Election Fall 2010

Election Results 110310
Note: Thanks to the Heather Foster and the Sierra County Elections staff for data; see HERE.
Also, thanks to our returning Secretary of State for data from HERE.

Yesterday, the county was like a slingshot pulled back full length, quivering with tensions and anticipation.  Friends were avoiding friends, fences were littered with colorful eyesores, Tea Party patriots, pot heads and possible defendants anxiously asked around, “any idea who’s ahead?”

Today, the tension is gone, the new reality is settling in, and the signs on fences are like empty whiskey bottles after a bash.  The defeated are wondering what they did wrong, and the victorious are wondering what they’ve done.  The rest of us wonder what new crap is coming down the tube.  

Local elections are the most fun; we’ll save them for the end.  

Jerry Brown is governor.  

Gavin Newsom is Lt. Governor; this is a blow to those who’d hoped Abel Maldonado would be seen by the electorate as a potential governor instead of a tan Howdy Doody.  However, Maldonado is a political moderate, some would say cross-dresser, and the Prospect predicts we’ll see a surge in popularity for those candidates who can cross the aisle in the pubic interest.

Abel Maldonado from the now meaningless campaign site

Debra Bowen won Secretary of State, a position important to those of us who vote.

At this writing the Attorney General is a close call, with Harris slightly ahead of Cooley.  No one who wants this job should be allowed to have it, but Harris is the more moderate of the two candidates, and we are hopeful she’ll win.  

Chris Parker lost the seat for Board of Equalization.  Parker was the Prospect preferred choice, but he’s young and smart and we’ll expect to see him again.  George Runner was the electocrat selected.  

Barbara Boxer won at the state level.

Prop 19  failed miserably even though I predicted it would pass.  Read a separate story HERE.

Prop 20 passed and Prop 27 failed which means the redistricting commission can move forward.

Prop 21, the license fee for state parks, failed, saving everyone and saving the poor the most of all.

Prop 22, which prohibits the state from stealing funds from counties, passed.  Let’s see if it changes anything.

Prop 23 which would have turned back AB 32 and green jobs in California failed 61.3% to 38.7%.

Prop 24, which would un-do tax breaks for the wealthy, also failed.  This editor argued that it was too vague, and too focused on teachers.

Prop 25, the “simple” majority budget amendment passed, which means that, from now on, the more powerful party will pass the budget.  

Prop 26 will turn “fees” in to “taxes”.  Even the analysts who do nothing else can’t predict the long term effect of this law.  We only analyze every so often, so we’re not afraid to say it will mean fewer new projects which impact air and water quality, and an increase in cost to consumers and tax payers.  Still, let’s see what happens, maybe we can require a 2/3 vote of the people to increase building permit fees.

That is the story, unofficially, at the state level; it probably won’t change too much.

Sierra County voted contrary to the state in several contests (good job, folks).

In Sierra County, Meg Whitman is governor and Abel Maldonado is lt. governor, but we doubt they’ll come here to rule.

Boxer kept her seat representing the state, but lost in Sierra County
CARLY FIORINA REP             62.34%
BARBARA BOXER DEM             28.95%
Barbara Boxer Dem                52.1%
Carly Fiorina Rep                42.5%

Prop 23 passed here, but not at the state.  Well, it hasn’t been that warm here, so we don’t believe in global warming, and “green jobs” are green because they use up money, right?  Here is the tally:
Yes                    957 53.76%
No                    823 46.24%
At the state level:
Yes                     2,749,066 38.7
No                      4,341,365 61.3%

Prop 25 also failed here, much to the credit of our voters.  I guess our majority isn’t “simple”.
Yes                     860 48.64%
No                     908 51.36%
At the state level:
Yes                    3,827,665 54.9%
No                    3,150,278 45.1%

We haven’t checked, but we’ll predict Tom McClintock is our congressman again.  Hell, we all like it when he comes around!  Locally, it’s due at least in part to the service given by Tim Holabird, McClintock’s guy hereabouts.

Sierra County Numbers:
BENJAMIN "BEN" EMERY GRN         189   10.57%
TOM MCCLINTOCK REP             1152  64.43%
CLINT CURTIS DEM             444    24.83%


Now, Sierra County local elections.  
First of all, we would like to take this opportunity say to all the victors: we secretly hoped you would win. 

Measure C failed.  It isn’t surprising, since times are hard and every meadow fence in the county had a “No on Measure C” sign.  We haven’t seen the results yet, but assume with other local pundits that the measure did well in Loyalton and Downieville, but poorly in Alleghany and Pike, and the Valley.  There is a big idea that local kids would be better off going to school in Portola or Grass Valley or Truckee.  If the kids are there for school, we don’t need schools here at all.  And, why should anyone with kids live here, they’ll all move to Portola or Grass Valley or Truckee, too, where there are more jobs.  Without families, what do we need with a planning and building department; indeed, what, really, do we need county government for at all?  We send prisoners out of county, and many of our services are Sierra Plumas or Plumas Sierra or Sierra Nevada, why not close down county government completely?  We could split the county between Plumas, Yuba and Nevada counties, and give Verdi to the state of Nevada (what the hell, let’s finally let them have Independence Lake, too).  I mean, let’s be realistic here.  We don’t need county government to serve people who are all pretty much going to die in the next decade or two.  

It looks like the following is going to stick when everything is official:

Superior Court Judge: Charles Ervin.
CHARLES ERVIN             894 50.25%
THOMAS S. ARCHER         885 49.75%

What a squeaker!   Local pundits figured Ervin to be at least 20% behind Archer at the start of the race, but though both candidates paid their dues and walked their miles, Ervin managed to overcome the margin and grab a few extra votes in addition.  Still, it was a very close race, and the new judge will have a lot of skeptics to convince.

The tightest race, between Karen Rickman and Scott Schlefstein was decided by even fewer voters:

SCOTT A. SCHLEFSTEIN     192 51.06%
KAREN RICKMAN             184 48.94%

Again, Schlefstein will need to win over the confidence of every second person to really represent his district.  

Sheriff John Evans kept his seat, but not by as great a margin as some (including the Prospect) predicted.  

TIM STANDLEY         876 48.08%
JOHN I. EVANS         943 51.76%

For an incumbent, that’s a pretty close race.  In a way we shouldn’t be surprised, Standley is real local, real nice and, damn, he looks good in that suit!  This gives Standley a couple of years to hone his approach for next term, and Evans a couple of years to convince us he’s the sheriff we need.  Local attitude toward the sheriff’s office isn’t very positive, owing, some suggest, to the number of young, arrogant, officers.  Good luck with that, John, fighting crime is easy by comparison.  

The Loyalton City Council will now seat Brookes Mitchel, Pat Whitley and James Beard.  Of all the candidates, we wish these the best luck, since they have the most Herculean task ahead.  Good Luck!

That’s how it shakes out.  Those candidates who tried so hard and failed, congratulations, take some time off and pay off that Visa debt.  For those of you who won: get to work!

Every one else, go out and take the signs off your fence!
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