News sure travels fast in the “good old boys” political network

We slept in, well until 8 a.m., after enjoying a night at Chef’s Table in Grass Valley with friends, and a nightcap at the Golden Era lounge. This morning, we went over to my in-law’s house for breakfast to celebrate a child’s fourth birthday. It was a beautiful day.

When I got around to checking my email, things changed. Todd Juvinall — no less — had sent me a news tip! It read: “Uh oh.” It included a link to a jail media report with three names that I didn’t recognize. (I think Todd needs a lesson in “cut and paste” if he was referring to Heidi Hall, because her name did not appear in Todd’s link.)

Then on Todd’s blog I noticed a thread that clarified things. It included:

“•Anonymous —
The following public information is from the online Nevada County NCSO jail media report. Nevada County Supervisor Heidi Hall was arrested 6/4/17 in Grass Valley by GVPD. Hall was taken to the NCSO jail and booked for 23152(A)/23152(B) DUI:ALCOHOL/DRUGS.”

“• Anonymous —
I wonder if … Terry Lamphier was at the Dem event at Condon Park last night with Heidi Hall? Two shinning stars of the Nevada County Democrat group. You can’t make this stuff up! LOL!”

“•Anonymous —
Sierra Dragons Breath SCOOPED the Union and the FUE on the Supervisor Heidi Hall arrest!”

“•Barry Pruett —
Appears that this is not newsworthy to the former Union editor. Podunk Pelline. Middle of the road or liberal hack? Lol”

“• Barry Pruett —
It was the Russians fault.”

And the comments are continuing to this minute.

“Misery loves company doesn’t it?” I thought to myself (that is, Todd Juvinall, Barry Pruett, and Todd’s coterie of anonymous posters — readily identified by their writing style — all spending their day grinding axes on Todd’s blog while most of us were outdoors enjoying time with our spouses, our family and friends).

I also was reminded that news sure travels fast in the “good old boy” political network. Early this morning, The Union was “tipped off” to Heidi Hall’s arrest too — just like Todd. Go figure! The news was posted on The Union’s website early Sunday morning — a highly unusual news gathering hour for this sleepy newspaper. Most people are in church! (The local politicos are good at “using” the newspaper to advance their own agendas).

Heidi handled this was grace, considering how quickly she was being thrown under the bus (AKA “when they go low, we go high”).

“I do not condone drinking and driving and take the issue seriously,” Hall said in a statement. “I used bad judgment last night when I thought it was safe for me to drive. I apologize to all the people I have disappointed. This won’t happen again.”

It’s a pattern

Click for larger image: (Credit: Ivan Natividad, The Union)

There’s a pattern here when it comes to our local politics: Outspoken progressives are routinely targeted with personal attacks, innuendo and outright lies by the rightwing activists. It’s largely a one-way street, because the nastiest ones are on the right. And “due process” is not respected, either, even by some of the lawyers who moonlight as activists. Remember this? “Is legal process and election process taking a back seat to our small-town partisan politics.” (see photo)

After all was said and done, Lamphier’s “no contest” plea was dismissed. Details here.

In the beginning, however, news of Terry Lamphier’s alleged computer activities was “leaked” to The Union even before charges had been filed! There was a front page story and an editorial. Details here.

And on Facebook, Reinette Senum’s comments about the Dallas police were exacerbated by a “plant” to the NC Scooper and an orchestrated campaign on Facebook even after Senum’s offending words were removed from Facebook and she apologized. Details here.

As I’ve written before, “The political are so nasty because the stakes are so small.” It’s hypocritical too. I recall instances when The Union publisher was lobbied to keep DUI arrests out of the newspaper. Hmmm.

The reason for all this is simple: Our community is “purple” politically and becoming more “blue.”  The last election made that perfectly clear. But the activists are fighting back. (And they play dirty).

What  I wrote in January sums it up:

“For decades, groups such as the stodgy Republican Central Committee and Republican Women’s Federated have defined the political force in our town. The group has been well organized. It also has given rise to right-wing bullies in the local blogosphere.

“But that’s changing, as we’ve written before. In our town, progressive women are organizing — on a more ‘neutral’ platform of pragmatism, respect and tolerance.

The signs include Emerge CA, which has focused on our area to elect Democratic women; Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, carrying the most votes in our county; and Heidi Hall winning election to the county Board of Supervisors.”

“While there were several issues that played into the election of Donald Trump, the vicious misogyny and disrespect that took place during the campaign, and after, has been eye-opening for women in our country and for the men who love us,” writes Hilary Hodge in The Union.”

We can expect more of this nastiness in our local elections, but it won’t change the political trend.

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 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.

26 thoughts on “News sure travels fast in the “good old boys” political network”

  1. The problem is that when you are a public person you are not allowed to make bad judgements in your private life. Unfortunately, Heidi can probably kiss any political ambitions she has beyond a one term supervisor good bye, especially around here where the good ole boys won’t forget or forgive if it is not in their own political interests…. then who cares, everybody makes mistakes. What’s wrong with grabbing a pussy now and then. Look how much money trump has. So what if he has gone bankrupt multiple times. He is not a chronic liar, it’s fake news? etc. etc. etc. On the other hand Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi. It’s the double standard of ‘fair and balanced’. It’s only fair and balanced if it favors you.

  2. Joe,
    Perhaps but times are changing:

    1. “Warner Bros. and DC Comics’ “Wonder Woman” topped the U.S. box office this weekend with a $100.5 million opening, exceeding expectations and making it the best American debut for a female-directed movie,” as CNBC is reporting tonight.

