LaMalfa backs Trump’s election fraud fantasy, others are silent

Republican officials who backed Donald Trump’s right to contest the election results in court remained silent as Trump tried to engineer a coup by pressuring state Republicans to ignore the voting results and pick their own electors.

Some of them may actually be rooting for a coup, but most of them have remained silent because they fear the wrath of Trump’s supporters if they waver in their support. There’s nothing like the fear of losing an election to get a politician to tow the line.

The public support includes even those who privately despise the president. Carl Bernstein recently named 21 Republican senators who he claimed “repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump.”

“With few exceptions their craven public silence helped enable Trump’s most grievous conduct—including undermining and discrediting the U.S. electoral system,” Bernstein wrote.

Meanwhile in deep blue California, the state’s few elected GOP office holders have either expressed support for the president’s efforts or dodged the media when asked to comment.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House’s minority leader, refuses to accept Trump’s defeat, and state Senator Shannon Grove, the state Senate majority leader, has tweeted images comparing Trump to Moses fighting a battle, saying she believes the president will serve for “the next 4 years.”

Nevada County’s two representatives in Sacramento—Senator Brian Dahle and his wife, Assemblywoman Megan Dahle—have remained silent on the subject, but our two congressman have not been reticent.

Rep. Tom McClintock, whose fourth congressional district includes the Truckee area, has taken aim at mail-in voting, claiming without evidence that it is a “corrupt process” that allows ballots to be sent to “untold numbers of people who have moved or died.”

The county’s other congressman, Rep. Doug LaMalfa, was just one of two nearly two dozen officials contacted by the Los Angeles Times who was willing to comment on the issue.

LaMalfa, a reliable foot soldier for Trump over the last four years, backed the president’s claim of massive fraud in the election process. Like Trump, he has no evidence to support the claim, but is convinced it exists.

“The circumstances surround the Presidential election point to a fraudulent outcome,” LaMalfa tweeted recently. “The reports we’ve seen of non-residents, deceased voters, potential mail fraud, and partisan poll watching are deeply concerning and must be challenged.”

But when it comes to the results of his election, LaMalfa is confident the vote count was accurate and lacked fraud. When asked the question by a reporter for the Redding Record Searchlight, he became rather testy:

“You guys keep asking that, OK. That’s crap, alright. That’s just a game you’re playing, I don’t appreciate it. I don’t think our 11 counties in this district have an integrity problem, so the answer is ‘No.’”

Given LaMalfa’s track record, you can believe his support for Trump. For other Republicans who despise Trump or who don’t back him, maintaining solidarity with the president in public is a matter of political survival.

“They have flocked together in their cowardice in the House and Senate for the past three or four years, so the fact that they remain in formation isn’t surprising,” Reed Galen, a co-founder of the Lincoln Project who worked on the George W. Bush and John McCain campaigns, told the Times.

“There is no small amount of self preservation,” he continued. “Do they really want to come out and say something against Trump, or come out and tell the truth, and risk the ire of Trump, or Trump Jr…”

But the refusal to accept the election results—a position that will influence millions of Trump acolytes—could set a bad precedent for the country. The allegations of widespread voter fraud with virtually no evidence undermine public confidence and could set the stage for a further erosion of democratic norms.

“You never see a breakdown in democracy without a good bit of spineless semi-loyal behavior on the part of actors who ought to know better,” said Larry Diamond, who specializes in the study of democracy and is a senior fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution.

As Trump’s allegations keep getting rejected by state and federal courts and his path to reelection disappears, LaMalfa is ready to move on regardless of the results. As he put it in his usual elegant manner: “Our side doesn’t tend to burn down freakin’ buildings like the others do when the slightest thing goes wrong.”

He didn’t say anything about armed militias.

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Conferences that give athletes the chance to become students

Universities with big-time athletic programs like to advance the myth that their student-athletes (emphasis on “student”) are there to get an education.

Never mind that they are valued as the main cogs in multi-million dollar sports operations, and that some of the schools they attend are unlikely to graduate them with anything resembling the useful skills they will need when they don’t realize their dreams of playing professional sports.

Proposals are now being floated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the umbrella organization for big-time college sports in this country, for the use of the players’ images and likenesses. That’s an indirect way of saying they’re going to be paid for making their athletic programs big money makers.

