The Only Way to Oppose P* Is to Lie: Part i

*while favoring representative democracy.

This short, official argument against Eureka’s Measure P was signed by Marian Brady, Mike Newman, Melinda Ciarabellini and Rex Bohn.  To begin with, we have to understand that it is not a coincidence that 3 of these 4 officials had at least one election without an opponent.  Add to this list Mayor Jager who was chosen as the voice to support P at a recent debate for a Rotary Club forum and the ratio of P supporters who had at least one election without an opponent.
By the way, not once has a left-of-center candidate run unopposed in recent memory.  Even this critical aspect of a democracy, finding candidates, favors those of a certain political persuasion.

Signers to the official argument against P

As a person who loves this country and this county I simply don’t understand how a sometimes-elected official can take the position that our local representative democracy doesn’t need urgent help.  Unless of course they are rationalizing what is politically expedient to their sometimes-electoral success.

I think the official argument against Measure P proves that this is not about any principles or about what is best for representative democracy in Eureka but what is best for their political agenda.  And yes, all officials do have political agendas.

So, let’s delve into the truthfullness-challenged portions of the No-On-P argument.

Sentence One:

“Should this measure be approved, 80% of Eureka voters won’t have a say in who represents them on the City Council in any given Election.”

This is simply not true.

With a true ward electoral system, each voter would vote for her or his representative once every four years.  The same term length, for example, as our President.  For those living in Wards 2 and 4 these years begin with this election in 2016 then 2020, 2024, etc.  For those living in Wards 1, 3, and 5 the election years are 2018 and onward every four years.  The Mayor will still be elected by the entire city and this election also takes place in 2018.

Therefore, as a resident of the Second Ward, and like those living in the Fourth, in the true ward system we would get “a say in who represents”us in every single city election – bar none. Those living in the odd-numbered Wards would have their vote for Mayor the same year they are electing their city council representative and thus get 2 votes for representatives during the year their representatives are elected.

Again, this “80% of Eureka voters won’t have a say in who represents them on the City Council in any given Election” is simply not true.  Given the prominence of this statement at the beginning of their argument and the obvious threat it is meant to be to the good people of Eureka who would want their vote to count AND count fairly, I’m characterizing this untruth with the max 3 of 3 trumps.

Icon by Leif Michelson from

That’s all I have time for this morning.  The good news is we are one sentence into this argument and making progress!


2 thoughts on “The Only Way to Oppose P* Is to Lie: Part i

  1. Elias says:

    I realize that Eureka have already passed this proposal. But I offer this as a teachable moment of why at large is better than the ward system.

    Perhaps in the future eureka residents will realize their folly and shall revert back to at large.

    1. The key comes at 41 seconds into the mesmerizing beat. “If you manipulate the boundaries of voting districts…”

      How about this Elias, how about if we have democracy AND we promise ourselves, our families and our neighbors our goal will be to NOT tolerate manipulation?

      That is what returning to Eureka’s original democracy, in my opinion, helps to heal. We’ve been manipulated. Take a look at the boundaries of the voting districts currently. Consider that 4 of 6 of Eureka’s elections come up on the off year when fewer people vote. Consider also that Eureka doesn’t have primaries which means if one person comes in with no expectation to win such as Xandra Mans in 2012? and Charlie Bean in 2014? they can throw the election for one of the two major candidates.

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