The McCloskey-McNerney alliance poses dilemma for Jews

It’s a curious thing.

Ex-congressman Pete McCloskey lost the GOP primary in Congressional District 11 to Rep. Richard Pombo.

But letters to editor slamming the guy are still popping up?

Why bother? He lost.

A Tampa, Fla., man wrote to the Tracy Press last week. Why would a Florida man write to a Tracy newspaper?

A staffer with Assemblyman Greg Aghazarian, R-Stockton, wrote an unflattering letter about McCloskey earlier this month, also in the Tracy Press. A Tracy man wrote another that ran today. At least these writers live in California.

And finally, Michael Grossman of Pleasanton challenged area Rabbi Judith Seid’s letter in the Contra Costa Times applauding McCloskey’s endorsement of Pombo’s Democratic challenger, Jerry McNerney.

What’s going on here?

It’s the underside of the McCloskey-McNerney alliance: : McNerney needs moderate Republican votes that McCloskey claimed in the primary but McCloskey has baggage.

The letters to the editor all focus on allegations that the former congressman is an anti-Semite. The Florida letter was written by a volunteer at the state’s Holocaust museum who is pursuing a master’s degree in history.

McCloskey not only delivered a speech to a Holocaust-denier group, where he said he didn’t know if the Holocaust happened or not, but he co-founded a national, pro-Palestinian organization called the Council for the National Interest. The organization sent a delegation to Palestine earlier this year that met with extremist Hamas leaders.

McCloskey adamantly denies the charges of anti-Semitism in a rebuttal letter in the Tracy Press.

“That the Holocaust occurred is undeniable,” McCloskey wrote. “I have personally visited one of the Nazi death camps, perused the official records of the U.S. Army units that liberated several others and talked with a number of Holocaust survivors, both Jewish and Polish.”

He also wrote that it is not anti-Semitic to question Israel’s actions or call for reforms in U.S. policies in the Middle East.

McCloskey can say all he wants but for Democrats Michael Grossman and his wife, Deborah, the former congressman’s actions speak louder than his words.

Their only remaining question is this: What to do about McNerney?

Deborah has volunteered in the past for McNerney’s campaign but the couple says they can’t vote for him unless he publicly denounces McCloskey’s Middle East politics.

“I want to hear it from McNerney that he will not be influenced by McCloskey’s views on this subject,” Michael said during a telephone interview at his home today.

And they have friends who agree, people who voted for President George Bush in 2002 rather than Democratic candidate John Kerry because they felt Bush more strongly supported Israel.

Does that mean the Grossmans will vote for Pombo?

No. They aren’t ready to go that far.

But they may skip McNerney and cast no vote at all.


National group issues voter defense manual

Project Vote Smart, a national nonpartisan political research group based in Montana, has released its “2006 Voter’s Self-Defense Manual” for California.

The free, 100-page report lists congressional voting records, campaign finance contributions, ratings by special interest groups and candidate information.

It also includes results from the organization’s National Political Awareness Test, a lengthy questionnaire that touches on everything from abortion to taxes.

This segment is sketchy for California as only five of its members of Congress completed the questionnaire this year. When the group launched the test a few years ago, lawmakers were under tremendous political and public pressure to participate. That no longer appears to be the case.

The test has found itself at the center of a controversy in the Congressional District 11 race after Democratic challenger Jerry McNerney changed the answers on about a third of the questions in a shift toward the middle on a number of positions in this conservative district.

Incumbent CD 11 Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, has slammed McNerney’s flip-flops but fails to mention that he has never completed the questionnaire himself. For Pombo’s part, though, he does have a 13-year voting record, so his positions are far from a mystery.

Project Vote Smart was founded by former presidents Jimmy Carter and Jerry Ford, as well as presidential candidates Barry Goldwater and George McGovern. It refuses corporate or special interest financial assistance.

To obtain a copy of the manual, visit the website or call 1-888-868-3762.


East Bay lauds land trust director

East Bay leaders this weekend reluctantly sent Muir Heritage Land Trust founder and director Tina Batt off to Harvard.

The land trust’s annual fund-raiser dinner, Fresh Aire Affaire, was a tribute to Batt, who has been selected to participate in a year-long fellowship for mid-career folks at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The dinner is held underneath the big, old trees on the grounds of the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez.

