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Archive for March, 2009

Bobby Shriver is not — never was — running for CD10

Santa Monica Councilman Bobby Shriver

Santa Monica Councilman Bobby Shriver

Okay, here’s one rumor about a potential CD10 candidate we can dispense with.

A spokesman for Bobby Shriver emphatically squashed talk that Shriver is or was ever contemplating a run at the seat held by Rep. Ellen Tauscher. (If you have been under sedation for the last week, you may have missed the news that Tauscher has accepted a job as undersecretary in the U.S. State Department pending Senate confirmation.)

Shriver’s spokesman has no idea where the rumor started. Shriver, brother to Maria Shriver and a Santa Monica city councilman, is instead mulling over a run for state attorney general, according to a half dozen news reports.

It’s not legally required for a congressional candidate to live in the district. Remember Republican Tom McClintock? He is the ex-Thousand Oaks state senator who recently won the congressional seat east of Sacramento once held by John Doolittle.

But McClintock spent a great deal of time in the Sacramento area while he served in the state Legislature.

And besides,why would Shriver leave Santa Monica? It’s a way, way more fun place to live than Contra Costa County. The weather! The beach! Ah, but I digress …

Posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2009
Under: Congress, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics | No Comments »

Washington, D.C., paper lists potential CD10 candidates

The Hill, a prominent Washington, D.C., newspaper that chronicles the Beltway, posted its take on the opening created by Rep. Ellen Tauscher, who has accepted an undersecretary post with the U.S. State Department pending confirmation.

Possible candidates on its list include former San Francisco 49ers tight end Brent Jones, a man who also reportedly considering running for congressional District 11 in 2008.

Soon, it will easier to list the people not interested in the CD10 race.

Posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2009
Under: Congress, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics, Ellen Tauscher | No Comments »

Assembly adjourns in honor of slain Oakland cops

At the request of several members, the California State Assembly today adjourned in memory of the four police officers slain in Oakland over the weekend.

From Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley:

“I am shocked and saddened by the horrific deaths of four Oakland police officers. My deepest condolences go out to the families of the officers and the Oakland Police Department. I will remember their service and sacrifice. I also want to express my support and gratitude for all of the law enforcement officials who protect our communities on a daily basis.”

From Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Castro Valley:

“While we are aware of the risks that our officers go through, we never imagine a loss of this magnitude, and it does not make grieving any easier.

“This violent tragedy that began with a routine traffic stop reminds us how real these risks are, and how much courage is shown by all those who serve in law enforcement.

“This is a terrible loss for so many, not just for the community of Oakland, but for all of us across this state.”

UPDATE @ 7:07 P.M.: From Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, D-Alameda:

“This was one of the most horrific acts in Oakland’s history. These officers made an historic sacrifice, and I have deep appreciation for how neighbors responded to the shooting and led police to the perpetrator. I also believe it is necessary for the entire community to come together to support these officers’ families, as well as the men and women of the police department who continue to put their lives on the line every day for the safety of our community.”


“Such a shocking tragedy is a wake-up call to the terrible shortcomings of our criminal justice system. Not only did it utterly fail to rehabilitate this individual, it also released him back into our community without sufficient oversight to keep us safe and keep him from returning to a life of crime. We need to acknowledge these failings, and reform our system so that it truly protects the public and ensures that those who serve their time are rehabilitated and do not re-offend.”

“Most importantly, the State Legislature needs to revisit its regulations and supervision of the sale of assault weapons. These guns have a deadly purpose that far exceeds any recreational use. In the hands of criminals, they expose our police officers to unacceptable risk and further endanger our community.”

Posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2009
Under: Assembly, Mary Hayashi, Nancy Skinner, Oakland, Sandre Swanson | No Comments »

Progressive Democrat enters CD10 race

Former newspaper political editor Adriel Hampton of Dublin announced his candidacy today as a progressive choice for the seat held by Rep. Ellen Tauscher, who has been nominated for an undersecretary’s post under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

He’s also among the first candidate to announce his campaign via Twitter, according to

Hampton writes on his web page that he is “just a guy” but he’s a “guy with a dream.” If he is serious about running for Congress, he had better become a “guy with money.”

Hampton’s web site says:

Inspired by the community-focused revolution of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, today I am officially launching my campaign for California’s 10th Congressional District.

Many of you know me, but for those who don’t, I want to share a little of my background:

I was born in Modesto in 1978 and am a lifetime NorCal boy. I moved to El Cerrito in 1999, after graduating from Delta College, to attend Cal Berkeley. Around the time of my graduation in 2001, I moved to Walnut Creek, where I lived near downtown. Two years ago, I moved to our current home in Dublin.

My wife and I celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary next month, and have two children, 4 and 2. I’ve been a regular BART rider since moving to the Bay Area, and jump on each day to make it to my job as a municipal investigator for the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office. I remember using BART to get from El Cerrito to Cal, and from Cal to my job as news editor of the Hayward Daily Review at the ANG News Center, sometimes barely catching the midnight line back home.

I am just a guy, but I am a guy with a dream. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2009
Under: Congress, congressional district 11, Ellen Tauscher | 7 Comments »

Barbara Boxer’s statement on slain Oakland Police

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who has a home here in Oakland, today entered this statement into the Congressional Record:

“It is with deep sadness that I discuss one of the deadliest attacks against California law enforcement in my state’s history—an attack that took the lives of four Oakland, California police officers, and has left our community reeling from the shock of this terrible and senseless loss.

