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GOP meeting generates “socialism” flap

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Thursday, March 13th, 2008 at 3:12 pm in Contra Costa politics, Republican politics.

The cell phone network in Contra Costa County has been in overdrive today as rumors fly about the content of a speech given last night by Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho at the Republican Party’s candidate night. (She’s running for re-election against Assemblyman Guy Houston, R-San Ramon.)

I was there and no, Piepho did not call her Board of Supervisors colleagues socialists.

Look, context is everything.

Piepho used the term with verbal quotations around it in reference to the introductory comments of GOP Chairman Tom Del Beccaro, who actually did call her colleagues socialists.

Her reference came as a preface to her campaign stump spiel about the steps she says the Board of Supervisors has collectively taken during her three years in office to enact fiscal controls.

Some of Piepho’s conservative supporters have criticized those actions as too little and too late, especially when it comes to the county’s $2.6 billion other post-employee benefit liability. And they don’t like her collaboration with the three liberal supervisors who dominate the board: John Gioia, Susan Bonilla and Federal Glover.

But Piepho has consistently argued that in order to advance her conservative fiscal positions, as one vote, she must work closely with the board majority rather than engage in counter-productive hostile rhetoric from the dais.

Gee, and we thought this was a nonpartisan seat. Yeah, right.

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  • Arne Simonsen

    I have to agree with Supervisor Piepho’s approach with her colleagues on the County Board of Supervisors.

    While some believe she should be “hammering” her fellow supervisors, that would only result in the “status quo” and being the lone “NO” vote.

    Others “demand” that the County put some $250 million in their current budget to cut into their OPEB obligations – but, the County doesn’t have $250 million. Common sense needs to prevail and some need a reality check.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Mary understands the gravity of the County budget and OPEB obligations; and she has worked with her fellow supervisors to start addressing those issues.

  • renegade GOP

    I am glad you were paying attention Lisa. That was a snoozer of a speech she gave. Mary’s words rang out like flat dishwater. I remember her saying something about socialists very quickly but I don’t remember the context.

  • Ken Hambrick

    Sorry, Lisa, but I was there just like you. I heard her call her BOS colleagues socialists and there were no quotation marks around it nor was it said with humor.

    Maybe it was a slip of the tongue, but she said it loud and clear. So you, she and Simonsen can make excuses, but my hearing is very good.

    Meanwhile her “approach with her colleagues” is nothing more than selling out to the liberal members and joining them on all issues. The Board always votes 5-0 (only one time 4-1 and that was Bonilla).

    If Piepho has any concerns about what the board is doing she certainly is effective in hiding them (about the only thing she is effective at).

    As to demanding the county immediately put $250 million annually into the OPEB debt, no one I know including myself has made such a “demand”.

    What we are “demanding” is that the county prepare and execute a plan to address this multi-billion dollar debt. So far the BOS hasn’t done this and has only taken “baby steps” toward it without putting any real dollars into the OPEB pot.

    NOTE FROM LISA V.
    Ken, I make no excuses for anyone, especially elected officials and you know that. Too often, members of the media pull quotes out of context and misrepresent what people say in order to seek a sensationalist story or headline. From my seat in the front row and following the content of her introduction to the stage, her use of the term “socialists” was crystal clear. As for whether or not her management style and her policy positions are good or bad, that’s up to you and the voters to decide on June 3.

  • renegade GOP

    Get a grip Ken. Lisa V. is the best political beat reporter we have had in this county since Pat Keeble.
    She does a fine job and trys very hard to be balanced.

  • Ken Hambrick

    Hey Renegade, what I wrote is no slap at Lisa. I agree with everything you said about her. She knows what she heard and I know what I heard.

    Lisa does an excellent job asnd keep up the great job, Lisa!

    But the bottom line is, whatever she said, Piepho has to go.

  • http://www.saveelsobrante.com Marilynne Mellander

    There’s a huge sign on 580 with a picture of Mary Piepho urging her reelection to the Board of Stupes