Friday, December 23, 2011

Samoasoftball rates candiates at PDA 2nd Congressional District Forum.

The Progressive Democrats of Eureka hosted a forum for the 2nd District Congressional candidates yesterday and nearly 100 people showed up to hear what each of the 6 candidates that showed had to say. (No times Standard? What is with that?) Eureka City Councilperson Linda Atkins made sure things moved timely and orderly and here is my take and ratings.

Andy Caffery:  Andy sung his Earth First! introduction about “Where are we going to work when the trees are gone?” He says he has been working on the Klamath water issue for 30 years.  He feels the Climate change  is the most  important issue for the North Coast and the economy. Says the Dems and Reps have failed us. We need to close the 150 military bases around the world. He also feels we need to look to creating an Ecotopia here. Need attention on Animal Species Extinction due to climate change.  Says he will be the “worst nightmare” Republicans will have to face in the House. “Bush needed to be impeached!” Not happy with Nancy Pelosi either. Doesn’t like the fact that Urban areas such as Eureka makes decisions effecting rural areas and would like to create an “Emerald City” out of Garberville.  In his closing he blamed the Republicans on dismantling the Country and we need to uphold “Green” values.  I would give him a 3 out of 5 rating. I thought he would talk more pot.

William Courtney: Had hard time speaking up. He believes in a flat tax. Feels we should “Contribute what you can.” Feels we should have a surcharge tax of $50 per Marijuana plant and we should push exporting of same as well as legalization. Figures we have 350,000 plants in the district. Thinks Wave/Ocean energy needs to be tapped into and that we need a “Global Project” to face the potential of losing 50% of earthly species due to climate change. Supports a Clean Energy Act. As a doctor he feels we need to expand use of healthy molecules through raw juices to people. In closing he felt we had an array of problems that could be dealt with through compromise and Corporations stands as a problem. Smart guy but hard to understand. 2 out of 5 rating.

