Jeff “Podunk” Pelline, the self-proclaimed economic development guru of Nevada County, has complained for years that the presence of knuckle-dragging conservatives is retarding growth in our fair community.
In Podunk’s telling, these people discourage young entrepreneurs from moving or establishing businesses here, making it difficult to create an economy that will keep young adults in the community.
Pelline has included many people in his dragnet, among them Aaron Klein, a former trustee of the Sierra Community College District who has been active in local conservative causes. Pelline has found nothing to like about Klein’s politics.
(A little background here: When Pelline was editor of The Union, he wrote a column mentioning Klein, Reinette Senum and some other people I can’t remember as the community’s leaders of tomorrow. He has since soured on Klein, but apparently not Senum.)
Among other things, Pelline has mocked Klein for endorsing the losing candidacy of attorney Barry Pruett for the county clerk-recorder’s office–this from the biggest fanboy of ex-county Supervisor Terry Lamphier!
Klein has moved onto other things and is now CEO of Riskalyze, which has developed a risk-alignment platform for financial advisors to quantify how much risk an investor wants to take.
The company is apparently catching on in the financial community. Riskalyze has grown from four employees in 2011 to over 100 today and recently announced that it has leased an additional 13,000 square feet of space in Auburn and expanded its Atlanta operation.
This is the kind of company the Nevada County Economic Resource Council has been trying to attract: High tech, bright future, environmentally friendly, well-paying jobs for young professionals. So far, the ERC has little luck in attracting more than mom-and-pop operations.
It would be a stretch to suggest that Klein and his associates chose Auburn over Grass Valley because of Pelline’s past criticism, but there’s a lesson here for Jeffy to learn (I know, I know, you can’t tell him anything).
The lesson comes from basketball great Michael Jordan, who got rich promoting Air Jordan basketball shoes but was criticized during his playing days for remaining silent on the major social issues of the day.
Jordan’s rationale: “Republicans buy sneakers too.”