by Lou Binninger
In San Francisco for a fundraiser on April 6, 2008, democrat candidate for president, Barack Obama slammed working-class voters in the rust belt crippled by job losses. He said, “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
In New York City on September 9,, 2016 at a fundraiser, democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said, “You could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? They're racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic – Islamophobic – you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people – now have 11 million. He tweets and re-tweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks – they are irredeemable, but thankfully, they are not America.”
The majority of rural Northern California citizens were maligned by both Obama and Clinton with their elitest attitudes and remarks. Although Obama and Clinton carried California millions in the north state would be considered part of Clinton’s deplorables and Obama’s guns and religion group slur.
Now, Michael Colantuono of Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley in Grass Valley that represents Yuba County government leaders is trashing conservatives. He posted on social media, “There are none so blind as those who will not see. GOP respondents in rural areas not too concerned yet. Have no faith in the media and are sure the hype is about damaging Trump and the GOP. Michael G Colantuono Mar 15, 2020.”
Colantuono’s firm was hired by Yuba Co. officials to save the Measure K illegal sales tax increase. Not only do Yuba County residents feel their elected representatives and department heads have lied to them and mocked them but these same officials now hire rude liberal loud mouths with taxpayer dollars to polish the county’s image.
There is more to Colantuono’s quote. Originally it said, "There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.” The saying has been traced back to John Heywood in 1546.
So, who is ‘deluded?’ Colantuono’s law firm tortures the truth to say the county did not pitch the tax as a public safety measure with revenues funneled to a special fund, thereby needing a 2/3rds vote of the electorate to pass. The lawyers are magicians hired to deceive since there are numerous county documents and correspondence saying it was a ‘public safety measure.’
Measure K public gatherings conducted throughout the county to groom voters were called ‘public safety meetings.’ Campaign signs touted fire and law enforcement needs. Officials preyed upon the fears of residents that they may not receive timely fire and law enforcement assistance after voting no on the tax.
There were no other county officials on the speaking tour other than those representing public safety along with the district attorney and the county administrator.
This campaign was two-faced from the start. Exploit the fears of the people by talking public safety, guarantee the money to a special fund and then call it a general tax thereby needing only a 50% plus 1 vote to win.
The deceptive campaign and then the supervisors’ appeal of Judge Stephen Berrier’s ruling (invalidating the tax) that is now costing residents $10,000 a day (to date more than $4,040,000) soured voters in the recent election.
More than 70% (70.74%) of Yuba County voters rejected the Yuba College Measure C bond. The State Proposition 13 school bond was turned down by 73.10%. Wheatland’s High School Measure L was rejected with 57.48 voting no.
Supervisor Doug Lofton, longtime resident and former Linda Water District manager lost to a political novice that spent less than $300 on his campaign (Seth Fuhrer 1186 - 53.21% vs. Doug Lofton 1043 - 46.79%). Lofton should ask for a refund from his campaign manager who did not take Fuhrer seriously and misread voter sentiment.
Supervisor Mike Leahy (773 votes -31.62%) may end up third in a three-way race when final totals are posted and miss the run-off against leader Don Blaser (894 votes -36.56%). Stephen Heter received 778 votes or 31.82%. Did any of these three actually campaign? None seemed concerned about winning, but Measure K hurt incumbent Leahy.
Yuba Water Agency (YWA) Director Charlie Mathews remained in office by defeating John Nicoletti (53.87% to 46.13%). Mathews’ conservative message “Your Water Your Money,” his business and practical approach to YWA management and his joining the lawsuit to invalidate Measure K helped him.
Joe Henderson fell short against Measure K’s voice Gary Bradford (46.91% to 53.09%) due to Henderson’s distracted and distant campaign consultant.
However the Measure K appeal case is decided, the Measure’s ongoing controversy influenced the outcome of a number of contests. It has also tainted the confidence of citizens in Yuba County government.