Tomi Van de Brooke launches campaign website for Contra Costa Supervisor

The ink isn’t dry on the new district lines for Contra Costa County, but the impact has been swift. We found that Tomi Van de Brooke now has a live web site and Facebook page for her campaign for the Board of Supervisaors in District II, currently represented by Gayle Uilkema. Van de Brooke will face Uilkema and possibly others in a top two primary in June 2012. Continue reading “Tomi Van de Brooke launches campaign website for Contra Costa Supervisor”

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Garamendi says “So What” to CD-10

Another campaign clip chastising John Garamendi for his So What attitude for not living in CD-10

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In a show of sheer arrogance that only comes from being a lifetime politican. John Garmendi proves he is only looking for full lifetime employment as opposed to representing the intrests of a congressional district he has only flown over.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyRQdXWicnU

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Who To Watch in CD-10

Right now, DeSaulnier and Harmer look best positioned as the (D) and (R) vote getters on September 1st.

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A long left to right airplane ride from California to New York State gave me time to research more fully the FEC reports and e-campaigns from the 14 candidates in the Special Election for Ellen Tauscher’s seat in Congressional District 10. Here’s what I’ve seen in print and on the ground –

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi – Declared the “frontrunner” due to his statewide pedigree – nobody has seen the guy in CD-10 in the last few weeks. He raised $300,000 in the latest filing and had $260,000 COH. His most interesting donor is former “St. Elsewhere” Actor and now political activist Ed Begley, Jr.

At a recent Innovation Summit in Livermore, Garamendi was questioned after his luncheon speech about what he would do to increase innovation beyond increasing government funding. He really had no clear answer beyond spending more money however his name ID might just carry him to the run-off.

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier – Mark is Contra Costa’s favorite son. The turncoat Republican to Democrat has pivoted two and fro for years with great success. He’s currently touting his stance on single payer health care and even spent money on a costly mailer to taxpayers giving them tips on healthy living.  If the Obama “prescription” fails, he could be in trouble but right now he is running the most complete campaign.

DeSaulnier backers include former CD-10 Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher. Forget the bogus Hatch Act charge; it is irrelevant and she supported him both in name and with a sizable financial contribution prior to taking office at the State Department. Supervisors Susan Bonilla and Federal Glover, Congressman George Miller, State Sens. Tom Torlakson and Loni Hancock join major Contra Costa and Alameda County personalities David Bowlby, Bruce Cain (the UC Berkeley professor), Tomi Van de Brooke, Angie Coffee, and Jim Ghielmetti in support. Commercial developers hosted events for DeSaulnier and his backers include power brokers Sil Garvaventa, Alex Mehran and Albert Seeno. Labor Unions like the UFCW, CA Carpenters, Boilermakers, Machinists, and Sheet Metal Workers are on board. DeSaulnier’s $212,000 raised and $260,000 COH coupled with his widespread district support makes him the real frontrunner.

Assembly woman Joan Buchanan – Not “one of the boys”, Buchanan, the only female in the field, boasts an endorsement from former Superintendent of Schools Delaine Easton and financial support from beloved Democrat leader Marry Warren. Other than those two, she has shown less in endorsements and financial backing – raising $64,000 ($12,000 from her kids) and adding a $250,000 personal loan.

Buchanan still holds the “Don’t Count Her Out” card because Democrat voters love female candidates. She stands a great chance though word in the media is that Assembly Speaker Karen Bass isn’t exactly thrilled with her flying the Sacramento coop in the targeted 15th AD to run for Congress after only 118 days in office. Buchanan is waging an impressive district precinct campaign including an aggressive sign campaign as evidenced by her campaign manager’s aggressive photo op in a recent e-alert.

Side note: Should Buchanan lose on September 1st, she’s still positioned well to run for State Senate if DeSaulnier is the victor. If she’s forced to run again in AD 15, she will face a much more serious challenge by Mayor Abram Wilson whose strong financial showing ($56,400 raised in 28 days from 105 in-district donors) beat Buchanan’s numbers ($43,800 raised from January to June from 35 Sacramento special interests). Go to www.ss.ca.gov for state reports filings.  (Full Disclosure – I am helping Wilson with his fundraising efforts).

Anthony Woods – Without a doubt the most interesting Democrat, Woods is African American and like almost all the Democrat candidates, favors repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”. Woods completed two tours of service in Iraq and has done well with Act Blue donors raising $105,000 with an amazing number of donors. His media appearances demonstrate national interest in his candidacy.

