Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Shove redux... UPDATED: Frustrations between Humboldt County Supervisors boil over; Lovelace apologizes for 'slap on the back' And, UPDATED AGAIN.


(Note: This post has evolved along with the story, including other blog posts and media reports. It will continue to be updated as things develop. At this time, I have no plans to open a new post on the topic. Check back for updates if you feel so inclined.)

Or was it "The Push" - I forget.
Maybe it was "Push Comes To Shove"

But it became a very big deal - the HCDCC Subcommittee on Education and Communications Chairperson Greg Conners said the group’s hope is that the attorney general will investigate “and the appropriate action will be taken based upon facts that can be confirmed.”

Remember all that?


My basic policy has always been - things have to be verifiable. And accurate. My general rule is three sources, or I won't post it.

I'm not the only one who's going to be asking questions, and it appears there are a number of people who can answer the questions at hand. Tomorrow's Monday. We'll see.

Basically, Humboldt County is a small town, and people talk to each other.

CSAC "a conference of California county officials"

What's in question? A comment posted on at least two other blogs talking about an altercation (incident, may be a better word) - a physical altercation - between two Humboldt County Supervisors at CSAC, witnessed by at least one other Humboldt County Supervisor, and one Del Norte County Supervisor. Questions whether charges were filed, whether the Humboldt County DA would act.

That last part makes me laugh. Are you kidding?


Incident witnessed at CSAC conference - John Chiv/Words Worth

OK, so my stance on the Larry Glass thing was he should have accepted the apology, sucked it up and moved on, file a report if you like to get it on the record if you're really worried that there may be a repeat incident, but move on. But that's not what happened. So it will be interesting to see the how the cheerleaders in that 'push' respond here.

Frustrations between Humboldt County Supervisors boil over; Lovelace apologizes for 'slap on the back' - Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard

Third District Supervisor Mark Lovelace apologized Monday for letting his frustrations boil over at a California State Association of Counties meeting last week, leading to an incident that one Del Norte official called “disturbing” and “inappropriate.”

The incident occurred last Wednesday, during a meeting of the Coastal Counties Regional Association at CSAC's annual conference in San Jose, which was attended by four Humboldt County supervisors. During the meeting, the association -- which Lovelace has co-chaired for several years -- voted to appoint 4th District Supervisor Virginia Bass as its new co-chair.

Lovelace apparently felt frustrated and slighted at the appointment, and approached Bass and 1st District Supervisor Rex Bohn after the meeting, giving them what he described as a “perhaps an exaggerated, good-old-boy slap on the back.”

Reached Monday, Bass described the contact as “an extremely exaggerated slap on the back.”

She said she didn't really want to get into details, but the incident has been mischaracterized by local blogs.

”What you're reading on the blogs is an exaggeration,” she said. “Nobody hit the ground. Nobody shoved back. There was some frustration.”

Local blogs? Not exactly. Local blogs responded to posted comments by removing them. Those who have comment moderation enabled declined to post them. I would posit that Hank at Lost Coast Outpost took it down because he considered it inflammatory and would likely look into the allegations. Only this one posted anything about it - and you'll note no exaggeration above. We're a very responsible bunch, us bloggers. And PART of being responsible INCLUDES posting stuff like this when it comes up. Like it or not. Frankly, that was just as true as all the newspapers reporting about "The Push" and about "The Speech" more recently.

Responsible. Case in point: ◼ Just little life reminders about violence. - Samoa Softball
And: ◼ Supervisor Incident Somewhat Clarified - Sohum Parlance II

What the Times-Standard article on CSAC incident did not include - John Chiv/Words Worth AN UPDATE

Good old boy slap on the back? No. - Allison Jackson/My Word/Times-Standard

Sympathies for Mark Lovelace - Bill Hassler/Letter-to-the-Editor/Times-Standard

Mark apologizes to Virginia and Rex - John Chiv/Words Worth 12/3

...In addition to his personal apology in private, Mark said that while trying to explain his frustrations, some of his remarks came across as justifying his actions. There is never any justification, he said, for such behavior. Mark added that in the last week he had seen his actions through the eyes of others.

He concluded by saying that he hoped both Virginia and Rex and the community would forgive him and he promised that "it won't happen again."

