Lying for Power and Against P: Part iii. Finale.

This Post is brought to you by the letter “P”.

It took 3 Posts to complete, but this will finally do it.  The official argument against P you can find here.  It’s only one double-spaced page long and is packet with whoppers meant to deceive Eureka’s voters.  It’s signed by Council-members current and former Brady, Newman and Ciarabellini and current Supervisor Bohn.signaturesYou can find the Previous two Posts on P here and here.

Now let’s look at the final Paragraph.

“In our population of 27,000 with 15,000 registered voters, of which about 3,000 reside in each ward, with and average of 60% voting per election, a mere 900 (50%+1) people could elect one councilmember.  The remaining 9,000 voters HAVE NO SAY in who represents them.”

So, not only is this an untruth ITS A CAPSLOCK UNTRUTH, which must mean something.  Is this the equivalent of them sitting us voters down and shaking their fingers at us while telling us this whopper in hopes that we ignore the veracity of what they are saying?  Who knows.

But here is the Point.  Those 9,000 voters ABSOLUTELY have a say in who represents them.  They have one vote for their representative each 4 years AND they have an additional vote for the mayor every four years.

That 9,000 voters will “HAVE NO SAY” is a misleading statement at best and from four People who absolutely know better, it is with a clear conscience that I call this statement a lie meant to deceive voters.


Verdict:  That “The remaining 9,000 voters HAVE NO SAY in who represents them.”

3 CAPSLOCK TRUMPS

Icon by Leif Michelson from thenounproject.com


The saddest thing is returning democracy to a human scale of a district of a couple of thousand voters is exactly the reason why I and many others are for measure P.  It’s also why Mayor Jäger’s statement that Measure P is undemocratic that was uncritically re-printed today in the Times-Standard turns the truth of Measure P on it’s head.

With Measure P 900 People could vote in a their representative.  That is an amazing and Positive aspect of local elections and local democracies.  But there is more.

Using their number, let’s say Eureka has a population of 27,000.  That is approximately 5,400 people per ward.  The pool of eligible voters is about 71%* of  5,400 or 3,800 people and as the signers of this argument rightly point out, only 60%* of these eligible voters vote.  That is 2,300.  They then half this number to get their number of 900 voters voting one council-member, my number would be 1,150.

Our numbers differ slightly because they use 60% of registered numbers.  I’m using 60% of eligible voters. But this doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that we would agree there are 3,800 potential voters in each ward and that only a fraction of these even register to vote.

The Power of P is that this human-scale representation where the voter will make a difference election-after-election as 1 vote in 1,800 in a bad year or 1 vote in 3,800 if we can get 100% of eligible voters to vote.

noonp
Please vote “yes”, not “no”, on Measure P.

And I hope we all agree we would want to approach full participation in our elections. Measure P helps us to get to more voter Participation, not less.  I believe that is why People who don’t support P want you to vote against it.  They know their influence will decrease, and Part of the reason is that voter in each ward will have one familiar and accessible councilmember who will not be beholden to the other 4/5’s of the city (or 4 x 2,300 = 9,200 voters).  That councilmember will be dependent only on the registered voters in her district to get re-elected.

That is a selling point for those People who feel disenfranchised.  I believe Measure P with 5 times the access they once had to any given representative will help motivate more People to become Part of our democracy again.  I believe that the tag line for No On P voters to not “Throw away their votes” with “votes” in the Plural only Proves that the campaigners against P do not want their voters to give up on their out-sized influence.

P brings Power closer to the People.  That’s not something that the campaigners against P want.  They just can’t say that in Public.



*References and More Numbers:

Remember, despite what Mayor Jäger and others will tell you, Measure P is a voting rights issue.  To find out why, take a look at this video.

Also, I’ve used numbers from this video to come up with the Percent of the Population nationwide which is now eligible to vote (71%) and the Percent of this Population that currently votes (60%).  That means to estimate the number of voters Eureka has city wide we would be taking the number of People (27,000) then multiplying by 0.71 then by 0.60 to estimate the number of Eureka voters on a good year.  This theoretical number is 12,798.  In the Presidential election year of 2012 the actual number was 10,199 (see page 3) and in the mid-period election of 2014 Eureka had 7,397 voters (page 9).

