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Archive for August, 2010

GOP launches online ‘dating’ service

It’s like only for Republican activists.

The Republican National Committee launched V1, it’s online service designed to match volunteers with like-minded organizations at the local, state and federal level.

Create your own volunteer profile and search for groups that match your skills and interests. (I’m guessing the profile categories do not include walking on the beach.)

Read the full release below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, August 11th, 2010
Under: Republican Party, Republican politics | 2 Comments »

East Bay reps host senior aid workshops

The boys are back in town.

And I’m betting the three East Bay congressional representatives don’t mind being called “boys.”

Despite a quick trip to Washington, D.C., for a Tuesday emergency vote on a state aid bill, reps. George Miller, John Garamendi and Jerry McNerney — all voted yes on the state aid legislation — have announced series of public events in their home districts during Congress’ annual August recess:


Miller, D-Martinez, will host a 75th birthday party for Social Security from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Richmond Annex Senior Center, 5801 Huntington Ave., Richmond. Speakers include representatives of AARP, West County Senior Coalition, Richmond Commission on Aging and others.

Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, will host a senior resources fair from 9 a.m.-noon at the Nick Rodriguez Community Center, 213 F Street in Antioch. The congressman will also cut a birthday cake for Social Security’s 75th anniversary. Booths with staff from federal, state and county service offices will offer information about medical care, nutrition and health screenings.


McNerney, D-Pleasanton, will host a senior assistance workshop from 10 am. to noon at the Brentwood Senior Activity Center, 193 Griffith Lane, Brentwood. On hand will be representatives from the centers for Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security and Contra Costa County Aging and Adult Services.


McNerney, D-Pleasanton, will host a grants workshop from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., San Ramon Community Center, 12501 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon. Government, education and nonprofits are encouraged to attend and learn how to apply for federal and foundation grants. Speakers include representatives from the Department of Education and Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Posted on Wednesday, August 11th, 2010
Under: Congress, Congressional District 10, congressional district 11 | 1 Comment »

Martinez: Schroder-Hatch wed in Italy

Hatch-Shroder in Paris

Hatch-Schroder in Paris

That was a short engagement.

Three days after Martinez Mayor Rob Schroder popped the question and presented a ring to Suzanne Hatch, the pair married in Stresa, Italy, on Aug. 5.

They are honeymooning in Paris, the source of this picture on her Facebook page.  Hatch is a teacher and Martinez resident. She is also the daughter of Carol Hatch, Rep. George Miller’s retired district director.

The pending Hatch-Schroder merger was apparently one of the worst-kept secrets in Martinez.  I was at Armandos on Friday night (a music club downtown) and the locals say they knew the mayor was getting married.

Schroder will return from Europe and start his re-election campaign for mayor. He has two opponents although neither appears to pose much of a challenge yet.

Posted on Tuesday, August 10th, 2010
Under: Contra Costa politics | No Comments »

East Bay cities, schools head to the ballot

Cities, school and special districts in the East Bay have placed 32 measures on the Nov. 2 ballot, and most of them ask voters for money.

Whether voters will be in the mood to pay more taxes, even for schools, roads and police officers, remains to be seen. But in general, voters prefer hyper-local taxes because they can see where the money goes.

Here’s a round-up of the local ballot measures in Alameda and Contra Costa counties:

ALAMEDA COUNTY BALLOT MEASURES (letters to be assigned Aug. 12)

Alameda County: Establishes $10 local vehicle registration fee to help repair and maintain local streets and roads and other transportation projects. Majority vote required.

Ohlone Community College District: Authorizes $349 million bond measure for classroom and laboratory renovations, technology, earthquake and fire safety upgrades and improved access for the disabled. Fifty-five percent approval required.

Berkeley Unified School District: Extends existing tax of 6.31 cents per square foot on residential buildings, 9.46 cents per square foot on commercial property and $20 on unimproved parcels. Money pays for school facility maintenance. Two-thirds vote required.

Berkeley Unified School District: Authorizes $210 million bond for the construction of new schools, seismic upgrades, science labs, computer and technology upgrades and other projects. Fifty-five percent vote required.

Emery Unified School District: Authorizes $95 million bond for seismic upgrades, classroom and laboratory improvements and energy efficiency projects. Fifty-five percent vote required.

Fremont Unified School District: Establishes $53 annual parcel tax for five years. Senior citizens exempt from tax. Money would be used to maintain math programs, keep libraries open, upgrade technology and teacher retention. Two-thirds vote required.

