Lisa is off enjoying a well-deserved vacation week, so I’ll be serving up your CD-10 news. Here are today’s tasty nuggets:
The VoteVets.org PAC, which describes itself as “the largest progressive group of veterans in America,” threw its endorsement and a promise of campaign money today to Democrat Anthony Woods, himself an Iraq veteran discharged from the Army after challenging the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. “Anthony is fresh, eager, and has an incredible track record of service,” VoteVets.org chairman Jon Soltz said in the news release. “His military record is incredibly impressive. And, he’ll bring vigorous leadership to Congress that will benefit his district. We urge voters in his district to send him to Congress.”
Democrat Mark DeSaulnier opened his campaign headquarters yesterday in Walnut Creek, and then had dozens of volunteers precinct-walking and phone-banking afterward. Amond those present at the grand opening: Assemblyman Tom Torlakson, Concord Mayor Laura Hoffmeister, Walnut Creek City Councilmember Kish Rajan and Contra Costa County Democratic Chair Chuck Carpenter.
Former Lafayette Mayor Scott Talan, a former television journalist who now is the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration’s communications director, says he’s getting “close to the final decision” on whether to move back from Washington, D.C. and run as a nonpartisan candidate.
And last but messiest, lest anyone think love and harmony really are breaking out at the Contra Costa Republican Party, the Halfway to Concord blog has e-mail correspondence from county committeeman Ted Hudacko of Richmond complaining that county GOP general counsel Steve Sonaty violated the state’s Election Code and the state GOP’s bylaws by urging the county GOP to rally behind one particular Republican in this special election, David Harmer. I’ve put out e-mails seeking comment from all the GOP candidates who’ve filed or declared candidacy: Harmer; David Peterson, John Toth, Chris Bunch and Gary Clift. Clift said he doesn’t know all the facts, but “it would be unfortunate if the Republican Central Committee was intentionaly breaking the law. This would only serve to further alienate our constituents and disenfranchise more voters from this important election.” For my own part, this smells like a county GOP internecine feud that has far less to do with Harmer himself — as Halfway to Concord’s headline implies — than with an effort to badmouth
Harmer endorser and (Del Beccaro says he hasn’t endorsed Harmer; that’s my mistake, and I apologize) county and state GOP bigwig Tom Del Beccaro and those aligned with him. In fact, I’m in possession of another part of that same e-mail string in which Sonaty says his comments weren’t made in his capacity as legal counsel, but rather “as an elected member of the central committee in response to an e-mail sent to all members. I have one vote, and a right to state my personal opinion on issues presented to the committee, just as we all do.”
UPDATE @ 9:50 A.M. TUESDAY: Fairfield construction business owner Chris Bunch said the Alameda, Solano and Sacramento county GOP committees gave his CD10 candidacy a warm welcome, but things got icy at the Contra Costa County line. “My experience has been that the Contra Costa GOP has literally blocked my ability to come present myself as a candidate and by doing so has disabled me from getting Contra Costa support,” he told me this morning.
Bunch said he tried to make inroads as early as April, speaking with Contra Costa GOP executive director Michael Caporusso – who now works on Harmer’s campaign. The response, Bunch said, essentially was “don’t call us, we’ll call you” – and they didn’t.
“It’s disturbing, it is a violation of the Republican party bylaws, it is a violation of California election law,” Bunch alleged, but the state generally doesn’t enforce such things so it’s up to private citizens to file civil lawsuits – something he’d rather not get bogged down in while trying to run a campaign.
“It’s very unfortunate. There is obviously an implication of some if not illegal then unethical actions, and I don’t believe that’s what Republican voters are looking for,” he said, adding voters want “something to give them faith again that the Republican Party is going to stand up for the principles it originally professed … This kind of thing only serves to disincentive them.”
“Whoever wins this primary, I’ll be out there trying to help him win the district, and hopefully when I win they’ll be doing the same thing,” Bunch said.
UPDATE @ 12:06 P.M. TUESDAY: All of the CD10 Republican candidates are invited to the Contra Costa GOP’s forum at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 30 at 1706 Countrywood Court in Walnut Creek; guests inclined to attend should RSVP by July 24th 925-930-9551 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Each candidate will be allowed a five-minute statement, and then there’ll be a 15-minute open Q-and-A period.