“Every day, our law enforcement officers selflessly and bravely put their lives on the line to protect our families and our communities. If anyone, anywhere, needed a reminder of that, this tragedy puts a spotlight on the risk our police officers face everyday.”

More after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2009
Under: Barbara Boxer, General, Oakland | No Comments »

San Ramon parcel tax debate set

The San Ramon Valley Republican Women will host a debate on March 31 about the San Ramon Valley Unified School District’s parcel tax.
San Ramon Valley Unified School District Trustee Greg Marvel will speak on the pro side while Mike Arata, a Danville anti-tax activist, will speak against the parcel tax.
Voters will decide in April during a the mail-only election whether or not to approve a seven-year, $144 annual parcel tax, which would replace the district’s existing parcel tax which expires in June 2009. The school board approved the election in January.
The event will take place March 31, 5-7 p.m., at the Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Drive in Danville.
The cost is $20 for appetizers and a no-host bar. For reservations, call Sonali at 925-314-9129 or e-mail her at

Posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2009
Under: Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics, education | No Comments »

Lottery tech company bets on Prop. 1C

California’s longtime lottery contractor, Rhode Island-based gaming technology and services company GTECH, last week launched and put $250,000 into “Californians for Modernization,” a campaign committee urging passage of Proposition 1C on the May 19 special election ballot.

Proposition 1C, of course, is “Lottery Modernization Act,” which the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office says “allows the state lottery to be modernized to improve its performance with increased payouts, improved marketing, and effective management” while it also allowing for $5 billion in bond borrowing from future lottery profits to help close the current budget deficit.

The LAO has cautioned that “debt-service payments on the lottery borrowing and higher payments to education would likely make it more difficult to balance future state budgets,” though that impact would be lessened by potentially higher lottery profits.

GTECH’s new investment in this ballot-measure campaign seems to be a continuation of the influence it has sought to exert by spending $432,693 to lobby the Legislature in the 2007-08 session; $410,277 in the 2005-06 Legislature; and $778,406 in the 2003-04 Legislature.

Some other big-ticket campaign finance news, after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2009
Under: General | 1 Comment »

DiFi’s statement on slain Oakland Police

This just in from the office of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.:

“The tragic deaths of these four brave Oakland police officers are a grim reminder of the dangers that our men and women in uniform face every day as they strive to make our streets safer.

“Sergeants Dunakin, Romans and Sakai, and Officer Hege, exemplified the very best that we expect from those who wear the badge. Every day that they suited up for duty, they knew it could be their last day on Earth. But still they dedicated their lives to the pursuit of public safety and justice, and in the end they gave their lives for it.

“Words cannot temper the grief of knowing that their lives have been cut short. We can find solace only in the fact that they died courageously, doing what they did best: bestowing pride and honor upon the badge. My thoughts are with the families of these officers, and with the entire Oakland Police Department, as the nation mourns this tremendous loss.”

Posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2009
Under: Dianne Feinstein, Oakland | No Comments »

Another Republican for the CD-10 special election

Conservative activist, author and former radio talk show host Melanie Morgan sent an e-mail yesterday saying she’s “squealing like a schoolgirl” to announce that Catherine Moy – executive director of the Move America Forward group of which Morgan is chairwoman; co-author with Morgan of “American Mourning;” and a Fairfield City Council member – will run in the special election to succeed Rep. Ellen Tauscher, assuming Tauscher is confirmed to a high-ranking State Department post.

“The conservative counter-insurgency has begun, and I’m going to do everything in my power to get Cat elected,” Morgan wrote. “Cat has terrific name recognition in the area, a devoted following and she is entirely capable of running this race and winning it – as a rock-solid conservative who has never voted to raise a single tax, and has a solid record on national defense working relentlessly with the largest pro-troops grassroots organization in the country.”

I don’t know Moy, as Fairfield is outside the area we often cover here; I intend to call her tomorrow. Fairfield does fall within the 10th Congressional District that Tauscher now serves, but the district’s slices of Solano, Alameda and Sacramento counties together don’t come close to matching the bulk Contra Costa County provides; it’ll be hard for someone without significant Contra Costa name recognition to come out on top of this race. And as I’ve noted before, the district’s Democrats have an 18-percentage-point voter registration edge over Republicans, so that’s an obstacle, too.

Other Republicans considering a run include 2008 GOP nominee Nicholas Gerber of Moraga; California Republican Party Vice Chairman Tom Del Beccaro and Contra Costa County Sheriff Warren Rupf. Democrats mulling a run include state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord; Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo; former Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla, D-Pittsburg; former BART director and retired PG&E executive Dan Richard of Walnut Creek; and former Lafayette Mayor Scott Talan.

For an excerpt from an article about Moy by Morgan, published Friday on, follow me after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Sunday, March 22nd, 2009
Under: Elections, Ellen Tauscher, General, U.S. House | 3 Comments »

Barbara Lee’s statement on slain Oakland Police

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, issued this statement first thing this morning before it became known that one of the two wounded Oakland Police officers had been declared brain dead, bringing the department’s death toll to four:

“It is with a heavy heart that I offer my thoughts and prayers to the family members of the police officers who lost their lives on Saturday. I also hope for a speedy recovery for the two officers who were wounded while attempting to come to the aide of their fellow officers.

“The officers who lost their lives were committed to protecting the citizens of Oakland. They worked tirelessly to make a difference in our community, and we mourn their tragic loss.

“I am in contact with Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and acting Police Chief Howard Jordan, and my office is prepared to offer any assistance they may need during this most difficult time.”

Posted on Sunday, March 22nd, 2009
Under: Barbara Lee, Oakland, U.S. House | No Comments »