Bob Brooks, the Antioch Realtor challenging Contra Costa Assessor Gus Kramer, came out firing with both guns last night.
He assembled at the Concord Hilton a cast of Kramer’s public critics and announced their endorsements of his own candidacy. (See video link below.)
Joining Brooks’ campaign are:
Former Assessor John Biasotti, the man who campaigned for Daniel Hallisey, Kramer’s first opponent in 1994. Hallisey died before the election but Biasotti so disliked Kramer that he urged voters (unsuccessfully) to elect the deceased man anyway. One of Biasotti’s longtime deputies, Joe Swicegood, also joined the endorsement party.
Bernice Peoples, the woman who worked for Kramer for 23 years and sued him for retaliation after she filed racial discrimination and sexual harassment complaint against him. Kramer, the county and Peoples settled for $1 million.
Steve and Erica Kramer, Gus’ estranged son and daughter-in-law, have offered to put Brooks’ campaign signs on their lawn and business storefront. Erica refers to her father-in-law as the “snake in the Garden of Eden” who raised her property tax assessment as payback for prohibiting him from seeing his three grandchildren.
Clark Wallace, the Orinda-based developer and former California Department of Real Estate Commissioner who served as president of the national and California associations of Realtors. Wallace serves with Brooks on the Contra Costa Assessment Appeals Board. The two men, along with former member, Joe Fisher, who is also endorsing Brooks, ruled against Kramer’s assessment of the value of the Chevron refinery.
In response, Kramer said he respected everyone’s right to back the candidate of his or her choice.
“I have no ax to grind with any of these people, including my own son,” Kramer said. “I love him … He is still in the will.”
Kramer pointed to a September 2009 state Board of Equalization review of his office, which gave his department high marks.
“If you compare my record to that of the previous administration, you will a see a marked improvement in the office,” Kramer said. “I don’t have to stand up and tell people what a great job I have done. The Board of Equalization did it for me.”
Also in the audience was a man who is definitely not endorsing Brooks. Another assessor candidate, John T. Nejedly, a trustee of the Contra Costa Community College District, showed up out of curiosity, he said. (He didn’t crash the party; he called and asked Brooks if he could come.)
If you want to watch the video of Brooks’ remarks at the Hilton last night, click on the link below.