Archive for the ‘Politics & Elections’ Category

Glazer beats Bonilla to win “hard fought battle” in special State Senate race

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015
Steve Glazer from Facebook 240x300 Glazer beats Bonilla to win “hard fought battle” in special State Senate race

Steve Glazer from his campaign Facebook page.

By Allen Payton

Awaiting a call from Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, following the final vote count in the special 7th State Senate District election, Tuesday night, Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer was happy with his victory and said he would post a statement on his Facebook page in a few minutes.

Millions of dollars were spent by both sides in this election, with mainly business interests on one side backing Glazer and union, education and health care interests backing Bonilla.

It was a hard fought battle,” said Martin Wilson, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs for the California Chamber of Commerce’s JobsPAC, which paid to send out a variety of pro-Glazer and anti-Bonilla mailers during the campaign. “We’re gratified with the results. The voters made a wise choice. He will represent the people of this district from both parties, well.”

According to the California Secretary of State’s website, as of 11:22 p.m., with the votes from all 645 precincts counted, Glazer leads Bonilla by 60,824 to 50,569 votes or 54.6% to 45.4%. In the Alameda County portion of the district he won by 56.9% to 43.1% of the vote. In Contra Costa County, much of which has been represented by Bonilla in the Assembly, Glazer won 54.08% to 45.92% of the vote.

Glazer posted the following statement on his Facebook page at 11:07 p.m.:

Today we saw that people are more important — and more powerful — than special interests, and that’s a great message for our state to hear. Our campaign struck a chord with voters frustrated by the gridlock and dysfunction in Sacramento. They want leaders who are more pragmatic than partisan, more focused on answers than ambition.

One new state senator can’t change California government on his own, but I hope to work with my colleagues to restore confidence in public policymaking and advance progressive ideals in ways that are financially responsible.

This election offered voters a clear choice. I promised to be an independent thinker committed to solving problems and serving my district. I will work hard to make sure the voters are always proud of their decision.

I am grateful for everyone who participates in our democracy and especially for the volunteers and voters who believed in my message. Thank you!”

According to Paul Burgarino, Voter Education and Engagement Specialist with the Contra Costa County Elections Office, the ballot that have been counted, were “At this point the vote-by-mail up through today and the ballots turned in at the polls.”

Those vote-by-mail ballots postmarked by Tuesday will be counted as they are received by the two county elections offices, and are expected to be received over the next three days. The officials have 10 days to certify the results of the special election.

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Bonilla files FPPC complaint against women’s group on claims of violating Political Reform Act

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Washington, DC-based “Independent Women’s Voice” funded by Koch Brothers trying to dictate their choice, Steve Glazer, to East Bay voters

[Concord, CA] – The Susan Bonilla for State Senate campaign called on the Fair Political Practices Commission, on Tuesday, May 11, 2015, to investigate violations of the Political Reform Act by Washington, DC-based non-profit, the Independent Women’s Voice (IWV), the latest effort in a $4.5 million barrage of political advertising by outside groups to elect Steve Glazer to the state senate.

Independent Women’s Voice is an extremist right-wing Koch Brothers’ front group, known for opposing women’s rights and for protecting tax loopholes for billionaires,” said campaign spokesperson Josh Pulliam. “This Koch Brothers’ group is affiliated with the same right-wing Super PAC that committed the most egregious violations of the Political Reform Act in California history, laundering millions of dollars in last minute attack ads right before the election.”

While the IWV has hidden their funding from California voters, investigative journalists have reported that the committee has received $250,000 from the Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR), a well-known Koch Brothers slush fund that infamously laundered $15 million to oppose Governor Brown’s ballot initiatives in 2012. Their illegal activities in that losing effort resulted in the biggest campaign finance violation in California history.

IRS tax filings show that Washington, DC-based Independent Women’s Voice is prohibited from making political expenditures, but that isn’t stopping this right-wing group from dumping thousands of dollars so far into the 7th Senate District,” said Pulliam. “It is imperative that the FPPC step in to require out-of-state billionaires like the Koch Brothers and Los Angeles mega developers like Bill Bloomfield to play by the same rules as everyone else.”

