Politics

Monday, October 12, 2020

No Reports of 'Unofficial' Ballot Drop Boxes in Humboldt

Posted By on Mon, Oct 12, 2020 at 4:52 PM

Humboldt County Registrar of  Voters Kelly Sanders told the Journal in an email today that she has not heard any local reports of unofficial ballot drop boxes surreptitiously appearing in the region, like the ones showing up in the southern ends of the state.

Two California officials, including the secretary of state, have deemed the Republic Party-placed boxes, which turned up in at least three California counties with tight congressional races — Fresno, Los Angeles and Orange — illegal, according to multiple media reports.

And, while the state GOP admits to ownership, it appears there are no plans to take them down. An article by the Los Angeles Times reports Hector Barajas, a California Republican Party spokesperson, has said he would “not specify how many boxes had been deployed or where.”

To be clear, there are 10 ballot drop off boxes in Humboldt County, according to the elections office.
  • Humboldt County Office of Elections 2426 6th St in Eureka
  • Ray’s Food Place —Willow Creek 38915 Hwy 299, Willow Creek
  • Murphy ’s Market —Trinidad 1 Main St, Trinidad
  • Murphy ’s Market —Glendale 1451 Glendale Dr, McKinleyville
  • Ace Hardware —McKinleyville 2725 Central Ave, McKinleyville
  • Murphy ’s Market —Westwood 100 Westwood Center, Alliance Rd, Arcata
  • Murphy ’s Market —Sunny Brae 785 Bayside Rd, Arcata
  • Murphy ’s Market —Cutten 4020 Walnut Dr, Eureka
  • Ray ’s Food Place —Fortuna 2009 Main Street, Fortuna
  • ShopSmart —Redway 3430 Redwood Dr, Redway

State Sen. Mike McGuire, who represents the North Coast, was among those to call foul, calling the GOP move election fraud and noting that a cease and desist order has been issued.
Sanders noted that the outdoor drop box at the elections office is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days per week.  Also, check out the Journal's deep dive into what you need to know about Nov. 3 here
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Saturday, October 3, 2020

Pro-Trump Caravan Winds through Humboldt

Posted By on Sat, Oct 3, 2020 at 5:35 PM

A long line of cars, trucks and other vehicles festooned with campaign flags and signs formed a pro-Trump parade that started in the Fortuna Safeway parking lot at 11:30 a.m. and traveled north through Arcata and McKinleyville. The crowd eventually gathered at the north side of the McKinleyville Safeway parking lot, where attendees — many without masks — chanted their support. See photographer Kris Nagel's slideshow of the gathering there below.

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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Local Republic Party Chair Says No Comment on Debate, White Supremacy, Transition of Power, T-S reports

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2020 at 8:17 PM

Local Democratic party officials voiced concerns about the state of the nation and what they see as President Donald Trump’s role in stoking division following Tuesday’s now notorious debate between Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the Times-Standard reports.

The Republic party chair declined to comment for the story, including when asked whether the local chapter condemned white supremacy and supported a peaceful transition of power, the article states.

Trump faced backlash, including from members of his own party, for not condemning the far-right hate group Proud Boys during the debate and saying they should “stand back and stand by.”

Meanwhile, the Commission on Presidential Debates released a statement on Wednesday stating that the “debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues.”

Read the Times-Standard story here.
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Saturday, August 22, 2020

Huffman Votes for Postal Service Act as Dozens Rally in Eureka

Posted By on Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 6:10 PM

Demonstrators in Eureka display signs at a "Save the Post Office Saturday" rally. - ZACH LATHOURIS
  • Zach Lathouris
  • Demonstrators in Eureka display signs at a "Save the Post Office Saturday" rally.
North Coast Congressmember Jared Huffman joined fellow House members in passing the Delivering for America Act, which includes $25 billion in funding for the U.S. Postal Service and prohibits any changes to “operations or level of service” in place on Jan. 1 of this year.

