Kelley’s lucky break

Running for office is always a gamble

Did you see that full-page ad for Dave Kelley in Sunday’s Enterprise-Record? It says “Paid for by Dave Kelley for Chico City Council 2012,” but he paid only a pittance for it, and therein lies a tale.

In an emailed press release, Kelley explains that on Aug. 17 he attended a fundraiser for Valley Oak Children’s Services at which a full-page ad donated by the E-R was being raffled. He purchased a passel of tickets and “crossed his fingers,” as he puts it, that his investment would pay off. Sure enough, it did.

But could the free ad be used to benefit a political campaign? Kelley had to wait a month while the state Fair Political Practices Commission, the Chico City Clerk’s Office and the E-R honchos researched the issue. Finally they agreed it was a go.

The only cost to his campaign was for an upgrade to color.

Speaking of candidates: Toby Schindelbeck isn’t at all happy about Councilwoman Mary Goloff’s guest comment (“Speaking of naïveté…”) in the Oct. 11 CN&R, written in response to his own guest comment (“Schindelbeck doubles down”) in the Sept. 27 issue. During the council’s Oct. 16 meeting, he stepped to the lectern and angrily excoriated Goloff for her “unprofessional and untrue” statements and her “attempt to slander” him. Wow. If he wins, things are going to get pretty tense at the council dais.

Will Prop. 30 drive the rich out of California? That’s one of the questions being asked because Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax measure, if passed, would increase the tax rates slightly on all personal income exceeding $250,000.

The answer, according to a recent study sponsored by the nonpartisan California Budget Project, is no. The report looked at the impact of the “millionaire tax” that California voters approved in 2004. Its findings show that the rich didn’t leave the state and that the risk of so-called “tax flight” is outweighed by other factors, such as “existing ties to family, friends and career.”

The truth about Proposition 32: Backers of this deceptive initiative are touting it as campaign finance reform, so why are they accepting an $11 million donation from a mysterious Arizona group that won’t say where the money came from?

It’s hypocritical to push for campaign finance reform when you’re taking millions from secret donors. But reform isn’t 32’s purpose. Its real goal is to destroy unions’ ability to exercise political influence, leaving the field wide open for Big Business.

Is Argo Carter’s redemption? The Iranian hostage crisis of 1979 contributed to Jimmy Carter’s loss to Ronald Reagan in the 1980 presidential election. He was seen as weak in the face of humiliating events. But as this terrific movie reminds us, his patience and diplomacy won out in the end, and all the hostages came home alive. It’s something to remember…

Robert Speer is editor of the CN&R.