Newsletter – September 25, 2018

Pledge: Les Gudger                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Invocation: Mike Grace

Bell Ringers: Cathy Skeen for celebrating her birthday and 43rd Anniversary as well as buying a home in Incline Village (but she’ll still be coming to Rotary.) Matt Ross for celebrating his 18th Anniversary on Sunday and for his son, Andrew, who was at this weekend’s airshow with the Robotics Team from Rio and is also half way through with his Eagle Scout Project. Also, Rio beat El Camino in Volleyball! Rob Olmsted for turning 41 on Sunday! And Duane Oliveria gave $25 each Cal win so far and $29 for celebrating his 29th Anniversary for a Bell Ringer at $104!

Happy Bucks:
Ben Fox gave HB for celebrating his birthday by camping with the family, and is now suffering for it (back.) Les gave HB to warn everyone not to leave getting a passport to the last minute. He spent 7 hours in San Francisco yesterday getting it to go to Cabo.

Mike Caplan, Earl Heverly and Duane Oliveria were all late. Prez Tom had them each answer a Rotary Trivia question to get out of a fine. None of them got the question right!


  •  On Friday, October 5th, we will have a Fleet Week Boating adventure on Captain Steve’s boat in the San Francisco Bay. More Tim Cahill is co-chairing with Captain Steve. The bus will leave at 8am from Pavilions. We’ll be leaving from the Marina Bay Yacht Harbor. Both the Parade of Boats and the Blue Angels will be there. Steve will prepare his “from scratch” Clam Chowder along with tri-tip, etc. There will be mimosas and Bloody Mary’s on the bus! Cost is $80 per person, guests are welcome but the number is capped at 40.
  • The 13th of October is a Rotary Work Day at William Pond Park. We will be restoring benches (thanks to the wood donated by Al Cady.) A BBQ lunch will follow. Meet at William Pond Park (at the end of Arden Way & the river) at 9am. Steve is getting the fireboat and Sheriff’s ATV to help move items. Arrive at 8:30 to build benches and lunch will be at 12:00. There is also a pre-work party on October 7th at Al’s home to prep the wood for the benches. Please come and help—9am.
  • Al still needs a stronger commitment from someone to help with set up and clean up for the meetings.
  • November 6th our meeting is moved to Cannon on 33rd Street in East Sacramento. They are opening special for our lunch.
  • The Fall Grant deadline is September 30th. They will be discussed at the October Board meeting on October 3rd at Howe Park.
  • Mike Grace announced the last weekend of the comedy “Oh, He’s Coming Back” at the Howe Avenue Theater. September 28, 29 and 30.

Mike Grace did his joke list while Tom raised a set amount of money—Mike got in 3 1/2 jokes!

Our speaker today is Roger Niello, a local celebrity and former Assemblyman. Roger talked about the political climate and said he is frustrated with the anti-government sentiment present since the Donald Trump victory. Looking forward, Roger thinks the Congressional Elections coming up are the most important. He noted he will be on KFBK at 7pm on election night with others to discuss the election.

There are 25-30% of voters who are rock solid behind Trump. A significant number of voters voted against Clinton rather than for Trump to allow him to pull off the upset. Trump highly energizes the opposition base by making everything all about Trump. Roger looks at the “right of center suburbanites”, and wonders if the Republicans can keep them even though they voted for Trump. Roger says Trump is “his own worst enemy.” He is a thin-skinned, egocentric narcissist. He wears his emotions on his sleeve. Will the anti-Trump movement be enough to cause a split among the Democratic ranks?

Startling fact: 49% in a poll said they favor impeaching President Trump. On a generic ballot, 49% chose a generic Democrat, 42% chose a generic Republican. Historically during a non– Presidential year election, the sitting President’s party loses 18 out of 20 seats. This year, 60 Congressional seats are highly contested. The net loss in 90% of mid-term elections since 1902 is 4 1/2 seats. In California many Politician’s are becoming “decline to state” or “Independent” rather than align with either party.

The Senate is a different story. There are 26 Democrats to 8 Republicans up for election. 10 of the seats are from districts where Trump won in 2016. Could Congress go Democratic, quite likely. The Senate should remain Republican so we will have a split.

The more important election are the Governors races. There are 336 Republican and 16 Democratic and 1 Independent Governors and 6 are up for election this cycle. The key is that in 2020 there will be a census and Governors can redistrict accordingly.

The top 2 voting has made a huge impact in California, where we’ll often see a Democrat against a Democrat in the election because they were the top 2 vote getters in the primary.

Steve Poizner running for Insurance Commissioner says he’ll show Republicans how to win—become an Independent.

The question is how small the majority will be in the Legislature. The significance is the necessary 2/3 majority to increase taxes. Congress will probably go Democratic, and the Senate is up for grabs.

Roger gave us an idea on some of the propositions on the ballot in November. Prop 6 is about the gas tax. A yes removes the gas tax, a no means they stay in place. Is it possible that the sentiment on prop 6 could show a more open election with the possibility of a Republican Governor?

Roger recommended the following web sites: LAO.CA.GOV and

Both parties are effected by the populists verses the establishment (traditionalists.) Could that dynamic cause a split in the parties? Could 4 parties be possible? Roger says look at Europe, that is not what we would want.

Roger was asked about the Kavanagh confirmation, and Roger says it hinges on the few people on the Judicial Committee. He didn’t give a prediction.

Follow Roger on Twitter or the web at: @RogerNeillo and

Thank you Roger, for your insight into the current world of politics.

Next week: Special Agent in Charge of the FBI, Sean Reagan

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