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By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Election Suprises

Uploaded: Nov 7, 2012
The first surprise was that President Obama trounced Gov. Romney in both electoral votes and the popular vote. Polls were touting a close race with maybe Obama squeaking through the "battleground" states but losing the popular vote. Predictions were for a long night and counting chads in Ohio until Thanksgiving.

So what happened? Now the pundits are revising their stories to explain the not-so-close victory the President won. Not only that, state polls showing Tea Party Republicans Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock in dead heats with their Democrat opponents were as dead as the heats weren't. Maybe, hopefully, the Tea Party is over and the Republican Party will go back to being fiscally conservative and socially moderate again.

I didn't like either candidate or party, so I voted, as I said I would in an earlier blog, for Roseanne Barr. Barr lost her bid for the Green Party presidential nomination but was on the ticket of the Peace and Freedom Party with anti-Iraq War activist, Cindy Sheehan. I didn't expect Roseanne to win, but I'm glad I voted for her instead of Obama or Romney. As far as I could tell they are mirror images of each other and I couldn't believe either of them.

Still I'm relieved Obama won. As the saying goes, it's better to have the devil you know than the devil who keeps changing shape to match whichever environment he's in. We at least know who Obama is. We still don't know who Romney would turn into if he was in the White House.

Well so much for the Presidential election, now on to the local election. We had some definite upsets here too. I didn't believe Eric Swalwell would beat Pete Stark. Stark should have retired at 81 after all. Now all those loyal local Democrats who were waiting in the wings for Stark to retire in two years will have to duke it out with Swalwell in the 2014 Top Two primary.

A group of them, including outgoing Pleasanton Mayor, Jennifer Hosterman, were cozying up to Stark to be his anointed successor. I guess Stark's anointment won't be so valuable after Swalwell has been in office for two years.

Just as I didn't expect Swalwell to knock off such a firmly entrenched incumbent as Pete Stark, I did expect newcomer Scott Hayes to take one of the three open seats on the Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) Board of Directors.

I thought Rich Halket would be the most vulnerable, but boy was I wrong. Rich told me when I interviewed him on Blogtalkradio after being lambasted by the Around Dublin Blog over his and Pat Howard's vote to award $250,000 in bonuses to senior management last year, that Around Dublin doesn't have much credibility in Dublin. I guess not, because Halket came in a close second to Ed Duarte with Pat Howard a little further back but still well ahead of Scott Hayes.

By the way you have to add the totals in Alameda County to the totals in Contra Costa County to get the total votes. Smart Voter corrected the links to the candidates across both counties, but still does not sum their total votes.

Duarte received 5179 in Alameda and 4390 in Contra Costa for a total of 9569. Halket received 5126 in Alameda and 4297 in Contra Costa for a total of 9423. Howard received 4686 in Alameda and 4297 (tied with Halket) in Contra Costa for a total of 8983. Hayes received 3886 in Alameda and 3474 in Contra Costa for a total of 7360.

Congratulations to Pat and Rich and most especially Ed Duarte. Once again we have our own San Ramon representative back at last on the DSRSD Board of Directors.

If Hayes is really serious about wanting to be on the DSRSD Board, he can run again in two years. Pat Howard ran twice before being elected and Tom Ford ran three times. I lost twice, but I support the current Board and am not interested in running again.

I thought I saw Cynthia Jones, our last DSRSD Director from San Ramon, as a pol1 worker at Walt Disney School when I went to vote. She signed me in but didn't say "Hi" to me. I wasn't sure it was her, so I didn't say anything either.

She looked much older, but it's been about 5 years since I last saw Cynthia Jones, so she would be older. I'm older too. Hey, Cynthia, if that was you, please say "Hi."

Finally I'll sum up the election in Maine. Angus King won in a three-way race against a liberal Democrat and a conservative Republican. King, a former Governor, is a centrist and ran as an Independent. He is expected to caucus with the Democrats. So that gives Democrats one more Senator on their side of the isle. But as an Independent and moderate, King can work with both sides without party pressure. That's a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

My niece, Sarah Gideon, won her race for the Maine State Assembly from Freeport. This was expected, but what comes next is unknown. We are all speculating on where this political career will lead her. Hmm, Madam Governor perhaps?
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Rich Halket, a resident of Dublin,
on Nov 7, 2012 at 9:36 pm


Nice recap. I meant what I said on TV 30. The DSRSD voters were in a good place this year because any three of the four of us would be fine board members. Scott had lots of good ideas and I do hope he stays involved. I can definitely see him serving on an elected body in the tri-valley. Ed will be an excellent board member. The residents of Dougherty Valley need to remind him that they drink Zone 7 and not EBMUD water. Stay involved and I'd love to get on BlogTalk with you again.


