The following Joe Bonino for City Council mailer appeared in Eureka mailboxes today. Click to make it big:

This vitriol of this thing comes as a bit of a surprise to your Lost Coast Outpost, given that we had assumed that:

  • Bonino is already the odds-on favorite in this thing, and
  • He was somewhat attached to his reputation as a nice guy.

But it’s probably worthwhile to point a couple of things here that range from dubious to straight-up wrong.

  • Atkins did, in fact, vote in Marina Center’s favor back in 2009 — before Measure N — when Security National sought a coastal development permit to do clean-up work on the project. She broke ranks with fellow progressive councilmember Larry Glass on that one. It’s not to say that she voted consistently in favor of Marina Center, but it’s proof that neither did she vote consistently against it.
  • The bit about passing confidential information to Occupy protestors and putting EPD officers at risk has been an ongoing obsession of the Eureka right, so perhaps it’s no surprise that it’s surfacing in the campaign. However, it’s no less dubious today than it was at the time. As we noted at the time, Arcata solved its Occupy problems way before Eureka did, largely by doing exactly what Atkins is being excoriated for doing: Talking with the protesters. In Arcata, you had Chief Tom Chapman out on the lawn just about every day, telling folks that a crackdown was a-comin’. Atkins did no more and no less. The Eureka right’s concern about “officer safety” in squaring off against the likes of Verbena is as laughable as ever.
  • Cutting off funding to the Eureka Chamber is Commerce is neither so controversial nor so wackadoodle as is being portrayed, here. Most local chambers of commerce are not funded by city government, and a councilmember would be fiscally irresponsible not to consider it in a time of great budget crisis, as the city was. Meanwhile, of course — and with great apologies to LoCO superfriend J Warren Hockaday — Arcata continues to clean Eureka’s clock on developing businesses and jobs in the manufacturing sector, and probably other sectors as well. And the Arcata CoC doesn’t rely on municipal largesse to survive.

So there’s that. Is Bonino actually frightened of losing this race? I wouldn’t have thought so, but this mailer would say otherwise. Why else flush a piece of your reputation down the toi-toi like this? It almost makes one ashamed to be part of the city of Eureka right now.