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Resist special-interest groups with votes

I’m responding to a recent writer’s request to “hear from newcomers who have moved to Nevada County to get away from acrimonious politics …”

I moved to Nevada County because of its natural beauty and affordability, not to escape from acrimonious politics. I’ve been involved in tough political campaigns and have fought agendas pushed by single issue, special-interest groups. But over the last 18 months, I have watched the NH 2020 debate rise to a new level of acrimony – from rational discussion in open meetings to name-calling, fear-mongering, rumor-spreading diatribes by a few contentious and refractory elements. I have seen the forum of debate shift from the public arena to open discussion to the 350- and 1,000-word hit pieces on the Opinion page of The Union. No other issue has generated as much heat and so little light on the subject of land-use planning, property rights and the future development within our county.



Even a media resource such as The Union has done little to defuse the level of acrimony, itself being content to take a passive role on NH 2020 rather than clarify issues and lead the debate. In a schizophrenic attempt to achieve a balance of opinion, The Union provides a forum for its stable of monthly contributors who use the Opinion page as their bully pulpit.

In my experience, the best way to fight against acrimonious politics is for each of us to get involved, study the issues, get out the vote, and support the candidate who shares our views and vision of the future. We must pay less attention to the acrimony and more attention to achieving a large voter turnout. It’s a proven fact – a low voter turnout works to favor special-interest groups who tend to mobilize around a single issue and ramrod their candidates, initiatives and resolutions to victory using the electoral process.




Will NH 2020 grow and blossom into a useful land-use plan, or will it be cast aside to wither and die? This question will be answered by the voters. Each one of us.

William J. Clark

Grass Valley


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