Editor, Ceres Courier,
I think you do a great job running the Ceres Courier. I notice some typos now and then, but the content is good. Certainly I don’t think I’d be able to do a better job. The articles are written fairly. I think your opinions are fairly reasonable, if not insightful - and importantly, you keep them within the Opinion section. The quality of news reporting in this country has declined over the years. Often through biased reporting (creeping opinion into articles), selective amplification/downplaying, unnamed sources with dubious motives, or outright fake news. For me, the Ceres Courier offers a breath of fresh air amidst a toxic media landscape. Your detractors have no shortage of outlets to choose from that cater to the center-left to far-left.
I hadn’t subscribed to any newspaper in, well, I think ever. Millennials aren’t known for it. I subscribed a few months ago after I’d gotten my sample ballot and was researching who to vote for. Expressing gratitude is something that I don’t do often (but maybe I should). Given the angry letters to you that you’ve published recently (which I feel are unfair), I thought that some encouragement wouldn’t hurt. I’d wanted to write for some time, and now seems like a good time.
I’d also like to express thanks to the Turlock Journal for hosting the CA-10 Harder-Howze debate (since you work in the same office). They did a way better job hosting their debate than the Commission for Presidential Debates did. The Turlock Journal asked good questions and they allowed the candidates to fully express themselves. Debate actually occurred. Candidates were able to challenge and rebut each other’s statements to their hearts’ content - without being relentlessly prodded because “there are other questions we need to get to and we have X minutes”. I found that frustrating. Americans deserve better. But back to the CA-10 debate... your article covering it was fair & objectively written. I’d watched that debate on YouTube (after the Vice Presidential debate), and I felt your detailed summary covered it well.
I haven’t lived in Ceres long (I moved here in February). I’d lived in Turlock around 30 years. I moved here largely because of AB 5 and City of Turlock red-tape taking away my ability to work as an independent contractor. I needed to move anyway because I and neighboring tenants were being kicked out (likely a consequence of California’s recently enacted rent control law). In Turlock I could not obtain a business license and permit to work from home in my apartment (as a software engineer with no employees nor visiting clients) due to red-tape that virtually no landlord is willing to indulge.
Since I’m fairly new to this city, I didn’t know anyone running. After I got my sample ballot, I researched every candidate. The Ceres Courier’s website was one resource. Generally I look into all candidates (and propositions) and seek out reasons both for and against. Not just what’s in the official Voter Guide. It’s a lot of work, but I view it as a duty. I didn’t find very much information about Lopez (although I did find more than I was able to for YCCD Area 7 candidates). Frankly, I didn’t get the impression that Lopez was seriously trying to win. I don’t know, maybe he had a good presence on Facebook and built his campaign on it. I know that Facebook tends to silo information from being discoverable.
This election in general has been highly irregular. But I didn’t expect the local results to be. Mainstream social media is being censored more highly than usual now (#StopTheSteal). Some smaller platforms such as Gab.com have been more open. I just signed up on StopTheSteal.us because big tech platforms are actively disrupting efforts for people to organize and stay informed. One post I saw was for reporting “voter suppression, irregularities and fraud” to the Trump campaign (http://djt45.co/stopfraud). California is “deep blue” and not considered a battleground state, but I went ahead and sent them a note about this local election anyway. I mentioned that I don’t believe Lopez is “in on” anything, but if there is cheating by the Left for the CA-10 race, this could be a symptom. As you reported, Durossette signs had been vandalized to say “racist” and I presume this smear was done by law enforcement-hating radical leftists. The 2018 election was also irregular for California, in that seven House of Representative seats flipped — all from Republican to Democrat and in all cases the counts on Election Day had the Republican ahead. CA-10 was one of those districts.
For the mayoral race, your prediction was far from 46%-54% (current unofficial results as of Nov. 5).
I’m at a loss to come up with reasons for voters to choose Lopez over Durossette at such a margin. Assuming there wasn’t fraud in up-ballot races, voters are somehow getting different information than we’re seeing. “Filter bubbles” and social media could be even more influential than I’d thought. Or maybe a lot of people personally know him somehow. I didn’t get much time to meet anyone in the area due to imposed shutdowns and COVID-19 restrictions. Still, I felt I put in a good effort to seek out reasons to vote for Lopez over Durossette. I have no reason to believe he won’t be a good mayor, although his antagonistic attitude towards the Ceres Courier doesn’t bode well. I hope that, moving forward, all of our elected officials will endeavor to listen to and represent all of their constituents. Too often this does not seem to happen at the state and national level.
Elections in some other states are looking bad right now – with election observers being shut out, lots of people calling foul, videos of ballots getting thrown away or even burned, reports of dead voters, and more. Here’s hoping that any and all instances of fraud are identified and overturned.
LETTERS POLICY: Letters to the editor will be considered for publication but must be signed and include an address and phone number. Letters should be 250 words or less and be void of libel. Send to The Ceres Courier, 138 S. Center Street, Turlock CA 95380 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.