Archive for the ‘Politics & Elections’ Category

Retired Judge Tue Phan-Quang announces run for the 11th Congressional District

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Judge phanQuangTue Retired Judge Tue Phan Quang announces run for the 11th Congressional DistrictPublisher’s Note: Although this candidate’s announcement was mentioned in a previous article, the complete news release was not published on this site, until now.

Following Congressman George Miller’s announcement on January 13, that he will retire and not seek re-election, retired Judge Tue Phan-Quang announced his candidacy for California’s 11th Congressional District. The district covers a large portion of Contra Costa County including the northern and western portions of Antioch.

Judge Tue is married with four sons and eight grandchildren. He and his wife have been residents of Danville, since 1995. Judge Tue immigrated to the United States after the fall of Saigon in April, 1975. A trained attorney in Vietnam, he completed his law studies at Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa. He was a Hearing Officer with the Iowa Department of Job Service for four years. He was appointed Assistant Attorney General with the Iowa Department of Justice in 1987.

Judge Tue moved his family to California in 1988. He was a trial attorney with the Immigration & Naturalization Service, District Counsel Office in San Francisco from 1988-1993. From 1993-1995 he was an Administrative Law Judge with the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board in Sacramento. He was then appointed Immigration Judge In March 1995 in San Francisco where he served until his retirement in December 2012, to run for Congress.

Tue is a Republican. The only other candidate in the race, currently is State Senator Mark DeSaulnier, a Democrat.

For more information about Judge Tue, view this video made for his 70th birthday by clicking here, or contact Van Phan by email at vaphan@pacbell.net or (925) 984-0980.

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In spite of death threats, candidate to run for Congress against McNerney

Saturday, February 8th, 2014
 In spite of death threats, candidate to run for Congress against McNerney

Karen Mathews-Davis

STOCKTON – Former Stanislaus County Clerk-Recorder Karen Mathews Davis announced on Thursday, February 6 at the Stockton Police Department, that she will be a candidate for the 9th Congressional District, which includes most of Antioch, despite receiving death threats to herself and family if she chose to run for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Karen was assaulted in 1994 after she refused to cooperate with members of a domestic terrorist group who had made demands on her while she was serving as the Stanislaus County Clerk-Recorder. Her attacker was convicted and sentenced to 19 years in prison.

After receiving the threat several weeks ago, I almost dropped out of the race but after prayer and a great amount of support from my husband, I decided I must go forward.”

Karen who is a native of Stockton served as the City Clerk in Manteca for 3 years from 1981-1984 and as the Clerk-Recorder in Stanislaus County for 11 years from 1990-2001 winning 3 county wide elections by wide margins. “My public service has been guided by my ability to work to solve problems, I balanced my budgets and saved the county of Stanislaus money during my years of serving there, we need a member of congress who is interested in District 9 and not the political labels and partisan bickering.”

Karen and her husband George run a small business in Lodi and are active in their church.

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Two more potential, high-profile candidates say no to running for Miller’s seat in Congress

Monday, January 20th, 2014

By Allen Payton

Following Congressman George Miller’s retirement announcement last week, two candidates who have been suggested as potential candidates for California’s 11th District, which Miller represents and includes part of Antioch, have said they won’t be running.

Contra Costa District Attorney Mark Peterson said last Friday, that he’s focused on his reelection, which is on the ballot in June, and won’t be running for Congress.

Another high-profile individual, who is known nationally, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberg, who lives in the district issued the following statement, on January 14.

I believe I can best use my skills, experience, and the public platform I have been given as an advocate for the traveling public and for promoting safety in general and I am not considering a run for public office,” Sullenberg said.

He’s known as the Hero of the Hudson for the emergency landing in the Hudson River, of the U.S. Airways plane he was piloting, five years ago, last week.

The 62-year-old native of Danville is a best-selling author and has received honors from both Presidents Obama and George W. Bush. He is now an airline safety advocate.

So far, only State Senator Mark DeSaulnier on the Democrat side and on the Republican side, retired federal immigration Judge Tue Phan-Quang, who lives in Danville, have announced they will seek the open congressional seat, for which filing opens February 10th. More information about the judge can be learned from a Youtube video, by clicking here.

The voter registration figures for the district are 49.5% Democrat, 25% Republican and 21% independent.

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DeSaulnier announces he will run for Miller’s Congressional seat

Monday, January 13th, 2014
Mark DeSaulnier 213x300 DeSaulnier announces he will run for Millers Congressional seat

Mark DeSaulnier

In response to the retirement announcement by Congressman George Miller, today, State Senator Mark DeSaulnier, a Democrat, who represents Antioch, announced that he will run this year for California’s 11th Congressional district seat, which Miller represents. The 11th district covers about 30% of Antioch.