Posted by mloliver, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 8, 2012 at 9:36 am

Roseanne Barr??!!! Roz, give me a break!

I have never been happier to have an election over, even though I'm one of those who isn't particularly happy about the outcome in many areas. This has been the rudest, lyingest, rumoriest, and most vitriolic cam-"pain" season ever.

Don't blame Cynthia, if indeed that were she. If she had a day like I did at the poles, I'm not sure she would have recognized her own husband by the end of the day. We were two pole workers short, (good reasons) and the school moved the polling place at the last minute due to construction. Voters were very angry about not having the precinct where they were directed, and of course some took out their anger on the poll workers. Three good samaritans spent 4 hours directing voters from the original place to the new one. My hat is off to them. The three of us worked sixteen and a half hours without a break. There was another precinct in the room, and after noon they were down to three poll workers as well. I had to call my husband and ask him to bring us all sandwiches and water around 5:00 since there was no way any of us could leave.

Ah well, it is over, we all feel good about being part of the process, no one came from the UN to observe, and our count miraculously balanced at the end of the day.

I've worked the polls for over 35 years, and I must say, there were more young people voting this year than ever before. Maybe it's the changing neighborhood demographic, but it gives me hope for the future that more young people care and are paying attention to the issues.


Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Nov 8, 2012 at 11:43 am

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.


Sorry you had such a tough day. Thank you for serving as a poll worker. Maybe in-person voting is obsolete or should be. I'm for all electronic voting.

Why not vote by cell phone, iPad, or PC? We do everything else this way. I'm waiting for the thumb print or eye scan technology to catch up to elections. There's got to be an easier way to do this!

Posted by Jennifer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 8, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Roz, you say "at least we know who Obama is." Do you really know who he is? The press certainly hasn't done due diligence in vetting our president prior to the 2008 election or this recent election.

The "journalists" have forever with held information on Obama, protecting him and their own interests for the past four years. They would never had done so regarding other presidents; especially Republican presidents. The press has avoided asking him challenging questions about his political decisions, they haven't demanded answers for his lack of productivity the last four years, they have not researched or questioned his background in his formative college years, and I doubt reading his autobiography four years ago can count as research into this vengeful and self-centered man. What do you know about him?

- We don't know how he attended private high school in Hawaii, who paid for Occidental College, Columbia University, or Harvard. We don't know if he received scholarships and if so why and how? He says he smoked pot, used cocaine, and got mediocre grades.

- We know he voted (when he actually attended Senate sessions) to legalize partial birth abortions when he was a senator, three different times. This barbaric practice isn't even legal in France. No wonder women think he's very supportive of women's rights, but what rights?! And by the way, why isn't Sandra Fluke (his spokesperson at the DNC on "women's issues") and Obama requiring the covered costs on condoms at colleges across the country? Why is this just a women's issue?

- We know he's taken 17 vacations the past three and a half years while our economy sunk to it's lowest point since the Great Depression. We've been drowning in economic despair since George Bush left the White House. He chose to continue to spend, along with the democrats throughout the past four years. How is he going to continue to help the country financially without helping business produce more jobs? He doesn't have a clue about the business world - he just wants to punish the whole business environment in our country.

- We know Obama has been blatantly dishonest in his responsibilities as Commander in Chief regarding Benghazi, Libya and the four slaughtered Americans at the American Embassy. We know he left the White House the morning of hearing his Ambassador was murdered along with the three other American men, to campaign in Las Vegas! He spent some time on the important TV show The View, showed up on David Letterman - all while his White House was in chaos over the international murder of four Americans. He left his responsibilities as the leader of our country while the CIA, FBI, the military and the families of the slain Americans needed answers and comfort in the information they needed for closure.

- I know our country is more divided in regard to class warfare and racial issues than we have ever been.

- I know Obama was unable to get a budget passed in four years as President - this while he had control of the house and senate the first two years of his presidency.

- I know he was able to shove Obama Care down the throats of the American people, when at the time close to 70% of the country did not want his nationalized health care; worse was the fact that over 1,200 pages of policy were not even read by Obama, Pelosi, Reid, or the rest of the Senate. Remember Pelosi saying that "we will have to read it to know what it's in the new law"...Typically, most reasonable and honest leaders like to make decisions with all the information out on the table Before they vote for such a sweeping change in our country.

