This is a sadly low energy election season, I’ll be honest. I have not been a part of any campaign although I really would have loved to, maybe if I had, I’d feel a different energy.
What I feel in our politics is lethargy and apathy and a media that has thrown in the towel. The lone debate I’ve heard of is the debate at the conservative businessperson’s Elks Club where questions, even after filtered by the League of Women Voters can be framed like this “Measure R may send businesses out of town, what will you do?” (notes from Richard Marks a stated but very quiet friend of Measure R)
KEET will have a series of upcoming debates (Thank you Tom Sebourn – one hour for both Eureka races and another hour for the issue most in the working class could (or should) care less about – Measure P regarding the local banning of genetically modified organisms.
What is missing from KEET’s schedule is the fairly revolutionary (no pun intended) idea of a $3 raise in the minimum wage. A measure for Eureka to begin to add some fairness to those doing the economically thankless jobs serving our community.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that the dividing political lines are clear again now that the environment is off the table this election leaving the politics of economics – the ultimate characteristic distinguishing left and right – as the dividing issue.
Supervisor Bass is now happily supporting conservative and Tea Party liking Chet Albin on radio ads and Matthew Owen is happily able to speak out loud and clear against Measure R. Democrats have endorsed and will vote for Natalie Arroyo, Kim Bergel, and Measure R. Conservatives like Virginia, Charlie Bean, John Fullerton, Jaison Chand and Fred Sundquist, Debbie Provolt, The Harbor Bay Working Group…(more to come)
This is our group of local Chamber of Commerce conservatives. Outside of Frank Jager and John Fullerton they all realize that the “R” is too heavy a burden to carry into an election, but they want to keep the ideology. This is an ideology that believes business knows best for our community’s future. Government is really about serving the needs of the “Job Creators”. This sounds great. It sounds efficient, low friction, low conflict, nice.
The problem is it disallows the public. We know this to be true and we’ve learned to accept things like a internet presence of entities and candidates like The Chamber of Commerce, Chet Albin, Mike Newman (15 questions 0 answered). Oh yeah and don’t forget Ryan Sundberg and Virginia Bass (24 questions total, 0 answered). We’ve come to accept that messages are best made in 30 second radio ads, 30 second TV ads, and the positioning and quantity of signs as somehow significant. Somehow, we’ve accepted what is necessary for those running for office have 1 million, 5 million or 300 million constituents with those that have 2,000.
Let’s stop accepting this. Let’s register (please – I will beg – less than a week left). And lets vote for measures and people that can talk to us about what they really believe. People like Natalie Arroyo, Kim Bergel, and Measures like R (18 questions/15 answered).
Being able to speak about what you believe – especially when confronted with opposing ideas – matters. It means you have thought about your vision for our future and not just accepted the vision of those who support you. Let’s demand our leaders to be accountable. This means for starters our leaders have to talk to us on the record, even those that may disagree with them, and not simply stand behind anonymous money to get themselves elected (and their chosen measures passed or not).
Eureka’s past and present feudalistic tendencies don’t have to be a part of our future if we the public so chose.