The latest round of endorsements from the Nevada County Republican Party are notable for who they don’t endorse–Rep. Doug LaMalfa.
LaMalfa was endorsed by the party when he was first elected to the 1st Congressional district seat in 2012, and got the local party’s backing when he ran for reelection two years ago. This time, the party simply noted there is more than one candidate for the seat, and Republicans should pick the one they like best.
The party didn’t flinch from backing Rep. Tom McClintock for reelection to his 4th district seat. The local GOP also endorsed state Assemblyman Brian Dahle and Supervisor candidates Duane Strawser and Ed Scofield.
LaMalfa is being challenged in the primary by three Republicans, two Democrats, and an Independent–the two top finishers will face off in November. LaMalfa, who beat Heidi Hall with 61 percent of the vote in 2014, has more than $300,000 to spend on his reelection campaign and figures to be the prohibitive favorite.
He parrots the usual Republican line about cutting spending and reducing taxes–except, of course, when it comes to agriculture (not surprising for a rice farmer). LaMalfa’s a solid vote for farm subsidies and other favors for the people who grow food, but there are limits to his charitable impulses. For example, he’s all for sharp cuts in food stamps.
Lately, he’s become a buddy of California’s Indian gambling interests. They are the second largest contributors to his political action committee, with individuals in the industry forking over $42,800 in the latest cycle, according to OpenSecrets.org.
Among those contributors are people connected to the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln. This has been one of the most successful casinos in the state, but will soon face competition from the $170 million Fire Mountain Casino under construction just 30 minutes away in Yuba County.
Fortunately for Thunder Valley, the new casino is currently limited to a Class II license, which means it can offer electronic bingo and other games, but not the slot machines and table games a Class III casino like Thunder Valley has.
Thunder Valley would like to see its nearest competition coming from a glorified bingo parlor, but a judge has ordered the state to negotiate a new compact with Fire Mountain that could include a Class III license. But that could be blocked by special legislation passed by Congress.
Is Thunder Valley looking for a friend in the House of Representatives?