Oakland Unified School District: Establishes $195 annual parcel tax for 10 years. Senior citizens and low income residents exempt. Money would be used for teacher retention and reading programs. Two-thirds vote required.

San Leandro Unified School District: Seeks voter approval of $50.1 million bond to pay for school athletic facilities improvements, energy efficiency projects and other upgrades. Fifty-five percent vote required.

Albany, Measure 1: Eliminates the elected city attorney position and establishes the job as a City Council appointee. Majority vote required.

Albany, Measure 2: Alters the city’s utility users tax to reduce the communications portion from 7 percent to 6.5 percent, include video in the tax and require voter approval of all tax increases. Majority vote required.

Albany, Measure 3: Allows the city to adjust the paramedic and fire service tax with the Consumer Price Index. Two-thirds vote required.

Albany, Measure 4: Establishes a marijuana business license tax. Majority vote required.

Berkeley, Measure 1: Imposes tax on medical marijuana not to exceed $25 per $1,000 of gross receipts over two years. Also creates fees for nonprofit and non-medical marijuana producers. Majority vote required.

Berkeley, Measure 2: Allows residential medical marijuana collectives of up to 200 square feet of cultivation, permits up to six cannabis locations in the manufacturing district and requires dispensaries to be at least 600 feet from schools. Majority vote required.

Oakland, Measure 1: Establishes a telephone access line tax of $1.99 per month per line and $13 per month per trunk line. Money will be used for city services. Majority vote required.

Oakland, Measure 2: Amends city law to lift restriction that the city staff the police department at 2003-2004 levels. Majority vote required.

Oakland, Measure 3: Imposes $360 per single family home parcel tax for 4.5 years to fund public safety programs. Two-thirds vote required.

San Leandro: Enacts one-quarter-cent sales tax for seven years for public safety and other city services. Majority vote required.

Union City: Enacts a half-cent sales tax for four years to prevent further cuts to police, fire, library and other city services. Majority vote required.

CONTRA COSTA BALLOT MEASURES (letters to be assigned Aug. 12)

Antioch: Imposes half-cent sales tax for eight years for public safety, fixing potholes, sidewalk maintenance, and cleaning up abandoned and foreclosed properties. Majority vote required.

Concord: Imposes half-cent sales tax for five years for public safety and a host of other city services. Majority vote required.

El Cerrito: Imposes a half-cent sales tax for seven years to pay for public services. Majority vote required.

Pinole: Extends utility user tax for eight years and expands scope to include water service to pay for city services. Majority vote required.

Pleasant Hill: Imposes 1.5 percent utility user tax to landline and cell phone service, cable, electricity, gas, water and sewer bills. Money would be used for city services. Majority vote required.

Richmond, Measure 1: Nonbinding advisory question on whether an Indian casino should be permitted as part of the Point Molate development. Majority vote required.

Richmond, Measure 2: Imposes a 5 percent tax on gross sales receipts of marijuana, regardless of whether it’s medicinal or recreational use. Majority vote required.

San Ramon: Expands the city’s urban growth boundary, adopts new general plan and hillside protection ordinance. Majority vote required.

John Swett Unified School District: Imposes $96 annual parcel tax on residential, vacant and agricultural properties, and commercial property tax of 1.5 cents per square foot. Senior citizens are exempt. Money would pay for academic programs, teacher training, technology. Two-thirds vote required.
Knightsen Elementary School District: Authorizes $5 million bond sale for electrical system updates, technology improvements and the preservation of school programs. Fifty-five percent approval required.

Martinez Unified School District: Authorizes $45 million bond sale for energy efficiency and other facility upgrades. Fifty-five percent approval required.
Pittsburg Unified School District: Authorizes $100 million bond for the construction of a third middle school and renovate several elementary schools. Fifty-five percent vote required.

West Contra Costa Unified School District: Imposes annual parcel tax of 7.2 cents per square foot of building area, or $7.20 per vacant parcel, for five years. Money would be used to keep class sizes small in some elementary grades, retain teachers and help keep alive programs hurt by state cuts. Two-thirds vote required.

Bethel Island Municipal Improvement District: Imposes annual parcel tax of $252.29 for 10 years for purposes of maintaining and improving levees and drainage. Two-thirds vote required.

Contra Costa Transportation Authority: Authorizes $10 vehicle registration surcharge for road maintenance and other transportation projects. Majority vote required.

Posted on Tuesday, August 10th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Alameda County, Contra Costa County | 3 Comments »

Contra Costa candidate list almost final

The massive list of candidates for local elections has nearly reached its final form, although the filing deadline remains open until Wednesday 5 p.m. in communities where incumbents have not filed for re-election.