Today’s vote came as “Save the Post Office Saturday” rallies took place across the nation and in Eureka — where a group of about 35 held signs on the corner of Fifth and H streets and speakers noted the importance of mail service, especially in rural areas — in response to recent changes, including the removal of sorting machines and drop-off mailboxes in some areas of the country.

Amid an outcry over resulting delays and concerns about impacts on the November election, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced Aug. 18 that he would stop the changes for now as more than 20 states prepared to sue the mail service.

A few days later, he appeared at a Senate hearing on the matter.

Huffman’s release noted that DeJoy “admitted that he has no intention of replacing the sorting machines, blue mailboxes, and other key mail infrastructure that have been removed and that plans for overtime which are critical for the timely delivery of mail are not in the works.”

“Postmaster General (Louis) DeJoy’s insufficient and temporary pause in his attacks on the Postal Service doesn’t undo the damage he has already done. Americans rely on the mail for critical services like medication delivery, paychecks, and participation in the democratic process – especially during a deadly pandemic,” Huffman said.

DeJoy and USPS Board of Governors Chair Robert Duncan are scheduled to testify Aug. 24 at a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing.

Read the full release from Huffman’s office below:


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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Virtually No Chance for a Ruckus at Dem Convention

Posted By on Wed, Aug 19, 2020 at 11:45 AM

Supporters peer through the window during a Bernie Sanders presidential campaign event at Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, CA on February 17, 2020. - PHOTO BY ANNE WERNIKOFF FOR CALMATTERS
  • Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters
  • Supporters peer through the window during a Bernie Sanders presidential campaign event at Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, CA on February 17, 2020.
Jeanna Harris was in Philadelphia when the Democratic Party convened there in the summer of 2016, and she had plenty of ways to “make some good trouble.”

Harris was part of the bloc within the California delegation supporting the failed presidential bid of Bernie Sanders. She and her fellow progressives cheered and jeered, ensuring their displeasure at the party’s selection of the more moderate Hillary Clinton was on full display to the televised audience. They smuggled in sharpies, signs, and banners to unfurl in protest. Halfway through the proceedings, just as Sanders was moving to nominate Clinton, they staged a walkout.

But this year, there will be no walkouts. Harris, a registered nurse and case manager for a health provider, is once again a delegate for Sanders, as are a majority of California’s delegates, But like most every other delegate, she is watching and tweeting along from home.

“You can’t make some good trouble when everything is virtual,” she said from her house near Culver City. “But we’re trying.”

The Vermont senator won California’s March 3 primary. And long after the actual contest for the Democratic presidential nomination was over, the state remained one of the most prominent Sanders holdouts. Going into the Democratic National Convention, more than 54% of the state’s pledged delegates were committed to Sanders. But last night — as unpledged delegates weighed in and former Vice President Joe Biden claimed the nomination — California split 263 to 231 for Biden over Sanders.

Under ordinary circumstances, the convention would give California progressives an opportunity to foment internal dissent — or at the very least, to push the party apparatus and its ticket to the left.

But these are not ordinary circumstances — and not just because the array of delegates puts a premium on uniting to oust President Donald Trump. The coronavirus pandemic has rendered the party’s big coming-together event in Milwaukee this week an almost entirely online affair. That means Zoom meetings in place of boozy after-hours networking events, comments sections — when left open — in place of rowdy caucus meetings, and angry tweets in place of heckles.


Harris said a number of progressive activists made “Medicare4All” protest signs and surgical masks to display during a California delegation morning meet-up — only to realize that only the event’s main speakers would be broadcast to the entire meeting.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Are You Ready to Vote?

Posted By on Tue, Aug 18, 2020 at 3:27 PM

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The Humboldt County Office of Elections wants you to be ready for the Nov. 3 election, which is really just around the corner.