I considered Rep. Miller one of California’s strongest champions for working people and the middle class,” said Senator DeSaulnier. “I’ve always greatly admired Rep. Miller’s tireless work ethic, his dedication to the residents of his district, along with his deep devotion and perseverance in fighting for the progressive values and issues that matter most to Californians.”

Senator DeSaulnier added, “Rep. Miller will be missed, but his legacy of working to create good jobs, increase access to healthcare, improve our schools, and help California flourish in a global economy, will live on forever.”

It’s truly been an honor working closely with Rep. Miller for over 20 years on a variety of critical issues. We’ve partnered together during my tenures as a local City Councilman, County Supervisor, member of the State Assembly, and recently in my current job as a member of the State Senate.”

I’m running for Congress to help bring an end to the brinkmanship and gridlock in Washington, so that we can move forward with President Obama’s agenda of creating more good paying jobs, growing our middle class, investing in our infrastructure, increasing access to healthcare, advancing the use of renewable and homegrown energy, enhancing our education systems, and making the United States a leader in innovation around the globe.”

I plan to hit the ground running hard in this campaign.  I am ready to run and ready to serve the people of the 11th District,” explained Senator DeSaulnier.

Currently, DeSaulnier represents California’s 7th Senate district, which covers 70% of California’s 11th Congressional district. He was elected in 2008 and reelected in 2012. Previously, DeSaulnier represented California’s old 11th State Assembly district from 2006-2008.

He got his start in Contra Costa politics by being appointed to the Concord Planning Commission in 1988, then elected to the City Council in 1991 where he served as Mayor in 1993. Then in 1994, DeSaulnier, then a Republican, was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board of Supervisors by Governor Pete Wilson. He later switched to the Democrat Party before running for his third term in 2002.

In 2009, he ran for Congress in the special election for former Rep. Ellen Tauscher’s seat, but lost in the Democrat primary to former California Lt. Governor John Garamendi, who continues to serve in Congress, today and represented Antioch, until redistricting moved his district north to Solano County in 2012.

County Supervisor Candace Andersen, a top Republican who lives in the 11th Congressional District, said through her staff, she’s been getting calls all day, today, that she’s happy serving the people of the 2nd Supervisorial district and there’s much to be done, so she will not be seeking the Congressional seat. The ranking Republican in the district, District Attorney Mark Peterson, who is up for reelection in June, was unavailable for comment for this story.

If DeSaulnier is elected to the congressional seat, that will trigger a special election next year, for the remainder of his State Senate term, causing a further game of political dominoes or musical chairs. The most likely candidates will be Assembly Members Joan Buchanan, Susan Bonilla or Jim Frazier.

Filing to run for Congress will be open February 10th through March 7th. but, candidates can pick up In Lieu of Signature petitions now, through February 20th. For more information visit www.cocovote.us or call (925) 646-4166.

For more information about Senator DeSaulnier, visit his state website at http://sd07.senate.ca.gov/.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Long-serving Congressman George Miller announces his retirement

Monday, January 13th, 2014
George Miller Long serving Congressman George Miller announces his retirement

Congressman George Miller.

RICHMOND, CA, Jan. 13th, 2014 – Congressman George Miller, a senior Democrat from California who represents part of Antioch, and has chaired three committees during the past 40 years and is a principal author of major laws affecting America’s education system, labor and health policy, and the protection of natural resources, announced today that he will not seek a 21st term in the House this fall.

This is a great institution and I cannot thank my family and my constituents enough for having given me the honor and privilege of representing my district in Congress these past 40 years, said Miller (D-CA-Contra Costa County).  I have tried to repay them for their confidence by working hard every day to make our country a better place. I’m proud of what I have been able to accomplish on behalf of children, working people and the environment, in my district and for our country, especially passage of national health care reform.  Now, I look forward to one last year in Congress fighting the good fight and then working in new venues on the issues that have inspired me. What a wonderful experience this has been.

Miller’s expansive congressional career has been marked by a tenacious pursuit of a quality education for children from all backgrounds and economic opportunity for the working poor and middle class. He built a successful record in Congress by using sophisticated legislative strategies, pointed investigations of powerful special interests, and impassioned advocacy.  He has been steadfast whether Democrats or Republicans were in the majority.

Elected in 1974 at age 29 as the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal were coming to a close, he collaborated on writing major laws over the years with other congressional leaders as divergent as the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy and Republican Speaker John Boehner. A longtime supporter and advisor to Democratic Leader and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, he currently serves as the top Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee and is the fifth most senior member of the House of Representatives.

