By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Where is the same concern over the flu?

Democrats couldn’t impeach Trump – and not a single criminal charge against him to warrant impeachment – so what did they do last week? They ranted that he’s endangering lives from the coronavirus. Specifically Andy Orellana, a Democrat media hitman used the virus to attack Congressional candidate Ted Howze because he’s a Republican. Keep in mind that Howze is a veterinarian so he has more of a medical background than partisan hack Orellana.

Orellana criticized Trump for cutting funding for the Centers for Disease Control’s Public Health Preparedness program; and for his May 2018, Trump eliminating the National Security Council’s entire global health security unit. If Trump wants to eliminate it I’m sure the answer is because it’s a huge bureaucratic waste of money.

“Ted Howze has a responsibility to protect Californians and stand up to President Trump’s proposed cuts to programs that keep us safe from pandemics like the coronavirus,” said Orellana.

Dragging a congressional hopeful into the conversation is rather despicable.

Howze, I’m sure, realizes that millions and billions of taxpayer dollars are wasted on feel-good program which don’t improve any condition. We do, however, have a massive problem of federal overspending and bleeding the taxpayers dry.

The Democrats bemoan the fact that coronavirus has killed 2,700 people worldwide and spread to 30 countries. But keep things in perspective. There are now about 65 confirmed cases in the U.S. population of 327 million. Are you aware that about 45,000 Americans died of flu between Oct. 1, 2019 through Feb. 15? So why the Democrats’ fake outrage over coronavirus?

The president was right, of course, when he said Senator Chuck Schumer would have said he was spending too much had he proposed more; instead last week the New York liberal accused Trump of not spending enough.

I think Americans are tired of Schumer and Pelosi for their incessant harping on everything Trump does.

* * * * *

It’s about time. A federal appeals court handed a major victory to the Trump White House in its fight against “sanctuary” cities and states, ruling that it can deny Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program money to cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

There may a lot of cities (Stockton, San Francisco, Berkeley to name a few) in California rethinking their illegal “sanctuary city” ideology.

* * * * *

What will Josh Harder’s legacy be if he is defeated by Ted Howze in November? How will the 10th Congressional District remember him?

The congressman who sought to eradicate the swamp rat? The partisan congressman who voted with his party to impeach a president despite no scintilla of evidence? The venture capitalist who got into office by tapping into Bay Area money and volunteers so loathsome of Trump who helped him harvest ballots?

* * * * *

Today is the day after Election Day.

As I write this piece on Monday, my prediction for the District 5 County Supervisors’ race is that Mike Kline comes in third, and Tom Hallinan and Channce Condit go to a run-off race in the Nov. 6 general election. I can’t foresee either Condit or Hallinan collecting 50 percent since three candidates are running.

Hallinan’s strength is on the west side of the county while Condit probably more well known in Ceres. I won’t be surprised if Condit garners more votes on youthful image and name recognition alone up against attorney Hallinan approaching 60. I didn’t hear a single Hallinan radio commercial but I did hear Condit’s running on KFIV 1360, a station I listen to the most.

Some comments about that commercial. Condit started out boasting about being an “economic development specialist.” I’m not sure how one becomes an economic development specialist given that when the former swimwear model was running for City Council in October 2018 he was employed as a field rep for state Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) while operating a two-person cleaning business.

“As a councilmember I voted against Mello-Roos tax increases …”

Well, yeah, Condit did vote against an inflationary fee hike for those living in the newer neighborhoods within the Community Facilities Districts and that vote stupefied everybody when he cast it. To clarify, we’re talking about districts designed over a decade ago to make new residents pay their share of police and fire and parks services. Without increasing those assessments to keep up with inflation, Condit, in effect, voted for reduced funding for police and fire.

He was the only one of the five councilmembers voting no. His was a perplexing vote given how Condit has suggested that new growth pay its own way. In fact, Mayor Chris Vierra came down on Condit for his apparent hypocrisy. But I called it right when I believed that Condit was merely posturing for a future mayor’s race, not thinking he’d be so bold to seek a supervisor’s seat.

The Condit commercial continues. “I … opposed our unbalanced budget.”

Condit has only been in office a short time and only has voted on one budget (2019-20). The budget was balanced but he voted against it as did Linda Ryno. The General Fund – the discretionary pot of money where mostly public safety is funded – as was projected to include $24.4 million in spending and $24.3 million in revenue. The council did agree that it needs to deal with the accumulated debt on the center’s operation since its opening in 2008 but that debt has not been reflected in the General Fund.

Condit goes on: “I … advocated for revenues to go directly go to public safety, not for raises for city administrators.” Three Pinocchios for that one. Truth is Mr. Condit voted against one marijuana testing facility he said he liked – but didn’t vote for – because the council wouldn’t go along with his unnecessary stipulation that “a portion” of revenue would go to public safety. Condit’s demand for an earmark was unnecessary given that the fees paid by the lab will entirely be deposited into the city’s General Fund, of which nearly 80 percent is spent on police and fire. The General Fund also pays for parks, recreation and other services. And let me point out that at no time did anyone suggest these funds would be spent on pay increases for city administrators – but that charge plays well to an unthinking public.

