Recently the Daily Beast ran an important article on the use of large sums of money to influence judicial elections. If you haven’t, go check it out (click the picture), it’s more important than this. This post isn’t going anywhere.
Our local feudal overlord Rob Arkley apparently is one on the leading edge of this ethically-challenged practice of money big money supporting their judicial candidate of choice. If you can’t buy all the law makers, why not focus on the referees, right?
This of course comes to no surprise to us Humboltians who are regularly subjected to Mr. Arkley’s ideas and his comically right wing financial-based economic views.
It seems then, with evidence like that in this article elections would be fairly easy to win. Point out what side ole’ Rob is voting for, and the 99% will figure the rest out. Simple.
And it is working this way in California and Humboldt. That’s why Democrats win by 25 points in California and Humboldt election. [ This is an aside, but an important one. This number is 25% and this is a big deal. I asked Matthew Owen about this – something he has to ignore to consider himself in “the middle” and is reaction was that Governor Brown won by a handful of points – I think he said 54%. Here is the truth for Matthew and Republicans – Even the polarizing Governor Brown (compared to down-ticket statewide D/R votes) won by 20 points in CA broadly – and even 60% to Neel Kashkari’s 40%. In Humboldt Governor Brown won by 30 points! 65% to Neel Kashkari’s 35%. See “Numbers” way, way, below for more and links.]
So where do Democrats go from here? Republicans are now rightfully defined by Rob Arkley and Rush Limbaugh. Any question and take a look at the Republican’s recent (and late! – CA Secretary of State or any of you who would like to bring this to their attention) where the only line items are in kind rental payments by Mr. Arkley’s Security National.
Where Democrats go will have to be defined by those working to move forward what it is to be a Democrat. Politics, and endorsements are one thing, but there is also something as important and that is how and why we do what we do.
In the end, money in politics will be argued about ad infinitum based on our individual sets of ethics. So, as one reads through the comment zones of the mirrors of the Daily Beast article on the Lost Coast Outpost and the Tuluwat Examiner what one will find is not a defence of Rob’s practices, but an attempt at ethical equivalence.
“Rob Arkley? Have you heard of George Soros and Tom Steyer?” Most of us on the left get this, I’m not sure we understand how important this argument is. This is what leads to the pox on both parties mentality which in the end is a win for conservatives and Republicans b/c it leads to even fewer people paying attention and voting. (Paul Weyrich’s goo goo syndrome - “As a matter of fact, our leverage in the election quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”)
But locally, the disingenuous argument is it’s not just George and Tom, but the HCDCC as a similar ethically challenged organization. Thanks to Tuluwat Examiner commenter “nothanks” comment zone readers were blessed to have our attention drawn to another one in a string of important statewide articles that bring to attention the practice of the HCDCC to take in up to $34,000 in large donations from labor and then spend similarly large amounts out of the county.
Take a look at this article (click “to another one” a couple of sentences earlier). I’ll express my opinions on this below the fold in the form of an open letter to HCDCC members.