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All was not lost on election day, at least not locally

edit_14232393_1166055086801312_6162782396031943489_nOn the way home from therapy on Wednesday, I stopped along the highway to pick up an election souvenir, a green-and-white YES ON Z sign. It now rests next to my computer as a reminder that all is not lost, that sometimes the good guys win.

I’m sure I will look at the sign often while reading about the latest groaner from the Trump administration. I am hoping that it will ease my despair and keep me focused on the positive and the local.

While the national election was an unmitigated disaster, it was a mixed bag locally. You had to look closely for the positives, but they were there.

Measure Z, of course, wins first prize for greatest success in the face of overwhelming money. It was the anti-fracking measure and you know all about it so I’ll spare you the normal details except for how the oil industry spent at least $5.5 million to fight it. (I’m hoping our friends at KSBW and elsewhere in electronic media spend their campaign advertising fortune wisely.)

Co-conspirator Larry Parsons and I made the rounds of election parties Tuesday night. We tried to stop by the Measure Z party in Salinas but a goodly share of the Measure Z camp is, well, it’s older now and the lights were off before 10 p.m.

We did stop by the Yes on Y affair. Medical marijuana, another ballot winner. I thought for a minute we had made a wrong turn and had ended up at a Pebble Beach Food & Wine after-party. There were lots of very pretty people, young and well dressed. I didn’t recognize anyone.

Monterey City Councilwoman Libby Downey’s party nearby was a quieter affair filled with older folks in comfortable clothes. Libby was just as gracious in defeat as she always is, saying that if Dan Albert Jr. had to knock one of the progressives off the council, which he did, it was better that it wasn’t Alan Haffa. For Downey, being on the council has meant also being on the mayors water authority and the boards of TAMC and the transit authority and the sewer board, etc., etc. It has meant almost daily meetings and lots of work. She deserves a standing ovation as she steps aside.

The Seaside results can be interpreted in different ways. I see it as a victory for common sense because even though Ralph Rubio will stick around as mayor, the fact that he didn’t receive an outright majority tells me that the people of Seaside aren’t so keen on the Monterey Downs project. Kay Cline came in a close second on a platform led by her opposition to the racetrack/housing venture. Give her the votes of the other two candidates and she would have won.

Cline’s party at the Press Club was upbeat even though no one in the room was enjoying the national election coverage on the bank of TVs.

Supporting my Seaside thoughts was the defeat of Councilman Ian Oglesby, who once was a promising newcomer but who fell into the trap of doing what Ralph wanted him to do. He will be replaced by Kayla Jones, a rising star with a progressive view of Seaside’s needs. Dave Pacheco was re-elected, a good thing because every council needs someone who is only looking out for the people.

Seaside was the setting for Sen. Bill Monning’s intimate victory party, populated mostly by campaign workers and elected officials such as Jane Parker and Mary Adams. Mel Mason was there, looking well. The Monning affair was at DeMarco’s Pizza, my go-to place for pizza. Monning and Haffa are also regulars there and you should be, too.  (This is what they call a plug. DeMarco’s is on Broadway (Obama Way) across the street from Goodwill.)

In Salinas, the big news was that odd-man-out Councilman Jose Castaneda is all the way out, finishing fourth in a four-way race for his seat. All went as expected in Pacific Grove. Nothing new there. Same with Marina, though it was gratifying to see Kevin Saunders fall flat, especially after he lobbed some anti-Semitic nonsense at Weekly editor Sara Rubin. Go off somewhere and torch one, Kevin, and leave the rest of us alone.

The Hartnell bond was approved and the transportation tax may have been approved. It needs two-thirds approval and had almost exactly that as of last count but there are thousands more ballots to count before we rest.

Could have been worse. Not nearly good enough to salve the sting of the Trump victory but good enough to keep some good people in the game for a few more cycles.

Congratulations to the Measure Z camp, especially Jeanne Turner, who did a remarkable job of organizing the petition drive and keeping her colleagues focused.

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As campaign season heads into full bloom, the Partisan presents the Truth-O-Meter, a sporadic examination of the claims candidates are making about themselves and their opponents. Partisan readers and all others are encouraged to send along any campaign materials they encounter, with or without comment. They can be emailed to calkinsroyal@gmail.com or mailed to The Partisan, 84 Harper Canyon, Salinas, 93908. If those options don’t work for you, give us a call at 484-5068.

The Truth-O-Meter was spinning rapidly Wednesday as supporters of the various candidates scoured the websites and mailings of the opposition in search of false claims and exaggerations. The big loser of the day was Monterey County Supervisorial candidate Dennis Donohue, whose campaign wrongly claimed the endorsement of a Seaside council member and, in a recent advertisement, prematurely proclaimed himself the winner.

But perhaps more interesting than either of those items, Donohue’s website lists him as having the endorsements of six (6) members of the Sand City City Council although there are only five. We’ll call that one an editing error rather than a falsehood, however. It turned out that the Donohue campaign cited endorsements from both Councilman Todd Kruper and Council Todd Krumper. One or the other does not exist.

More importantly, very real Seaside City Councilman Dave Pacheco says he learned Friday night that he was listed on Donohue’s website as having endorsed the former Salinas mayor over the incumbent, Jane Parker.

“I was really irritated,” Pacheco said Wednesday. “I had told Dennis from day one and Jane from day five that I was not endorsing anyone in their race. I’m fine with whoever wins.”

Pacheco said he made a few calls Friday night and connected with Donohue, who blamed the error on his campaign staff.

“I’ve had people coming up to me and asking why I was endorsing Dennis,” Pacheco said. “That wasn’t right.” Pacheco is no longer listed as an endorser.

NAACP- AdDonohue’s third strike came with the surfacing of an advertisement in the program of the annual dinner of the Monterey County Branch of the NAACP in March. Under a nice photo of the candidate and a quote from him praising the organization, Donohue is listed as “Dennis Donohue, 4th District Supervisor.” Not “Dennis Donohue for 4th District Supervisor.”

The Donohue campaign wasn’t immediately available to comment late Wednesday but any response will be posted here as soon as possible.

Score: The initial Truth-O-Meter installment earlier this week gave Dennis a B-minus for his most recent campaign door hanger. Today’s installment gives him a D for the Kruper/Krumper thing, a D-minus for the Pacheco mistake and a D for the NAACP ad.

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