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Joan Buchanan: Resign your Assembly seat

Original post made by David Abelmann, Danville, on May 14, 2009

Joan Buchanan: Resign your Assembly seat. Quoting from your campaign for the State Assembly: "California's budget is a mess!" "Performance Not Politics." "Joan Buchanan is ready to go to work."
In the business world in which you profess to have honed your organizational and budgeting skills, if you join a company with commitments to that company and its organization and within four months you start looking for a new job, you would likely be fired.
In such a short time you would have accomplished nothing other than perhaps putting the company's name on your resume. The likelihood that you would get a favorable reference would be nil.
In a recent public forum at the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation dinner honoring you, you stated, "The best part of going to Sacramento is leaving Sacramento."
You have not accomplished much in your brief tenure in Sacramento. Your office was hard-pressed to name one accomplishment. You were elected to a position of trust by your District 15 constituents. We expected you to execute on your commitments. You have violated a trust.
To play back your own words "Performance not Politics" - in your case - should now read "Politics before Performance."
You have little support from those currently in Congress, many of whom backed you merely out of party affiliation. Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher's 10th congressional district does not even include your District 15 cities of Danville, San Ramon, Pleasanton, Elk Grove and Stockton, to name a few - so you would be abandoning thousands who voted for you and put their trust in you and contributed to your campaign.
And if you lose, which is likely, your current constituents will know that they have an Assemblywoman who was not committed to the job that she was elected to and is in Sacramento only because she failed to get elected for a congressional office. In a recent interview with the Danville Weekly, you stated that many issues you care about are decided at the federal level. Why didn't you tell us this last fall during the campaign? This did not prevent you from accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions.
The 15th Assembly District deserves a representative with high qualifications who is committed 100 percent to doing an outstanding job for the district - not someone who has let us down and would be accepting her second best opportunity! Your failure to understand the incredible honor, importance and responsibility of being elected as a leader of our state is peculiar.
While elected officials frequently pursue higher office, Joan, you should work hard to develop a track record of your own, accomplishing something, anything, for your District 15 constituents. You have a lot to learn in the Assembly and it's clear you are out of touch with your constituency. As you work to get out of Sacramento with only months on the job, what kind of political capital do you think you'll have with your colleagues in Sacramento?
In business, if you sought an outside job before you delivered anything to your company and your management learned of this, they would no longer want you as a team member. Why should we, as your constituents, expect any less?
Resign now let a committed candidate assume your seat in Sacramento and you can pursue your personal political ambitions. If you are elected, good luck. If you do not resign, you are treating the Assembly as your insurance policy.
We deserve integrity, excellence in performance, commitment to do the job, and trust. You have violated all. Joan, your Web site claims that now is the time not to be "timid or formulaic." Pursue the Congressional election with gusto; District 15 deserves a better Assembly member.

Comments (30)

Posted by Hal Bailey
a resident of another community
on May 15, 2009 at 7:23 am

Dear Dolores,

Let's first correctly identify Ms. Tauscher as 10th Congressional District Representative before the "Swift Boats" of Contra Costa aggregated politics set sail in Joan's direction.

Please recommend your readers carefully review and validate all commentary about all candidates in the expected 10th District election. Neighborhoods' e-exchanges have been receiving viral campaign information focused on Joan from known political groups in Fairfield, Clayton, Concord and elsewhere.

Don't let Swift Boats steal your reader's votes,


Posted by Dan from Danville
a resident of San Ramon
on May 15, 2009 at 7:45 am

Joan Bucannan HAS violated an important trust. Let a commited candidate represent us in Sacramento.This is NOT a viral e mail.

Posted by Shelby
a resident of Alamo
on May 15, 2009 at 10:23 am

Joan Buchanan is less than useless and is a political hack at best. I am tired of politics as usual, and Ms. Buchanan is the local embodiment of this animal.

No one who actually reviews her record would vote for her, but since she carries the Democrat seal of approval, her record won't matter. This is a sad state of affairs when your political affiliation is more important than your record. Of course this mindset has gotten us into the position we find ourselves with little hope of it changing...

Posted by Ike
a resident of Danville
on May 15, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Bravo on the article.
Yes - Joan Buhanan should resign.
Any candidate who - for greedy political ambitions - choses to abandon his/her responsibilities to their constituents, should step down and make room for someone more responsible to carry on the duties.

