Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Payton Perspective: Let’s look toward a brighter future and offer constructive input for Antioch’s rebranding effort

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Aspire, Achieve and Acquire in Antioch to reach your goals and fulfill your dreams.

By Allen Payton, Publisher

If you haven’t heard already, the City of Antioch hired a consulting firm to help rebrand the city, in an effort to overcome the negative views and stereotypes that others outside and even some of our own residents inside Antioch have of our community.

For full disclosure, I formed an advertising, marketing and branding agency, last year, and brought on a team of five other local business owners who are professionals in branding, graphic design, websites and social media, and event planning. We put in a bid, but it was not accepted.

While I was critical of one of the five “Big Ideas” by the consultant mentioned in their proposal to the city, I’ve been willing to give them a chance and spent two hours with them, a week ago Friday, sharing my concerns and ideas, and an overview of the assets we have in the community, as well as some of Antioch’s rich history, upon which I believe they can build a new brand.

Rich History

First, I told them that a bit about our rich history. Antioch is the oldest city in the county, having been established as Smith’s Landing in 1849, renamed Antioch in 1851 at the July 4th picnic, and then incorporated in 1872. The number one reason the city was formed was for public safety. I have a copy of the incorporation papers in my office declaring that.

Clean & Safe

Second, I shared that the city needs to focus on two things, initially – clean and safe. That’s the same thing I learned that cities focused on, specifically with their downtowns, back when I was on the council from 1994-998. So, this is nothing new. It just needs to happen and quicker.

I pointed out the obvious, that we must get our crime under control – which according to Chief Brooks’ latest reports is happening – we won’t be able to attract the kind of businesses and employers to our city, nor will the upscale homes be built in the Sand Creek area, which are needed for Antioch’s long-term economic and financial success. In order to accomplish that the City Council must regain faith with the public and get us the 22 more sworn police officers we were promised if we passed Measure C and be honest with us by using the correct base figure of 89 officers, which were in the budget and on the force, before the measure was passed, for a total of 111 officers, not the 82 officers we had after it passed for a total of 104.

We need the council to direct City Manager Ron Bernal and Chief Brooks to “hire more cops, faster” and “a cop a week is all we ask.”

The city council and staff also need to crack down on the litter, including the shopping centers and require them to keep it picked up. People, please put your trash in the trash can and remind others to do the same. Also, keep your yard clean and maintained and show some pride of place, please.

Finally, the city council and staff must work with the county and local churches and charities to solve the homeless problem. We need them to get Supervisors Glover and Burgis who represent portions of our city, to bring more services out here to Antioch and East County where the need has grown over the past several years, instead of continuing to focus so much of the resources on West County.

City’s Assets

Third, I pointed out that we have a lot of assets that other cities don’t have. We have the river and waterfront, with access to the deep-water channel that serves the Port of Stockton. That port is currently doing $2 billion in annual business. According to the late, former Pittsburg Economic Development Director, Brad Nail, Antioch has a greater potential for a deep-water port than Pittsburg has. We need to build one in the Wilbur Avenue corridor to create the well-paying, industrial jobs for our residents.

That also allows for recreation, with boating on the river, with the marina and two boat launches. I shared that we need to develop a big boat berth marina either at G Street or at the old Tommy’s Harbor near Rodgers Point and The Red Caboose on Fulton Shipyard Road, on the east end of downtown, to attract boaters with money who will stop and enjoy lunch and shopping during a day on the Delta.

We also have our historic, downtown Rivertown which has so much potential. I suggested to them the idea of creating a Pier 39-type boardwalk on the water, running along the waterfront from the fishing pier next to the Riverview Lodge all the way to E Street, near the Old Lumber Company Building, to help attract more people to downtown. Plus, the renaming of L Street to Marina Way and A and West Second Streets to Rivertown Drive and West Rivertown Drive for permanent marketing of Antioch’s historic, downtown Rivertown (as has been in the city’s plans since the 1996 Economic Development Plan was adopted), especially now that Smith’s Landing Seafood Grill is getting ready to open at the former Humphrey’s location. That’s the best location on the Delta for dining.

