Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey, Assessor Mari Wilson, Treasurer/Tax Collector Jon Bartholomew and Auditor-Controller Joseph Mellett were all re-elected for another four year term. Registrar/Recorder Kelly Sanders was elected for the first time. What did they all have in common? Not a single vote was cast in their name. Democracy is so overrated.

-Paraphrasing Frank Underwood from Netflix’s House of Cards

Many of the Humboldt County electeds who are running unopposed have recently updated their campaign signs:

Mike Downey for Sheriff

2010 2014

Mari Wilson for Assessor

(because no one knows what an Assessor does)

We’ve only got three Humboldt County elections (excluding any state and federal races) in the June 2014 primary - 4th and 5th District County Supervisors and the District Attorney’s race. That’s it.

The real casualties are our local media — TV, radio and newsprint — who were hoping for numerous contested races that required huge ad buys and big commissions. Where’s Meg Whitman when you need her?

Crazy things about politics is the “protest vote” against the incumbent.  You can run Adolf Hitler or Idi Amin against an incumbent and either would get 33% of the vote. Consider that in 2012 State Assemblyman Wes Chebro (D) was running for re-election against activist Tom “Manure Man” Lynch (D). Mr. Lynch got his nick-name by dumping manure over four city blocks in downtown Santa Rosa one night in protest. Chesbro was the well-respected incumbent with a long list of endorsements, who had hundreds of thousands of dollars in his campaign war chest to Lynch’s less than $10,000 and yet … Mr. Lynch got almost 37% of the vote.

What am I getting at?  Each of the Supervisor candidates will get 33% of the vote.  The election will be won or lost… in the middle (there’s that saying again).  That 34% in the middle will decide each election.

Since my wife Virginia Bass is one of these candidates and Richard Salzman is working the Chris Kerrigan campaign, it wouldn’t be fair to comment pro or con on either of those two candidates or campaigns. Some would call it propaganda, people might say it’s free advertising and still others might call it a “political contribution” from the Lost Coast Outpost, AKA: Lost Coast Communications, AKA: the Blue Lake Casino. Either way, I’ll let the voters decide.

A recent Times-Standard editorial thanked the candidates for coming forward this primary election season and asked for a campaign of respect, debate on the issues and not mud-slinging. Let’s see how long this lasts. My prediction – not long. With only 76 days till the election there are some severe underdogs. One candidate hasn’t even had her campaign kick-off announcement yet.  Did I mention that over half of the voters will be voting in just 46 days?

Some “handlers” are gonna be telling the underdog candidates the only way to resonate with the voters is not to go negative, but to go mean and nasty, like a rabid pit bull that hasn’t eaten in days. Use words that incite fear on your private Facebook page and in friendly public forums and pray that our local mainstream media doesn’t call you on your bullshit.

In elections, the candidate that goes negative first shows their desperation. To the victors go the spoils, to the losers go the trash bin. If you win going negative, the only thing the voters will remember is that you won. If you lose going negative, the voters will never forget that you were a mean and nasty bitch/bastard. Meh!

Bottom line, voters hate negative campaigning. If you ain’t got something nice to say about yourself, your platform, your visions, etc., ya probably ain’t got much to say and the voters will figure that out pretty quick.

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Recommendation of the week!: You’ve probably driven by the Veteran’s Memorial (10th and H Streets in Eureka) on a Wednesday and seen a van and a huge portable BBQ parked in the lot, smoking away. Rob Dunn owns “Wild Oaks Grill, AKA: The Tri Tip Guy“ which you can find on Facebook, including a $5 off coupon.

Here’s the good news: if you like the best BBQ in Eureka including tri-tip, brisket, pulled pork, baby back pork ribs, “bacon!” and today’s special – beef/bacon meatloaf - get on over to the Veteran’s Memorial before he sells out.

Now the bad news: he’s only there on Wednesdays and he usually sells out about the time I’m driving home or doesn’t have much of a selection left after work. So I’ve learned to stop by during lunch time and pre-pay my selection which he will hold for me. You can also call Rob at 707-621-1913 and place your order before driving over there.