Posted by Jacqueline
a resident of San Ramon
on May 15, 2009 at 12:46 pm

My analysis of Ms. Buchanan's activities over the years have revealed her to be both duplicitous and disloyal to anything but her own self interest. She should resign immediately and not impose her pustuit of her personal goals upon her constituency.

Posted by Community courtesy
a resident of another community
on May 15, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Dear Dolores,

Alamo region and Iron Horse corridor e-exchanges are questioning demands for Joan's resignation. It appears that a campaign in Solano and Contra Costa counties is coordinating resignation demands among conservative Republican without specifying any issues beyond Joan's interest in the 10th Congressional District.

There are claims of Joan's lack of performance in a very dysfunctional State Assembly that is operated by party politics against any individual member's ability to progress resolution of fiscal and operational decisions. Each party is positioned against the other with no interest in the realities and immediacies of fiscal management. Just look at the May 19th propositions as examples of various special interests attempting to work around Senate and Assembly politics.

So, Joan is interested in resolution at the federal level using a congressional seat and, likely, staff to resolve fiscal issues for California and our region. That cannot be considered abandoning her promised fiscal responsibility and moderate political commitments because it is simply delivering those promises at a larger, more receptive level of government.

Our neighbors in your readership area want to know any in-depth issues that are the basis of calls for Joan's resignation. As Rachel wrote to the e-exchanges, "If successful results in the State Assembly are the criteria for Assembly Members to retain their seats, then likely all members should resign!"

Hal, as a community courtesy

Posted by Rufous
a resident of Alamo
on May 15, 2009 at 1:38 pm

I've said it befor and I'll say it again. When you elect community activists instead of experienced business professionals this is what you get.

Posted by Community courtesy
a resident of another community
on May 18, 2009 at 5:45 pm

Dear Dolores,

As commentary without substance continues oxymora, neighbors await real commentary about the abilities of Joan Buchanan to be our congress member. So far, we have no defined issues or any reason to reject Joan. With all the negatives, we know Joan has substantial business experience and fiscal experience in an always-short-of-funding SRVUSD. We know she focuses on the federal and state level in her positions.

So we wonder who we could get to run that was more committed and less political? We will see that answer as political parties trot out their choices and have little justification of their capabilities.

It is an amazing process,

Hal, as a community courtesy

Posted by h. sachs
a resident of San Ramon
on May 19, 2009 at 9:17 am

Politicians should be judged on what they accomplish as our public servants. A resume, once established, that can produce a record of dollars into the district is a politicians ticket to the next level of elected office. Working at gaining trust by showing competence and an ability to get things done on behalf of your constituents earns a person the right to stay in office; remember they stay in office because of "the consent of the governed."

Based on that criteria, and not how nice she is, but that criteria alone, one must question Joan Buchanon's irrational decision to run for Congress. She has been in elected state office barely 5 months. It is not like she is a seasoned legislative veteran. She has sponsored as far as one can tell, a single piece of legislation. She took no position during the budget votes, and to me most importantly, unlike Guy Houston, did not negotiate school equilization funding for SRVUSD. Please remember that Houston, a moderate republican, bought back millions during his tenure as our representative.

Buchanon, with her words, has clearly articulated that she is not really interested in serving in the State Assembly. And this comes at a most critical juncture. We need leadership in Sacto and Buchanon wants to bail for higher office. She is a political opportunist of the worst kind; all want no give.

DeSaulnier at least has a respectable multi-year track record of decent representation for his constituents. (and I am not a supporter of his, never met the man)

Joan, and her supporters, wake up. This is not a swift boat attack. This is not a political attack. Those who call for her to resign, or at least rethink her decision, are citizens who would like honest, decent representation. Finish your 2 year term first and then let's see if you have the right stuff to represent us in Washington. Or dog catcher.

Posted by Community courtesy
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2009 at 8:31 am

Dear Dolores,

Neighborhoods' e-exchanges have been discussing a previously posted comment referenced to Joan Buchanan, "Politicians should be judged on what they accomplish as our public servants. A resume, once established, that can produce a record of dollars into the district is a politicians ticket to the next level of elected office."

Neighbors still do not recognize Joan as a politician, but do recognize her exceptional work in directing SRVUSD in sequences of fiscal issues. Most importantly, neighbors recognize the futility of any such fiscal responsibility in a fully dysfunctional state legislature. To expect Joan to achieve results in a failed state financial operation and budget process is more GOD-like than reasonable for an assembly member.

