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Oakley Dem Frazier takes big money lead in AD11 race

Assembly District 11 Democratic candidate and Oakley Councilman Jim Frazier has outraised and outspent his five opponents by a large margin.

In the latest campaign finance report, Frazier reported contributions of $160,429 since January and expenses of $296,383.

Republican and Suisun City Councilman Mike Hudson is in a distant second. He received $64,177 and spent $62,226.

Arguably, Frazier needed to raise and spend the most money. He is the only Contra Costa candidate running against five Solano County opponents in new district dominated by Solano County. It’s a large field and only the top two finishers will advance to the general election,

The numbers for the other candidates are: Democratic labor negotiator Patricia Hernandez of Rio Vista received $34,894 and spent $64,807; independent and ex-Vacaville councilman Len Augustine received $31,759 and spent $26,473; Democratic retired Benicia fire chief Gene Gantt received $22,364 and spent $49,930.

Democratic programmer and artist Charles Kingeter of Suisun City did not file a report, which presumably means he didn’t raise enough money to trigger the filing requirement.

Assembly District 11 is a newly drawn district that includes Antioch, Oakley, Brentwood, Knightsen, Byon, Discovery Bay and Bethel Island plus the bulk of Solano County.

Assembly District 11, map by Redistricting Partners

 

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Congressman flies GOP flag on energy in Bay Area

One day after President Obama was touting his energy record at Silicon Valley campaign stops – stronger fuel economy standards, increased clean energy production, foreign-oil imports at a 15-year low – a Central Valley congressman was in the Bay Area to say there’s a better approach.

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, is a regional captain of the House Energy Action Team (HEAT), a Republican policy effort that mounted a “2012 American Energy and Jobs Tour” today. The theme is the GOP’s work “to reverse Administration policies that are causing unnecessary pain at the pump, on Valley farms and in grocery stores as well as costing our nation jobs,” his office said.

He toured the Valero refinery in Benicia and had an energy roundtable discussion with refining business representatives and community business leaders; later, he made a brief stop at an Oakland truck stop.

On his web page, Denham says that even as the nation explores “newer, cleaner energy sources, we must continue to utilize the rich resources within our own borders and on the Outer Continental Shelf, such as oil, coal, liquid, natural gas, and oil shale. One of the most promising outlets for new energy sources is nuclear energy, one of the cleanest forms of energy on the planet.”

For his full remarks as prepared for the Benicia event, read after the jump…
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Medical marijuana advocates claim legal victory

Medical marijuana advocates are trumpeting what they call a major legal victory providing some protection for dispensaries that provide the drug to patients.

The California Supreme Court has denied review of a February state Court of Appeal ruling from Los Angeles which had held that dispensaries need not have patients participating in their operation.

The appeals court in People v. Colvin had held that Attorney General Kamala Harris’ argument – that member-patients must engage in unspecified “united action or participation” to qualify for protection under the state’s medical marijuana law – would likely “limit drastically the size of medical marijuana establishments,” and provide “little direction or guidance to, among others, qualified patients, primary caregivers, law enforcement, and trial courts.” It would, in fact, “contravene the intent of [state law] by limiting patients’ access to medical marijuana,” the lower court had held.

The Court of Appeal also held that “collectives and cooperatives may cultivate and transport marijuana in aggregate amounts tied to its membership numbers,” and it affirmed that possession of extracted or concentrated forms of medical marijuana was legal under state law.

“This has not been a problem in the Bay Area, but now we’re sure it’s not going to be,” said Joe Elford, chief counsel with Oakland-based Americans for Safe Access. “The decision not to review People v. Colvin should now put to rest this unfounded notion that patients must ‘till the soil’ or somehow participate in the production of the medicine they purchase at a dispensary.”

Elford said the court letting Colvin stand means the state Justice Department might have to change its arguments in other, similar cases.

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3rd POTUS pool report: Redwood City

Motorcade left Goldman residence in Atherton at 8:58 p.m. and rolled up El Camino Real to Redwood City, where POTUS arrived around 9:08 p.m. and entered Fox Theater to do some photos. Tickets for this event cost $250 for general admission; $1,000 for premium seating; or $7,500 for a seat plus a photo reception, with up to two additional guests in the photo at $2,500 each.

A campaign official said those in attendance at the Fox Theater included theater owners Eric Lochtefeld and Lori Lochtefeld; Redwood City Mayor Alicia Aguirre; and OFA CA Political Director Peggy Moore.