Batt is widely revered for her nearly two-decade quest to preserve open space in Contra Costa County through the purchase of land as it becomes available. Two of the East Bay’s most ardent open space advocates, Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, and Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla, D-Pittsburg, touted Batt’s work during the Saturday evening event.

Batt, also the wife of Bob Doyle, the influential deputy general manager of the East Bay Regional Park District, has actually already started her coursework at Harvard. She described to the several hundred folks at the gala about the exciting international cast of colleagues in the program as well as the tough curriculum.

Described as a consummate professional, Batt says she was motivated to apply for the Harvard program out of her growing concern about global warming, “or climate change, as they call it at Harvard,” she told the audience.

The coastal separation from her family and friends won’t be easy, she says. But her husband, Doyle, adamantly denied rumors that he has purchased a jet in order to spend more time with his wife. (That’s a joke, folks!)


Candidate/measure list

It’s still preliminary as the status of some candidates may still be in the the process but here is the updated list as of Friday morning of the ballot measures and candidates that have qualified to run in the Nov. 7 election for nonpartisan regional and local offices in Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

A few other notes:
— The candidates in partisan races were selected by voters in the June primary election.
— Most of the incontested races, where the candidates are running unopposed, will not appear on the ballot.
— Incumbents are indicated with an (i).

Here’s a link to the list or read below.

General election candidate and ballot measure list

Here are the ballot measures and tentative list of candidates that have qualified as of Friday morning to run in the Nov. 7 election for nonpartisan regional and local offices in Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

The candidates in partisan races were selected by voters in the June primary election.

Most uncontested races, where the candidates are running unopposed, will not appear on the ballot.
Incumbents are indicated with an (i).


Senate: Todd Chretien, Green; Marsha Feinland, Peace & Freedom; Dianne Feinstein (i), Dem.; Don Grundmann, American Independent; Michael Metti, Lib.; Richard “Dick” Mountjoy, Rep.
House of Representatives, District 7 (Clayton, Pittsburg, Martinez, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, Benicia, Vallejo, Vacaville and part of Concord): Camden McConnell, Lib.;George Miller (i), Dem.
House of Representatives, District 9 (Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, Piedmont, Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland and Fairview): John DenDulk, Rep.; James Eyer, Lib.; Barbara Lee (i), Dem.
House of Representatives, District 10 (Livermore, Antioch, El Cerrito, Lamorinda, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Alamo, Fairfield, Dixon and parts of the Delta and Concord): Darcy Linn, Rep.; Ellen Tauscher, (i), Dem.
House of Representatives, District 11 (Dublin, Brentwood, San Ramon Valley, Discovery Bay, Tracy, Lodi, Ripon, Manteca, Morgan Hill and most of Pleasanton): Gerald “Jerry” McNerney, Dem., Richard Pombo, Rep. (i)
House of Representatives, District 13 (Alameda, Fremont, Hayward, Newark, a small portion of Pleasanton, San Leandro, Union City and portions of Sunol): George Bruno, Rep.; Fortney “Pete” Stark (i), Dem.

State constitutional offices

Governor: Phil Angelides, Dem.; Peter Camejo, Green; Janice Jordan, Peace & Freedom; Edward Noonan, American Independent; Art Olivier, Lib.; Arnold Schwarzenegger (i) Rep.
Lt. Governor: Stewart Alexander, Peace & Freedom; John Garamendi, Dem.; Jim King, American Independent; Tom McClintock, Rep.; Lynette Shaw, Lib.; Donna Warren, Green
Secretary of State: Margie Akin, Peace and Freedom; Debra Bowen, Dem.; Forrest Hill, Green; Gail Lightfoot, Lib.; Bruce McPherson (i), Rep.; Glen McMillon Jr., American Independent
Controller: Elizabeth Cervantes Barron, Peace & Freedom; Warren Campbell, American Independent; John Chiang, Dem.; Tony Strickland, Rep.; Donna Tello, Lib.; Laura Wells, Green
Treasurer: Bill Lockyer, Dem.; E. Justin Noonan, American Independent; Claude Parrish, Rep.; Gerald Sanders, Peace & Freedom; Marian Smithson, Lib.; Mehul Thakker, Green
Attorney General: Jerry Brown, Dem.; Jack Harrison, Peace & Freedom; Chuck Poochigian, Rep.; Kenneth Weissman, Lib.; Michael Wyman, Green
Insurance Commissioner: Jay Earl Burden, American Independent; Cruz Bustamante, Dem.; Larry Cafiero, Green.; Tom Condit, Peace & Freedom; Dale Ogden, Lib.; Steve Poizner, Rep.
Board of Equalization, District 1: David Campbell, Peace & Freedom; David Neighbors, Rep.; Kennita Watson, Lib.; Betty Yee (i), Dem.

