Please Note: Democratic Candidates May Have Lost, But Progressive Issues Won

— by David Morris (reposted from CommonDreams)

Ballot initiatives more accurately take the ideological pulse of the people because debates over issues are not disrupted by the personality politics and subterfuge that dominate candidate races. (Photo: Susy Morris/flickr/cc)

On November 4th Democrats lost big when they ran a candidate but won big when they ran an issue.

In 42 states about 150 initiatives were on the ballot. The vast majority did not address issues dividing the two parties (e.g. raising the mandatory retirement age for judges, salary increases for state legislators, bond issues supporting a range of projects).  But scores of initiatives did involve hot button issues.  And on these American voters proved astonishingly liberal.

Quote01.fw_.pngVoters approved every initiative to legalize or significantly reduce the penalties for marijuana possession (Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington, Washington, D.C.)  It is true that a Florida measure to legalize medical marijuana lost but 57 percent voted in favor (60 percent was required).

Voters approved every initiative to raise the minimum wage (Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Dakota). Voters in San Francisco and Oakland approved initiatives to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018.  The good citizens of Oakland and Massachusetts overwhelmingly approved more generous paid sick leave.

Both Colorado and North Dakota voters rejected measures that would have given the fertilized egg personhood under their criminal codes.

Washington state voters approved background checks for all gun sales and transfers, including private transactions.

By a wide margin Missourians rejected a constitutional amendment to require teachers to be evaluated based on test results and fired or demoted virtually at will.

By a 59-41 margin North Dakotans voted to keep their unique statute outlawing absentee owned pharmacies despite Walmart outspending independent pharmacist supporters at least ten to one.

The vote in Colorado offers a good example of the disparity between how Americans vote on candidates and how we vote on issues.  A few years ago the Colorado legislature stripped cities and counties of the right to build their own telecommunications networks but it allowed them to reclaim that authority if they put it to a vote of their citizens.  On Tuesday 8 cities and counties did just that. Residents in every community voted by a very wide margin to permit government owned networks even while they were voting by an equally wide margin for Republican candidates who vigorously oppose government ownership of anything.

Republicans did gain a number of important victories. Most of these dealt with taxes. For example, Georgia voters by a wide margin supported a constitutional amendment prohibiting the state legislature from raising the maximum state income tax rate. Massachusetts’ voters narrowly voted to overturn a law indexing the state gasoline tax to the consumer price increase.

What did Tuesday tell us?  When given the choice between a Republican and a Democrat candidate the majority of voters chose the Republican.  When given a choice between a Republican and a Democrat position on an issue they chose the Democrat.  I’ll leave it up to others to debate the reasons behind this apparent contradiction.  My own opinion is that ballot initiatives more accurately take the ideological pulse of the people because debates over issues must focus on issues, not personality, temperament or looks.  Those on both sides of the issue can exaggerate, distort and just plain lie but they must do so in reference to the question on the ballot.  No ballot initiative ever lost because one of its main backers attended a strip club 16 years earlier.

I am buoyed by the empirical evidence: Americans even in deeply red regions are liberal on many key issues. And I am saddened that these same voters have voted to enhance the power of a party at odds with the values these voters have expressed.  The challenge, and in an age where billions of dollars in negative sound-bites define a candidate it is a daunting one, is how to make the next election on issues, not personalities.

  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

David Morris is Vice President and director of the New Rules Project at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, which is based in Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. focusing on local economic and social development.

Voters Reject Oil Titan Chevron, Elect Progressive Bloc in Richmond, California

Tom Butt elected mayor and slate of progressive candidates all win city council seats after grim battle with corporate power

by Nadia Prupis, Common Dreams staff writer

Members of the Asia Pacific Environmental Network march against Chevron in Richmond, California on August 9. (Photo: Malena Mayorga/Flickr)

A slew of progressive candidates were elected in Richmond, California on Tuesday night in a resounding defeat of corporate power, after a multi-million-dollar opposition campaign funded by Chevron brought national attention to the race but failed to take control of City Hall.

Local politician Tom Butt, a Democrat, was elected mayor with 51 percent of the vote, beating the Chevron-backed candidate, Nat Bates, by 16 points. Richmond Progressive Alliance representatives Eduardo Martinez, Jovanka Beckles, and outgoing  Mayor Gayle McLaughlin also won three of the four open seats on the City Council.

Collectively, those candidates became known as Team Richmond.

In a victory speech from his campaign base, Butt said, “I’ve never had such a bunch of people who are dedicated and worked so hard. It’s far away above anything that I’ve ever experienced.”

The sweeping win in the David-and-Goliath story was seen by many as an excoriation of corporate influence in elections after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

Uche Uwahemu, who finished third in the mayoral race, said, “The election was a referendum on Chevron and the people obviously made it clear they did not appreciate the unnecessary spending by Chevron so they took it out on the rest of the candidates.”

Chevron spent more than $3 million funding three political action committees that executed an opposition campaign including billboards, flyers, and a mobile screen, spending roughly $72 per voter in hopes of electing a slate of candidates that would be friendly to the oil giant.