We also have the rail line running through the north side of our city, bringing goods and people in and out of our city from the Port of Oakland, across the country. We need to take greater advantage of that.

We have Highway 4 widened to Antioch, and the section between Sand Creek Road and Balfour Road (of what used to be referred to as the Bypass) about to be completed.

Of course, we also now have the BART extension and station in Antioch. That opens up all kinds of economic development opportunity, surrounding and near the station.

We have empty commercial buildings for businesses to locate in and we have land, specifically the 200 acres that were set aside 20 years ago, this year, in the Laurel Road/Highway 4 interchange area for commercial development and employment. Slatten Ranch Road will bisect the property and connect Slatten Ranch Shopping Center and the Antioch BART Station to Laurel Road. That will begin construction once the homes on the other side of the freeway begin being built and paying the developer fee for the new road.

Another asset Antioch has is our immediate access to the adjacent, permanent, publicly owned open space of the East Bay Regional Park District with the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve and soon the 900 acres of the Deer Valley open space where the Roddy Ranch Golf Course was located, and the surrounding new home development was planned.

Location & Transportation – The Jobs Highway

I also told the consultants that if you look at the map, Antioch is at the center of Northern California commerce. The only problem is we really can’t get there from here.

What we need is the connection out the back door to East County, which is the long-planned, four-lane Route 239 freeway between Brentwood and Tracy. Mayor Sean Wright refers to it as the “Jobs Highway” as it will connect us to Interstate 5, the lifeblood economic artery of the state. The total project, which has been referred to as the TriLink, also includes two lines of transit down the center, which will help connect the Antioch BART Station and the proposed Brentwood BART Station near Sand Creek Road, to Discovery Bay, Byron, Byron Airport, Mountain House, Tracy and back to Livermore and ultimately to the Pleasanton BART Station. The price for the TriLink is pegged at $1 billion.

But at the recent East County Transportation Summit two lower cost alternatives were discussed, including adding two lanes to the current Byron Highway/J-4 at a cost of just $200 million.

Branding –Aspire, Achieve, Acquire

Finally, I shared with the consultants some of my ideas for branding Antioch, that my team was going to pitch the city. First, I shared with them the acronym I used for my five-part economic development strategy, when running for city council in 1994 – B.R.E.A.D. for Business Retention, Expansion, Attraction & Development. The city needs to do what’s necessary to retain current businesses, allow them to expand, attract businesses to our city, and allow for the development of new businesses in our city. That puts bread on our tables, “bread” (the old slang word for money) in our pockets and “bread” in the city’s coffers with more sales and property tax revenue, to pay for more services.

I suggested we get away from the old city slogan, “Gateway to the Delta” because we want to be a place to come to, not somewhere to drive through or stop by on your way to somewhere else. I suggested we be known as the Jewel or Diamond of the Delta, and to become the Sausalito of the Delta.

I like alliteration, so I suggested using inspiring, uplifting, positive words to describe us beginning with the letter “A” of “Antioch Aspires” and “Antioch Achieves”. Or, Aspire in Antioch, Achieve in Antioch, Aquire in Antioch, as messages we can send to businesses we can attract to locate here. Antioch aspires for and desires to achieve greatness. If you want to locate a business here, you can acquire land or an existing building, aspire to and achieve greatness for your company.

I also thought of another word that begins with “A” that made me laugh, as it reminded me of that movie, The Big Lebowski, in which Jeff Bridges’ character is known as “The Dude” and had the saying “The Dude Abides”. That would be “Antioch Abides” or “Abide in Antioch”. Or maybe not. LOL

Actually, it’s because we can no longer abide the negative views of Antioch and the problems we face, that we must improve our city and rebrand it.

So, we need to let our people, the Bay Area and the rest of the world know that “you can aspire, acquire and achieve in Antioch to reach your goals and fulfill your dreams.”

