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Pareja picks Stark over Swalwell

Hayward businessman Chris Pareja, the conservative independent candidate who lost last week’s primary in the 15th Congressional District (in which Democrat Eric Swalwell will advance to challenge Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, in November) has given Swalwell what he calls an “anti-endorsement.”

“Following last Tuesday’s results I called to congratulate Congressman Stark and Eric on qualifying for the November General Election.

I may not agree with Congressman Stark on most issues – but his service to the community and the country should be respected. I will continue a candid and respectful dialogue with the Congressman on the direction I believe our country should be moving.

I believe Eric lacks the life experience and character to effectively represent this district. I also wonder whether he has a firm grasp of the proper role of the federal government or where the money will come from to implement the promises he is already beginning to make.

I am concerned that Eric wants to accelerate the implementation of Obama’s failed agenda. I am worried about his positions on property rights and individual liberties.

My preference would be to have a conservative representative that would be focused on responsible spending of tax payer dollars, protecting individual liberties and growing the economy.

Due to the top two primary system, voters have been given the choice of two candidates who are much more liberal than I would prefer. In assessing both options, I believe that Eric is actually more dangerous to the future of the country. As such, I cannot in good conscience recommend that anyone who voted for me support Eric in his campaign for the House of Representatives.”

Swalwell declined to comment.

Posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2012
Under: 2012 Congressional Election, 2012 primary election, Pete Stark, U.S. House | 24 Comments »

Contra Costa public employee union seeks Andersen appointment

Candace Andersen

Contra Costa Public Employees Union Local One may have endorsed her opponent but now that Danville Mayor Candace Andersen has won the District 2 supervisor seat in a landslide, the labor group is graciously asking Gov. Jerry Brown to appoint the victor.

“Ms. Andersen was decisively elected to the District 2 seat,” wrote Local One General Manager Larry Edginton in a letter to the governor’s office. “The voters of that district have spoken. They have elected Mayor Andersen to represent them on the Board of Supervisors. There is no reason not to fill it or appoint someone else.”

The Contra Costa Building Trades and Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo — both endorsed Contra Costa Community College District board President Tomi Van de Brooke — have also sent letters recommending the appointment.

Local One, which represents 2,000 Contra Costa County employees, rightly argues that District 2 residents deserve a representative as soon as possible and the restoration of a fifth supervisor will avert any potential tie votes that might create governance programs.

Andersen beat Van de Brooke on June 5 by 31 percentage points. She will take the office held by the late Gayle Uilkema, who intended to retire at the end of the year but died in May from ovarian cancer.

The district office has been without a full-time supervisor since last winter, however. Uilkema had been unable to work for much of the year although she tried to keep up from home until very close to her death.

Andersen’s term doesn’t  officially start until Jan. 1, 2013, but the governor could appoint her to the post early. As a general law county, only the governor may fill vacant supervisor positions.

The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors is expected to approve a similar request of the governor at its June 26 meeting.

There’s no official word out of the governor’s office yet although nothing is likely to happen until after the election results have been certified.

But there is no obvious barrier to the appointment. Partisanship is unlikely to disqualify the Republican mayor because she won by such a vast margin. She also generally opposes new taxes but says she hasn’t taken a position on the governor’s tax initiative, hasn’t signed a “no new taxes pledge” and says she won’t, and has supported all the school bonds and tax measures in the San Ramon Valley.

“I’ve been in contact with the governor’s appointment in office to find out what they need from me,” Andersen said. “I’m hopeful it will happen in July but it is in the governor’s hands.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2012
Under: 2012 primary election, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics | 16 Comments »

Is one of these ‘Young Guns’ shooting blanks?

Two of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Young Guns” are near the Bay Area, but one of them might be shooting blanks.

Unofficial results from Tuesday’s primary in the 3rd Congressional District show incumbent John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, got 52.5 percent of the vote while “Young Gun” Kim Vann – a Colusa County supervisor – got 25.4 percent.

It’s true that Vann had to beat back three other Republican challengers, but the long and short of it is that Garamendi still managed to pull a majority of the votes in a low-turnout election that should’ve favored Republicans. In November, with the presidential election drawing many more voters to the polls and Democratic turnout improving accordingly, Vann’s going to have a much tougher time. The well-respected Cook Political Report agrees, listing Garamendi’s district – which has pieces of Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Sacramento, Solano, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties – as a “likely Democratic” win this fall.

Not that Vann is letting any grass grow under her feet. Here’s the video she released yesterday:

It could be somewhat different story over in the 9th Congressional District, listed by Cook as “lean Democratic” as incumbent Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, seeks re-election.

