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GOP moves swiftly against Joan Buchanan

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 at 4:47 pm in 2010 election, California Assembly.

Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo

Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo

Less than two days after Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan lost her primary bid for the 10th Congressional District, the California Republican Party signaled its intent to target her 2010 re-election campaign in a strongly worded press release.

The party criticized her on a variety of fronts including her yes vote on last week’s prison reform bill, and said her fourth-place finish in the Congressional race among the 14 candidates means she is vulnerable. She garnered only 12 percent of the vote despite loaning her campaign $850,000 of her own money.

The Republicans desperately want to reclaim Assembly District 15. Until Buchanan beat Republican and San Ramon Mayor Abram Wilson in 2008, it was the party’s sole claim to a partisan elected seat in the nine-county Bay Area.

On the other hand, the high-profile Congressional primary has increased Buchanan’s name identification and her visibility. That won’t hurt her in 2010. And while she lost, she wasn’t alone. State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier of Concord went down to defeat, too.

Read on for the full press release:The following was issued today (Sept. 3) by California Assembly Republican Political Director Kevin Spillane:

Joan Buchanan Loses Badly While Voting Badly

Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan was narrowly elected after campaigning as a moderate fiscal conservative committed to her district. But she’s voted very differently while quickly deserting the 15th Assembly District to run as a liberal candidate for Congress.

And Buchanan’s constituents clearly aren’t impressed with her performance. Buchanan apparently didn’t even carry her own Assembly seat while coming in a weak 4th-place in Tuesday’s 10th CD special election.

What makes Buchanan’s low vote total all the more striking is that the Assemblywoman poured what the Contra Costa Times called a “staggering” $750,000 of her own money into the congressional campaign. She raised only $94,000 from other individuals for her congressional race – another sign of political weakness.

Buchanan’s lack of support isn’t surprising given that there is a great deal for Buchanan’s constituents not to support.

First, Buchanan cast a key vote for the largest tax increase in state history.

Then, after only a few short months in office, Buchanan abandoned her district during the state’s unprecedented fiscal crisis to run for Congress. She was brazen in putting her own personal ambition over serving her constituents.

Buchanan followed that up by campaigning for a government-run single payer health care system – supported by liberal Democratic primary voters – but very unpopular with the swing voters of the affluent and suburban 15th Assembly District.

Just this week, Buchanan cast the deciding vote for the corrections legislation that will result in the early release of up to 30,000 criminals in the next two years.

Assemblywoman Buchanan’s political self-destruction will be complete in 2010 as the voters of the 15th Assembly District remind her they don’t like to be misled or taken for granted. They can be counted on to once again reject Buchanan and turn her out of the office she’s already indicated she doesn’t want.

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  • Elwood

    “On the other hand, the high-profile Congressional primary has increased Buchanan’s name identification and her visibility.”

    Yes, now everyone knows she’s an idiot.

    And before anybody gets their panties in a twist, I’d be saying the same thing if it was John Buchanan.

  • Truthclubber

    Never thought I’d be saying this but…

    [swallow hard]

    I agree with Elwood. [Politics does make for strange bedfellows at times...]

    It’s time for the California Democratic Party and the Contra Costa County Democratic Central Committee to realize just how personally vulnerable “J. Buchanan” is and mount a primary challenge to her delusional, arrogant and self-focused reign with a qualified candidate (Anthony Woods, anyone?) so as to get someone who can honestly take on Abram Wilson in the fall of 2010 and keep AD15 in Democratic hands…

  • Mom4now

    Boys. Settle down. A primary with 14 candidates, four of whom are strong Dems, going for the same piece of the pie is not a test of vulnerability. If that were true , then John Gatamendi, who ran and lost for Governor, several times would not be our apparent Congressman. Primaries are meant to bring out all of the strongest candidates in each party. Almost always they reinforce the position of strenghth of each candidate who runs. Only a a spinning Republican would posture that 4 months of positive message campaigning mid-term would equate to vulnerability.

