Friday, March 31, 2006

Republican-county-politics info (with a digression)

TPM Muckraker is a good source of info on Doolittle - overview, posts.
Individuals' sites that post about the latest Doolittle-related information are Nite Swimming and Dump Doolittle.
(I do wish the tone was a little less snarky for some of these, but info's what's of value)

Thank God for blogs.

For balance: Others beg to differ - "A URL is not a mark of quality...millions of terabytes of unreliable information, badly designed and clumsily written...We have failed our own creation and given birth [to] something truly awful. We're just too busy cooing over the pram to notice."
(Depends on where you choose to hang out, I guess - the salons are there, but so are the outhouses; and sometimes someone will make a mess in the salon... Just goes to show how crucial media literacy has become.
And if anyone thinks that they're better informed by their local newspaper's Opinion section... )

Via Nite Swimming, this recent Rex Bloomfield column in the Auburn Journal puts the pieces together to paint a coherent picture. "follow the money..."

Relevant background info on Placer County (and Doolittle?) politics lurks in this Feb. 2002 Sac News and Review article on a struggle for control of the Republican party in Placer County. Starting a few paragraphs down:
"I have a 'keep government out of our lives’ mentality," said [Placer Co. Republican Paul] Hrabal, recalling with pride how his first vote at age 18 was cast for President Ronald Reagan’s re-election, as the Great Communicator was voicing Hrabal’s core value.

Yet Hrabal has a problem with Republican social conservatives like Doolittle. He says they have hurt the party with their divisive and intolerant positions on hot-button issues like abortion, gun control and homosexuality.

Being gay, Hrabal has personally felt the impacts of that intolerance. Last year, shortly after Hrabal was named capital region coordinator for Bill Simon’s gubernatorial campaign, he was the target of a mailer to Republicans around the county warning "Gay activist appointed to Simon campaign." It was purportedly mailed by a Richard Hughes, who it turns out doesn’t exist, and the true source of the mailer has yet to be discovered.

The mailer begins: "You may want to check this out, if you already haven’t. This makes me sick. To think that when our beloved country is now at war, they can still push their twisted agenda, probably with the notion that we will be too busy to notice." It goes on to note "Hrabal is also leading a group of liberal activists in an attempt to unseat the Reagan Republicans on the El Dorado and Placer central committees."

The mailer then copies and comments on portions of Hrabal’s personal Web site (which he has since taken off the Web), noting his support for gay marriages, legalized abortions, gun control, environmental protection and restrictions on prayer in school, and even including a picture of Hrabal and his lover.

Hrabal said such tactics are typical of the Doolittle political machine, which is now into its third decade of ruling the Placer County Republican Party, using functionaries like Campbell and Klein to enforce adherence to an uncompromising agenda of social and economic conservatism, as well as construction of an Auburn Dam.

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