LaMalfa Town Hall shows continued shift to the left in local politics

Locals lineup for the LaMalfa town hall meeting (Photo credit: Facebook)

A theme on this blog last year was that elections results are pointing to a shift to the left in local politics. Though much of the local hard right is in denial — including the human global warming naysayers— the handwriting has been on the wall since last June and again in November.

In Nevada County, Heidi Hall won the District 1 Supervisor’s race; Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump for president; Kamala Harris bested Loretta Sanchez for the California Senate; Doug LaMalfa narrowly beat Jim Reed (50.56 percent vs. 49.44 percent) for Congress; and Robert Derlet beat Tom McClintock for Congress — handily. Nevada County is going blue.

This weekend, the trend was reinforced at Doug LaMalfa’s town hall. I listened to the proceedings on KVMR and watched them on YubaNet — in real time. The Union lacked the real-time reporting of the progressive local media, only reinforcing its perception as the “Tea Party Gazette.” (Memo to The Union: The internet is changing how we communicate).

LaMalfa was contrite: He mentioned progressive Nevada City council member Reinette Senum, SYRCL executive director Caleb Dardick and other progressives by name as being instrumental in being catalysts for the town hall meeting.

Meanwhile, rightwing activist and blogger George Rebane was having a hissy fit. He wrote: “The meeting was co-opted by the left.” No, it wasn’t. The local GOP was outgunned politically by the progressives despite having a staunch Republican Congressman in their camp. LaMalfa must have been disappointed at the local GOP’s effort — despite the advantage.

Senum shared a video on Facebook, writing: “Such bull. ‘Early on at the town hall. Red shirts going in on the side while we wait outside.’ Trying desperately to get an advantage. … BTW, I give kudos to LaMalfa. … To Bessee and the Chair of the local Republicans, not so much.”

She was referring to this email blast sent by the local GOP, stating: “We must show up in large numbers to show we are strong too.  The best way to assure seating is to volunteer for the set-up effort.  For that, a list of approved set-up personnel is being compiled by Don Bessee.  Only persons who are on the set-up list will be provided with the details for arrival location and early admission time for set-up.”

The progressives were well organized, holding up signs that read “agreed” when a speaker made a point that resonated with them.

What’s ironic is that their grassroots efforts are redolent of the Tea Party Patriots — but without anywhere near the hatred and rancor. The progressives’ protests are more civilized than anything that the Tea Party ever dished up.

It will be interesting to see what becomes of the next round of local elections.

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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14 Responses to LaMalfa Town Hall shows continued shift to the left in local politics

  1. depelton says:

    Remember those LaMalfa signs? “Vote for Doug LaMalfa. He’s One Of Us” He must have wondered where “his people” we’re yesterday. The times they are as changin’ …

  2. Chip Wilder says:

    Tried to watch online but the stream was stuttering, or it would just stop. What I did get to see was predictable. LaMalfa is what he is, a Trump clone. Due date: November 6, 2018, get this guy out of office.
    Best Sign Yesterday: Luck FaMalfa-

  3. Paul Emery says:

    Has anyone established a credible estimate of the number in attendance at the Town Hall?

  4. Joe Koyote says:

    The meeting was not “co-opted by the left” as Rebane would like to claim. Alternate facts as it were. The meeting was a spontaneous expression of public sentiment. No one was paid to show up. People came out of the woodwork and made the effort to express their displeasure to their elected representative. Democracy in action, whether Rebane likes it or not, which obviously he does not unless it favors his ideology (as in the organized tea party disruptions of Obamacare town hall meetings.) I will give kudos to LaMalfa on a personal level. He handled himself well in the face of massive opposition. He never got angry or rude like his compadre McClintock reportedly has at his recent town halls.

    The Republican minority has control of the all the branches of government. The checks and balances are gone and they can pass whatever legislation they want, they can implement whatever policies they want, and they can start whatever wars they want. All the American public can do about it for now, is just what they did at the town hall meeting; express their opposition and hope their elected representatives listen and truly represent all of their constituents, as the “you work for us” chants suggested. Whatever happens, for better or worse, conservatives will be the ones holding the bag. They will be totally responsible. The only blame they can lay for things gone awry will be on themselves. If they screw the pooch, as it were, the republican party will face the music all alone.

  5. Joe Koyote says:

    I have seen crowd estimates as high as 1600 and as low as 1000 but nothing definitive. We were told by fire marshals that there were 500 seats and the room would be capped at 1000. I was about two thirds of the way back in the line and when crowd counters passed by they told us we were number 700. People were still coming in from the parking lots when the doors finally opened. I don’t know whether or not there were people outside who could not get in.

  6. jeffpelline says:

    Our local rightwing nuts are becoming unhinged this morning! Here’s something for them to chew on with their Metamucil: http://www.salon.com/2016/03/15/the_rights_hypocrisy_on_trump_protesters_it_was_only_ok_when_the_tea_party_was_crashing_obamacare_meetings/

  7. Kathleen says:

    A policeman at the door told us the count for the crowd was 1,433.

  8. Chip Wilder says:

    S.J Res. 34 La Malfa voted Aye to allow internet providers to sell your browsing history. At the town hall recently, I don’t recall those 1500 people clamoring to have their internet history sold. Not one person-

  9. Steve Willer says:

    A little off topic of the last town hall, but here is something for future town halls. LaMalfa voted for this bill, to let ISPs sell your internet browsing history. For those of us who are cancer survivors and have had extensive costs with medical treatments, think about that being part of what comes up with your background checks for an employment application, in the age of skyrocketing health insurance costs. That job application may go right into the garbage can. HIPPA may protect some of your medical history with hospitals, but I doubt online forums for medical issues is part of that. I haven’t read the entire bill so I don’t know what the limits might be, but I’m glad I don’t need to look for employment anymore.
    Jeff, this might be something for a separate post.
    http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/29/15100620/congress-fcc-isp-web-browsing-privacy-fire-sale

  10. Joe Koyote says:

    Let’s face it. EVERYTHING the current administration is trying to do/doing benefits the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. Our government has been purchased. The uber-wealthy have finally succeeded in their long range plan to implement their version of government/society onto the rest of us. We are returning to the 19th century where the robber barons ran the show. Does trump think all those unemployed factory workers are going to come to California and pick lettuce to replace the undocumented farm workers he deports after his promise of manufacturing jobs fails because the robber barons make more money using cheap foreign labor?

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