“The Ghost of Elections Past”


Erin go bragh? Erin go BOO!

Not a St. Patrick’s Day goes by without the spirited shouting of “Erin go bragh!” in every Irish pub worth its weight in leprechauns.

Yes! “Ireland forever!”

But rarely is heard,” Oíche Shamhna Shona!” even whispered in the most hushed of tones, even though “Happy Halloween” would surely be appropriate in the language of those who decided to honor their dead eons ago with a special day of dedicated remembrance. They lit bonfires and dressed in disguises.

“Samhain” (pronounced So-ween’) has pre-Christian roots in Ireland and was regarded as a magical time at the end of summer when spirits, fairies and souls of the dead could more easily cross between worlds. The practice of ritualistic commemoration has been echoed in many other cultures around the world since time began.

Never inclined to let a good pagan holiday go to waste, the Roman Catholic Church in the 9th century shifted the date of All Saints Day to November 1st and named November 2nd, “All Souls Day.” The ancient festival of Samhain is regarded in many esoteric circles as “The Celtic New Year”

And here comes November 4th – Election Day 2014 – another special moment offering genuine potential for fresh beginnings.

Tom McClintock has haunted the halls of Congress long enough.

For more than three decades, this classic specter of a self-serving career politician has known nothing but a relatively sheltered existence with pension benefits and a life style guaranteed and subsidized by hard working taxpayers. Since 2009, he has earned the dubious distinction of being the most reactionary representative on the Tea Party right whose main claim to fame was shutting down Yosemite last fall.

When trapped, he disingenuously snarls back with fanciful facts and loose logic.

In the September 16th issue of the Sierra Star, I wrote, “Sheriff John Anderson, about to leave office after seventeen years of outstanding service to the community, publicly observed that his personal efforts to obtain intervention from Congressman McClintock in the ongoing dispute over Chukchansi tribal control have been in vain. Moreover, Sheriff Anderson reports that McClintock has never even displayed the professional courtesy of returning any of his calls.”

Subsequently, the Star published a response from McClintock stating, “Peter Cavanaugh accuses my office of ignoring a request for assistance from Sheriff John Anderson.” He then proceeded to allege that his “staff” intervened and, by his own admission, accomplished nothing.

No, Congressman. I stand by my story that you failed to personally return any of the Sheriff’s calls or deal with him directly yourself, leaving resolution of this critical and now tragic situation to hapless office flunkies you can blame for failure. Up here in the mountains we know the difference.

Art Moore is a hard driving, combat-tested, Conservative Republican who gets my vote next Tuesday. He led our troops in war. I will be proud having him lead our 4th Congressional District in Washington.

And there’s a former Navy Commander I’ll also be supporting. David Linn promises to restore public trust. His endorsements are outstanding and, by any standard, completely outmatch those of his competitor. David Linn will make an exceptional District Attorney. I’m delighted he’s in the race.

Similarly, Michael Salvador has proven himself time and time again as a highly effective deputy and Undersheriff. Mike will provide a smooth, seamless transition in assuming the full responsibilities of Sheriff. That said — hats off to Jay Varney for running a classy, dignified, professionally polished campaign.

And where will you be Election Night?

The Oakhurst Democratic Club will be raising funds for our Eleanor Roosevelt Community Service Awards, each year providing scholarship assistance to graduating seniors from Yosemite High School.

Here’s the deal. My colleague, Alan Cheah, and I will be acting as “Celebrity Bartenders” at Crab Cakes, “acting” being the operative word. Look for us upstairs Tuesday night in Roman’s Bar from 6 till 9:30.

And here’s an important tip. Get there early for free food. There’ll be home-fried Tortilla chips and salsa, domestic cheese and crackers, Buffalo wings with whiskey BBQ sauce, meatballs with cabernet cream sauce, Risotto Aranchinis with Shitake mushrooms, cream cheese, and assorted fruit.

We’ll be tracking election returns by all electronic means available, including TV’s, Laptops, iPads, iPhones, Androids and Miracle Ears.

We’ll even stick our heads out the window listening for howls of joy or scowls of scorn from winners or losers aimlessly wandering through the night — hoping for one particular ghostly gasp signaling the beginning of a new era in our underserved Fourth Congressional District.

It’s time.

4 Responses to ““The Ghost of Elections Past””

  1. Jeffrey Gerlach Says:

    I too, will be voting for Art Moore. At this time, change is required.

    Joint press release here: http://bit.ly/1DXqMft

  2. petercavanaugh Says:

    Yay, Jeffrey!

  3. Dave Smart Says:

    Thank you for your explanation of how to pronounce Samhain. I believe however, that the Celtic calendar is driven by movements of the sun, and Celtic new year (Samhain) happens when the sun reaches a declination of 16.5 degrees south. That is about November 8 on the Gregorian calendar. On the Julian calendar in the 10th century, that would have been about November 1. Also, for whatever reason All Souls Day is November 4.

  4. Charles Walker Says:

    60.11% Hummmmm…..

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