Mendocino County Today: Friday, Nov 7, 2014

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BALLOTS LEFT TO BE COUNTED — NOVEMBER 4, 2014 GUBERNATORIAL GENERAL ELECTION

Mendocino County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Susan M. Ranochak announced that as with any other election, there are ballots left to be processed as part of the official canvass. Mendocino County has 13,072 Vote By Mail ballots to process, and 452 Provisional ballots to review and process. Of the outstanding ballots left to count, the approximate race breakdowns are: Third District Supervisor - 2,736 ballots to count; City of Fort Bragg – 1,259 ballots to count; City of Ukiah – 2,139 ballots to count; Measure M, Albion Little River Fire District – 338 ballots to count. Per State law, we have 28 days to complete the canvass. The Statement of Vote, which breaks down results by precinct, will be available at that time. If you have any additional questions, please call our office at (707) 234-6819 or (800) 992-5441, when prompted; enter 4370.

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SO IT TURNS OUT that there were more ballots left to count than we thought. And more doubt about the results. Apparently Sonoma County which counted 45% of their ballots even with some computer glitches and delivery delays, still hadn’t counted all their votes, so our previous estimate of 45% turnout in Mendo was low. Mendo, apparently similar to Sonoma County, turned out something like 24,500 of its nearly 48,000 votes for a relatively impressive 51% turnout, but less than half of them were counted. The results in relatively close races — like the Fort Bragg City Council where there are still 1259 ballots left to count — are therefore still in doubt. Even the Third District result is still in doubt, although less doubt than, say, Fort Bragg. So we may have to wait several weeks before any results are official. We remember the days way, way back in the last century when there were no computers involved and voters used pieces of paper and pencils and candidates like my Uncle Joe Scaramella had to wait until — gasp! — AFTER MIDNIGHT on election day to find out if they won or lost. In this day and age of insta-info, you’d think they could do better than this. But… — Mark Scaramella

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ANTI-FRACKING MEASURE "S" passed with a resounding 67.18% with 7,302 votes to 3,567. Acting/Interim County Counsel Douglas L. Losak says the measure is unconstitutional for several reasons, including a purported intent to trump state and federal law. Losak says that if the County gets sued over Measure S it will wind up costing the County money fighting a case it can't win. The proponents claim Measure S can easily pass constitutional muster and that there are a legion of attorneys willing to defend it on a pro-bono basis at no cost to the County. Unlike other jurisdictions with anti-fracking ballot measures, Mendo's Measure S failed to attract any organized opposition. Does this mean (as some critics say) that Mendo County is not at risk for fracking? Or only that the frackers failed to notice a somewhat quixotic challenge to their hegemony in an isolated outback County?

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AV HEALTH CENTER NOTES:

In her last message, Health Center Board member Kathy Cox said the Board was working on selection of a new clinic director, indeed a difficult and time consuming task. It is a task complicated by the need to decide what they are recruiting for: 1. Executive Director only, or Executive Director combined with duties of chief operating officer (does a clinic this size really need these positions separated?); 2. Executive Director for an independent clinic, or Executive Director shared with other clinic; 3. Executive Director for a clinic which owns and operates the building housing it, or Executive Director for a clinic which rents space from another entity; 4. Executive Director for a clinic which operates primary health care for an isolated rural population with high proportion of patients near poverty level, and considerable population of seasonal agricultural workers (the two parameters for our current grants); or other (future additional?) emphasis. 5. Deciding this is further complicated as the board has never publicly defined these goals, despite two July workshop sessions for Strategic Planning. A further complication is whether a decision has been made regarding the relationship of the duties of Executive Director and of Medical Director concerning selection and supervision of clinic medical staff. And more: Will the executive director continue to be the sole “employee” of the AVHC, with power to hire and fire all personnel? Or will the medical director also be an employee, hired, directed, and fired by the Board of Directors? These are the management decisions which determine where the clinic will go, and how the top management will interact. Directors' avoidance of decisions on these issues has plagued us for the past three years. It is hard to see how the Board can successfully recruit if they have not decided what the clinic will be, and what primary skills and experience are required for its director. One suggestion made at the past community meeting was that the Board hire an interim director while they sort these decisions out, someone with knowledge of our clinic operations. Could Judith Dolan be persuaded to return for a limited time to keep things going? Bev Elliott asked that and got the “Uniquely Boonville disinterested stare back response to questions from the floor,” to quote Bruce Anderson. So far as I know, Heidi Knott's CCC (concerned citizens' committee) will meet again on Monday evening, having designated some initial sub-committee areas of work (board governance and management, and public information, including patient assessment). The big question remains: will the Board accept an Advisory Committee in its operational structure, and what will the role and influence of such a committee be? In the meantime, the next official board meeting is still the fourth Monday (11/24/14) at the health center at 5:30, and open to the public. So far the original website is still up, with no messge “website under construction” to indicate that it is not current, and there is no timeline regarding when the new site will be up. Director Maxence Weyrich was designated board contact for email affairs.

