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Inauguration blogging

Warren Slocum, San Mateo County’s chief elections officer, is in the nation’s capital for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

He’s posting updates to the Twitter page of the county Elections Office. Those updates are also available at the county’s elections Web site. Not much information from Slocum so far, although he has been able to confirm that it is, indeed, cold and crowded in D.C. today.

It may be that he’s had trouble posting due to an overloaded cell phone network. We’ll follow up with him to find out.

Slocum has also posted some photos taken with this iPhone on his Flickr page.

On a “local spirit” note, we overheard a mother today telling her young daughter, who looked to be about 3 years old, over lunch at Pancho Villa in San Mateo that when they get home tonight they’ll bake an apple pie as part of Obama Dinner Night.

Meanwhile, Obama’s speech today showed that Rep. Jackie Speier may have been spot-on when we spoke to her last week about how the new president would proceed with his economic stimulus plan.

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Posted on Tuesday, January 20th, 2009
Under: Aaron Kinney, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Jackie Speier, Joe Biden, Political Campaigns, Republican Party, San Mateo County | No Comments »

Democrats say: Put it to a vote!

The San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee has adopted a resolution urging the county to hold an open election to fill the seat of departing Supervisor Jerry Hill, who is off to Sacramento, rather than make an appointment.

“The person who is elected or appointed to fill Jerry Hill’s seat will likely remain on the (Board of Supervisors) until he or she is termed out in 2022,” committee member Nick Akers, author of the resolution, said in a statement.

“Our county’s at-large system for electing supervisors gives a strong advantage to incumbents,” Akers continued. “It has been nearly three decades since a supervisor running for re-election has been defeated. The people of San Mateo County should be given the opportunity to fill this open seat.”

Committee members voted “overwhelmingly” on Nov. 20 in favor of the resolution for an election. They’re looking to peg a special county election to an anticipated special statewide election in June 2009.

Not that the San Mateo County government has a reputation for being clubby and nontransparent — cough, cough — but the Insider agrees with local Democrats that holding an election to fill the seat of Assemblyman Hill, irrespective of the cost, would be the democratic thing to do.

Posted on Monday, December 1st, 2008
Under: 2008 Congressional Race, 2008 Local Races, Aaron Kinney, Assembly, Board of Supervisors, Democratic Party, Elections Office, Gene Mullin, Jerry Hill, Political Campaigns, San Mateo County, Warren Slocum | No Comments »

San Mateo County gets into Prop. 8 fight

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera just sent out a press release welcoming the county of San Mateo into the fight over the constitutionality of the Prop. 8 victory, following a unanimous vote this morning by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.

According to the release, San Mateo County is the fifth jurisdiction in California to join the lawsuit. The others are the city and county of San Francisco, the city of Los Angeles and the counties of Los Angeles and Santa Clara.

Posted on Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
Under: Aaron Kinney, Adrienne Tissier, Board of Supervisors, Jerry Hill, Mark Church, Political Campaigns, Rich Gordon, Rose Jacobs Gibson, San Mateo County | No Comments »

So you did live in Burlingame!


Ed Jew admitted today in state court that he lived in the ‘Game, not in San Francisco, when he ran for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

The Insider, you may recall, has had a bit of an fixation with respect to Mr. Jew. Previous posts here, here and here.

(The shot above is a Times file photo of the Jews’ residence on Roosevelt Avenue. When the controversy over where Ed Jew lived first developed, the supervisor claimed he spent most of his time at a home in San Francisco, despite a glut of evidence to the contrary.)

Posted on Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
Under: Aaron Kinney, Burlingame, Ed Jew, Political Campaigns, San Mateo County | No Comments »

Eshoo looks ahead to Obama administration

Rep. Anna Eshoo plans to be right in the middle of an ambitious Democratic agenda when President-elect Barack Obama takes office in January.

Eshoo anticipates that, besides shoring up the faltering economy, Obama’s priorities are likely to include a health care plan, a “safe and honorable” withdrawal from Iraq, energy security and climate change.

Those last two items fall under the auspices of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which Eshoo joined in 1995.

“We will certainly have our hands full,” she said, “and I look forward to it.”

Eshoo said Obama’s victory on Election Day is still sinking in. She’s been struck, talking to young people, including her children and nieces and nephews, by how hopeful and enthusiastic they are about Obama and what he means for the future of the country.

The downer of the election for Eshoo, who is close friends with San Mateo County Supervisor Rich Gordon, was the success of Proposition 8. Gordon, who paid a visit to Eshoo’s home on Election Night, married his partner over the summer.

Eshoo said she was “deeply disappointed” by the outcome. She said she received several robocalls in favor of Prop. 8 before Election Day that were filled with “hysteria and misinformation.”

But Eshoo said that, while older voters may have been swayed by the “Yes on 8″ campaign, she’s optimistic that younger generations of Californians will eventually compel the legalization of same-sex marriage.

“I think down the road, as more and more younger voters come to voting age, that this, too, will change, because ‘No on 8′ was not the least bit menacing to young people,” she said.

