Politics

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Huffman on Colbert!

Posted By on Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 4:58 PM

click to enlarge colbert.JPG
UPDATE: The Huff's Colbert segment indeed aired. Check it out right below. There's a lot of talk about sharks.


Huffman shared a bit about what ended up on the cutting room floor on his Facebook page:

Now that the Colbert show has run, I can tell you there were some really funny scenes that didn't make the cut. In one, he poured himself a huge glass (to the brim) of my homemade wine and started drinking it, saying he detected flavors of "liberal overreaching" and "projecting weakness to our enemies." In another, he made me play volleyball against him on a makeshift court in the hallway. We had a discussion about fugitive methane losses, which he called silent but deadly. And lots of marijuana stuff ended up not making the cut. It's interesting to see how they edited 2 hours of taping down to the final segment. Lots of fun!
PREVIOUSLY: Congressman Jared Huffman recorded a segment for the Colbert Report back in July, and has been teasing details about on his Facebook page since; apparently he was unsure when the show would air. 
click to enlarge Jared1.JPG
It looks like tonight's the night: If you've got cable TV, tune into Comedy Central at 11:30 p.m. to (probably) catch Huff on national TV. He apparently appeared in a "Better Know a District" segment, which "offers a humorous explanation of a different United States Congressional district in each segment and generally includes an interview with that district's member of Congress," according to Wikipedia. Huffman's district, as we all know, should provide plenty of fodder for the funny man.

When Huffman took to Facebook in May to ask his constituents if he should appear on the show, he got an overwhelmingly supportive response, including on commenter who wrote, "Prepare to meet your maker. I have yet to see one of your congressional colleagues look good after being manipulated by Stephen. It's funny stuff but usually at the expense of ones dignity. So yes of course, do it!"

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pot Regulation Bill Goes up in Smoke

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 2:48 PM

click to enlarge GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
A bill seeking to create a regulatory framework for California’s multi-billion dollar medical marijuana industry died quietly in an Assembly committee today, the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting.

Hailed by supporters as an attempt to bring order to the current void of state regulations and vilified by opponents as a brain child of narcotics officers that will severely limit access and put providers at risk of federal prosecution, Senate Bill 1262 sought to create a Bureau of Medical Marijuana that would license the cultivation, transportation and distribution of marijuana — an enterprise that would bring in an estimated $400 million in annual sales tax revenue to the state, according to a legislative analysis.

But the bill was held by the Assembly Appropriations Committee today, relegating it to a silent death of inaction as the legislative session came to a close.

Many in the medical marijuana industry opposed the bill (California NORML, the Drug Policy Alliance, the Marijuana Policy Project and California Cannabis voice all decried it) as did many on the opposite side of the political debate. But others felt the bill, though imperfect, represented a fair compromise on many issues and a solid starting point for regulating an industry many feel has grown out of control since voters passed Proposition 215 almost two decades ago. Julia Carrera of the Small Farmer’s Association told the East Bay Express that any potential legislation on the issue would leave both sides with some heartburn, but that she was impressed with SB 1262, which had received the nod of often divergent groups like the pro medical-marijuana Americans for Safe Access and the California Police Chiefs Association.

According to the reports in the Chronicle and the Express, it seems the bill's chances at passage were plagued by infighting among supporters, disorganization and last-minute amendments. With the appropriations committee having declined to take action on the bill, proponents will have to start from scratch in January, writing up a new bill with new sponsors.
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Sunday, August 10, 2014

UPDATED: Challenger Looms in Shadows of Eureka Council Race

Posted By on Sun, Aug 10, 2014 at 7:59 AM

click to enlarge eureka.png
The City of Eureka has determined that an unnamed would-be challenger to 1st Ward Councilwoman Marian Brady has failed to qualify for the ballot.

In a press release, the city cited section 301 of the city charter as the reason the would-be candidate did not qualify. That section reads: "No person shall be eligible for the office of council member unless such person is at the time of assuming such office an elector of the city and was a registered voter and a resident of the city and of the ward from which such person is seeking election at the time nomination papers are issued to such person..." So, I guess that settles that.

PREVIOUSLY:

As Friday’s deadline closed to qualify to run for seats on the Eureka City Council, the city sent out a press release confirming that there will be challenged races in the 5th and 3rd wards. No surprises there, as Natalie Arroyo and Kim Bergel have both long since announced their intentions to take on incumbents Chet Albin and Mike Newman, respectively.

