Local Tea-Party leader Freedle: once led during a “bitterly divided” political scene

The biggest trend of the local election season is money from a PAC called “Americans for Good Government,” managed by Tea Party members, infiltrating local races for the first time, such as spending $2,222.37 for Districe 3 Supervisor candidate Dan Miller’s first campaign mailer, as well as $2,000 each for Cliff Newell’s campaign for DA and Anna Ferguson’s campaign for Superior Court Judge.

In Miller’s case, the PAC’s contributors include Stan Meckler, father of Tea Party co-founder Mark Meckler. The PAC lists its purpose as “providing support for candidates for office.” The PAC’s officers include Fran Freedle and Eddie Garcia,  who both are local Tea Party board members.

But Freedle is more than just a board member: She now publicly identifies herself as “leader of the Nevada County Tea Party” in an “Other Voices” in The Union this morning — confirming long-held speculation about her leading role. (The group’s website does not list a President).

Freedle was a County Supervisor during one of the most toxic times in local politics, garnering headlines throughout the region for a “bitterly divided” political scene. In her “coming out” commentary, Freedle states that the local Tea Party is “alive and well.” Voters would be well advised to educate themselves about this group’s far-reaching strategy.

The Tea Party, including Mark Meckler, has outlined 40-year plan to “take back our country.” It tackles four areas: educational, judicial, political and cultural, infusing them with traditional values by supporting conservative teachers, judges, politicians and musicians.

The effort is being aggressively pursued in our community, as evidenced by the Tea Party PAC funneling money into the local races this campaign season. The group also is infiltrating our schools, with a full-frontal assault on Common Core standards.

Toxic Times and Cronyism

Freedle has been a longtime hard-right political activist. She also is a former supervisor. In Freedle’s heyday, it was a toxic time in our community politically, as the Sacramento News & Review reminded us in 2004.

“Political discourse in the county seems one step away from open warfare,” the News & Review wrote.  The County Superintendent of Schools called it a “tinderbox, waiting to explode.” The News & Review article is here.

It also was marked by a “good old boys/girls” culture.

•In an editorial, Yubanet pointed out that Freedle was “coronated” as a clerk-recorder to fill out the term of another long-time political ally — though the plan ultimately failed. Here’s an excerpt from the Yubanet editorial,“Cronyism counts, literally”:

“So, how did Freedle wind up getting the job? Her application was retrieved from the recycle bin by 3rd District Supervisor Drew Bedwell and thrown into the pile of 6, making for 7 finalists.

“Not only did the BOS have to rescue Freedle’s application from the reject pile; she was the only applicant (of the 6 finalists) with no direct election experience. That’s not the point. The point is that the BOS ignored two professional panels and tore up their own procedures, just to grant a political favor. Period.

“No offense to Freedle, she is hardly the most trustworthy pick of the lot. On the contrary, she has cultivated a reputation for being bitterly partisan and downright mean to people, a rotten combination for a Clerk-Recorder who has to deal with the public non-stop. In sum, Freedle was the uncontested Wicked Witch of the Rood Center for four long years until she lost her bid for re-election to Bruce Conklin.”

•In 2010, Freedle was treasurer of hard-right activist Barry Pruett’s campaign for clerk-recorder against Greg Diaz.  Like Freedle, Pruett also had no election experience. He lost in every precinct. The same year Freedle wrote “Arizona immigration law needs support” in the CABPRO newsletter. “The Arizona law is prudent and fair; anything less is acquiescing to the presence of illegal aliens in our country,” she writes.

•Last fall, Freedle was pictured here with “Constitutional” Sheriff Richard Mack. “Former county supervisor Ms Fran Freedle chaired the small committee of women who worked months to plan, organize and bring about this occasion.”