Terrence K. McAteer: Get ready for the Dahle dynasty | TheUnion.com

Terrence K. McAteer: Get ready for the Dahle dynasty

Terence K. McAteer

Following the lead established by Beth and Ted Gaines, Megan and Brian Dahle are primed to establish a political dynasty in northeastern California. Get ready for Brian’s red and white State Senate signs to be transformed into red and white signs in favor of his wife, Megan, who recently announced that she plans to run for her husband’s vacant assembly seat.

Brian, who has served as our Assemblyman for the past seven years, recently was elected to represent us in the State Senate. In less than two weeks following his election, his wife, Megan, announced her candidacy to run for his vacated Assembly seat. Megan’s political experience is having served on the Big Valley School District, a 127-student school district in rural Lassen County in which their children attend.

This husband/wife political hopscotch is not new as voters only have to look to Beth and Ted Gaines to see that the Dahle dynasty is primed for success. Ted Gaines was an Assemblyman representing El Dorado and Placer Counties when he succeeded in his 2011 election to the State Senate. His wife, Beth, another political novice, piggy-backed on their name recognition and was elected in a special election to his seat. She served three, two-year terms in the Assembly.

It’s certainly not illegal nor is it unethical; it is just old-fashioned swampy politics. Most northeastern Californian voters approve of Dahle and his politics; in a special election with a low voter turnout, his wife is a sure bet to win due to name recognition. Moreover, Brian Dahle, our new State Senator, will be able to transfer his unspent campaign funds to help fund his wife’s campaign. In fact, in future elections Megan and Brian could presumably just post red and white Dahle signs around Nevada County. Moreover, talk about political backroom deals, this husband-wife duo will be the epitome of political pillow talk.

It doesn’t take rocket science to prognosticate that Brian Dahle, 53, who will be able to serve two, four-year terms as our State Senator will then be replaced in eight years by his 43-year-old wife, Megan. This further sets the stage for one of the Dahle children in eight years to assume his mother’s Assembly seat.

The really sad part of this political drama is that hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars have been spent on these two special elections so that the Dahle dynasty could unfold. Some form of appointment/anointment should have taken place to get past the inevitable. Brian Dahle’s senatorial ascension was shrouded with some political chicanery in questionable mailers and questionable secret candidates. Let’s hope the Megan and Brian dynasty is above-board in the future, focused on the needs of northeastern California and not on the needs of the Dahle dynasty.

Terry McAteer is a member of The Union Editorial Board. His views are his own and do not represent the views of The Union or its editorial board members. Contact him at editboard@theunion.com.

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