  • Cindy Shannon

    How dare she!
    Men run in primary elections all the time and loose badly to others in their party [see Garamendi for govenor] and no one suggests that they be thrown under the bus or that their political career is over [see Garamendi for Congress]. But when a woman, who was elected repeatedly for more than 20 years does, it’s somehow different. What exactly is the required time to be in office for it to be acceptable for a woman to seek another office in a rare event? Lastly, most politicians run for office while serving in office – i.e. walk and chew gum at the same time [see just about every elected official].
    Many of the above posts [most by men] are just more examples of the all too prevalent double standards that women face.
    Well behaved women rarely make history.

  • Elwood

    This just in:

    Joan Buchanan didn’t really suffer a humiliating loss (12% of the vote after spending a million bucks, $850,000 of it her own money).

    Those mean men are trying to make little Joanie look bad just because she’s a girl.

    Shame on them!

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • cschwam

    Please don’t tell me the Democrats are going to take a page out of the failed Republican playbook and start cannibalizing their own. The party should stand behind Joan in her 2010 reelection bid. She won in 2008 because her positions and ideas are a good fit for that swing district. The Republicans held this seat forever, and Joan took it! That tells you that she has a winning formula for AD15.

    The Republicans have lost and continue to lose power, because if a candidate is not a “certain kind” of Republican, he or she is shunned. The Democrats have been smarter — they support candidates that are a good fit for a particular district. That’s why you have a moderate caucus in the Democratic party — but not in the Republican party.

    Let’s leave shortsightedness and self-destruction to the Republicans. Joan is a good solid Democrat who’s a perfect fit for that swing district. Let’s keep our heads and keep AD 15 in the Democratic column.

  • ted ford

    I’d like to say a word or two on her behalf. 1.) It’s unfair to criticize her so for contributing to her own career. Arguably it’s much better than taking special interest money. Wealthy candidates like Jon Corzine, Michael Bloomberg, Jay Rockefeller, JFK financed their own campaigns and were not criticized for it. 2.) A Republican line of attack that she voted in favor of prison reform is the height of hypocrisy. The Republicans will not vote for one dime of increased revenues, meanwhile they block reform of a prison system that costs us $50k per year per prisoner. 3.) She’s an expert on public school policy with twenty years experience.

    Her running for Congress this year was unwise but the money she spent was her own. This piling on and beating her up is a disgrace. Leave her alone. She deserves a pat on the back as do all the candidates.

  • L.Comstock

    I voted for Joan Buchanan and will vote for her again. She represents my views and no Republican will.
    There were many that ran for Congress and only one Democrat could win. Garamendi will have no problem defeating the Republican in the November election.

  • John W

    After voting for Ted Ford in the primary and Buchanan in the general, I was completely opposed to her abandonment of the Assembly seat after such a short, do-nothing stay, especially given the all-out financial and organizational effort the party made to get her elected. The Assembly seat is now at greater risk than it needed to be, which matters so long as we have the idiodic two-thirds requirement to pass a budget. I was also totally peeved that she joined the rest of the Bay Area legislative delegation in meddling in the BART labor negotiations. That said, I wholeheartedly agree with Ted Ford’s defense of her vote in favor of the prison bill. The question isn’t why did she and other Dems vote for the bill. The question is why didn’t the Repubs vote for it? They are the ones that should be on the defensive. One thing for sure, the Assembly race in 2010 should be a real doozy.

  • Cindy Shannon

    Just more hypocracy from the boys. Just to point out one of many examples, when the green Assemblyman Garamendi had the drive to run for Govenor in 1982 Bradley got 66% of the Democratic primary vote while Garamendi got creamed [if anyone can find the actual % of vote pls advise] – all of this after the boy spent a huge sum of his personal wealth to reach for the Govenorship of all things. When he lost the primary did people call him [as they have Buchanan] foolish, egotistical, delusional, or washed up? Of course not. He was, like most men, called a man on the move, someone to watch, a bright star, a clever fellow for spending to build his name ID. Yet when the woman dares to run and falls short, she is the unhinged fool, the shrill [read bitch] betrayer in need of a man to watch over her finances (all of this can be seen in comments posted over the last few weeks)…and this after running a positive campaign which largely overlapped her own Assembly district. God help her if she were to throw up her elbows like so many male pols do.
    A well behaved woman rarely makes history.

  • Elwood

    Cindy, you OK?