— Gene Herr

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DUDES! YOU DON'T SMOKE AROUND BUTANE!

Lowe
Lowe

On Tuesday, November 4th at about 11:40 PM Ukiah Police responded to a residence in the 100 block of Luce Avenue for a fire with an explosion. Officers contacted 35 year old Joshua Corrigan of Oakdale, at the scene, who had been burned over a large portion of his body. The Fire Department had extinguished the fire which was in a shed in the backyard, and Officers determined the shed had been used to manufacture honey oil, which involves the extraction of concentrated cannabis from marijuana within compressed vessels and the use of butane. Butane canisters, some of which had exploded, as well as marijuana, honey oil, and others items associated with the process were located within the shed as was an assault rifle which had also been burned. A second burn victim, 35 year old James Lowe, of Ukiah, was located in the 1100 block of Mulberry Street, and it is believed Corrigan lit a cigarette in the vicinity of the shed starting it on fire. Corrigan and Lowe both caught on fire, and were subsequently flown by air ambulance to an out the area hospital. The Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force assumed the investigation and is seeking charges with the District Attorney against Corrigan and Lowe for manufacturing a controlled substance, unlawfully starting a fire causing injury, and possessing an assault weapon. (Ed note: Photo of Corrigan not available.)

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THE SECOND DUMBEST CROOKS OF THE WEEK.

(The first are the two guys who blew up their backyard making honey oil when one of them lit up a cigarette, posted above.)

Silverman, Ramos
Silverman, Ramos

On Saturday, November 1 at about 11:55 PM Ukiah Police responded to a fight at a residence in the 100 block of Wabash Avenue. Responding officers were advised the suspect had left the scene driving a gray pick-up. One of the responding officers spotted the suspect vehicle heading north in the 1100 block of South State Street, and tried to stop the vehicle. The suspect vehicle fled and a pursuit ensued, heading north on State Street. The suspect vehicle reached speeds of over 80 miles per hour and crossed into the on-coming traffic lane, and ran several red traffic lights. The pursuit continued to the 1400 block of North State Street and as the suspect vehicle entered the southbound on-ramp to Highway 101, the driver lost control of the vehicle and ran off the roadway and into the dirt. The suspect vehicle was fishtailing and out of control as it returned onto the on-ramp where it collided twice with a pursuing police vehicle. The suspect vehicle spun sideways and off the roadway again where the driver attempted to drive up the embankment until two of the pursuing officers utilized their police vehicles to contain the suspect vehicle from continuing. The driver and passenger fled on foot heading south with officers in foot pursuit. The suspects split directions and the driver, later identified as 39 year old Jacob Silverman, of San Bruno, headed east and scaled a fence and continued running towards the rear of Raley’s Supermarket. Officers caught up to Silverman in the field behind Raley's and took him into custody. The passenger, 41 year old Danny John Ramos, of Pittsburg, headed towards the Yokayo Bowl and was able to elude officers temporarily. Ramos was located inside the bar at the Yokayo Bowl where he was seated and had ordered a beer. Ramos was taken into custody without further incident. Ramos had discarded a bag during the foot pursuit, which was recovered and found to contain approximately 2 pounds of marijuana and approximately 2 ounces of methamphetamine. Officers seized approximately $2000 in US Currency from both suspects pursuant to state asset seizure laws. Silverman and Ramos were charged with reckless evasion, resisting arrest, possessing and transporting methamphetamine for sale, possessing and transporting marijuana for sale, and criminal conspiracy.

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TAKE MY POT, PLEASE!