In fact, it seems as though quite a few incumbents are leaving political life. And who could blame them? Times are tough, particularly on school boards.

Among the incumbents in Contra Costa who will not run again are Concord Councilmembers Helen Allen and Guy Bjerke; Walnut Creek Mayor Sue Rainey; Mt. Diablo School District Trustees Paul Strange and Dick Allen; Pittsburg Councilman Michael Kee; and Brentwood Councilman Brandon Richey.

Here is a list of the candidates as of this morning. The * indicates races where the filing deadline is extended to Wednesday.


(* indicates the incumbent is not seeking re-election and filing deadline has been extended to Aug. 11.)

Contra Costa District Attorney: Mark Peterson of Concord, Dan O’Malley of Lafayette.
Contra Costa County Board of Education, Area 2: Ellen Elster, Michele Foster (i)
Contra Costa County Board of Education, Area 4: Richard Asadoorian, Glenn Ruley (i)
Contra Costa Board of Education, Area 5: Daniel Borsuk (i), Cynthia Teves Ruehlig
* Contra Costa Community College, Ward 1: John Marquez
Contra Costa Community College, Ward 3: Sheila Grilli (i); Greg Enholm, Evelyn Centeno
Contra Costa Community College, Ward 4: Denise Tully, John T. Nejedly (i)
* Antioch Unified School Board (two seats): Debra Vinson, David Pfeiffer, Vincent Manuel, John “Jack” Yeager, Angel Luevano, Teri Lynn Shaw (i)
John Swett Unified School Board (two seats): Brian Colombo (i); William Concannon, (i)
* Martinez Unified School Board (two seats): Roberta “Bobbi” Horack, Dena Betti, Vicki Gordon (i), Deidre Siguenza
* Mt. Diablo Unified School District (three seats): Linda Mayo (i); Roy Larkin, Lynne Dennler
Pittsburg Unified School District (three seats): Joseph Arenivar (i); Vince Ferrante (i), William Wong, Duane Smith, Robert Belleci
Pittsburg Unified School District (short term): Percy McGee Jr. (i); George Miller
* San Ramon Valley Unified School District (three seats): Denise Jennison, Ken Mintz (i); Rachel Hurd (i), John Lane IV
West Contra Costa Unified School District (three seats): Jason Freeman, Charles Ramsey (i), Audrey Miles (i), Madeline Kronenberg (i), Charles Cowens, Elaine Merriweather
* Acalanes Union High School (three seats): Susie Epstein, Tom Mulvaney (i), Richard Whitmore (i)
* Liberty Union High School (three seats): Joanne Byer (i), Yolanda Pena-Mendrek (i), Roy Ghiggeri, Steven White, Daron Spears
* Brentwood Union School District (three seats): Allan Frank, Emil Geddes (i), Heather Partida, Tobi Benz (i), Lawrence Hilburn (i)
* Byron Union School District (three seats): Elaine Landro (i), Jill Sprenkel (i); John Craig, Gary Steinberger
Canyon Elementary School District (three seats): David Smith (i), Ian Llewellyn (i), Geronimo Bernard (i)
Knightsen School Board (two seats): Liesel Williams (i), Kristen Rhiner (i)
* Lafayette School Board (three seats): Art Kapoor (i), Teresa Gerringer (i), Berch Parker, David Gerson, Saveth Soun
* Moraga School Board (three seats): Kym Leserman, Kathy Ranstrom, Charles MacNulty (i)
* Oakley Union Elementary (three seats): Mark Jordan (i), Gloria Lott (i), Andrew Coffman
* Orinda Union School Board (three seats): Julie Rossiter, Sarah Butler, Christopher Severson, Rebecca “Bekki” Vanvoorhis-Gilbert, Tyson Krumholz
* Walnut Creek School Board (three seats): Barbara Pennington (i), Angela Borchardt (i), Tobias Lester, Jon-Michael Johnson
Antioch City Council (two seats): Wade Harper, Gary Agopian, Martha Parsons (i), Reggie Moore (i), Arne Simonsen
* Brentwood City Council (two seats): Steve Barr, Chris Becnel (i), Jim Cushing
Clayton City Council (two seats): David “Shoe” Shuey (i), Ted Meriam, Ross “Hank” Stratford (i), Jim Diaz
* Concord City Council (three seats): Robert Hoag, Ed Birsan, Paul Poston, Carlyn Obringer, Ron Leone, Laura Hoffmeister (i)
Concord Treasurer: Thomas Wentling (i)
Danville Town Council (two seats): Karen Stepper (i), Robert Storer (i)
* El Cerrito City Council (two seats): Janet Abelson (i), Rebecca Benassini
Hercules City Council (two seats): Kris Valstad (i), Myrna Devera, Joe Eddy McDonald (i), John Delgado
Lafayette City Council (two seats): Brandt Andersson (i), Don Tatzin (i), Traci Reilly, Dino Riggio
Moraga Town Council (two seats): Ken Chew (i), Dave Trotter (i), Eleni Wanken, Dennis Wanken, Seth Freeman
Martinez Mayor: Rob Schroder (i), Michael Alford, Ed McGee
Martinez City Council (two seats): Scott Alstad, Lara Delaney (i), Michael Menesini (i), Gay Gerlack, Kathi McLaughlin
Oakley City Council (two seats): Carol Rios (i), Bruce Connelley (i), Rodger McKeon, Paul Seger, Randy Pope, Joseph Klinge
Orinda City Council (three seats): Tom McCormick (i), Sue Severson (i), Amy Worth (i), Dean Orr, Scott Zeller