Ariel Hampton – he supports parental school choice – that stuck out for me as someone who also supported that when I ran for Assembly. But Hampton’s unimpressive $22,500 raised and $300 COH probably eliminates him.

David Harmer – Fresh off the California Republican Party’s endorsement this week, Harmer will be the top-vote getter among Republicans on September 1st. He raised an impressive $175,000 and had $145,000 COH. I’d love to see Harmer get 50% + 1 so we can avoid the runoff and send a real fiscal conservative to Congress but that is unlikely and the numbers could be insurmountable in the Nov. 3rd runoff with Democrats holding a nearly 19-point advantage. Still, Harmer is doing everything right. If the sun, moon, and stars are in direct alignment and the Obama health care “prescription” continues to draw big anti-tax crowds, Harmer could squeak by. If you believe in miracles – Harmer’s your guy.

Gary Clift – got the Republican Liberty Caucus of California endorsement this week (a constitutional group I’m told is affiliated with Ron Paul backers).

Nothing significant to report on the other candidates running and right now, DeSaulnier and Harmer look best positioned as the (D) and (R) vote getters on September 1st. Stay tuned.

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CD-10 Republican roundup

Republican candidates for CD-10 Special Primary Election

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A Special Primary Election to fill the vacant seat in the 10th Congressional District has been called by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The vote is scheduled for September 1st.

Voters have until August 17th to register to vote.

Former Congressional Representative, Ellen Tauscher resigned after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 25th as the new Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. Tauscher was initially asked to consider the new position by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

The nomination period for the Special Primary Election closed Aug 3 at 5 PM. Fourteen total candidates have filed nomination papers. The field includes, six Republicans, five Democrats, one American Independent, one Green, and one socialist.

If any one of the candidates were to receive more than 50% of the vote, that candidate would be declared elected, effectively becoming the newest member of the House of Representatives. If that were to happen, there would be no need for a Special General Election in November.

With the heavy hitters in the Democratic Party, such as Buchanan, DeSaulnier and Garamendi, it is unlikely that any one of the Democrats will receive a majority of the vote, especially as both Hampton and Woods have shown that they are determined campaigners who can be competitive and raise a bit of money themselves.

If none of the candidates receive a majority of the vote, the Special General Election, tentatively scheduled for November 3rd, would include the candidates that received the highest number of votes on September 1st from each of the qualified political Parties.

So, what about the Republicans? The GOP has over 100,000 registered Republicans in the 10th Congressional District. Will those voters consider the upcoming election “special” enough to have a strong showing at the polls? That remains to be seen.

Republicans find themselves in an interesting position this time around because they will not be squaring off against an entrenched Democratic incumbent with the name recognition of a Ellen Tauscher. Regardless of if it’s the election in September, or the election in November, Bay Area Republicans will continue to be dependent on cross-over voters that may have registered third Party, or decline to state, yet still demonstrate tendencies to vote for conservative candidates.

In an election where all candidates will appear on the same ballot and voters will not be required to be registered with a particular political Party in order to vote for their choice of partisan candidates, Republicans may absorb higher percentages of the vote than originally expected.

Halfway to Concord has decided to take a closer look at the Republican candidates campaigning for the 10th Congressional District seat. We will compare and contrast some of the bread and butter conservative issues with each of the candidates. The Democrats will come later.

Leading off is 31 year old Republican Chris Bunch, a small business owner from Fairfield who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Bunch believes that it is “unlikely that we will be able to install a democracy in Iraq or Afghanistan.” When asked if he felt if the Bush Administration mismanaged the war effort in Iraq, Bunch replied, “Yes, while the invasion could be considered to have been a success, how the aftermath was managed was not.”

Chris BunchBunch believes that Congress should declare war, however, he predicts “chaos” if American troops were to immediately withdraw from Afghanistan. President Obama sent 17,000 U.S. troops during his first month in office to “stabilize a deteriorating situation” in Afghanistan. For some reason the “change” we were promised doesn’t seem to be very different from before.

Bunch described himself as someone who has “always supported the 2nd Amendment, and always will.” At a meeting of the Alameda County Republican Central Committee, Bunch told members of the audience that he was encouraged to see the committee pass a resolution in support of a pro-concealed carry bill in the State Assembly.

