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By “cross-votes” I’m referring to those who vote for one progressive and one conservative.  Mitch has some bar charts up.

It appears that the liberal votes were more ecumenical in this election.  Looking at Arroyo/Albin – about 2000 who voted for Arroyo voted for Newman against Bergel, while it looks like about 300 or so who voted for Albin voted for Bergel.  The numbers in the Bergel/Newman are very similar.

No surprise in the correlations of progressive and conservative votes regarding Measure R.  A slim majority of Arroyo voters and a somewhat larger majority of Bergel voters supported it.  But looking at the charts together, it is clear that Newman had somewhat of a progressive contingency – albeit small, while Albin had almost none.

In looking at the contrast in results between the two council races, I’ve been looking at the differences between Bergel and Arroyo, thinking it was accounted for by the bankruptcy revelations.  But I think the key differences in the races were probably those between Albin and Newman.

Check out this post by Mitch on the overvotes and how they were counted in the Bergel/Newman race.

There’s a posting of one overvote ballot which I agree was intended as a vote for Bergel, but what was the voter thinking?  If you accidentally fill in the wrong box, talk to a poll worker!

Sen. Feinstein has taken it upon herself to negotiate with Republican legislators to discuss water diversions, and as the article headline suggests is “freezing out” Northern California – basically no representatives of the northern portion of the state nor the river delta.

Will the north coast even get those promised river restoration funds?

KimGreat news for Eureka.   We now have the first progressive majority since the socialists were elected around World War 1.  And it’s an all-woman council now, excepting the Mayor.

Mostly, this is a great opportunity to turn some big problems around.

One note of caution – the margin is 46 votes.  A recount is within the realm of reasonable possibility.

Local election precinct workers Julia Minton and Jim Lamport will join me to discuss the dismal election turnout and what, if anything, can/should be done about it.  Call-ins welcome and encouraged.  All Things Reconsidered, Thursday night at 7:00.


At the Lost Coast Outpost.

I expected more push back in the comments, but other than a few snide remarks, nobody is yet challenging the basic premises.

With 31 Democrats, up from 19 before.

This is what elections are about.

Addendum:  Huffman chimes in.

Can we have a calm discussion?

Scientific Consensus

Addendum:   The Supervisors discuss enforcement of the Measure and the costs involved.  It looks like there remains a bit of ambiguity when it comes to vaccinations of cats and dogs, but in any case state law will trump Measure P as it applies to livestock.

Also, the politics of Measure Z already started to heat up a little as they decide who gets to be on the committee.  It looks like they’re already gearing up to stack the committee with stakeholders set to receive the revenues, so there may not be much of a civilian oversight function since, according to Fire Chief Ken Woods, civilians lack the requisite “expertise.”

I don’t like where the discussion is going.  But this is one among several reasons I voted against Prop Z.

Thadeus Greenson is calling it a “slim chance,” and he’s probably right.  But given the number of yet-to-be-counted votes, I’m more hopeful than I was when I went to sleep last night!

Humboldt County Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich told the Journal early this morning that some 471 vote by mail ballots were dropped off on Election Day at Eureka polling locations, where another 236 provisional ballots were cast. Now, assuming all those mail-in ballots are actually from Eureka voters and that all those provisional ballots prove valid — and that none of those voters left the Ward 3 contest blank — that means at least 707 votes remain uncounted in the race. Additionally, Crnich said there could be another 1,000 or so vote by mail ballots that arrived at the county elections office Monday and Tuesday that have yet to be sorted.

Let’s start with the 707. If Bergel is to make up the 104-vote gap, she would need to win 406 of those votes. That would be 57.4 percent. She pulled only 42.87 percent of the vote on the mail-in ballots that have already been counted and 54.13 at the polls on Election Day, so that seems a tall order.

But let’s factor in those other potential 1,000 or so ballots. If those ballots are representative of the county’s overall registration numbers, then about 19 percent would come from Eureka voters, or about 190 ballots. If we add those to the 707 we just discussed, we get 897 ballots. To make up 104 votes in that scenario, Bergel would have to pull 55.85 percent of the vote.

Basically, in order to pull this thing out without some statistical anomaly in the voting patterns — or to win while pulling the same 54.13 percent of the vote she got at the polls — Bergel would need there to be more than 1,200 ballots outstanding in the race. That seems unlikely.

But consider this: Four years ago, when Newman edged out Ron Kuhnel to take the seat, 1,825 votes showed up in the final tally that weren’t recorded in the final Election Night summary. But before Bergel supporters get too hopeful, it should be made clear that those numbers are from an election that saw 66 percent turnout in Humboldt County. The preliminary tallies Tuesday show just 39 percent of those registered casting ballots.

In past Eureka elections, the late absentee ballots tend to be less conservative.  Older retired voters tend to get their ballots in the mail within days if not hours of receipt, and they tend to be the more conservative.  And late absentees are sometimes the result of target GOTV efforts.  And maybe liberals are just more prone to procrastination.  In any case, the voting patterns of late absentees tend to more closely match the election day votes.

But as he notes, even the 54.13 percent rate requires over 1200 additional ballots – probably not the case.  And it’s probably going to be more like somewhere between 700 and 800 votes counted – obviously not all the provisionals will be deemed legit, and people from the outer areas of the county may have dropped their absentees off in Eureka – you can bring an absentee ballot to any polling place in the county.  But there is room for hope!

Addendum:  As noted by Jon in the thread and the update to the NCJ article linked above, the number of ballots yet to be counted could exceed 1300, which opens up the possibility of a Bergel win.  It’s probably going get a lot closer!

