Jeff Ackerman: Extremist politics will be our ruin |

Jeff Ackerman: Extremist politics will be our ruin

If – and it is looking more like a question of when – this nation finally collapses, it will be a result of extremists. Far Left and Far Right politics are destroying us, and the media is being played like a fiddle in the hands of the Grim Reaper.

For examples we need look no further than in our own backyard, where three former leaders of the Republican Central Committee blasted Nevada County Supervisor Sue Horne and her conservative colleagues on the five-member board for – get this – not being conservative enough.

Horne is running to replace Rick Keene in the state Assembly. She’ll face Yuba County resident Dan Logue in the primary. Chico farmer Jack Lee has also thrown his hat into the GOP Assembly race.

In an “open letter” to district Republicans last week (see for a copy of this letter, click on this story), former Central Committee chairmen Tony Gilchrease, Dick Marshall and Greg Marks said Horne “has abandoned the Republican Party and its values.” The letter didn’t give many examples of how Horne and the other four county supervisors betrayed their fellow Republicans or values, except to suggest they should have fired all of the “liberal” county department heads. There was nothing in the letter specifying what the department heads had done to deserve losing their jobs. Nor did it go into any detail to help us distinguish the characteristics of, say, a liberal public works director from a conservative public works director. Most of us just want to make sure our sewage goes where it is supposed to go (somewhere awful, I suppose) and could care less about the political views of a front-line manager of a municipality.

Gilchrease, Marshall and Marks obviously do not share that opinion, which makes me wonder if maybe they have a personal agenda. Marks is, after all, a county employee.

More on them later.

I do know Sue Horne and her fellow county commissioners John Spencer, Nate Beason, Ted Owens and Hank Weston. If they are not liberal enough for the three former GOP Central Committee chairmen, perhaps we can convince Rush Limbaugh to move here or resurrect Joseph Stalin.

Here’s some history on Sue Horne and her fellow board members over the past few years:

• Shelved the controversial environmental study titled NH2020, despite serious opposition from “liberal” environmentalists.

• In April 2003, the board passed a resolution supporting President Bush and our troops. This at a time when Bush was still liked by one of every three people on Earth.

• Horne spoke out against the display of nude art in the county administrative building (Rood Center), essentially saying that a government building has enough dirt in it without putting naked bodies on the walls (she didn’t say that … I’m paraphrasing here). The nude art was eventually removed and replaced with photos of Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon (OK, I’m kidding, but this is getting fun). They were fully clothed.

• The board has – and this is where the three GOP amigos’ argument gets a little dicey – overseen the 8-percent reduction in county staff and a near complete turnover in department heads. In fact, there was a lot of screaming about the so-called “brain drain” resulting of the turnover at the Rood Center. Perhaps Gilchrease, Marshall and Marks won’t be happy until the Rood Center is brainless? And, by the way, I met with most all of the county department heads a couple of weeks ago, and they all have a good brain.

Now let’s take a look at just one example of the Nevada County Republican Central Committee when it was under the direction of Tony Gilchrease. One morning I got an e-mail (probably by mistake) that Gilchrease sent out warning fellow Republicans that a bunch of al-Qaida operatives were preparing to meet at the county schools’ board room. He urged everyone to contact then-schools superintendent Terry McAteer to stop them from meeting. You would have thought the end was finally at hand.

Turns out it was a group of Quakers wanting to meet to discuss world peace. This is the kind of Republican Logue has taken under his “right wing”?

I suppose you could say … OK, I’ll just go ahead and say it … that this letter was nothing more than a way for Logue (doesn’t sound like it took much to get the three to write a letter) to demonstrate that Horne doesn’t even have the support of her own county Republicans in her race to represent her party in next November’s general election. The letter (and the Page One article we published on it), you see, was widely distributed by the Logue campaign team outside of Nevada County, where Republicans in Placer, Yuba and Butte counties don’t follow Nevada County politics.

It also makes you wonder (at least I do) a little bit about Logue himself. If Horne is too liberal, what does that make him? And how will someone like that survive in a California Legislature controlled by Democrats? Seems to me you’d need to compromise from time to time if you are to get anything at all done for your Republican constituents. Diplomacy does not seem to be Logue’s strong suit.

It also reminds me that the political dirt is already flying and that we need to be a lot more mindful that there are political handlers out there who know how to work the media like a seamstress in a Chinese Nike factory.


Jeff Ackerman is the publisher of The Union. His column appears on Tuesdays. Contact him at 477-4299,, or 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley 95945.

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