Shifting to economic issues, Bunch was not supportive of government bailouts, or the stimulus package and if given the opportunity he would co-sponsor H.R.1207, a bill that would audit the Federal Reserve, which is currently co-sponsored by every Republican in the House.

Bunch is against any form of amnesty, including a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens already in the country. Bunch wants to enforce current U.S. Immigration Law, which would call for the deportation of those who are in the country illegally.

Campaigning on low taxes and accountability, Bunch says he would vote against all tax-payer funded social programs for illegal aliens, such as health care, welfare, college tuition grants, and driver’s licenses.

Chris Bunch is a family man with strong conservative leanings that would represent the district well.

Republican Gary Clift, a retired peace officer from Vacaville says that he “stands for the U.S. Constitution,” and will read all bills before voting on them if he were to be elected. Clift would rescind the Patriot Act and dismantle the Department of Education.

Gary CliftFollowing the advice of George Washington, Clift opposes entangling alliances with other countries.

Clift, 53, is critical of former Commander and Chief, George Bush and his handling of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, pointing out that “President Bush got into Iraq before the job was done in Afghanistan, which spread our military resources thin.”

He said that he would have voted “no” on the recent $106 billion Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009, and insists that our oversees involvement in other countries “has served as a distraction to the real national defense needed here at home.” Clift wants to bring the troops home from Germany and Japan too.

Like Bunch, Clift stands firm on the right to keep and bear arms. Clift says that he would be against a new assault weapon ban.”

Regarding the new Health Care legislation, Clift argued that the government can not make health care more efficient, cheaper or better quality because an entity which can not go bankrupt has no incentive to be productive. Clift suggests ending federally mandated HMOs and using constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce to allow the people to purchase premiums outside of the state.

The former peace officer takes a hard line on economic issues. “Never, under any circumstances, will I support a government bailout.” said Clift. Co-sponsoring H.R.1207 would be one of his immediate priorities if he were to be elected, and he sees problems down the road if the Federal Reserve continues to print money at such an alarming rate. He refers to inflation as a “hidden tax.” Clift took part in recent Tea Party protests a few months back along with many other conservative activists.

Clift recommends using unmanned drones to assist in securing our borders, and does not support amnesty for illegal aliens.

The Clift campaign will need to raise some money to effectively compete with the other candidates though. According to campaign manager, Gerald Clift, they have an Internet fund raiser scheduled for August 14th. The Clift campaign has been receiving volunteer support from residents in all four counties, mainly through phone banking and social networking.

Republican David Harmer, an independent businessman from San Ramon has raised more money than any other Republican candidate in the race, including some of the Democrats, and his website shows it. My compliments to the Harmer campaign for leading the way in this regard. His 2500+ followers on Twitter is also quite impressive compared to that of the other candidates.

David HarmerIn a YouTube video, Harmer says, “.46 cents of every dollar we spend this year, we’re borrowing from the future.” Harmer believes the so-called stimulus has burdened the economy instead of fostering growth. He advocates balancing the federal budget by reducing spending, not by raising taxes.

According to campaign manager Michael Caporusso, who, until July 31, doubled as the Contra Costa GOP’s Executive Director, Harmer supports H.R.1207 along with Bunch, Clift and Loos. Harmer believes government bailouts have piled debt on to future generations, which he considers not just a fiscal or money issue, but a moral issue that is wrong. Harmer is 47 years old.

From the chain of emails that has been sent around by supporters, Harmer apears to be toe-to-the-line on the 2nd Amendment along with the other candidates on the Republican side.

Unlike the other Republicans running though, Harmer has declined potential endorsements from Republican organizations such as the Republican Liberty Caucus of California (RLCCA) which recently endorsed Gary Clift.

The Harmer campaign feels that Republican endorsements won’t help its efforts due to the 18-point voter registration disadvantage in the district.

Will he accept a CRP endorsement? We may find out very soon, since Chairman Ron Nehring has already scheduled a conference call with the Board and has invited the CD-10 Republican candidates to participate in the call. Some local Republicans have raised concerns over a potential CRP endorsement in a primary election.

Harmer failed to respond to Halfway to Concord’s direct request for responses about the war on terror and his plan to address the illegal immigration problems we currently face. We are however looking forward to hearing from him at the All Party CD-10 Candidate Debate scheduled for August 28th at Las Positas College in Livermore. Harmer is the only Republican who has yet to confirm for the special event. We hope Harmer takes advantage of an All Party Debate to show he can compete with the big kids.