- I know he was responsible for the sequestration law that he pushed through - and then blamed Congress in the debate for passing it. It was his idea and his law, although he told the American people he would change that if he was reelected! Where were the fact checkers on the new channels and newspaper throughout the debates??!

- Without fiscal responsibility, our nation can't pay for the entitlement programs and the social programs that we want and need. He has no intention of preventing more money from being spent while he's in office. This is what he does best, and what most liberals do best - spend other people's money.

Maybe you can explain to me Roz, why people in this country have such low expectations regarding accomplishments in a leader of the United States. Are they hoping for our president to represent ideals without any productive decision making - just the ideals?

Roz, what do you know about Obama?

Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Nov 9, 2012 at 9:32 am

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.


I can't answer your questions because I don't watch Fox News or listen to Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck. I'm disappointed in Obama's performance, but I don't subscribe to the conspiracy theories of Donald Trump or other right wing ideologues.

I agree that the news media isn't very effective at presenting facts on either side, so I don't pay much attention to that either. So far Obama and Ben Bernanke have prevented the country from sinking into a complete depression which George W. Bush led us into. Obama hasn't done enough to get us out of the economic morass, but at least he hasn't made it worse.


Posted by Westerner, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 9, 2012 at 9:38 am

I didn't know that anyone took Roseanne Barr seriously as a candidate for President. Perhaps Ms. Rogoff would have been better off voting for Gary Johnson, some one who at least has experience in elected office.

Posted by Westerner, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 9, 2012 at 9:49 am

"So far Obama and Ben Bernanke have prevented the country from sinking into a complete depression which George W. Bush led us into." That is not true. It was Congress who led us to a near depression. They passed the Community Reinvestment Act which mandated that the banks lower their lending standards for mortgages and they also repealed the Glass Steagall Act, which freed up the banks to hand out high risk mortgages and then resell those mortgages to unsuspecting investors. President Bush had nothing to do with either of those actions and did warn about what was coming.

Posted by Jennifer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 9, 2012 at 10:43 am

Roz - Why would you jump from facts in my email comments to assuming I watch FOX News, Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh? I don't even understand your empty accusations...

Facts are facts. Does it matter where you receive the information? I wouldn't have written my email comments towards your article if they had been false. Wouldn't that be a waste of all of our time?

Very shallow of you. I don't assume you read Mother Jones, New York Times, etc. for your expert knowledge on political issues. I can't assume you watch Rachel Maddow, MSNBC, Chris Matthews, and the hateful, disrespectful Ed Show. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you have a logical thinking process and that you respect facts over emotion and bias.

I agree with you that Obama came into a horrible situation after Bush spent $$ for years. However; Dodd and Frank and legislation did not help our economy, allowing Freddie mac and Fannie May to insist on loaning more money to homeowners than they could possibly pay back to the banks. Choosing Cozy Solyndra here in Fremont, (his donors to his election last election) to give 500 million dollars (our hard earned tax money) so they could go bankrupt was a stellar business decision. Bush's administration advised against it. Obama and his administration supported it. WE ALLlost 500 million in Stimulus money (our hard earned tax money). He did NOT have to invest our tax money into a failing company on the advice of his cronies. Tesla is another example of stellar business decisions.

Do you respect Bob Woodward? One of two Journalists responsible for cracking Watergate? He was very clear in his research and writing about the budget negotiations "led" by Obama's democrats and the republicans, in the book he wrote, "Inside Politics"...He wrote about the sequestration law that Obama pushed Congress into passing as well.

Please don't insult me with accusations that my facts are wrong. Check them out yourself. Your defense of this president's character is lacking in logic; at least to me. Facts speak volumes. What can you dispute in what I wrote? I'd love to hear...

Posted by mloliver, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm


Whether I agree with you or disagree with you, you usually have reasoned thought processes behind your arguments. --not so this time. Your assumption that Jennifer got her information from right wing extremists was not warranted. All the arguments she presented are out there in the main stream.


Posted by JR, a resident of another community,
on Nov 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm


I've only started reading your column recently but I must say that your response to Jennifer was very disrespectful, unnecessary and off-target. This doesn't add to your credibility.


Posted by R, a resident of Dublin,
on Nov 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Wow Roz. Kind of stepped in it this time. Somehow you have drawn the attention of the tin foil hat crowd. Luckily they will move on quickly.

Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Nov 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.


I didn't take Roseanne Barr seriously as a candidate. That's why I voted for her. I didn't take much of anything seriously in this last election.

However you are correct about repeal of Glass Steagall Act as being responsible for the housing bubble. Also there was too much of a free hand on Wall Street.

