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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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I've been had!

Uploaded: Aug 5, 2014

I wrote and posted a blog critical of Steve Glazer's "crybaby" mailer in which he supposedly blamed Tim Sbranti and the California Teachers' Association for losing the Primary election for Assembly earlier this year. I was a bit snarky towards Glazer who seemed to be whining about the loss because Sbranti's union ties were too strong.

Well after writing a well-crafted blog taking Glazer to task, Tom Cushing informed me that Glazer had nothing to do with it. The whole brochure was published and mailed by Charles Munger, Jr. If that name sounds familiar, Munger, Sr. is Warren Buffet's #2 man at Berkshire Hathaway and set to take over when Buffett kicks the bucket.

Munger, Jr. has beaucoup bucks and this Smear booklet looks like he invested quite a bit of change to smear Sbranti. Glazer is quoted in an article in SF Gate saying he had nothing to do with it. My thanks to Tom Cushing for letting me know before the egg on my face hardened.

If any of my readers managed to read my blog against Glazer during the half hour or so it was posted, I apologize to Mr. Glazer and my readers. I thought I was very clever and smug putting him down, but I didn't buy the attacks on Sbranti at all. I voted for Catherine Baker and plan to vote for her again, but I hope she had nothing to do with this terrible attack on Sbranti and the CTA presumably sent on her behalf by Munger, Jr. to take votes away from Sbranti.

One of my comments in the now deleted blog was perhaps prescient without knowing it. "I'm not sure what the point of Glazer's "Smear" report is. Is it to hurt Sbranti in the election? Is it to bust the CTA? Is it to denounce union money in political campaigns, thereby leaving only 1% money?" Yep that's what it was for.

Anatomy of a Political SMEAR is the right title for this booklet. It is a complete smear of Tim Sbranti posing as a defense of Steve Glazer. What a nasty piece of work. It backfired on me. Instead of blaming Sbranti for smearing Glazer, I blamed Glazer for smearing Sbranti. I was planning to vote for Baker anyway. Now I'm not so sure.

I don't like being duped. I really hope Catherine Baker had nothing to do with this. Steve Glazer said it came as a surprise to him. I hope they all sue Munger's blunder. This is dirty politics at its dirtiest!

************************ UPDATE ****************************

I just received a phone call from Catherine Baker. She reiterated that the group that sent out the mailer is not connected with her campaign in any way. But she added, "It raises some valid issues," about Tim Sbranti's union connections. "The California Teacher's Association is the most powerful union in the State and opposed every step to modernize the educational system."

I asked her about the format of this flyer, using Steve Glazer without his consent to make it appear he sent it. She replied that voters in the District are very intelligent, and she would leave it up to them to decide how to interpret this mailer.

She said I could contact her any time, "as a person involved in journalistic professions or as an individual voter." I asked for a lawn sign but she said they don't distribute them until after Labor Day.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Aug 5, 2014 at 4:32 pm

I received that Steve Glazer's mailer also.
Glazer's campaign had to have input in compiling the fabrication.

Glazer never had my mailing address or email address before I emailed his campaign, to ask question if he was running as independent or democrat.

After three try's to get that question answered, I stopped asking and voted for republican from Pleasanton.

The flyer had to get to me because the campaign released my address to the fabricator.

Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Aug 5, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Oh, by the way, Tom Cushing!


Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 5, 2014 at 4:45 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.


I believe Steve Glazer had nothing to do with this. Names and addresses of registered voters are available to candidates and political committees. I remember when I ran for the Dublin San Ramon Services District four years ago, I was able to purchase addresses by precinct and/or party affiliation.


Posted by Member, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 5, 2014 at 5:34 pm

It's all in the "PAID FOR BY SPIRIT OF DEMOCRACY". That PAC is Pro-Baker and actually attacked Glazer in the Primary along with a separate PAC funded by the BART Unions and CTA.

Actually, let's think about that for a second. Glazer was attacked for being a fake Republican by the right (Baker and Spirit of Democracy) and a fake Democrat by the left (Sbranti and BART Union/CTA). Sounds like we actually had a real life independently-minded politician in our midst and we let it pass us by...