But some of the big athletic schools do make it possible for their student-athletes to actually get a good education while playing big-time sports. That leads to another question: How do you rate and identify them? What schools and conferences are really best for student-athletes?

I was pondering those questions when the Wall Street Journal’s annual report on college rankings landed in my yard. The Journal, in conjunction with Times Higher Education, ranked 500 schools on a variety of factors that make for a good student learning experience.

The rankings are based on 15 factors across four main categories:

–40% of each school’s overall score comes from student outcomes, including graduates’ salaries and debts;

–30% comes from academic resources, including how much the college spends on teaching;

–20% from student engagement, including whether students feel prepared to use their education in the real world;

–10% from the learning environment, including the diversity of the student body and academic staff.

Not one word about the intercollegiate athletic program.

This being the Wall Street Journal, money has a lot to do with the rankings. Thus, it’s no surprise that six of the top 10 schools are Ivy League institutions, and all of them are well-endowed private schools. Three schools with big-time athletic programs—Stanford, Northwestern and Duke—did make the list, but the rest of them pay little attention to athletics.

(In case you’re wondering—and you probably are if you’ve read this far—Harvard finished on top and Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA, finished last at 500.)

Since I have plenty of time to kill in these days of COVID-19, I took the rankings and grouped the football members of the five most prestigious athletic conferences in the country: The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, and Southeastern Conference (SEC).

I added up the rankings of each of the schools, and then computed the average of each conference because they vary in size from 11 to 14 schools. (I didn’t include Notre Dame with the ACC because its football team is just a temporary member of the conference this year.) The conference with the lowest average score came out on top.

The five most prestigious conferences ranked as follows:

Big 10, 106

ACC, 110

Pac 12, 126

SEC, 255

Big 12, 280

Other than Northwestern (ranked 10) and Michigan (23), the Big 10 schools didn’t rank real high, but they weren’t very low either. About what you would expect from a conference dominated by schools from the Midwest: Steady but unspectacular.

The Big 10 was followed closely by the ACC, which I thought would finish No. 1 when I started compiling the data. But while Duke was ranked fifth, the next-highest team in the conference was North Carolina at 33 and Louisville dragged down the average at 393.

Following that was the Pac 12, which showed a real gap in the schools. The four California schools—Stanford (4), Southern Cal (19), UCLA (26) and California (34)—were followed closely by Washington (45). Then there was big gap, starting at Utah (133) and ending with Oregon (225) and Oregon St. (318). The fact that California is the fifth largest economy in the world has a lot to do with this.

The top three conferences are closely bunched, but the most successful football conference (SEC) is well behind the others. The best academic school in the conference (Vanderbilt at 17) is also the conference doormat. Florida follows at 56, but three of the schools are ranked in the 400s: Alabama (400), Arkansas (406), and Mississippi St. (457).

That leaves the Big 12 in a league of its own: Not only is it the lowest rated conference, but it is the weakest football performer among the five. The top ranked school is just 61st (Texas) while three schools are ranked well into the 400s: Kansas St. (444), Texas Tech (487) and West Virginia (496).

So the lesson is clear: If you’re a decent student who is good enough to get a major conference sports scholarship offer, consider a Big 10 or ACC school. If you don’t care about school and want to play right away, the Big 12 is the place for you.

Here’s the ranking of every school by conference:

Big 10: Northwestern (10), Michigan (23), Illinois (43), Purdue (47), Wisconsin (65), Maryland (77), Michigan St. (82), Minnesota (91), Ohio St. (100), Indiana (104), Penn St. (109), Iowa (162), Rutgers (235), Nebraska (336)

ACC: Duke (5), North Carolina (33), Virginia (51), Miami (53), Boston College (55), Wake Forest (64), Georgia Tech (71), Pittsburgh (97), Virginia Tech (109), North Carolina St. (112), Syracuse (124), Florida St. (187), Clemson (189), Louisville (393)

Pac 12: Stanford (4), Southern Cal (19), UCLA (26), California (34), Washington (45), Utah (133), Arizona (135), Colorado (173), Washington St. (203), Arizona St. (196), Oregon (225), Oregon St. (318)

SEC: Vanderbilt (17), Florida (56), Texas A&M (83), Georgia (149), Auburn (243), Louisiana St. (264), South Carolina (289), Tennessee (291), Mississippi (298), Missouri (303), Kentucky (315), Alabama (400), Arkansas (406), Mississippi St. (457)

Big 12: Texas (61), Texas Christian (71), Baylor (175), Kansas (239), Oklahoma (242), Iowa St. (264), Oklahoma St. (323), Kansas St. (444), Texas Tech (487), West Virginia (496)

***

Betting on football has more than the usual obstacles bettors have to contend with this season. Naturally, all of this involves COVID-19.

