Tag Archives: AD-21

Meanwhile, Down in the South Bay

That’s the Bay Area’s South Bay, not the one in the LA area. There are a couple of interesting Assembly races, with some pretty good candidates.

AD-20: The Choice is Clear: Bob Wieckowski

First, I want to look at the 20th District, where progressives should be paying attention.  The district, currently represented by Alberto Torrico, is solidly Democratic.  This race pits a progressive Fremont City Councilman, Bob Wieckowski, against a moderate Oholone College Board member, Garrett Yee.  Until 2002, Yee was a Republican, and registered as a Democrat in 2007.  Wieckowski has been a strong progressive throughout his career.

Democrats voting in the upcoming primary will have a rare treat on their hands when it comes to the 20th Assembly District race: a real choice.

Fremont Councilmember Bob Wieckowski and Ohlone College trustee Garrett Yee attended the same Fremont high school, but they differ starkly in disposition, life experience and political philosophy. (OakTrib)

Wieckowski says he would support marijuana legalization, oil severance, and a split roll for property taxes.  Yee says that we should not be touching Prop 13, and is backed primarily by groups looking to destroy the rights of consumers and victims of medical malpractice.  On the flip side, Wieckowski has gotten help from the nurses and environmentalists.

Now, I speak only for myself here, but if I had a vote, I’d happily vote Wieckowski.

AD-21: Some Great Choices

Just to the west, there are several great choices in AD-21.  I had the chance to sit down with San Mateo Supervisor Rich Gordon and venture capitalist Josh Becker to talk about the race. Both impressed me, Becker with his optimism and willingness to try new things, Gordon with his pragmatism and willingness to fight for the progressive ideals.  Palo Alto Mayor Yoriko Kishimoto is also an intriguing candidate with a record for environmentalism.

One interest factor in this race is high speed rail.  Robert has a good write-up of the positions of the three candidates that any interested parties should read.  Long story short, all want to listen to their constituencies (a dash of NIMBYism) but want to get the thing built. To date, none of the three candidates have really been champions of HSR, but neither have really set down the gauntlet against it. It would be nice to see a candidate really come out strong for moving the process forward for getting it built, but that doesn’t seem to be something we’ll see for now.

Gordon, an openly gay candidate, has been snapping up most of the endorsements in the race.  However, it appears that Becker’s campaign is out hustling their competitors. Yoriko has a sizeable base in her community, so where this one is going is anybody’s guess.

Note, that I’ve thought a bit about this race, and at various times considered writing more in depth about it.  I could very easily see myself voting for Josh Becker. He’s been involved in any number of great progressive organizations, including auctioning himself off for the New Leaders Council.  If I were voting? It’s a really tough call. I think I would be switching my vote back and forth several times.  For right now, I’d say Rich Gordon, but any of the three would do a good job. But then again, maybe Becker…or Gordon…or…well, I don’t vote in this race. Anybody have any more solid opinions?

August 4 Open Thread

Some odds and ends from around the state:

• Great news that Californians Euna Lee and Laura Ling will be released from a North Korean prison camp after an intervention by former President Clinton.  I (Dave) know Euna from working with her briefly back in San Francisco, and am very pleased by this news, both for the women, their families and friends, and the tireless activists who worked for their release.  Maybe Current TV, Lee and Ling’s employers, will bother to mention their absence now, for the first time in the four-plus months since they were captured at the North Korean/Chinese border.

• Two ships from California will be heading to the Great Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean over the next few weeks. The Patch kills thousands of sea birds and scores of other wildlife each year as the plastic is ingested. Once swallowed, it either blocks a digestive tract or poisons the animal, and can never be digested in any meaningful form.

• CA-10 News: Anthony Woods has picked up the endorsements of Richard Clarke, the former White House Counterterrorism czar, Gino Van Gundy, a former candidate in the CA-10 race, and Suisun City Mayor Pete Sanchez.  The endorsements of Sanchez and Clarke are quite a boon. Along with his national appearances, Woods has been making quite the waves recently.

• News on the money race in the Democratic primary in AD-21.  Openly gay supervisor Rich Gordon holds a very slender lead over his competitors Yoriko Kishimoto, a Palo Alto City council member, Marc Berman, an attorney, and friend of Calitics, Kai Stinchcombe. Calitics has not made an endorsement in this race.

• Lots of money in the Anthony Adams recall campaign, on both sides.  Recall proponents have previously said that they are on track to recall Adams, and now have $81K to play around with. It’s not a huge sum, but likely enough to ensure that the recall will get on the ballot.  And once it’s on the ballot you have the other candidates to push it forward. One rumored candidate is CaveMan Supreme Dick Mountjoy (ya, the guy who ran for Senate in 2006). He served in that seat as it went to term limits, and still has at least one term left. He’s said he’s considering it a long time ago, but I’ve not heard anything definite.

Adams himself has raised $46K in a recall account, and another 200K+ in his own campaign account. That should give him a decent shot of defeating the recall.

• The OC Board of Supes will look at whether to appeal in the pension case involving the Assn. of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs. Pension increases were granted in 2001, but Sup. John Moorlach argued that the County should sue to rescind those increases. Needless to say, as there was no basis for such a change outside of the contract process, the County lost. Moorlach wants to take it all the way to the Supreme Court. His argument to do so? Most of the costs of litigation are out of the way, let’s keep appealing. Uuhhh, not so much, appellate litigation ain’t cheap. Moorlach wants to keep spending taxpayers money to make his point against the unions though. Who knows how this will turn out.

• A couple days late on this, but here’s an appreciation of California’s pride and joy and the hardest-working legislator in show business, Henry Waxman.

• If only it were this easy with the governor: Pacific Grove mayor Dan Cort is going to resign in order to avoid a recall threatened by a longtime local activist. Word is that Cort, a progressive Democrat, had grown tired of spending all his time as mayor dealing with the city’s ongoing financial crisis. The backers of the recall, angry that the city is giving raises to police while cutting other services, are targeting other progressive councilmembers. I [Robert] don’t approve of this, but it makes for interesting theater in the town a few blocks to the west.