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Cisco’s Chambers to co-chair Sundheim Senate bid

Cisco Systems Executive Chairman John Chambers will be a co-chair of Republican Duf Sundheim’s U.S. Senate campaign.

Sundheim, 62, a former California Republican Party chairman from Los Altos Hills, issued a statement noting his campaign is focused on “‘Solutions through Innovation.’ No one has done more in the last two decades to change the way we live, work, learn and play than John Chambers.”

Chambers helped grow Cisco from $70 million when he joined Cisco in January 1991, to $1.2 billion when he assumed the role of CEO, to $47 billion in FY15, Sundheim noted.

John ChambersChambers said the nation needs “strong, principled leaders in Washington, DC who can bring together people from all political perspectives to craft workable solutions to our country’s most pressing problems. Duf Sundheim is that kind of leader.”

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Duf for two decades, and I’ve seen how much he cares about the future of California and is inclusive of every one of its citizens,” Chambers added. “At a time when trust in our leaders is low, Duf will bring honesty, integrity, and compassion to the United States Senate. I’m honored to support his campaign and proud to call him my friend.”

Chambers has given generously to Republican causes and co-chaired John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. He said a few weeks ago that he believes the GOP has moved too far to the right, Business Insider reported.

“I’m a moderate Republican — an endangered species – who likes Democrats, so that’s even worse,” Chambers quipped on stage to Box CEO Aaron Levie, a guest at the Boxworks tech conference in San Francisco.

Asked how he feels about Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, Chambers paused and then replied, “Let’s be very candid. Americans like to be led from the middle. We like to be led by people who have experience. What I’d like to see from the Republican party is a moderate Republican who’s really in touch on the social and the immigration issues who has had tremendous track record in their state … I’d like to see a moderate Republican governor.”

Sundheim last week named former U.S. Secretary of State, Treasury and Labor George Shultz, whom he counts as a mentor, as another of his campaign’s co-chairs.

Sundheim is vying with fellow former California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro; Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, R-Oceanside; California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a Democrat; and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana, in next June’s top-two primary to succeed U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. Another Republican, Santa Monica businessman Al Ramirez, is exploring a run.

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East Bay political events round-up

Check out these upcoming East Bay political events:

Pleasanton

The holiday cards for America’s troops program sponsored by Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, is under way.

Last year, his office collected more than 7,000 cards.

They will be sent to troops stationed overseas in packages organized by East Bay Blue Star Moms, Pleasanton Military Families, Packed with Pride and Summerset Veterans clubs.

Cards will also be sent to veterans at Bay Area veteran’s hospitals, Camp Parks, Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.

Cards should be signed and addressed to a generic person, such as “Dear Service Member.” Please do not include inserts such as photographs.

Send cards by Dec. 15 to McNerney’s office at 5776 Stoneridge Mall Road, Suite 175, Pleasanton, CA 94588.

San Ramon and Walnut Creek

San Ramon and Walnut Creek activists will participate Nov. 5 in MoveOn.org’s national “Make Wall Street Pay” action targeting banks.

In Walnut Creek, activists will gather from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the corner of Newell and South Main streets.

San Ramon protesters will appear from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 3100 Crow Canyon Place in San Ramon.

They will ask people to move their money out of the offending major financial institutions and protest the mortgage crisis and bank greed.

Richmond

National Democratic Party campaign leaders will speak at a reception Nov. 6 in Richmond about the upcoming presidential election.

Democratic National Committee Executive Director Patrick Gaspard and Obama Campaign Battleground States Director Mitch Stewart will talk about key swing states, local organizing and other campaign topics.

The event begins at 3:30 p.m. at the Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way South, Marina District, in Richmond.

Admission is $30 per person. For more details, visit https:/donate.barackobama.com/OneYearCA.

Antioch

Contra Costa faith leaders will on Nov. 7 call upon elected officials to focus on key social justice issues in East Contra Costa County.

The Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization, or CISCO, will gather at 7 p.m. at the St. Ignatius of Antioch Catholic Church, 3351 Contra Loma Blvd., in Antioch.

Clergy and faith leaders will speak on the need to keep families in their homes, holding banks accountable for blighted properties, establishing local hiring programs, expanding health care access and improving communications with immigrants.

The free event is open to the public and a broad range of local elected leaders have been invited.

Participating organizations include St. Ignatius, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Most Holy Rosary and St. Anthony Catholic churches; Antioch Christian Center; Community Presbyterian Church; St. John Lutheran Church; Antioch Church Family; Islamic Faith Center of the East Bay; and International Christian Ministry.

Lafayette

California Advocacy Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council Ann Notthoff is the featured speaker at the Nov. 10 evening meeting of the Lamorinda Democratic Club.

Notthoff will talk about what she views as Republican attacks on the Clean Air and Clean Water acts.

In 2010, Notthoff led the successful bipartisan campaign to defend California’s landmark climate law, Assembly Bill 32.

She has also helped advocate for the council’s work on stronger marine life protections, cleaner cars, global climate regulations and water policy reforms.

The event begins at 7:15 with the club’s business meeting followed by the speaker at 8 p.m.

It will be held at the Lafayette Library and Community Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Boulevard in Lafayette. Admission is $5 per person. Students are free.

For more details, call 925-567-3367 or visit www.lamorindademoclub.org.

Walnut Creek

The Contra Costa Women’s Summitt will be held Nov. 14 in Walnut Creek.

Sponsored by Assemblywomen Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, and Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo,  the event features a variety of speakers and workshops.

Former state superintendent of public schools Delaine Eastin will serve as the moderator.

Among the speakers are Connie James, manager of Contra Costa County Reducing Health Disparities team; Katy Ertz-Berger, executive director for the Contra Costa Child Car Council; and Contra Costa Regional Medical Center Director Anna Roth.

Registration begins at 12:30 followed by the program at 1 p.m. and a reception at 5 p.m. It will be held at the Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek.

For reservations or more information, call 925-521-1511 or visit www.asmdc.org/kp.

Walnut Creek

Contra Costa County Administrative Officer David Twa will speak on the county’s grim financial picture at the Nov. 16 evening meeting of the Diablo Valley Democratic Club.

Twa will talk about the effect of budget cuts on law enforcement, the judicial system, health care and other county services.

He oversees county operations, a $1.2 billion budget and a staff of 8,220. He has served as county administrator since September 2008.

Twa joined Contra Costa in 2008 after working as a county manager for Ramsey County, Minnesota, and serving two terms as an elected county attorney. He holds a juris doctor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and is a certified public accountant.

The free event begins at 7 p.m. at the Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Road in Walnut Creek.

For information, call 925-946-0469 or go to www.dvdems.org.

 

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Whitman: Reward state workers for losing weight?

Reporters covering Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman’s visit to Cisco Systems in San Jose this morning only wanted to know what she knew and when she knew it about her former housekeeper who turned out to be an illegal immigrant.

But there was something Whitman said during her chat with Cisco CEO John Chambers and several hundred employees that might’ve made a headline on any other day: State workers might want to start watching their weight if she’s elected.

A Cisco employee teleconferenced into the event from Pleasanton asked the candidate about how to increase access to and affordability of health care. Whitman replied by saying there are examples to follow in corporate America; as an example she cited Pleasanton-based Safeway, which provided financial incentives for workers to control their blood pressure, lose weight and not smoke. The company’s health care costs have remained flat as a result, she said.

“Maybe we can start with state employees,” she said, drawing a chuckle from the audience which seemed to make her realize just what she was proposing. “I’ve just made news, which is something you really don’t want to do.”

More of Whitman’s Cisco appearance, after the jump…
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