The first hit piece in the Contra Costa County supervisor’s race arrived in mailboxes this week.
Candidate Gary Eberhart sent out a glossy mailer titled “Councilmember for Sale!” complete with pictures of piles of money.
It details opponent Susan Bonilla’s contributions from garbage company interests during her 2004 Concord City Council race. She would vote two years later to extend Concord Disposal’s franchise deal for 15 years and raise rates.
It’s true but misleading.
The Concord City Council voted unanimously in favor of the garbage deal after receiving a recommendation to do so from an independent firm hired to evaluate the rate hike and franchise request.
If it was a bad decision, the blame belongs with the entire council, not just Bonilla.
No, this mailer came out in the week before the election because Eberhart needs a serious boost if he hopes to win one of the coveted top two slots in this four-way race and qualify for the November run-off. (To win outright in the primary, a candidate needs 50 percent plus 1 vote.)
Politicos had predicted Eberhart could slip through the gap created when Bonilla and the other woman candidate, Kris Hunt,divided the female vote. Women in liberal Democratic districts, on average, have at least a 5 percentage point advantage over men.
But the showdown between the two women never fully materialized, and many now view Bonilla as the clear front-runner as the pack sprints into the run-up before the election.
So, be careful when you reach into the mailbox this weekend: You never know what might bite.