I was happy to see one local newspaper finally raise its eyebrows at the dumping of business establishment cash into the local campaigns of candidates of a certain political stripe ("Interested Parties," Oct. 14). It's a disturbing, local version of what's happening at the national and state levels where billionaires, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and corporations are seeking to buy every election in sight -- thanks to the Supreme Court's onerous Citizens United v. FEC.
Talk about your none-too-subtle power grab by the old status quo/pro-development (without any strings) interests. You know: the ones that scream "anti-business!" or "job-killer!" if you even make a single peep about the potential impact of development and such. Could that be why all of those Bass, Newman, Brady, etc. signs are sprouting at shopping centers, big apartment complexes and empty lots that are awaiting development? Hmm ... do ya think?
It's quite a simple plan, really. They graduate Eureka Mayor Bass to a Humboldt Board of Supervisors slot (with a clear eye on another Supes position up for election in 2012), move in a dependable council member as Mayor, and fill in three council slots with big Chamber boosters -- with the added bonus that one, if elected, would be giving the boot to their most vocal council "adversary."
Oh, and don't forget the convenient, born-again conversions of most of this slate of candidates to the Democratic Party or as independents. Stir with wads of cash from the array of special interests noted by the NCJ, bury the opposition by flooding Humboldt with TV spots, billboard-sized yard signs on every corner, and full-page ads in every periodical -- many conveniently adjacent to that elegant Marina sailboat that will be floating in a big box parking lot -- elect them all and voila! An unobstructed path for whatever their agenda might be.
Mayor Bass stated at Mike Newman's August campaign kick-off that "he understands the importance of bringing the different sides together." The irony being, as your article hints, that this won't be much of a problem if one side of the aisle has been virtually emptied as a result of the Nov. 2 election.
Glenn Reed, Eureka
Thank you, John Osborn, for your illuminating story. Dissecting campaign finance reports does reveal a lot about candidates. It seems a few Republican special interests with deep pockets want to buy the Eureka City Council and have decided the best way to do that is to fund the campaigns of Marian Brady, Mike Newman and Frank Jager.
It is disappointing that these three candidates pledged to cap contributions at $500, citing their desire to keep big money out of Eureka politics, all the while they were taking donations of exactly $500 from the same pool of Republican businesses. In some cases, several $500 donations to these three candidates came from members of the same family, including a child. Two of these candidates, Brady and Newman, recently sent mailers seeking the votes of Democrats in Eureka. But they didn't bother to reveal they are heavily backed by Republicans. Fortunately, the Journal and Osborn are on the job and this voter thanks you.
Andrew Bird, Eureka