You say you want a revolution. Well, you know. We all want to change the world. The Beatles
Much to the chagrin of the Bernie Bros and the Republican Party, the socialist revolution that was supposed to overwhelm the Democratic Party and sweep the county has been postponed indefinitely.
Senator Bernie Sanders has maintained since he ran for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination that the country was ready for a social revolution, and that only he could draw the young, the liberal and the independent voters to the polls in the massive numbers needed to prevail.
That didn’t turn out to be the case on super Tuesday. Instead, Democrats decided they favored the more moderate approach of Joe Biden, a candidate they believe has the best chance of accomplishing their No. 1 goal, the defeat of Donald Trump.
Even Bernie’s comrade-in-arms, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, couldn’t advance the revolution. Two Congressional candidates she endorsed and helped financially faired poorly in their primaries against mainline Democrats.
Biden’s big victory in the South Carolina primary drew other moderate candidates who left the race to back his cause, and this apparently influenced a lot of voters on Super Tuesday. Voters who settled on a candidate just before or on election day backed Biden decisively.
But Trump was the real catalyst. In state after state, exit polls showed voters put more stock in picking a candidate who can oust the incumbent than in choosing one who shares their views–and in state after state, Biden was seen as that candidate. On that question alone, Biden beat Sanders by 15%.
None of this plays into the game plan the Republicans were hoping to use to reelect Trump. The GOP and its media lackeys have been conjuring up images of Karl Marx and a Communist revolution that is sure to end the American way of life if Sanders becomes president. While it is still possible for Sanders the win the nomination, it is less likely than two weeks ago.
The Republicans were also planning to run on Trump’s accomplishments, especially the economy. But the spread of the corona virus and the decision by Trump’s buddies, the Saudis, to start at oil price war may have the U.S. economy in a recession by election day.
But Trump is not interested in running on the issues anyway. His massive ego insists that the election be about him, and he’s getting his way. A recent poll by Fox News revealed that the major issue on most voters’ minds is Trump’s conduct. As his performance in the corona virus epidemic shows once again, Trump is vulnerable if his conduct is the main issue.
Doug Fleming, the leading vote-getter for the three contested seat on the Nevada City Council, probably had it right when he implied voters were seeking calm and stability in leadership of the town after the chaotic proceeding under Mayor Reinette Senum.
Senum was the only one of the incumbents seeking reelection to prevail, finishing a weak third to Fleming and Daniela Fernandez. (Incumbent David Parker didn’t make the cut and Valerie Moberg decided not to seek reelection.)
“People wanted an adult in the room, and I don’t say that disparagingly toward anyone else,” Fleming said, perhaps with tongue planted in cheek. “The discord with the council was fresh in everybody’s mind. The people I talked to, they wanted change, they wanted civility, they wanted people to get back to the business of the city.”
Fernandez emphasized the issues that unite rather than divide residents of the Queen of the Northern Mines, and pointed to the diversity the new council will have. “Let’s talk about how exciting it is that this could be the most diverse city council Nevada City every had,” she said. “Nevada City is ready for diversity, not only diversity in race but in sexuality, in age and life experience.”
Don’t expect Senum to change much. She’s not one to back down from her firmly held beliefs, and Nevada City activists who support her wouldn’t have it any other way.
It will be interesting to see if a new majority on council can be formed to confront her. I think I know who the city’s employees are rooting for.
It appears that Supervisor Heidi Hall won’t get the “vote of confidence” she was hoping for in the primary election, but she can at least take solace in the fact that she got more bang for her bucks than her two opponents did.
Hall prevailed in the primary with 2,566 votes, slightly over 48 percent of those cast. She could have avoided a runoff in the November general election by getting over 50 percent of the vote.
She was able to lead the field even though she spent less money on the campaign than her two opponents, Deborah Wilder and Michael Taylor. As of Feb. 15, Hall had raised slightly more than $15,000 for the campaign.
That’s dwarfed by the $37,000 raised by Wilder, a former chair of the Nevada County Republican Party. She attracted just 1,386 votes, one more than Taylor received, according to the county totals when I wrote this. There’s still a chance a few ballot are floating around that could put Taylor in the runoff with Hall. He spent over $19,000 on his campaign, mostly his own money.
You have to wonder what has happened to the Republicans in the first supervisorial district when they can’t steamroll a liberal incumbent after outspending her by more than 2-1. Maybe Nate Beason retired at the right time.
Recent polls show that most Californians believe it has become too expensive to live in the Golden State, and that may explain why tax increases and bond issues fared poorly across the state.
Nevada County followed the trend, voting down a Penn Valley school bond proposal and an assessment increase to fund the operations of the Higgins Fire District. Local voters also voted by a 63 percent to 37 percent margin against the ill-named Proposition 13, a statewide school bond issue.
What should public officials take from this? Here’s one scenario worth considering: Voters have put a plug in the piggy bank and public officials should start looking at ways to cut expenses, especially the back-breaking pensions most of them are paying.
Donald Trump and most of the Republican candidates on the November ballot don’t figure to do well in California, but at least the GOP doesn’t have to worry about the north end of the state.
The three Republican incumbents–Rep. Doug LaMalfa, state Senator Brian Dahle, and Assemblywoman Megan Dahle–easily won their primary elections and should prevail in November. Based on their poor performances in the primaries, the Democratic challengers won’t get must financial support from the Democratic Party. Maybe next time.
UPDATE: Updated numbers were released after I posted this item, and Heidi Hall has increased her total to 52% of the vote. While just 45% of the votes have been counted, she can avoid a November runoff if her final total is above the 50% mark.