Rex was quiet. Virginia did respond. She said she appreciated the apology, especially to the community. She commented that kids are taught not to use violence and as role models and elected officials, "we are held to higher standards." She pointed out that if this behavior was by an employee, there would have been an investigation, perhaps even a dismissal. Virginia concluded her remarks by saying "that this was not the time to talk about it" but that she looked forward to a discussion perhaps in the future and suggested anger management to Mark.... More at the link

Having thought about it: Since being elected, Mark has taken people off of commissions and boards. Like Charles Ollivier from the railroad board. Should Charles, or any of the others, have been angry at Mark? And if they were angry, which is understandable, even in Mark's own case, what would have happened if they had hit Mark? Or anyone else involved in the decision.

We know the response to the Dan Johnson speech/plagiarism issue. Calls for his head. From some of the same people - cough - SYLVIA DE ROOY - cough - who bend themselves into pretzels to excuse this one and declare it a 'right wing' thing. Excuse me?

I said in the beginning that what was especially interesting in this case was going to be watching those who screamed for the AG in Glass's case remain silent in this case - and so far, at least, that has been the case.

Humboldt County Supervisor Lovelace apologizes to Bass, Bohn: 'I promise you, it won't happen again' - Catherine Wong/The Times-Standard

Humboldt County 3rd District Supervisor Mark Lovelace apologized Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors meeting for the “slap on the back” he gave to supervisors Rex Bohn and Virginia Bass at the annual California State Association of Counties conference.

”Some of what I said was trying to explain my frustration, and I think that came across as trying to justify my actions, which I can't,” Lovelace said. “No matter what might have transpired beforehand, there is only one person that is responsible for my own actions, and that's me.”

...”All I can do is apologize and accept the consequences of my actions and hope that the two of you, the rest of you, and the community might forgive me for treating you both so disrespectfully and for seriously overstepping personal boundaries,” he said.

Bass, who represents the 4th District, responded by saying that she appreciates the apology, especially to the community. She noted that there would be an investigation -- and possibly a dismissal -- if a similar incident happened with county staff.

”We're elected, so we have different paths, so I think the apology is certainly along that path,” she said, adding “perhaps this isn't the time to talk about it, but I would be interested in further discussion in some anger management.”


  1. Rose, There are lots of rumors flying around for several days. If this is going where I think it is then there is no comparison to the Arkley-Glass fiasco. This is about a male elected official actually striking and physically damaging a female official to the point she needed medical treatment. All over a political dispute. To top it off, if all the reports I have heard are correct this was witnessed by several other elected officials. That's huge and should mean jail time for the perpetrator. There's a world of difference between this situation and a supposed two finger push on the chest.

  2. Perhaps. IF TRUE - IF - then said public official should file a report. Not to do so leaves it in the realm of anonymous online comments.

  3. I wonder where Simms/Cleary and the NC Journal are in all this? We all know that if it involved anyone but their boy Lovelace they'd be all over it. So much for journalistic ethics and such.

    Has anyone called Del Norte Supe Mike Sullivan to get his first hand recount of Mark tantrum and shove?

  4. I have a friend who works in the courthouse and Mark's tantrums are well known whenever he doesn't get his way....but hitting girls!! That's over the top and unacceptable for anyone.

    Bass has a moral and ethical obligation to pursue some kind of legal response for this kind of bad behavior. If she doesn't do something it will be worse next time. Bass will then bear a certain level of responsibility if someone else gets seriously hurt as a result of her inaction.

  5. Here I was, two seconds away from shutting this whole thing down - and this comes up. And it's interesting to me, on a couple of different levels.

    But, first, I will say this in Mark's defense - in the early days of this blog, when the vitriol towards me really began to flow, there were some nasty comments made, and there were comments made alleging it to be Mark making the comments. Mark made a point of calling me, to let me know that he didn't like those kinds of comments and that he wanted me to know, from his own mouth, that it wasn't him. Despite his associations, he does not like this side of politics. I believed that then, and I believe it now. And - maybe this was just a hearty greeting misinterpreted.

    That said - the thing that intrigues me here is what it exposes - like I said, in Larry Glass's case, file a report if you feel the need to, then accept the apology and suck it up. Move on. Be a big boy.

