Thursday, April 01, 2010

Tea Party Apr 1 Candidates Forum, cursory report

Updated (added report Apr 1; see also the Assessor's race videos posted Apr 3).

The event was at 6pm, at the Vets Hall in GV. It was shockingly sedate.

The TPPs were asking that attendees donate $5 to defray expenses; "All proceeds, after expenses, will go to the five veterans groups that use the facility. Our expenses include the rental of the building, insurance and permits and printing of programs." I'm not sure a) how much the expenses were, or b) how much KNCO contributed - didn't hear back from Bob Breck. The Union publisher Jeff Ackerman told me The Union contributed no $$, just publicity: "We got the word out that the candidates will be there (all of them, by the way) and that it would be a great chance to hear what they have to say before you vote."
(Also - anyone know whether past candidate forums - put on by the LWV or other orgs - have asked attendees to pay?)

Attendance report:
About 150 people showed up; the TPP folks had been encouraged to wear red shirts, but maybe one in 8 people were wearing red. [Some attendees by name deleted.]

Two tables onstage, one for the candidates and one for the panel of question askers - Ackerman and Kleist from The Union, and Whitten and Breck from KNCO. All Qs were from The Union or KNCO. All candidates for a given office got time to make an initial statement, then the same Q would be asked of each candidate in turn; the turns rotated.
(Does anyone recall if, at other forums, audience members have had a chance to ask questions?)
It was, or was to be, broadcast on KNCO.

Random, not particularly substantive observations:
* The candidates were articulate.
* Diaz v. Pruett for recorder was the only race with tension to it. (One of the two seems tense by nature.)
* A substantial number were unopposed.
* John Spencer hails from Long Beach, some decades back; opponent Lamphier wants to hold evening discussions so working folk can attend.
* Neither DA Clifford Newell nor sheriff Keith Royal favors the "legalize pot" proposition, for reasons that strike your correspondent as shaky - "It won't kill the black market"; "when your neighbor's pot is ready for harvest, it[the smell] will run you out of your house".(*)(*)
* One candidate for Treasurer/Tax Collector seemed head and shoulders above the others.
* Barry Pruett is not related to Bob Pruett of the Sac. branch of the Tobacco Institute, and Jeff Ackerman is not related to southern California attorneys Dick Ackerman (former R-Tustin) or Rich Ackerman (Focus on the Family, Citizens for Better Government, Capitol Resource Institute, etc); I asked them.

Favorite line:
Penn Valley Supe Hank Weston's observation that the job doesn't end at 5pm, it continues while you're shopping - and "It's tough when you're trying to buy a good steak and you get a question about sewage".


Eric Tomb said...

The LWV never asked for donations for its candidate forums and did take questions from the audience. The questions had to be submitted in writing and were chosen and read by the moderator.

Keith Kerns said...

Thanks for covering that, there appeared to be no unbiased coverage elsewhere (since KVMR, NCTV or Yubanet wasn't invited). You are a brave soul.