The surprise comes in the city’s 1st ward, where a number of candidates have been rumored but haven’t made any official announcements. The city’s release includes the following, “We have received signatures for another candidate but are awaiting verification of qualification.” Who could be attempting to challenge incumbent Marian Brady? A Journal request to City Clerk Pam Powell to release the name has so far gone unanswered, so we’re left guessing.

In qualify to run for a council seat in Eureka, you must be a registered voter whose primary residence is within the ward you are seeking to represent. Additionally you must secure 15 to 20 valid signatures from registered city voters to nominate you as a candidate. The mystery candidate's pending "verification of qualification" seems likely to hinge on either confirming that he or she lives within the 1st ward or validating his or her nominating signatures.

The release also notes that Mayor Frank Jager will be running unopposed, squashing any persistent rumors out there that former councilman and supervisorial candidate Chris Kerrigan would resume his candidacy for the post.

We’ll update this post as we get more information. In the meantime, see the city’s full press release below:

City of Eureka
Office of the City Clerk

PRESS RELEASE

Date: August 8, 2014

The following nominees have qualified for the ballot for offices of the City of Eureka, at the General Municipal Election to be held November 4, 2014:


Office of Mayor

Frank J. Jäger
3815 G Street
Eureka, CA 95503
(707) 443-2051
Email: frankjager499@yahoo.com


Office of City Council – Ward 1:

Marian Brady
803 Pine Street
Eureka, CA 95501
(707) 443-8282
Email: mbdesign@suddenlink.net

We have received signatures for another candidate but are awaiting for verification of qualification.

Office of City Council – Ward 3:

Mike L. Newman
1624 E Street, Apt. D
Eureka, CA 95501
(707) 443-0403
Email: insmike1313@yahoo.com

Kim Bergel
1312 K Street
Eureka, CA 95501
(707) 616-2178
Email: kswalford@sbcglobal.net


Office of City Council – Ward 5:

Chet Albin
1124 Thomas Street, Apt. D
Eureka, CA 95503
(707) 498-3896
Email: chetweott@yahoo.com

Natalie C. Arroyo
2127 C Street
Eureka, CA 95501
(707) 442-6664
Email: nataliec_arroyo@yahoo.com

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

UPDATE: Bass Wins 4th, Kerrigan Mum on Future

Posted By on Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 6:09 PM

click to enlarge 88366632.jpg
Virginia Bass has won the 4th District, according to post-election results released today by the Humboldt County Elections Office.

The vote tally, which includes ballots turned into the elections office and polling places on Election Day, saw Bass take 2,822 of the vote (52.05 percent), compared to Kerrigan’s 2,587.

The Southern Humboldt Unified School District bond measure failed to get the necessary 55 percent to pass.

Previously:

The 4th District supervisor race is all but decided as less than 1,000 remaining uncounted ballots leave challenger Chris Kerrigan very unlikely to catch up to incumbent Virginia Bass.

In total, 845 ballots from the district remain uncounted. Kerrigan, who received 55 percent of the election day votes, would need 68 percent of the remaining uncounted votes to overtake Bass. That’s a steep hill to climb, which he acknowledged on the phone this morning: “It’s going to be very difficult to overcome a 300-vote difference," he said. "I think it's unlikely that we could pull ahead.”

He hasn’t conceded the race to Bass. “At this point it’s just a matter of waiting for [the elections office] to finalize the count.”

And Kerrigan's still not talking about a potential run for Eureka Mayor. He filed paperwork to raise money for that office before rescinding it and running for supervisor. “I’m certainly looking forward to a number of potential possibilities,” he said. “I haven’t made any final decisions. I feel likely that I will run again at some point for public office. I can’t say that it’ll be as soon as November.”

A school bond measure in the Southern Humboldt Unified School District, following election night results, trailed with 51 percent of voters in favor of the measure. The measure needs 55 percent voter approval to pass. There remain 510 uncounted ballots in that race.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post failed to mention that the bond measure needs 55 percent approval to pass.
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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

UPDATED: Kerrigan's Got a Slim, Slim Chance

Posted By on Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 6:24 PM

click to enlarge Kerrigan talks chances at his campaign party Tuesday night. - GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
  • Kerrigan talks chances at his campaign party Tuesday night.
UPDATE: The Elections Office is still slogging through the uncounted ballots, and has begun tallying provisional ballots. The number of outstanding ballots from the 4th District is likely to be released early next week.