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 5, 2014 at 5:47 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

I just spoke with Catherine Baker. I added her comments to my blog above. I was a little disappointed she didn't reject the Glazer brochure. She pointed out it was sent by an unaffiliated PAC, but added "It raised some valid issues to consider."

If Baker's supporters wanted to attack Sbranti, they should have sent an outright hit piece instead of using Glazer as their pseudo attack dog.


Posted by Tony, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 6, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Wow...I planned to take the brochure to Newall Americh and ask how he could ever have lost to the twit that issued that mailer....thanks for saving me the embarassment

Posted by dbrower, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 6, 2014 at 5:55 pm

I got the flyer too, and wondered what the point was intended to be. The distaste from the campaign seems to linger, doesn't it?

I also think the most powerful public union was the Prison Guards, not the teachers. I'd be happy to trade some guards for teachers.

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 6, 2014 at 7:41 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.


I should have read the SF Gate story first and saved myself the embarrassment too.

I think this will backfire on Baker. The same group that attacked Glazer in the primary is now using Glazer to attack Sbranti. Baker is now saying she didn't have anything to do with it. It is a separate PAC.

Ironically Sbranti said the same thing and is even quoted on page 8 of the "Glazer" mailer. At least Sbranti has legitimate connections to the Teachers' union and wasn't being bought by a gazillionaire.

Unions rely on the power of numbers. If there are so many teachers in this district and most of them vote for Sbranti, and their friends, and their 18 year-old students, and parents of students all come out to vote, Sbranti will win in a landslide.

I like Tim Sbranti personally, but we need more moderate Republicans in the State Assembly. I hope this is early enough in the race that it can be counteracted with positive mailers focusing on Baker's good qualities and how they differentiate her from her opponent. We need more good reasons to vote for Baker and not bad reasons to vote against Sbranti.


Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 7, 2014 at 11:40 am

Wait, so a rich right winger with an agenda funded a disinformation campaign to bash unions and advance the electoral prospects of a Republican politician, and it was sneaky enough that you (and anyone who didn't check up on its source) could be fooled by it?

"I am shocked - shocked - to find that gambling is going on in here!"

Posted by Westerner, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 8, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Warren Buffet is a rich right winger? That's news to me. He is always meeting with President Obama to promote raising income taxes.

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 8, 2014 at 12:54 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.


It might help to read the story first. The "rich right winger" is Charles Munger, Jr. the son of Buffet's second in command. Just because Buffet is a liberal doesn't mean all of his employees or employees' relatives are.


Posted by Yet another dumb-dumb, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Aug 8, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Yep, I'm going to vote for a Republican who claims to be Independent but isn't, at all, who dances around a political smear campaign, denies her involvement but embraces the contents of the smear itself. (Anything at all on her web page that separates herself from Republican positions and proposed polices? Nope! But "Hey," she claims, "I'm independent."

This must be part of a "new" Republican strategy. Distance yourself from your party by claiming to be Independent, but as a Republican work in conjunction with PACs who will do the dirty work for you.

You'd think even the Pleasanton yahoos would see beyond this ruse. But, nope, as one ill-informed yahoo has announced to us that she'll be voting for Baker anyway ... because, gosh, we need independent voices. Yep.

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 9, 2014 at 10:17 am

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Thanks for the complements, Dumb-Dumb. Yes, I guess you are another one, since that's the name you used to write your comment. I gather you are not a registered Republican. I am.

I'm not a Pleasanton yahoo. I'm a San Ramon yahoo. I'm disappointed that Baker did not disavow this smear piece, but she has good credentials helping small business and non-profit groups. She's my kind of Republican, a kind one.

Maybe you should check her out before making up what little mind you have Web Link


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Aug 9, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Whoa, Roz -- snark city! (Fun, ain't it?)

Posted by Yadda Yadda, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Aug 9, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Yeah, ya get a couple of narcissistic mediocrities with not much to say, add a substantial amount of disingenuousness, and ya end up with snarky comments. Go figure.

"Kind Republican," eh? That one's good for a laugh.

Go back to your own blog, Tom, where we can all watch you debate the Dans-es and his other identities.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Aug 9, 2014 at 4:08 pm

That's the spirit, Yadda -- It was good for you, too, wasn't it?