For starters, what is the home field advantage worth these days? Aside from sleeping in your own bed and playing in familiar surroundings in front on your fans, we know from several studies that officials have a bias toward the home team. Some people think this is in fact the home field advantage.

But with few if any fans in the stands, what is the home field worth in terms of points? Historically, bookies assign three points to the home team when setting the point spread. What’s it worth this year? Who knows.

Then there’s the problem of the COVID protocol, with players being ruled out, then reinstated before game time. This is a good way to disrupt pre-game preparation, and make betting even more of a gamble.

For these and other reasons, I’ve been going slow this season, but have been able to maintain my goal of 60% winners (15-10) to date. Here are this week’s plays. As usual, no guarantees.

COLLEGE

Purdue (-1.5) over Minnesota

Iowa (-2.5) over Penn State

Arkansas (+2) over LSU

Texas State (+6) over Arkansas State

NFL

Minnesota (-7) over Dallas

Miami (-3.5) over Denver

I also like Carolina getting points against Detroit, but Teddy Bridgewater was questionable for the game when I had to put my money down Thursday so I passed. I never bet a team when the starting quarterback is out.

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Nevada County inundated by blue wave that dried-up elsewhere

The blue wave practically inundated the partisan races contested in Nevada County’s general election, even if the wave barely made it ashore in the rest of the country.

There’s really no argument about this anymore. As the last three general elections and three special elections since 2016 made it clear, the county has turned from purple to blue when it comes to voting for political preferences.

The real question is how did this happen in a county with a basically stagnant population for the last 10 years?

The election results also show that Nevada County is the outlier in the first and fourth congressional districts, and California’s first state Senate and first state Assembly districts. Republicans have won easily in those districts for years.

County voters have shown a preference for Democrats at the federal and state levels in recent years. Barack Obama carried the county each time he ran, and Donald Trump’s support in the county slipped from 42.5 % in 2016 to 40.7% this year. (Nationally, Trump picked up an additional 7 million votes this year from 2016.)

The trend is really striking when you examine the congressional and state Legislature races since 2016: While the Republicans have easily prevailed in their districts, their support in Nevada County eroded significantly.

Take Rep. Doug LaMalfa, an easy winner in all of his races. LaMalfa got 50.5% of the Nevada County vote in the 2016 election, plummeting to 44.7% in 2018 and 44.2% this year. (The 2020 results were not final as I wrote this.) Rep. Tom McClintock, whose fourth district includes the Truckee area, did even worse, sinking from 35.2% of the vote in 2016, to 23% in 2018, and 24.3% this year.

The last time Ted Gaines ran for the first state Senate seat in 2016, he captured 52.3% of the vote in Nevada County. His successor, Brian Dahle, got 46% of the county’s vote this month.

Brian Dahle’s successor in the state Assembly, his wife Megan, got 44.8% of the county’s vote in a 2019 special election for the seat, and 44% of the vote in Nevada County this month.

These kinds of shifts are usually attributed to a growing population that changes the political makeup—an influx of liberals into Georgia and Arizona is cited as the reason these reliable red states are now in play. But after climbing 7% from 2000 to 2010, Nevada County’s population has increased just 1% in the last decade. So what has changed?

I suspect the answer can be found in the fact that Nevada County’s average age is significantly higher than the rest of the state. The median age in the county is 46.8 years, compared to 36 in the state, according to U.S. Census figures. Over 28% of the county’s population is 65 or older; it’s 14.3% for the state.

As older, more conservative residents have died, they have been replaced by flatlanders who are more liberal. The change makes for heavier sledding for Republican candidates, and doesn’t figure to get easier anytime soon.