    2. Nevada County Indivisible Women is becoming a potent political force.

    3. As for DUIs, men — including “good old boys” — are responsible for four of five arrests, according to statistics. “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

  3. Of course, back in the good ole days, a good ole boy supervisor who had a little too much fun would have been given a courtesy ride home, no questions asked.

  4. Barry Pruett is now calling me a “liberal hack.” Sure, Barry. BTW, is that you in this photo in front of Grass Valley City Hall, or am I just imagining things? I thought you lived in Penn Valley back then, not Grass Valley. Please clarify.

    1. Hi Barry,
      Is that you or not standing with the vigilantes in front of Grass Valley City Hall? Who is that little man in the dark sunglasses standing next to Patti Ingram? And if it is you, what is a guy who doesn’t even vote in Grass Valley doing there? If it isn’t you, please tell us.

  5. This is the best that Todd and his nasty little “merry pranksters” could come up with:

    “Todd Juvinall
    “You really are unhinged when you diss someone practicing free speech in front of City Hall. And whine when that person lives in Penn Valley and not GV. My goodness, the man is insane.

    “And making some kind of point that 4 of 5 arrests are men and Wonder Woman is making some money. I think there may be more of a feminine side exhibited than is real in the male world.”

    Free speech? When you don’t even vote in Grass Valley? How about immature? Who’s insane Todd? Who’s insane Barry? Do tell.

    1. Barry,
      Once again, are you the little creep standing in front of City Hall “hiding” behind the sunglasses or not? Like TL, you seem to be obsessed with Heidi Hall’s DUI over on Todd’s blog. Just remember what the rest of us do: Heidi Hall was elected in her local race. So was TL. You lost in every precinct. Ouch. No wonder you’re such an angry man, who once wrote a letter to the editor that you could never vote for a Democrat. And a real life candidate for a Jerry Springer Show. You aren’t too bright either. I left The Union in 2009, not a “few years ago,” with a $40,000 severance. But I happily turned it down, so I could write freely about my experiences at The Union, and even local political losers like you. Bet you wished somebody would write you a check for 40k someday. You’d cash it in a heartbeat. ROFLOL.

      1. Barry,
        Did you write this letter to the Valpariaso Times? What a child!

        Are we making friends or encouraging enemies?
        The only way I can fight back is to never vote for a Democrat
        Letter to the Editor
        Nov 21, 2003

        The Senate Democrats have hijacked the constitutional process of “advise and consent.” In the 214 years since the Senate first convened, the Senate has never filibustered a judicial nominee of any president.

        We, the people, gave the Republicans the majority in the Senate, and that majority reflects the current, mainstream view in our country. The Democrats, by blocking the constitutional rights of the nominees, are subverting our constitutional rights as voting, consenting, American citizens to advise and consent in our own judicial process.

        The only way for us to take this matter into our own hands is to show the Democrats in the Senate during the 2004 election that we will not sit idly by and watch a minority sabotage the Constitution and 214 years of precedence. The Democrats in the Senate can manipulate the facts and make up all kinds of interesting numbers, but what they are doing is a violation of what our Founding Fathers conceived and an infringement of my rights.

        I have learned one thing. I will never vote for a Democrat, because that is the only way this American can fight back.

        Barry Pruett

      2. Dr. Phil would have a field day with Barry, “fish” and Todd. Imagine being a progressive client of Barry’s and reading his letter “the only way I can fight back is to never vote for a Democrat.” Or listening to him make light of a $40K severance when he never even made partner at a law firm. Or listening to him wag a finger at Heidi Hall or Terry Lamphier when he lost his political race in every precinct. Can you imagine being married to this guy?

      3. Someone called Deplorable of Nevada County was just defending the pervert Ted B Nugget this morning. Says a lot about that “person”

      4. Annie,
        Todd still thinks you’re a sock puppet. He still can’t imagine why anyone would find him to be deplorable. That sums up the whole little bunch. Ha!

      5. Jeff, that’s so hysterically funny! My comment was about whomever the Deplorable of Nevada County is. I didn’t say the individual was Todd. LOL!

  6. Nothing is more predictable and unsurprising than that the local right wing will fall all over themselves politicizing Heidi’s mistake. Most everyone else will probably give her the opportunity to live up to her promise to never let it happen again. I expect that the good work she does as supervisor will outweigh this unfortunate incident, which will eventually be forgotten. I doubt that it will have much long lasting effect on her political fortunes. Heirid is a good and thoughtful and hardworking person. She won;t disappoint those who have voted for her.

    1. Whoops, my last sentence should read, “Heidi is a good and thoughtful and hardworking person. She won’t disappoint those who have voted for her.”

  7. Don, I agree with you…the promise will be kept, the work done will gradually erase the memory, and there will be nonpermanent damage.

    The person in our community who is really has permanently damaged themselves is Mr. Juvinall. He is a caricature, wrapped in a cartoon world, enclosed in a frame of spite. He has alternatively promoted the story…while claiming it should not be over blown….while giving his ridiculous trolls and compulsive liars an anonymous platform to blow the issue out of proportion….while acting like his bourbon drinking aged ass has not been out there probably on the same street making the same mistake.

  8. To be fair, if this were Todd, we’d be on him and I would be somewhere near the front of the line. The only difference between Heidi and TJ, is that Heidi was immediately contrite and apologetic while Todd would have turned this into a hit and run then denied it ever happened, even if it were caught on film.

    1. Jon Smith has quite the imagination. Unlike Heidi I have never been arrested. So I do have the high road anyway.

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