Archive for the ‘Politics & Elections’ Category

Analysis: Antioch voters reject Council’s direction on ballot measures

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

By Allen Payton, Publisher

Last week, the people of Antioch voted the complete opposite of the intent and desire of the Antioch City Council by overwhelmingly passing one measure and rejecting the other, that the council placed on the June ballot. Measure E passed and Measure G failed, both by about two-to-one margins.

Measure E passes

First, Measure E, which made changes to the city ordinance on card rooms, and now requires an election for a second one, passed by 67.04% to 32.96%, according to the latest figures. Of course it helped that the owner of the California Grand Casino in Pacheco spent over $310,000 (almost all of it out of town) to eliminate additional competition for himself in Antioch.

Yet, only three of the council members actually put some of their money where their mouths were by helping pay for a newspaper ad and a few campaign signs. Councilwoman Monica Wilson abstained on the vote to place the measure on the ballot, after having signed the petition to force the council to either adopt the language or send it to the ballot. So, I didn’t expect her to do anything to help defeat it. But, after talking tough, saying “we will not be bullied” Mayor Wade Harper didn’t do a thing to help defeat it. That reminds me of his tough, but hollow campaign slogan in 2012 of “Zero Tolerance for Crime.” While three of the council members spent a total of $415 of their own money, that was it. Neither they nor the mayor raised money from any of their supporters, or even wrote a letter to the editor to try to help defeat it.

I urged the mayor and council members to step up and lead the charge. But, they left it up to the family members who own Kelly’s – which was the target of the measure – to form the committee and financially back the No on E campaign. The family spent about $9,000 of their own money (most of it in Antioch) to try to defeat the measure, in spite of the fact they’ve pretty much been out of business for years.

Even the local front person for the Yes on E campaign, Lamar Thorpe, didn’t contribute even $100 or raise any money to help pass his pet measure, based on the campaign finance reports. So, he didn’t put his money where his mouth was, either. Now, I guarantee you he will try to use the issue to help him run for City Council, this fall saying how he helped protect the people of Antioch. All he did was let that Pacheco casino use him to advance their cause of eliminating more competition. Antioch won’t be any safer as a result of the passing of Measure E. We were lied to. Plus, what a hypocritical message for him and his campaign to say “stop the expansion of gambling” by using money from a casino.

Measure G fails, again

The other item on the ballot was Measure G, another attempt by the City Council on a 5-0 vote, to turn the elected position of City Treasurer into an appointed one. Once, again the voters said “no” loud and clear by defeating it, according to the latest figures, by 63.17% to 36.83%. We sent them the same message just four years ago in June, 2012 when we voted to oppose changing both the City Treasurer and City Clerk to appointed positions by 70.85% to 29.15%.

Here, again, the council members did nothing to help pass the measure. They didn’t form a campaign committee, raise any money, pay for any signs, advertising or mailers, or even send one letter to the editor in support of the measure. Two of them were too busy running for higher office and raising money for that, to bother putting any effort into fulfilling their current positions – serving the people of Antioch.

It’s time that the current city council members and treasurer, Donna Conley, as well as all future council candidates and city treasurers got the message that we the people want a separate, independent set of eyes on the city’s books. That’s needed now, more than ever with the way Measures C and O monies are being collected and spent.

It’s also time the City Council gave back the necessary responsibilities and authority to the treasurer’s position to be the check and balance we want and need, and will hold the city staff and council accountable.

In fact, one thing the council should and can do immediately is create a seat on the Measure C Citizens Oversight Committee for the city treasurer, to help be a watchdog over the city’s finances.

But, even if the council doesn’t return any power to our elected city treasurer, the person who holds that position can still use it as a bully pulpit to keep us informed with clear explanations of how our money is being spent and/or wasted.

According to County Registrar of Voters, Joe Canciamilla, his department “provided the City of Antioch with a cost estimate range for these two measures of between $2.00 – 2.50 per registered voter in the City of Antioch.  We won’t have final billing information to them with the exact amount until August.  With some 48,677 registered voters as of the 15 day close of registration this would put the cost at between $97,374 and $121,692.”

