For Immediate Release: On Scott Huber's Resignation
June 22nd, 2021
Anyone who puts themself out in the public arena to run for an unpaid or low-paid local office makes personal sacrifices to do so. Of all those who have done that locally in recent years, Scott Huber may be the most profoundly kind, caring and decent of our public servants. He has given hours of personal time and labor to the community he loves, far beyond the requirements of City Council service.
During the past week, Scott was subjected to a relentless campaign of harassment that first forced him to quit a badly needed job due to threats against the business of his employer, then forced him to resign his Chico council seat because of threats to his family’s safety and his wife’s employment. We mourn this loss to the city.
Nobody should be fooled into thinking that this was the work of a few random extremists. The campaign against Scott was actively promoted by the same local political action committee, “Citizens for a Safe Chico”, that was the primary source of financial support for the current council majority. That PAC, largely financed by local business and development interests as well as a Republican Assemblyman, spent money buying ads to promote the harassment campaign. Citizens for a Safe Chico may try and distance themselves from the harassment now, but they are entirely responsible for it.
As of this writing, not one council member among the conservative majority has spoken out against that campaign of harassment in anything but the mildest terms. It deserves much stronger condemnation than that. The people who carried out and promoted that campaign are supporters of those council members. This is who they are; this kind of tactic is the very essence of their approach to politics.
And the connections reach much farther than this local event.
Across America, we have seen similar campaigns of personal threats, economic harm and harassment against local and state health officers who were doing their job providing honest information about the COVID pandemic. Equally widespread have been the same sort of attacks on election officials who stood firm and did their jobs honestly in the face of unsubstantiated and, ultimately, repudiated claims about the presidential election.
These are not separate events. They are part of a pattern. They are part of a movement that fully intends to erode our American democratic republic.
All decent Americans should be enraged by the steady drift away from democracy, majority rule, reasonable compromise, and civil and respectful democratic discourse. Here in Chico, everyone—regardless of political affiliation—should ask themselves if this is the kind of political environment we want for our community.
The Butte County Democratic Party strongly denounces all forms of political violence, all forms of personal harassment, all attacks on the families of local officials and all attempts to harm someone’s business or employer because of their legal political activity.
And we call on EVERY member of the Chico City Council to join us in that clear denunciation and repudiation of these tactics. The citizens of Chico are watching. You should have no doubt that those who do not speak out against this action will be considered by the rest of us in full support of the bullies responsible for it.
Respectfully, James Aram, Butte County Democratic Party Chairperson