"Pundit" comes from the Hindi for "learned man;" it may be the world’s oldest term for "bullshit artist". In current use, one is a "pundit" when one makes wild guesses about social issues in public.
The Fringe Pundit has been watching the candidates and is ready to pundify.
If you are a candidate, or sleep with or otherwise support a candidate, and you find your candidate not doing well in this particular pundarama, don’t despair, the whole point of punditing is to change your mind right up to the last minute; things could easily change. Our pundit won’t offer his last predictions until well after the election.
Also, like all pundits, the FP has a dog in the fight. It’s tough to sell ads when all the local businesses are going under; local news media need campaign ads to see them through this lean spell. The Prospect, and no doubt the Booster and Messenger, too, would like to see a long, messy, expensive fight for every seat, one that will drive candidates to throw their budgets in the trash and buy more ads and fill headline space.
Christian and Larson Disrupt Local Candidates Night with "Bar Room Babes" Style Brawl-- Local Dems badly beaten again
Headlines we dream about
Christian and Larson Sue Fringe Pundit for Derogatory Term "Catfight"
Headlines we have nightmares about
So, let the punditry begin:
District 2 Candidate for Supervisor:
It’s no surprise that the incumbent, Peter Huebner, is ahead in the rumor poll. Incumbents always have a leg up, since most people simply vote for the name they’ve heard the most (none of those people read the Prospect: our readers are smart). More than that, though, Huebner has put a lot of energy into being supervisor. He’s well respected among regional political players, like regional biomass supporters, and even at the state level, in his role at CSAC EIS. However, none of those people can vote for him, only people in district 2. The population distribution in District 2 is pretty strange; there are far more deer than voters in most of the district. Both men are known in Sierra City, but Huebner is well known in Verdi and the non-Loyalton area of Loyalton. Those areas contain enough votes to make the difference.
Pundit call, if the election were held today: Huebner
District 5 Supervisor
While District 2 can be understood in terms of population centers, District 5 can be understood in terms of politics. Schlefstein has strong support among free market conservatives; Rickman has strong support among both of the Democrats in the district. Schlefstein is outspoken and his views are well known, while Rickman is more reserved. Schlefstein has experience in law enforcement and the court system; Rickman is very highly thought of for her skill with numbers and other facts.
Pundit call, if the election were held today: Schlefstein
As in all county-wide elections, the sheriff has to appeal to all geographic areas.
Both currently active candidates (there is also a latecomer) are well known, and are working very hard. Fatheree has been working in Plumas county and would bring some new ideas, he’s got the support of several deputies, he’s acknowledges as a "by the book" cop and can demonstrate his knowledge of the law. Evans is the incumbent and has one full term more experience, he’s a people person and is known for an almost self-destructive honesty, though there is mention of some recent and near past legal incidents which have not been publicized. He works well with the public and with other county staff. Fatheree would bring order to the department, while Evans will never be a graceful administrator. However, Evans tends to seek compromise, has his finger on the pulse of the community, and tends to be focused on service. He’s also spent more money with the Prospect, a very important quality.
Pundit call, if the election were held today: Evans
However, there is a fourth candidate who is not running, but who is often mentioned for the job: Mike Fisher. If Fisher were running today, the Fringe Pundit predicts he might win. He’s seen as more administratively capable than Evans and more person-oriented than Fatheree.
There are five judicial candidates, Archer, Christian, Ervin, Larson and Prouty. Archer is actually a resident, is well known among the cow folk and various local organizations, and would win hands down if they were the only voters. He’s less well known generally than some of the other candidates. Christian has ties to the area and to Winslow Christian, a judge in the old days. She has strong support among local women and among Democrats. Ervin is not well known, and is a personal injury attorney, but he’s been pumping hands in the county and he has in-law ties to Sierra City. Larson is known on the West, and might actually carry Downieville. Prouty is an attorney in Plumas county, has good experience as a PD, a small claims court judge and he has good child welfare experience. He’s not well known in the county, and while he’s kissed a few babies he isn’t the first name anyone mentions for judge, which is a shame, since he might be the best choice.
A judge’s appearance is very important, since much of the authority of the court is founded on the so called "dignity" of the judicial. This posturing is so important, it is protected by law, because, after all, if we suddenly realized our lives were being jiggered by a man in a black dress, we might suddenly not go along. Given how important the "look" of things in court are, we’ll predict that a candidate’s ability to get the job, much like that of a prostitute or movie star, is predicated on the ability to look "judgely." On that score, the winners are Christian and Prouty.
None of these lawyers have spent a dime with the Prospect, and so none deserve to be judge, but since there are five candidates, a run-off is expected, and they are harboring their campaign resources for a long fight. We’d advise the underdogs to spend heavy now or they won’t be in the run off.
Pundit call, if the election were today: first: Christian or Archer, followed by Ervin, Prouty and Larson. Ervin recently jumped past Prouty, since he and his partner have been to every social function short of girl scout meetings. He gets points for wanting the job.
Those are the pundit predictions for 3/7/10; they will change frequently, depending on the local grapevine, the blowing of political winds, the shifting in fortunes, and of course, the amount of ad space the candidates buy.