That’s my input in an attempt to edify our community, focus on the positive and offer a future vision that I believe most of us want.

My encouragement to you is rather than be negative and point out all the things you don’t like about Antioch – while not being pollyannish and ignoring reality – please, focus on the kind of city you want Antioch to become and offer your constructive input to the consultants.

Residents are invited either to fill out a brief survey at https://tinyurl.com/antioch-brand or to email brandingantioch@ci.antioch.ca.us.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Letter writer responds to Herald article on Antioch BART extension, shares concerns

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Dear Editor:

‘After waiting almost 60 years Antioch gets extension to BART!’ Vol. 9, No. 6, dated June 2018

This article has been anticipated about as long as residents have been waiting for the new EBart train and Antioch Station to open. It’s a wonderful advancement on the part of BART and a welcome addition for the residents of Antioch!

Although the article is highly positive on the new eBart train, the negative factor involving the parking at the station far outweighs the good it brings when there is absolutely no ability to access and utilize the train because there’s no available parking. By 7:30 am on any given day, the parking lot is packed full. And for those who chose to park on the street, citations and towing added to the agony of not being able to find a spot to park. If you can’t park at the new station, how are you supposed to use the new train system? For those of us who daily commuted on the Tri-Delta 300 Express to BART, this is extremely disappointing as we can no longer take the bus from park-n-ride to the Pittsburg BART, and even then, having a place to park. Sure, the new eBart trains boast a variety of amenities and the “newness” is refreshing; however, with not having adequate parking to accommodate the daily commuters who have been using this park-n-ride location for years to ride the bus to BART, it’s very discouraging to know that we now must try to find another alternative in parking our car if we wish to use BART’s Etrain system.

It is awesome to see the new eBart train up and running. The issue of parking and the overwhelming demand for such on a daily basis limits this “awesome’ness” to a great degree. Both the City of Antioch and BART should have planned way ahead of this station’s opening to ensure sufficient parking was readily-available for the mass of those who would utilize this station – this should have been a prime consideration and know well in advance that the two parking lots would not suffice for the demand of the commuters who have been waiting such a long time for this station to open – only to find now that we can’t utilize its services since we can’t find a parking place.

It’s very sad that I now must rely on someone else to me ff and pick-up at this station if I use BART’s Etrain. The impact of others having to do the same is also a serious issue with more car traffic in the lanes adjacent to the station. The high demand for use of the new train demands a higher use for parking and this now needs to be a key factor to consider in moving forward. Having the BART Etrain finally open is great; allowing the daily commuter to access and use this train system – and can park at its station – is now the immediate need that both the City of Antioch and BART need to consider and rectify.

Michele Garcia

Antioch

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Letter writer: Let’s talk about the City of Antioch’s brand

Monday, June 11th, 2018

Dear Editor:

Let’s talk about the really poor marketing of the marketing campaign to listen to the citizens of Antioch. I love this city, and I am happy to give input as to why Antioch is great, why folks should move here, etc. What I’m not happy about is the embarrassing debacle that surrounds this effort by the company hired to survey residents: evvivabrands.com.

I read about this series of events on Facebook Thursday morning. The first event shown was Friday 10-6 at the Somersville mall. I was surprised to be the first person in a city of over 100,000 people to register for the “listenting session” (the typo is theirs, not mine).

I showed up at 10 am and found no signage, no indication of anything happening in the main courtyard where the session was to take place. After asking around, I was directed to a storefront lined with black curtains where three people were standing around with rolling bags. I asked if they were associated with the brand event, and, hallelujah, they said they were.

I understand why they may have been defensive when I asked why it was so difficult to find them. But if you are a professional listener, I would recommend less arguing and more acknowledgement of the problem. Furthermore, this event that I signed up for was not an all-day meeting or session. They were simply there to pull shoppers in to ask the questions that, I assume, are the same ones on the electronic survey.

Come on, Antioch. If you hire a “professional” company to help with brand for the city, at least make sure that they know what they’re doing.

