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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 »

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 »

Contra Costa Supervisor Gayle Uilkema has died

Contra Costa Supervisor Gayle Uilkema on March 13, 2012.

Contra Costa County Supervisor Gayle Uilkema died early this morning with her family by her side.  She had been battling ovarian cancer since mid-2010.

In her fourth term, the 73-year-old former Lafayette mayor has been absent from her seat behind the board dais in Martinez since December, when she suffered a bout of pneumonia she described as a complication of chemotherapy.

She had hoped to return to her customary full-time schedule this spring although she was planning to retire at the end of the year after serving 16 years.

What I will remember most about Gayle is how much she deep-down loved her job as a county supervisor. She will be missed.

A rosary will be held 7 p.m. Wednesday St. Perpetua Church at 3454 Hamlin Road in Lafayette. The funeral mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, also at St. Perpetua.

Flowers should be sent to Hull’s, 1139 Saranap Ave., Walnut Creek, CA 94595.

Memorial donations may to sent to the American Cancer Society, 101 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Walnut Creek, CA 94596



Posted on Saturday, May 19th, 2012
Under: Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics | 6 Comments »

Contra Costa supervisor candidate debate set for April 23

Contra Costa District 2 supervisor candidates Candace Andersen and Tomi Van de Brooke will face off at the April 23 lunch meeting of the Contra Costa Council.

Van de Brooke, an Orinda resident and elected member of the Contra Costa Community College District, and Andersen, mayor of Danville, will answer questions and discuss their platforms.

The third supervisor candidate, Sean White of Lafayette, is out of town and cannot attend.

The Contra Costa Council is a nonprofit membership and nonpartisan organization that advocates for economic development throughout the East Bay.

I am the moderator and the event is open to the public.

Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. followed by the program at noon. It will be held at the Lafayette Veterans Memorial Building, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette.

Tickets are $45 for non-members and $35 for members. For reservations, contact the Contra Costa Council at or 925-246-1880.


Posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
Under: Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics, Political calendar, Political events | 1 Comment »

Watch Van de Brooke vs. Andersen ed board interview

Van de Brooke


The Contra Costa Times’ editorial board interview with Contra Costa County supervisor candidates Tomi Van De Brooke and Candace Andersen on Tuesday afternoon starts with fireworks over social issues. Read full story here.

But the candidates also speak at length about a wide range of policy matters closer to the work of a county supervisor, such as budget priorities, whether or not general fund dollars should subsidize the county hospital and pension reforms.

Watch video here:




Posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
Under: 2012 primary election, Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

CoCo Supervisor Uilkema returns to public life after illness

Contra Costa County Supervisor Gayle Uilkema returned to the board chambers for the first time since she became ill with pneumonia in January.

The Lafayette lawmaker has been fighting cancer for the past year and the pneumonia was a complication of her treatment.

No one loves this job more than Gayle, who will retire this year after 15 years on the board.

“I really miss you guys, all of you,” she told me before the meeting started. (Yes, I think she even meant me!)

Gayle says she plans to ramp back up into public life using the slow lane, attending meetings for an hour or two until she works her way back up to a full schedule.



Posted on Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
Under: Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics | 1 Comment »

CoCo top cops choose Andersen over Van de Brooke

Van de Brooke


Contra Costa County’s top law enforcement leaders have endorsed Danville Mayor Candace Andersen for county supervisor over rival Contra Costa Community College Trustee Tomi Van de Brooke.

District Attorney Mark Peterson and Sheriff David Livingston, along with Deputy Sheriffs Association President Ken Westermann and Deputy District Attorneys Association President Barry Grove, are scheduled to show up at noon today in Martinez at the election office with Andersen as she files her final candidacy paperwork. Friday is the filing deadline.

The four men interviewed Andersen and Van de Brooke at length on Tuesday. Along with most public agencies in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, the sheriff and district attorney’s office have been hit with big budget cuts.