Tiffany Renee:  Stressed her community service as Councilperson of Petaluma and being the first Latina on the council. Feels Congress needs to work together. Feels we need to either raise the limit to $250,000 or eliminate altogether Social Security tax thresholds.  Thinks we need to reclassify cannabis and let city and counties regulate. As congressperson would look to consensus and evaluate when sometimes needing to “Fall on the Sword.”  Petaluma has been on the forefront of environmental issues for years and she has been involved in the processes. She “stays engaged” on issues and is running a low budget campaign. In closing she was optimistic that congress will have a large turnover. Sweet lady who is just not ready for this stage yet. 2 out of 5 rating.
Susan Adams: She has been a nurse 33 years and currently a Board of Supervisor member of Marin County.  With her leadership Marin has a Healthy financial reserve. Feels we need to get off fossil fuel dependence.  “Congress is out of touch. The majority of people filing for bankruptcy are from Medical bills!” Blames Bush and Regan tax cuts from the past. “Somethings wrong when Warren Buffet feels he should pay more tax!” See feels the need for taxing “Fair Share.” “We need to protect Social Security and Medicare  #1.” Feels that Humboldt County needs Marine Highway to transport goods in and out and feels we need better broadband. Economy will grow organically with right components.  Feels we need to sometimes not make partisan decisions but don’t give away the store either. Need to be a careful steward.  “We need Green Clean jobs!” Carbon Credits? Susan said she would hold dual residency if elected in the North and South parts of the district and has family in Carlotta.  In closing Susan claims to have “In the Trench” progressive experience and also has life experience of “Watching babies come into this life, and people leaving this life also.” She was clearly the best here. I didn’t know what to expect. But does she have any financing? That could be her problem. Financial viability is part of this equation. 4 out of 5 rating.
Stacy Lawson: Says she is the only one experienced in job creation. Has started up a few successful companies. Grew up in a mill town much like Eureka with logging and fishing the natural resources like the North Coast. Feels the gap is widening between rich and poor with stagnate wages.  Stacy says we need tax reform that mandates the rich paying 28%. As well as increasing corporate taxes and taxing transactions on Stock Trades. She also feels we need a “Jobs Plan” on the National level. Put people to work on infrastructure improvement such as Roads, Airports and Forest Restoration.  As far as compromise at the Congressional level, wants to put civility back in politics. Maybe more dinners and drinks at the bar to find common ground. Says the Klamath agreement is good for fish and water restoration and jobs with the dismantling.  She feels she has core middle class work ethics and would like to share a comprehensive job plan. With 65% of businesses classified as “Small” would like to see or force banks into investing back to the people. Stacey closed by stressing she had actually created jobs and would like to continue at the Congressional level. This is the “Job” candidate. Raw with little political background. But she might be the best financed of the candidates before this is over. So she is viable. She does have a framing and messaging issue that may be straightened out by high dollar consultants in the near future. I give her a 3.5 out of 5 rating.
Norman Solomon: Claims to be a 40 year  ”Progressive” and is doing “Feet on the Ground” campaigning. Wants Social Justice and Social Change. Jobs are a must with need for “Massive” Federal help. Need for Marine Highway and Short Sea Shipping.  Need to reform Wall Street. Will fight special interests. Will be able to resist the right because of refusing Corporate PAC monies. “We need to protect water Quality and Quantity!” Against oil drilling off our coast. He understands urban living and the need for representation from Rural areas. Used the word “Ain’t” too many times. We aren’t that bumpkin here! He closed by thanking former Eureka Mayor Peter LaValley and Eureka School Board member Susan Johnson for their endorsements and invited everyone to a get together on Jan. 11th at the Eureka Theater with Phil Donohue hosting.  I was expecting more but he did OK. I really think he needs to step it up and separate himself from the rest. Still time. I give him a 3 out of 5 rating.      
Jared Huffman:  The “Anointed One” did not attend. He is spending time for the holidays with family. Sent Committee Co-Chair Bonnie Neely to read statement.  Bonnie did well with the written script. Did nothing for me. Huffman gave more of what we can expect from him in the future if elected. More of the same as what we have had.  1 out 5 rating.    


Joel Mielke said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Richard. I'm glad you took notes for us. I've only heard Susan Adams speak. She impressed me as a solid candidate.

Anonymous said...

What else could you expect of Huffman? He has been anointed by Thompson and expects to win here. I am not voting for him no matter what. Thompson always came here looking for money and actually got Humboldt some cash through pork stuff but his other counties got far more. Wine was the ruler and those counties did far better than Humboldt in getting funds. A lot of the pork funds don't do much for anyone except a few that don't need the money. Look up the Pork report that is published yearly and it is good for a laugh except it isn't really funny. Florida got almost a billion dollar airport built but there is no town there and it has yet to be used. Guess some jobs were created but a billion $$. Could have done much more for many.

Some of the "job bills" that have gone through could have given almost everyone quite a bit of money in their pocket to be spent or bills needing to be paid but those jobs went to people that already had good paying jobs. Showed a highway offramp job filling potholes with around 20 people standing around watching 2 or 3 people fill the holes. Sorry Richard they were union jobs all of them. The union complained that it took trained people to fill the potholes with asphalt so nonunion just could not be hired. I grew up in a union household but sometimes unions just control things that should not be controlled by them. But then they give a lot of money to various campaigns.

Fred Mangels said...

Agreed. Anybody but Huffman in this race.

skippy said...

Nice, accurate, and fairly thorough report in short, Richard. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I always found it funny how so many people in Humboldt almost revered Mike Thompson. The other writer is correct, he brought far fewer dollars here than any of his other counties. He sneered at the locals. Held meetings here only when he felt he had to. Kept virtually every key politico and administrator at arms-length distance (and that includes Neely when you compare how close he is to other officials in other counties). Visited HSU maybe 3 times in his entire tenure. Endorsed local candidates contingent upon them promising to squeeze every dollar out of humboldt for the national congressional democrats.

The guy hated Humboldt County.