Contra Costa sheriff pens anti-Piepho mailer

Contra Costa County Sheriff Warren Rupf roared into the political arena this week with a self-funded mailer targeting incumbent county Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho of Discovery Bay.

The sheriff has been a very vocal and public supporter of Piepho’s challenger, Guy Houston, a soon-to-be-termed out Assemblyman from San Ramon. Rupf and Piepho have repeatedly clashed over law enforcement issues in far eastern Contra Costa County and the two speak only by letter.

Hitting Piepho on her vote to raise her pay is a fair issue. While the dollar amount is small — a boost from $59,000 to $95,000 a year — it is symbolic at a time when the county faces financial woes.

But the sheriff’s statements on the mailer are inconsistent on several levels. And some question whether it was legal.

Rupf states in the mailer that he was forced to lay off deputies as a result of the county’s $2.5 billion budget deficit.

But in today’s Contra Costa Times, the sheriff is quoted saying that he had eliminated 16 civilian jobs but no sworn officers. Rupf did say, however, that he has left more than 70 deputy positions vacant as part of cutbacks in the past four budget cycles.

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Barbara Lee to host China earthquake gathering

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, will host a community gathering in recognition of victims of the May 12th earthquake that devastated China’s Sichuan Province from 4:30 to 6 p.m. this Monday, June 2, in the Oakland Asian Cultural Center at 388 9th St., Suite 290 in Oakland.

The latest on the quake, per CNN:

The official death toll from the quake rose to 68,109 on Wednesday, an increase of about 900, with about 19,850 missing. The total number of dead has been increasing daily.

The government estimates that 45 million people, mostly in Sichuan province, were affected by the earthquake and that 5 million were left homeless.

Lee intends to provide concerned Chinatown residents with an update on the earthquake’s impact and federal humanitarian efforts to provide relief to the disaster’s victims. Attendees also will get information on how they can support relief efforts as well as know-how from the American Red Cross on preparing for an earthquake or other natural disaster, including what essential supplies they should have on hand. The event is free and open to the public; for more information or to RSVP, call April Chan at (510) 763-0370.


Quips and outtakes from Harry Reid

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco today, and said he, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean intend to ensure that the race for the Democratic presidential nomination will be over by the end of next week.

Here are some odds and ends for which I didn’t have room in the story:

Asked whether his own “The Good Fight” or former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan’s “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception” should be the single must-buy, must-read political memoir of the year, Reid replied he’s donating all proceeds from his book to charity, but “Scott probably needs the money more.”

Asked who’s most to blame for the subprime mortgage loan crisis, Reid said it’s former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, whom he called “the J. Edgar Hoover of the financial world: He did everything he could to get in good with the next president.” Greenspan must’ve known the subprime loans were a disaster in the making, Reid said, and “if he didn’t know, he should’ve known,” as the U.S. Treasury secretaries under the George W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations should’ve as well.

On gas prices, Reid said the United States doesn’t have the oil reserves to produce its way out of the crisis, nor can it remain so dependent on oil imported from hostile or potentially hostile “tyrannical” regimes. Reid said he favors granting an eight-year tax credit to spur venture capital investment in solar, wind and geothermal energy production; he said he’d like to see the vast tracts of Nevada desert once used to test nuclear weapons be carpeted with solar panels to generate electricity for the nation.

On healthcare, Reid said if we had Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan — the one she pitched in 1993, while her husband was president — in place today, “there would be very few complaints.” Parts of that plan must be adopted into the next administration’s policy, he said, especially the ability of small business owners to pool their employees together so that they collectively can subscribe to better health-insurance plans.

“Congress should have pretty low (approval) ratings, because we have not produced things,” he said — but he quickly said he’s not willing to take much blame for that. Republicans have filibustered 77 times in this Congress so far, he noted. “They broke a two-year record in 10 months. They’re like Mark McGuire, they’re on steroids. I guess I shouldn’t say Barry Bonds while I’m in San Francisco.”


Wanna a limo ride to the polls?

Here’s an interesting campaign strategy: Contra Costa Supervisor Federal Glover is offering free limo rides to the polls on Tuesday.

Two voters per ride minimum, presumably to cut down on the carbon footprint of the limousine.

Gee, turnout is supposed to be really low but do have to bribe people with fancy rides to get people to vote?


Nunn responds to mailer criticisms

Contra Costa supervisor candidate Erik Nunn has reponded via email to my blog entry earlier today criticizing a mailer he funded that targets challenger and incumbent Supervisor Federal Glover.

Here’s what Nunn had to say and I have also included at the bottom my return email:


As a property owner and Section 8 landlord it’s Federal Glover’s responsibility to make sure bills are paid and if his tenants move out, he should obviously be aware of that and take appropriate action, which he has failed to do over and over, for seven years.

One lien, OK, two, fine, but seven and three are outstanding. Either Federal Glover thinks he doesn’t have to follow the same rules as other Section 8 landlords or he is uninformed and doesn’t care.

It sounds like Federal Glover is blaming his Section 8 tenants, the garbage company or the U.S. Postal service for not paying his bills, and they are his bills, he owns the property.

The fact that Federal Glover was alerted to these unpaid bills as a result of a campaign mailer is actually disturbing, especially considering how important of an issue Section 8 is to East County voters.

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False and misleading mailer targets Glover

An opponent-funded campaign mailer (see images below) targeting Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg contains major misstatements and false impressions.

Erik Nunn of Oakley, one of five people running June 3 for the District 5 seat on the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, paid for the four-page glossy brochure.

The Contra Costa Times periodically examines campaign literature and informs voters of the facts.

Here’s a breakdown:

What it says: “Federal Glover makes thousands of dollars a month as a Section 8 landlord.”

Is it true? No.

Glover has tenants in one Oakland triplex unit who qualify for federal housing assistance. The rent on the unit is $1,600 a month. The tenants pay a portion of the monthly rent, usually between 20 to 30 percent, and the Alameda County Housing Authority uses federal funds to pay the difference.

In addition to the triplex, Glover owns three rental properties with addresses in Pittsburg, Sacramento and Elk Grove.

Read on to see the rest of the mailer and the explanations. Continue Reading