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Archive for September, 2009

Antioch councilman and lawman enters sheriff’s contest

Three-term Antioch Councilman and Sheriff’s Office Lt. Brian Kalinowski officially entered the run for Contra Costa County sheriff a few minutes ago.

Kalinowski made the announcement just after 5 p.m. today before about 35 people at the Deputy Sheriffs Association union hall.

“We all want a better working environment and to deliver more efficient services to the community,” Kalinowski told the group. “I have the experience going back to the time when my mother was a deputy sheriff in this agency to move us forward. I am looking forward to a vigorous debate on the issues that are important to this agency and the community. ”

The 41-year-old lawman is the second declared candidate for the county’s top law enforcement post.

Incumbent Sheriff Warren Rupf disclosed publicly last week that he will not seek re-election to a fifth term.
Concord Police Chief Dave Livingston, 44, has also entered the field and others may file, as well.

Kalinowski enters the race as a department insider who also boasts nearly a decade of experience as a local elected official. He has worked for the department for 16 years.

As an Antioch councilman, Kalinowski is often outspoken and frequently blunt, especially when it comes to public safety. He recently lambasted East Bay State legislators for their votes on a budget he said hurt cities’ ability to provide public services.

Kalinowski will run without his boss’ support.

Rupf recruited and has endorsed Livingston as his successor, a key vote of confidence in a specialized post where voters pay particular attention to the candidates’ references.

Livingston has never held public office but has led the Concord Police Department for the past five years. Before Concord, he was the Pleasant Hill police chief.

The men, along with any other candidates who join the nonpartisan race, will appear on the June 2010 ballot. If a single candidate fails to win a majority of the vote, the top two vote-getters will advance to a November runoff.

Posted on Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
Under: Contra Costa County | No Comments »

CD11: Amador asked to put disclaimer on Web site

Tony Amador

Tony Amador

The U.S. Marshals Service has asked GOP 11th Congressional District candidate and its former Eastern District Director Tony Amador to place a disclaimer on his campaign Web site after it received a complaint about his use of photos that show him wearing a polo shirt with the agency logo.

However, the former U.S. Marshall is apparently free to use photos of himself taken during his seven years on the job.

“There is no indication that the photos of Amador’s Web site depicting him wearing USMS articles were taken after he left office,” an agency spokeswoman said in an email. “Amador surrendered his badge and credentials upon his retirement from the USMS. Moreover, there is no USMS policy requiring employees to surrender clothing articles, such as polo shirts, when separating from the USMS.”

Federal law prohibits the use of the likeness of a U.S. Marshals Service badge, logo or insignia in a “manner that is reasonably calculated to convey the impression that the wearer of the item of apparel is acting pursuant to the legal authority … or is approved, endorsed or authorized by the U.S. Marshals Service.”

President George W. Bush appointed Amador in 2002. He retired in August as part of the exodus of Republican appointees after President Barack Obama took office.

The agency has asked Amador, who recently moved from the Sacramento area to Lodi, to place the following statement on his Web site: “Neither the Department of Justice nor the U.S. Marshals Service have any role in, endorse, or support my candidacy, and have no involvement in this election.”

Amador spokesman Stan Devereux said today that the campaign will comply with the request.

This is a curious thing.

In California, law enforcement and fire agencies routinely ban the use of their uniform insignias, logos and badges in political campaigns regardless, although you often see them depicted in generic or uniform-like clothing.

The U.S. Marshal Services’ opinion is in marked contrast to that of the U.S. State Department, which asked Democratic candidate and state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier to stop using photos and endorsement statements from former Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher in his recent 10th District congressional campaign. (He didn’t comply but it didn’t help; he still lost.)

Tauscher is now the Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security and banned under federal law from making political endorsements; she gave DeSaulnier her support before she took her new post. A State Department lawyer argued that the use of even a legally obtained endorsement could give the appearance of impropriety.

Posted on Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
Under: 2010 election, congressional district 11 | No Comments »

Voting in CD10 run-off starts Oct. 5

Voting by mail begins Oct. 5 in the special Nov. 3 election where voters will select the replacement for former Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher.

Voters will choose from among Democrat and Lt. Gov. John Gararmendi, Republican David Harmer and three minor party candidates.

Read on for the detailed press release about mail and other deadlines from the Contra Costa Registrar of Voters:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election | No Comments »

Dean Andal faces $9,500 FPPC fine

Former CD-11 candidate Dean Andal has agreed to pay a $9,500 fine from California’s Fair Political Practices Commission, though not for conduct related to his 2008 Congressional race against Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton.

Rather, the wheels of political justice are just finally grinding toward resolution of a complaint from way back in 2004, when Andal was running for a seat on the Lincoln Unified School District Board of Trustees and used campaign funds to attack an incumbent seeking re-election to the nearby Stockton Unified School District board.