Harmer hopes to keep his money on hand, win the Special Primary Election, and be in a good position to compete financially with the Democratic nominee, whoever that may be.

Livermore Republican, Mark Loos, a small business owner just like Bunch, favors a direct democracy approach in representing the voters of the 10th Congressional District. On his campaign literature, Loos says that voters will be given the opportunity to tell him how to vote on each bill. The campaign material informs voters that “If the majority of voters in the district want a Yes vote, Loos will vote Yes. If the majority says No then Loos votes No.”

When asked if he would have supported the $106 billion Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009 Loos responded, “It would be up to the voters.” Loos is certain that the voters would have supported the bill.

Loos supports diplomacy with Iran, as long as it has well defined goals and consequences and he does not believe that Bush mismanaged Iraq or Afghanistan.

The small business owner favors the free market over government regulation and says he wouldn’t have supported any of the government bailouts. Loos also says that the government’s roll in assisting economic recovery should be “reducing taxes, and removing overbearing regulations on small businesses.”

According to Loos, the stimulus package was about growing government and has already proved to be a failure.

The current heath care reform bill does not have Loos’ support either. He sees “less government” as the proper prescription for the American heath care crisis.

Loos values the 2nd Amendment and is a firearm owner himself. He says that “An assault weapon ban only penalizes law abiding citizens.”

When asked what would be the best thing America could do to secure the borders, Loos replied, “Enforce the laws we have.” Loos favors a pathway to citizenship for those who are currently in the country illegally.

Republican David Peterson, 46, is an Accountability Systems Owner that resides in Walnut Creek. Peterson failed to respond to similar questions asked of the other candidates, however, according to his Facebook Fan Page, Peterson plans to use his experience as a founder of a Congressional Accountability Application to spearhead a campaign focused on Open Government, Transparency, Citizen Oversight and Accountability.

Peterson attended U.C. Davis and graduated in ’91 with a MBA.

Dr. John Toth is a physician from Concord. Dr. Toth says he will work to preserve our liberties in Congress, and points out that he is the only Republican to serve in an elected office. Dr. Toth served as President of two medical associations and is 50 years old. Issues that are important to Dr. Toth are bailouts, spending, socialized medicine, and illegal immigration.

The six Republican candidates differ from the candidates on the left, when it comes to the hot-button issues, and share some subtle differences among themselves as well.

With the Democrats, it’s going to be a clash of the titans with the big spenders all fighting for the top spot. The GOP candidates will not be able to campaign on the experience factor, and will undoubtedly have an uphill battle in the Special General Election against a candidate that does have that experience to tout.

Will Harmer’s fund raising numbers give voters the confidence that he can be a formidable challenger against Garamendi, DeSaulnier, or Buchanan on November 3rd? Does Harmer have the right game plan to ensure victory?

Will Clift’s constitutional campaign resonate with cross-over voters and disgruntled Republicans who are not happy with the current direction of the GOP? Can Clift’s volunteers make up the difference for what has been a lack of cold hard cash donations to his campaign?

Will Chris Bunch’s conservative values inspire the religious right and strong national defense Republicans to support his campaign? How will the decline to state demographic respond to Bunch’s immigration stance? Bunch may surprise a skeptic or two.

Will Loos pick up any traction with voters that value a Representative that governs as a delegate, as opposed to a trustee? The majority will of the people can be a dangerous thing, which is why the Founders constructed a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy. Maybe Loos is on to something here though because voters do want to be heard.

Will the two other Republican candidates, Peterson and Toth be able to reach enough voters to compete with the other Republicans on election day? Well, during a special election anything can happen.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see on September 1st.

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GOP Boot Camp, Aug 21-22

So far this looks like a trip down memory lane. Maybe we can find some veterans of the last Deukmejian campaign. This is the problem with Republicans…they are stuck in the past. While the Democrats are campaigning using 21st century organizing methods the GOP is still running Reagan’s Morning in America Ads.

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The Republican Party at every level—federal, state and local is dying. Obama and the Democrats have the GOP completely encircled with all escape routs cut off.

As the Republican Party is cut off and starving, they have been whittled down to their true believers (the bad hair conservatives) who are actively working to purge all moderates from the party. Meanwhile the Democrats, headed by President Obama, are taking every moderate Republican they can into their administration or welcoming them into their bigger tent, so to speak. 

