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Posts published in “Day: June 8, 2014”

Secession voices in the woods

rainey BARRETT
RAINEY

 
Second
Thoughts

This week’s results of the secession votes in Northern California have been posted. The score is two to one: two deciding to continue their established relationship with this country - one opting to join four other counties that previously decided to pioneer a new “State of Jefferson.” Butte County, California, voters will decide the issue for themselves come Tuesday next.

Now, to some it might appear all this “smoke-in-the-California-woods” is just that: people blowing smoke. But, if you clear the air a bit, you’ll see there are some “flames” to all this and some real problems - maybe more violent problems than voting - could be ahead.

In Del Norte and Siskiyou Counties deciding to stay with the union, the count was roughly 60-40. Tehema County voted to go, and it was about the same ratio to leave. About six in ten. In other words, no terribly lopsided majority either way. So, the secession question isn’t going to disappear, regardless of how impossible such a move might eventually be. The discontents and the malcontents still equal 40-60% of the residents. They’ll continue to create very heated political situations in anything those counties try to do. Anything.

There really is some “beef” to all this secession business. Watched a spot on the T&V the other day showing several dozen kids with dummy wooden rifles being marched across an open field ala the British in 1775. They also were getting lectures from old guys in uniforms - astride old horses - about “freedom” and “personal rights” and all that. In other words, prepping the next generation of Northern California kids to carry on the fight when the old guys and the old horses are long gone. That’s dangerous.

When you have 40-60% of the local population getting onboard this secession train, the reality is not all these folks are on the loony fringe. Several I’ve heard support leaving California express some very legitimate concerns i.e. political and economic dominance by large cities, unequal distribution of government assets and programs, little representation in matters of government, etc. All fact maybe, but also all legal.

The U.S. Supreme Court put us on the “one-man, one-vote” highway in the 60's. Soon, rural sections of all states found themselves losing their grips on the levers of government and commerce. Power began shifting to metropolitan areas. Idaho may be one of the last states where this isn’t necessarily true. And that’s only because the legislative bunch from Ada and Canyon Counties - where a third of the population lives - have clout in numbers but keep fighting among themselves over political B.S. So less populated regions of the state still kick their butts in the legislature because the rural communities have learned to stick together. (more…)

An Oregon top two

stapilus RANDY
STAPILUS

 
The View
from Here

If James Kelly and Brett Wilcox succeed in getting their top-two primary proposal on to the ballot, I sure wouldn't bet against it passing. (See the Oregonian article out today on this.)

Part of the reason is that anyone who isn't a registered Republican or Democrat automatically would have a reason to vote for it: It would give them meaningful entre into a bunch of primary races they're now closed off from. And while 20 years ago the number of non-major party registered voters in Oregon was roughly about half the number of Republican or of Democrats, they're now more numerous than Republicans and not far off from Democrats.

(I'll admit to some bias here, being a longtime shut-out NAV registrant. I know I could register opportunistically to vote in either party's primary and then switch back, but that sort of thing just doesn't feel very honest to me.)

That's a huge voting block of about a third of the electorate.

Plenty of major party members likely would be in favor too, though. Both parties would have increased opportunities in legislative districts and in other venues where they currently have no realistic chance of winning; general elections have no real significance in most of the state. Moreover, a larger variety of people from both parties could wind up serving, expanding the tents on both sides.

You don't even get the sense that many of the top elected officials in place now necessarily would be much opposed to the idea.

And while the idea hasn't exactly wonderfully reformed politics in Washington and California, it hasn't hurt, either, and people seem happy enough with it.

This could happen.

On the front pages

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Colleges find new gun rule expensive (Boise Statesman, TF Times News)
Boise shoots for 1,000 downtown residences (Boise Statesman)
Many bergdahl issues remain (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register, Lewiston Tribune)
IF has low crime, more on east side (IF Post Register)
Preparing for upcoming fire season (IF Post Register)
Both parties conventions at Moscow (Lewiston Tribune)
Another school levy expected at Wilder (Nampa Press Tribune)
Lots of new houses in Middleton (Nampa Press Tribune)
Hate groups dropping in number (Pocatello Journal)
Westwood Mall hanging in despite troubles (Pocatello Journal)
Slowdown seen in Filer recall effort (TF Times News)

Looking at sheltered workshops (Eugene Register Guard)
State may pay Cover Oregon official legal bills (KF Herald & News)
Much praise for hero in Seattle shooting (KF Herald & News)
Water issues on Bear Creek (Medford Tribune)
In Oregon, nonpartisan primaries ahead? (Portland Oregonian)
World War II memorial dedicated at Salem (Salem Statesman Journal)

Everett Boeing production may slow with 777X (Everett Herald)
Bears prevalent in Ilwaco area (Longview News)
Revenue shortfall at Longview shelter (Longview News)
Keeping track of pot strains (Olympian)
Flood plain permit might have stopped Oso building (Seattle Times)
Looking back on SPU shooting (Seattle Times)
Puyallu tribe election complicated by Dillam death (Tacoma News Tribune)
Marijuana banking questions remain (Vancouver Columbian)
Clark County mulls fireworks rules (Vancouver Columbian)
Armed adinistrators at Toppenish schools (Yakima Herald Republic)
Farm worker advocate Tomas Villaneuva dies (Yakima Herald Republic)