Press was held outside for about 15-20 minutes before entering through side door; sadly, we missed Ben Harper’s performance, but were treated to a significant chunk of the Tom Hanks-narrated video detailing the president’s first-term accomplishments. The audience cheered and applauded certain moments during the video, including Bill Clinton’s first appearance; passage of the Affordable Care Act, swearing in of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and so on.

The film ended, the stage lights came up and… nothing for a few minutes. The crowd began chanting the president’s name; and then a call and response of “Fired up!” and “Ready to Go!”; and then “Four more years!” Still, nobody.

Finally, after several minutes, POTUS took the stage at 9:46 p.m. to a standing ovation.

“It is good to be back in California,” he said, recognizing and thanking Mayor Aguirre and Ben Harper.

“I’m here because your country needs your help. Four years ago we came together, we came together because we want to reclaim the basic bargain that built the most solid middle class and the most prosperous nation on earth,” he said.

He talked about the American Dream of having equal opportunity for education and prosperity, “no matter who you look like… no matter who you love.”

When he came to office, more and more people were seeing falling incomes, stagnant job growth, unaffordable education. “We built a house of cards, and it ended up collapsing in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”

“Together, we fought our way back,” he said. When some said we should let Detroit go bankrtupt, we bet on American workers and innovators “and today the American auto industry is back on top of the world.”

“We’re not satisfied, we still have so much more to do” as so many remain jobless, their home mortgages underwater, first responders and teachers being laid off, he said. And that’s why this election is so important – because we can’t go back to the policies that didn’t work. “We have to move forward, not backwards.”

Productivity and hard work are at an all-time high, he said, but the problem is that it doesn’t lead most people to higher income, better jobs, better lives. What Mitt Romney doesn’t understand is that higher profits aren’t desirable “at the cost of massive layoffs” or “shipping jobs overseas” or “gutting all those investments that create a platform for everybody’s success.”

Republicans want deeper tax cuts while services for working people, infrastructure investments and regulations to keep Wall Street are gutted, he said. “That’s not new – the last guy did this,” he said, referring to President George W. Bush. Romney, he said, “is hoping you don’t remember what happened the last time we tried all that.”

“We don’t want government to solve all our problems – it shouldn’t try,” he said. Not every tax dollar can be spent wisely, he said, and not all people can be helped who doesn’t want to help themselves.

“But that’s different from telling the vast majority of hard-working Americans, ‘You’re on your own” when it comes to affording college, health care, a home, he said. “That’s not who we are, that’s not how America was built.”

It was collective investment that created the platform for enterprises like Google and Facebook to be born and thrive, the president said. “It made us all richer, it gave us all opportunity.”

“That’s why I’m running again for President of the United States of America.”

He said he wants to ensure that by this decades end, the nation once again is turning out more engineers and scientists than anywhere else on earth, with everyone able to afford a chance at education and prosperity.

“I’m going to make sure the next generation of technological innovation takes place right here in Silicon Valley” as well as in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and other cities, he said.

He said the nation’s dependence on foreign oil is at a 15-year low while fuel economy standards are better and clean energy production has doubled.

“For the first time in nine years, we have no Americans fighting in Iraq.” OBL is dead, Al Qaeda is on the run and the war in Afghanistan will be over by 2014. “America is safer and stronger and more respected around the world” thanks to service and sacrifice of service members, and the nation must repay them with appropriate veterans’ services.

Romney, he said, opposed ending Iraq war and doesn’t want to set a date for getting out of Afghanistan. “The nation we need to build is our own. We will end this war responsibly.”

“We’re going to pay down our debt in a way that is fair and responsible” after he inherited a trillion-dollar debt, he said.

“It takes a Democrat to fix these problems after they had run up the tab… so we’re going to finish the job.” That means streamlining government but also reforming tax code so “folks like me, only the wealthiest Americans, pay a little bit more.”

Romney, on the other hand, proposes tax cuts paid for by ordinary Americans, and further diminishment of institutions such as Social Security and Medicare, he said.

“On issue after issue, these guys want to go backwards,” the president said, but there’s no time to re-fight the need for health care reform, or abortion rights, or myriad other issues. It’s time to move forward to a country where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, in which you can’t drown out ordinary people by writing a $10 million check to support or oppose a campaign.

America is about unity, using everyone’s talents to move the nation forward, he said. This election is tough – more negative ads and undisclosed spending through the rise of SuperPACs, but “ultimately the outcome of this election is going to be up to you,” he said.

“Gays love you!” an audience member shouted out; the president didn’t break his rhetorical stride.

“When you decide its time for change to happen, guess what – change happens,” he said. “If people ask you what this campaign is about, tell them its still about hope, its still about change.”

