Get ready to rumble

Election season is here

It’s official. Campaign season has started. You’ve likely already received political mailers, watched signs pop up around town and maybe even had a knock on the door from someone canvassing your neighborhood.

Here’s hoping the local candidates steer clear of the mud-slinging and hyperbole we’ve seen in past years. Among the chief negative campaigners is Rep. Doug LaMalfa, who has a history of discrediting his opponents with unflattering photos, inflammatory language and vague accusations.

This year, he faces the popular Audrey Denney, a Democrat with crossover appeal who is trying to ride the so-called blue wave into Washington. We haven’t seen any hit pieces thus far—maybe LaMalfa and team realize that tactic could backfire.

Here in Chico, we predict a repeat of the conservative narrative that the liberals on the City Council created yesteryear’s financial woes. The right-wingers on the panel mastered the art of historical revisionism in recent years—ignoring the state’s dissolution of redevelopment agencies and the national economic meltdown (aka the Great Recession) that actually led to the city’s fiscal turmoil and literally bankrupted some cities in the state.

This year is pivotal. Three conservative-held seats are up for grabs, so the lefties have a decent shot at regaining the majority. It will be interesting to see how the lone incumbent will run his campaign and how the eight others vying for a post will set themselves apart. A preview will take place next Wednesday (Sept. 5), during the Chico Chamber of Commerce’s candidates forum at the CARD Community Center. But the event takes place in the morning and seating is limited, so it’s more geared toward the business community.

Our advice: Mark your calendar for the forums put on by the local chapter of the national League of Women Voters (LWV). Thus far, the league is holding four events: Paradise Town Council and school board candidates on Sept. 12; Chico City Council and school board on Sept. 17; state Assembly and Senate on Sept. 25; and Gridley’s City Council on Oct. 1.

Noticeably absent: a local forum for Denney and LaMalfa, though our understanding is that the league is attempting to set something up. Stay tuned.

It should be noted that the LWV does all of this, and more, without a political agenda. It is nonpartisan, does not endorse candidates or parties, and rarely takes a stance on issues. In other words, it’s a resource for all voters. To learn more, go to