Is it regionalism or life style choices that have the California GOP fighting within? And, who really runs Butte County GOP?

25 Mar

I don’t think I owe anybody at Butte County GOP any apologies. 

Oh, maybe Larry Wahl. I believe Larry Wahl has made sincere attempts to further the gas tax petition, but he doesn’t run Butte County GOP.  Jim Nielsen and his staffer Saulo Londono run Butte County GOP.

Londono, who wears two hats as Nielsen’s office manager and Butte County GOP manager,  is the guy who told me in a phone call that I was being misled by “somebody from San Diego“. He said Nielsen was “devoting his personal resources” toward the petition effort…   “to make sure it gets across the finish line…”  Sounded pretty vague, so I wrote him a note asking who paid for the petition gatherers at Safeway.

“I am the one who called Jim Nielsen’s office yesterday, and believe I had a phone response from you. You referred to Carl Demaio as “somebody from San Diego” so I don’t know how much you know about the gas tax petition, but will ask,  who is paying the signature gatherers who are currently collecting signatures on the gas tax petition (as well as many other petitions for various initiatives) at Safeway stores around Chico? “

His e-mail response was as vague as his phone message.


Thank you for your inquiry. As I stated in my voice message to you, the information you received is not accurate. The Senator is very committed to the repeal of the gas tax. He has held multiple rallies to collect signatures and has donated a lot of financial resources to the effort. 

The local Butte GOP is also committed to the repeal campaign, having used its platform to collect signatures and sponsor rallies. The Butte GOP does not have a year round office, so while there is no place for pickup of signature forms, the Butte GOP has the forms and has delivered several packages when they are requested. 

To answer your question, I assume that the petition gatherers are being paid by the Repeal campaign, and as I’ve stated the Senator is not only in support but has already donated significant financial resources. 

I also know that Congressman LaMalfa and Assemblyman Gallagher are just as committed as well.

Hope that answers your questions. We will continue to fight hard to repeal the gas tax and we thank you for your enthusiasm. Feel free to reach out to me directly if you have other questions or concerns. 


Some problems with this response:

  • “the information you received is not accurate” – then insinuates I was told Nielsen was not committed to the repeal – no, I told him Carl Demaio had said he did not get any response from Butte County GOP – was that inaccurate?
  • “a lot of financial resources to the effort” – really? how much? And paid for what?
  • “The local Butte GOP is also committed to the repeal campaign, having used its platform to collect signatures and sponsor rallies” – Well,  Butte GOP may think they are committed, but that statement is not true – Butte County GOP did not sponsor the rallies, they were set up by local businessman Bud Caldwell, owner of Northgate Petroleum as well as the gas station where the two rallies were held.
  • “Butte GOP does not have a year round office, so while there is no place for pickup of signature forms”   Whoa!  doesn’t even have a Butte County office? no place to sign? I’d say, why bother with Butte GOP at all? In the time it takes to get ahold of Londono (who took two days to respond to me), you could download, print, sign your own petition and have it in the mail. 
  • “I assume that the petition gatherers are being paid by the Repeal campaign”   In other words, they are not in contact with Demaio’s people, they won’t mention Demaio’s name, and the campaign is called “Reform California” not “the Repeal campaign“.   He again claims Nielsen “has already donated significant financial resources.”  To whom? For what? 
  • “I also know that Congressman LaMalfa and Assemblyman Gallagher are just as committed as well.”  Yeah, well they’re both up for reelection too – just another co-inky-dink? 


Saulo Londono is a carpet bagger. I got a local Republican to admit Londono is not even from Northern California, does not maintain any office in Chico. I had frankly assumed that his beef with Carl Demaio was regional, but then I did a little further digging. 

I didn’t know, Carl Demaio is an openly gay politician, having publicly married his partner about two years ago. I’m going to guess, this is why local Republicans don’t want anything to do with him. At first I couldn’t believe they’d be so petty, in this day and age, but I think there’s a huge power struggle going on in the GOP, and lines are being drawn based on lifestyle choices. A paranoid, “them vs us” mentality has taken over. 

But they expect to take advantage of Demaio’s hard work and financial contribution by using the petition drive for rallies for their reelection campaigns. Cute.

I don’t know about the statewide Republican party, but Butte GOP is in trouble. Take a look at Chico Democrats sometime – all run by “local” people. You might not like Bob Mulhullond, but he’s lived here for about 40 years, you see him at the grocery store, the gas station, and public meetings he is not paid to attend. Former council member and long time politico turned embezzler Dave Guzzetti, scumbag that he is, sacrificed a child to Chico public schools.  Mark Stemen has been working and living in Chico for at least 15 years, having graduated from Chico State in the 90’s and returning to take a job. 

