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Due to human error, the blog Humboldt Nation is no longer in existence. It has reincarnated as Greg’s List. Greg is setting up the first local group blog and inviting certain folk to join. I was lucky enough to be on the list, and I will post there occasionally.

Just made my first post in fact.

Here they are. It looks like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Rhode Island are certain Democratic pick-ups. I would add Montana to the list even though some of the recent polls have Tester’s lead shrinking. The polls have Menendez making a break for it in New Jersey, and the Steele surge in Maryland hasn’t panned out.

So the question is whether the Democrats can pull two wins out of the Virginia, Tennessee, and Missouri (and it’s not inconceivable that they could pull a surprise in Arizona). Missouri has been a see-saw for weeks, and I’m not even going to touch that one. Ford has actually been ahead in a couple of polls recently, hopefully the product of a backlash against the racism from the Corker camp.

But the real surprise is that after months of inching up Webb has moved ahead of Allen in recent Virginia polls. I like to think this is also the result of a backlash for the stunt Allen/Drudge pulled with out-of-context passages from Webb’s novels. Probably a mistake also to emphasize that Webb is a candidate who can read and write.

Lastly, I had all but given up on Lamont, but he’s finally made a move in the polls. Too little too late probably, but as Kos notes the loss of Democratic support probably accounts for Lieberman’s tirade against the NY Times for endorsing Lamont.

Still a whole week for “suprises,” the magic ambush day often being Thursday on the theory that it allows for a few days to sink in without giving the the opponent an adequate chance to respond.

Photo taken from Kos.

Update: Lesson for kids – treat your little siblings well or they will get even when they grow up!

Meanwhile, Lincoln Chafee’s last ditch ad is probably more of a lamentation. He should have switched parties a couple of years ago. Now he’s toast.

Second update: Everybody’s talking about Congress, but it’s possible that Democrats could pick up 9 governorships as well. In California, if only…

Third update: Chris Bowers thinks it will all come down to Missouri.

Watch Missouri, and watch it closely. For a campaign this important, it is stunning how little press coverage it has received outside of Michael J. Fox. I’m not saying that there couldn’t be some surprises on Election Day that would shift Missouri’s position as the deciding factor, but I am saying that it currently strikes me as impossible for Democrats to win the Senate if we don’t win Missouri. I am also not saying that we have a good chance to retake the Senate–I still think the odds are against us. However, with surges by Webb and Menendez, the brass ring is within our grasp once again. Right now, I’d peg our odds for Senate control at around 10-20%, because we do have to sweep all of the close races in New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Montana for Missouri to be the deciding factor.

While it’s certainly less scientific on its face than the HBC poll, the numbers are closer to what I would expect in an accurate poll. I do agree that the “pressure” question is a little odd.

But I suspect that of those who have made up their minds, the pro-Marina Project folk outnumber the anti by about 3 to 2, with a large undecided factor which would incorporate more potential opponents than supporters. I would number among the “undecided” at this point, and I would probably vote the progressive slate in any case because I do believe in what has been termed “public process.” However, Brian Morrissey did make some very persuasive arguments in my meeting with him, and if they got that presentation around they may even have persuaded some of the bleeding hearts. If the poll is accurate, it’ll be interesting to see how it translates into votes next Tuesday.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to meet with Mark Lovelace who’s asked for equal time. Maybe I need to invite players from each side to a radio show.

Taking a break from the local soap opera and election news for a minute, over a hundred American soldiers were killed in Iraq this month and the Brits are evacuating their consulate in Basra (and the generals are pissed about it). No mention of the latter story in the major American networks. This as the Shiite coalition is falling apart as pro-Iranian militias take over entire towns and possibly cities.

Can we call it a “civil war” yet?

Some posts have already appeared in the threads below, suggesting that some want to talk about it. I don’t know anything about what happened except that Channel 3 says about 150 people showed up. These comments were posted here within the past hour or so.

SOMEBODY SAID: Maybe they ought to drug test anyone attending the “special” city council meeting. You know the one called to get votes for LaVallee !

I SAY: If LaVallee had been trying to use the meeting to score political points, he would not have treated every speaker with equal respect and given each speaker the same exact amount of time.

LaVallee ran that meeting in a way that did Eureka proud.

and a response:

Actually I heard from a pretty conservative attendee that LaVallee did run the meeting as it should have been run. My beef is that the meeting was run at all. The mayor just getting some last minute FREE campaining in. Shameful.

