Starr’s attack on Bedwell based on fear, desperation |

Starr’s attack on Bedwell based on fear, desperation

“The Know-It-Alls will ruin our county, if we let them.”

If you read Hank Starr’s column on this very page last Saturday, you now know that Drew Bedwell, candidate for 3rd District Supervisor, is the devil incarnate.

Drew, according to Starr, is a demagogue who wants to burn books, keep us all in ignorance, enrich greedy developers, rob the public coffers, denude the forests, foul the streams, establish hog farms in residential areas, and molest immature owls.

And if you support Drew Bedwell, you are a Know-Nothing.

The so-called “Know-Nothing Party” was a short-lived political phenomenon (1852-1856) that was formally the “Native American Party.” It achieved some popularity right here in California. When its supporters were asked dumb or insulting questions, they would reply disdainfully, “I know nothing.” Thus the name that stuck to the party.

Admittedly, the Know-Nothings were not a fun bunch of guys. The party was based on virulent anti-Catholicism (much like the Christian-bashing liberals of the present day) and anti-immigration. Come to think of it, given the class of immigrants Nevada County has been getting lately – Birkenstock-booted Green Shirts, sufferers from terminal Berkeleyism, and divorce lawyers – maybe being anti-immigration isn’t such a bad idea.

There was more than a whiff of panic and paranoia in Hank’s diatribe. It made me think of a trial lawyer who had just looked into the faces of the jury and realized that his case was circling the drain.

Why is Mr. Starr, Esq., resorting to courtroom histrionics in an attempt to demonize Drew Bedwell (and District 4 candidate Robin Sutherland)? Because two o’ his buds, Supervisors Bruce Conklin and Izzy Martin, are on political life support systems. Even worse, his special pal, Saint Peter Van Zant, will lose control of the Board of Supervisors if Bedwell and Sutherland are elected in November. Even (gasp!) worse is the impending fate of Ted (“Gee guys, I know what let’s do. Let’s have a neat seminar”) Gaebler. If Bedwell, Sutherland, and Horne are the majority on the BOS, Ted is toast. And Hank is a big fan of Ted’s.

Drew Bedwell is crusading to protect the property rights of us all. Sure he wants to kill NH 2020. It’s a weapon its perpetrators can use to grab your property or make it valueless. The “experts’ reports” should be run through a shredder and hauled to the dump forthwith. Hey, you think those “experts” are going to produce “data” that doesn’t jibe with the plans of the folks who are paying for the “results?”

NH 2020 is a waste of money ($200,000 and counting) and effort. We have a county General Plan. We’re zoned. No developer is going to buy up a chunk of land in the hope that miraculous intervention is going to change the zoning.

But to hear Hank tell it, if the current BOS is overthrown, a 14-story Raddison Hotel will be built on the Julia Morgan site and a Harris Beef feed lot will pop up on the Loma Rica Ranch.

Now, about sticking it to the taxpayers. The “Property Owners Compensation Initiative” has nothing to do with the potential value of your property. It compensates you for government action that decreases the present value of your property. Starr writes, “The government cannot take property without due compensation.” But guess who decides what due compensation is? You got it: the government.

What really sticks it to the taxpayers is the conversion of privately held property to public property, which is precisely what the greenies have in mind. A few acres here, a few more there, some big chunks now and then, and after awhile they’ll control all property, one way or another. Then they’ll send some more “experts” around to take a survey of first-born male children. Taking private property off the tax rolls means we all have to pay higher taxes on what the government graciously leaves us.

The Supervisorial Gang of Four concentrates on the “con” in conversations.

Fear is a powerful motivator. As Hank and his friends grow more desperate, their voices will grow louder and more hysterical, their attacks against Bedwell and Sutherland more outrageous.

But before you grab for the tar pot and the feathers, remember that Hank really can’t help himself.

He’s a lawyer.

He’s a liberal.

Beyond that, I know nothing.

W.H. Brooke lives in Nevada City and writes a monthly column.

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