State Assembly

District 11 (Antioch, Pittsburg, Bay Point, Concord, Martinez, Crockett, Pinole and part of El Sobrante): Mark DeSaulnier, Dem., Cory Nott, Lib.; Arne Simonsen, Rep.
District 14 (Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Lamorinda, Pleasant Hill, Richmond and San Pablo): Timothy Ahern, Lib.; Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley(i); Leigh Wolf, Rep.
District 15 (San Ramon Valley, Walnut Creek, Brentwood, Oakley, Elk Grove and parts of the Delta and Pleasanton): Terry Coleman, Dem.; Guy Houston, R-San Ramon (i)
District 16 (Oakland, Piedmont, and Alameda): Sandre Swanson, Dem.; Edward Ytuarte, Peace & Freedom
District 18 (Dublin, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and most of Castro Valley, Hayward and Pleasanton) Jill Buck, Ronald Colfer, Lib.; Mary Hayashi, Dem.
District 20 (Castro Valley, Fairview, Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Newark, Union City and portions of Pleasanton, Sunol): Ken Nishimura, Rep.; Alberto Torrico (i), Dem.
State senate
District 10 (Fremont, Hayward, Newark, Pleasanton, San Leandro, Union City, Ashland, portions of Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview, San Lorenzo and Sunol): Ellen Corbett, Dem.; Lou Filipovich, Rep.; and William Smyth, Lib.

State ballot measures

Prop. 1a: Would eliminate the loophole that allows state officials to transfer the sales tax on fuel from transportation for use in the general fund. Change would permit the state to borrow the sales tax but must repay it in full with interest. It also sets a schedule for repayment of previously diverted taxes. Majority vote required.
Prop. 1b: Authorizes the sale of $20 billion in general obligation bonds to fund transportation projects to relieve congestion, improve goods movement, improve air quality and enhance security of the system. Majority vote required.
Prop. 1c: Authorizes the sale of $2.85 billion in bonds to fund 13 new and existing housing and development programs. The money would be allocated through a grant process determined by the Legislature. Majority vote required.
Prop. 1d: Authorizes the sale of $10.4 billion in general obligation bonds for K-12 and higher education facilities. The money could be used for projects such as modernization, new construction and easing overcrowding. Majority vote required.
Prop. 1e: Authorizes the sale of $4.1 billion in general obligation bonds for flood management programs. Majority vote required.
Prop. 83: Increases penalties for sex offenses in variety of ways. It would expand the definition of sex offense; provide for longer prison times; prohibit probation and eliminate early release credits in the case of some sex crimes; and extend parole for some offenders. It would also increase court imposed fees charged to offenders, require the use of GPS devices for registered sex offenders; limit where offenders may live; and expand the eligibility for violent sex offender status. Majority vote required.
Prop. 84: Authorizes the sale of $5.4 billion in general obligation bonds for projects that produce safe drinking water, improve water quality and supply, flood control, natural resource protection and park improvements. Majority vote required.
Prop. 85: Requires a physician or his/her representative to notify the parent or legal guardian of a pregnant minor at least 48 hours before performing an abortion. Exceptions would include medical emergencies, waiver signed by the parent or guardian or a court waiver. Majority vote required.
Prop. 86: Hikes excise tax on cigarettes from 87 cent per pack to $3.47 a pack to fund hospitals’ emergency services, expand access to health insurance for children, expand nursing education, support new health programs and curb tobacco use. State analysts estimate it would raise $2.1 billion in the first full year but the increase may be offset by the reduction in the purchase of tobacco products as a result of the higher prices. Majority vote required.
Prop. 87: Imposes a tax on oil production in California which would raise $4 billion for alternative energy programs. It would also prohibit oil producers from passing on the cost of the tax to consumers. Majority vote required.
Prop. 88: Creates a $50 per year parcel tax statewide to fund K-12 programs such as class size reduction, instructional materials, school safety, facility grants and data systems. Majority vote required.
Prop. 89: Establishes a voluntary public financing fund for candidates for state office through an increase on income tax rates paid by corporations from 8.84 percent to 9.04 percent and financial institutions from 10.84 percent to 11.04 percent. It would impose new and lower contribution limits on candidates that do not participate in public financing of their campaigns. Majority vote required.
Prop. 90: Requires the government to pay property owners if it passes new laws or rules that result in substantial economic losses to their properties such as downzoning. It would also strip local governments’ ability to use eminent domain in cases where the property is being transferred to another private entity rather than being taken for a public use. Majority vote required.

