Donald Trump and the Future of Napa Valley

As the June election cycle grows closer, I am becoming more and more pessimistic about the chances of rational, science-based arguments saving Napa Valley from taking its first step in rolling back agriculture in the industry, rolling back the economic engine of Napa Valley and rolling back jobs in the Valley. This is the ultimate goal of those who are asking Napa County citizens to approve Measure C. If passed, Measure C would forever prohibit any vineyard planting in areas of the Valley zoned for vineyard planting.

What’s ultimately most interesting about this political battle in Napa Valley over its future is the way in which it mirrors the 2016 election cycle when irrationality ruled the day. Just as the victors in 2016 relied on an anti-science agenda and blaming all the problems we have on “elites”, the proponents of Measure C are doing the same thing. And I fear it will be equally successful in Napa Valley.

By working to prohibit any and all planting of vineyards on any portion of the hillsides in Napa Valley, proponents of Measure C have continuously claimed that the move is necessary to “save the oaks” and “save the watershed”. And yet, they have offered no evidence whatsoever that either the Oaks or the Watershed are in any danger and need to be protected by any measure beyond those that have already made Napa County that with the strongest conservation regulations in California. It’s very reminiscent of the claim that immigration is a national security danger, that a “great, big, beautiful wall” is needed at the border, that taxes need to be slashed for the 1%, that the Environmental Protection Agency is ruining America and that liberals want to take away all guns. All false, but all claimed—just like the Measure C supporters.

Additionally, the longtime claim made by the winners of the 2016 election that “elites” don’t understand the little guy is also an important part of the campaign to pass Measure C. Regular claims that the Napa Valley wine industry is controlled by rich, corporate entities, though false in every respect, have been used to demonize the wine industry in Napa. Claims that the wine industry doesn’t care about the environment, despite the fact that it has been the wine industry that has assured the current outstanding state of the Napa environment, is also a regular claim of the proponents of Measure C.

As we saw in the 2016 election, claims backed up by no facts at all can be very effective. Keep making the claim, offer no evidence for the claims, accuse those presenting facts of offering “fake news” and you just might have a winning argument. This is what we are currently seeing in Napa Valley with Measure C advocates.

Will the same unethical campaign tactics that defined those of the victors in 2016 rule the day in Napa County in June? I certainly have my fears.

There is, however, rational, science-based information available about Measure C:





8 Responses

  1. Bill McIver - April 9, 2018

    Right on, Tom!

  2. Steve - April 9, 2018

    Obviously, rationality nor science have a dog in this hunt. It does seem that a Progressive message trumps (no pun intended) reason; kind of like proving a negative. Proven science does not allow for dispute, it is fact (gravity is a fact) yet here we debate beliefs. The industry and economic reasoning is like saying the industry is evil because they promote killing all Bambi’s mommy’s. Oh well.
    Sometimes the best lessons are learned the hard way. At some point the majority will realize they were fed false facts and by then it will be to late. Truth and logic are not virtues for Measure C people. The “last in” never wants anymore to follow.
    Tom, your arguments are to provable for the majority to rally around. Best of luck.

  3. Kellie Anderson - April 9, 2018

    Tom, Tom, Tom. Surely you have not read the text of Measure C? Where did you get this ” “Measure C would forever prohibit any vineyard planting in areas of the Valley zoned for vineyard planting?” I know it is just spin and lies but really how do you look in the mirror?

    Agriculture will NOT end when C is passed. The County will NOT be paved over with mansions any more than it is now. farming will continue as usual. You could correctly say that limits of vineyard development that depend on oak tree removal will eventually slow. That set backs form creeks and streams will increase. That folks CAN remove trees for allthe normal reasons, septic, roads, hazzard trees, fire clearing.

    But Tom old fella, you are gonna loose readership and be dismissed by the thinking readers as a quack if you continue on the sky is falling bender.

    Try to report on something marginally accurate.

  4. Tom Wark - April 9, 2018


    Thank you for commenting.

    Of course there will be no more vineyard planting in the Watershed. The whole goal of the initiative is to roll back the wine industry starting with removing people’s property rights.

    Moreover, anyone who has read or listened to the radicals behind this initiative over the years understand perfectly that this initiative is just the beginning. We all know the next step is to roll back visitations to wineries. I’ve read and listened over and over and over to you and the supporters of this initiative. Just take a read through the Yes on Measure C facebook page. Comment after comment from supporters saying the wine industry is bad for the Valley, that they are paying off supervisors, that they need to be stopped.

    You aren’t fooling anyone. Well, that’s not true. The fact that those who support this measure have not shown one piece of evidence that the water supply or the watershed is anything other than in great shape due entirely to the current conservation regulations in Napa that are tougher than in any county in California and to the hard work and investment of the wine industry, by far the most responsible agricultural sector in California.

    And yet you jealous, envious folks never mention this. Why? We all know why.

    Even better are the constant allegations that the Napa Supervisors are taking bribes. Very serious accusations. Yet not an iota of evidence. Shame on you for not calling out `people who do this. Shame!

    Finally, I sincerely doubt I’ll “Loose” any readership. Nor will I lose any readership. I’ve been writing for the public now for 14 years. Ask around. The odds are pretty good that if I write it, people trust it.

    In fact, when I wrote about Patricia Damery’s shameful accusation that the Board of Supervisors were on the take, I had the highest readership for a post on this blog in 12 months…and more than 60% of those readers were from Napa.

    Bottom line is this: The folks who are foisting this irresponsible, anti-science, envy-motivated initiative on the people of Napa are being watched, listened to and read. And what they say and write will be cataloged and will continue to be reported upon. Imagine this: I’ve worked successfully in public relations for more than 25 years. I know something about drawing attention to things. And I haven’t even begun to do that where the disingenuous supporters of Measure C are concerned.

  5. Tim Connors - April 10, 2018

    This is what is so dreadful about the wine community. Blissfully ignorant; wrapped in linens of liberalism.

    Anti science? Relying on phony consensus to push an unreliable THEORY is not pro science. It’s anti thought. It’s pro group think.

    By the way, moron:
    Multiple progressives at the highest levels are on the record over the last 30 years about taking ALL the guns. From Holder, to Janet Reno, hell, to even one of he Parkland kids at the recent march on DC.

    Get off your high horse about “facts,” as you can’t even pen a piece with any.

  6. Donn Rutkoff - April 10, 2018

    Stick to wine, not anti Trump whining. You still don’t understand half of your countrymen, half of your wine consumers, and you insult us. Why do so many people in the wine biz think it is ok to toss around these insults? Are you going to stand face to face against nuclear North Korea, nuclear Hezbollah, chemical Assad, poison Putin? Did your guy Obama leave the world in a better place than when he took office? Mr. Peace Prize Obama who did nothing to rein in the world bullies? How many Walmart workers got bonuses and raises from the Democrat Progressive tax cut bill? Bey bye Tom. Go cry on Facebook.

  7. Tom Wark - April 10, 2018


    What the hell are you talking about?

    You need to develop a better understanding of the term “insult”. And rest assured, I will indeed go cry on Facebook.

  8. Paul Moe - April 10, 2018

    Hey Donn, you forgot Emails! and Benghaaaaaazi! Last I checked, Tom writes about the wine business, which is a subject ignored in your missive. Go cry on Breitbart.

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