Mary Duan here, fresh out of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors meeting and thinking about sedition and resolutions.
I went to the meeting today to see the supervisors discuss a ceremonial resolution “condemning the violent, seditious actions at our national Capitol incited by President Donald Trump.” There was more security than normal in the chambers—five Monterey County sheriff’s deputies stood in the back of the room, and they outnumbered the people in the audience by one.
The resolution was proposed by Supervisor Luis Alejo, who this morning described Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 as inciting a coup attempt, and setting off a siege that nobody imagined could happen in the U.S. Capitol in our lifetime.
“Our government has a legal, moral and ethical obligation to hold the president accountable for his actions,” Alejo said. Trump called the mob “special people” and told them he loved them while continuing his false narrative that the election was stolen. Alejo called for Congress to bring forward the articles of impeachment against Trump, which might happen tomorrow.
Not everyone, of course, agreed, with the resolution’s intent nor verbiage, which referenced the resolution was being made on behalf of “all” county residents. In about a half-dozen written comments, residents including former state senate candidate Vicki Nohrden and former U.S. Congress candidate Jeff Gorman, wanted it made clear Alejo didn’t speak for them. Some commenters lauded Trump’s “record of achievement” and others repeated the conspiracy theory that Antifa activists led the violence at the Capitol, when in fact no proof of that exists. Some were openly snotty in their delivery, referring several times to Alejo as “Señor” Alejo, a completely unnecessary racist dig against a Latino politician.
One particularly smart comment came from Kevin Dayton, who self-identified in his email as a Republican, and a former Congressional staffer who now advises trade groups and various chambers of commerce on public policy issues. He wrote that while he is generally wary of governments passing resolutions telling other governments what to do, “in this case, local governments need to prod Congress into having the courage to resist significant and intimidating domestic opposition and fulfill its duty to abide by the United States Constitution.
“By continuing to claim—without any credible documentary evidence or court decisions—that he won an election he lost, and then by prodding the people into an insurrection to negate the results, President Trump has violated his oath of office,” Dayton wrote.
Supervisor John Phillips, a former prosecutor and judge and, generally, the most conservative voice (and only Republican) on the board, said the Capitol siege was “an affront and an attack on our citadel of freedom” and added that “it’s pretty clear that the actions and the words of the president contributed to this and in all likelihood, wouldn’t have happened without his words.”
With a board that agrees on almost nothing unanimously, they agreed on the resolution, passing it 5-0.
As the resolution was being debated and discussed, FBI agents from the bureau’s San Francisco field office were serving a search warrant on a home in Seaside, trying to determine if a resident there had made threats of harm against a legislator from another state, according to Seaside Deputy Police Chief Nick Borges. Neither the resident nor the legislator was named, and the threats were not described.
When the resolution was passed, and I got up to leave, the security that had been present in the meeting room at the start had already departed.
-Mary Duan, managing editor, firstname.lastname@example.org