Jacquelyn Higgins

Antioch

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

OPINION: Republicans in California – The perpetual race for second place

Monday, June 4th, 2018

An argument in favor of Travis Allen for Governor

By Brenda Higgins

This commentary originally appeared on OCPolitical.com on June 2, 2018. Republished at the author’s request.

Travis Allen

Polls are not hard to understand.  The science of polling, even with the basic college level understanding of how the math behind it works, is also easily understood to be not just subjective, but fully within the manipulation of the pollster.

It doesn’t take a scientific poll to see and comprehend what has happened in elections in the U.S. and around the world in the past three U.S. election cycles.  People with a real power to vote, have done so. And, they have done so in outright rebellion to those in power who have told them what to do and how to vote.  In spite of the effort of this ruling class of politicians and pollsters and pundits, people have rejected their group-think advisements to vote as they are being told to vote, and they are voting, with a level of enthusiasm and fervor, that we have not seen in our lifetime.

People have, in massive numbers, rejected what they have been told, and voted for candidates that experts said could not win.  My opinion is based upon my own very unscientific polling. I knocked on people’s doors and talked to them about things like health insurance and abortion. I called them on the phone and talked to them about unions and school bonds.  I knocked on their doors to remind them to vote or show up to their caucus. I have done this many thousands of times in the past few election cycles.

They want to talk about things that aren’t in the polls.  In 2014 in Arkansas, people expressed angry reflexive passion to vote for any candidate with an “R” by their name. In 2015 there was fury over more special elections and efforts to create more special taxes to fix things they thought were already paying taxes for.  In Nevada in 2016 they only wanted to talk about Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders and had no interest in hearing anything else.  In 2018, as I talk to people on phones and at their front door, about the down-ticket, they want to talk about Travis Allen.

The politicians and pollsters and pundits, have told people in the past three election cycles that whatever they are feeling or thinking as an individual, sitting in their living room in front of their TV or behind their computer screen, the way that they should think because a lot of people think that way, and this is who you should vote for because all the other people are going to vote that way.  The American public has rejected that instruction out of hand and have become inherently distrustful of the media and of ‘establishment’ politicians.  Funny thing it, the media is now telling them that this has happened because of Donald Trump. The media misses it again. The rebellion is not ‘because’ of Donald Trump. Donald Trump is because of the rebellion.

So, it is in 2018, California.

Here’s a poll.  How many Democrat governors have we had in California since 1959?  That is more than a half century.  Think about that, because in the past three election cycles, Democrats, Republicans, pollsters and media pundits, continue to tell Californians that they can only have a Democrat governor.

In the past 59 years, we have had three Democrat Governors.  Brown, Brown, Davis, and Brown again.  Three. And one, Grey Davis, was kicked out of office by the rulers of California, the California people.  In the same time period, we have had four Republicans, Schwarzenegger, Wilson, Deukmejian, and Reagan.

Reagan’s two terms were after the two terms of Edmund G. Brown. and before two terms of his son, Jerry Brown.  Jerry Brown had ANOTHER two terms, after Schwartzenegger ousted Grey Davis. The last time we had a one term Governor was Culbert Olson in 1938. He was a Democrat. Before Culbert Olson, sequential Republicans held the office for nearly 50 years. You have to look back to 1894 to find another Democrat Governor.  My point is, there is not a long or strong history of support for Democrat Governors in this state, and in the last three election cycles, voters in every other state have rejected Democrat governors by wide margins.  Republicans are Governors in 33 states.  In 32 states, Republicans control BOTH houses of the legislature.  In 2010, Republicans controlled ONLY FOURTEEN STATES.  14, in 2010.

The tide has changed, and California citizens are missing the benefit of conservative ideals.