Martinez, Beckles, and McLaughlin have all criticized the company and promised to tighten regulations on it. Chevron has an ugly history in the city, particularly in the wake of a large and destructive fire at their refinery in 2012, for which Richmond sued the company.

Butt spent roughly $58,000 on his campaign—a shoestring budget relative to Chevron’s resources.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

Notice of Early Voting for the 2014 General Election

The HUMBOLDT COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICE located on the second floor of the Humboldt County Courthouse, 50 W. 5th St., Winnemucca, Nevada, will be open for the purpose of allowing registered voters in Humboldt County to vote early on the following dates:


The CLERK’S OFFICE will be the permanent polling place for EARLY VOTING for all precincts (other than designated mailing precincts) in Humboldt County.  If you have any questions regarding early voting, please contact the Humboldt County Clerk’s Office at 623-6343.


TAMI RAE SPERO, Humboldt County Clerk and Ex-Officio Registrar of Voters

Notice to the Public—Registered Voters List for 2014 General Election

Notice has been published in the Humboldt Sun by Tami Rae Spero, Humboldt County Clerk and Ex-Officio Registrar of Voters, that an alphabetical listing of the names of registered voters for Humboldt County, including precinct, can be obtained by request, at no charge, from the Office of the Humboldt County Clerk, 50 W. 5th St. #207, Winnemucca, NV 89445, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

If an individual wishes to determine if they are registered to vote, please contact the Humboldt County Clerk’s office at (775) 623-6343, or by email at

If a registered voter has changed his/her address since the 2012 elections and has not so notified the County Clerk’s Office, they should do so by Tuesday, October 14, 2014.  Also, if you were registered to vote for the 2012 elections, but were unable to vote, please contact the County Clerk’s Office at the above number so that your voter registration can be placed back on active status.

If as a registered voter, you have changed their name since registering to vote, you need to re-register under your new legal name.

For any questions pertaining to registering to vote, absentee voting, early voting, or the upcoming election, please do not hesitate to contact the County Clerk’s Office at the above number.

Notice of Close of Voter Registration for the General Election


NOTICE HAS BEEN PUBLISHED that registration for the 2014 GENERAL ELECTION which will be held on November 4, 2014 will close on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014.

If you are NOT currently registered in Humboldt County, you must register by close of business on Oct. 6, 2014 (30 days prior to the election) to be able to vote in the General Election. Registering after Oct. 6, 2014 will make you INELIGIBLE to vote in the 2014 General Election on Nov. 4, 2014, UNLESS you can show proof of your residency in Humboldt County for a period of 30 days prior to the 2014 General Election, or as of October 6, 2014. If you’re able to do that , you may be able to register by no later than Oct. 14, 2014, and still be able to vote in the Nov. 4, 2014 General Election.

Potential electors may register for the ensuing election —

  1. by appearing before the County Clerk at her office,
  2. by appearing before a Deputy Registrar,
  3. by sending in a “mail-in registration” in the manner provided by law, or
  4. by registering online at at the election center.

Beginning October 5, 2014 through October 14, 2014, a person may register ONLY by appearing in person at the office of the County Clerk/Registrar or online at the NV Secretary of State’s website.

If you have had a name change, you need to re-register. Also, if you have moved since registering, you need to contact the County Clerk’s office to complete a Change of Address form.

In addition to normal working hours, the Office of the County Clerk will be open for the purposes of registering people to vote on Monday, October 13, 2014 and Tuesday, October 14, 2012, from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm.

Should you have any questions regarding this Notice, you may contact the Humboldt County Clerk’s office at 623-6343 or by email at

Published  in the Humboldt Sun by Tami Rae Spero, Humboldt County Clerk and Ex-Officio Registrar of Voters

Who is Andrew Martin?

If you were at Winnemucca’s Labor Day Parade or the Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, you would have had an opportunity to meet and talk to or at least wave at Andrew Martin who is running for State Controller on the November ballot.

As an Assemblyman and member of the Economic Forum Andrew has worked on Nevada’s budget, understands our finances, and knows what needs to be done to improve our economy.  Andrew  is a business owner, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF), and Certified Internal Controls Auditor (CICA). Mr. Martin has over 28 years of professional experience providing accounting, advisory, audit and tax services to a diverse group of business, individual, governmental, and non‐profit clients.

His opponent, Ron Knecht,  is a “limited government conservative” who was a member of the “Mean 15” and who has signed onto Grover Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” of no new taxes.  He’s a proudly professed NRA member (who also proudly supports “campus concealed carry) and who was elected to the Nevada Assembly once and NOT returned.  But, most importantly, where Andrew clearly holds certifications beneficial for the job, Mr. Knecht is a Mechanical Engineer by profession and has managed a few budgets and made a few investments.

Really?  That’s the best fiscal and financial expertise the Republican Party has to offer up? Somebody who diligently works side-by-side with Sharron Angle to shut government down?