The question is "How do we measure Joan's abilities to be our member in the US Congress?"

Hal, as a community courtesy

Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on May 22, 2009 at 8:46 am

I'm submitting my comments so Hal the man that thinks he knows all, doesn't have the last word like he loves to have...Hal, most all your remarks are for your own enjoyment, your double talk is boring, you are the only one being entertained by it...
Joan should resign and in fact she should have never been voted into office. She is a typical self serving politician looking to feather her nest and couldn't care less about the job at hand. If you think other wise...well let's just say, you lack good judgment.
I commend David Abelmann, Shelby, Ike, Jacqueline, Rufous, H. Sachs for their input and I'm sure there are thousands more like us that believe Joan Buchanan is a total waste of time.

Speaking of a waste of time...Okay Community Courtesy, your next. That will give your desired last word...maybe

Posted by One HAL of a Last Word
a resident of another community
on May 22, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Dear Dolores,

Seldom does the last word in any discussion end with a question such as, "How do we measure Joan's abilities to be our member in the US Congress?" Although this exchange on your forum has not answered that question, it has illustrated a small number of people who dislike Joan and me.

I can understand disliking me. But let's ask a question so we focus the next words, "Who is qualified to replace Ellen O. Tauscher and why are they more qualified the Joan Buchanan?"

Oh, just for the HAL of it!!

Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on May 23, 2009 at 10:39 am

You love being disliked...You ask, "Who is qualified to replace Ellen O.Tauscher and why are they more qualified the Joan Buchanan?. Without a doubt, Senator Mark DeSaulnier is the man for the job. Senator DeSaulnier has more experience in one finger than Ms. Buchanan will ever have, no matter how long she may serve us folks in the 15 district. Ms. Buchanan needs to learn how baby walk crawl first, then you walk, if you politically get that far, you walk faster and move smarter...personally, I don't believe Ms Buchanan will get past the walk scenario. I'm sure this will not be the last word on this subject, but whatever it's worth...Go, Senator Mark DeSaulnier,

Posted by Community courtesy
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Dear Dolores,

Still, after many assaults and insults, we have no answers. We have cheer leading and avoidance of the issue, but no one has defined why Joan is not equal to or better than all potential candidates for the 10th Congressional District.

Amazing how emotion avoids reality,

Hal, as a community courtesy

**edited from remarks by Jennifer, North Iron Horse neighborhoods**

Posted by Ralph Hoffmann
a resident of Walnut Creek
on May 25, 2009 at 8:55 am

Joan did the responsible thing by soliciting ideas from a group here
on what steps should be taken to balance the CA Budget. No mention
was made of her CD-10 candidacy. "Coincidently," Lt. Governor is a featured speaker today at the Memorial Day Event in Civic Park. Mark DeSaulnier is also appearing at campaign events. None of these remarks should be interpreted as implying which candidate I support, including Nick Gerber and Tom Del Beccaro, quitely waiting in the wings for the Democrats to fight with each other. As responsible voters, we should engage our lawmakers in CA budget solutions. Think about the havoc of having to fill a vacancy in AD-15.

Posted by Frances
a resident of Danville
on May 25, 2009 at 9:50 am

I agree with David and all of you who think Joan Buchanan is less than effective for our community! What happened to FOR THE PEOPLE? Politicians don't seem to care about the PEOPLE anymore. They only care about themselves and their party! Look at Washington for instance: Obama and the Democrats want power and their plan is to take over every aspect of our lives; our money, our businesses, our healthcare, until they OWN US! This will not be a FREE country, it will become socialistic or communistic unless the PEOPLE TAKE BACK AMERICA AND ELECT THOSE WHO WE CAN COUNT ON TO WORK "FOR US"!

Posted by Cathleen
a resident of Alamo
on May 25, 2009 at 2:59 pm

I was an enthusiastic supporter of Joan's campaign for State Assembly. I feel somewhat abandoned by her premature and overly-ambitious run for Ellen Tauscher's Congressional seat. While I realize the time window involved here, it still seems very opportunistic of Joan and conveys a lack of respect for her current constituents.
I remain irritated at those who try to reduce this complicated issue into a simple partisan choice. Democrat or Republican, I aim to vote for the most qualified candidate--------but it's not Joan Buchanan this time.

Posted by Hal Bailey
a resident of another community
on May 26, 2009 at 8:03 am

Dear Dolores,

Another approach to this e-exchange on your forum is to support Ralph Hoffman's question and ask readers to comment on specific actions they expect Joan to take in the State Assembly and how such will be succcessful in the politics of that dysfunctional body?

