A Nevada County political glossary | TheUnion.com

A Nevada County political glossary

Bopping around Barnes & Noble the other day, I ran across an election booklet that almost made me spit my half-caffe-decaf-latte-with-organic-free-trade-mocha-and-whipped-cream all the way across the table. “The average male will think about sex 263 times while inside the voting booth,” it read.

“Holy electorate!” I shouted, much to the dismay of the many lap-toppers nearby who were probably surfing porn sites courtesy of the Barnes & Noble wireless Internet access. “I’ve got to do something about that!”

So I decided to put together a Voters Guide to Nevada County Politics, which will hopefully serve as kind of a “cheat sheet” for those guys who might be too busy in the booth next month to concentrate on the real business at hand.

It seems the campaign season just gets longer and longer each election. This one’s lasted so long, the termites have eaten half of the road signs. “EASON FOR SUPER,” reads one. “IAZ FOR A ETTER OMORROW,” reads another.

So here it is, in no particular order:

SMART GROWTH – A development project that you either have a piece of or are otherwise associated with or benefiting financially from. Only smart people who don’t drive, eat or vote for Bush will be allowed to live there.

DUMB GROWTH – A development project that your opponent supports.

DEVELOPER – Someone who builds a home, or 3,000, but does not contribute to your campaign.

BUILDER – Someone who builds a home, or 3,000, and gives you money.

CONTRACTOR – Someone who actually has a license to build a home, fix your toilet or replace a historic roof.

SMEAR CAMPAIGN – Something that’s true but may cost you an election. May also be used to apply peanut butter to toast.

SOFT MONEY – A campaign contribution that comes from the husband or wife of a well-known figure so the average male won’t be able to trace it because he’s too busy thinking about sex.

HARD MONEY – A campaign contribution that comes from someone very popular and respected. Mother Teresa, for example, or “The Association of Children With No Food, or Clothes, or VCRs.”

ENVIRONMENTALIST – Someone who owns a Volvo and only clear-cut 50 acres for a log home and a bird feeder along the Yuba River, but will make sure his neighbors can never do the same because it may pollute the river.

LAND RAPIST – An environmentalist’s next-door neighbor.

PROGRESSIVE – The singer formerly known as Liberal.

RIGHT-WINGER – A Russian with skates playing for the San Jose Sharks. He drinks vodka and listens to heavy metal.

LEFT-WINGER – His twin brother on the other side of the ice. He drinks white wine and listens to Joan Baez through a translator.

BROWN ACT – State law that says a quorum of elected officials may not meet in a Nevada City restaurant to discuss $508,000 of your money, even if one of them agrees to only lip-sync and drink water.

POLL – Something that firemen slide down when the bell rings. May also be used to confuse voters into thinking that they may as well stay home on Election Day.

LAME DUCK – Best served with butter sauce and wild rice. Also, someone who should be kept under house arrest until his replacement assumes office.

ABSENTEE VOTER – Someone who leaves town to avoid all of the election season screeching, but still cares enough to kick the bums out of office by mail. May also apply to someone who forgets to vote.

PAC (Political Action Committee) – A group of people who have a common interest in sports, books, animals or the complete and total destruction of the planet and have the money to promote it.

DIVISIVE – Anything you don’t agree with. Example: “An office holder shouldn’t financially benefit by his vote.”

MEDIA BIAS – Anything you read, hear or see that you don’t agree with. Especially if it’s something bad about the candidate you like. Example: “An office holder shouldn’t financially benefit by his vote.”

INDIGESTION – Anything you eat that doesn’t agree with you.

BOND – Something that will cost you money unless you rent or don’t pay taxes. May also be used to attach teeth to gums.

ASSESSMENT – Something that will also cost you money, but should not be used on the teeth or gums.

PROPOSITION – Something that will keep you inside the voting booth long enough to think about sex 263 times.

PARTISANS – Among the first people to arrive at Plymouth Rock with their minds already made up.

NONPARTISANS – The confused ones who missed the boat and remained in England.

CHAD – An African nation known for its exquisite election ballots.

RHETORIC – A speech impediment common among candidates whose teeth are bonded to their gums. (See BOND).

UNETHICAL – Often confused with illegal, until you remember that slavery was once legal in the United States. An example of unethical behavior might be an elected official who votes to give money to an organization and then gets a job with that organization two months later.


Jeff Ackerman is the publisher of The Union. His column appears on Tuesdays.

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