Gary Johnson did well for a third party candidate, with over 1,000,000 votes. I'd like to see more influence from third parties in the future and not the bashing and counter bashing of Democrats and Republicans.

Posted by Gary, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 9, 2012 at 7:26 pm

"The first surprise was that President Obama trounced Gov. Romney in both electoral votes and the popular vote".

I guess you could say that Obama trounced Romney in the Electoral vote but the popular vote was 50% vs. 48%. That is nowhere near a "trounce".

I can't figure out why you voted for Rosanne Barr... really? You could at least have voted for Gary Johnson who is probably smarter than Obama and Romney put together.

Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Nov 9, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.


As I said to Westerner above, I didn't want to cast a serious vote. I wanted to cast a protest vote. Gary Johnson is a serious candidate, but he didn't have any more chance of winning than Roseanne. That's the way our current political system works.


Posted by Jennifer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 10, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Roz -

So...you wanted to "cast a protest vote" by voting for Roseanne Bar? After reading your comments I can see that you may very well have liberal philosophical views - hence, the shortsighted accusations that I have only three conservative "news/entertainment" outlets to educate myself regarding politics. Doesn't that ever get old with liberals? Don't they respect factual knowledge of any kind - writers especially!

If I were a professor of politics at an Ivy college back East or at Cal or UCLA etc. would you still throw around the idiotic reasons you mentioned, for the knowledge I've acquired about our current and future president?

What is it with liberals? I guess liberals are to democrats, what tea partiers are to conservatives.

I've been wondering about Obama's entitled educational status prior to when he was elected in 2008. Honestly, you're giving donald Trump way too much credit in this area; as well as Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and Glenn Beck. When a presidential candidate's formidable background and personal history is sealed, do you really just accept the candidate at face value?!! OK, if they were Mitt Romney would you? That should be easier for you to answer.

I could write you a list of all the websites, newspapers, magazines, and books I read but it would be a waste of my time. As I said, facts are facts. You can't straddle the fence in all your writing and still be clear on your thinking process. Something's gotta give. You and "R" can't have it ALL ways and still be fair in your writing (if that's your goal). Knowing the history of a man/women who wants to help lead this powerful and free country is paramount in knowing their character. Sadly, you and many others don't feel character matters - good luck raising kids with this limitation in judgement.

Just once, I would love to read comments from left leaning political blog writers and the left leaning readers, actually act adults when they respond to another writer with a differing viewpoint. Just once...

Posted by R, a resident of Dublin,
on Nov 10, 2012 at 6:27 pm

I know I'm going to regret this but here we go.

- Education... Nobody cares. Nobody has ever asked to see transcripts from any other President or candidate. Wonder what is different with this one? We do know he was editor of the Harvard Law Review and taught constitutional law at U of Chicago. Both are verifiable facts. I think we can safely put the education boogie man to bed.

- Abortion... Democrats favor. Republicans oppose. Nothing to see here.

- Vacations... The President is never really on vacation. Bush spent plenty of time in Texas. He even received the infamous "Bin Laden intends to attack America" briefing there. With modern communication technology where a President is does not matter.

- Benghazi... That sucked. Unfortunately bad things happen in conflict zones all the time. Think of marines blown up in Beirut, Black Hawk down, Mai Lia massacre, Iran hostage crisis, etc. Not sure why the wing nuts are fixating on this one.

- Race/Class divide... Predates Obama by at least two decades. Look up "Southern Strategy" on google and learn something.

- Budget... Congress passes budgets. Check the Constitution.

- Affordable Care Act... Hardly shoved down our throats. Lots of legislation passes on narrow margins or party line votes. Take a look at Bush's tax cuts for example.

- Sequestration... Had to do it to get debt ceiling passed (normally pro forma, but not with this current Republican House). Again read the Constitution. Passed by Congress. Signed by the President.

- Finances... Would be much better under Clinton's tax regime. Two massive tax cuts and a totally unnecessary (and unfunded) war will do that to a country.

That more work than "Jennifer" warranted, but I cannot let teabag c#$p go uncorrected.

Posted by Jennifer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 10, 2012 at 9:28 pm

"R" - "Teabag?" You're sweet.

Your list of facts are so dishonest. Do you really think anyone believes your comments and "corrections"?

1. All Republicans don't oppose legalized abortion - just as all democrats don't support abortion. Clearly, you're not familiar with the Catholic religion. Or, maybe you just don't hear any diverse voices in your particular group of friends. I never want to see abortion become illegal but I don't want to pay for all the abortions performed in this country. I don't want to pay for everyone's condoms or their birth control. Just my own views. I happen to believe in personal responsibility. We've tried to teach our kids the same mantra as adults.