Winners, Losers

As Barack Obama once told Mitch McConnell, “Elections have consequences.” But aside from the obvious winners and losers, elections can have consequences for people and outfits you won’t find on the ballot. Then there are the winners who turn out to be losers, and vice versa. Here are some of each:

WINNER: Donald Trump, who will clearly dominate the Republican Party for years to come. That’s why no Republican running for reelection in 2022 or seeking the party presidential nomination in 2024 will challenge his bogus voter fraud claims.

LOSERS: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, neither of whom delivered on the blue wave expected by Democrats and predicted by the polls. Schumer was so shocked he was rendered speechless for several days after the election, heretofore considered impossible.

WINNER: Mitch McConnell, now the most important Republican in Washington and the second most important person in the government.

LOSER: Martha McSally, who managed to lose two U.S. Senate seats in as many years, flipping two reliable Republican seats to the Democrats in the process. The voters of Arizona are sending you a message, Martha.

WINNER: Republican legislatures. Democrats tried to flip 10 of them and didn’t succeed in any of them. Now they control redistricting, which will influence elections for a decade.

LOSERS: Political pollsters, who have now managed to whiff twice in a row on Donald Trump. It’s time to go back to the drawing boards, boys.

WINNERS: New York criminal defense attorneys, who figure to get a lot of work from a certain real estate developer who is currently living in Washington, D.C., and will soon be moving to Florida.

LOSERS: Californians, who gave Democrats almost total control of the state Legislature. As astute political observer Willie Brown pointed out: “The battles are largely between progressive Democrats and moderate Democrats…In other words, the legislature could turn into an expanded version of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Who’s up for that?”

WINNER: NBC analyst Steve Kornacki, who became a media darling for his dorky style of updating and analyzing the vote count. People loved his ratty necktie and calculator.

LOSERS: Senator Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who will have to wait at least two more years for the revolution to begin.

WINNER: Arnon Mishkin, the first to call Arizona for Biden on Fox News with just 73 percent of the votes counted.  That decision inflamed the Trump camp but to its credit, Fox News refused to back down from its call.

LOSERS: Evangelicals, who are dismayed that the next president actually takes religion seriously and practices his faith. But fundamentalists never much liked Catholics anyway.

WINNER: Fox News, which was consistently ahead of the competition in declaring presidential winners at the state level. Fox can be very good when it resists the temptation to throw red meat to its conservative audience.

LOSERS: Social media companies, which may lose their shield from being sued for what they publish while facing anti-trust litigation.

WINNERS: Nevada County pot smokers. Now that Grass Valley has decided to allow retail pot stores, the competition with Nevada City outlets should bring down the prices.

WINNER: Parler, the new microblogging site for ultra-conservatives who are afraid Twitter and others may silence their anti-Semitic rants and conspiracy theories untethered to reality.

LOSER: The election process. It is past time we have national, consistent rules for federal elections, especially when it comes to mail-in ballots. Once the rules are in-place, the states will probably get inline when it comes to state and local elections.

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You can thank Trump for our failure to control COVID-19

America’s anti-science president came out of hiding last week to take credit for a COVID-19 vaccine that is being developed by private drug companies with little help from the government.

The vaccine work is being done under a Donald Trump effort called Warp Speed, but the only activity those words apply to these days is the explosion of COVID-19 cases the country is currently experiencing while the administration is missing in action.

The latest surge hit home earlier today when the state announced that Nevada County has been bumped two tiers from orange to purple, the most severe. Don’t worry, we have company. Some 41 of the state’s 58 counties now carry that designation.

The country passed the 10 million mark, then the 11 million level of those infected with coronavirus in record time. It took just 10 days to get from nine million cases to 10 million. It took 14 days to record the previous million and 21 days to reach the prior million.

The surge doesn’t figure to recede anytime soon. The seven-day moving average of infections is hitting new records every day, and is now outpacing the 14-day average in every state. When the seven-day average is higher than the 14-day average, it suggests cases are rising.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has done next to nothing on the coronavirus front for several weeks. His so-called task force has not met for weeks and is currently being fronted by Dr. Scott Atlas, who has no experience in infectious diseases or public health.

Atlas is busying himself claiming face masks are useless and is urging residents of Michigan, for one, to “rise up” against severe anti-infection measures instituted by the governor.

