This scofflaw gets busted

L.A. councilman faces 18 felony counts for living outside his district. What about Jim Nielsen?

Did you see the story last week in the Sacramento Bee about the Los Angeles city councilman who was arrested because he lived outside his district? Richard Alarcón, a former state senator and assemblyman, faces 18 felony counts of perjury, voter fraud and filing a false declaration of candidacy. (He maintains his innocence.)

What’s striking is how much this case resembles the situation with District 2 Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, who also lives outside his district. Like Nielsen, Alarcón allegedly used a home in which he did not live as his voting address. He is charged, among other things, with two counts of filing a false declaration of candidacy and three counts of fraudulently voting in elections. They take these things seriously in Los Angeles County.

Nielsen uses a doublewide in Gerber as his voting address, but he actually lives in a gated community in Woodland, outside his district. Authorities would need only to check the PG&E bill at the Gerber address to ascertain that nobody lives there. And they could check voter rolls to find out whether Nielsen voted in Tehama or Yolo county.

It’s Alarcón’s bad luck to live in a county where the district attorney enforces the law, even against powerful politicians. That’s not the case in Tehama County, apparently, where Nielsen is “too big to touch.”

Head-Scratching Dept.: You can imagine my surprise a few days ago, when I opened the Chico Enterprise-Record’s newly revamped website and found links to CN&R stories there. And not just to the CN&R—to the Redding Record Searchlight, television’s Action News and the Willows Journal, as well.

Mind you, it’s not like the E-R is ripping us off. If anything, they’re driving readers to our website. We’re cool with that.

These links appear at the top of the site, along with a couple of E-R stories. You have to scroll down to get to the bulk of the E-R’s links to its own content. Most of these have little rolled-up-newspaper icons next to them. That indicates they’re “premium content,” though why “Construction work continues in Chico” is premium and “Traffic stop near Willows nets alleged burglar” isn’t premium escapes me.

Supposedly, if you click on “premium content” more than 15 times in a month, you have to pay for it. I’m being careful not to click too many times. I didn’t read “Construction work continues in Chico,” despite the allure of “premium content.” But then I didn’t read “Traffic stop near Willows nets alleged burglar” either, even though it was free.

Thanks, guys: Four of our estimable interns, Thomas Lawrence, Howard Hardee, Nick Dobis and Lindsey Barrett, are leaving us. Thomas is off to Prague to study and have adventures; Howard returns to the University of Alaska–Fairbanks with some Chico warmth in his bag; Nick is busy being president of his fraternity at Chico State; and Lindsey will become sports editor at The Orion. They all did terrific work here, and we’ll miss them. Any students interested in taking their places should contact Meredith Cooper at <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">{ document.write(String.fromCharCode(60,97,32,104,114,101,102,61,34,109,97,105,108,116,111,58,109,101,114,101,100,105,116,104,99,64,110,101,119,115,114,101,118,105,101,119,46,99,111,109,34,62,109,101,114,101,100,105,116,104,99,64,110,101,119,115,114,101,118,105,101,119,46,99,111,109,60,47,97,62)) } </script> .