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T-S Letter on V and Propaganda

I wanted to highlight a great letter by a McKinleyville resident named Colin Fiske in today’s Times Standard.  Here it is, also buy a paper today or subscribe to the T-S. Its worth it.


Measure V a good idea, proposed by good people

Measure V represents the ideal of grassroots democracy in action. A group of ordinary folks facing a serious problem realized that this problem was bigger than any of them individually. They realized rents were rising fast in many mobile home parks, and that this threatened the already meager affordable housing supply. So they approached local officials asking for a solution. They were rebuffed.

This type of situation is why the ballot initiative process exists. And the rent stabilization advocates took advantage of that process in just the right way. They did thorough research, engaged experts, and wrote an ordinance which would stabilize rents while avoiding unintended side effects. They gathered the required signatures and got it on the ballot. So far, so good.

Unfortunately, the opposition to Measure V has now mounted a campaign that’s a perfect example of what’s wrong with our modern democracy. A few outside megadonors are spending mountains of cash to blanket our county with anti-V propaganda. Paid political hacks have parachuted in, and dirty tricks and misleading messages abound. They’re trying to convince us that we can’t believe our friends and neighbors who put this initiative on the ballot — that even though Measure V sure seems like a good idea, somehow “it’s not what it seems.”

The truth is that Measure V is exactly what it seems. It’s a good idea, proposed by good people, and it will be good for our county. Humboldt County voters should vote Yes on Measure V.

Colin Fiske, McKinleyville


I hear the term “propaganda” quite a bit from conservatives to describe what we on the left might call education or even information.  Its a distinction I struggle with because I am concerned about that line where education ends and propaganda begins.

Here is how The Google defines “propaganda”:

“information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view”

The key distinction would be that the information is misleading, and I would add knowingly misleading.

Since this last weekend, blog-o-philes like myself have been subjected to a despicable campaign of personal destruction of Hillary Mosher the former leading figure in the Yes on  V campaign.  This completely avoidable morality play took place with e-mails exchanged between Ms. Mosher and Casey Kelly CEO of FolletUSA/Inspire back in JANUARY.  Of course the interested parties held onto this information and then released it 3 weeks before the election with outspoken advocates Doug Johnson of the Northern California and Bay Area Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association and mobile home park  owner Guntram Wolski making sure to comment to let the public know how they should process this October surprise.

Never has it been clearer to me as I try to navigate through their talking points that Mr. Fiske has it exactly right in his succinct appraisal of the current status of the politics of Measure V.

And to take this a step further I’d like to make a general point that despite Republican or conservatives using the term “propaganda” against those of us that would support public AND private interests, our economic system has turned so far against the majority of the public that it is the American right that is best described with this word.

Humboldt’s Measure V is clearly one example.  I’d argue Measure P is another.  But stepping back, on issue after issue from international diplomacy to health care to climate change, every day it becomes clearer that the use of misleading information is a trend that is rooted in one of the two major political movements in our country. That movement is trying to repeat the successes of priorities such as reducing top marginal tax rates with President Reagan in the early 1980’s with the same false rhetoric, the mendacity of which was not as clearly self-evident to most voters 20 or 30 years ago.

But when people pay attention, and with tools such as campaign finance reports and the inter-tubes voters now have access to parts of the story that the good people behind No On V would rather not talk about.  So when we are confronted with people like the salaried representative Doug Johnson or tactics such as those unleashed upon Hillary Mosher for what they are  – a morality-play meant to distract the voter from economic forces which, without smart or fair regulation, will necessarily leave no place in our community for people on a fixed or low income.

Or to use Mr. Fiske’s term.  It’s propaganda.

To Mr. Wolinski and Mr. Johnson it IS profits over people and if the people can’t afford the rent, well, then, the government will be there to pay for their rents.*

Thank you Mr. Fiske for your clear, concise and accurate letter today in the Times Standard.  It was required reading as therapy for me after a week of trying to debate with those that oppose smart rent stabilization efforts in mobile home parks and to help prevent these parks from becoming less of a home to individuals and more of a commodity for investors.