If I were running against Condit I could accurately state in my radio commercial: “Not only did Condit vote against a lab to ensure the safety of marijuana products, he voted against more revenues to bolster police and fire salaries so officers aren’t forced to seek better salaries elsewhere.”

Condit’s commercial, of course, mentions how he asked the council to “give up their health insurance in order to pay down our debt.” To be sure, we’re talking about the operational debt on the community center, not the whole city operation. But his charge begs this question for Mr. Condit: Since you stated that you didn’t run for council to get taxpayer-paid benefits like health insurance; and that if elected being county supervisor will be your only job, will you give up your county-paid health insurance benefits?

Condit’s radio dialogue goes on: “Elected officials too many times forget who they work for…” I’ll say. Did Condit forget he is working for the Council District 1 residents of Ceres who elected him to a four-year council seat?

* * * * *

It seems that liberals have caused a mess in Connecticut by catering to a slim minority of people – the transgender – while trampling on women’s rights.

The families of three female high school runners filed a federal lawsuit on Feb. 12 seeking to block transgender athletes in Connecticut from participating in girls’ sports.

Selina Soule, a senior at Glastonbury High School, Chelsea Mitchell, a senior at Canton High School and Alanna Smith, a sophomore at Danbury High School argue that allowing athletes with male anatomy to compete has deprived them of track titles and scholarship opportunities.

I hope they win. You can put a lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig. You can put a skirt and a wig on a boy and he’s still a boy.

* * * * *

A Gene Geroche claimed on social media that his fifth grade son came home after state testing. The boy said a question on the state mandated test read: “Would Bloomberg be a good candidate for president; he is the only candidate concerned about global warming and universal heathcare. Yes or No.”

And some say there is no indoctrination in our schools. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

* * * * *

Democrats pretend to be the compassionate ones but they clearly are not. They remain the party of death.

On Friday Democrats in the House of Representatives rejected Republican attempt to recommit legislation that would have required medical care for infants who survive abortions. The vote was 220-187 with Democrats blocking Republicans from adding the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act as an amendment to a bill regulating tobacco sales. The Senate version received a majority vote but was unable to reach the 60-vote threshold needed to block a filibuster.

Bill sponsor Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., said Democrats refused to bring her bill to the floor 80 times.

Only three Democrats supported the bill. Your Congressman Josh Harder voted against lifesaving medical care for babies who are born-alive. President Trump stands ready to sign the popular, compassionate Born-Alive legislation into law.

* * * * *

It’s customary for pastors to deliver invocation at the Virginia House of Delegates. But when Rev. Dr. Robert Grant, Jr., of The Father’s Way Church in Warrenton offered a prayer of protection for the unborn who he said “has rights and those rights need to be protected,” a number of Democrats walked out and one heckled him.

“God is love and God is merciful. God is holy and God is also judgment,” so prayed the pastor (who is black). He pleaded, “Please do not provoke His anger and bring wrath upon this state by what you create as law.”

Rev. Grant also addressed in his prayer this question: “Why are there so many abortion clinics near African-American communities? This is planned urban genocide and you can change this. This needs immediate attention.

“Is this a prayer or a sermon?,” a delegate yelled from the Democratic side of the chamber as the prayer turned increasingly political.

Some added that the prayer, rather than feeling like a “blessing” over legislators, felt like “condemnation.”

Grant’s response to the controversy was unapologetic. “I think that the statehouse belongs to all the citizens. And all the citizens have a voice … If you don’t want to hear what a pastor has to say, then don’t invite one.”

Sad day in America.

* * * * *

Eight conservative Democrat elected officials in Mississippi are switching to the Republican Party.

All eight of the latest party switchers were from Smith and Covington Counties and one District Attorney whose district covers those areas. They cite the Democrats’ shift to socialist candidates like Bernie Sanders.

The eight officials who joined the GOP include District Attorney Matt Sullivan of Covington County and judges Bobby Wayne Mooney and Hulon West. Others are county clerks, a supervisor and a tax assessor.

Meanwhile actress Patricia Heaton questioned Wednesday why any “civilized person” would support the Democratic Party given its “barbaric” stance on abortion. She is not a Republican and not a Trump supporter either.

* * * * *

Sadness in my family came with the death of one of my mom’s cousins who was raised in Ceres. Larry Holland was the son of my grandfather’s sister. He was the son of Dorothy and Jack Holland. His brother Garry had been killed in a car crash above La Grange in 1971.

I wasn’t close to Larry but he appears in some early reunion photos. He battled a fierce brain cancer.

Life is short, isn’t it?

This column is the opinion of Jeff Benziger, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Ceres Courier or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA. How do you feel about this? Let Jeff know at