Measure C, funded by the rich, was narrowly defeated by a smear campaign. A Napa Valley Popular Front emerges from the crucible of defeat. In November, this popular front is poised to gain ground on the valley's rich and their Democrat Party proxies. Napa Greens spearhead the electoral insurgency.
A popular front is a coalition of centrists, liberals, socialists, and communists aimed to advance social democracy and economic justice, by mobilizing the proletariat against the far-right and winning elections. Historic cases, e.g. 1930s France and Spain, prior to Franco's fascist takeover.
Napa Valley's Popular Front is decentralized, comprised of autonomous players; most are Democrats and belong to liberal environmentalist groups, e.g. Vision 2050. A majority of people, loosely associated, with this popular front aren't registered Green. Yet, Napa Greens lead the electoral charge to battle.
American Canyon (Jason Kishineff), Napa (James Hinton), and Calistoga (Don Williams) City Councils, St. Helena's mayorship (Geoff Ellsworth), and Napa Valley College (NVC) Board of Trustees (BOT) (Amy Martenson, Beth Goff, and Xulio Soriano), are the only contested Napa Valley races.
While these candidates often differ in approach, they coalesce around a grassroots vision for local government. Kishineff, Hinton and Martenson are a Green trifecta; Hinton and Martenson are both endorsed by the Napa Valley Taxpayers Association, forging what Ralph Nader calls "the emerging left-right alliance to dismantle the corporate state."
The Leninists would shudder to hear, but Napa Greens are Napa Valley's revolutionary vanguard. While Greens don't follow a dogmatic Marxist-Leninist-Maoist line, we're the largest, by virtue of membership and ballot access, anti-capitalist U.S. political party; by virtue of affiliation, this makes Greens the valley's left opposition. As for sex appeal, we're the most viable electoral vehicle in town.
Amy Martenson fights a Goliathan battle for reelection against the Dodd Dynasty via J. Dodd, state Sen. Bill Dodd's son.
Dodd senior, Republican-turned-Democrat, "misstated the facts" about Measure D during June's primary, behind a smoke screen of public safety, e.g. Measure D will block PG&E's helicopter access to areas for emergency operations. An impartial legal analysis in the voter guide says, "Measure D does not change or effect [current county code]" which grants emergency helicopter services and land sites.
Dodd sponsored SB 901, a PG&E taxpayer bailout bill. "PG&E is a six-time convicted felon from the San Bruno fire" and "corporate criminal" according to Harrington Investments CEO John C. Harrington. While one shouldn't crucify the son for his father's sins, J. Dodd and his dad both represent the same corporate interests. J. Dodd's own record is swampy.
An "environmental lawyer," J. Dodd worked for Syar against a citizen lawsuit to protect lower income neighborhoods from cancerous silica. He also works for the Halls, a bourgeoisie political power couple. In 2009, the Halls evicted residents from their mobile homes south of St. Helena. Shortly thereafter, they drafted plans to develop a luxury hotel on site. Alan Galbraith, St. Helena Mayor, said "the whole [project] looks semi-fraudulent. Maybe strike the word 'semi'."
In 2014, Amy promised integrity, transparency, and accessibly at NVC; she's honored her campaign promises, e.g. meetings are videotaped/posted online, aligning board actions with California Ed Code, board uses data-driven planning/measurable goals. She's the only trustee concerned about public-private partnerships, a neo-liberal policy whereby one cleaves public asset, like slices off a Thanksgiving Day turkey, to sell to the private sector. Why does the Dodd Dynasty oppose Amy?
Hinton supports clean air, water, and fights the downtown fat cats. He's the only candidate opposed to Napa's "City Hall, Taj Mahal," a proposed public-private partnership with soaring public costs. A cannabis consultant, he recently led the NVR editor on a tour of ReLeaf in Vallejo, a "model for how [a Napa dispensary] should be built, secured, and run."
Kisheneff's, American Canyon, platform includes participatory budgeting, a glyphosate ban, a better skatepark, and to bejewel a farmers market along Highway 29, the valley's crown, in Walmart's parking lot. His main opponents are two incumbents; Mark Joseph, three-term Democrat, and David Orso, appointed to fill Belia Ramos' vacancy. Orso publicly opposed Measure C.
Visit Napa Valley is a $10 million annual honeypot funded via a 2 percent bed tax (on top of the existing city 12 percent bed tax), self-assessed by the hospitality-government-industrial complex. Hinton and Kishineff both want to end Visit Napa Valley, raise the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) to 14 percent, earmark 2 percent for workforce housing, and appropriate millions to support services for Napa Valley's lumpenproletariat and blue-collar workers.
The rich killed Measure C and didn't win the war. Measure C lost by a slim margin of 641 votes. We're fired up. The coming battle in autumn is a chance to hold the line against local crony capitalism.