*This is what they are talking about with their support of means-testing rather than rent-stabilization as a means of addressing the problem of affordable housing.  See more here in one of many replies to Doug Johnson this week.

Today Brius Will Use Its Workers to Help Extort Higher Payments

Help us point this out.

From Tamara McFarland of the group that grew out of Senator Bernie Sanders’ run for President the North Coast People’s Alliance…


I need help TODAY/TONIGHT with calling folks to come to this action, and making signs. If you can help with either, please let me know ASAP. Sign making party at my house tonight (supplies and pizza provided).

****************************** ****************

Looks like our previous protest got under Shlomo’s skin!!! Now he’s attempting to co-opt our methods by planning his own bogus ‘protest’ and manipulating terrified family members of residents at his facilities into doing his dirty work to extort more money from Partnership Health.

We can’t let this bastardization of the facts stand in for the truth. The truth is that the root of this problem is Schlomo/Brius/Rockport – their corporate greed and unwillingness to negotiate in any meaningful way to solve this problem.

JOIN US TO OUT-PROTEST SHLOMO’S BOGUS ‘PROTEST’!!!

Let’s bring the real truth (kindly!) to any mis-informed Rockport employees, patients, and/or family members who have been misled into participating on behalf of Rockport/Brius/Shlomo. Join us to share information about the appeals process for patients facing imminent relocation, and to display signs that show the truth – that the fault lies with Rockport/Brius/Shlomo, and their refusal to pay fair wages or provide humane living conditions for their patients.

MEET ON THURSDAY, 10/27 AT 12:30 AT 1036 5th STREET, EUREKA.

More information/background:

On Tuesday, family members of residents of Pacific Rehabilitation & Wellness Center were contacted by a representative from Rockport Healthcare Group named Anthony who asked them to attend a protest this Thursday at the local office of Partnership Healthcare Plan, the nonprofit Medical distributor for Humboldt County.

Multiple local residents have reported being contacted by the Rockport representative. One woman, who declines to give her name for fear of negative impacts for her mother, a resident of a Rockport operated facility, reports that upon further questioning, Anthony stated that the purpose of the protest was “to encourage Partnership to pay more.” He told her that the protest would be on Thursday at 1:30, in front of Partnership’s local office at 1036 5th Street in Eureka.

Rockport is controlled by LA-based billionaire Shlomo Rechnitz. Rockport has been locked in a contentious fight with Partnership for months now, with many in the community categorizing Rechnitz’s tactics as extortion. Allen McCloskey, a National Union of Healthcare Workers member, calls this latest development “A blatant attempt to pit the community against one another, and to pervert the public perception of what’s actually happening here.”

In response to the Rockport-initiated protest planned for Thursday, members of the North Coast People’s Alliance have announced their own action – one that calls on Rockport and Rechnitz to take responsibility for the situation by providing fair wages to their workers, increasing quality of care for their vulnerable residents, and keeping as many facilities open as possible locally.

NCPA member Tamara McFarland invites interested parties to join: “Please stand with us to call out the true source of this catastrophe – Shlomo Rechnitz’s greed and unwillingness to work cooperatively with any of the legislators and community activists who have worked tirelessly in an attempt to solve this problem with him over these past months. Join us to demand fair wages for workers in these facilities and humane conditions for patients. We will not take this abuse fueled by corporate greed lying down – we must stand together to say enough is enough.”

For more information, go to BriusWatch.org or find BriusWatch on Facebook.

Tamara McFarland


And if you are wondering why good people like Tamara, members of the NCPA and many thousands of local people are upset, please read this article by Linda Stansberry of the North Coast Journal from October 13th.

ncj

Along with the current campaign against Measure V, we have two local examples in real-time of the power and influence of corporate  power to manufacture public concern against their own interests in their own myopic fight for higher profit margins.

We just have to keep pointing this out because if we don’t, they have the money and influence to do what they need to do to maintain and expand their bottom line.  Even if the proceeds of these actions come at the expense the most vulnerable among us.


One more thing…

You can read Rockport CEO Vince Hambright telling the Medi-Cal distributor in Humbodlt County, Partnership Healthcare Plan, how to spend their tax-payer financed funds in today’s Times Standard.