Rhodes
Rhodes

On Sunday, November 2nd at about 5:15 PM Ukiah Police responded to a business at 295 North State Street for vandalism. Responding officers were advised the suspect had thrown a flower pot through the plate glass window at the front of the business, and then walked away from the location. Officers were provided a description of the suspect, and eventually located him on West Smith Street near Spring Street. The suspect was behaving in a bizarre manner, and identified himself as “Canadian Mounted Police,” and said that he was on a secret mission. Officers identified the suspect as 48 year old William Sydney Rhodes, of Rohnert Park, and learned Rhodes had entered the business several times earlier in the day. The store employees observed Rhodes behaving strangely and talking to customers about “joining a game.” Rhodes entered the store with a flower pot which he tried to provide to store employees, explaining it contained a set of instructions hidden inside the dirt. The store employees refused the pot, and Rhodes exited the store and threw the flower pot through the front window. Officers later determined there had been a note containing written gibberish and a map inside the flower pot. Rhodes was arrested for felony vandalism.

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THE LOVE DRUG STRIKES AGAIN

Couthren, Grinsell
Couthren, Grinsell

On Wednesday, November 5th at about 11:50 PM Ukiah Police responded to the Motel 6, at 1208 South State Street, for a domestic disturbance. Arriving officers saw the involved parties in the doorway of the upper level room, and a 6 year old child run from the room. The female appeared upset and was trying to leave, and officers instructed the male to wait in the doorway. The male stepped back into the room and closed the door, and officers reopened the door and detained the male subject, identified as 40 year old Zebulon Zale Couthren. Officers determined Couthern and 39 year old Mandy Etta Grinsell had been arguing, and that Couthren had thrown Grinsell down several times. Officers noticed loose marijuana strewn about the room, as well as numerous hypodermic syringes some of which contained liquid methamphetamine. Both Couthern and Grinsell had been using methamphetamine, and a court order was in place prohibiting anything but peaceful contact between them. Couthern was arrested for domestic violence and for violating the court order, child endangerment, and being under the influence of a controlled substance. Grinsell was arrested for drug influence, child endangerment, and violating probation. The couple’s 6 year of child was released to the custody of Child Protective Services.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 6, 2014

Bellah, Brogie, Brown, Hawkins, Heath
Bellah, Brogie, Brown, Hawkins, Heath

TROY BELLAH, Ukiah. DUI-Drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving without valid license.

BRANDY BROGIE, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

DAVID BROWN, Truckee/Ukiah. DUI w/priors.

MISTY HAWKINS, Covelo. Possession of meth and drug paraphernalia, probation revocation.

DANIEL HEATH, Willits. Drunk in public.

Hoge, Knight, Li, B. Mitchell, G. Mitchell
Hoge, Knight, Li, B. Mitchell, G. Mitchell

VICTORIA HOGE, Willits. DUI, driving without a license.

CRYSTAL KNIGHT, Hopland. Under influence of controlled substance, probation revocation.

JIN LI, San Francisco. Abalone conspiracy.

BRANDON MITCHELL, Laytonville. Driving without valid license.

GUY MITCHELL, Laytonville. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale; armed with firearm.

Oseth, Rackley, Russell, Stiles, Thomas
Oseth, Rackley, Russell, Stiles, Thomas

VAUGHN OSETH, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

MICHAEL RACKLEY, San Jose/Ukiah. DUI w/priors.

DAVID RUSSELL, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

REBECCA STILES, Laytonville. Drunk in public.

ALYSE THOMAS, Possession of meth, driving without a license, possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful display of registration.

L.Whitely, S.Whitely, J.Wu, W.Wu, Yusem
L.Whitely, S.Whitely, J.Wu, W.Wu, Yusem

LANCE WHITELY, Laytonville. Pot cultivation, possession for sale, armed with firearm, possession of assault rifle, conspiracy.

SHELLY WHITELY, Laytonville. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale, armed with firearm.

JINFU WU, San Francisco. Abalone conspiracy.

WEI WU, San Francisco. Abalone conspiracy.

RICHARD YUSEM, Willits. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale; renting for drug distribution, armed with firearm, ex-felon with firearm.

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INTERESTING REPORT on the pending sale of the amorphous octopus-like financial entity that owns the Ukiah Daily Journal, Willits News, Mendocino Beacon/Fort Bragg Advocate, the Eureka Times-Standard and the Lake County Record-Bee — among many others.

http://www.niemanlab.org/2014/11/ken-doctor-the-envelopes-open-on-the-sale-of-digital-first-media-newspapers/

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PostElectionMap

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TIME TO RETHINK HOMELESS OPTIONS

Ukiah Daily Journal Editorial, Sunday, November 2, 2014

We find it very ironic that after strangling off the funding for the Buddy Eller homeless shelter in Ukiah, the county is now scrambling to get it reopened in time for winter. The county knew months before it closed that the shelter would not survive without the mental health funding the county was withdrawing. And, until it started to rain and get chilly, no one from the county or the city was the least bit interested in homelessness.

