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Concord blogger calls political columnist biased

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Friday, May 16th, 2008 at 11:53 am in 2008 June primary, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics.

HalfwaytoConcord.com blogger Bill Gram-Reefer is taking me to task for poking fun at write-in Contra Costa County supervisor candidate Steve Thomas’ cut-and-paste gaff while failing to mention that incumbent Contra Costa Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho did a “similar” thing on an endorsement mailer.

(By way of background, Piepho is on the ballot opposite Guy Houston, a state GOP Assemblyman from San Ramon who will term out this year. Gram-Reefer supports Houston.)

Well, it wasn’t similar. It wasn’t even close.

Thomas recycled campaign literature from his state Assembly race but forgot to change some of the words. I had a little fun at his expense in my Sunday column and Thomas got some free media. As a last-minute, write-in candidate who must depend on people to physically write his name down on the ballot, Thomas probably got the better end of the deal.

Gram-Reefer points out that a Piepho re-election campaign mailer contained endorsement letters and pictures from both Democrat State Sen. Tom Torlakson and former GOP Assemblywoman Lynne Leach. (Visit his site to see the mailers, which Gram-Reffer kindly scanned and posted.)

Horrors. A Democrat and a Republican on the same mailer! Leach must be horribly embarrassed, Reefer writes.

Does he know for fact that Leach is embarrassed? Do he know whether or not Leach knew her glowing endorsement letter of Piepho would appear on the same mailer with Torlakson’s equally glowing endorsement letter? I’ve called to ask her. I’ll keep you posted.

And what about Torlakson? Did he shudder when he saw his picture in the vicinity of Leach’s smiling face? Was he told he would appear with a Republican. (Oh yeah, Piepho is Republican.)

To accuse me of bias because I failed to make a comparison between two entirely dissimilar situations is absurd.

UPDATE 4:30 P.M.: I just talked via phone with former GOP Assemblywoman Lynne Leach and she is neither embarrassed or distraught.

“The county supervisor race is nonpartisan and candidates will always have support from both Republicans and Democrats,” Leach said. “This is ridiculous.”

After all, Leach said, Houston has the endorsement of Democrat and Contra Costa County Assessor Gus Kramer and no one is complaining about seeing Kramer’s name next to Republicans on various endorsement lists.

“I endorsed Mary very early on and I was proud to endorse her long before running for this race was even a twinkle in Guy’s eye,” she added. “I know how hard it is to work to get into these positions, learn the issues and work with people who don’t always see eye-to-eye.”

No, she didn’t know the final form of the mailer and she didn’t ask. She wasn’t worried about it.

As for Gram-Reefer’s blog comments, Leach is not impressed.

“If the situation were reversed and Torlakson and I had endorsed Houston, Gram-Reefer would have fallen all over himself to say nice things to say about it on his blog,” Leach said. “He’s a front man for Houston and he should just admit it.”

UPDATE: 9:47 a.m., Tuesday

This dust-up is even dumber than it first appeared. Torlakson and Leach never appeared on the same mailer. Each wrote endorsement letters that appeared in mailers of similar design but the Torlakson mailer went to Democrats and Leach’s went to Republicans. Households with one or more of each party received them both.

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  • http://halfwaytoconcord.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/New_Paradigm_Review.pdf Bill Gram-Reefer

    Lisa, I am surprised you take so much offense at a little humor. In fact, I know of a mixed couple household where both Democrat and Republican received the same mailing, and they had a laugh. It wasn’t about Lynne Leach or Tom Torlakson, or even Mary for that matter. Perhaps it was more about poking fun at the whiff of misandry and its role in local political coverage? Or not.

  • http://halfwaytoconcord.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/New_Paradigm_Review.pdf Bill Gram-Reefer

    Lisa, I am surprised you take so much offense at a little humor. In fact, I know of a mixed couple household where both Democrat and Republican received the same mailing, and they had a laugh. It wasn’t about Lynne Leach or Tom Torlakson, or even Mary for that matter. Perhaps it was more about poking fun at the whiff of misandry and its role in local political coverage? Or not.