Here is him saying (paraphasing of course) “now that we have approval from the state to leave, have the state pay us more, or we are out of here.  And when we leave, you’ll only have yourselves to blame.  Rural areas cannot afford Skilled Nursing Facilities because … the free market.”

Now we face the very real possibility of closure in short order. Without an infusion of dollars, we will be unable to continue operations while simultaneously search for a long-term fix for the country’s healthcare recruiting woes.

PHP has those millions of dollars. Time is running short for the organization to step up, do what’s right and save our nursing homes.

Vince Hambright- Chief Extortionist Officer Rockport.

Trump and His Supporters Are Angry. This Makes Sense.

Here is a quick video on some of the results of the woman’s equality movement over the last decade.  It’s not just the economy that anger’s Trump’s largely white male base.  It’s also not just scapegoating those who come from a different culture.  It’s also probably has a great deal to do with white men longing for the good ole days.

Here is a 1 min clip that is a handy reminder of the changes that hard work has brought about.

This is lined via a post at Crooks and Liars by Francis Langum.  She also added this from her experience…

I can remember as a child in the 1960’s that my mother had one store credit card with my dad’s name on it. She had no credit to her name at all.

And another woman my mother’s age told me about hiding her pregnancy for as long as she could from her employer, a major top-ten communications company, because as soon as they knew she was pregnant in the 1960’s she would be let go. That was policy.

So when Donald Trump says things like “the good old days” or “pregnancy is very hard on an employer,” you know he is talking about days when women had far fewer rights than they do today.

I think we have to keep this in mind as we struggle to understand the Trump phenomena.  Thankfully longing for the good ole days is not a message that we will have to endure much longer.  Thankfully America is better than it was when it was “Great”.

 

T-S article: good. T-S headline: atrocious.

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Above are the two headlines from the Times Standard today for a informative and detailed article by Will Houston, one from the print edition and one from the online edition.  Both headlines imply something that isn’t in the reporting.

PRINT:  “Could raise rents long term”:  The only thing I could find to support this is that county staff lamented that V is linked to the Bay Area consumer price index rather than the state CPI because doing so

“is not necessarily in the best interests of the residents because it’s higher than the state level would have been”

So, point being V is important and will lower rents, but not as much as it would have if it was linked to the state CPI.  That is not “raising rents long-term”, in fact the article shows that county staffers found rents have been raised higher than the CPI recently in Humboldt county.

INTER-TUBES:  Also the ‘unintended consequences’ scare-quote in the headline of the online article refers to this…

“Mushrush also pointed out some “unintended consequences” of Measure V, including an estimated $6,200 annual cost to the county that would not be covered by the annual $5 fee mobile home park residents would have to pay to the county to cover operational costs of the ordinance.”

$6,200 dollars?  That is about what Rockport’s parent company Brius just paid for it’s recent full-page articles in the Times-Standard.  Is that amount really noteworthy?  For a headline?

Ugh.

Btw, thank you for the informative article Mr. Houson, job well done.  If you are also responsible for the headlines, can we talk?

Eureka City Council Candidate Forum in 45 Minutes.

It’s sponsored by True North Organizing Network.  If you can’t watch it tonight, I’m guessing that Humboldt Access will have recorded it so make yourself a note to watch it on your schedule.  6pm.  520 Del Norte Street in Eureka.

true-north-candidate-forum

Lying to Oppose True Ward: Part ii

Back in the 80’s distinguishing our democratic republic from a pure democracy was a big deal and one of the core arguments I heard to support the Republican agenda.  Back then, that distinction made some sense, Republicans were protecting a wealthy minority against the tyranny of the majority and us long-hairs were – well whatever it was that we were up to.

So when conservatives start promoting representative democracy we should take note.  Kudos, right?  Or is this just a democracy-wash of a system designed to let people “have a say in electing all of our council members”.


Here is the second and most frustrating lie of the official argument against P.  And, by the way, we are still only 3 sentences into our fact-checking of this argument.

The ward system of voting in a city the size of Eureka is as far from a representative democracy as possible.  The promoters of this ill-advised change want to limit the number of people who elect City Council members.