Contra Costa County ballot measures

Measure J, Pittsburg Unified School District: Asks voters to approve a bond measure. A 55 percent voter approval is required.
Measure K, Liberty Union High School District: Asks voters to authorize an $85 million bond to build a fourth high school, classrooms, science and computer labs at Liberty High School, a theater at Freedom High School, and acquire land for a fifth high school. An independent citizen panel would monitor the fund. A 55 percent voter approval is required.
Measure L, Contra Costa County: Asks voters to adopt the next generation urban limit line in Contra Costa County through 2026, require voter approval for any expansions of the line greater than 30 acres and establish review procedures for changes to the line. Majority vote required.
Measure M, Contra Costa County: Asks voters to allow the Board of Supervisors to appoint an alternative to the county pension board. Majority vote required.
Measure N, Brentwood: Asks voters to extend the mayor’s elected term from two years to four years. Majority vote required.
Measure O, Clayton: Asks voters to fund a community facilities district through an annual levy of special taxes with an initial spending cap of $100,600. Two-thirds vote required.
Measure P, Lafayette: Asks voters to authorize a parcel tax not to exceed $64 per year per residential equivalent unit for five years. Funds would be used to hire police officers and purchase equipment for the city’s police department. Two-thirds vote required.
Measure Q, Orinda: Asks voters to approve a $59.1 million bond to pay for roadways improvements, storm drains and water mains. The program would be audited annually and no money would be used to pay for new city staff. Two-thirds vote required.
to fund services such as public safety, street and storm drain repair. Majority vote required.
Measure R, Pinole: Asks voters whether to convert the city’s elected treasurer position to an appointed post. Majority vote required.
Measure S, Pinole: Asks voters to adopt an ordinance enacting a local half-cent transaction and use (sales) tax. Majority vote required.
Measure T, Richmond: Asks voters to adopt a business license tax effective Jan. 1, 2007, which will levy a new tax on manufacturing, including oil refining, equal to one-eighth of a percent of the value of the raw materials used in the manufacturing process per year and increase other business taxes by 10 percent with certain other adjustments. It would also annually tax landlords up to $90 per unit for residential property and three cents per square foot for non-residential property. Majority vote required.

Alameda County ballot measures

Measure A, Berkeley Unified School District: Asks voters to replace two taxes expiring in 2007 with one annual tax for 10 years at $22.80 cents/square foot for residential buildings, $34.36 cents/square foot for commercial, industrial and institutional buildings, and $50 for unimproved parcels with annual cost-of-living adjustments. Funding shall be used for class size reduction, libraries, music, teacher training, and academic support. A citizens’ committee will monitor the fund. Two-thirds vote required.
Measure C, Albany: Asks voters to authorize $5 million bond for the renovation and expansion of the city’s fire station Two-thirds vote required.
Measure D, Albany: Asks voters whether the city should support the establishment of a single medical marijuana dispensary subject to regulations. Advisory only.
Measure P, Pleasanton: Asks voters to consider plans for uses for the 318-acre city-owned portion of the Bernal property near Interstate 680. Majority vote required.

