The Humboldt Consequential

2018 Supervisor Election Preview: Airhead vs. Pothead, Gnome vs. Native

Now that 2017’s exhilarating election is behind us, we can look forward to a couple of races that will have a real impact on the County’s future.

And THC is taking you straight to the top of the ticket, with two races for Supervisors seats that could well shift the balance of power in Humboldt County.

At least, there’s potential for the outcome of these races to up-end the status quo, but whoever gets elected, don’t count on Humboldt suddenly becoming an efficient utopia that actually focuses on the needs of its citizens.

We’d need a more self-aware, intelligent, and gracious leader for that – maybe someone like Trump, for example.

Anyhow, here’s an overview of what the races will look like (so far):

4th District – The Pothead vs. The Airhead

In one corner, we’ve got upstart politician and cannabis crusader, Dani Burkhart. Word is she is strong on pot, high on pot, and relatively undecided on just about any other issue. In her defense, it’s like, pretty hard these days to find the motivation to make up your mind about anything.

In a statement, she says she’ll bring a “holistic” approach to the job, which is weird because we’ve never heard of that strain before. Her schtick sounds great, but in our opinion, she’s un-electable due to her ties to the cannabis industry. There are too many folks who aren’t down with that in the 4th District for it to work. But we also said Bass is un-electable last time around, so who knows.

In the other corner…err, more precisely,sort of opposite from Burkhart (Virginia couldn’t find the corner, bless her heart), we’ve got resident airhead/incumbent, Virginia Bass.

Seeking her third term, Bass is running on the same platform we hear from every candidate – jobs! Homeless! Housing! Of course, between the amount of time she spends either at conferences or on vacation in Hawaii, Bass hasn’t really done much in any of those areas of concern. (Even the Betty Chinn hobo container thing was Rex Bohn’s doing.)

But on second thought, her time away might be a good thing – the less time she spends here f***ing things up, the better off we probably are.

*As an added bonus, we also understand that Mary Ann Lyons, a former organizer for the local Obama campaign, intends to run. We don’t know much about her except for her involvement in successful campaigns for people we don’t agree with – Austin Allison and Allen McCloskey – but she sure knows what she’s doing. If she runs, we think it goes her way. We’ll update you as things develop with her.

5th District – The Native vs. The Gnome

Humboldt’s Native son, Ryan Sundberg:

Here’s a nice piece in Humboldt magazine, which details how Sundberg rode his way to office on the coattails of his family and with the sway of the rancheria behind him: http://magazine.humboldt.edu/fall11/ryan-sundberg/

Amazingly, Sundberg has a business degree. Even more amazing, though, is how quick he is to tout his experience at the rancheria bringing jobs to Humboldt, when he’s done nothing of the sort after 7-ish years as a Supervisor. Go ahead and congratulate yourself, Ryan.

Lastly, let’s not forget Steve “The Gnome” Madrone, either. He’s super smart, is into most things watershed, and he’s got a groovy vibe. Check it:

In the Mad River Union, Madrone touted his experience pulling various weeds in ditches, and then planting those weeds in a different ditch, as the kind of problem-solving he’d bring to the table as a Supervisor.

Yes, seriously. Read a copy posted on LoCO:

Who is Sungnome Madrone? Candidate for Fifth District Supervisor Outlines His Platform, Experience

Now, if you’ve been paying attention to our brief guide, you’ll have noticed one similarity between all candidates – they all tout their ability to bring jobs to Humboldt County. Of course, not a single one of these folks can point to any experience in actually accomplishing that goal, nor have they demonstrated any capability to when given the chance. That includes both Bass and Sundberg, despite what their campaigns may tell you. 

But there’s another underlying similarity that ties them all together – none of them are qualified in the slightest. Between the four, we’ve got a cannabis consultant, a watershed expert, a former food server, and an insurance broker/casino lackey. Yay?

But, backgrounds aside, we don’t see the qualifications to tackle the issues we need solved. Long story short, it doesn’t matter what side you’re rooting for here. In the long run, you lose.

Though we hesitate to support any of them, we give a slight edge to the challengers – at least they haven’t proved to be totally inept panderers that are only interested in securing their pensions and paychecks.

Then again, we might eat our words. In any case, we can all look forward being thoroughly disappointed come the end of 2018.