This is what Trump calls a “team player.” For months, members of his administration have condoned nonchalance about the virus, mocking precautions such as wearing a mask as a mark of weakness, and dismissing public health concerns as overwrought. In the closing days of the campaign, Trump called out Laura Ingraham, one of his leading apologists on Fox News, for being “politically correct” because she wore a mask.

People advising the president are telling him that herd immunity is at hand, but wishful thinking isn’t sound policy. Caution has become politically contentious, as if taking a common-sense approach to warding off illness somehow deprives us of our freedom.

In Trump’s view, none of this tops in importance maintaining a healthy economy. The U.S. economy is expected to contract 4.3% this year, slightly better than the 4.4% contraction expected worldwide in 2020, according to the International Monetary Fund.

By contrast, China is expected to grow its GDP by 2%, with Vietnam at 1.6% and other Asian economies like Singapore and Hong Kong slightly up or flat for the year. The healthiest economies in the world today are found largely in Asia.

How did they escape the fate of the rest of the world? They cracked down hard and early on the spread of coronavirus, mandating masks, social distancing, and sanitation, coupled with aggressive efforts to test people and initiate contact tracing.

Trump has missed the opportunity to get the virus under control, so now he’s banking on a vaccine to save the day. That won’t come any time soon—under the most optimistic scenarios, mass inoculations will be available by the third quarter of 2021 at the earliest. The virus won’t just disappear, and we will need to continue to find ways to treat the disease when people get infected.

The vaccine won’t work if we don’t get widespread inoculation, which means 70% or more of Americans will have to take it to achieve herd immunity. Thanks to our active anti-vaccination movement and Trump’s attempt to manipulate the vaccine effort for political gain, there’s a good deal of skepticism about the vaccine.

Several surveys indicate that at least 30% of the population won’t take the vaccine or will wait to see if there’s any side effects they should worry about. “Unfortunately this pandemic and the vaccine development have become politicized,” said Dr. Archana Chatterjee, who sits on a committee advising the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about vaccines.

“What we would usually rely upon, which is you trust the doctors, you trust the scientists and the government processes by which safety and efficacy of vaccines are assured, really have been undermined,” she said.

Trust was undermined by Trump’s push to have a vaccine before election day, which would blunt Joe Biden’s criticism of the administration’s bungled handling of the virus.

The administration went so far as to try to change the FDA’s guidelines for assessing whether a vaccine was ready for the public. Trump’s objection? The guidelines would practically guarantee no vaccine would be approved until after the election. After the election, Trump complained about the medical “deep state” that wanted to see him lose.

Anti-vaxxers couldn’t ask for a better ally than Trump, who has probably done more to erode confidence in medical science than anybody since Andrew Wakefield, the British doctor who helped to invigorate the anti-vaxx movement by claiming the MMR vaccine leads to brain damage and autism.

At the very least, our president is criminally negligent.

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Magical thinking from his supporters will keep Trump relevant

Some liberals are expressing dismay that Donald Trump managed to get so many votes even if they weren’t enough to get him reelected president. If anything, his base has actually expanded in the last four years.

The counting isn’t done yet, but Trump has attracted more than 71.6 million votes as I write this, an increase of seven million over his 2016 total and the second most votes ever for a presidential candidate. (Joe Biden holds the new record.)

This unswerving loyalty blunted the “blue wave,” helped Republicans gain ground in the House of Representatives, and probably held their majority in the Senate. The vote also made it clear who is in charge of the Republican Party, and likely to be its king maker for at least four more years.

As things stand now, Trump can make or break any Republican seeking public office. That’s why nobody who wants to get reelected in two years or run for president in four years is objecting publicly to Trump’s bogus claims of voter fraud.

Liberals find all of this perplexing. Ben Rhodes, a former speech writer for Barack Obama, summed it up well when he expressed shock “that this many Americans took a hard look at Trump and determined, ‘Yeah, I want four more years of that.’”

Trump retains a lot of this loyalty because a lot of Americans—generally whites with less money and education—continue to resent liberal institutions that mock their values and generally dismiss them as unimportant. As a popular saying among his supporters  goes, “Guns, God, Trump.”

Many of these people seek shelter and validation in an information environment that shapes and mirrors their world view. And no, Fox News is not the only one to blame.

