Is Del Norte County Tea Party country?
More so than a lot of places, considering the electorate trends conservative and the local Tea Party seems more engaged than the local Democratic and Republican organizations when it comes to public events such as last Saturday’s parade of constitutional sheriffs.
About 250 people turned out at the fairgrounds as Del Norte Sheriff Dean Wilson played host to five of his colleagues in the latest regional rally for more local power in dealings with the state and federal governments. That’s a lot of folks willing to go inside and listen to speeches for three hours on a mostly blue-sky weekend.
It may not have been a formal Tea Party event, but that organization and the “Supporting Rural America” travelling sheriffs’ show are closely tied. In the same venue, the local Tea Party has recently hosted well-attended forums on the hospital regionalization issue and the county supervisor elections.
Two candidates closely tied to the Tea Party were on the ballot in the June primary, and the results were mixed with Bill Gray failing in his attempt to unseat Supervisor Martha McClure in District 2 while Roger Gitlin was the top vote-getter in District 1, advancing to a November runoff against incumbent Leslie McNamer.
The latter two are both Republicans, but the county GOP Central Committee left little doubt about its Tea Party leanings when it overwhelmingly endorsed Gitlin over McNamer.
The Tea Party conducted its own pre-primary survey of public sentiment during the recent Home Show. About 400 people stopped by its booth to fill out questionnaires. Among the findings tallied up by Mary Wilson:
• Do you feel the Del Norte economy is improving? Sixty-five people said yes, 238 no, and 98 were uncertain.
• Would you support a tax increase as part of balancing the current state budget? Forty-six said yes, 262 said no, and 93 were undecided.
• The Declaration of Independence says the Power of the Government is derived from the consent of the governing — does the current government have your consent? Sixty-seven said yes, 307 said no.
Sounds downright revolutionary.
Tidal wave of opposition
In another unscientific sampling of public opinion, respondents to the current on-line poll at triplicate.com are not so hot on one aspect of the city’s proposal to turn Front Street into more of a tourist-friendly promenade.
By a count of 578-167 as of Wednesday, they oppose the idea of changing the name of the roadway from Front Street to Tsunami Way.
The idea is to capitalize on Crescent City’s growing reputation as the tsunami capital of the West Coast. But some people, including the owner of the hotel at the west end of Front Street, see that more as a claim to infamy than fame.
Kelley’s gone; help us with music gigs
As noted in recent editions, reporter Kelley Atherton left the Triplicate after nearly five years here to pursue a master’s degree at Columbia University in New York. She covered education and health for most of that time, and wrote many of the arts and entertainment features appearing on our B-section covers.
She also was a big contributor to last year’s coverage of the tsunami and the tragic shootings that recently won us first and second place statewide in local spot news coverage as judged by the California Newspaper Publishers Association.
We miss her already.
Atherton had originated and put together Night Life, the list of local music events that runs each Thursday on B1. Her departure seems a good time to remind the venues and musicians out there that we depend on you to tell us what’s coming up. We know about the every-week stuff, but the list should also include one-time-only events. A note at the end of each week’s list says where to send the information, and we need it by Tuesday each week.