Miller’s full statement and additional background is below:

Miller’s expansive congressional career has been marked by a tenacious pursuit of a quality education for children from all backgrounds and economic opportunity for the working poor and middle class. He built a successful record in Congress by using sophisticated legislative strategies, pointed investigations of powerful special interests, and impassioned advocacy.  He has been steadfast whether Democrats or Republicans were in the majority.

Elected in 1974 at age 29 as the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal were coming to a close, he collaborated on writing major laws over the years with other congressional leaders as divergent as the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy and Republican Speaker John Boehner.  A longtime supporter and advisor to Democratic Leader and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, he currently serves as the top Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee and is the fifth most senior member of the House of Representatives.

Miller, 68, has shown equal enthusiasm and energy in all aspects of his job, from dissecting the complexities of health care policy or school nutrition programs at congressional hearings, to joining a picket line outside Walmart in his district, to reading to and playing paddy cake with children at local Head Start centers. He has traveled home to his district in the East Bay of San Francisco from Washington nearly every weekend of his long career.

An aggressive and unapologetic investigator in defense of taxpayers and the health and safety of children and workers, Miller has successfully taken on asbestos executives, for-profit colleges, subsidized agribusiness, mining corporations, oil companies, boot camps for troubled youth, and Administration officials of both parties. He is well known for sticking with issues over the long haul and engaging directly with the people most affected by the policies under consideration, such as mineworker families, fishermen, teachers and children, garment workers, seniors, and experts from across the country in the fields of education, labor and the environment.  The Nation magazine recently named Miller the 2013 “Most Valuable Member of the House” for his work on the minimum wage, food stamps, garment worker safety, and fair trade policy.

He served as chair of the Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families (1983-1992), the Committee on Natural Resources (1992-1994), the Committee on Education and Labor (2007-2010), and was the long-time co-chair of Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, a leadership position he resigned from in January of 2013.  He has used each of these positions to advance his policy priorities and highlight inequities in the federal budget.

Miller issued the following statement:

“This is a great institution and I cannot thank my family and my constituents enough for having given me the honor and privilege of representing them in Congress these past 40 years. I have tried to repay them for their confidence by working hard every day to make our country a better place.

“I’m proud of what I have been able to accomplish on behalf of children, working people and the environment, in my district and for our country, especially passage of national health care reform.

“I have not won every fight that I have waged.  And there remain, of course, many critical challenges waiting to be addressed.  But I have no regrets about what I have accomplished and what I have tried to accomplish in the public interest.

“Now, I look forward to one last year in Congress fighting the good fight and then working in new venues on the issues that have inspired me, and I will not seek re-election this fall.  What a wonderful experience this has been.

“I came to Congress to help children of all backgrounds in America get a healthy start in life, have opportunity to get a good education, and eventually have the chance to work hard at a job with dignity. The first law that I authored expanded the WIC program that provides nutritional foods to pregnant women and newborns, and the most recent bills I’ve introduced would expand early childhood education and raise the minimum wage to lift families out of poverty.

“As a youth, I watched my father use his elected position to really help people, and I told myself, ‘That’s what I want to do when I grow up.’  Since I came to Congress 40 years ago, I’ve woken up every day asking myself the same question – ‘what is my opportunity to do some good today?’ And I think that I have lived up to the high standard I set for myself when I first sought this job, with the same degree of commitment and passion now as when I first started.

“I believe that we are in the midst of one of the most exciting and critical times for educational achievement, teacher empowerment and school reform. This includes the smart application and use of technology that offers a remarkable opportunity to address and reduce persistent problems in American education, like improving educational equity, strengthening teacher performance, and revolutionizing the teaching and learning environment in schools.

“This type of education reform and innovative thinking can change the lives of millions of American children, strengthen our communities, and revitalize our economy. Unfortunately, that’s not on this Congress’ agenda. But these reforms must happen, and I want to be part of them.

“Wealthy and powerful special interests have always had plenty of friends in Washington.  I came to Congress to stand up for the rest of us. And I have learned a great deal in the process.  Two lessons stand out among many: First, that enacting progressive public policy is good for our economy and our country. It helps to grow and strengthen the middle class, and that makes America a better place for everyone.  And, second, that making good public policy is very hard work.  The job is never done.  It requires a great sense of urgency to move forward on the big issues and enormous stamina to see them all the way through. The wins don’t come quickly, even when the need is dire, and the losses are hard to accept. And third, that elections matter.  Election results establish the basic parameters for what kind of legislation is possible in Congress.  After each election, it is clear whether we will have a greater or a lessor chance of forging bi-partisan alliances to move major legislation to help the country.