– Melinda Ciarabellini, Rex Bohn, Mike Newman, Marian Brady

Simply not true on both accounts.  I’m one of these promoters and there is nothing more fundamental to my personal political motivating for doing what I do than to increase the percentage of informed citizens voting.  Everything else, whether it is fighting for smart growth, sustainable development or accountable policing is secondary.  The foundations of our politics and community depend on it – if we believe and act on the governing documents of the United States.  In fact my drive to increase the number of motivated and informed people electing local officials is exactly why I’ve taken up the bloggerific hobby of doing whatever I can to help someone navigate the byzantine corridors of local politics.

I would challenge those who wrote those two obnoxious sentences to come up with any evidence at all to support them.

And to turn the tables, those opposing P admit that their bottom line is to hang on to all of their votes and influence.  Their signs say it.  Mathew Owen says itAnonymous bloggers with a WordPress blog say it.  Even Mayor Frank Jäger said the following at the Rotary forum on P. (click link then use the scroll bar to get to 42 min in).

“In closing I’d only say that this measure is undemocratic and it takes away your vote.  I and many in our community want a say in electing all of our council members because they work for all of us.”

Mayor Jänoonpger and those against a true ward system want to keep their influence over the entire city. If this means there is less incentive for others to vote, so be it.  In fact I’d argue reducing the incentive for regular people who may not have the time to pay attention to 6 city-wide elections instead of just one is the darker, flip-side of the “I want all my 5 votes” argument.

Unlike those who wrote the argument above, I don’t believe that Major Jäger is consciously working to limit the number of people to vote.  However, there is no question that the movement to limit voting has been critical to the success of the Republican Party and the conservative movement nation wide.

Proof?  Here is Paul Weyrich clarifying a strategy in 30 seconds which no movement conservative can ever, ever speak out loud again. “I don’t want everybody to vote… as a matter of fact our leverage in elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down”.


Verdict:

The idea that voting for Measure P is “undemocratic” and that to support Measure P means that you want to limit the number of people that vote.  This is so wrong and misleading that it gets another max rating of 3 of 3 Trumps.

Icon by Leif Michelson from thenounproject.com


Please think about breaking through the false and misleading rhetoric this election season and vote “yes” for Measure P.  Measure P is a true ward system for Eureka.  It is. important.  It returns us to the basic essentials of democracy that had been working in Eureka for decades.  It returns greater accountability of your representative to you the voting citizen.

 

Consolidated Humboldt/CA Ballot Recommendations*

*From Eureka’s perspective.  Sorry Rio Dell and Trinidad.  Richard has you covered though.


I’ll keep this page updated as I educate myself on what is on the ballot and as I find other people’s recommendations.  If you are so inclined bookmark this page for use until November 8th.


updates…

Great Summary of CA Propositions: (ty Sohum Parlance’s Eric Kirk)

California Choices

Eureka’s Fourth Ward:

Times Standard endorses John Fullerton 10/16/16

Measure V:

Times Standard endorsement 10/15/16

 


If you have recommendations or questions post comments below and I’ll update this page if you wish me too.

I’m going to start with the chart below with a couple of fairly comprehensive recommendations from Richard Salzman and Eric Kirk along with the Humboldt and state Democratic endorsements, the Republican state-wide endorsements and the LA Times editorial board endorsements.  (I’m familiarizing myself with other inter-tube tools and you can find a copy of the chart below here thanks to The Google.  Please give me any feedback if you wish.)

As far as officials, I’m only including local (contested) elections as these contests are no longer competitive in California.  Thankfully, in this blue state it has become obvious that Republicans have given up on governing with all of us in mind. Locally, Republicans-in-all-but-name are still hanging on, they’ve just had to disavow the “R” to stay in power.

2016-ballot

Community Service Alert for the Untrustworthy …

Look Directly Into People’s Eyes if Being Sworn Into Office

I couldn’t resist, I had to highlight this winner of a letter from Mike Jones former Eureka City Council-member whose choice is simple this November.  In large part because he seems to share with George Bush the ability to see more than most when looking into another man’s eyes.

Here is the quote from today’s Times Standard…

I also came into association with John as I swore him into office as a member of the Eureka Planning Commission while I was the chairman. Anyone who takes the oath of office and looks you straight in the eye is someone you can trust to not only do the job, but with no ulterior motives.

