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Don Rogers: Who Adona has to thank

The key races in Nevada County’s primary election would have been only goofball this year if not for some local Republicans going gutter.

Their target, Natalie Adona, has 70% of the total vote counted so far. Seems like a clear enough message to the gang behind the Americans for Good Government and that nasty flier.

Don’t count on any taking the hint, though. Their reality seems to be of the Upside Down variety, in which The Big Lie and “2000 Mules” and the utter nonsense on the flier can be nuthin’ but the truth, just ask ’em.

Barry Pruett, John Young, Susan Walsh, Eddie Garcia, Bob Hren, take your bow. Adona might have you most of all to thank. Whatever the relative qualifications for office, dirty campaigning like that didn’t fly here.

Hren, the chairman of the Nevada County Republicans, no doubt will feel bruised at the mention of his name along with the confederates. He only gave some money to the scummy PAC a year and a half ago. How was he supposed to know what they really were about? Kind of begs an obvious question I’ll let hang here.

Pruett, impersonating political independence much as he has impersonated an effective attorney of late, will protest that his collaborations with local Republican leaders don’t make him one. And technically speaking, sure. He just has that “talks, walks like a duck” problem here.

Together they helped their earnest favored candidate Jason Tedder to a seat on the sidelines early Tuesday evening, about as soon as the polls closed.

Too bad. I actually liked Tedder very much when I met him. I could see a path for him with a different campaign and vastly different “support.” Adona was no lock as a candidate herself.

Well, until the flier.

As for the other candidate, Paul Gilbert, let’s hope for his sake he’s better at tending his vegetable garden than citizen auditing.


Pruett’s black thumb factored in Calvin Clark’s quixotic tilts at recalling all the county supervisors and running for Sue Hoek’s seat. If Clark dropped the ball on the recall to focus on his race for supervisor, well, it’s hard to tell. Neither managed a blip.

Hoek at last check had 85% of the vote in her 4th District. She was going to crush Clark anyway as one of the more competent and present supervisors in Nevada County history.

Clark sunk himself in a fierce torrent of false claims and his association with Pruett, who somehow managed to make a client’s temporary restraining order permanent while helping steer the recall into the same rocks as Tedder’s campaign. That the judge chose not to throw the book at the other two with temporary restraining orders came despite Pruett’s courtroom antics.

Of course, Clark has burned enough bridges on his own that even the Tea Party won’t have him.


Credit Valentina Masterz for nudging the District 3 supervisors race to a possible runoff. Otherwise Lisa Swarthout might comfortably have won outright, I’m thinking.

Masterz was delightful as a candidate, candid as no other. The only real problem was she also was clueless.

The smoother, more circumspect Swarthout and Patti Ingram Spencer each would bring their experience, knowledge and thoughtful natures to the county board. Neither would be especially great news for the Idaho-Maryland Mine’s prospects of reopening, by the way.


But hey, what’s so wrong with Republicans, you might ask? Not a thing.

I agree with some of the platform and principles, and disagree with some. I lean Republican with statewide offices, and toward Democrats federally.

No issues with friends who chose Trump, even if I haven’t, or support Newsom against my better judgment. We cast our votes and live with the results. This is how we settle our political differences, peaceably if not always agreeable about it.

What’s wrong with these specific Republicans? Well, going to the gutter is to eschew honor in pursuit of something else. Whatever higher purpose these people might seek is erased by their actions, politely put.

I mean, are these the leaders who best embody the local Republican Party? It’s a fair question.

I hope the overwhelming vote for Adona provides at least the beginnings of the appropriate answer, since it also looks like at least as many Republicans voted for her as not.

The “Anybody but Adona” call to action in the flier might be better directed at the authors and backers. I’d call that a good start.

Don Rogers is the publisher of The Union and Lake Wildwood Independent. He can be reached at drogers@theunion.com or 530-477-4299


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