Over at the Sierra Foothills Report, blogger Jeff Pelline is getting all worked up over the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and their plot to destroy Nevada County’s economy. First off, he accuses The Union of working hand in hand with said wingnuts by reporting actual events of activism at the Board of Supervisor meetings! Heavens to Betsy! I had no idea that the newspaper was obligated to suppress news that doesn’t fit JP’s ideology.
The incident involved several residents who claimed they were being harassed and treated unfairly by the county building department. Some of the alleged violations appeared to warrant scrutiny from the inspectors, like building a residence on a floodplain with no permits. Yeah, that will get their attention. I can personally attest from my travels in the outback that there are many structures that flaunt the laws of regulation as well as the law of gravity. It’s a miracle that some of them are still standing. But most of the complaints come from residents who try to work with the county and are befuddled by the sometimes contradictory rules that come from state and local jurisdictions. It doesn’t help JP’s case when some of his own loyal followers cite their frustration with the building inspectors.
He then goes on to report that the local GOP is sponsoring a lecture from an avowed birther sheriff who publicly aligns himself with Joe Arpaio of Arizona, a nationally renowned wild west law and order guy. Then there was the lesbian climate change denier who gave a talk on the evils of Agenda 21 some months back. Jeff had a good time with that one.
What he has surmised from all this reactionary activity is that it is impeding the county’s ability to attract more “coast people” to come here and start high tech businesses that could lift the standard of living from the dregs of poverty and ignorance we now endure. Really? Last time I looked, the local fright-wingers were not doing so well in recent elections, with the exception of state and congressional offices. And Jeff is always on the case of Rep. Tom McClintock, who doesn’t even represent western Nevada County anymore. It certainly wasn’t anyone from the Tea Party who was running naked down the streets of Nevada City or selling heroin in the BofA parking lot.
I would counter that if there is a reason that some folks are shunning our fair county, it might be the rise in crime. Just looking at today’s police blotter I see five assaults, three burglaries, three vandalisms, and a smattering of illegal fireworks and/or gunshots. There are always a few incidents involving obviously mentally ill people.
Maybe JP should send a memo to his coastal allies in the legislature, telling them that if they want to see their prosperity trickle up to the foothills they might consider backing off on some of their efforts to make building a house ridiculously expensive, and maybe stop spending Prop 63 (Laura’s law) money on PR campaigns and dubious new age remedies to mental illness. Or perhaps stop sending their prison inmates to our local jail. And maybe send some funds to mitigate the endless stream of mandates that confront our local governments.
Jeff sees the progressive coastal government as our saviors. I think you’ll find a good number of people believe they are part of the problem.