Mike Jones  10/14/16 Times Standard

“No ulterior motives”.  Wow, a good look really can tell you a lot.  You know, I’m willing to admit deficiencies.  Maybe as a liberal I AM sadly lacking some very basic life skills that some conservative leaders seem to share.

On the other hand, how reliable is this power anyway?  I wonder if President Bush saw the future the invasions by Prime President Putin of Crimea then Ukraine in the Russian leaders soul.  And I’d rather not even discuss Putin’s disturbing shortage of shirts in the vicinity of cameras.


Mike Jones and his super-natural skills is obviously a Fullerton supporter, so in the interests of fair play here is a quote from Fred Krissman which can also be found in today’s Times-Standard opinion page.

I’d like to thank the candidates for sharing these endorsement lists and making our decision so much easier! If you want big bucks to continue being siphoned to the top salary earners in the region, while working people flounder and our best professionals are driven away, vote for Fullerton and his business- as-usual conservative approach. If you’re ready for real change — government that supports working people and their interests, while growing a healthy economy — the only choice is Austin Allison.

Fred Krissman, Eureka


Arguments For and Against Eureka’s True Ward

The young man (best guess) over at The Humboldt Confidential (THC) stepped away from the disingenuous (and completely misleading) and recently, deeply irresponsible arguments (I won’t link to it) to focus on an argument against Measure P on it’s merits.  (sorry for all the parenthesis)

You can find his argument against a true ward system here.

Here is my response.


p
yes pls

The great thing about P, win or lose, is it is allowing our local “ole boys network”* to show their true colors. I would generally use the descriptor “conservative”, but being against P has nothing to do with conservatism or conservative principles unless that principle is maintaining power for those that deserve power.

“There’s a harsh truth that the proponent of Measure P aren’t telling you about. And it’s that they want to put the fate of the City in the hands of very, very few people.”

I would replace “harsh truth” with “amazing feature”, and we would love to tell you and everyone else about this feature of returning democracy to communities.

Question: Do more people voting necessarily make better decisions? Did you pay attention to the Republican primary?

“That’s 1,800 people deciding on a leader of the City who, for four years, will be completely unaccountable to the rest of the populace.”‘

But you will be able to un-elect them in 4 years. You can’t do that, for example, to local monopoly businesses. Our representatives ARE accountable because their terms are limited to 4 years. Again, this is a feature of democracy and government and not a bug.

“In THC’s mind, 1,800 people having such an enormous impact on a city of 27,000 isn’t wise, nor politically fair.”

noonp
Again, votes!?!?

Exactly THC. That is your truth. You believe that five citywide votes for one individual are better than one because you don’t want to deal with the messy problem of actual people having influence in government. This is important because paying attention to your blog content over the past months, one can’t help but notice that you pretend to be a voice of the people, of one of the economically downtrodden, simply here to protect the people from the excesses of the government.

But when you have a chance to encourage your readers to return their excess votes (plural) to those that understand that Eureka’s system has been rigged …well…”We’d like to hold on to these actually. Our towns really too small and, btw, have you noticed the odor emanating from many of those 1,800? Are they really trustworthy of voting for someone who will be in office for (gulp) FOUR years?”

Eureka’s electoral system was consciously set up to make sure that a small group of pillars of the community (by their definition) have a disproportionately large voice in our city’s government, representative democracy be damned. Measure P begins to disassemble a part of that system.

I get it, the thought of changing back to a fairer form of representative government is scary, but change often is, even if in the end we all will be better for it.**
________________________
*Take a look at this ad for Mr. Fullerton and note those endorsing him (the latest ran Tuesday on A3).fullerton

Four old, familiarly conservative men on the Eureka Planning Commission, four old, familiarly conservative men on the Humboldt Planning Commission. God love old men, I’m one of them myself. The issue here is that there is a very small cohort of people, much smaller than 1,800 that is running our town (not to mention County). Measure P tries to return the people’s voice back to government. Supporters of the true ward system (Measure P) wish to spread the wealth of democracy.

** Take a look at this video. This is about voting rights because reminding people they do have an important fraction of the vote MAY help non-partisan registration wonks like me get our miserable registration and voter participation rates up.