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According to all the national polls, Obama has rebounded following his speech last week, probably aided by Joe Wilson’s spontaneous tantrum.
However, his popularity in New Jersy is sinking. But the poll is more interesting for the fact that 8 percent of those polled think he may be the anti-Christ. 12 percent of McCain voters agee with this. 5 percent of Obama voters. 13 percent aren’t sure, with 21 percent of those being McCain voters and another 5 percent of Obama voters.
I question whether the pollsters can adequately filter out sarcasm.
21 percent believe that Obama was not born in the United States. 19 percent believe that Bush knew about the 911 attacks before they happened.
Speaking of Joe Wilson, note the new Republican meme: Obama started it. The principle of modern politics – don’t be on the defensive. Attack. You’re the victim. It’s all about you.
Meanwhile, the La Mesa School Board, in the face of intense public reaction, apologized for banning Obama’s school speech last week.
Mayor Virginia Bass had nominated HumCPR leader Lee Ulansey to a spot on the Eureka Planning Department, but a nominee who is not a city resident requires 4 City Council votes. He received only three, with progressives Larry Glass and Linda Atkins voting against his appointment and several others. Larry Glass said he felt that the incumbents were doing fine, and Linda Atkins doesn’t think it’s a good idea to fill Planning Department positions with non-residents. Heraldo has a long thread with many comments made before everyone knew about the 4/5 rule.
Eureka politics reminds me of Santa Cruz when I was in school there in the early 1980s. At that time the “conservatives” (by Santa Cruz standards) had been removed from power, but maintained 3 of the 7 spots over several split decision elections. The progressives could never quite consolidate their power, and the conservatives could never quite turn the corner. I learned that later in the 1990s politics took an odd turn when it appeared that progressives had finally consolidated, but then all of the sudden the mayor Mike Rotkin, a former SDS leader who teaches UCSC’s famous “Introduction to Marxism” class, became a best friend of developers. Santa Cruz has (or had) and odd term limitations provision which allows you to hold a seat for two terms, then you have to take two terms off before running again. Rotkin, with much union support, gets elected every time.
Eureka’s last few elections have been split as well, with conservatives (by modern Eureka standards) maintaining a one seat majority. Since the elections for each position are all city-wide you have exactly the same voters putting both into office, which suggests that there are a large number of Eureka residents, at least enough to swing elections, who favor a slightly hands-off development policy tempered with at least some progressive oversight and regulation. But trying to interpret mandates can be tricky, especially when the rest of the city is polarized around an issue like the Balloon Track development proposal. At some point progressives will probably flip the council break down, especially if the conservatives are successful in pushing development which brings in more liberal baby-boomers from the south – the perennial irony of coastal California rural and suburban politics over the past few decades.
Personally, were I a Eureka resident, I’d have no problem tapping non-residents for positions so long as the nominee’s policy priorities reflected those of the voters of the city, however that can be gauged. Ullansey is a nice and passionate guy with a lot of talent, but do the voters support a private property rights oriented libertarian approach to planning policy? Maybe one of these years Eureka’s election results will tell us.