I have never seen the Republicans so demoralized. Locally they are diminished to weird fundraisers like their recent Bread Line Ball or phony accounting reports. Now they have a new venture. They are bringing back that old time religion. Come one come all on 08/21-22/09 to the Contra Costa GOP Boot Camp. Yep throw your saddle over your horse and get  in the game boys and girls. The Contra Costa GOP is going to show you how to win 1980’s style. 

Lets go through the highlights:

Dealing with the Media: Lisa Vorderbrueggen, Political Editor Contra Costa Times,
Tom Del Beccaro, CRP Vice Chair, Founder FirstAmendmentNow

tom-del-beccaroWhy Lisa Vorderbruggen would want to address this crowd beats me because they cannot stand her. They must be the last subscribers to the newspaper. She can give them good advice like don’t call supreme court appointees or any one else a racist!

As far a self promotion, Machiavellian politics and dealing with the media  for self promotion—who better the Tom Del Beccaro? He can talk about how to try to become a local pundit and spin the media while his sycophants in the local party grovel at his feet while you continue to get crushed every year at the polls.

Public Speaking: Lynne Leach, Former Assemblywoman, 15th AD;

lynne-leach-not-paying-attentionWhat can I say; Leach is the last of her kind. They call her their Beloved Lynne Leach. She can pump up a right wing crowd like no other. I am sure she will have something very bright on because, as she has told me, that is how you get attention when you are speaking. That said I wonder what kind of message she will deliver to the folks in attendance? I mean, Republican speakers are like Hummer salesmen in a gas shortage. Nobody wants what they are buying. So I wonder if there is anything different she is going to sell them on.

Effects of Campaign on Family: Mary Piepho, Contra Costa County Supervisor:

mary-piephoPlease… Like any politician running for elected office gives two shits about their kids other than to use them as props. If they did care, they would spend time with them and not other politicians. Just look at how Sarah Palin has exploited her children. It is disgusting. Of course I think a better subject for Piepho would be how to beat your political opponent without a college education. She gives many drop outs hope. After all, President Andrew Johnson made it all the way to the presidency without any formal education.

Fundraising: Heuter & Associates

Well here is a bright spot. This woman is a star fund raiser. She does all the big Republicans. So what is she doing here? Maybe it is a sign of the times, like waters that are over fished, there are not big  any Republicans left in the Bay Area to raise money for. I love her restaurant in Dublin!

Organizing Volunteers: Jean Meredith

Lets bring back the 70’s. Meredith was a Reagan delegate to the 1976 Republican National convention in Kansas City, MO. She has some nice stories about the convention. Like how the Reaganites crushed President Ford and set the stage for his 1980 election. She is a long time Republican veteran of conservative politics. She is a long time grass roots organizer for many Bill Baker and Lynne Leach campaigns. As the folks who worked for Dean Andal learned last year, the Bill Baker method of grass roots organizing can be a real turn off. You are either a true believer or you get off the team. 

So here we are. I can only hope that there will be other speakers willing to share modern campaign techniques. How about organizing on Facebook or using Twitter? How about blogging, Web pages etc.

So far this looks like a trip down memory lane. Maybe we can find some veterans of the last Deukmejian campaign. This is the problem with Republicans…they are stuck in the past. While the Democrats are campaigning using 21st century organizing methods the GOP is still running Reagan’s Morning in America Ads.

The wilderness years continue.

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Guys and Dolls for Hospice, Jul 30

Purchase your tickets now for a performance of Guys and Dolls, benefiting Hospice of the East Bay , on Thursday, July 30th, at 8:00 pm, at San Ramon Valley High School Performing Arts Center, 501 Danville Blvd. , Danville .

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Purchase your tickets now for a performance of Guys and Dolls, benefiting Hospice of the East Bay, on Thursday, July 30th, at 8:00 pm, at San Ramon Valley High School Performing Arts Center, 501 Danville Blvd. , Danville .

You will have the opportunity to meet the cast at a reception immediately following the performance.

This fast-paced, hilarious show features bright and brassy music, taking you from the heart of Times Square, to the cafes of Havana , and even the sewers of New York City. This funny and romantic story makes Guys and Dolls a celebration of the absolute best American musical theatre has to offer! The show features wonderful music, exhilarating dance numbers and a cast of exciting characters.

For further information and to purchase tickets call (925) 943-7469.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A1HWEub0hg

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