Ruffalo: Peering into Placer Republican workings

Looking Behind the Scenes
By: Jim Ruffalo
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Dribbling through the notebook while thinking that if the Sacramento Kings eventually want to move into the Lakers’ market, they’ll get an “aye” vote from the Dallas Mavericks ... And there also were enough “aye” votes from Wednesday’s Placer County Republican Central Committee (PCRCC) meeting to continue to its heavy-handed ways. You don’t have to take my word for it, because a watchdog from the local Norcal Tea Party Patriots Committee was on hand, and his report made interesting reading. The Tea Party representative, Ford Davies, did not provide me with a copy, but there were more than enough of those in my e-mail the following morning. Before getting into the guts of the meeting, Davies had an interesting tidbit. He noted that the meeting was held in the lobby because, he claimed, the utility bills hadn’t been paid and the power was off. Actually, while the lights may have been off, there was nothing wrong with the committee’s ability to exercise power. Returning to the report, Davies noted that George Park — whom Republican voters thought so much of in the primary election that he finished dead last and lost his seat — was voted in to fill a vacancy in District 4. Davies then reported that the snafu of the Mitt Romney check winding up with the California Republican Assembly (CRA), rather the the Placer County Republican Party (as originally designated) was discussed briefly, only to have generalissimo Tom Hudson dismiss the incident with “this sort of thing is commonplace.” Problem is, Hudson is probably quite correct. We now know that money from Romney was used to fund CRA registration figures in order to secure endorsements for the presidential primary. How’d that work out for you, Mitt? Davies went on to report that Cheryl Bly-Chester made a motion to discuss looking into documents concerning the Hudson et. al. Headquarters Partnership (HQP), an operation that if it was the money-laundering operation as some CRPCC members claimed, then it needs further investigation as to its cleanliness. We all probably know what’s coming, but let me quote from Davies: “The committee then made the most amazing motion,” he wrote, adding that it was announced that “the committee has fully discharged its duty relative to HQP prior to Jan. 12.” Davies said that pronouncement “effectively shut off all future debate.” Not as poignant as some recent presidential executive orders, but certainly as effective. But wait, there’s more. Davies said the committee then, by a vote, refused to have the preceding vote included in the minutes, then went on to prohibit the recording of all future meetings without permission. Don’t know about the Gentle Readers, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that a future closed session item might be over which color armbands to wear at the next political rally ...  LOP-LAND. If the PCRCC can’t get the lights turned back on for its usual meeting place, it might want to consider renting space over at Lake of the Pines. It would be right at home, judging by some recent LOP Homeowners Association board of directors meetings. No, I’m not referring to whether or not its recent decision to pursue a $2 million clubhouse restoration project was done legally. Lawyers will (I guarantee it) settle that matter down the road. Instead, the reference is to some seemingly inexplicable workings by said board, including whether or not it properly handles closed-session items. Board member Chuck Lautrup, who appears to be the lone director willing to answer my questions on the record, says the in-house attorney assured the board that closed-sessions were done according to Hoyle. However, he does admit that the vote to proceed with the remodel was done in closed-session, which wasn’t how that should have been accomplished. The upshot of the board’s vote was if any future loan to complete that project is needed, it would legally encumber each resident’s residence. There are other allegations perturbing LOPlanders, including missing minutes, failure to mail requested agendas and failure to report properly out of a closed-session meeting. Then there is also a recent board decision to (sound familiar?) prohibit the recording of board meetings. Lautrup said he voted against allowing such recordings because “there was no hue and cry to do so.” He’s right in his logic, but wrong in his reasoning. Reach Jim Ruffalo at