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Mike Moloney: A powerful voice

By Aaron Kinney
Tuesday, October 19th, 2010 at 3:04 pm in Democratic Party, Foster City, Jackie Speier, Republican Party

Republican challenger Mike Moloney and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, recently visited the Times for a joint interview with editors in advance of the Nov. 2 election.

Moloney, who’s run several times for the 12th Congressional District seat that Speier currently occupies, may not have a chance in this race, but he’s certainly good for a quote. He made several unusual comments in the course of the forum — most of them amusing, one of them a little off-color.


One thing you need to understand  is Moloney does not shy away from referring to himself in the third person.

“If a guy like Mike Moloney gets the microphone, you will hear truth,” the Foster City resident said at one point, later adding, “Mike Moloney is a powerful voice.”

Toward the end of the session he leaned over and told Speier, “I admire your courage for coming in here today and going up against Mike Moloney.”

A couple times he made it clear he has nothing against Speier personally, he just disagrees with her positions on policy.

“I have to go after you (because) you’re hanging out with the wrong people, man!” he told her.

The comment that came off as inappropriate also had to do with how he likes Jackie as a person.

“If I met her in high school, I’d probably be president by now,” he said.

This struck as sexist, in a behind-every-successful-man-is-a-woman sort of way. When we called him to ask what he’d meant by it, he said he hadn’t intended any disrespect. He said Speier’s former mentor, the late Rep. Leo Ryan, was a hotheaded Irishman, just like he is, and he feels a certain kinship with her partly on that basis.

Besides, he told us, “I like flirting with Jackie Speier.”

Unclear how she feels about it.

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Yee bill in response to Richmond rape moves forward

By Aaron Kinney
Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 at 5:28 pm in Crime, Democratic Party, Leland Yee, San Mateo County

State Sen. Leland Yee’s bill stemming from the infamous Richmond gang rape case has moved out of the Senate Public Safety Committee with a 6-0 vote.

The bill would require those who have witnessed someone under the age of 18 being raped, murdered or sexually molested to report it to authorities. This requirement currently extends only to victims under the age of 14.

“Ironically, California statute currently requires any person who, while hunting, kills or wounds a domestic animal to report the incident to authorities; yet all children are not provided the same protection,” Yee, D-San Francisoc, said in a statement.  “While SB 840 will not solve all of our problems regarding violent crime, it is certainly another important tool in the tool box for law enforcement and prosecutors.”

The bill now heads to the Appropriations Committee.

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Speier announces appropriations requests

By Aaron Kinney
Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 at 5:12 pm in Democratic Party, Hillsborough, Jackie Speier, San Mateo, San Mateo County

Rep. Jackie Speier has released the 15 projects she will submit for appropriations requests in the coming fiscal year.

Speier, a critic of the congressional earmark process, came up with the list of public and nonprofit projects courtesy of a Citizens Oversight Panel  she convened to review 43 requests that came to her office.

Speier’s office touts the panel as a model of transparency and the only one of its kind in the nation. According to a press release, the panel was chaired by former Peninsula Assemblyman Gene Mullin.  The other members were: Don Griffin, chancellor of City College of San Francisco; Marland Townsend, a former Foster City councilman; Louise Renne, former SF City Attorney; Harry Low, a retired judge; Rose Guilbault of the California State Automobile Association; Bill Nack of the San Mateo Building Trades Council; Dr. Sandra Hernandez of the San Francisco Foundation and Carl Guardino of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

Here, pulled directly from the release, are the projects, only some of which will receive funding(Last year’s panel recommended 9 projects, and four were funded): 

 –$200,000 for Shelter Network of San Mateo County’s Maple Street Shelter Program to support a short-term emergency shelter and mid-term transitional housing for homeless adults.  In the past year, more than 550 people found support at the Maple Street Shelter and 80% of those completing the transitional program succeeded in securing permanent housing.

–$1,675,000 for the San Mateo County Flood Control District to repair the Colma Creek Flood Control Channel.

 –$2,000,000 for the U.S. Highway 101/Broadway Interchange reconstruction project.

 –$3,000,000 for the City and County of San Francisco to help find a long-term solution, supported by the community, to erosion issues on Ocean Beach along the Great Highway.

 $181,440 for the Child Care Coordinating Council of San Mateo County’s SaMCARES program that encourages quality and permanence in the child care workforce and rewards achievement in continuing education.

 –$975,000 for the Pacifica Police Department to enhance the delivery of police services among participating agencies with a goal of consolidating four or five north San Mateo County departments into a combined dispatch center.

 –$6,100,000 for the City of San Mateo to equip the Poplar Avenue storm water pump station with automatic emergency power to prevent flooding in the event of a power outage.

 –$500,000 for Caltrain to repair existing, and install new, fencing and signage along the Caltrain tracks to improve safety and security.

 –$250,000 for HIP Housing to expand education and outreach of their unique and successful home sharing program to people in the 12th and 14th Congressional Districts.

 –$1,200,000 for the San Mateo County Medical Center renovation to help upgrade the ground floor to bring it up to licensing standards and to offset transition costs.

 –$3,000,000 for the Peninsula Open Space Trust for the final installment to purchase Rancho Corral de Tierra east of Highway 1 near Montara and Moss Beach. 

 –$1,000,000 for Sojourn to the Past to enable a minimum of 1000 economically disadvantaged students in the district to experience a hands-on lesson on the history of Civil Rights in America.

 –$805,000 (total over 5 years) for the San Mateo County Sheriff’s women’s transitional facility to establish a program to transition female inmates from a locked and secure environment to one with more freedoms and education to prepare for successful release back into the community.

 –$73,000 for Samaritan House to provide a third vehicle to pick up food donations for residents in need.