Meanwhile – here’s something funny – when I googled Londono, I found he had come to America from Brazil as a child with his parents, eventually moving from Colorado to San Diego to attend college. He came to Sacramento via Fresno, having only achieved citizenship in 2014.  He took over the Butte County GOP  a few years later. I just don’t believe he could possibly have any notion of our local needs with a track record like that. I don’t believe he could be committed to anything but his own resume.

I don’t like Chico Democrats or the Democratic Action Club, they’re a nasty pack of trough dwelling dogs ruining the manger for everybody.  But fighting a locally-based and entrenched group with some snot-nosed carpet bagger is just an invitation to your own ass-kicking. 



12 Responses to “Is it regionalism or life style choices that have the California GOP fighting within? And, who really runs Butte County GOP?”

  1. bob March 25, 2018 at 5:19 pm #

    The local GOP is sure blowing it on this repeal effort. At the very least they are incompetent. I’d be angry but I don’t think it makes any difference any more. The Democrats control everything at the state level and we are a small, poor county with no influence in Sacramento. And then you have the media. So far everything I’ve read in the media supports these tax increases and that includes editorials Little and even Dan Walters have written.

    But I know if these tax increases stand it’s only a matter of time before they are at it again raising taxes. A significant portion of whatever money in these increases that winds up going to roads will eventually get siphoned off. It’s happened before and it will happen again. And of course even more of the pre-tax increase money that is supposed to go to roads will be siphoned off. With the impossible situation with the pensions they will be back again raising taxes. All of these things will come true if people don’t fight against it. There can be no other way. So the people need to fight back and the only way right now is to get the repeal on the ballot.

    This state is in a dire situation with its debt. And if you don’t believe that read this:

    Last week, we questioned whether Congress would ever get serious about paying down the national debt. Now we pose a similar question of our state elected officials.

    There have been some successes, like the adoption of some much-needed, albeit modest, pension reform measures in 2012, and nearly eliminating the “wall of debt,” as Gov. Jerry Brown described a number of short-term liabilities that once totaled nearly $35 billion. But even these efforts have put only a small dent in the state’s total debt.

    This point was crystallized by a new study from financial watchdog group Truth in Accounting, which just released its annual “Financial State of the States” report. The study found that “41 states do not have enough money to pay all of their bills, and, in total, the states have racked up over $1.5 trillion dollars in unfunded state debt.”

    Not surprisingly, the Golden State did not fare well in the analysis, ranking 43rd in terms of debt per taxpayer, and comprising one of nine states to earn an “F” grade. “Repeated decisions by state officials have left the state with a staggering debt burden of $255.1 billion,” the report concluded. “That burden equates to $21,600 for every California taxpayer.”

    Even this may be understated. Using more conservative discount rates for the state’s pension systems, which many financial experts feel are more realistic than the systems’ own assumptions (even though these have been lowered somewhat in recent years), the unfunded pension liabilities alone have been estimated in the high hundreds of billions of dollars, and perhaps as much as $1 trillion. This would put the debt burden at close to $100,000 per person.

    To make matters worse, the state is far from up-front about just how much debt it maintains. “These statistics are troubling, but what’s more troubling is that state government officials continue to obscure large amounts of retirement debt on their balance sheets, despite new rules to increase financial transparency,” the study asserted. “This skewed financial data gives state residents a false impression of their state’s overall financial health.”

    Moreover, the report noted, California was one of the most tardy in publishing its 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, which took 265 days to release after the end of the fiscal year — nearly three months after the supposed 180-day deadline.

    We are already seeing the effects of such debt. Local governments whose pension plans are administered by the state are struggling to keep up with significantly increasing contribution requirements, oftentimes resorting to tax hikes and cuts to public safety and other services. Some, like Vallejo, Stockton and San Bernardino, have been forced into bankruptcy, and many others are on the brink.

    Yet, our elected officials, sometimes with the backing of a majority of voters, keep imposing ever-higher taxes — on “the rich,” on cigarettes, on gasoline, on local sales taxes — and proposing more bond measures — for housing programs, for the Delta water tunnels, for the restoration of the Salton Sea. In short, the government keeps getting bigger and bigger, while more people are struggling to pay their bills (including their tax bills) and get by.

    Governments may be able to conceal their debts better than individual taxpayers, but they cannot avoid them forever.

    • Juanita Sumner March 26, 2018 at 4:59 am #

      Would you believe, Brown asked for another 4 cents on gas earlier this month, but was refused by the Board of Equalization.

      • bob March 26, 2018 at 4:13 pm #

        Amazing even one of the Demorats on that board even voted against the tax increase but Phony Ma did:

        Republican George Runner was absent and did not vote. Democrat Fiona Ma and Deputy State Controller Yvette Stowers voted to support the recommendation from Brown’s office.

        You can bet that Brown and his successor will be back demanding more and I bet the next times the hapless taxpayers won’t be so lucky.

        And Dan Walters is back with a new one

        “Commentary: Local tax hikes cleverly packaged”

        We need a state amendment that only allows the mentally ill to vote. They’re the only ones who can see through these lying, scumbag politicians.

