The primary election is six months away, but the silly season we call campaigning in Nevada County has already begun.
Political partisans are drawing lines in the sand as I write this, and various political alliances are being formed that could tip the election in ways that can have profound consequences for our future.
None of this probably occurred to you on Christmas Day. Fortunately for us, it did occur to Jeff Pelline, the Falstaffian publisher of a local compilation of puffery who is ever on the alert for political skullduggery.
His nose apparently at the ready, Pelline proclaimed in his blog that “I smell another contentious year of elections with unqualified albeit ideologically like-minded people jumping into the race to ‘save us’; a ‘secret slate’ if you will. Nasty personal attacks will surface too.”
But don’t worry. The man who constantly reminds us how lucky we are to have him in our midst vowed to “be around to peel the onion off that skin.” Whatever.
It didn’t take Pelline long to uncover a conspiracy, sounding the alarm on Dec. 30 that Americans for Safe Access have been consorting with known conservatives to get enough signatures to quality a pot initiative for a special election. Access head Patricia Smith has actually spoken with local conservative activist Barry Pruett.
This unholy alliance has the potential to “peel enough votes from Lamphier, Diaz, Vernon and other ‘progressives’ for (the hard right) to lock down local politics,” according to Pelline. “Seems like a good strategy for them…it’s working according to plan.”
Upon further reflection, Pelline concluded that “The real target for the hard right in this instance is Greg Diaz,” the county clerk recorder who is up for reelection this year. Pelline has always been a big fan of Diaz, constantly exposing the motives of those who would do him political harm and contributing to Diaz’s last campaign.
Despite a mini controversy with the pot people over how many signatures are needed to quality an initiative for the ballot, Diaz is a heavy favorite to get reelected. Nobody has announced their opposition and Diaz has assembled a blue-chip reelection committee in case any opponents surface.
But as Pelline will tell you, the next wingnut plot could be hatched at any moment. Eternal vigilance is the price of paranoia.