Following a bit more predictive arithmetic, Chris Kerrigan's chances of collecting enough votes to overcome Virginia Bass for the 4th District supervisor seat remain doubtful.

County Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich (operating today on little sleep) said the elections office is working feverishly to gather, collate and count absentee and provisional ballots turned into the polls on Election Day. "We have quite a sorting process to go through and we’re going through that as quickly as possible," she said.

By the end of the day today, her office had collected just over 6,000 uncounted ballots countywide. About 460 of those were dropped off in the 4th District, but vote by mail ballots can be delivered to any precinct on election day. So a Eurekan could have dropped off a ballot in Arcata on her way to work, or vice versa. While Crnich said people typically drop ballots to precincts in their same district, it's just too soon to tell how many votes are outstanding in the 4th District. In addition to the 460 there were 2,850 ballots delivered to the elections office, which are yet to be sorted.

If those 460 votes are all 4th District, and you add to that one-fifth of the 2,850 unsorted election office ballots (presuming that an equal number came from each supervisorial district), there could be around 1,030 uncounted 4th District votes. Bass leads by 303 votes.

That means Kerrigan would have to get nearly 65 percent of the remaining votes, presuming that there are at least 1,030 4th District votes remaining to be counted. That's a lot of if, especially considering that, while provisional ballots typically swing leftie, Kerrigan only got 55 percent of the Election Day votes cast.

Voter turnout was significantly lower than in 2010, when comparing election night final results. With all precincts reporting, only 29 percent of the county's registered voters showed up at the polls.

Here's approximate countywide numbers of the as-yet-to-be-counted votes:

2,850 delivered by mail or hand to the elections office on June 2 or 3.

2,400 vote-by-mail ballots delivered by hand to polling places.

560 provisional ballots.

210 damaged ballots that need to be duplicated.

About 460 ballots were delivered to 4th District precincts, though it's uncertain at this point if they're actually from the 4th District.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Election Day!

Posted By on Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 8:03 AM

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After months of politicking, door knocking, lawn signs, glad handing and debating, Election Day is finally here.

North Coast voters have some big choices before them today, including who will be the county's next district attorney and who will represent the 4th and 5th districts on the county board of supervisors. There's also a field of state representatives and candidates for U.S. Congress to whittle down for runoff elections in November.

If you're unsure of your polling place or want a little more time to peruse your options, visit the Humboldt County Elections Office website and click on the "sample ballot and polling place lookup link."

Having trouble deciding which of the four district attorney candidates deserves your vote? Bone up on the issues with past Journal coverage here. Not sure what to make of the 5th District supervisor race? See where incumbent Ryan Sundberg and challenger Sharon Latour stand on the major issues here. Struggling over which former Eureka City Council member to tap for 4th DIstrict supervisor? Check out their takes on everything from homelessness to the General Plan Update here.

And for those just planning on bypassing this election entirely, read the comprehensive case for why your vote might well swing the outcome here.

There, Humboldt. Consider yourselves primed. Now get out there and vote, and check back to www.northcoastjournal.com after the polls close tonight to start getting real-time results and dispatches from election night soirees around town. 
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Friday, May 23, 2014

Cash Flows into Supes Races

Posted By on Fri, May 23, 2014 at 4:01 PM

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The last batch of campaign finance report statements came in this week to the Humboldt County Elections Office, with the county’s four supervisorial candidates reporting raising a total of more than $108,000 in the filing period, which ran March 18 through May 17.

That means an average of about $1,800 poured into local supes campaigns daily during the 60-day filing period, with incumbent 5th District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg leading the cash race, reporting donations totaling more than $41,000 for the period. If there was a surprise in the reporting period, it would have to be that 4th District challenger Chris Kerrigan outraised incumbent Virginia Bass for the period by more than $6,000. Kerrigan, who has made repeated mention on the campaign trail of being up against “big money” in the election, still trails Bass considerably in year-to-date contributions (Bass reports having raised $42,863 to Kerrigan’s $39,744) and year-to-date expenditures, with Bass having shelled out $81,439 on the 2014 campaign trail to Kerrigan’s $35,921.