* Pinole City Council (three seats): Stephen Tilton, George Parsons, Russ Tolman, Timothy Banuelos (i), Phil Green, Debbi Long (i)
* Pittsburg City Council (three seats): Nancy Parent (i), Dwaine “Pete” Longmire, Salvatore Evola (i)
Pittsburg City Clerk: Alice Evenson (i)
Pittsburg Treasurer: James Holmes (i)
Pleasant Hill City Council (two seats): Michael Harris (i), Michael Flake, Jack Weir, Suzanne Angeli, Terri Williamson (i)
Richmond Mayor: John “John Z” Ziesenhenne, Nat Bates, Gayle McLaughlin (i)
Richmond City Council (three seats): Jovanka Beckles, Maria “MTV” Viramontes (i), Courtland “Corkey” Booze, Myrna Lopez (i), Gary Bell, Harry Singh, Rhonda Harris, Virginia Finlay, Edwardo Martinez, Jim Rogers (i)
San Pablo City Council (two seats): Paul Morris (i), Genoveva Calloway (i), Annabel Peterson
San Pablo City Clerk: Ted Denney (i)
San Pablo Treasurer: Charles “Nick” Nicholas (i)
* Walnut Creek City Council (two seats): Cindy Silva (i), Kristina Lawson, Justin Wedel
Walnut Creek Treasurer: Ronald Cassano (i)
* Crockett Community Services District (three seats): Karen Peterson
Diablo Community Services District (short term): Ray Brant (i)
* Diablo Community Services District (three seats): Jeffrey Haug (i), Kathy Torru (i)
* Discovery Bay Community Services District (three seats): Brian Dawson (i), Walter MacVittie, Kevin Graves (i), Jonathan Silver, Chris Steele
* Kensington Police Protection and Community Services District (three seats): Kim Zvik, Mari Metcalf
* Knightsen Community Services District (three seats): Alvin Simas Jr. (i), Jeffrey Midkiff (i)
Kensington Fire Protection District (three seats): Nina Ramsey (i), Helmut Blaschczyk (i), Janice Kosel (i)
Moraga-Orinda Fire Protection District, Division 1: Frank Sperling (i)
Moraga-Orinda Fire Protection District, Division 3: Richard “Dick” Olsen (i)
Moraga-Orinda Fire Protection District, Division 4: John Wyro (i), Bob Jungbluth
* Rodeo-Hercules Fire Protection District (three seats): Robert Herwat, William Prather (i), Walter Trujillo Jr. (i) Jeff Miller, Bill Kelly
* San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District (two seats): Glen Umont, Jennifer Price (i)
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District (short term): Matt Stamey (i)
* Los Medanos Community Healthcare District (three seats): Emmanuel Ogunleye, Joe Rubi, Linda Strong, Marilyn Condit (i), A.J. Fardella, Eva Vera (i)
* Mt. Diablo Healthcare District (two seats): Roy Larkin, Gregory Lemmons Sr.
* Mt. Diablo Healthcare District (short term seat): No candidates
West Contra Costa Healthcare District (three seats): Irma Anderson (i), Beverly Wallace (i), Nancy Casazza (i)
Bethel Island Municipal Improvement District (two seats): Dan Phippen (i), Marguerite “Mar” Lawry (i)
Ambrose Recreation and Park District (three seats): Lee Mason, Steve Hoagland (i), Judith Dawson (i), Mae Cendana Torlakson (i), Marcia Ravizza, Le’Andra Le’Shelle “Ann” Turner
Green Valley Recreation and Park District (three seats): Cynthia Larson (i), William Montana (i), Cadi Stephenson (i)
* Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District (three seats): Sandra Bonato (i), Bobby Glover, Tom McHale, Cecile Shepard (i), Jay Gallagher
Byron Sanitary District (two seats): Danny Hamby (i), Gaylan Cummings (i)
* Central Contra Costa County Sanitary District (two seats): Deborah Hinkson, Michael McGill (i), H. Jay Kerr, David Williams
Ironhouse Sanitary District (two seats): Chris Lauritzen (i), Mark Gagliardi, David Huerta, Dale Smith, Lenny Byer (i)
Mt. View Sanitary District (two seats): Stanley Caldwell (i), Gregory Pyka (i)
Rodeo Sanitary District (two seats): Alan Leal (i), Robert Russey Sr. (i), Richard Frakes
Stege Sanitary District (three seats): Dwight Merrill (i), Alan “Al” Miller (i), Graham Brand
West County Wastewater District (three seats): Len Battaglia (i), George Schmidt (i), Paul Soltow Jr. (i), James Cowen
Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, Division 1: Milan “Pete” Petrovich, Larry Enos, Sandra Fredrickson (i)
Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, Division 2: Gerald Tennant (i), Barbara Deborba
Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, Division 3: Timothy Maggiore (i)
Castle Rock County Water District (two seats): Larry Benson (i), William Messick (i)
Contra Costa County Water District, Division 1: Lisa Borba (i)
Contra Costa County Water District, Division 2: John Burgh (i)
Diablo Water District (three seats): Howard Hobbs (i), Enrico Cinquini (i), Kennth Crockett (i)
East Contra Costa County Irrigation District, Division 1: Randall Enos (i)
East Contra Costa County Irrigation District, Division 4: Kenneth Smith (i)

