they got the “love letter” like the rest of us: On Valentine’s Day, giving us the boot. And the twenty ticket holders that had their tickets returned all originate from this general area of Nevada City/Grass Valley. Also, what was not noted in this piece by the Bee is that the tickets were sold online with BrownPaper tickets and all categories of tickets are set at certain limit…… so either you have the seats available or you don’t. Interestingly, I purchased my ticket under the “Government Staff” and not under “Non-member” and I still got the boot. I had a relatively bizarre email exchange with John Kingsbury, that I will share on my newly launched blog, thefoghornexpress.com,. I express in the email to Mr Kingsbury that I bought my ticket because I felt I was representing my constituents who have understandable concerns about drought, deluge and failing infrastructure. Kingsbury didn’t seem to care the least bit.

  4. Interesting that SYRCL was also disinvited, now even more so since the revelation that SYRCL was involved in letting the state know about the issues with the Oroville dam.

  5. How many organizations having sent out a public invitation with just up and disinvite the public? Most would use the fact that the tickets were sold out to get there members to make reservations earlier next time. Seems suspicious to me!

  6. Historically, the California Indian People have not been treated to respect or fair treatment in these parts.
    The Nisenan have become familiar with these kinds of bureaucratic insults in their own homelands. The Nisenan of Oustomah are a tough little tribe and will prevail by the sheer grit and spirit that has helped them survive one of the worst onslaughts in human history for over 160 years.
    They had there tickets returned as well, but they won’t give up.
    Welcome to the club everybody!
    We are all Indians now.

    1. Oops, another (sic), “their”, of course.

      Watching the town hall meetings happening all over the country, and how angrily folks are challenging their Republican leaders, one can see why the MCWRA feels more comfortable packing the house with their own choir.
      Maybe we should have a mock town hall meeting here in NC with chautauqua actors as stand-ins for McClintock and LaMalfa. That way the public would be able to ask those important questions and the actors could take their best guess as to what our trusted leaders might say.
      It could even be a very entertaining fund-raiser, come to think of it.

  7. What are they discussing in this meeting that they don’t want the public to know? The outcome could concern us all regarding flooding native lands to put in a new dam that doesn’t even benefit the people it affects. Closed door meetings like this are unacceptable. We need better representation and until that happens, they shouldn’t be surprised when the public shows up to voice their concerns.

  8. Judith. Lighten up. I am quite pissed by LaMalfa, but I am not an Indian and quite happy in my own lilly white skin, thank you. The very best way to turn people off to a cause is to harangue them with a singular focus on a specific brand of ideology.

    1. Sorry Jon, I misspelled your name.
      Yes, politicians can be frustrating.
      But, LaMalfa seems to coming around.
      You might consider getting involved with a group like Women Indivisible of you haven’t already.
      Having that kind of camaraderie helps.

      1. Jon,
        I really like the gender unifying phrase they use for the activists, “Women and the men who love them.”

  9. Hi John,
    I think I will take your advice.
    I have done enough to help the Nisenan.
    They are doing great now, unlike when I met them.
    And you are right about possibly alienating folks, shrillness doesn’t look good on me.
    Working on that.

    What I need now is help from the rest of you.
    The NCR has been using a cabin on my property for the last year.
    I agreed to a free lease for the tribe for two years until they get on their feet.
    The remodel of our own house will be completed this year and at that time we need to begin to complete the plan on the entire property to remodel our buildings into nice rentable homes for folks.
    We are essentially creating a pocket neighborhood uptown and we know that one day people will be very happy and secure here.
    Happy people are productive people right?
    That’s good for the community, so that has been our vision.

    The NCR is doing good work in my cabin, but they need a more public space, one with retail potential, office space and some room for exhibits and archives.
    This is a generous community and now that Reinette Senum has begun working with the tribe I feel that she can do more for them than I.
    I have long thought that if Ms. Senum, with her energy, great community connections and administrative experience, chose to take up this cause things would move much more quickly for the tribe.

    Look John, I have spent almost ten years and considerable resources in an attempt to help this unfortunate tribe and educate its community, but now I want to go travel with my wonderfully supportive husband and have some fun for a change. I also want to get back to my own work. Before I came here I enjoyed the respect of my colleagues and such great treatment by the many institutions that hosted my work and brought me to their cities for public programs and artist residencies.
    In contrast, I feel little but contempt and derision in this community, for what I tried to do to help you all.
    So the need to get back into my own skin and get back to the life I love is compelling at this point.
    My work is done here.

    The NCR feels good about what we have accomplished together so far, but I have always told them that my thing is education, not their recognition process.
    I have done my part.
    It is up to the people of this county to carry the torch from here.
    Please help.

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