I, too, thought it smacked of the ‘Hornsby mailer’

Regarding last week’s letter to the editor by Mona Uruburu, “Republicans cheating again,” I wonder about her source and accuracy regarding Mark Baird and his relationship to Brian Dahle. I have known Mona and worked with her in the past and have admired her forthrightness, especially working together on the No on Measure G campaign in 2016 opposing the state of Jefferson ballot measure.

That campaign taught both of us about Mark Baird, the architect of the financial analysis in support of the state of Jefferson proposal. It was a total train wreck and underlies how it would have been a total disaster. I agree with Mona, who is Mark Baird kidding? He ran against Ted Gaines for the State Senate seat in 2016 as a Republican from Placer County on the state of Jefferson platform and was soundly defeated. He then moved to Sacramento County and re-registered in 2018 to run as a Democrat for the same seat as though his past didn’t matter, and I agree he is no Democrat.

I know Brian Dahle very well. I served with him during his 16 years on the Lassen County Board of Supervisors and have followed him closely during his six years as our representative in the state assembly. I do not think that he (Dahle) considers that, as you say, a “good old friend Steve Baird (who) came to the rescue and took on the mantel as (a) Democrat to confuse people and try and get them to vote against Silke (Pflueger).” I know from my discussions with Brian that he does not embrace the agenda that Mark Baird has had in the past and to suggest that they are basically one in the same does a great disservice to Brian Dahle. The work Dahle has done for his district and his constituents in the north state is unmatched by any of the other five candidates that were in the race on March 26.

I appreciate Mona’s concerns about the mailer that featured Baird as the Democratic candidate. I, too, thought it smacked of the “Hornsby mailer” from 1984. During the 1984 State Senate race, then a Republican State Senator John Doolittle from Placer County paid for and sent out a mailer to promote the Democrat candidate Jack Hornsby; to try and dissuade Democrats from voting for Independent state senator Ray Johnson from Butte County in that election.

It worked. Doolittle won, but he was later fined by the FPPC for failing to properly identify the source of the mailer and that he paid for it. So yes, he cheated and we do have a reason to be cynical about regional campaigns that seem to come out of Placer County.

I do know that Brian Dahle had nothing to do with that mailer. It was prepared and mailed by an Independent Expenditure Committee using the name of “Taxfighters for Brian Dahle for Senate 2019” with a Sacramento address. It has a disclaimer at the bottom of the mailer that identified who paid for the mailer (the Professional Firefighters PAC, with funding from the realtors and CCPOA).

The mailer also had the following statement: “This advertisement was not authorized by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.” By law, candidates cannot collaborate with independent committees, or independent committees with a candidate. The consultants making the decisions for this independent committee are responsible for that mailer, not Brian Dahle.

I believe Mr. Dahle when he says he did not have anything to do with that mailer, and I believe that he is just as much a victim of it as your candidate Silke Pflueger.

I have followed some blogs that share a lot of the intra-party fighting that dominate Placer County Republican politics. The coziness that exists amongst the consultants and partisan operatives in the southern part of the senate district cares little for the real life challenges we deal with up north. They know they can’t beat or match the record of accomplishments that Brian Dahle has achieved in his six years in the Assembly. He’s kept our rural hospitals open. He’s kept our wood-to-energy power plants on the grid. He has tackled persistent water management issues and making progress in keeping our rural communities safe from fire, made even more urgent by the disaster in Paradise. He secured funding to renovate the historic Lassen County Courthouse. So the only option these political operatives from Placer County have is to smear Dahle with trumped up and phony lies about his record.

If you chose not to vote in the June 4 election between the top two candidates; or, to vote for the Mr. Kiley from Placer County because you want to blame Mr. Dahle for a mailer he was not responsible for, you run the risk of the losing the only candidate who has demonstrated care about our part of the district. It happened in 1984, I hope that does not happen in 2019.

It’s sad that of the six candidates who ran in the March primary, one lives north of I-80 and the other five live south of I-80. I may be mistaken, but none of those five candidates, including Mona’s preferred candidate Silke Pflueger, made any campaign appearances in the rural north counties stretching to the Oregon border. If we don’t know them, how will they know us?

Until the special election I had never heard of Silke Pflueger, let alone know what she has done to deserve election to the state Senate other than being a Democrat.

For what its worth Mona, I did receive a nice postcard in the mail from Gloria, a campaign volunteer, on behalf of Silke. It had a 35-cent stamp on it and was post marked in San Francisco. It had no return address, campaign ID number or other FPPC required information on political mailers. Whether it is a violation of the Fair Political Practices Act, I can’t say. But it does drive home the point that political cheaters cross party lines.

That is why I left the Democratic Party more than 20 years ago and became an independent who is registered “no party preference” or NPP. I’m interested in candidates, regardless of political affiliation, who work on bringing solutions to our problems. The only candidate we have with a record of accomplishments is Brian Dahle, and that’s why I will be continuing my strong support for him on June 4. If he is successful, it will be the first time in 54 years that Lassen County will have a county resident serving in the state Senate. Something even the state of Jefferson proponents should be able to agree on, since that was one of their main objectives?