Bob Nelson, a longtime fixture at the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors meetings, last week was convicted of two misdemeanor counts of creating a disturbance at supervisors meetings last year.
Nelson, of Hesperia, was arrested on May 13 and June 17 after refusing to leave the podium. It's not surprising that Nelson doesn't appreciate the supervisors' three-minute restriction on speakers.
Rules are rules, and Nelson is quite literally guilty as charged. But those who have met Nelson, as this editor has done several times, realize that he is a sincere, thoughtful man who is driven to share his concerns about how the county is run.
He may be a law-breaker -- and he will learn his fate during sentencing on May 14 -- but his stubborn pursuit of free speech is in some ways refreshing, especially when so many people are so unwilling to participate in the process.
Through the years, several decent citizens have spent countless hours attending county and city meetings. Some merely sat there and observed. Others braved the podium and shared what was on their minds. Most are mild-manner, while the presence of others is quite apparent.
Hopefully Nelson will be back at it again some day - and perhaps next time he'll stay within the three-minute time restriction. As long as he, or any community member, is sharing his sincere views and offering meaningful solutions it's hard to find fault.
Gadflies may seem like a nuisance to elected officials, but they provide an invaluable service to the rest of us: They remind us that free speech is still alive and well.
One person's political pork may be another person's long-awaited solution.
Congressman Jerry Lewis was lambasted by the Citizens Against Government Waste for pushing through more than $88 million in pet projects. Locally, moreover, Lewis got $650,750 in earmarks for the Ranchero Road Corridor Project here in Hesperia.
While in principle it's easy to slam a congressman for pork, we'll likely be very glad Lewis brought home the bacon when we're cruising through the Ranchero Road underpass.
Speaking of politicians, on the heels of his unpopular state budget vote Assemblyman Anthony Adams (R-Hesperia) is trying to make amends and bring some sanity to the state - at least in some areas. His Assembly Bill 1415, which would have required voters show proof of identification at the ballot box, was shot down last week by the Democrats.
"Once again Sacramento liberals have disenfranchised millions of Californians by failing to protect their vote and ensure the integrity of our elections," Adams said through a news release. "This bill would have given voters the assurance that every individual casting a ballot is legally entitled to do so, protecting our most basic principle of one person, one vote."
Political correctness, i.e. giving undue inalienable rights to non-citizens to curry their favor, is helping to kill the integrity of our state. Adams should be credited this time for at least attempting to buck the irrational system.