Six degrees of Turd Blossom

Aiming at taxation: Political endorsements are like T-shirts that advertise haute-couture fashion designers. The sweaty guy at the Saturday flea market wearing the oversized Armani shirt over his parachute pants probably doesn’t have a wardrobe full of Armani suits hanging in the closet at home.

This is Bites’ roundabout way of asking why the hell the National Rifle Association (NRA) is endorsing a candidate for the state Board of Equalization (BOE).

The gun-toting legislative action arm of the NRA last week gave a good ol’ cocked-pistol thumbs up to Assemblyman Ray Haynes, R-Murrieta, who is termed out of the state Assembly and seeking the 3rd District seat on the Board of Equalization, an important but often ignored elected position that oversees the state’s taxes.

Anita Gore, spokesperson over at the BOE, told Bites that the board doesn’t have a whole heck of a lot to do with guns. Except for being in charge of collecting the tax when someone purchases a gun—just as it is in charge of collecting the taxes on lawn mowers and staplers—the BOE doesn’t have any jurisdiction at all over firearms or the Second Amendment.

Really, endorsements serve the purpose of bringing in campaign contributions. Now, California NRA members know to funnel their election-year dollars to Haynes, rather than his competitors.

That, of course, makes Bites think of a second sweaty, parachute-pants guy buying an Armani-logo’d T-shirt because he saw the first sweaty guy wearing one. And now we’re not talking about haute anything at all.

Such great Heights: Last week Bites told you the brief tale of Chris Dengler, a onetime Citrus Heights booster whose attempt to make good use of his Internet domain name was pooh-poohed a decade ago by the Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce. Well, sensing the scent of bad PR in the air, Chamber CEO Bettie Cosby made nice with Dengler last week and decided to refund him the Chamber membership fee he paid back in 1996.

So, that’s great. But his attempt to sell the domain name over eBay continues.

First, he was asking $50,000. No bids. Then, he found a URL-sales Web site willing to write up a certificate appraising the Web address at $275,000. So, Dengler (who, by the way, now lives in eastern Arizona), upped his minimum bid price to $150,000. No bids. Then, he dropped it down to $100,000. No bids—despite the free shipping.

A friend of a friend of a friend: Here’s a little item for all you red-meat Republicans out there who like to bitch and moan about the “liberal media.” Turns out Bites is more closely connected with some of your heroes than you’ll ever be. It’s sort of a “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” thing, with a bunch of creepy right-wing operatives as the Bacon.

Here’s how it works. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s re-election campaign was recently taken over by one Steve Schmidt. Schmidt is a former Dick Cheney spokesman and a longtime protégé of Karl Rove, a.k.a. Boy Genius, a.k.a. Turd Blossom. So, who does Schmidt turn to, to write the talking points for the California campaign? None other than Jeffrey M. Barker, whose last byline as an SN&R staff writer appears in this paper today. Barker’s departure is tough for the small but scrappy staff here at SN&R. But the Schmidt-Barker pairing has dynamic duo written all over it. Schmidt oversaw the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominees John Roberts and Samuel Alito and has traveled to Iraq to try to find a way to pretty up that mess for public consumption. Barker has traveled all over the United States visiting other towns named Sacramento, hanging out with redneck teenagers who like to go possum-kickin’. The Democrats don’t stand a chance. And it means Bites is now only three speed dials away from the hit man himself. See, just three degrees of separation: Bites to Barker, Barker to Schmidt, Schmidt to Rove. Put that in your tin-foil hat and smoke it.