Mitch McConnell

So looking at the county breakdown of Proposition 1, I note that the northern counties came out against.  In the north interior, it’s hard to know whether the primary factor was water diversion or bonded indebtedness anathema to conservative voters.  Clearly, the support in the southern part of the valley is about water diversion – Fresno and those areas definitely want more water at any tax price.  The L.A. urban basin supported it, but then so did the Bay Area so it’s clear that the mixed messages from environmentalists ensured that there would not be a green backlash outside of our area.


As expected Governor Brown crushed his hapless (and moody) opposition, with the usual county breakdown – Brown takes the coast, the yuppies who like to ski, and the Latino-rich Imperial County.   The opposition takes most of the rest of the interior, Orange, San Diego, and Del Norte County.

But check out the Superintendent of Public Instruction map.  Some odd counties are blue.

Gavin Newsom and John Chiang seem to be the strongest of the rest of the Democrats running last night, and Chiang (along with Torlakson ) did what Governor Brown didn’t – they took Del Norte.  Chiang also took San Diego.  Newsom is seen as the Brown heir-apparent, but I’m wondering of Chiang will have something to say about that.


Is there a blue revolution brewing in Del Norte County?

Last night challenger Erik Apperson soundly defeated incumbent Sheriff Dean Wilson, known for his Tea Party activism.  Last night on KMUD it was reported that the incumbent’s right wing activism may have worked to his detriment, as well as negative campaigning.  It may be that Sheriff Wilson’s staunch opposition to the removal of Klamath dams hurt him with Yurok and fishing voters.  Also his association with the Jefferson State effort, which went down in flames in Del Norte last June.

Not to say that Del Norte is a blue county as of yet – as noted above Governor Brown failed to take the majority, and half of the voters opted for our own local Republican Dale Mensing (see the link above for all results) took just under half the votes against Jared Huffman (who maybe needs to spend more time in Del Norte) – much better than he did in any other county.  But the sound rejection of the right wing Jefferson agenda, and yesterday’s election results, suggest that maybe the county is becoming more purplish than red.


In Eureka the two contested City Council races presented a mysterious dichotomy.  Progressive Natalie Arroyo womanhandled incumbent Chet Albin in a drubbing reminiscent of Chris Kerrigan’s defeat of Rex Bohn some years back – proving that with the right message and organization a progressive can do very well in Eureka.  Kim Bergel on the other hand seems headed for a squeaker of a loss – down only by 104 votes at the moment and it may get closer before all the ballots are counted (but probably not enough unless there are more than 500 remaining ballots to be counted and she can secure a 60-40 margin in those votes).

If anything, Natalie is more “hippie” and leftish than Kim.  So what accounts for the difference in results?  Was it the hit tactic exploiting Kim’s bankruptcy which had resulted from her husband’s life-threatening injury several years ago?  Or was the difference in Natalie’s opponent’s expression of charm at Art’s Alive at the beginning of the campaign?  Were there differences in the method?  Campaign organization?

What is clear is that Eureka, most likely, has passed up on a solid opportunity of energetic and passionate leadership which could have turned some of the dreariness around.

So, assuming that the late absentees and provisionals do not turn the election around for Kim, we have two progressives on the Council.  Will the remaining members take these election results to heart – very blue results in a national election buried in red?  Will Melinda Ciarabellini, who endorsed Kim, become a swing vote?  Mike Newman certainly isn’t entering his second term with a clear mandate – a little more GOTV, or the slightest difference could have taken him out of office.  Eureka looks and feels like a run down dreary place of late, with crime and empty storefronts, and a suicide inspiring landscape at both 101 entrances – it just doesn’t look like we are a city with pride and hope for the future.  Kim would have brought some enthusiasm into the leadership that might have made Eureka more of a town people think about moving their kids too, instead of heading towards a retirement community filled with grumpy old men yelling at kids to get off their lawns.  Let’s have a city that doesn’t try to pass tax extension measures by putting up signs at a fire station stating in essence, “This station will be closed if you don’t cough up another chunk of what little money you make.”


Measure R failed, but four red states passed increases to minimum wages – by very large margins!  Yes, these are states which so many voters are dissatisfied with President Obama (though few of them can articulate why – there were some pretty funny interviews on the radio yesterday).  Unfortunately, those same voters chose to fight the culture war in their Senate choices, but let us also remember that these working class whites were once the foundation of American progressivism when it came to organizing unions.  They may have conservative social agendas which they vote when they feel threatened, but fundamentally they do not share the neoliberal ideologies of conservative movement leaders.  Four red states called for government intervention in the economy to redistribute wealth.

There’s a lesson in there somewhere.


There’s also a lesson in comparative results with Democrats running from Obama (and liberals) and those who take the bull by the horns and stay true to their values.


Will the Massachusetts Democrats please retire Martha Coakley?  Aren’t you starting to feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick Lucy’s football?  How many elections does she have to blow for them before they send her to pasture?


Fetus personhood loses again.


And the perennial question – what happened to the youth vote?  And please don’t bring out the old adage, “we didn’t give them anything to vote for.”  That’s crap.  What we have a problem with is civics lessons in high school.  Basic fact of life – conservatives vote because it is their duty to vote – liberals have to be coaxed and convinced that it will “make a difference.”  And when you don’t have a rock star running for President, that’s a problem.

And liberals, next time listen to Nate Silver even if you don’t like what he’s telling you.


Meanwhile, National Review is telling the Republicans, “Governing is a trap!”

Don’t govern.


November 2014