Tracing a rumor to usual suspects

Looking Behind the Scenes
By: Jim Ruffalo
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Repaving the notebook while praying that the once the city finishes Streetscape, it will use some of the fences to enclose homes containing pitbulls ... One “Holmes” that won’t have to be fenced in is Jim Holmes. Contrary to the latest rumors, the 3rd District supervisor is not mulling a political race against incumbent Congressman Tom McClintock. Tracing the rumors, I found they were started by the usual suspects. In case you’re new in town, that cabal is the same tired little group that rushes out every election to form a “Republicans for” to help whichever local Democrat is trying to make inroads in the county’s GOP bastion. The folly reportedly went so far they even tried to talk Holmes into either switching political parties or declaring himself an Independent in order to take on McClintock in a general election, if necessary.  Although he declined to identify the players, Holmes did confirm that he was the subject of said rumors. However, he insists that he’s quite content to remain a supervisor. Good! Not that he couldn’t give Dr. No a run for his money in a primary. It’s just that if Holmes did win, Washington D.C. would grind him down in just a few weeks. He’s one of us, not them. Checking in with real political mavens such as Tom Jones and Ken Tokutomi, it seems the rumors began from a perceived political dilemma. It’s no secret that the 2010 Census, and its accompanying required reapportionment, could quite possibly place Holmes and 5th District Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery into an eventual race for the same supervisorial seat. That part is true, and should both opt to fight it out, it will be among the more interesting political races down the line. It’s just that it won’t happen in the 2010 election cycle. Tokutomi, who also confirmed hearing those same rumors but claims he’s “too busy with tax season” to be involved, correctly points out that reapportionment won’t be in place until the 2012 cycle, and that Holmes’ seat is up for election in 2010. And while nobody will ever put it on the record, it’s very doubtful that any gerrymandering brought on by the Census will wind up having Holmes and Montgomery residing within the same supervisorial district, even though it appears that the bulk of Auburn will end up in the 5th District... Another view: It appears that not everybody was thrilled with last week’s effort detailing the financial woes suffered by our local Chamber of Commerce. And the best rebuttal from among those who’ve mastered the art of a concise and thoughtful response was Rosie Mietzel, former ball chairwoman and a local Realtor with Lifestyle Real Estate. After catching my attention with the line “Thanks for ignoring the needs of the rest of us,” she went on to say not every business stands within the confines of the Old Town or Downtown business associations. She says she’s benefited from the chamber’s leadership programs, and from community events designed to lure potential paying customers to the village, and was especially pleased with the “networking luncheons at Sizzler, (which are) a great example of all the business owners coming together to network.” Mietzel closed her missive by claiming she “certainly will notice” a void in her business life should the local chamber go under. Thanks for your side of the story ... Another Holmes: Auburn Mayor Mike Holmes said he’d recently heard from one of McClintock’s staffers concerning the possible closing of Lake Clementine. His Honor points out the City Council recently sent letters to the congressmen and to our two U.S. senators. Seeing as how the issue involves water, he probably can forget about Dianne Feinstein’s support. Homes did not want to divulge the conversation with McClintock’s people, but did admit to “being cautiously optimistic” that something will be done to dig up the $200,000 needed to keep the local lake operable, As the mayor says, the local lake is a drawing card for the area, as well as being a heavily utilized local recreational resource. There’s absolutely no reason for not keeping it open. Jim Ruffalo can be reached at