So, basically, the results of the June election are as follows: First, the voters will now get to vote on approving a second card room in Antioch; second, the city treasurer will continue to be an elected position; and third, they sent a message to the mayor and council, clearly repudiating their lack of action which wasted as much as $120,000 of taxpayer money by placing both measures on the ballot, then doing little to nothing to pass or defeat them. If they weren’t going to make a serious effort to defeat Measure E, they could have just adopted the ordinance, instead. While it only cost a bit more to have Measure G on the ballot, it’s still our money that was wasted, since no campaign effort was mounted to pass it.

Note to current and future council members: if you’re going to spend taxpayer dollars to place a measure on the ballot, you need to be willing to mount a serious campaign to pass or defeat it. It’s one thing to talk tough. It’s another to actually take action.

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

McNerney to face Amador for Congress, again in November General Election

Monday, June 13th, 2016

By Allen Payton

In a rematch of the 2014 election for Congress in District 9, Democrat Representative Jerry McNerney will face retired U.S. Marshall Tony Amador in the November election.

After entering the race on the last day possible, Amador edged out fellow Republican candidate, Stockton Police Sergeant Kathryn Nance, who had been campaigning for over a year, by 2.9% of the vote.

“I want to thank those who supported me,” Amador said. “We’re going to need the help of independent and Democrat voters, and Kathryn’s supporters, as well.”

“I want to congratulate her for fighting the fight,” he added.

The latest vote count, as of Friday, June 10th at 6:47 p.m., McNerney had 50,144 votes or 55.7%, Amador had 19,644 votes or 21.8%, Nance had 16,975 votes or 18.9% and Libertarian Alex Appleby had 3,218 votes or 3.6% of the vote.

District 9 includes most of Antioch and the rest of far East County in Contra Costa County, as well as most of San Joaquin County, plus Galt in Sacramento County.

Amador is leading Nance by only 435 votes in San Joaquin County where they both live, but in the Contra Costa portion of the district he’s leading her by 1,907 votes. Amador is leading Nance by 327 votes in Galt.

To see the the election results as they’re updated, visit the California Secretary of State’s website at: http://vote.sos.ca.gov/returns/us-rep/district/9/

 

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

Glover, Avila Farias in November run-off in race for District 5 Supervisor

Friday, June 10th, 2016

By Allen Payton

While the County Elections Office continues to count ballots and provide updates, it’s clear that both Supervisor Federal Glover and Martinez Councilwoman Anamarie Avila Farias have taken the top two spots in the race for District 5 Supervisor, and will be in the November run-off.

County Elections Office staff stated they had 56,000 ballots in the county left to count as of Wednesday, not including 19,000 provisional ballots nor those ballots that were postmarked by Tuesday and received by today.

As of the Thursday afternoon vote count update, Glover holds the top spot with 10,443 votes which is 35.26% of the votes and Avila Farias is in second with 9,197 votes which is 31.05%. Trailing in a distant third is former Martinez Mayor Mike Menesini with 4,339 votes or 14.65%, Hercules Mayor Dan Romero with 3,930 votes or 13.27% and then Conrad Dandridge with 1,604 votes or 5.42%.

Avila Farias received a large boost of support from both the firefighters and the deputy sheriffs in the county, with over $68,000 spent on her behalf.

The Elections Office has 28 days to certify the election and is expected to provide another update, later today and more next week, as the remaining ballots are counted. District 5 includes most of the portion in Antioch north of Highway 4.

Following are the results from the County Elections website as of Thursday, June 9, 4:04 p.m.:

ANAMARIE AVILA FARIAS   9,197   31.05%
CONRAD DANDRIDGE   1,604     5.42%
MICHAEL MENESINI   4,339   14.65%
FEDERAL GLOVER (I) 10,443   35.26%
DAN ROMERO   3,930   13.27%
WRITE-IN      107     0.36%
Total 29,620
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

Barr, Burgis expand leads in Thursday’s District 3 Supervisor race vote count update

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

By Allen Payton

An update on the Contra Costa County Elections Office website on Thursday, June 09, 2016 at 4:04 p.m. shows Brentwood City Councilman Steve Barr expanding his lead over East Bay Regional Parks District Board Member Diane Burgis, to 1,930 votes. Burgis expanded her lead over Oakley Councilman Doug Hardcastle to 1,227 votes, with about an additional 4,000 votes counted.

Barr has secured his place in the November run-off. If the trend continues as the remaining ballots are counted, Burgis will have secured her place, as well, as the top two finishers face off in the General Election.