Unofficial results show McNerney got 48.4 percent of the vote, while “Young Gun” Ricky Gill – a Lodi native who just finished law school at UC-Berkeley – drew 39.5 percent; another Republican, Mountain House businessman John McDonald, got 12.1 percent.

Unlike Garamendi, McNerney didn’t manage to get a majority on Tuesday. Spokeswoman Lauren Smith told me late Tuesday night that he’s not worried; he believes stronger Democratic turnout in November will buoy him to victory. The district – with parts of San Joaquin, Contra Costa and Sacramento counties – is registered 43.8 percent Democrat, 36.5 percent Republican and 15.8 percent no-party-preference, which gives him a better edge than the tiny GOP advantage he overcame in his old district in November 2010. But Gill is playing up his local roots and has raised a lot of money, and McNerney certainly can’t kick back and relax this summer.

Posted on Thursday, June 7th, 2012
Under: 2012 Congressional Election, 2012 primary election, Jerry McNerney, John Garamendi, U.S. House | 12 Comments »

Primary post-mortems on CA15, AD20 and AD25

I spent yesterday starting to unpack what the new top-two system hath wrought upon California’s state legislative and House races – something we’ll be unpacking for years, I suspect – but today I’ve some time to dissect the still-unofficial results in few interesting Bay Area races.

15th Congressional District

Incumbent Pete Stark, D-Fremont, finished first with 41.8 percent of the vote, followed by Democrat Eric Swalwell, a Dublin councilman and Alameda County prosecutor, at 36 percent; eliminated was conservative independent Chris Pareja, a Hayward businessman, at 22.2 percent. Stark is in trouble – I can’t imagine a single, solitary Pareja voter switching to Stark, but I can imagine lots of them voting for anybody but Stark. Stark won the Alameda County sections of the district 42.9 percent to Swalwell’s 35.3 percent, but Swalwell prevailed in the smaller Contra Costa area, 40 percent to Stark’s 33.1 percent.

Stark’s best hopes are that elevated Democratic turnout and the coattails of President Obama (who endorsed him) will give him an edge in November, while the more moderate Swalwell will continue romancing not only Democrats but also independents and Republicans. The key to Stark’s strategy might be saying as little as possible in live public appearances, given his disastrous spring gaffes.

20th Assembly District

Hayward councilman Bill Quirk, a Democrat, finished first in the race for this open seat, with 30.2 percent of the vote, followed by fellow Democrat Jennifer Ong, an optometrist from Hayward, at 24.9 percent. Eliminated were Union City Mayor Mark Green, an independent, at 20.9 percent; Hayward school board member Luis Reynoso, a Republican, at 18.1 percent; and Union City school board member Sarabjit Cheema, a Democrat, at 5.8 percent.

This was somewhat surprising, as I thought Green – mayor for 19 years – would have the name recognition to finish second behind Quirk. But Green, a longtime Democrat, switched to no-party-preference in 2010 and probably had hoped he’d attract the district’s voters who wouldn’t vote for a Democrat; that was foiled by Reynoso’s relatively late entry into the race. Ong, meanwhile, staged a direct-mail blitz – my household got 13 pieces of mail from her (including my favorite of this season), compared to two from Quirk, two from Green and one from Cheema. Quirk has the party establishment’s support, and easily is the odds-on favorite for November.

25th Assembly District

Incumbent Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, finished with 41.4 percent of the vote, followed by Republican ArLyne Diamond, a management consultant from Santa Clara, at 30.7 percent; eliminated was Democrat Pete McHugh, at 27.9. This district was radically redrawn last year, splitting Wieckowski’s power base in Fremont (where he was a councilman) and extending much further down into Santa Clara County. That’s where McHugh, Milpitas’ vice mayor and a former county supervisor, hoped his name recognition would give him an edge.

But ultimately, Wieckowski ran neck-and-neck with McHugh in Santa Clara County – a difference of only 10 votes out of the almost 20,000 cast for the two of them – while beating McHugh 4-to-1 in Alameda County. The district is registered 45.3 percent Democrat, 19.7 percent Republican and 30.5 percent no-party-preference, so it’ll be tough (read as: nothing short of a miracle) for Diamond to carry it in November.

Posted on Thursday, June 7th, 2012
Under: 2012 Assembly election, 2012 Congressional Election, 2012 primary election, Assembly, Bob Wieckowski, Pete Stark, U.S. House | No Comments »

CoCo Supervisor Glover wins re-election in a landslide!

Er, it helps to run unopposed.

Contra Costa County Supervisor Federal Glover just put out a press release thanking voters for re-electing him to a fifth term.

“All the work positioning myself in regional policy-making bodies and building relationships are paying paying off,” he said in the statement. “The people see the results of that work.”