Posted on Tuesday, August 10th, 2010
Under: Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics | 2 Comments »

Prop. 8, Ron Dellums and Prop. 209 on ‘TWINC’

I was on KQED’s “This Week in Northern California” on Friday night to discuss the big court decision on the constitutionality of Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage; other topics included Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums’ decision not to seek re-election, and the California Supreme Court’s ruling on San Francisco’s challenge to Proposition 209’s ban on affirmative action in public institutions.

Posted on Sunday, August 8th, 2010
Under: Ron Dellums, same-sex marriage | 2 Comments »

Read the briefs on a stay of the Prop. 8 ruling

Today was the deadline for written arguments on whether Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker should stay his Wednesday ruling overturning Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage pending appeal.

The measure’s proponents had argued even before the ruling came down that staying such a decision is “essential to averting the harms that would flow from another purported window of same-sex marriage in California.” They argue they’ll eventually win this case, and to let more people marry in the interim would “inflict harm on the affected couples and place administrative burdens on the state.” Read their brief here.

Attorney General Jerry Brown argued that’s not so, and same-sex marriages should be allowed to begin again immediately. “(W)hile there is still the potential for limited administrative burdens should future marriages of same-sex couples be later declared invalid, these potential burdens are outweighed by this Court’s conclusion, based on the overwhelming evidence, that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. Accordingly, the harm to the plaintiffs outweighs any harm to the state defendants.” Read his brief here.

And Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made a similar argument in a separate brief. Now that a court has deemed the ban unconstitutional, to resume allowance of same-sex marriage immediately “is consistent with California’s long history of treating all people and their relationships with equal dignity and respect,” his attorney wrote. Read his brief here.

UPDATE @ 5:18 P.M.: The plaintiffs’ brief arguing against a stay says Prop. 8’s proponents can’t possibly make a “strong showing” that they’re likely to prevail on appeal, both because their appeal is without merit and because they may not even have standing to file it – remember, the proponents were defendant interveners in this case, while the governor and state were the original defendants. The plaintiffs further argue that the proponents have failed to show they’ll suffer an irreparable injury without a stay, while a stay would mean the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights would continue to be curtailed. And they say the public interest in ensuring recognition and protection of all citizens’ constitutional rights weighs against a stay. Read their brief here.

Posted on Friday, August 6th, 2010
Under: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jerry Brown, same-sex marriage | 7 Comments »

U.S. Senate debate is back on for Sept. 1

The planned Barbara BoxerCarly Fiorina debate on which I reported last week, later retracted as premature by the folks at KQED, is back on at the same time and date (7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 1) but with a newly announced location: St. Mary’s College of California in Moraga.

