Off Beat: Courting the wrong support
The results are in, and there's one lingering question from Election 2012: Why did Courtney McAlister announce the support of Dan Lungren?
McAlister ran in the Yuba County judge's race. It was the one with only three candidates. He lost to Ben Wirtschafter.
McAlister, in a burst of political brilliance, touted that Lungren backed his candidacy.
Lungren is well known as a congressmen — conservative, of course.
But back in the day, Lungren was the California's attorney general.
And when he was the attorney general, Lungren had to deal with the lawsuit filed by Yuba County's 1986 flood victims.
Lungren could have settled the case and made everything go away. It might have cost California several million dollars, but the case would have been over and done with.
But Lungren, in an equally brilliant move, chose to fight, fight, fight the poor people of Yuba County.
He fought them for years. Long after he had moved on to Congress, the state continued to fight the flood victims.
And, as you well know, the state wound up losing and paying out more than $400 million. And getting an adverse court decision puts the state on the hook in the future in certain flooding situations.
But none of that occurred to McAlister. No, to him Dan Lungren was just a swell endorsement that proved his Republican bona fides, and he's a guy with friends in important places.
The fact that Lungren was universally despised in Yuba County for a very long time never crossed McAlister's mind. And, obviously, Lungren wasn't one to care.
There's a lesson in this. It's unlikely McAlister will learn it.
While the candidates huddled in front of their shortwave radios to glean election results, Yuba County Supervisor Hal Stocker encamped in front of the Save Mart in Marysville.
Stocker, a man on a mission, was trying to gather signatures for his initiative to protect ag land in Yuba County.
Stocker has been around for a very long time on the Yuba County political scene. But you'd never know it by the reaction he received in front of the Marysville market.
Nobody seemed to know who the guy was.
Folks would walk by. Hal would ask them if they were Yuba County voters. Most would say no. Not many acknowledged he was an elected official.
Even after being told he was an elected official, their reaction was blasé.
Maybe it was because Hal wasn't in his natural habitat in the foothills, where he is a god.