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Making sense of the strange local election outcome

The mechanics for a citizen to vote has got to be the easiest thing in the world. It’s virtually handed to you at the DMV and requesting an all-mail ballot is equally simple. I voted two weeks before the election. But some people would rather wait until the last hour to attempt voting.

On Election night, when Harder was losing in the count, Harder supporter and attorney Lisa Battista (she was the one who was part of a group outside a Denham event to badger him and suggest his wife should be ashamed of herself for being with Denham) tried some legal wrangling to get a judge to keep the polls open past 8 p.m. She suggested that the county ran out of provisional ballots and people needed more time to meet the 8 p.m. closing of the polls. Provisional ballots are offered to voters whose registration cannot be verified at a polling place. The person is allowed to vote but won’t be counted unless their voter registration is verified.

The problem for County Clerk Lee Lundrigan was that a suspicious number of people showed up late with questionable voter registration status. Why suspicious? Because in June only 20 showed up with the conundrum. This time about 1,000. I’d say suspicious, for sure. 

Lundrigan said those people were given two options: vote provisionally at a polling place, or go to the I Street office in Modesto to register and cast a conditional vote.

Battista, a Democrat Party operative, threw a legal hissy fit, filing an emergency motion. The judge ruled against her. Good for him. Can you imagine what would happen if you extended the 8 p.m. deadline every other place in California to keep allowing Democrats to round up more questionable voters?

All the people who say they didn’t get to vote should get with the program and file to vote-by-mail. They’ll have plenty of time to vote and send in the ballot and they can avoid this unnecessary procrastination issue they have.

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How is it that Stanislaus County voters preferred conservative John Cox over Gavin Newsom for governor by a margin of 4,891 votes while preferring progressive liberal Josh Harder over Jeff Denham by a margin of 2,788 votes?

The only sense I can make of it is that conservatives did not appreciate Denham’s middle-of-the-road stance toward immigration and Dreamers and the pathway to citizenship.

A total of 2,186 voters couldn’t bring themselves to vote for either Denham or Harder.

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A relative called me out of the blue at 5:09 p.m. on Election Day.

He wanted to pick my brain about some of the statewide propositions. He was well meaning by wanting to vote and wanted to know how I voted since he is a conservative like me. But it was obvious that he hadn’t done his homework and he was scrambling in the 11th hour.

I’m only bringing this up because lots of California voters vote like he does – not much preparation and relying on someone else’s opinions. Some voters don’t even do that. They simply believe the annoyingly constant political mailers that often twist certain facts to make Candidate A appear to be a heartless uncaring monster by Candidate B. I must have received 30 to 40 mailers for the Josh Harder-Jeff Denham race alone.

It’s disheartening to know that after one invests time studying the issues – and having a good reason for supporting certain candidates – that somebody who is guessing or just swallowing the swill delivered via campaign slicks can cancel out the educated voter’s choice.

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I don’t know to read the results of Proposition 6 other than to say that apparently Californians love being taxed into oblivion. How could they have supported the hugely unpopular gas tax imposed by Gov. Brown and the state Legislature in 2016?

Californians must enjoy paying taxes because they just elected yet another tax-and-spend liberal to the governor’s office.

Some might say that the support came from people who realize the state is far behind in infrastructure (because of inept state leadership) and that the tax dollars will help us catch up. Others are suggesting that voters were duped into thinking a vote for Prop. 6 was actually a vote against the repeal. If that’s the case, it supports the theory of the uneducated voter.

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The results of the City Council District 2 race were interesting to say the least. Incumbent Linda Ryno was challenged by Melvin “Gene” Yeakley.

We might as well call Ryno, who completely blew Yeakley out of the water with her 1,514 votes, or 78.98 percent, “Landslide Linda.” Yeakley managed to collect 384 votes, or 20.03 percent of the total.

I’m frankly puzzled by the level of support Yeakley received. He didn’t spend hardly any money, posted no signs and offered no real platform. There was no debate. In the community his only exposure has been frequent complaining at council meetings make him come across as a little gruff and disgruntled. While Yeakley justifiably has an argument that community standards for aesthetics have fallen extremely low but Ryno has expressed those very same sentiments. She was also instrumental in having the city crack down on all the signs and banners on the major thoroughfares. The result is that Hatch, Mitchell and Whitmore all have significantly less clutter than before Ryno joined the council.

I would not rule out the possibility that some of Yeakley’s support may have come from voters who just don’t like women in politics. That sentiment – as hard as it is to believe – still abounds today.

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Remember T.J. Cox, who was the Democrats’ great hope running for Congress against Denham before he bailed to run for the 21st District farther south in our Valley? It was Cox’s departure that allowed the entry of Josh Harder in the 10th. Last week Cox got trounced by incumbent Republican Congressman David G. Valadao, collecting 41,390 votes to Valadao’s 43,469 votes.

The race between Denham and Harder was farther apart, so it appears. The Democrats dumped a ton of money into the Harder race. In fact, Harder raised $7.05 million with little money coming from this district. Denham raised $4.4 million, of which 18 percent came from within the district. So essentially, the Democrats bought the seat lock, stock and barrel.

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Political correctness just continues to get wackier and wackier.

Apparently a photo was posted on social media of some well-dressed students from Baraboo School District in Wisconsin giving what some say is a Nazi salute. The kids are all smiling and yucking it up.

A little history is needed here. The so-called Nazi salute is widely believed to be based on an ancient Roman custom which was a sign of greeting, like a wave. Jacques-Louis David’s painting Oath of the Horatii (1784) may be the starting point for the gesture that became known as the Roman salute. The gesture and its identification with ancient Rome was advanced in other French neoclassic art. This was further elaborated upon in popular culture during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in plays and films that portrayed the salute as an ancient Roman custom.

Regardless, the Nazis grabbed it and made it a “dirty” symbol.

The politically correct leadership sent out a message with Superintendent Lori Mueller saying: “The photo of students posted to #BarabooProud is not reflective of the educational values and beliefs of the School District of Baraboo. The District will pursue any and all available and appropriate actions, including legal, to address.”

Police were called in to investigate. Investigate a hand gesture?

I have to agree with a Michael Jacob who tweeted: “This is quite possibly the dumbest story I’ve ever read. The police are looking into it? Even if this was a Nazi salute what the hell would police have to do with anything? If someone was arrested for this act THAT would be Nazi! Black power fist okay … any other race not.”

I do not believe in white supremacy and yes what the Nazis represent is evil. But the issue I have is how culture is hypersensitive to questionable practices of white men – particularly conservatives – while giving a complete pass to those in the minority community in groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter who espouse hateful calls to kill police and practices mob violence. Of course, the media is all too eager to try to link this to our president.

How do you feel about this? Let Jeff know at