All that may well be true.

But his supporters also warned off all potential challengers including Martinez Councilman Mike Menesini, who backed out on the last day to file.

Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho, of Discovery Bay, also ran unopposed. She was re-elected to a third term.

Read on for Glover’s full press release.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
Under: 2012 primary election, Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, Contra Costa County | 3 Comments »

Who bankrolled campaigns for, against Prop. 29?

Those wonderful folks at Berkeley-based MapLight.org have crunched numbers on who bankrolled the campaigns for and against Proposition 29, the measure on tomorrow’s ballot that would impose a $1-per-pack tobacco tax to fund cancer research. The data is as of this afternoon:

SUPPORT: $12.3 million raised in total
1. American Cancer Society – $8,467,937
2. Lance Armstrong Foundation – $1,500,000
3. American Heart Association – $563,594
4. Michael R. Bloomberg – $500,000
5. American Lung Association – $421,986
6. Voters Organized for Community Empowerment (VOICE) – $152,188
7. ACS Cancer Action Network – $80,000
8. Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund – $65,000
9. University of California, San Francisco Foundation – $50,000
10. Irwin Mark Jacobs – $30,000

OPPOSITION: $46.8 million raised in total
1. Philip Morris (Altria) – $27,531,416
2. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (Reynolds American Inc.) – $11,168,698
3. U.S. Smokeless Tobacco (Altria) – $3,039,818
4. American Snuff Co. (Reynolds American Inc.) – $1,750,000
5. Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. (Reynolds American Inc.) – $1,148,000
6. California Republican Party – $1,140,909
7. John Middleton Co. (Altria) – $737,201
8. Core-Mark – $75,032
9. McLane Company Inc. – $50,000
10. Californians Against Unaccountable Taxes – $47,744

Breakdown by State

For Prop. 29:

Against Prop. 29:

Posted on Monday, June 4th, 2012
Under: 2012 primary election, ballot measures, campaign finance, taxes | 10 Comments »

More CC supervisor mailers, these pro-Andersen

Voters have plenty of campaign mailers to peruse this election, especially in the highly competitive District 2 Contra Costa supervisor fight between Danville Mayor Candace Andersen and Contra Costa Community College board President Tomi Van de Brooke.

Yesterday, I posted mailers put out by independent expenditure committees who support Van de Brooke. Below, you’ll see a pro-Andersen mailer paid for by the Deputy Sheriffs Association PAC and one from her campaign.

Solar energy professor Sean White of Lafayette is also running, but he has no mailers. It takes money to send out mail and White has refused to take campaign contributions on the grounds that the process corrupts politicians.

 

 

 

 

Posted on Friday, June 1st, 2012
Under: 2012 primary election, Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics | 21 Comments »

New voter #s: Registration up, parties down

I certainly hope all of you vote in next Tuesday’s election – all 17,153,699 of you.

That’s the total number of California’s registered voters, up by more than a million from this time four years ago, according to the new report issued Friday by Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

Partisanship continues to decline: The percentage of voters registered with a qualified political party decreased from 79.7 percent to 77.7 percent, while those with no party preference continued to tick upward from 19.4 percent to 21.3 percent over the past four years.

But perhaps there’s some good news for civic engagement: The percentage of registered voters compared to the number of people eligible to register has increased from 70 percent to 72.3 percent over the past four years.

Friday’s report reflects data gathered after registration closed May 21 for the June 5 primary, with updates to voter rolls in all 58 counties including removal of registrants who have died, moved out of state, or been determined to be ineligible to vote.

bowen.gif“If you are one of the millions of people registered to vote in the state, find your polling place on Tuesday and prove those pessimistic prognosticators wrong by driving up voter turnout for this important primary,” Bowen said in a news release.

“If you have a vote-by-mail ballot and still have not mailed it, remember that every single ballot must be turned in to county elections officials by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day and postmarks don’t count,” she said. “At this point, be safe and hand-deliver your vote-by-mail ballot to your county elections office or any polling place in the county in which you are registered.”

Polls are open on Election Day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; some county elections offices will be open over the weekend for early voting.

The Democratic Party saw its numbers decrease just a bit from 43.75 percent to 43.39 percent of all registered voters from May 2008 to now; the Republican Party saw a more pronounced decrease, from 32.53 percent to 30.24 percent.

Among the state’s minor parties, the Libertarian Party gained a tiny bit of ground, going from 0.49 percent to 0.55 percent, as did the American Independent Party, which went from 2.06 percent to 2.53 percent. The Peace and Freedom Party held rock-steady at 0.35 percent, and the Green Party declined a bit from 0.75 percent to 0.65 percent.