Contra Costa County

Ambrose Recreation and Park District (three seats): Roberto Cardona Jr., Mae Cendaña (i), Judith Dawson, Greg Enholm (i), Anthony “AJ” Fardella, William Filbeck, Steven Hoagland, Joe Massey, Marcia Ravizza, Vicki Zumwalt
Antioch City Council (two seats): James “Jim” Conley (i), James “Jim” Davis (i), Reggie Moore, David Pfeiffer, Manuel “Manny” Soliz
Antioch Unified School Board (two seats): Joyce Seelinger (i), Teri Lyn Shaw, Katy Sun, Dee Vieira
Bethel Island Municipal Improvement District (two seats): Marguerite Lawry (i), Dan Phippen (i), Dustin Bloomfield
Brentwood City Council (two seats): Richard Bates Jr., Chris Becnel, Derrick Bullington, Gene Clare, Charles “Chuck” Handwork, Laurie Huffman, Mike Hyde, Brandon Richey, Adam Liebow, Roger Short, Erick Stonebarger, Mark Underwood
Brentwood Mayor: Annette Beckstrand, Ana Gutierrez, Robert Taylor,
Brentwood Union School District (three seats): Tobi Benz (i), Brigette Dolle, Emil Geddes, Larry Hilburn (i)
Byron Union School District (three seats): Lisa Hultz (i), Jennifer Mixon, Jill Sprenkel, Karri Jo Murayama, Bobbi Nugent, Maria Ann Sturdivant
Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, Division 1: Brent Gilbert (i), Sandra Fredrickson
Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, Division 3: Karen Cox, Tim Maggiore (i)
Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (two seats): Parke Boneysteele (i), Paul Causey, Gerald Lucey (i), Michael McGill
Clayton City Council (two seats): James Diaz Sr., Joe Medrano, David “Shoe” Shuey (i), Ross “Hank” Stratford
Concord City Council (three seats): Chuck Carpenter, Michael Chavez, Laura Hoffmeister (i), Harmesh Kumar, Ronald “Ron” Leone, Darren Nielson, Harmon West. (Incumbent Helen Allen withdrew but her name remains on the ballot because she took action after the filing deadline.)
Contra Costa Community College Board, Ward 3: Greg Enholm, Sheila Grilli (i)
Contra Costa Community College Board, Ward 4: John Nejedly (i), Frank Quattro
Danville Town Council (two seats): Michael Shimansky (i), Karen Stepper (I), Robert Storer
Discovery Bay Community Services District (three seats): Dave Dove, Shannon Teixeira (i), David Piepho (i), Ray Tetreault (i)
El Cerrito City Council (two seats): Janet Abelson (i), David Boisvert, Sandi Potter (i), Andrew Ting
Hercules City Council (two seats): Joe McDonald, Trevor Evans-Young (i), Ed Sharp, Kris Valstad
John Swett Unified School District (two seats): Brian Colombo, William Concannon, Jim Delgadillo (i), Jerrold Parsons
Kensington Police Protection and Community Services District (three seats): Cindy Kimball, Patricia McLaughlin (i), Bruce Morrow (i), Danny Scher, Bill Wright
Liberty Union High School (three seats): Stephen Barr (i), Joanne Byer (i), David Fordahl, Yolanda Mendrek, Raymond Valverde (I)
Los Medanos Community Healthcare District (three seats): Marilyn Condit (i), Bruce Croskey (i), Jess Reyes, Darnell Turner, Eva Vera (i)
Martinez City Council (two seats): Royce David, Lara DeLaney (i), Michael Menesini, Bill Wainwright (i), Paul Wilson
Martinez Mayor: Mike Alford, Damian De La Rosa, Vito Osenga, Rob Schroder (i)
Martinez Unified School District (two seats): Vincent Cruz II, Vicki Gordon (i), Ronald Skrehot (i)
Moraga Town Council (two seats): Ken Chew, Napoleon “Sonny” Ebarle, Jason Evans, John Haffner Jr., Dave Trotter
Moraga-Orinda Fire Protection District, Division 1: Linda Borrelli, Frank Sperling
Mount Diablo Health Care District (two seats): Ed Allen, Linda Stephenson, John P. Toth (i), Andrew Coffman
Mount Diablo Health Care District (short term) Kevin Lee Day, John Richard Toth, Cory Nott
Mount Diablo Unified School District (three seats): Dick Allen (i), Rusty Bordelon, Tina Gregory, Linda Mayo (i), Ruth Rodriguez, Patrick Sennello, Paul Strange (i), Randy Tolerton
Orinda City Council (three seats): Laura Abrams (i), Robert Jungbluth, Tom McCormick, Sue Severson, Amy Worth (i)
Orinda Union School District (three seats): Jack Bontemps, Wayne Phillips, Riki Sorenson (i), Pamela West (i)
Pittsburg City Council (three seats): Salvatore Evola, William Glynn (i), Nancy Parent (i), Michael Kee(i), Larry Wirick
Pittsburg City Clerk: Jess Centeno, Alice Evenson
Pleasant Hill City Council (two seats): Michael Harris (i), Keith Hunt, Stewart Rine, Terri Williamson (i)
Pinole City Council (three seats): Betty Boyle (i), David Cole (i), Mary Horton (i), Stephen Tilton
Richmond Mayor: Irma Anderson (i), Gary Bell, Gayle McLaughlin
Richmond City Council (three seats): Cortland “Corky” Booze, Richard Griffin (i), James Jenkins, Ludmyrna Lopez, Jim Rogers (i), Maria Viramontes (i)
Rodeo-Hercules Fire Protection District (three seats) Jim Lopeman (i), William “Bill” Prather (i), Dennis Salmi (i), John “JR” Stafford
San Pablo City Council (two seats): Genoveva Calloway (i), Arturo Cruz, Paul Morris (i), ESPO
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District (two seats): Nick Dickson, Ralph Hoffman, Jennifer Price (i)
San Ramon Valley Unified School District (three seats): Joan Buchanan (i), Bill Clarkson (i), Rachel Hurd, James McVay
Walnut Creek City Council (two seats): Jake Bronson, Sol Henik, Susan McNulty Rainey (i), Cindy Silva
Walnut Creek School District (three seats): Angela Borchardt (i), Barbara Pennington (i), Mark Teufel, Dan Walden (i),
West County Unified School District (three seats): Robert Brower, Martin Gottlieb, Anton Jungherr, Madeline Kronenberg, Marguerite Meade, Antonio Medrano, Audrey Miles, Charles Ramsey (i)