Our region is very bright, professional and very savvy, so I believe that some exceptional actions can be recommended.


Posted by H. Sachs
a resident of San Ramon
on May 27, 2009 at 9:16 am

We elect representatives to use their experiences as public or private sector leaders to make decisions on our behalf. Not bail at the first opportunity.

That said, most of California's budget problems revolve around a public sector that cannot be sustained at its current funding levels by a private sector that is overtaxed and over-regulated. California's budget solutions need to be centered on reducing public sector services to a level that is sustainable without endangering public safety.

Ideas? All non-essential public agencies should be reduced to operating Monday -Thursday; i.e. DMV, EDD, most state agencies that are bureaucratic in nature. Review Utah's success on this. This would create a pay cut for state employees but not a job loss.

Pension reforms are desperately needed; 3% at 50 for life and then the benefit goes to surviving spouses, family members? As a public employee myself(teacher) I want my fair share for the years I am putting in but fair is the operative word.

K-12 gets 40% of all state taxes collected; extend the school year to 200 days from 180, without adding dollars, which gets more bang for the salaries paid. Eliminate catagorical, or strings attached funding, instead let the districts decide how their dollars should best be spent. Consolidate school districts statewide. There are roughly 450 cites in the state and roughly 1050 school districts. Consolidate those elementary districts that are seperate from their secondary districts, and realign the school districts within the state's community college's 110 districts. This would save tens of millions in attrition and duplicative administrative costs.

Eliminate the over 300 wasteful boards and commissions that serve as high paying parking places for has been politicos, thier spouses and lackeys.

Prison reform is of course needed, real leadership from those with the appropriate backgrounds are needed to make the tough choices on this sector area.

Can Joan Buchanon use some of these or other ideas that might be posted on this site or be given at community forums. Maybe but probably not. Why would a democratic lawmaker advocate cuts to a public sector that contributes to thier election campaign? If that lawmaker was a person of courage and could take the political heat from their caucus perhaps they would be so inclined to speak up. But that is the dangerous way in Sacramento.

Posted by Dawn
a resident of Alamo
on May 27, 2009 at 10:33 am

Ms./Mr. H. Sachs:

Thank you very much for your well-reasoned, plainly written slate of cost-cutting measures. I appreciate your time and effort.


Posted by Emily
a resident of Alamo
on May 30, 2009 at 3:03 am

Dear Joan Buchanan Haters,

You are all taking Joan's "abandonment" very personally and need to think bigger picture here. She's not being "greedy" or "self-serving". In fact, if she were any of the things you've called her, why would she work in PUBLIC SERVICE in the first place?? Get real people. Her life's passion is to help others. So please, go take a boxing class if you feel the need to take a hit, but don't take it out on Joan. If you want to support other contenders, go for it, but enough with the negativity - it's toxic and really just makes YOU look bad.

Seriously though, why so bitter? Did some "inexperienced" co-worker "steal" your promotion or something? Ha! Well if they did, it was probably in good reason.


Posted by John
a resident of Danville
on May 30, 2009 at 4:22 pm


I agree that there's a lot of negitivity. I think a lot of people feel slighted by Buchanan. I do agree with the article that she should resign.......we JUST elected her, and now she wants out. What happened to all of her "helping the district" rhetoric months ago?

Joan Buchanan wants a new job, and it's certainly her choice. If she was happy, effective and comfortable in Sacramento, and 100% commited to her entire disctrict 15, after 3 or 4 months on the job, she would not want to leave after such a short time.

So given that she's not 100% committed, particularly after campaigning to fix the mess in Sacramento, etc, the article states that she should resign, let someone who is 100% commited, then pursue her goal of Congress.

She has not done much in Sac after a few months, so the time is right for her to leave and focus 100% on her new campaign. The constituents do deserve leadership now and someone whose not going to spend the next 3 months campaigning.

Win or lose, I think she'll pay the price with the voters. I think she underestimates us. It was ironic that in the same issue as the article last week, there was a picture of her in her San Ramon office with children and a quote stating something like "it's important to remember who we work for...." The irony is that she wants to represent a new district that does not even include San Ramon.

As a resident in Danville, I'd like someone who wants to be in Sacramento, and it totally committed.

