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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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The knives come out

Uploaded: Apr 26, 2015

The political knives are coming out in the mail to carve up Glazer and Bonilla. I don't get as many anti-Bonilla fliers, probably because I'm registered Republican and Bonilla supporters want to discourage Republicans from voting for Glazer and probably from voting at all in this special election.

On Wednesday, I received a mailer accusing Bonilla of auditioning for the next episode of "Lifestyles of the political wasters." Humm, no. I may be supporting Glazer, but I really don't like these phony attacks on either candidate.

Glazer has been accused of being supported by "BIG Tobacco," being a "PROFESSIONAL Political Consultant," and running a "sneaky . . . campaign" that enriched LA politicians with a $25K pay raise.

I mentioned this latest hit piece to Jason Bezis from Glazer's campaign and he said that was over 25 years ago. The opponents are reaching back to another generation to dig up attacks. This piece was "Sponsored by firefighters, doctors, dentists, and building trade organizations." Translation = Unions.

I've seen comments on the Express that no one can prevent BART strikes. Hello? The BART Union had a No Strike clause in their contract. Oh, so how were they able to strike? They went on strike after their last contract expired and before the new one was agreed upon. Now that they have a new contract, also with a No Strike clause, they won't, or can't, or shouldn't go on strike for the term of this contract.

But when the current contract is up for renewal or negotiations, they could strike again. That's why our Assemblywoman, Republican Catharine Baker, introduced a bill, AB528, to prevent unions that have agreed to a no strike contract in a past contract, from striking during contract negotiations.

That's so sensible even the union backed Democrats in the Legislature could support it, but don't bet on it. We need a representative in the State Senate that we KNOW will support Baker's bill, and that's Steve Glazer.

Some voters don't like either of the candidates. They plan a write-in vote for primary looser Joan Buchanan. I don't know if it is possible to elect a candidate who isn't running, Republican Michaela Hurtle dropped out of the primary and endorsed Steve Glazer, but she still garnered over 16% of the votes.

Hurtle's name was still on the ballot and Buchanan's isn't. So I don't know if dissatisfied Buchanan supporters could muster enough write-in's to elect her to the Senate when they couldn't get enough votes to nominate her in the Primary.

It's not clear which candidate Buchanan write-ins would hurt or help. As the candidate endorsed by the Tri-Valley Democratic Club, Buchanan endorsed fellow TVD Bonilla after losing in the Primary. Still I consider Buchanan in the middle politically between Glazer and Bonilla; so her supporters could find reasons to vote for one or the other or just stay home and not vote at all.
Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Steven Maviglio, a resident of another community,
on Apr 26, 2015 at 6:05 pm

There are several errors in this columjn.

First of all, doctors and dentists are "unions." Far from it. The suggestion that there are is an error.

As for Mr. Glazer's clients, he refuses to divuluge who they are (reported in the Contra Costa Times today). So what is Mr. Glazer hiding? And why isn't it legitimate to point out that Mr. Glazer received $15,000 per month for consulting for a political action committee largely funded by tobacco interests (the same PAC has poured more than $600,000 to elect him to the State Senate). Mr. Glazer was a consultant for this PAC in 2012, not 25 years ago.

As for the BART strike, there are zero Democratic votes in the State Senate for legislation that Mr. Glazer says he'd support. Ditto the Assembly. So promising voters that this will happen is dishonest at best.

Republican voters may not agree with all of Susan Bonilla's positions. But they know she has a long background as a teacher, local legislator, and an effective bipartisan mover and shaker in Sacramento. Steve Glazer? He's talking the talk, but neither Democrats nor Republicans can trust him.

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 26, 2015 at 8:36 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.


You probably know which organizations paid for the mailer. I tried to condense the information on the return address, which oversimplified it. Some of these sponsors are union committees and some are part of professional organizations. The complete information is copied below:

"Paid for by Putting the East Bay First, a committee to elect Bonilla for Senate 2015, sponsored by firefighters, doctors, dentists, and building trade organizations. Major funding by State Building and Construction Trades Council of California PAC (committee) and California Dental Association Independent PAC. Additional support from California Medical Association Independent Expenditure Committee. 1780 Creekside Oaks Drive, Suite 200 Sacramento, CA 95833 Not authorized by a candidate or committee controlled by a candidate."


Posted by CholoFan, a resident of Apperson Ridge,
on Apr 26, 2015 at 8:45 pm

We need a person like Cholo in office. Cholo knows his stuff and always comes ups with unique solutions. #CholoForSenate2015 #VoteToday

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 27, 2015 at 1:29 am

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.


Thank you for bringing up the Contra Costa Times. They endorsed Glazer in the primary and re-endorsed Glazer in the runoff. They also mentioned all of the phony mailers flying around.

Web Link

I also read the article about the Bonilla/Glazer run-off in Sunday's CC Times. It mentions some of his clients and asks him about them. He preferred not to answer. It hasn't changed my mind about endorsing him nor the Times endorsement of him.


Posted by Harald Paul Arthur Balle, a resident of Alamo,
on Apr 27, 2015 at 2:50 pm

Dear Ms. Rogoff,

News services are researching the State Senate campaigns by candidates and PACs. The focus is Contra Costa and Alameda eligible voters and what caused the <25% voter turn-out in the primary election. In such focus research with eligible voters, the assumption of apathy among such voters was quickly dismissed by a large portion of eligible voters that simply did not support any of the candidates, and generally found campaigns negative and lacking voter interest.