Posted by Yadda Yadda, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Aug 9, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Kinna out of your element over in this part of the swamp, aren't you Tom? With no control over a censorship button, what in the world are you going to do?

Tell ya one thing. If I were a part-time, hired-off-the-street, lecturer at a university -- even a half-assed one like GGU -- I wouldn't be flaunting my name about this swampland. Shouldn't you be [have been] doing some serious research? (You know, where people cite Rawls and they don't mean Lou? Or where they cite Marx and don't mean the Marx Brothers?) I dare say, had you applied yourself over the years in a more diligent manner, you'd probably have something of substance to say on your blog. You'd also probably have something of substance to say in your classroom. Say hi to Dan and the rest of the intellectual dwarves when you ooze on back to your on site.

Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Aug 9, 2014 at 5:19 pm

The Troll, "Yet another dumb-dumb" also posts as Freddy the Discourser, Hank Fonda, and other handles, probably is also posting as Yadda Yadda.

This Troll seems to be a bleeding heart ultra liberal, he gets very upset when someone indicates they will vote republican.

He gets very upset when new people, declare they are candidate for election for local school board, mayor, etc. He gets upset with that because that candidate (s) is supported by local republicans.

He is especially upset with me, because I am a registered democrat voting republican. He attacks me endlessly with his grammar comments and claims I am the biggest supporter of Tom Cushing.

Posted by Yadda Yadda, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Aug 9, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Tom Cushing, the cowardly one, has attempted to move the discussion over to his blog where he controls the censorship button. Brave move....

Here's what he has to say in response to my rejoinder, after he stalked me onto this site (talk about man crushes):

"As Adjuncts, we are chosen precisely for our actual experiential expertise in the fields we teach, and rewarded for our androgogical skill. You know, the Real World, and adult learners -- or perhaps you don't."

He continues: "My teaching has real world application; my cases have real world application; their research has real world application and my tests -- you guessed it. You might not approve -- we are short on snoot. But I'll tell you one damn thing -- my students approve. And they're doing well in the Real World."

Ah, yes, the "real world." This is the "world" that second- and third-raters, hired off the streets as adjuncts because they aren't good enough to earn tenure anywhere, talk about how scholarship really isn't necessary because there's a real world out there that is oblivious to ideas, the growth of ideas, and how ideational growth occurs via rigorous research, thought, and discourse among scholar who treat ideas seriously.

Yes, the "real world" of National University, Golden Gate University, and the other half-assed institutions that are there solely to take students' money while assuring them that research, writing, thought, is only something done over in those elitist "non-real-world" universities.

This "real world" of Cushing's asks that you pay your tuition to hired-off-the-street "professors" (lacking a Ph.D., they usually do not possess an advanced degree) who give not a rat's pituooey about scholarship, but instead spend their out-of-classroom time playing name-calling games with right-wing half-wits. I can just hear Cushing saying to the student who asks about the liberalist ideas of John Rawls or Jurgen Habermas: "John Rawls? Is he related to Lou Rawls? Habermas? Never heard of him. Surely you don't mean to tell us they belong to the REAL world? Here, instead of these jokers -- John Rawls, I mean, really -- read instead some of the dialogue between me and Liberalism Is a Disease...."

What a blight upon all things intellectual in this world. It's the typical lament from the poorly researched "professor": "Forget about theory; I only deal with real world practice." Translation: "I don't know enough to discourse deeply on the subject matter of this course, so I'm going to fake it by telling stories about me and my profession." Modern day snake oil sales pitch.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, sums up why Cushing uses his censorship button so as to shut down possibility of dialogue with genuine scholars. We scare the crap out of him.

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 9, 2014 at 9:58 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Thank you Michael for filling me in on the local trolls. I'm a fan to Tom Cushing too. I don't always agree with his political positions, but I love the way he writes. He really knows how to turn a clever phrase.

Tom also talked me into getting into animal rescue ten years ago. He was attending a San Ramon City Council meeting. I don't know why he was there because he lives in Danville or Alamo or one of those toney places. Maybe it was something to do with the dog park.