The latest vote counts and percentages are as follows:

ODESSA LEFRANCOIS 1,787 5.73%
DIANE BURGIS 7,044 22.57%
STEVE BARR 9,014 28.88%
MONICA E WILSON 2,798 8.97%
DOUGLAS F. HARDCASTLE 5,817 18.64%
WADE HARPER 4,684 15.01%
WRITE-IN 66 0.21%
Total 31,210
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

Election for District 3 Supervisor may not be decided, about 56,000 ballots in county left to count

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

By Allen Payton

Election results from Tuesday night show Brentwood Councilman Steve Barr in a commanding first place lead and East Bay Regional Parks District Board Member in second place in the race for District 3 Supervisor. But, the battle for second place to determine who will face Barr in the run-off election in November may not yet be decided.

Oakley Councilman Doug Hardcastle trails Burgis by just 1,025 votes and according to County Elections Office staff, there are still about 56,000 vote-by-mail ballots in the county, turned in at the polls, Tuesday that are left to be counted. That figure does not include an additional 19,000 provisional ballots, plus the ballots turned in to the 19 City Clerks’ offices, on Tuesday, nor those ballots postmarked by Tuesday and received by this Friday.

All the ballots of those who voted at the polls were counted and included in Tuesday night’s totals.

According to the County Elections website, the results for the District 3 race as of Tuesday night are as follows:

Steve Barr – 7,996 votes, 28.9%

Diane Burgis – 6,136 votes, 22.2%

Doug Hardcastle – 5,109 votes, 18.49%

Wade Harper – 4,234 votes, 15.32%

Monica Wilson – 2,516 votes, 9.11%

Odessa Lefrancois – 1,584 votes, 5.73%

Vote counts will be updated as the County Elections office has them, with the first one expected on Friday.

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

Hardcastle maintains lead in finances in District 3 Supervisor race, Burgis leads in monetary contributions, is second in spending

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

By Allen Payton

The final financial reports were due on Friday, June 2 for the candidates in races for Contra Costa County Supervisor. In District 3, Oakley Councilman Doug Hardcastle continues to maintain his lead in total contributions and total expenses. East Bay Regional Parks District Board Member Diane Burgis shows the most in monetary contributions. Brentwood Councilman Steve Barr is in second in that category. But, Burgis shows the second most spent during the campaign and the most in outstanding debts.

Below is the summary of the campaign finances based on the latest reporting (please see copies of their reports at the bottom of this story):

Doug Hardcastle

Monetary Contributions Received during the period: $1,300

Loans Received during the period: $1,000

Non-Monetary Contributions Received: $1,400

Total Contributions Received for the period: $3,700 (1st)

Monetary Contributions Received during the campaign: $27,308.16 (4th)

Total Contributions during the campaign: $52,633.16 (1st)

Payments Made during period: $2,511.13

Accrued Expenses (unpaid bills) for the period: $ -0-

Total Expenditures Made during the campaign: $52,155.00 (1st)

Ending Cash Balance: $478.16

Outstanding Debts: $16,500 (2nd) – all loans from himself

Hardcastle submitted two amended reports showing $700 in additional monetary contributions and a $750 in-kind contribution not previously reported.

 

Steve Barr

Monetary Contributions Received during the period: $2,567

Loans Received during the period: $ -0-

Non-Monetary Contributions Received: $ -0-

Total Contributions Received for the period: $2,567 (2nd)

Monetary Contributions Received during the campaign: $30,352 (2nd)

Total Contributions during the campaign: $40,752 (3rd)

Expenditures Made during period: $ -0-

Total Expenditures Made during the campaign: $38,768 (3rd)

Ending Cash Balance: $3,984

Outstanding Debts: $7,000 (3rd) - $5,000 in loans from himself

Barr submitted an amended report showing a change from an in-kind contribution of $450 to an Accrued Expense.  His amended report obtained, today will be posted later, this evening.