In a press release today, the office details all the steps necessary to make sure your vote is counted and where to go to find more information. All registered voters will be receiving a Vote by Mail ballot this year, and return options include placing one in the mail box or dropping it off in person at one of the nine Voter Assistance Offices that will be open from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3, locations of which can be found here.
Read the full elections office release below:
Get Ready Now for the November 3, 2020 General Election

Make sure your voter registration information is up to date.
To ensure there are no delays in receiving your ballot in the mail, verify that the Registrar of Voters has your most up-to-date voter information. Visit https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/ or call 707-445-7481 to verify both your residential and mailing address.

Is everything correct? If not, you can update your registration by re-registering to vote at registertovote.ca.gov or by calling 707 445-7481 and requesting a voter registration form be mailed to you.

Registered Voters Will Receive A Ballot in the Mail
For the November 3, 2020 General Election all registered voters will be mailed a Vote by Mail ballot to ensure a safe and accessible voting option during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mailing of Vote by Mail ballots will begin no later than October 5, 2020. Supplemental Vote by Mail mailings will follow for newly registered or re-registered voters.

Return Your Vote by Mail Ballot
We encourage you to vote safely at home, and return your Vote by Mail ballot in one of the following ways:

-Mail your ballot on or before Election Day – no postage required.
-In person at any Vote by Mail drop box location. Visit our website at https://humboldtgov.org/elections or call 707-445-7481 for locations.
-In person at any Voter Assistance Center between October 31st and November 3rd. Visit our website at https://humboldtgov.org/elections or call 707-445-7481 for locations.

Track Your Vote by Mail Ballot
Receive personalized text messages, emails or voicemails letting you know when your ballot is mailed, received, and counted by the Registrar of Voters by subscribing to WheresMyBallot.sos.ca.gov

Voter Assistance and In-Person Voting
There will be nine (9) locations called Voter Assistance Centers that will be open for four days, October 31st through November 3rd. At the Center, voters can:
-Turn in a Vote by Mail ballot
-Vote a precinct ballot or vote on an accessible voting machine
-Get a replacement ballot
-Register or update registration
-Get voting materials in Spanish or Hmong
If you chose to vote in-person, bring your Vote by Mail Ballot to surrender so you can vote a precinct ballot. Be prepared, lines may be long!
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Saturday, August 15, 2020

Could Trump ‘Sabotage’ California’s All-Mail Election?

Posted By on Sat, Aug 15, 2020 at 12:23 PM

A mail carrier wearing a mask and gloves in Berkeley on March 27, 2020. Postal employees are considered essential during the shelter in place. - PHOTO BY ANNE WERNIKOFF FOR CALMATTERS
  • Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters
  • A mail carrier wearing a mask and gloves in Berkeley on March 27, 2020. Postal employees are considered essential during the shelter in place.
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

For months President Donald Trump has been reluctant to extend a lifeline to the financially infirm Postal Service, a reluctance his critics have said is motivated by his loathing of vote-by-mail.

On Thursday, Trump made that subtext … text.

Speaking about the ongoing COVID relief negotiations on Fox Business, the president claimed that without new funding for the Postal Service, California and other states that plan to send every voter a ballot before the November election will be out of luck.

“Now, they need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” the president said. “If we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting. They just can’t have it.”

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday denounced what he termed “sabotage that is clearly intentionally being done to our postal delivery,” but added that California had already factored in a workaround if there are delays. Ballots here that are postmarked by and through Election Day will be counted if they arrive up to 17 days after the election.

The day brought fresh news that Postal Service officials had recently sent 46 states letters warning that their voters could be disenfranchised by mail delays. But for six of those states, including California, the warning was much more narrow. The letter to California foresaw no problems for the “vast majority” of California voters, but said delayed mailed could disenfranchise new residents who register to vote in this state close to Election Day.

The Postal Service has seen a flurry of changes at the nation’s public mail delivery system, including placing new restrictions on overtime and restructuring executive leadership. Voting rights organizations say that could make it more difficult for voters to cast ballots by mail during the coronavirus pandemic.

California’s top election administrator, Democratic Secretary of State Alex Padilla, is concerned.

“If we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting. They just can’t have it.”