    Posting such nonsense at 4:45 a.m.?

    Not many people give a rat’s ass about what you say happened in 1982 (27 years ago). My you sure do know how to carry a grudge, don’t you dear? Have you ever considered getting a life?

    “she is the unhinged fool, the shrill [read bitch] betrayer in need of a man to watch over her finances ” Got any sources for that drivel? I don’t think so, other than perhaps the voices in your head.

    “God help her if she were to throw up her elbows like so many male pols do”
    A fascinating comment. Could you please translate it into English?

  • Cindy Shannon

    E, It is called an education and it allows many of us to have the means to travel to other time zones. It also provides one with insights and the ability to analyze situations, vitrolic blog postings, and snide blog posters for what they are, even when those snarky posters are too hypocritical to see it themselves.

  • Elwood

    Re: post #12:

    Non sequitur

  • Steve Berg

    It is pretty clear by posts here and elsewhere that Buchanan has endeared herself to women activists for attempting to keep the House from losing yet another Congresswoman.  Buchanan also remains close to the education community that formed the core of her Assembly support.  Not only was she the only candidate to keep education on the radar during the Congressional election — vowing to make it a national priority — she organized over 500 educators to help. If this is all the Republican’ts and Ellwood have to throw at her she is in fine shape.

  • Elwood

    If Buchanan so endeared herself to women, why didn’t they vote for her?

    I received some of her literature and I don’t remember it saying anything about education

    All it said was vote for me! I have internal genitalia!

    In all likelihood, Ms.Buchanan will be in really bad shape come ’10.

  • LMAO

    Steve,
    Joan couldn’t even garner the endorsement of the CTA…she scrambled at the last second to pull together “500″ teachers

  • Allen Payton

    From what I can see from her campaign finance statements from last year, Ms. Buchanan loaned or contributed $150,000 to her Assembly campaign. So combine that with $850,000 for her Congressional race and she’s spent $1 million of her own money on her two campaigns. Hope her kids and grandkids don’t mind she’s spending their inheritance! :)
    My estimation is she’s toast next year, not just because of jumping into the Congressional race, but her vote to increase our taxes.

  • Chet

    Joan Buchanan is and will always be a great rep for us in Sacramento. She will have no trouble winning re-election in 2010. It would have to be a sub-zero day in August in San Ramon for us to ever send a GOPer to represent us in Sacramento. Joan was not well know in Walnut Creek/Concord but we know and love her in Danville, Dublin and San Ramon.

  • Elwood

    Isn’t love grand?

    It can blind those in its thrall to the fact that their candidate finished fourth (4th) behind two other democrats (one of whom lives in Walnut Grove, bwahahahaha) and a Republican after spending a fortune of her own money. She had to spend her own money because she couldn’t raise any.

    It’s enough to make a dog laugh.

  • Heidi

    Buchanan is more than a partisan Dem. She’s just plain rude.

    I sent her an email regarding Harvey Milk Day. Personally, I think Milk is a horrendous representative for the gay community. He supported Jim Jones, and even wrote a letter to then Pres. Carter asking him to leave a young boy in Jones’ care in Guyana. The boy was later killed. There is also a great deal of debate as to whether or not Milk was a pedophile. There are much better ambassadors for the gay community.

    So, I expressed these views to her.

    Her response,

    Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition to SB 572 (Leno), a bill that would call on the Governor to proclaim May 22 of each year as Harvey Milk Day.

    In this legislative session, SB 572 passed both houses of the Legislature and is now awaiting the Governor’s signature. This bill follows Harvey Milk’s recognition in the “Heroes and Icons” section of Time magazine’s “Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century.” Additionally, this year the First Lady of California, Maria Shriver, added Milk to the California Hall of Fame to recognize his contribution as a civil rights leader.

    Allow me to translate: Up Yours.

    This is why she’s vulnerable. She is arrogant and self-serving.

    She turns concerned citizens into activists. Take myself, I will be campaigning for Abram Wilson. It will be a new experience for me. I suggest you all take a good look at her. Whether you are Dem or Rep. She’s an embarrassment.

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    Heidi, if the legacy of Harvey Milk is your biggest ish, don’t count on Abram Wilson courting your support.