Looking behind the scenes: Supe leaves GOP since it ‘left me’

By: Jim Ruffalo
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Wondering why I have to read the notebook before inking a column. So far, it seems that Congress can continue operating without having to read any of the bills it approves. ... And speaking of politics, be warned here and now that the column will — for the third consecutive week — lead with a Jim Holmes item. Weary readers will recall that the past two efforts have discussed the rumors of local Supervisor Holmes exiting the Republican Party. Leads were checked, interviews were conducted and conclusions reached.  Two previous times it was printed that Holmes was staying put. So you can imagine my surprise when Holmes himself invited me to lunch and before the egg rolls were served, blurted out that, yes indeed, he had changed his political registration. Holmes has joined the growing ranks of the “Decline to State,” which many believe has been the retort of most local Republicans when asked to which party they belong. But in this case, Holmes meant he bailed from the GOP, claiming that “the party left me.” “It’s no longer the party of Reagan. Back then, Ronald Reagan not only knew himself, but liked himself, and had a (solid) idea of how to govern. That doesn’t seem to happen right now,” he said as the egg rolls promptly arrived. Are there also some bad feelings against the local Republican organization? He said there weren’t any, but how can anybody forget that the local Central Committee endorsed his opponent in a primary, and doesn’t seem to quit recruiting potential candidates to go against him? And does the change in registration also mean he’ll next take on incumbent Tom McClintock for the local congressional seat? “I haven’t made a decision on that, yet,” he answered Any other year, an independent taking on a sitting congressman would be akin to sending a Pop Warner football team to face the an NFL squad. But if the Raiders can do it every week, then anything’s possible. After all, has anybody ever seen such animosity of incumbents at this level? It doesn’t matter if they’re Republican or Democrat. An “inc” after one’s name appears to no longer be an abbreviation for “incumbent.” Nowadays. most voters think “inc” has become an acronym for “I’m Not Considering.” As for Holmes, he said the exit was an idea he’d “been kicking around for a long time,” but refrained from registering as a Democrat “because they have the same problems as do the Republicans.” Those similar problems, according to Holmes, start with an overabundance of rhetoric on both sides of the aisle. “There needs to be more governing from the center,” he claimed. Makes some sense, but there’s still the burning question of why didn’t he own up to the change when asked two weeks ago? “Well,” he said, “You asked me if I was re-registering as a Democrat and I wasn’t.” Then, obviously realizing how smarmy that sounded, quickly added, “The question was so unexpected I really didn’t know how to answer it.”... Fluball: Ironic, isn’t it, that all the years Bear River and Colfax have been fielding excellent football teams, the local TV networks provide some coverage only because of games not played. Last year, Colfax got a ton of electronic publicity only after getting word on a bus trip that it would not be involved in a playoff game after all. Then this past week we saw the three alleged major network affiliates give the flu-canceled Colfax-Bear River game prominent reporting, although Channel 10 originally insisted that one of the opponents was “Bear Valley.” By the way, it had to be especially difficult for the Colfax side to allow the postponement. After all, the Falcons could have picked up an easy win by forfeit, but insisted that sportsmanship dictated the game be played however possible. Why such a difficult choice? Because more than a few Falcons fans are convinced that some Bear River folk played a part in Colfax’s playoff problems last year. ... Take and give: By now, those who care know that the Board of Supervisors recently engineered a 20 percent “cost sharing” mechanism concerning health coverage for county employees represented by the Deputy Sheriffs Association. Less known is that 157 retired deputies were also involved in that give-back. Now we learn that there might be a change in the status of that latter group. A very reliable source says that that the supervisors could, as early as this month, agree to roll back the charge for the retirees. “Some of the county (hierarchy) feels that it wasn’t fair to include the retirees in the cost sharing,” the source said, adding that “most of those people retired at relatively low pensions, and their two-percent cost-of-living didn’t do all that much for their pensions. It wouldn’t cost that much to do this for them.” Jim Ruffalo’s column runs Sundays. Reach him at