Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Butte County June Election Post Mortem

There are still some 11,000 votes to count so the numbers might change a little. But not much. The election is history. And although the cadaver is fresh, it is still worth looking at the numbers a bit.

First off, Bernie Sanders won Butte County. Of course, that makes sense since we have a University and our population is mostly white. Bernie won white counties; he lost Hispanic and African-American counties. I learned one thing: Don't suggest that that is the reason that he lost in a North Staters for Bernie Facebook page. It looks like the youth vote, that likes rallies and hacky sack games, didn't show up as much as expected and that Bernie didn't do well with Minority groups. Plus the nomination was called for Hillary the night before.

Local Berners, predictably, said it was all a conspiracy much like Florida in 2000. One guy mentioned that perhaps it was orchestrated by the same people. Really?  There were complaints that the No Party Preference people weren't given the Democratic ballot when asked. Some said that their Mail In ballot came with the wrong party (My spouse's ballot came with the Green Party choices). One of the Bernie Delegates, who will be going to Philadelphia, vows to change her party affiliation if Bernie isn't the nominee.


Do I think there was a conspiracy against Bernie by the Establishment? No. Not for a minute.

Jim Reed, Democrat candidate for Congress, took Butte County due to a split in the Republican vote where Joe Montes ran a great challenge against Doug LaMalfa. The Republicans around here argue with each other just as much as, if not more than, the Democrats do.

The Supervisor vote went pretty much according to plan, with Steve Lambert and Bill Connelly winning easily. Doug Teeter will have to be in a run-off against Big Mo Huffman (who is a Democrat). That could change as there are 11,000 votes to count, probably a couple thousand of them from the 5th District and third place finisher, Dianna Wright is only 112 votes behind Big Mo. Teeter had two challengers to his Right and one from his Left. He should win easily in November.

The abolition of Fracking in Butte County won with 71% of the vote. This is amazing as the Republican Party was opposed to it, although Joe Montes, a serious Republican candidate challenging Doug LaMalfa, was opposed to Fracking. It is quite evident that on this vote, people didn't vote much according to party line.

Joni got the Measure on the ballot single-handedly by taking on the Oil and Gas Companies in court. When the Measure passed, she only received one phone call of gratitude.

People obviously crossed party lines to vote Yes on the Cannabis Measures G and H. Both won easily, and to win with that margin, it is obvious that many Democrats crossed over to the dark side to vote for improved regulation of Cannabis. The Cannabis Taliban said that the voters "just didn't understand what they were voting for."  I think they did.

But the Cannabis Taliban True Believers will be back in November with yet another ballot measure. This time they want regulation and licensure in order to open the Butte County Wild Lands to more excessive pot grows. It is an ambitious ordinance that doesn't have a chance. Why? Because the majority in Butte County do not want a Commercial Cannabis Industry in our county. It is that simple.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

My Endorsements for the June 7 election:

1st District Supervisor: William Connelly.

It isn't so much that the careerist Connelly is good but, really, it is about just how bad his opponents are. Both Ron Stoker and Mark Warner give the impression that they have never set foot outside of Oroville. They both are uninformed and hopelessly naïve.
4th District Supervisor: Steve Lambert.

Mr. Lambert has been a leader on both the fracking issue and on the regulation of cannabis. He deserves re-election for his leadership.

5th District: Doug Teeter.

Doug can be a bit timid and tends to swerve towards the middle of the road. He avoids controversy and his recent conversion to the Republican Party doesn't help his reputation as being a non-partisan Independent. He should have remained an Independent. Yet Teeter has been a leader for the environmental protection of the rural areas of Butte County. Big Mo Huffman is running as a Democrat, and it would be nice to see a Democrat on the board. Unfortunately, Big Mo doesn't present a good enough of an argument as to why Teeter should be replaced. The same can be said for Dianna Wright and D.H. Grumbles.

4th District Assemblyman: Ed Ritchie.

Gallagher is just too much of the same lackluster leadership heading to Sacramento. This rural area could use a Democrat to voice our concerns.

1st District Assembly: Brian Dahle.

There is a reason why Dahle has no opposition: he is a well studied, and fair Assemblyman. Yes, he is wrong on more than a few issues, especially SB277, but on the whole, he expresses the needs of the 1st District better than anyone in recent memory.

Congress: Jim Reed.

Jim Reed is a bit of an oddball. But so is LaMalfa. Montes is putting forth a valiant effort against LaMalfa and we hope that he is successful in beating him. A third place finish for LaMalfa would be a fitting end for this Welfare Rancher.

Senate: Steve Stokes.

Steve endorsed Bernie Sanders. We need someone outside the Democratic Party establishment and a Progressive, to take Barbara Boxer's seat.

President: Bernie Sanders. 

We will support Hillary Clinton when she is chosen. But Bernie has established the Left Wing of the Democratic Party to be a real force for good. Hopefully, the Democratic Party will endorse his agenda in the coming years. Donald Trump is an unstable, dangerous person with nationalistic views that are frightening in its racism and xenophobia.

Measure E: Yes.

We need a fracking ban if, for anything, to be a precendent for the other counties in California and the nation. Butte county loves renewables, as you can tell by all the solar panels going up everywhere.

Measure G: Yes.

Cannabis is not an established crop. And the current Cannabis Industry is irresponsible and rude to neighbors, wildlife and the earth. We need to be able to complain about the negative sides of cannabis production.

Measure H: Yes.

The timely collection of fines will deter commercial production of cannabis in Butte County. We are all sick of the stench, the pit bulls, the substance abuse non-culture, and the real threat that cannabis abuse poses to our youth through the mental health effects (everything from amotivation to anxiety, to depression, to schizophrenia). Please vote Yes.