State law requires statewide voter registration data updates 154, 60 and 15 days before each primary election, and 60 and 15 days before each general election. An “off-year” update is released in February of years with no regularly scheduled statewide election.

Posted on Friday, June 1st, 2012
Under: 2012 primary election, voter registration | 3 Comments »

Labor and abortion rights advocates play in CoCo District 2 supervisor race

Labor and abortion rights activists have poured nearly $50,000 into the intense county supervisor race between Contra Costa Community College Board President Tomi Van de Brooke and Danville Mayor Candace Andersen.

Funded by two independent expenditure committees, robocalls and mailers remind voters leading up to Tuesday’s election that Van de Brooke is the abortion-rights option while Andersen, a conservative Mormon, calls abortion a social issue irrelevant to the job of a county supervisor.

Whether or not a candidate’s positions on social issues do, or should, matter in a local nonpartisan race has been a combustible thread throughout the campaign.

Read full story here.   See mailers below.

 

 

 


Posted on Thursday, May 31st, 2012
Under: 2012 primary election, Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics | 17 Comments »

Counties deal with military/overseas voting snafu

Eleven California counties including Contra Costa, San Mateo and San Francisco didn’t meet a federal law’s deadline for sending out vote-by-mail ballots to military families and other Americans living abroad, federal and state officials announced Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Justice simultaneously announced a lawsuit and a settlement agreement Tuesday to remedy the situation under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) for this June 5 primary vote.

“We know that we made a mistake, and we have scrambled to correct it before being told to do so,” Contra Costa County Registrar Steve Weir said Tuesday, acknowledging that his office sent ballots out late to 1,496 military and overseas voters – well over half of his county’s 2,450 total such voters, and about 18 percent of the 8,249 ballots that went out late statewide. “We are working to make this right.”

The long and short of it: In San Mateo, San Francisco and two other counties, officials must email all affected UOCAVA voters for whom the county offices have email addresses to notify them that if they have not yet received their ballots, they may choose to receive their ballots for the June 5 election by fax or email, instead of by postal mail; advise them of the option for returning a voted ballot by fax; and offer the option to return the ballot by express delivery at the county government’s expense. If the county has no email address for a voter, the county elections official must contact the voter by fax or telephone if that contact information is on file.

Weir in Contra Costa County and his peers in six other counties had already set about e-mailing affected voters and/or sending them out a second ballot by express delivery. For any they didn’t already reach, they’ll have to abide by the same conditions described above.

The UOCAVA requires that the state send absentee ballots to thousands of California’s eligible military and overseas voters at least 45 days before the election date. But that’s a task that ultimately falls to each of the 58 counties’ voter registrars, and despite Secretary of State Debra Bowen issuing four memos and holding a conference call with the registrars since November, 11 counties didn’t meet the deadline.

Weir said Contra Costa County had been part of a 13-county pilot program to use e-mail as the main method of sending ballots to military and overseas voters. But when that project fell through, the county used e-mail to send those voters their ballots anyway even though most of them had asked to get them by fax or mail, he said: “This was clearly a management mistake on our part.”

“Once we knew of our mistake, we moved very quickly to send a second ballot, in the manner that the voter had requested,” he said. “I think the stats on returns indicate that we have gotten to those voters.”

Weir said his county’s UOCAVA voters are 44.5 percent Democrat, compared to 49 percent countywide; 16.9 percent Republican, compared to 25 percent countywide; and 36.5 percent no-party-preference, compared to 21 percent countywide.

Bowen’s office reported today that of the 8,249 ballots transmitted after the 45-day deadline, most went out within two days after the deadline; only 41 military and overseas ballots were transmitted after April 27.

“Members of our armed forces, their families and overseas citizens are entitled to a complete and meaningful opportunity to vote, and the Justice Department is committed to seeking full access to the ballot box for all voters – regardless of where they are on Election Day,” Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a news release today. “The California Secretary of State worked cooperatively with the department and agreed to implement measures that will ensure California’s military and overseas voters will have the opportunity to fully participate in June’s primary election and future federal elections.”

Today’s deal, which needs an OK from a federal judge in Sacramento, also commits Bowen’s office to closely monitor and certify California counties’ transmission of UOCAVA ballots, conduct training of county election officials before the 2012 general election, give aid to its counties when necessary, and report back to the United States about its UOCAVA compliance for the 2012 federal general election and the 2014 federal election cycle. It also requires the California Secretary of State to investigate why these ballots went out late and then take whatever action is necessary to prevent future violations; Bowen will provide status reports to the Justice Department on those efforts.

Posted on Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
Under: 2012 primary election | No Comments »