You and I often disagree on policy, and this informs our individual politics and political agendas. Yes, we both have political agendas – all of us should.
As you know I disagree with the widely held notion that we are best lead as a City or County by a general consensus in politics. Sometimes polarization or strongly held opposing views are important and necessary. Politics exists to help us come to better decisions given the extraordinary diversity in our individual experiences, education, worldview, occupation, family or financial status, religion, heritage, etc. We all will have different perspectives on what we as individuals would like to see in a future Eureka and a sometimes bumpy political process can help us to get better, more informed, decisions.
What needs work in our local community where we all will run into one another and depend on one another, is not necessarily a quieter or more subdued decision making process; people should be passionate about politics and expressions of outrage or celebration are important. What needs work, imho, is how we talk about one another – we should strive to be civil in our disagreements.
John, you crossed a line in your reporting on why Allen McCloskey stepped down. When I dropped out of the race for the Second Ward, I began to attend meetings of the North Coast People’s Alliance. This is the amazing group of largely new voices to the local political scene that stemmed directly from Bernie Sanders’ candidacy. I met Mr McCloskey at one of these meetings and thus was in the loop of those involved in finding Allen’s replacement for candidacy in the Fourth Ward – Austin Allison.
I personally have zero doubt about the reasons for Mr. McCloskey’s decision to withdraw from the race. You have questioned the reasons for this switch. As an outsider, I might be doing the same.
However, one of the results of your reporting was the punditry at The Humboldt Consequential (THC) run by an anonymous person unaccountable for amplifying your accusatory questions. This is what they wrote…
“Not to be outdone in the “shady politics” department, would-be challenger Allen McCloskey drops out of the 4th Ward race only to be replaced immediately after by his hospital lackey, Austin Allison.
Humboldt County politics, right? Got to love them.”
“As a side-note, we’ve also heard from a few different corners that the health problems that forced Allen McCloskey out of the race aren’t really problems with mental and/or physical health, and we’re admittedly stumped as to what those problems are.”
As a bureaucrat in the administration of health care, privacy of health issues is top of mind every minute of every day. I believe it is imperative that we respect these rights. If this is all Mr McCloskey wants to share with his community, I hope we could all understand this and not see some imagined dark cloud of liberal or progressive agenda in an individual’s fight for health.
It’s election time John and may the persons and ballot measures that will be best for our common future pass this November. However, what happens along the way matters too, and I would hope for a re-framing of the questions you asked before people start to vote.
John, please come to some resolution to your lingering questions soon. The rallying support for last-minute candidate Austin Allison who stepped up to take on this very difficult challenge (on which you reported) was an incredible story for Mr. McCloskey, his family, friends and supporters under difficult circumstances. Please don’t make it something it isn’t.
This is what you wrote on August 17th and and a version was repeated via THC on Sept. 1st.
So, Allen McCloskey dropped out of the Ward 4 race, was his only reason as stated in Lost Coast Outpost?
– John Chiv
With respect to Mr. McCloskey and his privacy I will simply re-print what he told Ryan Burns of the Lost Coast Outpost: “McCloskey declined to specify the nature of his health issues but said he will be making regular trips to Stanford”.
I will say this John, the brief conversation I had with Mr. McCloskey on that day whenmany rallied around Candidate Allison was not one with someone putting on airs about health issues for some nefarious secondary reason. This person was sincere and resolute and helped find a person to take up the political challenge he himself had to (hopefully) delay.
I wish Allen well in this much more important personal challenge and I know you will too when you are able to either get proof of the question above or learn to trust someone with whom you disagree, especially when there are zero repercussions for our community.
John, I appreciate and respect that you will disagree on much of what Mr. McCloskey (or I) have to say about the issues of our day, but make this stuff about policy. Let’s try to stay away from insinuations, especially when people may need our prayers or well wishes rather than our accusations. If you agree that we need as a community to be cognizant of our public civic discourse, public answers to your question or its retraction matter now, not after the absentee ballots are received by voters and definitely not after November 8th.
Thank you for your consideration,