In the past three election cycles, the pollsters and pundits and party leaders (in both parties actually) are telling the voting public to sit down and be quiet, that there may never be a republican Governor in California again.  In keeping with their pearl clutching and hand wringing, over their polls, and research and infinite wisdom, they have given us, Meg Whitman and Neel Kashkari in the past two races for governor.  There was a bizarre victory lap when Neal Kashkari lost by less than expected in 2014.  These two were barely Republicans, they were wealthy people who spent their own money and the party rejoiced in that.  Kashkari, who had never held public office and supported Obama in 2008, was outspent by something like 10 to 1, so he got more votes per dollar than Meg Whitman.  The party leaders bizarrely counted in a victory and called on Tim Donnelly to step down because (by default), Kashkari was the party ‘standard bearer’.

Now we have another non-Californian, rich guy, and they are asking the voters to do the same. Take one for the team, vote this way because we are telling you that everyone else is going to vote this way, and we need to have a candidate at the “top of the ticket”.

Gone is any language about reclaiming the governor’s mansion at any time in the future, the strategy is simply to get someone bland enough, lack luster enough in policies, and rich enough to pay for some TV commercials, but not to win.

There is no strategy to re-take the governor’s mansion or find and promote a conservative candidate for governor in California.

Donald Trump did not have a path to 270.  There is a scientific poll.  The historic fact however, is that he far exceeded that necessary 270.

In 59 years, a member of the Brown family has held the governor’s office for 24 years, six terms.  There are no more members of the Brown dynasty, but the professionals are telling us that it is time for the Newsom/Pelosi dynasty to be coronated.  There is nothing you can do about it, we have given you this proper second place finisher, please just sit down and let us tell you how to vote.  Ruling, establishment, elitism, but in their tone deafness, they miss, that THIS is precisely what the rebellion has been aimed at.

Remember, this is what they told us about Hillary.  It was her turn.  She had the money, the experience, she was the most “qualified” and that Donald Trump was a joke. The coronation of the next ruling member of the Clinton dynasty had arrived.  Sit down Peasants.   The pollsters always leave out one thing.

The ruling class are not rulers, and the people are still in charge, and their not buying this.

Cox is a big government advocate still. No matter what he tries to do to distance himself from his own ideas. His only voting record, is his vote for Pro-Choice, Open Borders, Libertarian, Gary Johnson.  Cox has never won a race.  That makes him a perfect choice for the second place strategy.

Travis Allen has never lost a race and was never expected to be in office.  The pollsters, pundits and ruling class have counted him out, and told him to sit down and wait his turn for the entirety of his political career.

Historically, it is time for the Governor’s Mansion to be turned back to the Republicans.  Someone needs to tell the leadership of the Republican party, they don’t know it yet.   There is no justification for rolling over and paying dead with a second-place candidate.  Californians, just like Americans across the country in the past three elections, have risen up to remind you, who is in charge, and they seem to be pretty tired of Second Place.

Higgins practiced family law for 17 years prior to becoming a pro-life activist. She is currently the Executive Director of Stanton Healthcare SoCal, a non-profit medical center for women who’s mission is to replace Planned Parenthood with life affirming medical care. She writes for both OCPolitical and The127Activist.

Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Herald, or it’s publisher and editor.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Congressional candidate responds to accusations of anti-Semitism

Saturday, June 2nd, 2018

John Fitzgerald

Editor:

I find it interesting that simply pointing out the fact that Jews played a predominant role in the African Slave Trade https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7VkQSb7JlI&feature=youtu.be along with questioning Israel and challenging their control over U.S. foreign-policy, consequently gets me labeled an anti-Semite and NAZI by Former Republican Chairman, Ron Nehring. I will bet that he has NEVER taken the time to read the numerous and informative links I have provided on my website that substantiate my claims. Does Mr. Nehring find it interesting that the ONLY historical issue that lands people in prison– in eighteen countries and counting– is the holocaust? This is a fact! Why is this and why do so many people get imprisoned under Orwellian Hate-Speech laws, simply for challenging any aspect of it outside the “official narrative?” Please read:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/05/08/nazi-grandma-ursula-haverbeck-who-denies-holocaust-taken-jail/589613002/

Also, watch this video of Monika Schaefer, who is also serving time in prison for apologizing to her mom’s spirit in a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0_BZphQ7Qo. Isn’t debate good to rule out falsehoods, etc. and to glean fact? So why is the holocaust off-limits but no other issue? Also, why did South Carolina recently pass a similar Hate-Speech law strictly focusing on Israel and anti-Semitism in public schools and college campuses. Please read: https://www.reuters.com/…/south-carolina-passes-bill-to-fig….