“Both candidates are good people,” Sheriff Livingston said. “But Candace was able to point to a specific record of support for law enforcement in Danville in ways that are quite compelling. With the drastic cuts that public safety has experienced in this county, we have to support a candidate who has a record of supporting public safety.”

Westermann said “the DSA and Candace Anersen share the same values of prioritizing public safety and fiscal responsibility. We are confident she is the best candidate to represent the citizens of District 2.”

Grove said, “After interviewing both candidates, we felt Candace sincerely believes that law enforcement is a priority in the county. We think she understands the issues better than her counterpart. And frankly, I think she brings common sense to the county.”

The deputy sheriffs have settled their labor contract dispute while the district attorneys and the county are still in negotiations.

The same law enforcement coalition endorsed last week incumbent Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg in his re-election bid. Glover’s only potential challenger to surface so far, Martinez Councilman Mike Menesini, has pulled candidacy papers but had not yet filed the final paperwork as of this morning.

Andersen and Van de Brooke, of Orinda, are running for the District 2 seat on the Board of Supervisors in the June 5 election.  Solar energy professor Sean White of Lafayette has also filed for the post. Incumbent Gayle Uilkema is retiring.

If one candidate receives 50 percent plus 1 vote in June, he or she will win outright. If no candidate takes a majority, the top two vote-getters will compete in a run-off in the November general election.


Posted on Thursday, March 8th, 2012
Under: Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics | 25 Comments »

Consultant prematurely mails stormwater election flyers

The nearly 30 people who testified Tuesday before the Contra Costa Board of  Supervisors against a proposed new stormwater fee  arrived home later in the day to find an unpleasant surprise: A fold-out mailer promoting the countywide fee election that had been approved just a few hours earlier.

Critics immediately called the public hearing on the Contra Costa Community Clean Water Initiative a sham and started phoning supervisors’ offices.

It looks bad. The mailers were clearly prepared and mailed before the supervisors voted on whether to proceed with the election.

But the county says an outside consulting firm mistakenly and prematurely sent out the mailers during a staff changeover.

Supervisors and County Administrator David Twa are very displeased with SCI Consulting Group, which has a $1.1 million contract to help the county and its 19 cities put together the stormwater fee election.

“We did convey to (SCI) that this did a great deal of harm to the entire process and only adds to the belief that government fails to provide meaningful opportunities for the public to be heard,” Twa told me in an email.

See the mailer below.


Posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012
Under: Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics, water | 13 Comments »

Contra Costa steps away from imposing contract

Contra Costa County supervisors on Tuesday extended for one week contentious labor talks with a coalition of its five large public employee unions, putting off a vote to impose a contract. Click here to see full story.

“We have some optimism that we can reach an agreement before the board’s next meeting,” Contra Costa County Administrator David Twa told the board.

The delay came after three hours of emotional public testimony Tuesday from nearly 70 employees who pleaded with the county to return to the bargaining table and help them pay their health insurance costs.

“I live paycheck to paycheck,” said a tearful Cara Moffett, a clerk who makes about $50,000 a year. “I rob Peter to pay Paul every month. I ask that you not impose.”

The county was prepared to declare an impasse and mandate 3.2. percent in across-the-board pay cuts for the coalition’s nearly 4,700 members, almost half of the county’s workforce. Employees would also pay more toward their own pensions.

The concessions would save the county $20 million a year out of a $1.2 billion budget. CLICK HERE TO READ REST OF STORY.

Posted on Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
Under: Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics | 3 Comments »

Contra Costa supervisor districts see partisan shifts

The Contra Costa Elections Department is feverishly working on new digitized voting district maps that reflect the numerous boundary changes at the state and local level.

But at my request, the elections staff kindly provided me with a rough estimate of  party registration breakdowns for the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors’ five newly drawn districts.

Yes, supervisor seats are nonpartisan but party politics still play a role.

