Jim Nielsen, scofflaw

Former state Sen. Jim Nielsen, who is running to replace Doug LaMalfa in the state Assembly, is coming under fire from some of his Republican primary opponents for fudging on his statement of residency. They point out that he doesn’t live in the district, that he lied about his residency when he registered to vote in Tehama County, and that his statement that he intends to move from his million-dollar McMansion in Woodland into a double-wide pre-fab home in Gerber is preposterous on its face.

As the CN&R reported in its April 17 issue, this is not the first time Nielsen has misled voters about his residency. Following reapportionment in 1984, he listed a Rohnert Park apartment as his residence while living outside his Senate district in Woodland.

Nielsen is a smart man and was an effective legislator, but he also has a history of ethical shortcomings. As former CN&R Editor George Thurlow showed in a major investigative report published just before the November 1990 election, for years Nielsen was on the payroll of a big pesticide company while serving on a Senate committee that killed pesticide-reform bills. He also hired his wife to work on his campaigns and helped her set up a group of companies, including one that built a cogeneration power plant near Williams with the help of state funding he arranged.

Nielsen has the backing of the Republican establishment not only in the North State, but throughout California. This suggests that state Republican leaders are more interested in gaining power than they are in the ethical health of their candidates.