Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Evolving Wiggins Mystery

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 8:48 PM

The Press Democrat comes through with a telling update. Santa Rosans close to the senator tell tales very similar to the ones that Humboldters tell in this week's "Town Dandy," which will go live right here at the stroke of midnight. P-D reporters Derek J. Moore and Mike McCoy provide a lot more detail, though:

One local official said she was astounded by what she witnessed in Wiggins' office around three months ago when, in a meeting with a half-dozen officials from two counties to discuss the state budget crisis, the senator "flew off the handle and jumped out of her chair" to angrily berate a staffer over a minor issue.

"I had been warned going in," the official said about Wiggins' behavior.

Wiggins started over from the beginning of a prepared script each time a new official entered the meeting. By the time it was over, the local council member said, "I was shocked."

"I've known Pat for a long time. I walked for her when she ran for City Council and supported her when she ran for the Assembly and Senate. This is totally, totally out of character for her," the council member said.

"I was wondering how much longer they can keep this under cover. I didn't want to be the one to blow the whistle," the council member added.

Amazingly, other friends and colleagues continue to insist that everything is just okie dokie with Pat. Another variation on "Oh, that's just Pat!" For all this and more, read the full P-D piece. It's fascinating.

Quick side note: Gotta pay respect to Bruce Anderson at the Anderson Valley Advertiser. He noted a couple of weeks ago that the senator had come unhinged lately. Who would have guessed that he would have been so quickly proven so spectacularly right? His piece isn't online or I'd link it.

UPDATE: Just one more thought. It seems more and more certain that, despite her friends' objections, Sen. Wiggins is not well. If so, we will probably find out the specific malady soon enough.

Hats off, then, to two class acts. First of all, I'd like to note that I called Wiggins' competitor in the 2006 election, Republican Lawrence Wiesner, also of Santa Rosa. Unlike some of Republican comrades, Wiesner refused to speak to the incident, saying only that he came to know Wiggins in the election and he wished her no ill.

Most of all, though, one has to admire Pastor Robert Jones, the target of Wiggins' YouTubed outburst. He's being urged to make more hay of the matter every which way, and he indicated early on to the Sacramento Bee that there would be further actions forthcoming. Since then he has evidently had a change of heart. He's not returning reporters' phone calls, including the Journal's. He appears inclined to let the matter drop.

Perhaps he possesses that rare quantity one hears so much of but rarely encounters in the actual world -- simple Christian charity.

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Speaking of Politics, Mental Health

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Hank Sims

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