      • bob March 26, 2018 at 4:16 pm #

        Local governments cannot, by law, directly finance campaigns to win voter approval of new taxes. However, local officials can – and quite often do – hire consulting firms to test voter sentiment in advance, design tax proposals to give them the best chance of winning approval, and design supposedly educational mailers and other materials that portray the taxes in positive terms.

        Sound familiar? This is just what CARD and Lando has done. They take the taxpayers’ money and use it to produce propaganda to brainwash the taxpayers into voting for ever higher taxes.

      • bob March 26, 2018 at 4:18 pm #

        How far they can go without running afoul of the law is uncertain. The California Taxpayers Association accused one city, Carson, of stretching the law last year by publishing a “full-color campaign-style mailer” to pass a special tax on the local oil industry.

        CARD and Lando need to be watched closely when they roll out their next tax increase measure.

      • bob March 26, 2018 at 4:22 pm #

        Dang, Walters hit it out of the park with this one. What he says is so true.

        Passing local tax measures has become big business, and California voters will face another barrage of proposals this year because cities are facing unprecedented fiscal crises, born mostly of rapidly increasing demands by the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) for more money to shore up its shaky finances.

        However, based on how these local tax measures have been packaged by Lew Edwards and other consultants in past years, this year’s voters won’t be told that more of their money is needed for pensions, because that wouldn’t sell very well.

        Taber and Morgan came to mind when I first read this:

        What does sell, according to the polling that Edwards and others conduct, is “public safety,” along with fixing local streets and roads. Therefore the demands for more pension funds are typically reconfigured in tax proposals as bolstering police and fire protection.

        It’s a half-truth because the biggest drivers of pension spending are benefits for police officers and firefighters. Their pensions can approach, or even exceed, 100 percent of their salaries, and they are costing close to 50 cents for every dollar of salary now, and costs are still rising.

        Typically, too, the “public safety” mantra is amplified by campaigns financed by public employee unions. Or, as one how-to article in a public agency management publication put it, “The city’s message needs to be supported by a political side that doesn’t have the same advocacy limitations a city does.”

      • Juanita Sumner March 27, 2018 at 4:57 am #

        We need people to write letters to both papers, and tell the truth. Giving these agencies more money is just throwing gas on the fire.

  2. bob March 25, 2018 at 5:33 pm #

    Did your letter get published? I didn’t see it in the ER but Little did write an editorial telling us how wonderful Tom Lando is and that Little wants to see him cloned. I just about lost my dinner when I read that.

    • Juanita Sumner March 26, 2018 at 5:01 am #

      You know, I’m not too worried about my letter being published since I got a note from Demaio yesterday:

      “Thank you for your contribution and supporting our fight to defeat the car and gas tax. We are almost there.”

      I didn’t send money but had written him a note telling him what I had been doing – bloggin’ it! I also told him thanks for paying for local signature gatherers.

      Yes, I saw a letter about how great Lando is this morning, people are soooo stupid. Everybody forgot about the MOU Lando convinced council to sign, around 2006, attaching city salaries to “revenue increases but not decreases…”

      Did Dick Little mention that Lando is getting PAID for all this wonderful service he’s providing? He’s getting salaries out of both the city of O-ville and Feather River Parks and Rec last I heard.

      • bob March 26, 2018 at 9:34 am #

        Not to mention that on top of those two salaries Lando is also getting a six figure pension.

        Of course, Little mentioned none of that and instead published a letter from someone named Dave Kilbourne who told us Lando is one of the best managers Chico ever had. But this is the same person that wrote the book “At the Corner of Fleeheart and Pig Turd Alley” and owned the “…highly successful urban planning and economic development consulting firm, Downtown Revitalization Consultants.” I’d bet the city of Chico awarded this firm some nice contracts when Lando was city manager.

  3. Jim March 26, 2018 at 5:07 am #

    I’ve never been impressed with either the local GOP or the local Democrats. Both seem like out of touch buffoons. Local elections are supposed to be non-partisan, yet both organizations promote candidates based on party instead of competency.

    • Juanita Sumner March 26, 2018 at 5:14 am #

      I agree, neither group has any idea or cares about the life of the average working Chico resident.

      Unfortunately, the local democrats have a bigger, younger, and more active group. They fight too – I think Gruendl created a huge rift in the local Democrats, but now he’s gone. Of course, Dave Guzzetti was a drain – always insisted on getting a salary for doing anything, and then he was stealing beyond that. But he’s gone too. Mulhullond is getting senile, and they seem to be pushing him out. Stemen seems to be taking over as the old faces fade out of the picture. He sure manages to forward his own agenda. Now that Mayor Meagher is out of it, let’s see where Stemen gets his money.

      It’s all about the money. We’ll see if Stemen gets caught with his fingers in the pie like Guzzetti did.

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