Fake Rancher, Jim Nielsen with his never worn before cowboy hat. Hey, it helps get votes in Northeastern California.
To tell you the truth, I've been rather frightened to read any of the local papers the past couple of days. Day after day, the stories just seemed to get weirder and weirder. Depressing to read about such louts who would turn a flag upside down at Obama's election. Or read about those who oppose bike trails as part of a UN plot to take over the world. In a sense, I didn't think I could stand to read any more of the stupid exploits of my fellow citizens of Northeastern California.
What to do?
I drove down to my place of employment and am working a stretch. Took the time to read a couple of the local papers. The Marysville Appeal Democrat had the standard diatribe against carbon taxes and the like. The Chico ER did manage to take a swipe at both Doug La Malfa (our Congressman elect) and Jim Nielsen (La Malfa's heir apparent in the Senate).
To describe the antics of these two guys is to signal what is absolutely the worst of North State politics. La Malfa resigned his seat early in the State Senate so that he could run for Congress. Nielsen, La Malfa's buddy, signed up for the special election and had his signs ready to go the day La Malfa resigned. In fact, La Malfa and Nielsen's signs were nearly identical; both signs featured a white cowboy hat and called them "Conservative Ranchers". Both these guys have their piggy faces firmly planted in the government trough. La Malfa, by capitalizing on cheap state water and rice subsidies and Nielsen by being a career politician privy to sweet heart deals and phony per diem submissions. They both provide ample evidence on why people should be cynical about politics.
Jim Nielsen doesn't even live in the district. His real home is a mansion outside the district where he has a history of collecting the per diem pay while the State Government is in session to finance his monstrous house. To add insult to injury, his wife collects the same sort of per diem pay. State spending at its worst. His home in the district is a manufactured home in Gerber--where he isn't seen very often. Like never. He calls himself a "rancher" but he only owns a couple of acres of land. Guess that makes me a rancher too.
But people keep voting for this kind of corruption even though fine alternative candidates were, and are, available. Because Nielsen didn't clear the 50 percent plus one rule in the quickly staged general election, there will be a special "run off" election. Nielsen will be opposed by Mickey Harrington in a special election the second week of January.
I was actually with Mickey the day that La Malfa quit and the special Senate election was announced. We were working a booth at a festival registering hippies and stoned Concowites to vote. I told him about the special election and Mickey decided that he would run as we were talking. He felt that some Democrat should throw his hat in the ring--so Mickey did just that. Mickey is a fine gentleman. He represents a cherished and dying sect in America: the union worker of a non-governmental organization. Mickey is now retired. He has been a tireless advocate for the Democratic Party.
To me, the choice is easy this January. Why would I want to vote for a crook when there is a perfectly responsible, honest man running? Easy choice. Go for the Union guy.