Alameda County

Berkeley Unified School District (three seats): Karen Hemphill, Norma Harrison, Nancy Riddle (i), David Baggins, Shirley Issel (i)
Dublin City Council (two seats): Robert Boboc, Ronald Boggs, Ginger Ripplinger, Tim Sbranti, William Schaub, Kate Anne Scholz
Dublin Unified School District (three seats): Tim Spooner, Jennifer Henry, Dan Cunningham, David Haubert (i)
Livermore Valley Joint Unified (three seats): McKinley Day “Mr. Day,” William Dunlop (i),), Katherine (Kate) Runyon, Anne White (i)
Pleasanton City Council (two seats): Jerry Thorne (i), Brian Arkin, Dan Faustina, Cheryl Cook-Kallio
Pleasanton Mayor: Jennifer Hosterman (i), Steve Brozosky
Sunol Glen Unified School District (two seats): Guineth “Guin” Elaine Van Dyke (i), Graham Barnes, Linda Pappas
AC Transit (1 seat, at large, Alameda County): Rebecca Kaplan (i), James Muhammad
BART, District 2 (Antioch, Bay Point, Bethel Island, Brentwood, Byron, Clyde, Crockett, Discovery Bay, parts of El Sobrante, Hercules, Knightsen, Martinez, Oakley, parts of Pacheco, Pinole, Pittsburg, parts of Pleasant Hill, Port Costa and Rodeo): Joel Keller (i), Wade Gomes
BART, District 8 (San Francisco): Emily Drennen, James Fang (i)
Dublin-San Ramon Services District (two seats): Jeffrey Hansen (i), Thomas Ford (i), Mohinder Khanna.
East Bay Regional Park District, Ward 1, short term (Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Kensington, a portion of Oakland, a small part of Pinole, Richmond, and San Pablo): E.J. Shalaby, Nancy Skinner (i)
East Bay Regional Park District, Ward 5 (Brightside, Dublin, part of Fremont, Livermore, Newark, Pleasanton and Sunol): Frank Pirrone, Ayn Wieskamp (i)