Now that the shelter will reopen for the winter, we think that in the next few months it is critical that the county and city start a community conversation about what we want to do about homelessness in our community. Again, there is a distinction to be made between true homelessness and simple transiency, but in the winter many feel people in both categories need shelter.

However, we think there are a couple of things to consider as we get through this winter and probably close the shelter back down.

First, homeless children need to be our priority. Homeless families with children should have private and somewhat "homelike" shelter where children can feel safe and cared for. The folks at the Ford Street Project have researched solutions to this and have a plan to transform some of the space at the current alcohol and drug treatment housing into transitional housing for homeless families. Apparently the city's requirements for changing over the permits for that housing mean it won't happen for months and the city ought to put that on a fast track.

Second, we think the 64-bed Buddy Eller Center is much more homeless shelter than this city needs. While often full, when it was open, it was full of people from out of our area. The 22-bed shelter that is already open will probably never be full because it requires the homeless to help out around the community center and to stay off drugs and alcohol. For those who want to be able to continue substance abuse, some communities offer what are known as "Save Haven" shelters. This community needs to decide if it wants such a shelter, and if it does, how it is going to pay for the policing and nightly oversight by professionals with experience handling the substance abusers staying there.

Then there is the issue of mental illness. Our shelter this winter and any shelter in future, must have professional mental health assistance. The winter shelter could have a mental health worker come to the shelter three times a week for two hours each over four months for a total of $2,200. Got turned down by the county.

At the end of the day, it's still about homes. It seems this community is never going to have enough affordable housing. Until we are willing to fund a couple of dozen transitional apartments for the homeless - and probably in a program aimed at helping even the drug and drink addled - we will continue spinning our wheels, opening and shutting shelters and complaining about people wandering the streets.

What do you think we should do? Should large dorm-like homeless shelters be a thing of the past? Do they just attract homeless people to our community? How should we handle people addicted to drugs and alcohol? Is it realistic to think that people can get sober under the stress of homelessness? Who do we serve? How do we define a "local"? Should we stop sheltering and start housing? Where do we build that housing?

Write to us at udjkcm@ukaihdj.com or 590 S. School St., Ukiah, 95482.

(KC Meadows, Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal. Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)

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WE COULDN’T HELP NOTICING this quote from Willits City Manager Adrienne Moore in a recent article by the Willits News’s fine new reporter Adrian Baumann about a new, expanded moratorium on water hookups to the Willits and Brooktrails water systems. Ms. Moore explained at the last Willits City Council meeting that, “There are a lot of implications for this order, what it's seeming to state is that we have an immediate moratorium on new connections, upgrades, expansions, and will-serves, which are connections that there's been a deposit or payment for, and a promise to put those in, but the building permit has not been issued yet.”

SO WILL-SERVE LETTERS are just paper commodities that water districts sell for revenue. That might explain why they are frequently issued even when there’s no objective capability to actually provide water, just a purchased ok for a hookup. We naively thought that a will-serve letter from a water district was a declaration of water availability (even if there wasn’t any available water). Now we know better: will-serve letters are nothing more than a paid-for permit to allow the applicant to hook up to the system, water or no water. They mean nothing about actual water. Apparently, the only time they’re refused is when the State Water Board imposes a moratorium.

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K21

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MAXIMUM STATE PRISON TERM IN DRUNK DRIVING WITH INJURIES CASE

A Sacramento man has been sentenced in Mendocino County Superior Court to the maximum five years in state prison for felony drunk driving after he seriously injured three members of a vacationing family when his vehicle in mid-June crossed lanes on Highway 1 on the Mendocino Coast and collided head on with their rental car.

Michael Don Anderson, 42, of Citrus Heights admitted his guilt but sought probation so he could continue treatment for substance abuse and mental health-related issues.

Deputy District Attorney Kevin Davenport said the court rejected probation, however, and imposed the maximum sentence given the gravity of the accident, and Anderson’s past criminal record which includes a Hawaii state prison term for first-degree robbery. His drunk driving with bodily injury conviction is the third felony conviction for Anderson as an adult.