In an Aug. 10 letter to recently appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, Padilla warned that the changes “create unnecessary risk so close to the election and undermine the ability of state and local election officials to administer free and fair elections.”

But California voters will not be entirely dependent on the timeliness of its mail carriers.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

What California Knows About Kamala Harris

Posted By on Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 3:51 PM

U.S. Senator and former California Attorney General Kamala Harris, has been tapped to be Joe Biden's vice presidential candidate. - PHOTO BY GAGE SKIMORE VIA FLICKR
  • Photo by Gage Skimore via Flickr
  • U.S. Senator and former California Attorney General Kamala Harris, has been tapped to be Joe Biden's vice presidential candidate.

More than any other vice presidential contender in a generation, Kamala Harris’ biography is singularly Californian.

Born and bussed to school in Berkeley, tested by San Francisco’s cut-throat municipal politics and propelled onto the national stage as the state’s top law enforcement officer and then its first female senator of color, Harris’ approach to politics and policymaking were honed here.

Although most Americans are now focusing on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s ticket pick — her political pedigree, her record on criminal justice, her reputation as (depending on your point of view) a pragmatic or an over-cautious political figure — we’ve seen it here in California for decades.

Here are eight ways that California shaped Kamala Harris and that Harris has shaped California.

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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Huffman Supports Legislation Blocking Federal Paramilitary Occupations in Portland and Other Cities

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2020 at 2:29 PM

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North Coast Congressmember Jared Huffman announced his support for the recently introduced Preventing Authoritarian Policing Tactics on America’s Streets Act, a bill that would block the Trump Administration from deploying federal forces on protestors.

The bill is led by Oregon representatives Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici and U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, and comes after federal officers without badges and unmarked vehicles arrested and tear-gassed protestors, including Mayor Ted Wheeler, in Portland, Oregon.

“What we have witnessed in Portland is a horrific display of the ‘secret police’ tactics that fascist regimes deploy,” said Huffman in a release. “What President Trump is doing does not reflect the American democracy that we love, and it is clear that he and his enablers plan to take similar unconstitutional actions in cities around America in the lead up to the Nov. 3 election. Congress must block this dangerous escalation and enforce the rule of law.”

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Monday, July 20, 2020

How COVID is Deepening California’s Income Inequality in 5 Charts

Posted By on Mon, Jul 20, 2020 at 11:29 AM

Food security, ability to pay rent and loss of low-wage jobs are three areas where economic disparities in California are most visible amid the coronavirus pandemic. - ANNE WERNIKOFF/CALMATTERS
  • Anne Wernikoff/CalMatters
  • Food security, ability to pay rent and loss of low-wage jobs are three areas where economic disparities in California are most visible amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The decade dawned on a California that was both “the richest and poorest” state in the nation, in the words of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Wages for the top 10% of California’s earners had grown three times as fast as those of the bottom 10% of earners since 1980 — all as the cost of buying or renting shelter skyrocketed.

Then coronavirus tore across the globe, sickening hundreds of thousands of Californians and shutting down California’s booming service and tourism economies — not once but now twice.

The pandemic has driven a wedge into the fault lines dividing the state’s haves and have nots. The workers facing the highest rates of unemployment are those that already earned the lowest wages. Federal and state lawmakers have cobbled together an enhanced pandemic safety net, but many fall through the cracks. And it will soon shrink back towards its previous size when CARES Act funding for extra unemployment dollars expires July 31.

Like a feedback loop, California’s income inequality may also add fuel to the virus’ spread. The second wave of cases now overwhelming the state are increasingly among young Californians and Latinos — the same demographics that make up California’s essential workforce, and disproportionately live in crowded housing.

California’s economic divide is growing, posing weighty policy questions the state – and its residents – will need to grapple with in months and years ahead.

1. Before the pandemic, many Californians were on the brink of poverty
2. The pandemic hit low-wage workers who are women, young and not white hardest

3. A third of Californians don't know how they'll pay next month's rent
4. By one researcher's estimate, the rate of household food insecurity has doubled
5. Meanwhile, the rich got richer

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