Mendocino County Supervisor Election: The crucial differences between Dan Hamburg and Wendy Roberts

Vote Hamburg District 5 Supervisor

In the aftermath of my debate with Wendy Roberts for Ukiah Valley TV (to be broadcast on MCTV), I want to describe what I see as the difference between your two candidates for supervisor.  Wendy is a self-described “Stanford liberal.”  As such, she doesn’t deeply question corporate prerogatives, often repeating the contention that “they’re all good people.”  She describes the MLPAI in this vein, insisting that the Resources Legacy Foundation Fund (funded by the family charities of Intel, Getty, Packard, etc.) has no particular agenda when it comes to the disposition of our coast.  She believes that the placement of Catherine Reheis-Boyd, chief operating officer and chief of staff for the Western States Petroleum Association, on the Task Force making decisions for us raises no particular concern.  On other issues–from the privatization of county solid waste disposal to the increasing loss of agricultural land to outside real estate investment trusts–she voices support or raises no loud objection.

I’m a Stanford grad, too, but would describe myself as a progressive (registered Green due to my disaffection with the Democratic Party’s capitulation to corporate interests) who believes strongly that the current order, in which the US functions like an international rogue cop, enriching corporations while gutting the middle-class and guttering the poor, must pass.

I noticed that Wendy recently criticized me (UDJ, 8/26), as have Grant and other Wendy supporters, for being “too concerned about national and global issues.” I don’t know how one can be “too concerned” about those things.  Being a good county supervisor means “thinking globally and acting locally.”  For example, the need for us to build a local economy, particularly in the food and energy sectors, is precisely because Cargill, Archer-Daniels-Midland, PG&E, BP, Exxon, etc. are evil. That doesn’t mean that their execs are necessarily evil. These folks would act most amiably at a Stanford University reception. They wouldn’t be rude. They would use all their eating utensils correctly. They would smile at the children and pet the dogs. The issue isn’t whether they are evil, it’s whether the power relationships they condone and in many cases embody, are evil in the sense that they are taking the planet and its people in a cruel and unsustainable direction.

The current order will pass because its contradictions have become obvious. Nearly two billion people worldwide are starving, many without access to clean water and sanitation. Our very planetary life support system is on red alert. These are not simply problems “out there.” They are problems right here. When Mendocino County destroyed its resource base, with plenty of cheering on from Wendy’s supporters at the Employers Council, we contributed our share to global warming (and lost thousands of good local timber and fishing jobs).

In case anyone out there is curious about Carrie’s and my adventures in Ohio back in ’04, this link will take you to the Common Dreams website where you can find my article. I have also written extensively about many of the themes I mention above. My campaign website is an easy way to find some of those articles (
See also: Dan Hamburg — The Long-Distance Runner


jonathan middlebrook August 28, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I agree with most of what Dan writes, though I’d reverse his proportion of space devoted to national & international matters and to county matters: more focused explanation of the garbage deal & the fisheries matters, less soapboxing the fact that corporate executives pet their dogs & probably love their wives when not participating in the great corporate screwing of We the People.

–Also, I wish both Wendy & Dan would stop the Stanford palaver: anyone over 45 who still brags about alma mater suggests his (and her) failure to achieve adulthood.

Nicely written and cogent comment on our predicament. Unfortunately for the right wingers the world has become incredibly small and their continued efforts to ignore the malignant effects of greed rampant, an approach that has served them well materially, is pushing every locality to think globally or act moronically. If we, as a community, continue on with politics as usual we will perish, period.