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    I’m not offended! I’m trying to drive up my blog visit numbers … heehee.

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    I’m not offended! I’m trying to drive up my blog visit numbers … heehee.

  • http://halfwaytoconcord.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/New_Paradigm_Review.pdf Bill Gram-Reefer

    I don’t think I can pay you any better, but at least you’ll get more viewers.

    Come on over to the dark side where you can actually have an opinion!

  • http://halfwaytoconcord.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/New_Paradigm_Review.pdf Bill Gram-Reefer

    I don’t think I can pay you any better, but at least you’ll get more viewers.

    Come on over to the dark side where you can actually have an opinion!

  • joe da man

    I’m glad to see your face and the PGE cow’s face on the same page, are you related?

  • joe da man

    I’m glad to see your face and the PGE cow’s face on the same page, are you related?

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    Am I supposed to know what you’re talking about?

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    Am I supposed to know what you’re talking about?

  • http://TheBlueSheet I told you

    Califonias problems in a Nut Shell. The public employee unions (especally teachers) Hava a policy of getting hugh pay raises year after year and saying Well shut the schools down or give us more, they twist the agrument into (if they don’t get thousands more per year that is some how hurting the students. That must be because if they don’t get more money the ones that have been there longest get much more. At the same time through their stooges in the newspapers and elected officials twist the numbers around to make it appear they are underpaid. Cal Teachers get the Highest or Second highest pay in the Nation. This is a war between them who want to make hundreds of thousands so they can live good and give to their familys and us who they only see a taxing entiety. We are sacrafacin our lives and futures to give them 75 percen to 95 percent retirement Etc. Here is the only answer mandate no person who works for the state can get more the 50 percent retirement and work until 62 to get it ( I will remind those who aree oppossed SS age is raised to 67 because the gov say we are livng longer. Next they sould pay 1/3 of theie medicall premium, and return class size to 30-one. This is more than fair and much more than we will ever get. Giving them more momey or avoiding the problem does not correct the fact that our sales taxes and gas taxes and property taxes, permit fees etc are denighing us the opportunity to spend our money for whatwe want. Does anyone see it in some other light.

  • http://TheBlueSheet I told you

    Califonias problems in a Nut Shell. The public employee unions (especally teachers) Hava a policy of getting hugh pay raises year after year and saying Well shut the schools down or give us more, they twist the agrument into (if they don’t get thousands more per year that is some how hurting the students. That must be because if they don’t get more money the ones that have been there longest get much more. At the same time through their stooges in the newspapers and elected officials twist the numbers around to make it appear they are underpaid. Cal Teachers get the Highest or Second highest pay in the Nation. This is a war between them who want to make hundreds of thousands so they can live good and give to their familys and us who they only see a taxing entiety. We are sacrafacin our lives and futures to give them 75 percen to 95 percent retirement Etc. Here is the only answer mandate no person who works for the state can get more the 50 percent retirement and work until 62 to get it ( I will remind those who aree oppossed SS age is raised to 67 because the gov say we are livng longer. Next they sould pay 1/3 of theie medicall premium, and return class size to 30-one. This is more than fair and much more than we will ever get. Giving them more momey or avoiding the problem does not correct the fact that our sales taxes and gas taxes and property taxes, permit fees etc are denighing us the opportunity to spend our money for whatwe want. Does anyone see it in some other light.

  • RR

    I had a dream last night in which both Earl Warren and Hiram Johnson appeared and told me that if they were alive they would write in Thomas’s name. (Jefferson also appeared and asked what a “write-in” candidate was.)

  • RR

    I had a dream last night in which both Earl Warren and Hiram Johnson appeared and told me that if they were alive they would write in Thomas’s name. (Jefferson also appeared and asked what a “write-in” candidate was.)

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