“I still believe in you; I hope you still believe in me,” he said.

POTUS finished at 10:19 p.m. First song on the PA system as he left stage: Bruce Springsteen’s “We Take Care of Our Own.”

POTUS is headed to San Jose’s Fairmont Hotel, where he’ll spend the night and hold a campaign fundraiser with Asian American/Pacific Islander contributors tomorrow morning before leaving from Moffett Field around 10 a.m.

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2nd POTUS pool report: Atherton fundraiser

Among the guests at the Atherton fundraiser: Jan Brandt, vice chair emeritus of AOL; Dennis Troper, Google product management director; Tim Westergren, Pandora Media founder; and Susan Wojcicki, Google senior vice president.

Press was escorted into large outdoor tent at 7:55 p.m. POTUS and Doug Goldman entered at 7:58 p.m. Goldman said the property has been in his family since 1906, and he and his wife tried to welcome POTUS with Hawaiian decoration theme: floral arrangements, tablecloths, potted palms, hurricane lanterns, leis.

Goldman said the Recovery Act was a “brilliant” move, “saving more than 1 million jobs.” “It worked so well, some of your opponents are trying to take credit for it,” he said. Goldman also credited POTUS for ending Iraq war, killing OBL and voicing support for same-sex marriage, the latter of which drew the loudest cheers and applause from the audience.

POTUS began talking at 8:03 p.m., thanking the Goldmans for their hospitality: “They have had my back from the get-go, at a time when not many people knew who I was.”

He thanked David Crosby and Graham Nash (Stephen Stills is NOT in attendance): “It’s not every day you get Rock and Roll Hall of Famers strumming the guitar for you.” And he thanked actor Don Cheadle for his presence and support, but promised not to talk about their recent basketball game. Cheadle responded: “Thank you.”

“We’ve gone through three and a half of the toughest years in our lifetime,” the president said, with so many millions of jobs lost. “And we’ve still got a long way to go. In California and across the country there are still a lot of people who are hurting” from joblessness, risk of losing their homes, unaffordable education. “Our work is not done. The good news is, we’re beginning to steer that ship in the right direction.”

President Obama said he’s proud of his administration’s educational reforms, and said the nation must continue to make scientific advancements in order to remain globally competitive. “America continues to have the best workers and the best businesses in the world – we just have to get organized, and we’re starting to do that.”

The Affordable Care act has begun making health care more affordable and accessible; fuel economy standards for cars have been doubled; clean energy production has been doubled; and foreign oil imports are at a 15-year low, he said. The Iraq war is over and Afghanistan is ending, while the U.S. is regaining international respect.

“We continue to be the agenda setters,” he said, shaping international rules and norms on issues from terrorism to climate change to poverty. “People are paying attention, people are listening, and people are hungry for our leadership.”

But he needs another term to seal the deal, he said.

“This is a country full of decent people who believe in America and are generous and kind and tolerant,” the president said.

He talked about being at a high school graduation earlier this week in Joplin, Mo., which was ravaged by a tornado last year, and meeting a senior who lost both his parents, spent five weeks in physical rehab and had to care for his sister yet still is graduating and going on to college. “That captures who we are and what we’re about” as a nation, he said, leaving him “more determined than I was in 2008” to carry on.

Press was ushered out at 8:14 p.m., as he started a question and answer session with the audience. Press is now (8:35 p.m.) in vans, waiting for departure to Redwood City.

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First POTUS pool report: Moffett to Atherton

AF1 landed at Moffett Federal Airfield near Mountain View, Calif., a few minutes after its scheduled 6:10 p.m. arrival time, delayed a bit by some weather.

Greeting POTUS at the bottom of the stairs were:
– Col. Steven Butow, Commander 129th Rescue Wing, California Air National Gaurd
– Rep. Anna Eschoo (D-CA)
– Mike Kasperzak – Mayor, Mountain View, CA
– Tony Spitaleri – Mayor, Sunnyvale, CA
– Simon Pete Worden – Center Director, NASA Ames Research Center

POTUS then went to work a rope line of invited guests, Moffett/NASA/AMES staffers and such, before getting into the limo. Motorcade went south on Highway 101 then back up I-280 to Woodside Road exit into Atherton , arrived about 7:10 p.m. at Atherton home of Doug Goldman – software company founder, retired emergency physician, philanthropist and heir to the
Levi Strauss fortune – and his wife Lisa, who are hosting a $35,800-a-head dinner.

Press is holding in an outbuilding. Crosby, Stills & Nash will be performing for guests; we saw David Crosby walk by here a few minutes ago.