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I don’t have the time to post a full report right now, but I was at the event at the Garberville Fire Department earlier today. A good turnout – I counted about 120 people. Culturally diverse crowd and even some young people. Very upbeat and positive event.
I’ll have more to report when I can find the time later today.
Okay, so I was a little late to the event which was marked a block away with a sign and red, white, and blue balloons. Campaign Treasurer Karyn Thomas was speaking when I arrived. I just caught the tail end of her introduction. There were probably about a hundred people there and I think a couple dozen more arrived after me. According to one organizer, they got about twice as many people as they had anticipated.
Present from the north were Eureka City Council Member Chris Kerrigan and Greg and Carol, all of whom will be working on Estelle’s campaign.
Karyn introduced David Kirby who spoke about the differences and points of unity between northern and southern district, the latter being state of the economy. He then introduced Estelle as a candidate of unity.
Estelle began by describing the Second District folk as “self starters” who are “not looking for hand-outs.” She then moved into a discussion of issues of infrastructure, including roads. “It’s not just pot holes” she said, noting that she has driven every single county road and finds that there are entire pieces of road missing on some. She noted that Shelter Cove residents finally had to take matters into their own hands and fill in a large hole which had been causing them grief. She moved into Roger Rodoni’s failure to adequately address the needs of the fire departments of the Second District.
She opened up the gathering for questions. Holly Sweet spoke up about the need for public restrooms in Redway, talking about troubles the lack of bathrooms are causing for her business property. Holly emphasized that she didn’t want a government response which essentially blamed the poor for their situations. Estelle responded that it was a “sticky situation,” complicated by the mental problems and drug usage of some of the homeless and supported the idea of experimenting with the placement of port-o-potties to see how it would work. She emphasized that the problem was really one which had to be addressed by a comprehensive policy which emphasized access to social services and pointed to an effort in Eureka, the funding for which Roger was the only opposition vote. She agreed that she did not want to target the poor and that their needs should not just be ignored.
Asked about the Richardson Grove controversy, she responded that she had attended last week’s meeting at the Wharfinger and that while she understands the objections of environmentalists, she also understands the issue from all perspectives and said that the widening of 101 is very important to a number of independent businesses. (Before anybody jumps all over her about it I should note that Clif also holds a nuanced view of the issue and both candidates want to keep the dialog open to look for situations which address all concerns comprehensively – I would also note that the candidates may be ambiguous on the issue because the project and its apparent opposition is also very ambiguous. See the post and thread below on topic.).
In response to a question about the County’s case against McKee she noted that the Court has found him in compliance with all laws and the contract with the county and that the county had been in violation of the same. I took this to mean that she would vote to drop the lawsuit if elected.
A teacher brought up budget cuts. Estelle indicated that that would be out of her jurisdiction as a supervisor, but that the teachers should let her know what she could do to help.
A representative of the Second District Volunteer Firefighters Association (I’m really not sure if I got the name right, but I’ll correct it when I have the information) announced a vote to endorse Estelle.
Another attendee blamed the problems of the roads on environmentalists who pushed regulations which make it so expensive to fix them. There was an awkward moment of silence, which Estelle ended with “okay,” then passed the microphone on to someone else.
After a few more speakers she thanked the crowd for turning out and announced that she will be holding an event at Fortuna River Lodge on March 13 at 2 to 4 p.m., an event organized by Harold Mendes.
She had signs, bumper stickers, and buttons – all red, white, and blue. Clif’s paraphernalia is also red, white, and blue. Roger’s is green. Read into all that what you will.
The shot of Estelle flanked by her impressive campaign committee comes from her website, linked above. The photo of Estelle with firefighters also comes from the site. The photo at the top from today’s event comes via e-mail from Kim Sallaway.
I’ll share some points later. I missed some of the debate taking care of dinner and kids, but I’ll watch what I missed later. Russert is more aggressive than he should be, and he’s annoying both candidates – Clinton a bit more. She responded with a wry smile when he challenged her on her 2000 promise of more jobs in upstate New York by responding, “I thought Al Gore would be president.”
And apparently Obama “rejected and denounced” Farrakhan. (Clinton told him that “rejecting” wasn’t strong enough and that he had to “denounce” – he then did both).
I actually prefer Clinton’s health care proposal to Obama’s, but they kind of went over the same old ground. Clinton’s proposal punishes poor people who can’t afford the insurance and doesn’t specify subsidies. Obama’s plan doesn’t allow for the economies of scale needed to assure the success of the plan, and besides Obama mandates coverage for kids. Etc.
Some highlights leading into the debate, yesterday’s sarcastic speech was probably Clinton’s best moment in the campaign. Too little too late, but a nice moment. See, in case you missed it in tonight’s debate, she’s “a fighter.” She said it about 5 or 6 times.
Obama emphasized the difference being that he draws a bigger crowd into his tent. Sen. Christopher Dodd endorsed Obama this morning, remarking: “For 27 years I’ve been hearing about ‘Reagan Democrats.’ Now for the first time I’m hearing about ‘Obama Republicans.’”
Both promised to pull out of NAFTA if they don’t secure better labor and environmental standards.
I think this is the SNL skit Clinton’s been referencing.
Incriminating Obama photos! Hanoi Jane connection?
Okay, I guess I got sidetracked. Democratic Party nomination debate number 20 is in the history books. If I think of anything else intelligent to say about it I’ll post it here.
Well I watched the portions I missed. The most interesting part was the question about what vote each would take back. Clinton said she’d take back the war authorization, which automatically makes her a candidate five times stronger than Kerry who wimped out on the question. And Obama apologized for not putting up a fight to keep the federal government out of the painful Terry Schiavo situation, where right wing senators played doctor and ultimately the autopsy revealed there really was nothing left of her brain (after the physicians who said so were raked over the coals all over the airwaves). Good answers both.
Oh, and I had it reversed. “Reject” is stronger than “denounce.” I didn’t know that.
And Tim Russert is a pompous jerk.
Addendum: Here’s some background into the Farrakahn reject/denounce exchange last night, and perhaps a preview of what he’s facing in the general election campaign.