Posted on Wednesday, November 12th, 2008
Under: 2008 Congressional Race, 2008 Presidental Race, Aaron Kinney, Anna Eshoo, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Menlo Park, Political Campaigns, Rich Gordon, San Mateo County | No Comments »

From the notebook: More local reactions to Obama win

Before Barack Obama’s election win recedes too far in the rearview mirror, here’s a couple bits of local reaction that didn’t make it into the paper.

In the photo above, Karen Cunningham, sporting a Barack Obama T-shirt, was captured celebrating the Democratic Party’s historic night at the victory party for Rep. Jackie Speier in Burlingame.

Meanwhile, Bill Stewart, 70, took in the election results at an NAACP-organized party at B Street Billiards in downtown San Mateo.

Stewart, a computer consultant and member of the Foster City Association of Black Residents, grew up in Memphis, Tenn., where he participated in sit-ins during the civil rights movement.

He moved to California following graduate school to work for the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View. Because of his race, he was not able to rent an apartment in Palo Alto.

On Tuesday night, Stewart said Obama’s victory struck him as “almost unbelievable.”

Stewart recalled living in the segregated South during college: “You were not allowed to try on clothes in certain stores … you couldn’t go to a lunch counter, buy a sandwich and sit down.”

“It’s a transition to a new day,” he said of the election. “What we need to do now is start working for economic parity for African-Americans.”

Posted on Thursday, November 6th, 2008
Under: 2008 Congressional Race, 2008 Presidental Race, Aaron Kinney, Barack Obama, Burlingame, Democratic Party, Foster City, Hillsborough, Jackie Speier, Political Campaigns, San Mateo, San Mateo County | No Comments »

Wackiness in Half Moon Bay school district race

No election in Half Moon Bay would be complete without at least a small dose of small-town silliness, and this season’s Cabrillo Unified School District board race is no exception.

School board challenger Ken Johnson suffered a blow in the public relations department after taking control of a URL that used to belong to John Moseley, one of two incumbents defending their seats in this election.

Johnson then employed the Web site — www.ElectMoseley.com — to upload language implying the two men were running as a slate. Moseley had used the site in 2004 during his first run for the school board, but had since allowed the domain name to lapse.

Meanwhile, Johnson was telling anyone who would listen that he intended to see both Moseley and himself elected to the school board and not Charlie Gardner, an incumbent who Johnson calls “not a friend.”

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Posted on Monday, November 3rd, 2008
Under: 2008 Local Races, Aaron Kinney, Education, Half Moon Bay, Julia Scott, Political Campaigns, Schools | No Comments »

Dirty deeds alleged in Pacifica

A potentially embarrassing lawsuit filed against the city of Pacifica by former finance director Maureen Lennon reared its head at a recent Times editorial meeting with three City Council candidates.

Challenger Tod Schlesinger cited the suit in alleging that Pacifica’s city government does not operate with sufficient transparency and even engages in wrongdoing behind closed doors.

Schlesinger specifically cited a letter, dated Sept. 30, in which Lennon’s attorney mentioned “rumored attempts” by members of the City Council and City Attorney Cecelia Quick to “hide or destroy documents.”

Councilman Cal Hinton responded to Schlesinger’s accusations by saying the challenger does not have all the facts.

“I know of no inappropriate actions by the city,” Hinton said.

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Posted on Tuesday, October 28th, 2008
Under: 2008 Local Races, Aaron Kinney, City Council, Corruption, Lawsuits, Pacifica, Political Campaigns | No Comments »

Judith Christensen has her guard up

In September, a campaign committee called “Safe Streets and Quality Neighborhoods in Daly City” was formed to oppose Judith Christensen, who is running for re-election, and supports incumbent Sal Torres and neophyte David Canepa.

So far, the committee, which consists of Daly City firefighters and police officers, has kept mum.

Christensen anticipates that it will release a “hit piece” on her close to the Nov. 4 election to dissuade voters.

“That’s the traditional tactic of that kind of committee,” she said. “They couch their language very carefully so they can’t be sued, but you can say a lot. They can accuse you but they can pose it as a question.”

Christensen doesn’t know what she’ll be accused of, but she is warning voters that something will come. She said the suspense is a little scary.

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Posted on Tuesday, October 21st, 2008
Under: 2008 Local Races, Aaron Kinney, Christine Morente, City Council, Daly City, Political Campaigns | 1 Comment »

Eshoo on Ayers

One of the big questions in advance of tonight’s third and final presidential debate is whether John McCain will bring up William Ayers, the former member of the radical Weather Underground with whom Barack Obama has had intermittent contact during his political career.

McCain and running mate Sarah Palin have made a major issue of Ayers recently on the campaign trail, but McCain didn’t bring up the subject during the second debate, despite the urging of many Republicans.

Afterward, Obama and running mate Joe Biden subtly and then not-so-subtly taunted McCain for lacking the gumption to bring up the association to Obama’s face. McCain practically boiled with rage when Charles Gibson of ABC News repeated what Obama had said.

Now that McCain’s been provoked, will he talk about Ayers? Perhaps moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS, whose June interview with Wes Clark has made him a member of Talking Points Memo’s “Tire Swing” club, will bring it up on his own.

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Posted on Wednesday, October 15th, 2008
Under: 2008 Presidental Race, Aaron Kinney, Anna Eshoo, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Joe Biden, John McCain, Political Campaigns, Republican Party | No Comments »