Missed opportunity

Musings on Rep. Doug LaMalfa’s recent shindig, and a shout out to a kind letter writer

Count me among the many locals who would have liked to attend Doug LaMalfa’s recent town hall. That he held his shindig at 8 a.m. on a weekday made it pretty darn inconvenient for folks with jobs. In my case, I could have penciled the event into my work schedule. Call me one of the lucky ones. But it would have required me to adjust my home life—namely, it conflicted with the time I typically drop off my son at preschool. That was a deal breaker.

Like most people around these parts, that’s left me reliant on the news coverage of the event. I’ve checked out everything I can get my hands on, from the local daily to the Los Angeles Times, which, as it’s wont to do, parachuted into town for the big show and led with a zinger—in this case, quoting a man who said he hoped the congressman would “die in pain.”

Of course, the CN&R wouldn’t dare miss a LaMalfa appearance in our backyard. Check out Ken Smith’s report on page 8. For the record, Smith says the “die in pain” comment didn’t go over well in the room of LaMalfa detractors. Still, thanks to the Times, the diatribe is making the rounds on places like Breitbart, the bottom feeders of the journalism world.

The next time I get an opportunity to see our dear congressman in person may just be the local League of Women Voters’ forums during the 2018 election season. LaMalfa already has several challengers thus far: Democrats Dennis Duncan, Martha Walters and Jessica Holcombe, from Magalia, Quincy and Auburn, respectively. They have active campaigns.

Democrat Brandon Storment of Redding is listed on the filing website of the Federal Election Commission, but I don’t see any activity from him. Also listed: Joe Montes, a Republican whose battle with LaMalfa in 2016 led to a local schism within that party. It looks like Montes, then based in Chico, won’t give it another go next year. He’s now in Spokane, Wash., working in real estate.

Montes is a nice guy, but he’s also an ideologue. He may have had support in the North State from some well-heeled folks, but he didn’t have the flexibility to pull in votes from moderates or lefties.

Indeed, LaMalfa is pretty safe around these parts. He will be until at least the next recession or until those who blindly vote for him realize he’s part of the machine that serves only to enrich those who keep people like him in power.

Mea culpa: Last week, after returning from a lousy vacation, I wrote about that trip to beautiful far-Northern California, a place I’d never explored. Within hours of the paper hitting the stands, I got a message that I’d erroneously written that Dunsmuir is in Trinity County, when, in fact, it’s in Siskiyou. Several more followed—some of them snarky, some of them kind. I wanted to give a shout out to one of the latter, a reader in Red Bluff, 95-1/2-year-old Robert, who wrote a nice message on a lovely postcard picturing Shasta Dam, the lake and the mountain in the background. It’s now up on my bulletin board, serving as a reminder that I ought to return to the area for a proper visit.