In next Tuesday’s primary I am voting for Sue McGuire for Nevada County’s District #1 supervisor, and State Senator Doug LaMalfa to become our new representative in Congress.
Sue McGuire has all of the qualifications to become our new supervisor. I won’t belabor them; you can see them on her website. She has also come to our home for an extended meeting with us and our neighbors, and we have talked with her numerous times at community meetings. In this interval we have gotten to know her, and I endorse Sue because she will be a capable, professional, and prudent voice on the Board who is ideologically the closest to my own beliefs about governance.
But, given those necessary qualifications, perhaps the prime reason I am voting for Sue is that she will be a new face at the Rood Center, a person with no established ties or ‘accounts’ with county staff, the other electeds, and relationships with the various special interest government associations, leagues, commissions, committees, and NGOs that dot California’s public policy landscape. Today more than ever, for me that has become the necessary add-on in choosing whom to support for public office.
Nate Beason is an impressive and honorable man. He has served us well in the military, and when we net things out, he has served us well as a two-term supervisor. I heartily supported Nate in his first two successful runs for Supervisor District #1. We have broken bread at each other’s house a number of times, and I consider him a friend. But I always saw Nate as an exemplar of the citizen public servant, a product from the mold of our Founders, a man who put aside his other private pursuits for a time to devote himself to advancing the public good. And then with good grace and his neighbors’ gratitude, he would withdraw and perhaps continue to serve in other valuable, but less powerful/prominent roles.
In my study of politics, the much lauded and ‘successful’ politicians invariably lost the critical contact with their constituents after being returned to office time and again. They became institutions unto themselves who came to wield power and influence, that only a diminishing part of which could be appealed to benefit those who sent them to high office. Our Founders were men of learning who knew this above all things; that is why they called America the “Great Experiment” to decide whether men could indeed democratically govern themselves. Over the last decades as our governments have continued to grow and dictate, the results from this experiment have not been promising. A regular changing of the guard is our first hope in returning to that promise.
Some years back Doug LaMalfa rang our doorbell, introduced himself, and spent the afternoon talking to us about his background, the state of our state, and his intentions were he to become our new state senator. We came to know and like Doug and what he stood for, and we were honored that he took the time over coffee and cookies to answer questions and get into the details of what he believed. He asked for our vote and got it.
Since that time, we and our neighbors have met with Doug many times during local events, again in our home, at his farm, and in the State Capitol. During those times we had the opportunity to get into some real detail about select government programs, pending legislation, and prospects for economic recovery. Agricultural subsidies – which the LaMalfa enterprise receives and which in the large I don’t support – have been a subject of long hard discussions, and an education for me. In all these, Senator LaMalfa has come across as knowledgeable, extremely practical, at times self-effacing, trustworthy, and as an honest businessman who shares with us his values of governance and capitalism (website here).
His opponent, Dr Sam Aanestad, is a man I have never gotten to know. Over the last years, I have attempted to introduce myself and engage him, but without much success. From his reputation I understand him to also be a capable politician whose ideology runs more or less parallel to my own. His main recommendation is that Congressman Tom McClintock, whom we know and have supported for many years, endorses Sam.
To put a bow on it, both Ms Sue McGuire and Senator LaMalfa have met with us, and asked for our votes. Neither Nate Beason nor Sam Aanestad have done so. Having said that, I can also say that should either McGuire or LaMalfa lose to their opponents, I will have no problem supporting either Beason and/or Aanestad as they go forth to do battle for God and country. In that we are blessed for having such a capable and honorable quartet running for these two offices. Were it so that such blessings would extend to the race for President.