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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Primary voting season begins soon

Uploaded: Apr 29, 2014

Mail-in ballots for the June primary will start arriving in mail boxes next month so those newspapers that recommend candidates are announcing their choices.
The Contra Costa Times editorial board, which typically has recommended so many Democrats that its list looks like a Democrat slate card, offered a real surprise in the 16th Assembly primary. Incumbent Joan Buchanan of Alamo is termed out this year and three Democrats are running: Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti and City Councilmen Newell Arnerich (Danville) and Steve Glazer (Orinda) along with Republican attorney Catharine Baker of Pleasanton.
The Times editorial board surprised many when they recommended Baker over Glazer, describing both as moderates who are fiscally responsible. Glazer broke with typical Democratic positions by circulating petitions to ban strikes by BART employees.
Sbranti, a teacher at Dublin High and a politically active member of the California Teachers Association, has lined up most of the union support as well as endorsements from the East Bay elected delegation and is the likely favorite. Given his union activities and backing, the Times editorial board was quite critical, particularly around one of its key issues—public employee pensions.
As the lone Republican in the mix, Baker potentially can finish in the top two by holding serve with the Republicans and picking up her share of independents while the other three Democrats divide the votes.
The district leans Democrat, but is close enough in registration that candidates from either major party can win.
What's not expected to be very close is the primary to replace retiring 20-term Congressman George Miller—current state Senator Mark DeSaulnier is expected to top that field when votes are counted in June.
What's curious is the absurd bill that DeSaulnier and fellow East Bay Democratic Senator Loni Hancock have introduced to tie the tax rate of publically traded companies to the difference between the CEO compensation and the average worker at the firm.
Citing the latest Democratic buzz word of income inequality, SB1372 would increase the corporate tax rate from 8.8 percent to as much as 13 percent if the CEO's salary is 100 times or more greater than the average wage. Companies with CEO pay closer to the average employee would receive a tax break.
We'd hope that DeSaulnier, a former small business owner, would know better than to try to inject government into CEO compensation. That's the business of the board of directors and the shareholders, not the state of California.
If Hancock and DeSaulnier really want to do something they should sit down with the state Chamber of Commerce and have a straightforward conversation about the anti-business, pro-labor slant of the Democrat-dominated Legislature and how to fix the state's ailing business climate. California does fine for high-margin, knowledge-based companies, but struggles in many other areas.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Ernestine, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Apr 29, 2014 at 10:26 am

A typical Walmart employee has to work 216 days in order to be paid what Walmart's top executive makes in one hour.

Income inequality ... a Democratic "buzz word." Nothing more. Thanks for your always astute commentary, Tim. You and the other yokel blogger clowns really do the city proud.

Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Apr 29, 2014 at 10:33 am

I have been a registered democrat more then fifty years. I will be voting for republican candidates.
The democratic party is the decadence that is California.
From Democrat Leland Lee, indicted for gun running currently suspended with pay.
Then there is the Democrat Mary Hayashi, arrested and convicted of shop lifting. She refused to resign following her conviction and continued to draw her pay check.
Then there is Democrat Ron Calderon, arrested on Federal Corruption charges, suspended with pay.
Then there is Democrat Rod Wright, convicted of voter fraud and perjury, currently suspended with pay.
Mary Hayashi is a candidate and running for State Assembly. One can smell Mary Hayashi's decadence before she enters the room, when she shows up.

Posted by Ernestine, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Apr 29, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Yes, Michael, surely you do have a keen smell for dirt, as well as how those 'other types' of people smell. And we believe you're telling the truth when you say you once were a Democrat -- probably a Dixiecrat back when Southern Dems wanted to keep America safe from those 'diversity' types, right? I'm sure the Dem party has been deeply pained by your defection to the Party of morality, virtue, and white as snow purity.

Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Apr 29, 2014 at 2:39 pm

I am and remain a registered democrat, voting for republican candidates.
Your rambling reminds me of Donald Sterling.

Posted by Ernestine, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Apr 29, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Can't distinguish my query from the guttural quips of Donald Sterling. Registers Democrat but votes Republican. Yes, Michael, you do seem to be one confused little puppy.

Posted by Jake, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Apr 30, 2014 at 9:18 am

Donald Sterling was just another example of the nanny state thought police ruining a successful business man. What ever happened to freedom of speech?

Posted by erryja, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on May 2, 2014 at 2:39 pm

It's shocking when you look at the politicians who are cheats and criminals, and there is nothing done about resolving.The four (4)crooks that were mentioned in this thread represents a scary high % that was caught. Make you wonder if 50-60% of our political leaders are corrupt. The system is broken when it continues to pay the California political crooks.I guess we live in a very Liberal State where anything goes, especially if your in " The Club" or protected class.
I will do my part and vote against every incumbent, so that my message is sent.Doesn't matter what party they are from, hold the handle down for a long time until it all flushes.

Posted by Ben, a resident of Birdland,
on May 3, 2014 at 11:29 am

And guess what? The average WalMart employee does NOT have to work there if they do not want to. My gosh, the WalMart deniers, as I call 'em, are the worst of all.

Posted by Don Mincher, a resident of Civic Square,
on May 5, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Yes, humans are free beings, my gosh! If they don't want to eat, they don't have to. If they don't want to drink, they don't have to. If they want to see their kids go to bed hungry, they are free to do so. The logic is iron tight. Its the logic of freedom to watch your kids die if you want to, because my individual freedom to rake in billions of dollars is far more important than millions of other people's starving little snot-nosed kids. And about those millions of so-called Americans who watch their little buggers go to bed hungry each night? Marxists, every single one of them.

Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on May 5, 2014 at 3:14 pm

"What ever happened to freedom of speech?" Wow I get so tired of the misinterpretation of the First Amendment.

There are many radio & TV commentators, often posing as news casters, who regularly criticize President Obama. So far the Federal Government has not dragged them off to prison.

Even Donald Sterling has not been charged with a crime for being a bigot. All of the actions taken against Mr. Sterling were taken by PRIVATE individuals or organizations.

Freedom of Speech does not mean freedom from consequences, just not Government imposed consequences.

Posted by spcwt, a resident of Danville,
on May 6, 2014 at 12:23 pm

The PC Police are not unlike the religious zealots who respond with a heavy hand whenever the Prophet Mohammed is offended or the mobs in Venezuela who bully the anti-government protesters.

Freedom of speech isn?t just the kind protected by the constitution.

The freedom to express unpopular views is healthy for a democracy.

Rational discussion is better than mob bullying. The mob pushes dissent underground where it breeds resentment, underground retaliation, and can erupt in unpredictable and sometimes deadly behavior. Rational discussion takes the power away from irrational thoughts.

People should be encouraged to share their views without fear of losing their job, their livelihood, civil suits, or other economic retaliation.

This country needs more discussions about race, not less.

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