Andal and his committee in October 2004 paid most of the costs for – but didn’t put their names on – two mass mailings attacking the record of SUSD Trustee Clarence Chan, who was being challenged by Sarah Bowden; those mailings went out to about 4,000 recipients, and Bowden eventually beat Chan by 1,058 votes.

Andal and his committee also failed to report accrued expenses on a pre-election campaign statement, FPPC staffers say, and Andal, his campaign and its treasurer, Larry Solari, failed to report required information on spending of $100 or more on a semi-annual campaign statement.

“An aggravating factor applicable to all counts is the fact that Respondent Andal had a great deal of prior experience with the (Political Reform) Act. He previously served as a member of the California State Assembly and the California Board of Equalization (not including other public offices he has run for/held), and he was previously involved with numerous mass mailings,” FPPC staffers wrote in the exhibit that’ll be presented along with a proposed order to FPPC commissioners at their meeting next Thursday, Oct. 8 in Sacramento.

“A mitigating factor applicable to all counts is the fact that Respondents Andal, Citizens for Andal, Citizens for Andal-Lincoln Unified, and Larry Solari cooperated with the Enforcement Division of the Fair Political Practices Commission in all phases of the investigation of this matter and by agreeing to an early settlement of this matter well in advance of the Probable Cause Conference that otherwise would have been held,” they wrote.

Posted on Monday, September 28th, 2009
Under: congressional district 11, Dean Andal | 2 Comments »

Second CoCo sheriff candidate may enter field

Antioch Councilman Brian Kalinowski

Antioch Councilman Brian Kalinowski

Antioch Councilman and Contra Costa Sheriff’s Lt. Brian Kalinowski has put out an email invite telling folks he will host a short meeting Tuesday night, further fueling speculation that he will announce his plans to run for county sheriff.

The meeting will be held at the Deputy Sheriffs Association union hall in Martinez at 5 p.m.

If Kalinowski enters the race, he will run without his boss’ support.

Incumbent Sheriff Warren Rupf, who announced last week that he will not seek a fifth term, has already recruited and endorsed Concord Police Chief David Livingston.

This could prove to be a barn-burner of a race between two career lawmen from two of the county’s largest cities.

Posted on Monday, September 28th, 2009
Under: 2010 election, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics | 19 Comments »

DeSaulnier heads to Spain on legislative junket

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, is going to Spain to study its national water system.

Per the Los Angeles Times today, the Legislature postponed its special session on prisons and water until Oct. 13 in order to accommodate DeSaulnier’s and other lawmakers’ overseas exodus:

“Seven state senators are heading overseas this week, some having left Thursday, on a trip that includes stops in Copenhagen, Madrid, Bilbao and Barcelona.They plan to study Spain’s national water system and Scandinavian environmental programs, and to promote trade between California and Catalonia, according to a statement from the Senate Office of International Relations, which is organizing the trip.”

Uh, excuse me, but I Googled “Spain” and “national water system” and I got 18.7 million hits. See how easy that was? No plane ticket needed.

DeSaulnier doesn’t seen to regard Google as a worthy substitute for Madrid, and who can blame him?

He defended his decision to go on the week-long trip, saying the agenda contains important policy discussions and the opportunity to develop valuable personal relationships. Spain is paying for about half the trip and DeSaulnier says he will cover the rest out of his pocket or from his state campaign account.

“I think it is myopic to think that legislators have to stay in California to do their jobs,” DeSaulnier said. “Not everything was invented here.”

But, of course, if Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg wants legislators back in Sacramento before Oct. 13, DeSaulnier says he will cancel the trip.

Cowboy Libertarian and conservative commentator Patrick Dorinson does not sound sympathetic.

“They have to postpone the special session on water and prisons so they can go to Europe?” Dorinson said. “If there is ever a time when voters will go for a part-time legislature, it’s now.”

Posted on Friday, September 25th, 2009
Under: California Senate | No Comments »

All California parks will remain open

By golly, it’s a bloody miracle, that’s what it is.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger just put out an official announcement saying no state parks will close after all. (My colleague Paul Rogers at the San Jose Mercury News wrote a story Wednesday saying this would happen.)

The governor does not mention, however, that closing the parks was his idea in the first place. As I recall, he said we all had to share in the budget cut pain.

But I am grateful nonetheless. I like parks. And I confess, I was dubious about the success of the idea that we can close of a whole mountain like Mt. Diablo or an entire island, like Angel Island.

Read on for the governor’s press release. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, September 25th, 2009
Under: California budget | No Comments »

A seventh name hits the CD11 GOP list

A seventh Republican has joined the list of candidates looking at running in the June 2010 primary election in the 11th Congressional District, a seat currently held by Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton.

Jeff Takada, a high school teacher in Manteca, will formally announce his campaign and launch his website in the next few weeks, according to his spokesman Mike Cipponeri.