We need leadership in Sacramento, and I agree with the article that she should resign. I want someone who represents me in Sac., and not someone who's more concerned about name recognition and campaigning, after spending so little time in Sacremento. Her smarter option would have been to accomplish something at the state level, then run for Congress in 2 years. For some reason she felt compelled to throw her hat in the ring too early. It'll hurt her.

Funny thing is, I voted for her, but can not support her again should she run for district 15 in the future.

Posted by Mary Dietler
a resident of Alamo
on Jun 2, 2009 at 9:14 pm

I'm really excited about Joan's campaign for Congress, and I think her background in
education will bring a fresh and committed perspective. The opportunity to make this move is rare, and as she pursues it, she will continue to demonstrate her intelligence and professionalism.

Posted by Steve
a resident of Alamo
on Jun 3, 2009 at 7:31 am

That's great Mary,

Her "fresh ideas and perspective" have not done much in her 100+ days in Sacramento. She has work to do and she now running a campaign.

She can do whatever she'd like. She should resign now and let someone who is commited to the Assembly step in now, rather than campaign for the next 3 months. She's playing around at our expense, , knowing if she loses, she still has a job.

She made commitments to the district and she's obviously not 100%committed.

Posted by Steve
a resident of Alamo
on Jun 3, 2009 at 7:33 am

That great Mary.

Her "fresh ideas" have not done much in her 100 days in Sacramento.

She can run for whatever she'd like, but she's playing games knowing that if she loses she'll still have an Assembly job.

She made commitments just months ago, and is clearly not 100% commited to the Assembly and her constituents. She should resign and focus on Congress and let someone who is commited represent us in Sacramento.

Posted by Ralph Hoffmann
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Jun 3, 2009 at 9:30 am

Should Mark or Lt. Governor resign also? Ask not for your elected officials to resign; ask them how to cut services, borrow, or raise taxes and fees to balance the State budget by July 1, less than 1 month away. Delay only costs more money!

Posted by H. Sachs
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 4, 2009 at 3:11 pm

If Joan Buchanon had a "fresh and committed" perspective on education, she would surely be using it at this time to support the many commen sense education reforms that are needed to improve K-12 education in this state.

Joan Buchanon would recognize that she could be the most influential in using her "fresh and committed" perspectives at the state government level, where her influence would be most felt and her ability to attract dollars and reform efforts into the district she serves would be better served.

Mandate 70% of all k-12 funding go directly into the classroom, support the Senate and Assembly Republicans push to eliminate wasteful boards and commissions and state agencies that are duplicative in effort, make pension reform that stops piling debt on the state and cities, consolidate the over 1000 school districts in California to eliminate bureaucratic waste and redundancy, eliminate state mandated "catagorical spending" and instead vote for school district to have "total control" over their dollars...

If Joan Buchanon were truly committed to bringing a fresh perspective to the table, she would be working toward that. Instead its off to DC, a far away place; that runs counter to the tenant of education being a "local issue".

She should resign her seat immediately, or perhaps she should be recalled by the voters whom she has tired so easily of.

I am pleased to see that San Ramon Mayor Abrahm Wilson will be again running for the honor of representing the 15th Assembly District. Make no mistake, Mayor Wilson would never seek to leave his elected office prior to serving out a full term.

I invite the voters of this area to look into Abrahm Wilson's record as mayor of San Ramon. You will find a city that is well managed with a financial balance sheet that is the envy of many cities in this state.

Joan Buchanon can't carry his briefcase in that regard; she simply has her fat cat union lackeys dumping hard earned union dues into her campaign coffers. Oh the shame!

Posted by Community courtesy
a resident of another community
on Jun 4, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Dear Dolores,

Our region's neighborhoods are circulating all the pre-campaign information being circulated to factional segments of Republican and Democratic Parties. The unique reality is the common language among opponents of Joan on your forum and the very conservative Republican encouragement to the small minority of followers in our region. The only attack available to such conservatives is Joan's willingness to run for 10th Congressional District office if her moderate East Bay Democrats and the related Democrat majority throughout the 10th District invite her candidacy.

So as you review the commentary above on this specific e-exchange, realize that you are seeing campaign dogma being presented by a few individuals. A better result is to answer the simple question of opportunity for Joan to achieve results in a highly political, dysfunctional State Assembly.

I ask myself if that is the best use of Joan's capabilities and commitments?

Hal, as a community courtesy

a resident of Alamo
on Jul 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Venture Independent Study School

on Jun 4, 2017 at 1:47 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

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