“I will leave Congress with a full heart and a crowded plate, because the challenges of our times demand our constant involvement.  We’ve made progress on many fronts but have a lot of work still to do.  I’ll miss my daily collaboration with Leader Pelosi and so many colleagues whom I respect and admire, and I will always be grateful for the remarkable staff that I have been blessed with over the years.  So much of what I have been able to accomplish is the result of a joint venture with my staff in California and Washington and so many talented and committed advocates outside of Congress.

“I look forward to continuing to work on the issues that have been at the core of my career and my passions, in particular education reform, economic fairness, and improving labor standards in the United States and abroad, such as in the worldwide garment industry.

“For the remainder of this year, I plan to push Congress ‘to do some good,’ including to:

  • Extend long-term unemployment insurance benefits to the 1.3 million Americans who unfairly had their coverage cut off on December 28th.

  • Raise the minimum wage to at least $10.10 per hour by 2016, index it to inflation, and include a raise for tipped workers.

  • Further implement the Affordable Care Act to extend health insurance to all Americans.

  • Find common ground to fix the No Child Left Behind Act.

  • Make college more affordable through the Higher Education Act.

  • Push for passage of the bi-partisan Miller-Harkin-Hanna bill to implement President Obama’s initiative to expand early childhood education services nationally.

  • Enact comprehensive immigration reform.

  • Encourage American companies to embrace international labor standards in their substandard factories in Bangladesh and other countries.

“That’s a tall agenda, I know, but it’s an agenda the American people strongly support and one that will help strengthen our country, reduce inequality, and create opportunities for all of our children for years to come.”

 

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Initiative proposed to make it easier to fire bad teachers in California

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Sacramento- StudentsFirst recently filed for an initiative to increase the firing of bad performing teachers in California school districts.

Michelle Rhee founded StudentsFirst that is based in Sacramento, CA. Rhee is married to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. She is the ex-Washington DC Chancellor for Public Schools (2007-2010).

Rhee came into a broken public education system in Washington DC. Washington DC has one of the top spending per pupil, but had the lowest ratings in its schools. The situation was so dire that parents sent their kids to private schools, if they could afford it. School buildings were not properly maintained.

Rhee enacted basic reform such as easy firing bad performing teachers, principals, and administration. Rhee saved Washington DC taxpayer money by enacting efficiencies in the Washington DC public school system. The process to fire a bad performing teacher, or an administrator takes months, if not years. In the private sector, it occurs fast and at moment’s notice if performance is poor.

To learn more about StudentsFirst visit www.studentsfirst.org.

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Two-man opposition campaign to Measure C

Thursday, October 24th, 2013
Karl Dietzel with No on C sign 1024x768 Two man opposition campaign to Measure C

Antioch resident Karl Dietzel holds a No on Measure C campaign sign at the entrance of In-Shape on Lone Tree Way, on Friday morning, October 11.

By Allen Payton

Antioch residents Karl Dietzel and Fred Hoskins have mounted a grassroots campaign to oppose Measure C, the half-cent sale tax increase measure on Antioch’s November ballot. Dietzel recently held a sign made by Hoskins at the entrance to the In-Shape City health club on Lone Tree way, one morning.

Their effort is juxtaposed to the well-financed yes on Measure C campaign, led by Antioch Mayor Wade Harper, that’s raised over $44,000 as of October 19th and has signs throughout the city, as well as newspaper ads and mailers.

The election is Tuesday, November 5.

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Yes on Measure C campaign funded by out of town interests, spends money outside Antioch, too

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

By Allen Payton

The financial reports of the yes on Measure C campaign, officially known as Citizens for a Safe Antioch in Support of Measure C, campaigning to get voters to approve a half-cent sales tax increase in Antioch, disclose that the $44,170 that’s been raised to date has predominantly come from outside of the community. The latest reports are dated October 19.

The largest contributions include $10,000 from the Building Industry Association of Northern California, $5,000 from Allied Waste, $5,000 from the California Association of Realtors PAC, and the most, $13,650 came from the California Apartment Association, which opposed the landlord fee the council majority chose to not put on the ballot.

Only $1,350 of reported contributions came from Antioch-based interests or individuals, including Roddy Ranch Golf Management and Gloria Martin

As for where the committee spent their money, they bought signs from a company in Oakdale, paid for someone in Chico to design the signs, printers in San Francisco and the consultant (the same one who ran Harper’s, Rocha’s and Tiscareno’s campaigns, last year), who is based in Concord. So much for shopping local.

Wade Harper signed the forms as the Principal Officer and Martha Parsons as the Committee Treasurer.

The campaign finance reports are public documents available for anyone to read and obtain a copy of at the Antioch City Clerk’s office on the first floor of City Hall, 3rd and H Streets.

No formal opposition has developed, although two men have made and displayed No on Measure C signs, including Fred Hoskins and Karl Dietzel.

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