Parties view local nonpartisan seats as the “farm team,” the place where political novices of their respective philosophies cut their teeth, build a base and run for higher partisan political office. Partisan leaders from labor, business and traditional party organizations often provide campaign foot soldiers and money for the candidates of their choice.

In Contra Costa County, Democrats continue to outnumber Republicans in all five supervisor districts. Those who register as “no preferred party,” previously called “decline to state,” consistently comprise about a fifth of all voters in each district.

Among the shifts, districts 1, 4 and 5 largely retained their party registration breakdowns.

Democrats’ lead in District 2 declined as GOP registration grew from 27 percent to 36 percent of total registered voters. Likewise, Democrats’ presence declined nine points from 49 percent to 40 percent. The shift is due to the district’s move south into the San Ramon Valley and out of Martinez.

Republicans lost ground in District 3, dropping from 37.5 percent to 30 percent. Democrats boosted their numbers from 38.4 percent under the old boundaries to 48 percent in the new districts. The  new district lost most of the more conservative San Ramon Valley to neighboring District 2.

As an aside, you’ll see a significant spread between some of the districts when it comes to total registered voters. The law requires that new districts are redrawn to roughly equal populations but not everyone votes. In Contra Costa, District 2 has the highest number of registered voters by nearly twofold over District 1.

Here’s a more detailed breakout by district: (I didn’t include the third-party numbers, which make up about 4 percent of the voters.)

DISTRICT 1: Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond, Democrat


  • Total registered voters: 84,805
  • Democrats: 55,789 or 65.8 percent
  • Republicans: 9,317 or 11 percent
  • No preferred party or decline to state: 16,898 or 20 percent


  • Total registered voters: 77,025
  • Democrats: 51,408 or 66.7 percent
  • Republicans: 7,851 or 10.2 percent
  • No preferred party or decline to state: 14,468 or 18.8 percent

DISTRICT 2: Supervisor Gayle Uilkema of Lafayette, Republican, will not seek re-election in 2012. One candidate has filed for the seat, Contra Costa Community College District Trustee Tomi Van de Brooke of Orinda, a Democrat.


  • Total registered voters: 131,671
  • Democrats: 52,612 or 40 percent
  • Republicans: 48,872 or 35.6 percent
  • No preferred party or decline to state: 28,031 or 21 percent


  • Total registered voters: 112,973
  • Democrats: 56,066 or 49.6 percent
  • Republicans: 30,171 or 26.7 percent
  • No preferred party or decline to state: 21,928 or 19.4 percent

DISTRICT 3: Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho of Discovery Bay, a Republican, is seeking re-election. No opponents have filed yet.


  • Total registered voters: 95,689
  • Democrats: 45,871 or 48 percent
  • Republicans: 28,912 or 30 percent
  • No preferred party or decline to state: 18,479 or 19 percent


  • Total registered voters: 139,386
  • Democrats: 53,471 or 38.4 percent
  • Republicans: 52,307 or 37.5 percent
  • No preferred party or decline to state: 28,307 or 20.3 percent

DISTRICT 4: Supervisor Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill, Democrat


  • Total registered voters: 113,179
  • Democrats: 53,045 or 47 percent
  • Republicans: 33,463 or 30 percent
  • No preferred party or decline to state: 24,770 or 22 percent


  • Total registered voters: 92,765
  • Democrats: 43,779 or 47.2 percent
  • Republicans: 25,594 or 27.6 percent
  • No preferred party or decline to state: 18,854 or 20.3 percent

DISTRICT 5: Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg, a Democrat, is seeking re-election. No challengers have filed yet.


  • Total registered voters: 89,582
  • Democrats: 50,317 or 56.2 percent
  • Republicans: 18,511 or 20.7 percent
  • No preferred party or decline to state: 19,689 or 22 percent


  • Total registered voters: 88,588
  • Democrats: 50,125 or 56.6 percent
  • Republicans: 18,565 or 21 percent
  • No preferred party or decline to state: 16,207 or 18.3 percent



Posted on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
Under: Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics | 16 Comments »