Now Tennessee is soon doing the same and a federal law was just introduced last week in Congess to cover all 50 states for a similar anti-Semitism bill: https://www.thefire.org/new-federal-anti-semitism-act-same…/. I find this remarkable and, even moreso, troubling! No matter the issue, taboo or not, why is our 1st amendment (free-speech) being eroded and only for questioning Israel and/or Jewish interests and no other country or people? We supposedly live in a free and civilized society, yet how free are we if we cannot express contrary opinions without fear of being deemed afoul of the law? Also, isn’t this a slippery slope that may lead to more draconian laws and/or measures in the future? After all, shouldn’t one’s opinion– no matter how offensive it may be to some– along with what’s deemed “truth” stand on its own merit when scrutinized? I think so.

I challenge people to go to my website and find any information that I post that is incorrect or anti-Semitic. I research every issue extensively and take what I claim very seriously and I hope you will do the same. I am not an anti-Semite by any means, but only a person of strong values, morals and character who has the courage to challenge controversial and, what many people perceive to be “taboo” subjects that a certain sect of society try to suppress and/or, subsequently, deem off-limits. Thank you and please remember to vote June 5th. Here is my website:   http://johnfitzgeraldforcongress.com/

John Fitzgerald

Candidate for Congress, CA District 11

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Letter writer: Let’s talk about the City of Antioch’s brand

Friday, June 1st, 2018

Dear Editor:

Let’s talk about the really poor marketing of the marketing campaign to listen to the citizens of Antioch. I love this city, and I am happy to give input as to why Antioch is great, why folks should move here, etc. What I’m not happy about is the embarrassing debacle that surrounds this effort by the company hired to survey residents: evvivabrands.com.

I read about this series of events on Facebook Thursday morning. The first event shown was Friday 10-6 at the Somersville mall. I was surprised to be the first person in a city of over 100,000 people to register for the “listenting session” (the typo is theirs, not mine).

I showed up at 10 am and found no signage, no indication of anything happening in the main courtyard where the session was to take place. After asking around, I was directed to a storefront lined with black curtains where three people were standing around with rolling bags. I asked if they were associated with the brand event, and, hallelujah, they said they were.

I understand why they may have been defensive when I asked why it was so difficult to find them. But if you are a professional listener, I would recommend less arguing and more acknowledgement of the problem. Furthermore, this event that I signed up for was not an all-day meeting or session. They were simply there to pull shoppers in to ask the questions that, I assume, are the same ones on the electronic survey.

Come on, Antioch. If you hire a “professional” company to help with the brand for the city, at least make sure that they know what they’re doing.

Jacquelyn Higgins

Antioch resident

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Editorial: Graves is the clear choice for Contra Costa District Attorney

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

Paul Graves

By Allen Payton, Publisher & Editor

In the race for District Attorney there is one candidate who has the experience to be the top prosecutor we need in Contra Costa County. That’s Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Graves.

Unlike his current boss, Interim D.A. Diana Becton, who was appointed on a 3-2 vote of the Board of Supervisors, last year, Graves has 22 years of experience prosecuting crime in our county. She has never prosecuted a single case. Yes, Becton served for 30 years as a judge, but that’s not the same thing.

Also, Graves was the first candidate to declare and was willing to run against his former boss, Mark Peterson, who had not yet resigned following a controversy regarding lack of disclosure of loans to himself from his campaign funds.

Becton only entered the appointment process after Peterson’s resignation, which doesn’t show me a serious interest or commitment to the position.

Although accused of being part of the problem, Graves was not part of Peterson’s inner circle. He’s running to restore integrity to the office. Becton on the other hand, admitted to plagiarizing large portions of her application for the position. Yet, three supervisors still voted to appoint her.

