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Calling all citizens: Nevada County needs your help

When I was a midshipman at the California Maritime Academy, the call letters S.O.S. were used to signal distress in times of emergency. Today, Nevada County is in distress relative to the slickest political coup Nevada County has ever seen. The chief puppeteer pulling all the strings is CABPRO (The California Association of Business, Property and Resource Owners), a nonprofit California corporation that has never filed for tax-exempt status, a clever ruse to avoid financial disclosure.

CABPRO campaigns for Drew Bedwell and Robin Sutherland, their two supervisorial hopefuls for Districts 3 and 4. CABPRO also sponsored the first version of the budget -busting “reimbursement” initiative on the November ballot. CABPRO is run by former Supervisor Todd Juvinall and Field Director Pat Davison, both of whom have strong ties to the “Wise Use” Movement. (Pat is the former CA field director of the now-defunct People for the USA, headquartered in Boulder, CO).

Together with former Supervisor Fran Grattan Freedle, and Drew Bedwell’s secretary of “Protect Your Property Rights,” Shirley Hendrickson, this coalition removed Karen Chileski from her post as chair of Nevada County’s Republican Central Committee.



If the move against Chileski didn’t upset the majority of caring Republicans in this county, Rene Antonson’s decision to run as a write-in candidate for District 4 surely has. His decision has created such turmoil within the Republican Central Committee that the master of dirty politics in Butte County, John Gillander, has joined the fray to destroy Antonson’s campaign, as evidenced by Gillander’s scathing letter to The Union on July 23, where he said he wouldn’t vote for Rene … guess not, since he doesn’t even live in this county.

John Gillander’s brand of politics makes Drew Bedwell look like Mr. Congeniality. Check out http://www.chicopolitics.com, or the Chico Enterprise Record archives and research Gillander. But what do Gillander and Bedwell have in common, other than their mutual desire to dismantle the workings of local government as we know it? Gillander is also connected to the notoriously unethical former chair of the Butte County Republican Party, David Reade.




How are all of these people/groups related? All roads lead right to David Reade’s political machine known as “Pillars”, in Chico. On Dec. 2, 2001, the Chico Enterprise Record defined David Reade as the master of dirty politics. David Reade was Supervisor Sue Horne’s campaign consultant and David Reade is Robin Sutherland’s campaign consultant. And Drew Bedwell and Robin Sutherland are CABPRO’s picks for the Republican Party.

This is a strange time for Republicans in this county. A vote for Bedwell or Sutherland would put the county Board of Supervisors under the control of CABPRO and their fiscally irresponsible agenda. A vote for Rene Antonson in District 4 runs the risk of splitting the Republican vote, and this has the CABPRO-controlled Republican Central Committee going nuts because Rene is an outspoken critic of CABPRO and they can’t control his voting the way they hope to control Robin’s. Maybe Robin will drop out of the race and we will see Drew and CABPRO try to heal the wounds and endorse Rene in November. Even PYPR’s secretary Shirley Hendrickson has recently moved over and is firing shots at Robin Sutherland, as per her Aug. 2 article in The Union titled, “Indian Gaming An Issue,” which must make even Drew queasy.

CABPRO has brought shame to the Republican Party by engaging in the lowest forms of dirty politics imaginable … as close to the McCarthy era as we have ever seen. Republicans need to wrest control of their party from CABPRO and never allow any other group to politicize the supervisorial seats that are intended to be non-partisan.

What CABPRO has done to this county requires an S.O.S. to all concerned citizens, regardless of party affiliation, to bring sanity, civility, and accountability back to local politics. All of us, including the county budget, will be on the endangered species list if CABPRO succeeds in November.

Marty Pezzaglia lives in Nevada City.


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