The intense interest is a reflection of the 11th District’s competitive party registration split between Republicans and Democrats.

The other Republicans who have either entered the race or are testing the waters include:

1) Lodi-area grape grower Brad Goehring has hired Carl Fogliani, the former campaign manager for Richard Pombo, the former congressman who lost to McNerney in 2006.

2) Businessman Jon Del Arroz, of Danville, has on his team Carlos Rodriguez and Dave Gilliard.

3) Former San Jose Councilman and Values Advocacy Council founder Larry Pegram is exploring the idea with well-known consultant Tim Clark.

4) San Ramon businessman David Bernal has a Web site.

5) Former U.S. Marshal and Sacramento-area Latino leader Tony Amador officially entered the race on Sept. 17 at a press conference in downtown Lodi.

6) Lodi-area construction company owner Robert Beadles is discussing a run with the firm of Duane Dichiara.

Posted on Friday, September 25th, 2009
Under: 2010 election, congressional district 11 | 2 Comments »

Schwarzenegger cleared of money violation claim

California’s Fair Political Practices Commission has reviewed a much publicized complaint about Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s income and found no violation of the state’s Political Reform Act.

In a Sept. 9 letter, FPPC Executive Director Roman Porter said his agency had received a complaint July 19, 2005 about the governor’s business relationships with health and bodybuilding magazine publisher Weider Productions LLC and its parent company, American Media Inc.

That complaint came four days after news outlets reported that just before he’d been sworn into office in 2003, Schwarzenegger had inked a consulting deal with Weider estimated to bring him $8 million over five years; the governor was to get 1 percent of the magazines’ ad revenue, much of which comes from nutritional supplement manufacturers. The governor in 2004 vetoed legislation that would’ve imposed regulations on that industry.

“The complaint alleged that payments the Governor received through Oak Productions Inc. from Weider Productions LLC or American Media Inc. were prohibited honoraria or gifts under the Act, or were a disqualifying source of income for conflict of interest purposes. Further, the complaint alleged that a payment which American Media Inc. made to the Governor’s charitable organization, the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, was a behested payment that was not properly reported,” Porter’s letter says.

“This letter is to advise the Governor that we have completed our review of the foregoing allegations and found no violation of the Act,” he concluded. “We have therefore closed our file.”

Posted on Friday, September 25th, 2009
Under: Arnold Schwarzenegger, General | Comments Off

Helen Thomas to speak at Mills College

Iconic White House reporter Helen Thomas will speak at Mills College in Oakland on Oct. 12 with Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland.

Thomas is promoting her new book, “Listen Up, Mr. President: Everything You Always Wanted Your President To Know and Do.”

The free event is open to the public. Here are the details per the college’s press release:

Helen Thomas, the dean of the White House press corps will join Congresswoman and Mills College alumna Barbara Lee (Class of 1973) on Oct. 12 in a conversation to discuss Thomas’ 60 years of covering presidential politics. All members of the public are invited to this free event from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Littlefield Concert Hall at Mills College.
In her latest book, “Listen Up, Mr. President: Everything You Always Wanted Your President to Know and Do” (Scribner, 2009), Thomas and her co-author Craig Crawford, offer their observations of the most powerful role in the country and advice to presidents and the public who vote for them.
Gleamed from her years of covering John F. Kennedy’s presidency to the current Obama administration, longer than any journalist working today, Thomas has collected valuable lessons to impart to future presidents. Part history and part practical advice with examples from the first presidency through the forty-fourth, the book reveals the qualities, attitudes, and political and personal choices that make for the most successful leaders.
“Why not share what we think with all future presidents, and in the process help voters understand a little more about what to look for when picking someone for the most powerful and challenging job in the world?” Thomas said.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) is chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Lee’s political experience began in Oakland in the early 1970s when she was president of the Mills’ Black Student Union and campaigned for Shirley St. Hill Chisholm, who became the first African American woman elected to Congress in 1968. Chisholm also ran for president in 1972.
The Barbara Lee Distinguished Chair in Women’s Leadership at Mills College, an endowed teaching position, was established in her honor for her leadership in human rights and social justice. Lee studied psychology at Mills College and has a master of social work from UC Berkeley. Mills awarded her an honorary doctor of laws degree in 1999.
Copies of Thomas’ book and Lee’s book, “Renegade for Peace and Justice,” will be available for purchase and signing following the presentation.
Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity to approximately 950 undergraduate women and 550 graduate women and men. Since 2000, applications to Mills College have more than doubled. The College is named one of the top colleges in the West by U.S. News & World Report, and ranks as one of the Best 371 Colleges by the Princeton Review. Forbes.com ranked Mills 55th among America’s best colleges and named it a “Top Ten: Best of the All-Women’s Colleges.” Visit us at www.mills.edu.

Posted on Thursday, September 24th, 2009
Under: books, Political events | No Comments »