The third candidate in the race, businessman and attorney Lawrence Strauss, is opposed to the death penalty – even for cop killers. That to me is an immediate disqualification. If you’re going to be the top prosecutor in the county, you need to be willing to follow and enforce all laws in our state, whether you agree with them or not.

Another thing to look at is who is backing the candidates. Graves has the support of all the Deputy District Attorneys, as well as all of the police officer associations, in the county. Those who enforce the law know Graves is the one candidate who will do the same.

Becton’s backers include the ultraliberal, former San Francisco D.A. and now U.S. Senator Kamala Harris and worse, the soft-on-crime billionaire George Soros. Why are they interfering in our county’s law enforcement? Do we really want to model our D.A.’s office after San Francisco’s? Of course not.

Worst of all, Becton is missing too many days from the office for a job that pays her more than $250,000 per year.

We need a prosecutor who will restore leadership and integrity to the Contra Costa D.A.’s office. Voting for Paul Graves will accomplish that.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

OPINION: Latest vile anti-Semite running for Congress is from Contra Costa County

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

By Ron Nehring

Originally published on Flash Report. Republished with permission

It’s happened before: Some vile racist or anti-Semite runs for an office they have no chance of winning in the hopes of drawing attention to themselves, or their cause. This is exactly what happened earlier this year when Holocaust denier Arthur Jones ran for Congress as a Republican in the heavily Democratic 3rd Congressional District of Illinois. He has been denounced by the Republican Party but will still appear on the November ballot as a result of winning the uncontested GOP primary in the district.

Well, now we have another one of these guys. This time it’s here in California. Today’s vile anti-Semite is John Fitzgerald, who is running for Congress in the heavily Democratic 11th Congressional District in Contra Costa County. The district, in which Hillary Clinton won 71.% of the vote in 2016, is currently represented by Democrat Mark DeSaulnier.

John Fitzgerald is using is campaign website to peddle anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and falsehoods. Image source: Facebook. Below are Screen shots from John Fitzgerald’s campaign website, taken May 26, 2018 at 3:24 PM PT. 

Fitzgerald has zero chance of winning this seat, yet he currently has the official endorsement of the California Republican Party by virtue of being the only Republican running for the office. Under rules adopted by the party following the passage of California’s deeply flawed top-two primary system, the party endorsement goes to any Republican running for state legislature or Congress when they are the only party member running. The Board of Directors may take an affirmative step to reverse the endorsement, which of course should happen immediately.

In a post on his campaign website that went up on May 23rd, Fitzgerald peddles numerous anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. He asserts as “truth” that Jews “played a prominent role in the African slave trade,” linking to an article that further peddles this conspiracy theory. He goes on at length peddling numerous other anti-Semitic claims and theories. I won’t link to his website or post because I have no interest in driving up his search results, but you can Google this guy yourself.

So, what should be done about this?

First and foremost, absolutely no one should vote for this guy. Unfortunately, the state party website lists Fitzgerald as the endorsed party candidate, and since many Republicans rely on the site for guidance when voting, combined with his being the only Republican candidate, he will get an unfortunate number of votes. But certainly all that should come to a screeching halt now.

Second, the state party Board of Directors, which is entirely composed of good people I know personally, needs to reverse Fitzgerald’s default endorsement.

And third, Republicans should speak out against Fitzgerald and candidacy for his blatant anti-Semitism. Let’s not wait and see if this gets traction and only then condemn this vile individual who has soiled the good name of our party – we should affirmatively reject both his candidacy and his ideas because they offend our principles.

The Republican Party was founded on the most noble of causes – the abolition of slavery. Just over 100 years later, people of both parties came together in support of the civil rights movement and the abolition of segregation. Racism and anti-Semitism have no place in our country, and good people of both parties have the responsibility to condemn it regardless of the source.

Editor’s Note: The 11th Congressional District includes portions of Antioch.

Nehring is the former Chairman of the California Republican Party.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter