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.


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.


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:

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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.


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.


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.”