“Fiscal responsibility, transparency and accountability isn’t just a campaign slogan, it is what I believe in, and they are the principals by which I will operate the Office of the Controller.” — Andrew Martin

As our Nevada State Controller, Andrew Martin has pledged to:

  • Strengthen the State’s fiscal oversight and accountability, which will benefit the economic health of Nevada and improve our outlook for the future.
  • Assure that our tax dollars are being spent wisely to accomplish tangible results, linking dollars spent to measurable outcomes that are tied to state-wide priorities, such as higher student test scores, lower crime rates, and a healthier population.
  • Collect debts owed to the State so that Nevadans who work hard and pay sales, gas, real estate and other taxes don’t have to carry the load for businesses that don’t.
  • Make sure the worldwide financial community knows that Nevada is a great place to invest, improving Nevada’s business climate, boosting our economy and stimulating job creation.

Personally, when I’m looking to hire a State Controller, I’m looking for someone who is pledging to do what’s best for Nevada’s citizens, not someone who is beholding to Grover Norquist, someone who doesn’t live in Nevada, and who most likely knows absolutely NOTHING about the needs of Nevadans.  I don’t know about you, but I’m planning to pony up to the voting booth during early elections to cast my vote for the best qualified candidate for the job: Andrew Martin!

Ballot Questions on November Ballot

Committees are currently in place and are working up “pros” and “cons” for these two county-related questions that will appear on ballots in Humboldt County this November:

BALLOT QUESTION:  Hospital Trustee Advisory Question

This question is “advisory” only:

Should Humboldt County Code Chapter 2.16 be amended to reduce the number of trustees serving on the Board of Trustees of the Humboldt General Hospital from 6 to 5 by eliminating the trustee position which is appointed from the elected body of the Humboldt County Board of County Commissioners?


BALLOT QUESTION: Sales Tax for Parks and Recreation

Shall Humboldt County Board of Commissioners be authorized to impose an additional one quarter of one percent (0.25%) of general sales and use tax collected in the County as authorized under NRS Chapter 377A to be used to acquire, develop, construct, equip, operate, maintain, improve and manage parks, recreational programs and facilities or any combination of those purposes?


Filing Period Now Open: City of Winnemucca


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the General City Election of the City of Winnemucca, Nevada will be at the same time as the General Election to be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014.


  1. The following are the offices for which candidates are to be elected:
    Mayor- Four year term
    Council member Seat 2 -Four year term
    Council member Seat 4- Four year term
  2. A Declaration of Candidacy must be filed with the City Clerk of the City of Winnemucca, 90 West Fourth Street, Winnemucca, Nevada on or after 8:00 AM, Monday, August 25, 2014 and before the close of filing for office at 5:00 PM, Friday, August 29, 2014.
  3. A filing fee in the amount of $25.00 shall be paid by each candidate at the time of filing a Declaration of Candidacy.
  4. The Mayor and Council members must be qualified electors within the City of Winnemucca and bona fide residents thereof for at least one year next preceding their election, and candidates for office must have actually resided in the City of Winnemucca for at least 30 days immediately preceding the date of the close of filing of the Declaration of Candidacy.
  5. All candidates are voted upon by the electors of the City of Winnemucca at-large.

    /s/Lorrie Haaglund
    Lorrie Haaglund
    City Clerk

PUBLISHED in The Humboldt Sun twice: August 12, 2014 and August 19, 2014

Who is Robert Goodman?


In Tuesday’s Primary Election, Robert Goodman won as the Democratic contender opposing Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval in the general election.  He won only because “None of these Candidates” isn’t capable of running, even though receiving nearly 30% of the vote.

No one know’s much about  Goodman and he remains quite the mystery.

He gathered 17,950 votes, or 24.7 percent of the total democratic votes for governor, but that’s the most consequential information we truly know about the man.  He purportedly lives in Clark County, but he’s not a member of the Clark County Democratic Central Committee and has not participated in any of their events.

I’ve only lived in Nevada since 2006, do I don’t have a wealth of Nevada history in my back pocket, but on his website, he claims to have served as Governor Mike O’Callaghan’s (Democratic Governor—>1971-79) Economic Development Director, creating thousands of jobs outside of the state’s gaming industry.  His website also touts all his ties to Asia and how he believes he can capitalize on work already done by our current Lt. Governor to bring jobs and tourists from Asia to Nevada.

In an interview earlier this year, Goodman said he lived in the Philippines, where he had business. But in election filings, he lists a Las Vegas residence, where he says he has lived for a year and that he previously lived in Nevada for 42 years. And, the Las Vegas telephone number that he listed on his filing rings into a recorded message which announced that “this phone does not accept incoming calls.”

Most disturbing or eyebrow raising, depending on your perspective, is that in perusing his financial disclosure statements on file with the Secretary of State’s Office, he reported no income or property. He also reported he has no creditors and that he did not receive any campaign contributions.

So who is he really?  What does he stand for in areas other than just economic development?  Hopefully we’ll soon find out as the general campaign season erupts with activity.