As previously reported, the one-hour debate will air live on KQED Public Radio and KTVU Channel 2. KQED News is offering the debate as a special broadcast of The California Report, the station’s statewide news service; the California Report’s debate broadcast will be distributed live via satellite and available for broadcast by all California public radio stations.

KTVU’s political editor Randy Shandobil will moderate the debate, with questions posed by San Francisco Chronicle senior political writer Carla Marinucci; California Report host Scott Shafer; and La Opinion senior political reporter and blogger Pilar Marrero.

Said Fiorina:

“I am pleased that Barbara Boxer has accepted one of the many opportunities we have to debate before the people of California. I also want to thank KTVU, the San Francisco Chronicle and KQED for the time, resources and energy they are all investing to make this important debate possible.

“There is much at stake in this election, and the people of California should have multiple opportunities in all parts of the state to see the two of us together, debating our very different approaches to addressing job creation, economic growth and the role of government in our lives, along with many other important issues. That is why I have accepted more than a dozen other debate invitations. To date, Barbara Boxer has accepted only one. With more than 2.2 million unemployed Californians, a record national debt and the largest tax increase in American history slated to go into effect soon, there is much to discuss. I certainly hope she’ll agree that the people of this state deserve to see us debate many times between now and November 2.”

Said Rose Kapolczynski, Boxer’s campaign manager:

“We’re pleased that we will have the opportunity to debate and show the clear contrast between the candidates on jobs and the economy and so many other issues of concern to Californians.”

Posted on Friday, August 6th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Barbara Boxer, Carly Fiorina, U.S. Senate | 11 Comments »

Bowen: Contractor messed up voter guide mailing

A contractor’s error was responsible for some Bay Area households never receiving their official state voters’ guides before the June 8 primary, Secretary of State Debra Bowen reports.

In a letter sent yesterday to Assemblyman Jerry Hill, who’d contacted Bowen’s office after taking complaints from San Mateo County residents, Bowen said managers at Admail West, the Sacramento firm contracted to mail the guides, admitted “their company is responsible for duplicate or triplicate mailings of state voter guides to voter households in some counties, while at the same time failing to mail a single state voter guide to other households.”

“No one at Admail West has ever been able to fully explain the extent of the mailing problem, or why the company did not have better quality-assurance procedures in place for such an important statewide project,” Bowen wrote. “Moreover, Admail West managers reported that the one employee who handled the mailing data and caused the San Mateo County mailing errors passed away in June, and many key details are not known by anyone else at the company.”

Regardless of who screwed up at Admail West, she wrote, “there is no excuse for the sloppy tracking and lack of quality control by any vendor when the Secretary of State’s office provides extremely clear mailing specifications and voter address data.”

Checking around online, I see that Admail West’s president is Kathleen Pescetti. Her husband is Anthony Pescetti, the Republican former Assemblyman from Gold River; their son, also named Anthony, is Admail West’s business development manager.

Hill, D-San Mateo, issued a news release today noting there are still unanswered questions that must be resolved to ensure this doesn’t happen again: “I will be working with the Secretary of State to identify corrective actions that may include legislation or a state audit.”

Hill on June 16 introduced AB 814, which would require that for a statewide election, officials include a notification with the sample ballot informing voters they can obtain a voter information guide on the Secretary of State’s website. The notice also would include the telephone number, designated by the county elections official, at which a voter could request that a ballot pamphlet be mailed to him or her; ballot pamphlets also would be made available at polling places. The bill passed the state Senate Appropriations Committee on a unanimous vote Monday, and now awaits a Senate floor vote.

Hill also this year authored AB 1717, authorizing county and city elections officials to create procedures letting a voter opt out of receiving their sample ballot, voter pamphlet and polling-place notice by mail and instead get them electronically by e-mail or on the county’s or city’s Web site. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed that bill into law last month.

Posted on Friday, August 6th, 2010
Under: Assembly, Debra Bowen, Elections, Jerry Hill | 2 Comments »

Much more from last night’s David Boies event

David Boies – the famed litigator who helped convince a federal judge to rule this week that California’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage as enacted by Proposition 8 of 2008 violates the U.S. Constitution – had a lot of interesting things to say at the Commonwealth Club of California last night, far more than we had room for in the paper.

Follow me after the jump for a more complete readout…
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, August 6th, 2010
Under: same-sex marriage | 2 Comments »