Acalanes Union High School (three seats): Vanessa Crews (i), David Irvin, Tom Mulvaney, Richard Whitmore (i)
BART, District 4 (Alameda, parts of Oakland): Carole Ward Allen (i)
BART, District 6 (Fremont, parts of Hayward, Newark, Union City): Thomas Blalock (i)
Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, Division 2: Gerald Tennant (I)
Byron Sanitary District (two seats): G. Lee Cummings (i), Danny Hamby (i)
Canyon Elementary School District (three seats): Geronimo Bernard (i), Ian Llewellyn (i), David James Smith (i)
Canyon Elementary School District (short term, two seats): Brian M. Coyle (i), Donna Menge (i)
Castle Rock County Water District (two seats): No candidates filed.
Castro Valley Sanitary District (two seats): Ralph Johnson (i), Harry Francis (i)
Concord City Clerk: Mary Rae Lehman (i)
Concord Treasurer: Thomas Wentling (i)
Contra Costa County Board of Education, Area 2: David Krapf (i)
Contra Costa County Board of Education, Area 4: Glenn Ruley (i)
Contra Costa County Board of Education, Area 5: Daniel Borsuk (i)
Contra Costa Community College Board, Ward 1: Tony Gordon
Contra Costa Community College Board, Ward 2, short term: Tomi Van De Brooke (i)
Contra Costa Water District, Division 1: Elizabeth Anello (i)
Contra Costa Water District, Division 2: John Burgh (i)
Discovery Bay Community Services District (short term): Patricia Knight (i)
Diablo Community Services District (three seats) Jeffrey Haug (i), Verne Murray (i),Thomas Wander (i)Lafayette School District (three seats): Ann Appert (i), Teresa Gerringer (i), David Stromberg (i)
Diablo Water District (three seats): Kenneth Crockett (i), John DeFremery (i), Howard Hobbs (I)
East Bay Municipal Utility District, Ward 2 (Alamo, Blackhawk, Diablo, Lafayette, Danville, portions of Pleasant Hill, San Ramon and Walnut Creek): John Coleman (i)
East Bay Municipal Utility District, Ward 3 (Piedmont, Orinda, Moraga and El Sobrante and portions of Oakland, Pinole and Richmond): Katy Foulkes (i)
East Bay Municipal Utility District, Ward 4 (Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, El Cerrito and Kensington and a portion of Oakland): Andy Katz
East Bay Municipal Utility District, Ward 7 (Castro Valley and portions of San Leandro, Hayward and San Ramon): Frank Mellon (i)
East Bay Regional Park District, Ward 3 (Castro Valley, Hayward, Union City and a portion of Fremont): Carol Severin (i)
East Bay Regional Park District, Ward 6 (Alamo, Blackhawk, Clayton, Concord, Danville, Diablo, Pleasant Hill, San Ramon, Tassajara and part of Walnut Creek): Beverly Lane (i)
East Bay Regional Park District, Ward 7 (Antioch, Bay Point, Bethel Island, Brentwood, Byron, Clyde, Crockett, Discovery Bay, Hercules, Martinez, Oakley, Oleum, Pacheco, the majority of Pinole, Pittsburg, Port Costa, Rodeo, Selby and Tormey): Ted Radke (I)
East Contra Costa Irrigation District, Division 1: Randall Enos (i)
East Contra Costa Irrigation District, Division 4: Kenneth W. Smith (i)
Ironhorse Sanitary District (two seats): Lenny Byer (i), Chris Lauritzen III (i)
Kensington Fire Protection District (three seats) Janice Kosel (i), Nina Ramsey (i)
Lafayette City Council (two seats): Brandt Andersson, Donald Tatzin (i)
Livermore Area Recreation and Park District (three seats): Scott Kamena (i), David Furst (i), Mary Alice Summer Faltings
Moraga-Orinda Fire Protection District, Division 3: Pete Wilson (i)
Moraga-Orinda Fire Protection District, Division 4: John Wyro (i)
Moraga School District (three seats): Lisa Evans (i), Steven Hirsch, Charles MacNulty (i)
Mountain House Elementary (two seats): Anthony Castello (i), Marianne Griffith (i)
Mountain View Sanitary District (two seats): Stanley Caldwell (i), Edward McGee, Greg Pyka (i)
Mountain View Sanitary District (short term): Randell Williams (i)
Pittsburg Unified School District (three seats): Joseph Arenivar (i), Vincent Ferrante (i), Percy McGee Jr. (i)
Pittsburg Treasurer: James Holmes (i)
Pleasant Hill Park and Recreation District (three seats): Karen Mitchoff (i), Cecile Shepard (i), Gregory Smith (i)
Pleasant Hill Park and Recreation District (short term): Dennis Donaghu (i)
Pleasanton Unified School District (two seats): Jim Ott (i), Patrick Kernan (i)
Richmond City Council (short term): Tony Thurmond (i)
Rodeo-Hercules Fire Protection District (short term): Beth Bartke (i)
Rodeo Sanitary District (two seats): Alan Leal (i), Ryan Spencer (i)
Rodeo Sanitary District (short term): Gatther Brooks (i),
San Pablo City Clerk: Ted Denny (i)
San Pablo Treasurer: Charles Nicholas (i)
Stege Sanitary District (three seats): Graham Brand, Dwight Merrill (i), Alan Miller (i)
Walnut Creek Treasurer: Ronald Cassano (i)
West Contra Costa County Health Care District (three seats): Nancy Casazza (i), Beverly Wallace (i)