    That's where I stood then, and I think, where I stand now.

    The interesting thing now will be to see where all those who were jumping up and down in fury stand now. Look back at the statements made then. Will the HCDCC say "the group’s hope is that the attorney general will investigate “and the appropriate action will be taken based upon facts that can be confirmed.”?

    I hear pigs CAN fly.

  6. I should add - Mark had asked that I NOT make his call public - all those years ago. He wasn't looking for public exoneration, or to make a big deal out of it - he just wanted me to know. So in telling this, I apologize. But it's an important point.

    Moving forward in time - this wasn't how things were supposed to be. Salzman's success in stacking the Board, and in turning Bonnie Neely was the wave of the future.

    I've said it before - it was the overreach that led to that utopian dream being overturned. You can't go about stripping people of their private property rights and not expect some kind of reaction. The reaction has caused Mark to be in the minority rather than the majority. I'm sure it isn't fun.

  7. I am talking with Mike and I followed up. The question isnt whether or if Virginia should do something because anon bloggers feel so. Its her decision.

    She is out of town. The question is why is Mark silent? Bigger question is Rose and I dont get paid full time to blog or be media reporters. Why has no one else followed up?

    I updated my post and will do so after talking to people who observed the incident.

  8. I'm told that there will be an article in the TS tomorrow. Nobody involved wants to talk about it, but I'm assuming someone at the TS managed to coax some stuff out.

    One thing all of those involved have told me - the anonymous posts irresponsibly dropped on all the blogs over the weekend are quite a bit exaggerated. I'm assuming that we'll have some facts tomorrow morning.

  9. Count on Eric to start the Prog damage control. Before a Proggie steps in it and exposes himself as the political animal he is, we get the Prog witch hunt conducted against Republicans like the exaggeration of a school board member's speech used by Progs as the Crime of the Century for a witch hunt? There's a school board member calling for killing the President and that's a real issue but here we get Progs telling us plagiarism should get a school board member fired even though the same "crime" was committed by the Prog top law enforcement officer in Humboldt County. And silence about Mark. Compare to NCJ treatment of Dan. Hypocrites-R-Us, the slogan of the Progressive Green Party commandeered HCDCC and their media mouthpiece.

  10. Yeah, Eric, we wouldn't want any exaggerations, now would we. Boy, you want to talk anonymous drops and exaggerations, we can have that conversation.

    Though I agree with you - there are exaggerations.

    Seeing how this all spins out - that's the interesting part.

    War on Women and all :)

  11. Eric the fact that you knew that the TS is doing a story before it was published is interesting. The TS did nothing until I reported on my blog that the incident was exaggerated on other blogs. The TS article has more ink for Mark than anyone else.

    So when you say irresponsible local blogs adding some would be nice.

    Mark has spoken so has Virginia and Rex. Mike Sullivan is the only independent observer.

    Eric I have never disrespected you on any comment and that is not my intention here. Nor do I want to get into a debate anymore. We all will have our opinions. The facts are: who removed the initial comments and why?

    Anon blogs and anon posters encourage irrespinsible behavior.

  12. Hey, lets not lose sight of the real issue here. This isn't about anonymous blog posts that might or might not have been exaggerated though as it turns out they were pretty darn close. The real issue at hand is an elected official that hits women. This is simply unacceptable and requires a formal response and disciplinary action. I don't care who it is, what party they belong to, whether they hit an official or regular citizen, or anything else. It's simply wrong to beat women. Period.

    Law enforcement and the Board of Supes has a moral and legal responsibility to take action.

  13. So this happened in Santa Clara county, so our law enforcement including the District Attorney's office will have absolutely no say in what if anything happens. The T-S article was very interesting and depending upon if you read the whole thing you would have different viewpoints of what happened. At first Virginia tried to play it down and tamp it. It then interviewed the Del Norte county Supervisor who was an unbiased percipient witness, and he blew the roof off the whole thing if you ask me. Just based upon his description, it appears that law enforcement (again in Santa Clara) should investigate. Perhaps Lovelace will hire Humboldt's soon to be new hot shot Defense Attorney, Paul Gallegos to represent him!

  14. John, I'm not quite sure what your question is. I learned that there would be a story because I spoke to Mark last night who told me he had been interviewed. I assumed that the others had been interviewed as well, and that appears to have been the case.

    As to whether the authorities should be involved, I guess that should be Virginia's and Rex's call since they were on the receiving end.

    Rose - anonymous drops is one of several reasons I went to moderation a few years ago.

    What is clear is that Virginia was not knocked to the ground. Also, Rex did not threaten to beat Mark up, which is to Rex's credit, and was also a contention of the anonymous posts.

    And for the record, even if Mark's version is closest to what actually happened, it was still extremely inappropriate and he was right to apologize to both Virginia and Rex.

  15. eric, and he should resign at best or worse take sexual battery and anger management counseling

  16. Sexual battery? Do you know what that means?

  17. Eric, sometimes you are pathetic in your inability to ever stop politically spinning everything that you are involved in. Now it's you trying to spin battery by a male against a female into a questionable act. Just stop it, please, and let the community respond without orchestration from diehard politicos like you.

  18. Stephen, the meds please. Or learn to read.

  19. Unless and until Ms. Bass files a report or complaint - it didn't happen, there will be no AG involvement. It's unclear at this point whether that has occurred, or not.

    I'm SURE the HCDCC will be EQUALLY as incensed about this as they were about the other one, though, right?

  20. I've updated the post with this comment - addressing the statement that things had been exaggerated by 'local blogs' -

    Local blogs? Not exactly. Local blogs responded to posted comments by removing them. Those who have comment moderation enabled declined to post them. I would posit that Hank at Lost Coast Outpost took it down because he considered it inflammatory and would likely look into the allegations. Only this one posted anything about it - and you'll note no exaggeration above. We're a very responsible bunch, us bloggers. And PART of being responsible INCLUDES posting stuff like this when it comes up. Like it or not. Frankly, that was just as true as all the newspapers reporting about "The Push" and about "The Speech" more recently.

    See John's Words Worth, Richard's Samoa Softball, and Eric's SoHum Parlance for examples.

  21. HCDCC might be, as there's kind of a new order in place there - for better or worse it's not the same crowd running it. In fact, Virginia is one of the leaders.

    And I don't know precisely who the "Shove" issue question is directed at, but if you look up my posts on the Arkley/Glass shove, I think you'll find that I didn't make a huge deal out of it, and was actually kind of disappointed that Larry had initially decided not to make such a big deal about it but succumbed to pressure into making the incident out to be some sort of calculated intimidation. I don't think either of these events was at all "calculated."

    As someone who hasn't hit or shoved anyone even in self-defense since the seventh grade, nor been the victim of such actions, I'm pretty much going to leave the issue of what should be done to the parties involved. Mark has apologized and isn't making excuses, so it's really up to Virginia and Rex (whether or not he was as hurt as Virginia, he was still physically contacted in an unwelcome way) to decide what they want from Mark, or anyone else.

    Larry also had the right to make up his own mind about what he needed, but my criticism is that it seemed like he let other people make up his mind for him, and pushed the complaint as an afterthought.

    Rose is right - none of the bloggers went off on this. In fact, when I read Rose's post on Sunday, if you hadn't read the anonymous posts, you wouldn't have even known what she was talking about.

    As wholly inappropriate as the action was, I was actually relieved. When I first read the attempted posts on my blog, the first place I looked was the San Jose police reporting site. And then I notified Hank about the post on LoCo, and he indicated that he was going to look into it. But I'm sure he ran into what I ran into, which was that nobody wanted to talk about it - until they realized that they had to get out in front of the wild rumors.

  22. Let me get this straight. Last Thursday one of our Supervisors, a male, came up from behind another Supervisor, a female, in an agitated way slapped her on the back hard enough to make her stumble three or four steps and it was not reported until Tuesday morning. And on only one of the news outlets.
    There is no mention of this on LOCO or NCJ. Has this been on any broadcast news?
    If what the TS reported is accurate how is he going to be effective at all sitting in the Supervisor seat from here on out.

  23. Eric - agreed. Humboldt County is a small town. Word gets out, and it is better to address it directly. I thought Thadeus did a good job.

    I know there's the whole 'you don't hit girls' thing in play here, I'm not sure I give that a lot of weight, though, part of the whole 'equality' thing is, that shouldn't be a factor.

  24. Well, you don't hit girls. I'm as feminist as they come, but I was raised in a kind of tough school district and occasionally got into scrapes with girls. I couldn't hit them so I ran, and if I couldn't get away, then I tried to wrestle them to the ground. Usually ended up bleeding somewhere or another.

    Unlike boys, girls weren't into the fights for the status, the glory, or to earn macho points. They were rarely mad enough to attack you, but when they were (and I had a pretty smart-ass mouth that got me into lots of trouble), their only agenda was to hurt you. Period.

    But it was drummed into me not to hit girls, so I didn't. And I was raised in a pretty feminist family, with a pro-feminist father who justified it by saying that in most cases the boy has the advantage in strength. So I asked, "why isn't it as bad then to hit a skinny boy?" He said there probably should be rules about it when there's any kind of difference in strength, but then the no-hitting-girls rule applies even if the girl is stronger than you, so it didn't make sense. But it was drummed into me.

    I'm sure it was drummed into Mark too, which is why I believe his story about his intent. Maybe the force was the product of his ID or something, but maybe that's also why you should be particularly careful with physical contact when you are angry.

    Either way, he's going to take a political hit as well as a social stigma hit. And as bad as it may get for him, as a leader he should just suck it up and take the consequences. From my conversation with him, and from what I read, it's apparent that he's willing to do that.

    He could resign, but unless Virginia and/or Rex call for that, that seems extreme.

    Hopefully, he takes a lesson of humility for it, and puts some of this stuff in perspective - the chairmanship of the committee really isn't all that important on the scale of things, and he shouldn't take the stuff so personally.

    But I think there are people who will want to take advantage of this for personal reasons, and quite frankly Mark opened himself up to that.

    And if Mark is forced out in any way - careful what you ask for. Who do you think is going to replace him in the next election? Karen Brooks? More likely, especially if Arcata voters are feeling particularly defiant, it'll be someone like Dave Meserve - which would be fun to watch from my perspective.

    Anyway, Mark can't undo it. He can only do what he can to make it better, and move on.

  25. "Personal reasons." I meant political reasons.

  26. Stop your libel attacks on me, Eric. You posted what you posted and there's no need to flip out when I or anyone reads you and I mean reads you.

  27. not true Rose, there are strict laws about these things, Mark's admission to this should land him in jail and his mug shot in the news. Many men in the slammer for less and it doesn't matter if the woman won't press charges. Society does it, that's the law and Mark is guilty. If it were John Cambell or Tom Herman , Mark would being call for their heads to roll.

  28. That's true, 7:32. And if it was Rex, or Ryan, we all know it would be different.

    Which is part of what makes this - shall we say interesting?

    Eric - I don't think he should resign.

  29. Arkley was drunk as a skunk when he shoved Glass. But Lovelace was not, so there is ZERO excuse for what he did to Virginia.

  30. Being drunk is an excuse?

  31. Well, there we have our 'blog exaggeration' and ANOTHER example of the inequity in how these things get viewed.

  32. Well, I don't know about "inequity." Right now conservatives are calling for Mark's head and liberals are downplaying it. With Arkley, liberals called for his head and conservatives downplayed it.

    Go figure.

  33. God help anyone that hires you Eric. A fence post has better cognitive skills. This is a huge deal. Mark is F'ed.

  34. People keep asking why there has been no story on Lost Coast Outpost - THINK! - Hank has the horses's mouth, so to speak, he has 'Matthew In The Middle' - so you will surely get the straight dope on the whole thing when they're back in town.

  35. Mtthew and Virginia's opinion matter they however do not "control" this sorry issue. It is a legal,ethical issue which county protocals require strict compliance. All sups must not stand above the law.

  36. This could be a teachable moment for politics in humco, can the meanness of the attack crowd that morphed Mark from a wide ey"ed hopefull do gooder to an angry, win at all cost work place bully allow him to heal? We can hope he can just say no to that pressure. Reach out to fellows who are doing their best to not fan the flames. When we read the trip from Gen Galt about signs,and money we can see the real upnhill battle Mark faces. ,


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