I had my own online website in which I covered Council meetings. Tom suggested I join TVAR (Tri Valley Animal Rescue). So I looked them up and that's how I became a cat foster. Safe Cat was later split off from TVAR to focus entirely on cats.

Yadda doesn't bother me. I've got a Ph.D. from a name school (mostly famous for football) and I'm an adjunct instructor at a so-called phoney one (funny how hard I work for phoney). So I'm right up there with Tom.

I don't know where Yadda got his/her degree to make him/her such a PIA. Maybe he/she should contact my brother. He's got degrees from Cornell, Berkeley, and Yale. Good enough for you, Yadda?


P.S. A JD is a Juris Doctor, or a Ph.D. equivalent in Law.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Aug 10, 2014 at 7:28 am

Real scholars bother to research their conclusions and cite their sources, because it's important to them to be accurate. They don't hide their identities and any credentials, while simultaneously taking potshots at others as 'cowards' -- it's too obvious. And in my experience, few are as insecure and pointlessly hostile as our friend, above. Gratuitous rock-throwing, poorly aimed, is not a particularly scholarly pastime.

Perhaps when it's another Saturday night and you ain't got nobody (the poet Cook, S., later quoted by the artist Springsteen, B. and others), that is how you make yourself feel better. Regardless, I'm happy that there are research universities -- they play a role. It's not the only role, as GGU's 100-year contribution to this community attests.

And thanks, Roz. I, too, work hard for the money (Omartian and Summer), as do my adult learners. As linkedin is my guide, many of them are doing very well with the tools we help them master.

Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 10, 2014 at 8:42 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

My my my...I go away for a few days and come back to find my name being sullied by trolls and sock-puppets?!


Glad to be back!

Posted by Yadda Yadda, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Aug 10, 2014 at 9:43 am

Socrates and Plato called them sophists -- those who claimed to be able to teach without having mastered any subject. Today, they're called posers.

The modern day equivalents are off-the-street hires at universities. Their credentials are usually inferior to those of full-time faculty, and they tend not to do research. [Roz, a Ph.D. is not even remotely comparable to a JD, as the JD is far inferior -- and that your blogging bro didn't point that out simply underscores what people do to maintain themselves as posers.]

The reason, I'd submit, neither you nor Tom has much to say that passes for original or insightful on your blogs is because you're not readers, and clearly neither of you has any research background. The idea that you're both standing in front of college classes 'professing' to students is a bit difficult to swallow. Professors who take themselves and their profession seriously are constantly doing research in order to deepen and expand their knowledge. Hangin' out in the blogosphere doesn't count for much of anything. Your students, I'd submit, are being short-changed. Now, Brave Tommy, our censorship poster boy, claims that his students would disagree with me. I say, "Perhaps." But college students at inferior universities really don't know much; and surely they have no basis for comparison. You can continue to slap yourselves on the back while shirking your responsibilities as professor-scholars, but only the ignorant will be impressed by your poses.

To those who have knowledge of academia, both of you dwell at the bottom of the barrel. Your efforts to deny such, beyond the censor boy's hand-waving, aren't very compelling. How could they be?

Posted by Symbolic. Ivory too. , a resident of another community,
on Aug 10, 2014 at 11:27 am

Web Link

Posted by What happened to Lulu?, a resident of Apperson Ridge,
on Aug 10, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Where is the blog about Lulu?

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 10, 2014 at 1:07 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Finally a useful question. Here's a weblink to the blog on Lulu. Web Link

Eliana just took in another cat dying from leukemia. This woman is a Saint!


Posted by What happened to Lulu? , a resident of Apperson Ridge,
on Aug 11, 2014 at 12:32 am

Thanks Roz for the link! I am planning to make a rather large monetary donation to help Lulu! I am very hopeful that the rest of the money will be raised, but if not, what would happen to all of our donations?

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 11, 2014 at 3:54 am

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

I'm sure whatever amount of money raised will go to the surgery for Lulu. It will not go to waste. Lulu will definitely get the surgery ASAP.

Eliana is applying for contributions from an organization (I'm not sure which one). She's even considering taking out a loan so the surgery can be scheduled even if all of the money has not been raised yet. Then if more donations come in, she will use that to pay off the loan. I'll keep everyone posted on Lulu's condition and when she has the surgery.


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