Here’s a closer look at the reports in each race:

Continue reading »

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Fur Flies at 12th DA Debate

Posted By on Fri, May 9, 2014 at 3:27 PM

click to enlarge The gloves came off at the Humboldt Center for Constitutional Rights' district attorney debate Thursday night. - KACI POOR, DEVELOPMENT AND OUTREACH DIRECTOR FOR THE HUMBOLDT CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
  • Kaci Poor, development and outreach director for the Humboldt Center for Constitutional Rights
  • The gloves came off at the Humboldt Center for Constitutional Rights' district attorney debate Thursday night.
Humboldt County’s field of district attorney candidates sat down last night for what was their 12th debate in the race and, boy, things escalated quickly. The gloves came off, the nails came out and the fur flew.

Held at Humboldt State University and put on by the nonprofit Humboldt Center for Constitutional Rights, the forum saw the candidates field questions from a panel of local media focused on the topics of Constitutional law, free speech rights and public access. (Full disclosure: this reporter was one of the panelists.) But there was often a noticeable disconnect between the focus of panelists’ questions and that of candidates’ responses, as the DA hopefuls often spent large portions of their two-minute responses attacking each other, questioning their foes’ ethics, experience, honesty and qualifications. There were allegations and counter allegations, with a few allegations of false accusations sprinkled in.

Folks who like their politics to resemble cage matches will likely enjoy the spectacle, which is now preserved on the website of the event's cosponsor, KHUM. And for those who prefer a more civilized, issues-focused discussion, there are plenty of enlightening tidbits to be found between barbs.

But if candidates trading insults with opponents awkwardly sitting just a few feet away is too much for your sensibilities, you can find the Journal’s past coverage of the race here.

The candidates — Allan Dollison, Elan Firpo, Maggie Fleming and Arnie Klein — are slated to square off one more time before Election Day, with a debate scheduled for May 28 in Rio Dell. 
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Northwest Forest Plan's 20th

Posted By on Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 3:31 PM

click to enlarge Northern Spotted owls - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
  • Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Northern Spotted owls

Twenty years after the Northwest Forest Plan’s birth, lawyer/writer Daniel Jack Chasan looks at whether the plan has done all it was cracked up to do. Did it save Northern Spotted owls? Did it protect the logging industry from utter devastation?

Chasan concludes, in part one of his story at Crosscut.com, that “[n]either the owl nor the forest products industry has done as well as some people had expected and many had hoped.”

But the owls aren’t all dead, and the timber industry didn’t conk out.

“Doomsday predictions of massive job losses proved false," Chasan writes. "Certain workers, mills, and communities felt pain. The Clinton administration's brave talk about retraining workers and reviving mill towns surprised virtually no one by proving to be largely hot air. Still, the Northwest economy didn't even hiccup.” The timber industry has fewer workers now, he writes, but more capacity.

And the owl? Chasan notes that a 2004 review by the Bush administration found that “owl populations had dropped faster than anyone had anticipated.”

“It pointed the finger at past habitat loss on federal land, and ongoing loss of habitat outside the area covered by the Northwest Forest Plan," he continues. "It also pointed to the invasion of non-native barred owls, which have been pushing spotted owls out of their habitat.”

The Northwest Forest Plan was a “political compromise” allowing “more logging than the scientists preferred," Chasan says, It was devised by the Clinton administration after the 1990 federal listing of the Northern Spotted owl as threatened triggered a court-ordered cessation in 1991 of “all timber sales in spotted owl habitat, which included nearly all Northwestern national forests.”

“In some people's eyes, we had reached Owlmageddon,” writes Chasan.

The Record of Decision establishing the Northwest Forest Plan was published April 13, 1994. The plan covers 24 million acres of federal land in northern California, Oregon and Washington, 30 percent of which is set aside for what’s called late successional reserves where old-growth is supposed to be protected and enhanced. Ten percent of the total acreage is set aside for protection riparian resources (lands near water). A surrounding matrix of 4 million acres, which critics say contains old-growth trees, too, is for multiple uses including timber harvest.

Part two of the series continues the tale.
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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Supes to Tackle GPU Monday

Posted By on Sun, Mar 23, 2014 at 10:50 AM

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The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will begin Monday the process of reviewing changes to the Conservation and Open Space Element of the General Plan Update proposed by its planning commission.

After the Supes sent the element to the Humboldt County Planning Commission for review in the beginning of the year, the commission made some controversial changes, including eliminating language from the element that supported the goal of a county-wide trail system. The supervisors voted unanimously March 10 to take the GPU back and tackle it as a board.

For more on the general plan, check out the Journal’s recent cover story here. To view the agenda for Monday’s meeting — which begins at 1:30 p.m. in Supervisors Chamber — click here.
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