Republicans in California and specifically in Sonoma County are used to feeling as if they are creatures from another planet. They are also careful about letting their friends and acquaintances know their political opinions. The reactions from “good” liberals are pretty awful. Every negative assumption is made about you as a person with all kinds of name calling. Former “friends” send angry e-mails excoriating their friend for not marching in lock step with the Democrat line. You don’t just have a different opinion. You are an evil person.
To many of us, the truly sad matter in this county is the position of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. This is the major paper in Sonoma County. Does the editorial board realize that the editorial pages are predictable and really quite boring? Continual unfunny cartoons about Donald Trump indicate a total lack of imagination. The majority of editorials are a constant diatribe against Donald Trump. 95% of the columnists are far left and only seem to be able to write about President Trump. Articles about the administration are all from the New York Times, Bloomberg and the Washington Post. These news services are universally against the current administration and do not hesitate to leave out facts or worse yet pass along fake news. Propaganda always requires that adjectives are used in a written piece to shade a story a certain way. All articles about Donald Trump are loaded with slanted adjectives.
The issue that does not appear to matter to editorial boards in the whole county is that California is a one party state. All legislative and congressional seats are held by Democrats. Whenever the Press Democrat makes an endorsement for an elected office, the choice is always the Democrat. There is never another result. Therefore, there are no roadblocks to stop bad laws and deal with the issues that cause California residents so many problems. Those problems are sufficient to cause many Californians to leave the state which they are doing at a high rate.
Now, in fairness, the Press Democrat does run articles occasionally on some major problems in the county. They have included articles on the pension problems in Sonoma County although those problems exist in the whole state. Sonoma County went from $76 Million in unrestricted net assets in 2014 to $473 Million in unrestricted net liabilities, a reduction of $550 Million. This number does not include the country’s $270 Million unfunded retiree health care liability.
It is of course necessary to remember that all five members of the Board of Supervisors are Democrats who have voted on some truly awful financial issues e.g. Measure A in 2016 regarding increasing taxes for roads and Measure A this year regarding taxes on Marijuana. This measure cost over $440,000 to put on the ballot and allowed no time for an opposing view to even make it onto the ballot. Such bad timing resulted in a 33% turnout for the election.
A recent poll indicated that the majority of Californians are against sanctuary cities. However, that does not matter when the legislature is ruled by one party. SB 54 which declares the entire state of California a sanctuary state passed the Senate. The bill now goes to the Assembly. So, California will continue to break federal law and very possibly lose federal funds. SB 54 prohibits municipal police and sheriff departments from cooperating with Immigration Control (ICE). An amendment has been added that does allow for contacting ICE if the illegal person is already in jail. Unless a great deal of pressure is brought on Assembly members, SB 54 will undoubtedly pass.
Governor Brown is demanding a $5.2 Billion a year gas/auto increase to pay for roads and street repair. What most people don’t know is that the money is already in state coffers. However, for many years, transportation funds have been transferred to the general fund where the money can be spent on anything elected officials decide.
It is possible that the Press Democrat could even increase its circulation if it carried some in depth information about what is going on in Sacramento and if it carried some columnists who presented a different view than the official Democrat line.