Davenport said the only mitigating factor in the case was Anderson’s admission of guilt instead of going to trial after he was charged with felony driving under the influence and causing bodily injury, and a special allegation of causing injury to more than one victim.

“That’s all that can be said in his favor,” said Davenport.

Anderson was arrested after the van he was driving crossed the double yellow line of the coast highway at Caspar and slammed head-on into a car driven by Thomas Casey, a visitor from the East Coast. He and his wife Mary and daughter Alyssa suffered serious injuries requiring up to six weeks of medical treatment in California before they could return home to Illinois.

In a letter to the court urging maximum sentencing, the Casey family said the “horror” of their experience can never be forgotten. “We went from a wonderful family vacation to a nightmare in an instant.”

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JAIL, FINES & LIFETIME BANS IN ABALONE POACHING CASES

The last of 18 abalone poachers arrested in a 2013 black market sting orchestrated by local and state agencies has been convicted in Mendocino County Superior Court, capping a year-long prosecution effort in Mendocino and Sacramento counties.

So far $139,883 in fines and 11 lifetime fishing bans have been imposed on convicted poachers who have been sentenced, according to state officials.

Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster said the successful prosecution efforts should help deter poaching along the Mendocino Coast. “We welcome responsible local and visiting abalone divers, but we will not tolerate law breakers and participants in any lucrative black market operation in urban areas,” said Eyster.

Assistant Chief Brian Naslund of the California Department of Fish and Game said the successful prosecutions of “California’s worst poaching offenders will hopefully put them out of the poaching business permanently.”

Naslund specifically cited the roles of Mendocino prosecutors Tim Stoen and Heidi Larson and their support staffs in the poaching cases. “They spent a tremendous amount of time on these cases, along with the staff from the District Attorney’s Office in Sacramento.”

The last of the 18 poachers caught up in the state sting operation was convicted and sentenced earlier this month in Mendocino County Superior Court.

A lifetime ban on fishing and abalone taking was imposed on Dung Tri Bui of San Leandro, along with a three year probation order and a $15,000 fine. Bui was convicted on three misdemeanor counts following a week-long jury trial that was successfully prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Daniel Madow.

On Nov. 14 in Mendocino County Superior Court, a Sacramento man is expected to be sent to state prison for his role in a black market poaching operation that involved as many as 10 divers at a time.

Dung Van Nyuen faces 32 months in state prison, a $15,000 fine and a lifetime ban against abalone gathering.

Deputy District Attorney Stoen prosecuted Van Nyuen, and said the Sacramento man’s case is the third in Mendocino County that has resulted in a state prison sentence.

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LAKE MENDOCINO MURDERER DENIED PAROLE

The man responsible for the 1993 murder at Lake Mendocino of a Redwood Valley Water District employee was denied parole at a hearing held Wednesday at Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City. Troy Harden, now age 43 and formerly of Willits, will not be eligible for parole reconsideration until the year 2021. Mendocino County Assistant District Attorney Paul Sequeira attended the hearing to argue against Harden’s release in representing the interests of the District Attorney, the residents of Mendocino County, and the victim’s family and friends.

Redwood Valley Water District employee Larry Stephenson, then age 47, a husband and father who lived in Upper Lake, was stabbed multiple times and his throat was cut by Harden on January 22, 1993. Stephenson encountered Harden, his brother, and another man during a routine maintenance check at the water outlet tower on the east shore of Lake Mendocino. Harden, the brother, Ron Trevor Harden, and John Jensen were arrested six days later after the discovery of Stephenson’s body. Separately, Ron Trevor Harden and John Jensen were convicted as being accessories to Stephenson’s murder and both received prison sentences. Because of publicity at the time, Troy Harden’s criminal proceedings were moved to Humboldt County for trial. The prosecutor who presented the evidence against Harden at the Eureka trial was retired Mendocino County Assistant District Attorney Bob Hickok, and Harden’s defense was handled by then Public Defender Ron Brown, who passed away in 2012. Superior Court Judge Frank Petersen, who passed away in 2011, presided over the case in Eureka and sentenced Harden to the maximum allowed by law — 26 years to life in state prison — after jurors found Harden guilty of first degree murder. Judge Petersen received 118 letters from concerned citizens asking that Harden receive the maximum sentence. After attending the sentencing hearing, the victim’s widow Marilyn Stephenson told reporters: “I pity anyone who has to go through this. It’s a nightmare. I’ll never forgive Troy Harden for what he did.”