Concord Councilwoman Helen Allen leaves race

Feisty three-term Concord City Councilwoman and former mayor Helen Allen has pulled out of the race for re-election, citing the ongoing controversy over whether or not she lives in the city.

“I want the focus to be on the issues,” Allen said, “not on me. I don’t need that.”

Despite having served 13 years on the City Council and six years on the Planning Commission, Helen’s commitment to Concord came under fire after she and her husband, Bill, bought a house in Sacramento last year. At the time, she said they wanted to be closer to their grandchildren.

But Allen, a 66-year-old retired kindergarten teacher and Contra Costa native, continued to spend much of the week in Concord in order to conduct her official duties, splitting her time between Sacramento and the Concord condo she and her sister own.

Allen consulted with District Attorney Bob Kochly, who had no issue with the councilwoman’s residency. He defined residency as a place where people intend to regularly return, where they receive mail and phone calls, and keep clothing.

Yet, questions about Allen’s address continued to surface, both at council meetings and in letters to the editor.

Allen is an outspoken politician known both for her straight talk and love of fashionable and occasionally flashy clothing. She is also a conservative Republican who publicly champions property rights and has had the consistent support of developers, views that have drawn the ire of liberal Democrats.

In attempt to put an end to the residency question several months ago, the Allens put their Sacramento house on the market and announced plans to buy another home in Concord.

But the housing market has softened and she said she has been unable to sell her Sacramento house, located in a gated, senior community on the outskirts of town.

“I decided it was time for me to move on,” Allen said.

That doesn’t mean Allen is leaving town.

She says she and her husband of 40 years still intend to sell the Sacramento house and move full-time to Concord. She also continues to substitute teach in area schools.

“I’ll find something to do, believe me,” Allen said. “But whatever it is, it’s going to be something positive that contributes to the community.”

Prior to her moving to Concord, she served on the Clayton Planning Commission from 1974 to 1980 and was elected to the Clayton City Council in 1980, serving as Clayton’s mayor for two years.

Allen’s departure leaves one incumbent, Laura Hoffmeister, in the competition for three seats.

Other candidates qualified as of Wednesday morning were Michael Chavez and Harmesh Kumar. Tom Evans had qualified but has also pulled out of the race.

Two residents’ candidate paperwork were pending, including Ron Leone and Harmon West.


Redistricting dead, for now

California legislative leaders have abandoned efforts to reform this year the way the state draws its political boundaries or propose changes to term limits.

In a press release issued a few minutes ago from the office of Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, a joint panel appointed to craft a proposal has called it a day.

Here’s the joint panel’s statement:

“There is no question about the need to reform the redistricting process and our current system of term limits in California. But given the tremendous impact any proposal crafted by the Legislature this year could have on politics and policymaking in our state, we feel it is the best course not to pursue a sweeping reform package in the waning hours of the legislative session. Make no mistake, our caution in crafting a reform package this year does not in any way diminish our determination to fix a broken system. We stand committed to revisiting redistricting and term limits reform in the next legislative session – to once and for all craft responsible, bipartisan political reforms for the people of California.”

The concession will disappoint reform advocates who sought to link SCA 3, which would have stripped from state lawmakers the task of drawing political boundaries and assigned the job to an independent panel, to less restrictive term limits.

But as one lawmaker said about the endeavor, “It’s like asking a pig to butcher itself.”