 –$600,000 for San Francisco General Hospital’s Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) to help the hospital meet criteria for Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology to make it eligible for maximum incentive payments.

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Hill gets leadership post

By Aaron Kinney
Thursday, March 18th, 2010 at 5:32 pm in Burlingame, Democratic Party, Jerry Hill, San Mateo

Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, has been named Democratic Caucus chair by new Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles.

“It’s a good position and I’m looking forward to it,” Hill said Thursday.

Hill’s position will entail heading up caucus meetings and trying to forge agreement among Assembly Democrats on key issues, among other duties.

The assemblyman will be in town for two events Saturday. 

First up is “Java with Jerry” from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. . at Il Piccolo Caffe, located at 1219 Broadway in Burlingame. It’s an opportunity for constituents to discuss issues of concern with their state rep in an informal setting. 

And from 10 a.m. to noon, Hill will help out at a free child car seat safety check at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center at 725 Monte Diablo Ave. in  San Mateo.

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Jackie Speier on Facebook

By Aaron Kinney
Thursday, March 18th, 2010 at 5:13 pm in Democratic Party, Health care, Hillsborough, Jackie Speier, San Mateo County

With health care reform coming down to the wire, Jackie Speier is knocking out updates on her Facebook page, with links to two brief but fiery speeches this week on the House floor.

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Speier on Toyota

By Aaron Kinney
Thursday, February 25th, 2010 at 6:26 pm in Democratic Party, Jackie Speier, San Mateo County

Here’s video of Rep. Jackie Speier questioning the head of Toyota this week on the problems with their cars.

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San Mateo County’s woes go national

By Aaron Kinney
Thursday, February 25th, 2010 at 1:38 pm in Economy, Education, San Mateo County

The Wall Street Journal had a front page article yesterday on all the money San Mateo County lost when Lehman Brothers went bust and how that and the terrible economy have had devastating effects on schools, cities, etc. Yay!
In case the Journal’s article times out, here’s a brief article from the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal looking at the economic report that serves as the peg for the Journal piece.
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Whither Jackie Speier?

By Aaron Kinney
Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 at 12:00 pm in 2008 Presidental Race, Barack Obama, Corruption, Democratic Party, Health care, Hillsborough, Jackie Speier, Republican Party, San Mateo County



As you probably know, Rep. Jackie Speier (pictured above at a town hall meeting last year in Montara) is pondering a bid for California attorney general after a poll showed her having an advantage over other Democratic candidates, and with the candidate filing period opening Feb. 15, a decision is expected soon.

So which way is she going to go? It’s clear she’s fed up with Washington and the Senate in particular. Being a junior member of the House at a time of partisan gridlock has been difficult for her, especially when financial reform proposals she’s worked hard to pass are being tossed aside in the Senate, where Sen. Chris Dodd is in the process of caving in to Republican demands.

On the other hand, there is still a slim chance to enact historic health care reform legislation as well as contribute to a moment of great importance for Democrats, who have as good a shot as they’re going to get to enact significant policies on climate change and other issues. San Mateo County residents need leadership from Washington as far as stimulating the economy and creating jobs. And doesn’t every newbie in Washington have to pay his or her dues before rising in influence and seniority?

But Speier, 59, doesn’t have unlimited time left in public office. So she has to figure out how best to use that time, and maybe spending five years working her way up the ladder in the House isn’t it. And perhaps Capitol Hill really is so “dysfunctional,” as she put it, and the Senate is so corrupt and useless, that there’s no legitimate hope of winning important legislative battles or making a difference there.

If she runs for attorney general and wins, Speier will be able to spend much more time with her husband and two children — Jackson, 21, and Stephanie, 15. The commute to and from Washington has been a strain for her, newly hired spokesman Nathan Ballard confirmed this week. As attorney general, she’d also be able to focus on many of the consumer protection issues that are so important to her.

The hunch here is that Speier will run for AG. Maybe she’ll decide she has unfinished business in Washington. Perhaps her family could talk her into sticking with it, if that’s what they feel. But if we had to guess, we’d say her clear distaste for what’s going on in D.C., particularly the sausage-making that takes place in the Senate, combined with the need to be closer to her family, will tip the scales in favor of leaving the House and heading back to Sacramento.

UPDATE: Wrong! Speier released a statement today saying she will not run for attorney general.

“I am thankful that so many supporters came forward to urge me to run for statewide office, but after talking it over with my family, I have decided to stay in Congress,” Speier said in a statement. “I am convinced it is the right thing to do for my family, and I believe I can best serve my constituents by remaining in Congress and working hard on consumer protection, financial reform, jobs, and health care.”

So don’t ever listen to us again.

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House passes Haiti tax bill

By Aaron Kinney
Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 at 4:42 pm in Democratic Party, Jackie Speier, Republican Party

Rep. Jackie Speier sent out a statement today saying she’s signed onto a bill to make donations to Haiti for earthquake relief eligible for itemized tax deductions on people’s 2009 tax returns.

The legislation, which also allows people who give money via cell phone text messages to use phone bills as proof of their donations, passed unanimously. 

“Bay Area residents know, all too well, the devastating aftermath of earthquakes,” Congresswoman Speier said in a statement.  “What makes this situation all the more distressing is how little the people of Haiti have even in good times.  I am heartened that the Congress came together on a bipartisan basis to support this worthy piece of legislation.  I urge my friends, neighbors and constituents to dig deep – as I know a great many already have – to help our brothers and sisters in Haiti.” 

We also have a call in to Speier’s office regarding the election in Massachusetts that has sent Democrats into a tailspin.

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Feed me!

By Aaron Kinney
Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 at 3:44 pm in Coyote Point, San Mateo, San Mateo County


One of two new river otters at Coyote Point Museum in San Mateo. The museum also recently introduced two new bobcats. For information, visit or call 650-342-7755.

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