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Ersatz Democrats? 


I want to thank Ryan Burns for his article ("Dem Schism," April 26) about the battle over seats in the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee. It is important that voters are aware of what is at stake in an election that often attracts little interest. I feel, however, that the article missed some of the significance of this division. The four candidates seeking to defeat the incumbents are part of a long-planned effort to take over the leadership of the local Democratic Party.  Looking at what those individuals have said, how they have voted in public office and who they have supported in past elections, it is clear that they do not represent Democratic principles. One has long been a darling of the local Republican party, and only recently switched, putting a "D" after her name probably with an opportunistic eye to winning higher office in the party that carries more votes in this county.

They are trying to appeal to Democrats by using the mantra of "jobs" just as national Republicans are. What they mean is a few short-term construction jobs on developments that will contribute to urban sprawl, undercut existing businesses and inflate profits for their economic backers. True Democratic principles support sustainable jobs, responsible land use planning and long-range environmental protection. But there is more to consider here than philosophical differences. The incumbents have for years been the worker bees of the local party -- registering voters, doing mailings, staffing the headquarters, running campaigns and doing all the unglamorous nitty gritty work of putting together fundraisers. Three of the four insurgents haven't done squat along these lines. They suddenly want to be party leaders when they have never worked in the trenches. Why should we think that, if elected, they will do any more work besides supporting their cronies? So, if Democratic voters want their party led by real Democrats who have earned their leadership positions, they should vote for Linda Atkins, Bob Service and Pam Service for County Democratic Central Committee on June 5.

Pam Service, Eureka


As a longtime member of the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee (HCDCC), I feel it is imperative that the voters in the 2nd Supervisorial District know that HCDCC did not endorse Estelle Fennel, the Democratic candidate running for that seat against incumbent Clif Clendenen, after she sought our endorsement. It takes 60 percent of the attending voting members of HCDCC for an endorsement and Ms. Fennell's requested endorsement did not get those numbers.

Why did we not endorse her?

Many of our members voiced concerns about her work for the last 2.5 years as the executive director of HumCPR (Humboldt Coalition for Property Rights -- "Protecting Your Rural Lifestyle") and the stand that it supports concerning our County's General Plan Update, a stand that many members of our organization do not agree with.  

Concerns were also raised for where Ms. Fennell's campaign funds are coming from. By simply following the money and looking at her contributions reported, Ms. Fennell has received campaign contributions from the same local companies and individuals who are also funding the campaigns of Rex Bohn and Karen Brooks. In accepting their donations, she has aligned herself with their political wants and desires. Most of these donations come from outside the 2nd Supervisorial District, a district which she says will always come first with her. Yet her campaign funds indicate otherwise.

I urge all 2nd District voters to look at the facts before you cast your vote.

Chris Beresford, Bayside

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