If you are one of Trump’s almost 90 million Twitter followers, you might have cast your ballot thinking Biden was a socialist and would take away your guns. In this information ecosphere, Hunter Biden’s laptop was a bigger, more important story in October than the 225,000 Americans dying from COVID-19 and kids being forced to stay home from school because, you know, it’s a Democratic hoax.

Trump’s dismissive attitude toward the coronavirus pandemic is largely to blame for the widespread resistance to wearing masks and practicing social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. The result? While we have less than 5% of the world’s population, the United States has 20% of the world’s COVID-19 cases, and we’re hitting new daily records of infections as I write this.

Trump was reluctant, ambivalent and late to embrace masks and social distancing. He mocked Biden and other public figures for wearing masks, and even claimed they wore masks to hurt him politically.

He trotted out Dr. Stella Immanuel in front of the White House and retweeted a video of hers saying masks aren’t necessary. Among other things, Dr. Immanuel has claimed that cysts, fibroids and related issues are caused by having sex with demons, that McDonald’s and Pokeman promote witchcraft, that alien DNA is used in medical treatment, and that half-human “reptilians” work in the government.

Trump supporters actually believe this stuff. A recent Indiana University study found that 57% of Trump voters say they believe QAnon stories about pedophiles and cannibals serving in the U.S. government are definitely or likely true. That may explain why two QAnon supporters have been elected to the House of Representatives by Republicans.

Nearly three-quarters of Trump’s supporters said mail-in ballots cause voter fraud and that Biden was mentally unfit to be presidents—two narratives pushed ceaselessly by Trump and right-wing media.

To site two other examples of the magical thinking found only in the right-wing media, podcaster Joe Rogan pedaled a debunked conspiracy theory with his millions of listeners that left-wing protesters lit forest fires in Oregon to prove climate change exists. He later apologized.

A Newsmax reporter with 250,000 followers tweeted a map that illustrated blazes. “If the fires in Oregon & Washington are ‘climate change’ then why do the fires stop at the Canadian border?” she wrote. Maybe because her map showed only U.S. data. Nevertheless, the bogus story had 4,000 shares and 6,700 likes.

But Trump’s supporters apparently love this stuff. There are reports that his supporters are deserting Fox News for Newsmax because it refuses to acknowledge the possibility that Joe Biden has won the election.

Closer to home, Terry Rapoza of Shasta County, a leading drum beater for the State of Jefferson movement, posted a short video from Facebook in which Biden “admitted” he and Obama rigged the election. Rapoza urged his followers to view it before Facebook took it down.

No kidding. The video was such an amateurish edit that only a bozo or somebody inherently dishonest would post the tape, let alone believe it. This kind of magical thinking, dishonesty, and lack of intellectual rigueur will keep Trump a major influence in the Republican Party long after he dies.

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What we have here is a failure to communicate

When Dan Miller first ran for the county Board of Supervisors six years ago, he pledged to improve communications between Grass Valley and the folks at the Rood Center.

After all, he’s supposed to represent Grass Valley’s interests before the board; that’s why each supervisor represents a specific district. But a recent dustup between the supervisors and city officials suggests he hasn’t been keeping his promise.

The occasion was the supervisors approving purchase of the Coach N Four motel in Grass Valley for $1.75 million. The property will be converted into affordable housing.

The money comes from the state’s Homekey program, which uses federal coronavirus aid money to buy hotels and other buildings throughout the state for conversion into permanent supportive housing, but all of the money has to be spent by the end of the year.

County Housing Director Mike Dent said the tight deadline resulted in a lack of community outreach. But apparently this is nothing new, and city officials are not pleased.

Outgoing city Councilman Howard Levine said the lack of cooperation between the county, the lead agency in this matter, and Grass Valley has become common, pointing to a sales tax dispute and the Brighton Greens project.

“There’s an institutional deficit that comes about because there is not collaboration and communication,” said Levine. “These are things that should be talked about for months.”

Outgoing Mayor Lisa Swarthout pointed out the project will cost the city about $20,000 a year in transient occupancy tax.

“This leads me to believe time and again that we do not have a reciprocal relationship,” Levine said. “Somebody has to stand up and say, ‘County, pay attention.’”

If Miller or anybody from the county said anything, it wasn’t reported by The Union. If he has done anything in the last six years to improve communications between Grass Valley and the county, it clearly hasn’t been enough.

What we have here is your basic failure to communicate.

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