2. Budget wasn't passed for 2012 - Read a book.

3. Obama took 17 legitimate vacations - not work trips. Google this at a legitimate site.

4. People do care about whether presidential candidates lie or not about their background. People also care whether whether the information is sealed and why it is sealed. Maybe you'll never admit that this would be important to you if this was a Republican candidate, but I know you would make it an issue and so would the press if the situation were reversed. Be an adult and try to admit what is true.

- Read "Inside Politics" by Bob Woodward. I did. All the facts about Obama pushing the sequestration through Congress is in there if you have any interest in reading - watch the debates again (if you did) and you'll hear Obama blaming the law Congress passed, on Congress. He said he'll now repeal it. We'll see........

5. Benghazi was not exactly a combat zone. It is American soil and we were attacked and Americans were killed. You say, "it sucks" - how eloquent. How old are you? You may not care much about the cover up, the lies, blaming youtube videos etc. because it doesn't directly affect you. How convenient. the Embassy had been bombed twice before this past tragedy and our Administration and our President and State Dept. did NOT AUTHORIZE protection or additional protection at any time for this Ambassador. This inaction was derelict and should be noted on Obama's watch. Yeah, bad things happen. You just pray and hope to God that we have a Commander in Chief who cares more about his staff than he does about himself and about campaigning. I know - it's tough for people who don't respect the military but kinda necessary if you're the leader of the USA. God help you if you ever have kids in the military...

Well "R"...Another liberal who lacks compassion for all. As Joe Walsh said, "You can't argue with a sick mind."

Posted by R, a resident of Dublin,
on Nov 10, 2012 at 9:43 pm

"Jenifer" - pretty shrill response to a few corrections.

1 - read the Republican party platform. Republicans do not support any abortions. Rape, incest, and health of mother are a canard because it would take longer to prove any of that than nine months. At least be honest.

2 -budgets were not passed. Congress issue, not President. Read the Constitution.

3 - vacations. Who cares? Guarantee that any President (republican or democrat) works harder on a "vacation" than you do.

4 - background. Done with that. He's black, get over it.

Stop trying to intimidate Roz. She covers local politics well. Probably should not have stepped into the national scene but please take your teabag talking points somewhere else.

Posted by jennifer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 11, 2012 at 9:12 am

"R" -

Doesn't it get old, pulling out the race card when you've run out of facts? If our president lacks maturity, transparency, and the ability to work with all types of politicians, is this really due to his race? You may think that's what it all comes down to but I don't.

The "rocker" Joe Walsh was correct years ago.

Posted by Bob P, a resident of another community,
on Nov 11, 2012 at 10:08 am

Jennifer and "R" - maybe we need to schedule you two for a cage match? Jennifer, all your blather is irrelevant now, the people who voted for Obama didn't care, and obviously not enough people were as concerned as the 2 per centers on the fringe of the right wing of the Republican party. Perhaps its time the GOP change the tape? We need to figure out where the GOP needs to do in order to regain its equilibrium, as it has been relegated to an after thought in California and along the east and west coast bastions of liberalism. The type of rhetoric that has become common from the GOP is not effective in helping the party regain its roots and support from a wider base that it needs to revive itself.

Posted by Manoa Valley, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 11, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Good Evening Roz

It is okay if you voted for Roseanne Barr however can I invite you over on Inauguration Day as we welcome again our Hawaiian President from the 50th state of Hawaii born and raised on the most beautiful
Island of Oahu

My Aloha Sandy

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 12, 2012 at 9:18 am

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

Wow, Roz, 22 comments, so far? You woke-up this Board in ways I can only envy. ;-)

Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Nov 12, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.


I can't take credit for it. I'm staying out of it.


Roseanne Barr is a resident of Hawaii now. She bought a Macademia nut farm and is seriously trying to build a nut business. No joke!


Posted by JR, a resident of another community,
on Nov 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm

We have a registered user who is very disrespectful to concerned writers, an "interesting" foul-mouthed follower who accuses others of wearing tin foil hats and another registered user who is giddy about all of the controversial attention. This looks more like a TV reality show than a forum for intelligent discussion, and that was before Roseanne Barr came into the script. The easiest thing to do would be to party/fiddle in Hawaii while Rome burns.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 15, 2012 at 7:34 pm

JR: they should come over and play on the DX Board -- a similar constituency there, very much at home, and not at all reticent to opine.

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