 

Diane Burgis

Monetary Contributions Received during the period: $2,000

Loans Received during the period: $  -0-

Non-Monetary Contributions Received: $ -0-

Total Contributions Received for the period: $2,000 (4th)

Monetary Contributions Received during the campaign: $31,655 (1st)

Total Contributions during the campaign: $31,755 (3rd)

Expenditures Made during period: $8,137.80

Accrued Expenses (unpaid bills) for the period: $23,370.06

Total Expenditures Made during the campaign: $50,043.18 (2nd)

Ending Cash Balance: $5,082.43

Outstanding Debts: $23,470.06 (1st) - $100 in a loan from herself

 

Monica Wilson

Monetary Contributions Received during period: $2,095

Loans Received during the period: $  -0-

Non-Monetary Contributions received: $ -0-

Total Contributions Received for the period: $2,095 (3rd)

Monetary Contributions Received during the campaign: $29,170.92 (3rd)

Total Contributions for the campaign: $31,216.86 (4th)

Expenditures Made during period: $5,254.59 paid down previous unpaid bills of $1,874.98

Accrued Expenses (unpaid bills) for the period: $ -0-

Total Expenditures Made during the campaign: $34,470.54 (4th)

Ending Cash Balance of $3,175.32

Outstanding Debts: $1,250 (4th)

 

Odessa Lefrancois

Monetary Contributions Received during period: $ -0-

Loans Received during the period: $  -0-

Non-Monetary Contributions received: $   -0-

Total Contributions Received for the period: $  -0-

Monetary Contributions Received during the campaign: $13,025.00 (5th)

Total Contributions for the campaign: $13,025.00 (5th)

Expenditures Made during period: $2,312.22

Accrued Expenses (unpaid bills) for the period: $ -0-

Total Expenditures Made during the campaign: $11,590.02 (5th)

Ending Cash Balance of $1,434.98

Outstanding Debts: $ -0-

She will have to file an amended report, as hers once again, does not show the Year to Date Totals on the Summary page.

 

Wade Harper

Monetary Contributions Received during period: $ -0-

Non-Monetary Contributions received: $   -0-

Total Contributions Received for the period: $ -0-

Monetary Contributions Received during the campaign: $9,725.00 (6th)

Total Contributions for the campaign: $9,725.00 (6th)

Expenditures Made during period: $ -0-

Accrued Expenses (unpaid bills) for the period: $ -0-

Total Expenditures Made during the campaign: $8,950.54 (6th)

Ending Cash Balance of $774.46

Outstanding Debts: $ -0-

Publisher’s Note: For full disclosure and as explained in the March issue of the Antioch Herald, I, the writer of this article, am the paid consultant for Doug Hardcastle’s campaign for County Supervisor.

Barr 460 0522-060216

Barr Amend 0424-052116

Burgis 460 0522-060216

Hardcastle 460 0522-060216

Hardcastle Amend 0101-042316

Hardcastle Amend 0424-052116

Harper 460 0522-060216

Lefrancios 460 0522-060316

Wilson 460 0522-060216

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

Former President Bill Clinton to be in Antioch to campaign for Hillary, Monday

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

By Allen Payton

It has been confirmed by Jeff Koertzen, Chair of the Democratic Party of Contra Costa County, that former President Bill Clinton will be in Antioch on Monday, June 6th to campaign for his wife Hillary in her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Reports have been circulating since Thursday that campaign staff were at Nuce Nuce Deli in Waldie Plaza in Antioch’s downtown looking for a location for the event.

UPDATE: The event will be held at Marsh Elementary School, 2304 G Street, Antioch at 2:00 p.m. Doors open at 1:00 p.m.

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

Early voting in Antioch, other locations, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m, today

Saturday, June 4th, 2016

Contra Costa County voters can receive and cast their ballots at seven Regional Early Voting sites throughout the county before Election Day.

Regional Early Voting sites are structured so that any registered Contra Costa voter can vote at any location. For example, a Concord resident who works at Bishop Ranch in San Ramon can vote at the site in either of those cities.

The Regional Early Voting sites will be open for voting on Saturday, June 4th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

The sites are geographically balanced and are located in convenient and accessible locations.

·        Prewett Water Park Multi-Purpose Room, 4701 Lone Tree Way, Antioch

·        Bay Hills Community Church, 4100 Klose Way, Richmond

·        Lafayette Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette

·        San Ramon Community Center at Central Park, 12501 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon

·        Pittsburg City Hall, 65 Civic Ave., Pittsburg

·        The Salvation Army Church, 3950 Clayton Road, Concord

In addition to the Regional Voting Center sites, vote-by-mail voters can continue to drop off their ballots at “CoCo Vote-N-Go” drop-off boxes at all 19 city hall buildings and the County Administration building on 651 Pine Street, Martinez.

For more information on Regional Early Voting, visit www.cocovote.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