Vote for Bass, vote for Donald Duck, just don’t vote for LaVallee.

Have at it.

Update: Heraldo was apparently there and reports on it, and where I just learned that Cheri Moore’s son filed suit naming among others Officer Liles. The community is in for a rough ride no matter who wins next week.

No, not this afternoon’s meeting. The ER quietly broke this story a few days ago. Now according to Captain Buhne, LaVallee is commenting: “I am disappointed in my opponent.”

The plane trips themselves don’t amount to much in terms of intrinsic value, but it’s not an image you want tossed into the field a week before the election. Probably won’t make a huge difference as there probably aren’t many fence sitters at this point anyway, but it can potentially take her into what wonks like to call “off message.”

Between this, the HBC poll, and tonight’s special city council meeting, there’ll be plenty on the front pages tomorrow. Just in time for the holiday.

Update: According to the ER article, and Mr. Ferguson who was the first to post in this thread, the trip was for a Bill Simon campaign event and thus not a gift under campaign finance guidelines, which certainly makes sense on the face of it as Bass probably wouldn’t be campaigning for a local office in Palm Springs. If she did any schmoozing for funds or support when she was there it might be ambiguous, but we have no facts to make such an assumption. I will assume then that Bass is amending her statement in an abundance of caution rather than an admission of omission. Besides, how many of you have ever accounted for your frequent flyer miles in your income taxes?

That being said, Ferguson’s counterpoint about Pierson’s donations to LaVallee are only relevant if they were not reported. Perhaps he’s more concerned about the image of Bass riding on the Arkley plane than the material aspects of the issue. Wierd how the plane trip invokes more of a negative image than an above-board $15,000 donation from the same source.

Just received an e-mail from them containing the following press release. Basically, it indicates a 59% support for the project in Eureka, with 22% opposing when a summary of the arguments are presented side-by-side (the information so far doesn’t state whether both sides were consulted regarding the wording of the arguments for their side). Sounds pretty high to me, but I guess we’ll find out how accurate the poll is a week from tomorrow. I do also have to say that the pro-project information is much more detailed than the opposition information, and question number 5 is classic push poll language. However, the support is indicated high even before you get to that language.

Marina Center Project Enjoys Widespread Support According to New Poll

Eureka, CA (10/30/06) — The Humboldt Business Council (HBC), today (Oct. 30) released the entire results from a new poll of Eureka voters regarding the Marina Center project. The survey found widespread awareness and support for Security National Property’s mixed use project proposed on the former Union Pacific’s Balloon Track on the southern end of downtown.

The project includes office, retail, light manufacturing and residential housing on the 33 acre parcel. The proposed plan includes a clean up of the toxic contaminations to a standard that meets or exceeds state and federal environmental standards. Additionally the project includes a ten-acre wetland preserve, a Home Depot, a new home for the children’s Discovery Museum and walking and biking trails.

There has been considerable debate about the merits of the project with claims and counter claims dominating the civic dialogue.

“There are so many different opinions about the Marina Center project that we felt it was important to get a neutral reading of the attitudes of the Eureka community”, said Chris Crawford, the Humboldt Business Council chair.

The poll found that 75% of Eureka residents have a high awareness of the Marina Center with 64% supporting the project and 23% opposing the current plan.

When arguments are presented supporting and opposing the project, almost 2 of every 3 residents support the proposed Center.

“We presented neutral language about the plan to get an objective understanding of public attitudes. This was followed by a question that gave the strongest views from both sides”, said Crawford. “Our goal was to get unbiased results that would not be affected by the political views of the poll sponsor”.

The survey was conducted by national research firm, Fairbanks, Maslin, Maullin and Associates from October 26 –28, 2006. FMM&A is recognized as one of the top survey firms in California and has worked on hundreds of research projects throughout northern California and the state. The survey randomly interviewed 300 Eureka voters and has a margin of error of 5.7%. The poll in its entirety will be made available later this week for public review and inspection on the HBC website at http://www.Humboldtbiz.org

“We hope this survey is used by our city leaders to chart a positive course for this project”, Crawford concluded.

The decision to commission the poll came after a unanimous vote by the HBC membership.

# # #

FAIRBANK, MASLIN, MAULLIN & ASSOCIATES OCTOBER 26-28, 2006


EUREKA ISSUES SURVEY
220-2232
WFT2 N=300

MARGIN OF ERROR 5.7%

Time Began_____________

Time Ended_____________

Minutes________________

Hello, I’m ___________ from FMMA, a public opinion research company. I am definitely NOT trying to sell you anything. We are conducting a survey about issues that interest people living in Eureka, and we are only interested in your opinions. May I speak to______________? YOU MUST SPEAK TO THE VOTER LISTED. VERIFY THAT THE VOTER LIVES AT THE ADDRESS LISTED, OTHERWISE TERMINATE.

1. First, does anyone in this household work for a radio station, a television station, a newspaper, an advertising agency, for an elected official, or as a paid political campaign worker?

No———————————————- 100%

Yes———————————- TERMINATE

DK/NA—————————— TERMINATE

2. Next, in November there will be an election for U.S. Senate, Governor and other state and local offices and ballot measures. How likely are you to actually vote in this election? Will you definitely vote, probably vote, are the chances 50-50 that you will vote, will you probably not vote, or will you definitely not vote?

Definitely vote——————————— 95%

Probably vote———————————– 3%

50-50——————————————— 2%

Probably not vote—————– TERMINATE

Definitely not vote—————- TERMINATE

(DON’T KNOW/NA)————- TERMINATE

3. Have you seen or heard anything recently about the Marina Center? (IF YES, ASK: “Have you heard a great deal, something, or very little about it?”)

Yes, a great deal————————— 57%

Yes, something—————————– 18%

Yes, very little —————————— 11%

No, haven’t heard anything————— 13%

(DON’T READ) Don’t know————— 0%


4. The Marina Center project would change zoning regulations in the 38-acre Balloon Track area to authorize the Marina Center, a retail, office and residential development, including a Home Depot. Would you support or oppose this proposal?

Support—————————————– 64%

Oppose—————————————– 23%

(DON‘T READ) Need more info———– 6%

(DON‘T READ) DK/NA———————- 7%

5. Let me give you some more information about The Marina Center Project. It would include a new home for the children’s discovery museum, provide walking and biking trails, generate sales and property taxes by more than a million and a half dollars annually for city services, would clean up Clark Slough (SLEW) and create an eleven-acre wetlands preserve. Knowing this would you support or oppose the Marina Center Project?

Support—————————————– 70%

Oppose—————————————– 19%

(DON‘T READ) Need more info———– 5%

(DON‘T READ) DK/NA———————- 6%

6. Now I am going to read you a pair of statements that have been made about the Marina Center Project. Please tell me which statement is closer to your opinion. Please choose just one even if it is hard to decide. (ROTATE)

[ ] The Marina Center project is a good idea because it would include environmental clean up that meets and exceeds all state standards, creates an eleven acre wetland preserve, provides a thousand quality jobs, builds affordable housing and retail stores, and generates additional revenue for public services including public safety.——————————————— 59%

OR

[ ] The Marina Center project is a bad idea because it inadequately cleans up the environment, would put a big box store on the last piece of Eureka’s waterfront property, hurts area businesses and will not benefit local residents, creates more traffic, and has circumvented the public process to decide the best use of the land.——————————————————————— 22%

(DON’T READ)

(BOTH)———————————————————————————————– 2%

(NEITHER)———————————————————————————————– 4%

(MAKES NO DIFFERENCE)———————————————————————— 2%

(DON‘T KNOW/NA)———————————————————————————- 11%

Steve has written up a piece on his blog about his run-ins with KMUD program director Michael Jacinto. A few months back Lewis cancelled a Sunday afternoon show after being told by Michael that he couldn’t air his personal disputes with Bear River Tribal Council chair Leonard Bowman because it would make for bad radio. Steve insists that the differences are a matter of public interest. Lewis’ show was subsequently ended.

I spoke to Michael about it briefly at the Battle of the Bands fundraiser some weeks ago. Michael’s response was that Steve is a pain in the ass to work with and he got tired of it, though he’s interested in airing a conservative talk show (Steve isn’t really conservative, but he falls on the side of conservatives on local issues).

If you have questions about it, you should take it up with the station.

I should say that while I have had some run-ins with the management team while on the Personnel Committee, I have had a number of conservatives speak on my show, and dealt with numerous topics of great controversy to KMUD listeners from debunking 911 conspiracies, to questioning global warming canon, and even taking on some of the common lore around marijuana. Michael has never batted an eye, even when receiving complaints from listeners.

Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to hear a Steve Lewis show. Sunday afternoons have been pretty well covered by kid stuff for the past 4 years. If I’d known about it I would have gone out of my way to listen for it.

In the meantime, KMUD should have a conservative commentator with a radio show. Who should it be? Jerry Partain? Chris Crawford? Rose Welch? Mike Harvey? I’m going to talk to Michael about it some more, and I’d like to have names to toss out.

In the civil war in El Salvador during the 1980s, right wing psychopath Roberto D’Aubuisson once compared his comparatively moderate political opponent José Duarte to a watermelon – green on the outside, red on the inside. This was of course a derisive comment about alleged dupliciousness. So it was with a certain irony that perennial Grubernatorial candidate Peter Camejo invoked the same metaphor to describe his own candidacy a few years back. Camejo is of course a recovering Trotskyist, and a former leader of the defunct Socialist Workers Party. But he still considers himself a socialist (despite his successes as an investment broker), and he wanted to make that clear. He has however abandoned to some degree the sectarianism so brilliantly satirized in Monty Python’s The Life of Brian.

Not so Todd Chretien who remains a member of the International Socialist Organization, a Trotskyist sect which has decided to engage in its own version of popular front politics (Trots used to slam the CPUSA for the same game) within the Green Party. While the writings associated with the ISO aren’t quite as moronic as some of the older parties that have either died or linger on life-support provided by some clueless beneficiary of inheritancence that might otherwise be dedicated to Jimmy Swaggert, it is traditional straight-jacket “Marxist-Leninism” complete with all the trimmings of the ironically phrased “democratic centralism” and the vanguard party. I’ve already discussed my own history with what I consider to be more of a religious tradition than a political philosophy, and quite literally some of my best friends (and family members) are Marxist Leninists and even members of sectarian parties. They’re mostly good people who live in denial of the full implications of what they believe.

Chretien may very well be a decent person and an effective leader. But he’s a religious fanatic. To him Stalin’s greatest crime wasn’t tmassacrecer and starvation of millions, but rather that he attempted to create socialism within one state thereby abandoning Trotsky’s anemic “permanent revolution.” Chretien’s hero himself was responsible for massacre of the Kronstadt sailors in 1921. Tariq Ali‘s Trotsky for Beginners contains an assertion that Trotsky was later remorseful about the action, but I’ve never found any statement attributed Trotsky to that effect, though he certainly chose the wrong time to embrace peaceful means as he was attempting to face down the man who would later become the grandest mass murderer in history, Hitler included. Perhaps he was remorseful, but few of his followers shared in the sentiment. Somebody ought to question Chretien about it.

Anyway, I can’t vote for Chretien, not even as a throwaway vote which would enable the denial among the Greens that allowed him to win the nomination in the first place. I can’t vote for Diane Feinstein. Her war votes. Her ridiculous ads paid for with money that ought to have been spent helping the Democrats retake Congress. Her history of compromise with power and sleeze dating back to her years as mayor of San Francisco never meeting a highrise proposal she didn’t like and almost succeeded in the Manhattanization of the SF skyline. She’s going to win hands down anyway, so there’s no compelling reason for a progressive to give her a vote.

So by default, the Peace and Freedom Party (also on life support) candidate gets my vote by default. Her name is Marsha Feinland. She’s run before. She’ll run again. Seems like a nice woman with a cookie cutter new left platform. And unlike the other perennial third party run folk, she’s actually held office with Berkeley’s Rent Stabilization Board. Hey, it’s something!

TS published a preview of the week long series on the Balloon Track/Tract controversy, timed probably not-so-coincidentally for the election. The topics of focus for each day are as follows:

Monday: History of the Balloon Tract (using the TS term)
Tuesday: The Home Depot portion of the proposal
Wednesday: Environmental issues, presumably the “capping v. clean-up” controversy
Thursday: The political alliances and lines drawn
Friday: The Arkleys

From the preview:

Which raises the question: Would the Marina Center carry as much baggage if it didn’t carry the Arkley name?

Cherie Arkley seems keenly aware that no matter what she and her husband do, suspicions of an Arkley empire in Eureka probably will never go away. Nor will suspicions that the Arkleys are out to pave paradise and put up a parking lot.

Aside from the Joni Mitchell reference (I don’t think anybody views the balloon track in its current state as a paradise), Marina Center opponents may find concern in this passage as indication of bias, although it’s a fair question. Fact is however, the opposition to the proposal would be very much blunted if Home Depot was removed from the proposal. That’s the sticking point. That and the “capping” issue.

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