That reality is repeating itself now, and the greatest possibility is submission of mail-in and polling station ballots with no mark for either candidate. We will know voter discontent and their actions soon after the election is completed.

Per your request,

Hal, CDSI Media Members

Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville,
on Apr 28, 2015 at 11:50 am

It's disgusting how many trees have been sacrificed for the millions of fliers these two (and their backers) have felt compelled to mail. We're passing on both of them. It's like deciding between Hawky Hillary and whatever wingnut-of-the-week the Adelson/Koch-heads decide to back. There are limits to how hard I can pinch my nose.

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 28, 2015 at 2:21 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.


You criticized the candidates for all of the mailers they, or more likely "unaffiliated" Political Action Committees (PACs) sent out. In the first place, no trees were harmed in this process. There are tree farms grown just for paper. When one is cut down another is planted. It's a business like growing corn. Do you weep for all those cornstalks cut down for, well everything made of corn?

Not voting simply enables someone else to choose your representative. Someone will be elected, whether everyone votes or only a handful of their supporters vote. Then you will be stuck with their choice.

Hal says write in Other, or leave the selection blank, to show dissatisfaction with all of the candidates. At least that makes a statement, although it's kind of wasted in my opinion. Hal believes that this will somehow upset the winner to realize they were elected with a minority of the registered voters, not out of apathy, but by rejecting both candidates.

One thing I agree with, being rejected by voters hurts. I ran twice for the Dublin San Ramon Services District, and lost twice. I was labeled a "Politician" (dirty word) when I ran for DSRSD, but if I had really been a politician, I would have won. That's what makes the difference between a concerned citizen and a Politician ? winning!

People who run for office may have big egos, may be on the take, or may really care about serving their constituents. They may be among the dissatisfied voters who believe they (maybe even you or Hal) could represent their districts better than the "Politicians." If you feel that strongly about it, why not run for some office where you would or could make a difference?

There was a candidate in the primary for State Senator who isn't a politician, Terry Kremin. He's a teacher and scientist. He didn't have any PACs sending mailers for him. He hardly campaigned except for his webpage Web Link and one of the TV30 "debates." I was very impressed with him, but I voted for Glazer because he had a chance of winning. Kremin finished with less than 3% of the vote.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Apr 29, 2015 at 8:48 am




Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 29, 2015 at 2:23 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.


You always know how to liven up a discussion. I've stopped eating pork (poor piggies). Web Link So I must decline your tasty bribe.


Posted by Byron, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 29, 2015 at 10:31 pm

Re: Glazer not disclosing his former clients.

For a person working for a private company,
it would be unethical to disclose the names of former
clients without their permission.

Also, the company he worked for might have non-disclosure
clauses in the contracts (either with Glazer or with the clients)
meaning he would be breaching a contract to say who the clients were.
He might not be permitted to even mention the contract terms.

Posted by Voter, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Apr 29, 2015 at 11:46 pm

The Contra Costa/valley Times, San Francisco chronicle, and the liberal Livermore Independent, pretty much covers the entire range of opinions on all the Ca issues, yet all endorse Glazer, over Bonilla. All think Glazer is best for the people of California, Two Ca taxpayer groups have endorsed Glazer. Pleasanton's Mayor and 3 Council members have taken the rare step of endorsing....Steve Glazer. Pretty much across the board endorsements are for Glazer,.....except all the unions.
Bonilla is owned by the unions, and stood with the unions making it harder to fire teachers who abuse students. When unions own your soul, that's what tends to happen.

Posted by Ennis, a resident of Pleasanton Valley,
on May 1, 2015 at 4:44 am

A note to both candidates. This race should serve as the poster child for all that is wrong about politics and the business of getting elected. I'm unclear from a campaign management and marketing spend why you think that sending countless hit pieces, sometimes 3-4 per day, serves as an effective way of selling yourself, your experience, and your ideas to the voting public. The levels to which you have both stooped leaves me questioning your motives for seeking higher office and I have serious doubts about your fitness for office. Hold your nose and vote for the least worst of two evils -you really don't provide much of a choice but then again, I suppose you are only playing by the rules of campaigning, as disgusting and twisted as those rules have become.

Posted by mloliver, a resident of San Ramon,
on May 1, 2015 at 9:09 am

Having run for office four times in admittedly gentler times, it is disheartening to recall how many times rumors and innuendo can be put out and believed by those who actually read all the campaign material. Both Candidates are basically good people who are trying to do what they think is best for the community. It's the voters responsibility to separate the seed from the chaff. As far as voting is concerned, it's a privilege and if a person doesn't care about the process or the outcome, let them stay home. I know that isn't a popular opinion.

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on May 1, 2015 at 6:34 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.


Almost all of the hit pieces on both sides were sent by "Unaffiliated Political Action Committees." The PACs have a vested interest in having their prefered candidate win, whether they are funded by Unions, Business Organizations, or anti-Tax Groups. It is tempting to blame the candidates for these nasty notes, but they literally have no control over them. Just throw them away and pick the candidate you believe will serve your interests best.


Nice to see you chime in here. I don't recall a lot of animosity in San Ramon Elections. Maybe that's just my failing memory. You were on the Council before I moved here. The City was smaller and less contentious.

The DSRSD election was very civil. No attacks, no hit pieces, we all got along, and I guess the voters chose the candidates they considered best for the job. My ego was a little damaged but there was no dirty politics like this Senate race. The Consultants and the PACs have taken over from the candidates to the detriment of all.


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