Brady and Bass; how much for your soul?

marion brady glamvirginia glam








This week’s NorthCoast Journal and Lost Coast Outpost gave the public a bit of light on the inner workings of the General Plan Update through public records requests.  Bravo and about freaking time.  What’s sad is that this shocking information has been out there for quite a while, and none of our local news sources have really looked into it, until now.  The reason they have actually done real journalism recently is simple; the public got involved and has voiced serious concerns over the corruption and collusion from big money and the Board of Supervisors.

The NCJ documents an exchange of emails between Marian Brady and Virginia Bass.  Surprisingly, these emails show the varying lengths of influence that money is able to buy.  When the email touched on changing the GPU to allow uncontrolled development of open spaces and resource land, Bass chided Brady for “sadly giving up (her) governance ability to others.”  Bass went on to further state the limits of what big time donors actually buy with donations (in her mind); “Financial supporters are wonderful and necessary but sometimes they don’t realize that what they gain by their support is access, an open ear and open communication…”.

So the Brady bunch sold their soul to Arkley and those who shared Arkleys interest (uncontrolled development) because of the campaign donations to their perspective campaigns, along with Measure N (the re-zoning of the balloon tract).  Obviously, the city of Eureka has been bought and paid for.  Thankfully Bass had her morals, and was sticking by GPU language protecting resource lands and open spaces from being converted into residential areas.

But then came the payoff………..access.  Before the important vote, Randy Gans (Arkley’s Henchman) texted Bass and asked for a coffee date to discuss this provision, making it clear that it was about how his (Arkley’s) interest might be effected by such restrictive language.  He texted, “One wrong word here and one comma there and we will have a new version of the coastal act to live by in Humboldt County”.  Obviously, the Coastal Act and other environmental protections are not in their interests.

Bass got the point, loud and clear.  Whereas before she was lambasting Brady for selling her soul, Bass now saw that her backers were pulling in a favor.  From the NCJ:

“A couple of days later, Bass texted back, asking if she could skip the coffee meeting. “If it helps to know, I’ve spent the last several days talking to about 16 people most of them I’m sure you know including Lee et cetera who probably are talking about the same concerns. I happen to agree on item 4 …” Bass wrote back. About a week later, the board voted 4-1, with Lovelace dissenting, to again lop off the “restrictive language” discouraging the conversion of resource land and open spaces. The vast majority of e-mails the supervisors received from the general public on the issue had been in support of the Sept. 23 revisions.”

Money talks.  It buys influence not only nationally, but right here in Humboldt.  Bass, it seems, at least tried to appear to be above the influence (in the beginning).  But when push came to shove, she did the exact thing she criticized Marian Brady for. Bass wrote to Brady before her change of mind, “It doesn’t mean that someone gives up their soul and promises to do everything they (big donors) want. I am not that person nor will I ever be.”  Really Virginia, it seems that you just sold that soul.


11 thoughts on “Brady and Bass; how much for your soul?

  1. How do these people justify the loosening of regulations as a necessary measure to create jobs? How exactly? After these new guiding principles are official, will there be a construction boom?

    I still don’t understand how any of this creates any new jobs. If anything it helps raise the profit margin of the developers.


  2. This is pervasive and demoralizing in Humboldt. In 2008 I thought things were really changing, but the corrupt powers flexed their muscles in 2010 and through the reformers out. Sadly I am afraid, never to return.


  3. If they could just fix the rail system here, the first train out of Humboldt would be known as the environmental exit express. The hand writing is on the wall, developers have a very tight grip on ‘good old’ Humboldt. Nice picture of Virginia.


  4. Watchman:

    It is possible to loosen that grip… we can elect candidates that don’t feed from that trough and take back our county….

    Yeah, I know. I can hear the hysterical laughter from here. But we can at least try.

    And yes, a very nice picture of Ms. Bass. I think the TE is learning the art of choosing one’s battles carefully. Not a glamour shot to be sure but not an insult either. Good for the TE.


  5. So the point is….changing your mind means selling your soul? Nice job folks.


  6. “How do these people justify the loosening of regulations…”

    What county environmental or development regulations have been “loosened?” Please name a few. (In the interest of saving us both some time, please note that keeping regulations the same as they are now is not “loosening” them).


  7. Anonymous one you left out the word “proposed” (regulations)


  8. You’re complaining that I “left out” a word that was not present in the first place in the comment that I was responding to? Huh.

    If what you’re getting at is that the Supervisors are “loosening” proposed regulations, not existing regulations, that’s a very different thing.

    If someone claimed that the Supervisors had voted to “raise taxes,” but it turned out that they actually just voted to keep tax rates the same, declining to support a proposal to cut tax rates, most people wouldn’t call that a tax increase. Well maybe some hard-line Tea Partiers would, but my guess is about a third of them believe the earth is flat too. 😉


  9. Reality Check:

    Changing your mind does not put your soul on the ethereal personal essence market. There are all kinds of circumstances when changing one’s mind is a good thing.

    The implication (both from this TE blog post and the original North Coast Journal article) is Ms. Bass’s mind was changed because she was told to change it.

    But it was nice that Ms. Bass did have a brief moment of independence. There is an old Assyrian saying: “When the donkey flies, you don’t complain about the hang time.”

    Mr. Check (May I call you Reality?), I know the TE’s reportage can be a teeny-weenie bit strident at times but try to see past that. The whole point of this exercise is to demonstrate how the thinking (or lack thereof) takes place with our elected leaders. It appears they don’t do any thinking until someone approves the thinking for them.

    Now, who could that “someone” be? Probably that “someone” is the one with whom Ms. Bass would really rather avoid having a coffee date. Who works for someone else who doesn’t do his own disciplinary coffee dates. I think you see where that is going.

    No doubt your interpretation of the emails and subsequent events may differ.


  10. Existing GP language:

    Protect agriculture and timberland over the long-term, using measures such as increased restrictions on resource land subdivisions and patent parcel development.

    New language:

    Encourage, incentivize and support agriculture, timber, ecosystem services and compatible uses on resource lands

    Original language:

    Protect natural resources, especially open space, water resources, water quality, scenic beauty, and salmonid habitat.

    New language:

    Support individual rights to live in urban, suburban, rural or remote areas of the county while using a balanced approach to protect natural resources, especially open space, water resources, fisheries habitat and water quality in cooperation with state and federal agencies.

    Again, how does this create more jobs? I don’t understand the reasoning…


  11. Jobs Jobs Jobs was the tag line from the Hooked on Bass campaign signs in 2010. The Brady Bunch and Bass have had their way since then. So where are the Jobs Jobs Jobs?


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