I hope you all take time to read all the way through Hank Sim's cover story in the North Coast Journal this week.
I almost didn't. I got part way through it and came to the mention of the "shadow group" Humboldt Business Council" and slammed my fist on the table.
Goddam it! No discussion of the so-called "Eureka Coalition for Jobs" or the so-called "Humboldt Business Council" is complete WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT THE SO-CALLED "ALLIANCE FOR ETHICAL BUSINESS", "LOCAL SOLUTIONS", AND ALL THE OTHER MORPHS OF SALZMAN -CONTROLLED "ACTION COMMITTEES"!
But LUCKILY I kept reading. Because Hank, for the first time, lays it out and EXPOSES the behind-the-scenes machinations that have influenced recent elections and are in play in the Eureka City Council races, the Eureka Mayor's race, and in the Supervisor's race.
Those who have been with me since the beginning of this whole thing know that the primary thing I asked was that BOTH SIDES of the story be told. Give the people all the information, and let them make an informed choice, but for God's sake tell them who is involved and what they are up to.
And Hank has done it.
Excerpt: "It's that the new boss, if it comes to that, is simply the flip side of the old boss. That point -- that La Vallee, Glass, Kuhnel and Abrams represent a new good-old-boys network, a nascent left-to-left-of-center political machine -- is just a little bit harder to explain away.
You can start with the basics. Their campaigns are coordinated; they all work together. They've all endorsed each other. To one degree or another, they've all cautiously expressed their skepticism of the Arkleys' Marina Center project for the Balloon Track, or disapproval at the city process that led us to this juncture. (Glass is the exception, perhaps -- he helped form a group, Citizens for Real Economic Growth, or CREG, that has been loudly critical of the Marina Center plan, though the candidate himself has tempered his public stance somewhat.) They've all been endorsed by the same lefty groups -- Local Solutions, the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee, the Eureka Greens. They have all been generously funded by Bill Pierson, owner of Pierson Building Center and therefore a man who would stand to lose considerably if the Marina Center, with its Home Depot big-box anchor store, comes to pass. (As has Supervisor Bonnie Neely, who is also up for reelection and has received a similar set of endorsements; her challenger, former Eureka Mayor Nancy Flemming, is likewise associated with the ticket headed by Bass. See "Supes On," the Journal's May 18 cover story, for a rundown of the candidates.)
Finally, there's the fact that Richard Salzman, the Trinidad political consultant and sworn enemy of Arkley, has played a large role in shaping the ticket. Salzman personally recruited Nan Abrams to run against Mike Jones in the Fifth Ward, as Abrams herself verified last week. La Vallee's campaign hired him this year. He works with Glass in the CREG effort, and, according to Glass, helped to remind Maria Hershey, a potential vote-splitter in the First Ward, to drop out of the race by deadline. Before Ron Kuhnel officially announced his candidacy for the Third Ward, Salzman approached Randall Herzon, another potential candidate, and asked him to drop out. Herzon eventually accepted Salzman's logic -- that a divided vote would ensure that Jeff Leonard would be reelected -- but is still galled that Salzman would pressure him to withdraw. (In the absence of the thoroughly sensible proposal to adopt instant runoff voting, or at least a return to citywide primaries, such pre-election machinations are perhaps inevitable.)
What does all this signify? It's not that the candidates in question are slavishly loyal to Salzman, or even to Pierson. "You don't run for city office without getting calls from Richard Salzman," said Ron Kuhnel last week, and as he said it he looked genuinely weary of such calls. He keeps his campaign apparatus separate from that of Glass and Abrams, even if he does cooperate with them, because of his discomfort at being thought of as a member of a "slate." But turnabout is fair play, and people who accuse Bass, Wolford, Leonard and Jones of being mere tools of Rob Arkley should be prepared to answer similar charges against their own candidates."
Read the whole story. And pass it on to everyone you know. It's good information, across the board. Both sides.
TS - Let the Games Begin