Sequeira said Thursday, “It is our responsibility to never forget. It is our duty to protect Mendocino County by keeping killers like Harden in prison. When Harden comes up for parole again in 2021, the DA’s office will be there to oppose his release, and to remind the Board of Prison Terms that he committed a brutal, cold-blooded murder of a good family man.”

I worked in Mendocino County as a peace officer for 22 years out of a 25 year career. With about 14 years in the north sector (Willits, Laytonville, Covelo and Piercy). I stopped John Jensen the day after the murder on Hwy 101 at Lake Mendocino Dr. I knew Jensen from multiple encounters in Willits. I just happened to be in the Ukiah area on that day on a special detail. I cited and released Jensen for a minor traffic violation. I did not know that he was a suspect in a murder; the suspects had not been identified yet. I think John Jensen had returned to the area of the crime out of curiosity. He was cool as a cucumber during the traffic stop. I hope Troy Harden never gets out of prison. Ron Trevor Harden committed the mass murder/suicide in Willits a few months after the murder at Lake Mendocino. He was out on bail for the first murder. In the mass murders, he killed his 18 month old niece, his 16 year old sister, and his grandfather. The Harden brothers were chronic meth users. I often wonder if they had not been meth addicts would these crimes have occurred? This tragedy hit the community really hard. —Matthew Sheldon

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THE LAST ELECTION

by Luke Hiken

I’m sitting here trying to figure out why I’m not depressed at the results of the last election. I’ve voted Democratic for the last 45 years, even though my politics are far to the left of anything the Democrats have ever supported, and last night I watched the Republicans take the Democrats to the cleaners. The Republican Party is comprised of more openly racist, right wing, fanatics than at any time in their history. Yet, rather than being upset at their “victories” I found the whole charade somewhat amusing.

The first thing I realized is that there is no more Democratic Party left. Historically, the foundation and strength of the Democrats, since FDR, was labor. Nevertheless, Scott Walker won in Minnesota Wisconsin. So much for unions as the bulwark of the party. Scott Walker was the most openly union-busting politician in the country, and if there was one symbolic race that was important for the union movement to win, it was in Minnesota Wisconsin. The struggles between union management and rank and file workers were merely a harbinger of the disintegration of the union movement.

Without labor unions as their primary supporters, what remained of the Democrats? The immigrant, primarily Latino vote had been lost due to Obama’s deportation of more than 2 million immigrants during his last term in office. He made Bush appear humane towards immigrants in comparison to Obama’s Democratic reign.

Blacks went to prison in the hundreds of thousands, without the benefit of jobs, social services or educational opportunities that could have been provided by the “White” House. In spite of 6 years of loyalty from Blacks, Obama didn’t do a thing to better their circumstances.

Despite the fact that the great majority of Americans detest our imperial adventures throughout the Middle East, our forages into Africa, and our attempts to destabilize every Latin American regime that doesn’t obey the demands of our corporate ownership, the Obama administration continued to let the Pentagon define our foreign policy – a policy designed to put the most combat medals conceivable on the chests of our most senior military officers, regardless of what defenseless people we chose to attack. While the weapons industry thrives under the Democrats, the American people are losing their jobs, their homes and their freedoms.

Our drones and weaponry continue to slaughter “enemies” without armies or air forces everywhere the Pentagon can sink its claws. The militarization of our domestic police forces, and the unending growth of our prison industries merely mirror our exploits abroad.

So what remains of the Democratic Party “base”? The environmental movement sat by passively (with a handful of noteworthy exceptions) while the Democrats endorsed and helped finance the oil pipeline stretching from Canada to Mexico. The other parts of the “sustainable growth” population watched the Democrats and Republicans work hand in hand to destroy what was left of the world’s forests, oceans and natural resources.

Yet in spite of the abandonment of everything that progressive people wanted for this country, the Republicans were only able to muster approximately 55% of the vote in most districts. The anti-socialist, racist, xenophobic, homophobic rhetoric of the Republican Party easily carried the election. But carrying out a program to further those politics, in the face of a disenfranchised American citizenry will be a pleasure to behold. Perhaps corporate capitalists will not be quite the beneficiaries they envision themselves to be in the upcoming years.

The reality is that the great majority of Americans are in favor of peace, sustainable resources, justice and a fair distribution of wealth and resources. It is a shame that there is no political party that stands for those principles.

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