Bonilla’s complaint identifies four different violations of law: 1) Violating the Single Purpose Committee, failing to properly disclose the committee on campaign expenditures; 2) Misreporting attack ads against Susan Bonilla as “Support Steve Glazer” expenditures; 3) Failing to report timely political expenditures; and 4) Violating their non-profit status by making political expenditures to impact the SD7 election.

See the response from the Independent Women’s Voice in a news release from their organization, here.

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National women’s organization claims no money from Koch brothers, as accused in special State Senate election

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Says Susan Bonilla campaign received the same funding from the Koch Brothers as does IWV: zero

WASHINGTON, DC – Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) would like to correct the record as certain false statements about IWV, that were deliberately not checked with us for accuracy, are being floated in a desperate bid to create an issue where there is none.

Those false statements are that

a) IWV is a Koch proxy group and receives funding from the Kochs.

b) IWV made a TV ad buy in the May 19th CA SD-7 special election.

c) IWV is violating its non-profit status by making a political expenditure.

None are true. Sadly those special interests – the same ones that wanted the BART strike and prefer sex-offender teachers over children, and who are supporting Assembly member Susan Bonilla — want headlines and a bogeyman in order to distract from themselves and their opposition to Steve Glazer’s independence from such interests.

What Koch Funding?

In the summer of 2009, IWV received funds from the Center to Protect Patient’s Rights (CPPR) to do education on the health care issue as it affected women, particularly women with cancer.

That 2009 funding was reported on CPPR’s 2010 filings and is the basis for claiming that IWV is a Koch entity, since CPPR eventually seems to have become a vehicle for Koch funding.

But CPPR did not become a Koch entity until sometime in at least 2010, when its director started working for the Kochs, well after IWV’s work was done and complete.

IWV, a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization, contrary to allegation, has never received any funding from the Koch’s or from any Koch-related entities. We wouldn’t mind receiving some, but we don’t seem to be their cup of tea.

What TV buy?

As for the short video we made to shine some light on Susan Bonilla’s track record, there is no TV buy – the distribution is simply digital. Oh, and if you want to read why we support Steve Glazer, (think anti-special interests and fiscal responsibility), you can see that too.

What rule violations?

IWV is a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization, and as such is permitted to make political expenditures. We are not a Single Purpose Committee, much as the Bonilla campaign might wish we were. We care about ethics and about fiscal sanity, and so are working, independent of any campaign, to educate people both for Steve Glazer and against Susan Bonilla and the special interests she represents – all while accurately and scrupulously following the laws as established by the Fair Political Practices Commission.

It is sad that the Bonilla campaign is so desperate for sympathy and attention, and so short of an appealing track record, that they would manufacture wholesale charges to throw at Independent Women’s Voice. Really, isn’t it time politics got out of that gutter?

Independent Women’s Voice is a 501(c)(4) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization for mainstream women, men and families dedicated to promoting limited government, free markets, and personal responsibility. IWV is an affiliate organization of the Independent Women’s Forum. For more information visit www.iwvoice.org.

See the news released from Bonilla’s campaign regarding their complaint against IWV, here.

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BART confirms Glazer’s complaint about illegal campaigning, says union wasn’t honest about activities

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Orinda, CA— In a statement late Monday evening, BART Board President Thomas Blalock acknowledged that BART personnel illegally engaged in campaign activities on behalf of Senate candidate Susan Bonilla in the May 19th State Senate special election.

BART claims they were fooled by union leaders in approving these ‘meetings’,” said Orinda Mayor and Senate candidate Steve Glazer.

But they ignored the fact that many of these gatherings occurred in open work areas with election posters and flyers and under the watchful eye of management.”

The Glazer for Senate campaign released photos of BART workers engaged in rally-type events and advocating for the election of Bonilla. There was also a photo of workers in a classroom listening to union leaders while a video featuring Bonilla was being shown on BART-owned audio-visual equipment. Union leaders featured in numerous pictures included BART Chapter President John Arantes and BART Concord Chapter President Dan Jameyson.

I appreciate BART’s swift investigation and confirmation that there is widespread illegal campaign activities throughout BART workplace facilities,” said Glazer. “While I had photographic evidence at three locations, I believe these activities are even more widespread.”

BART claims that they were fooled by the union and approved ‘meetings’ during break time. BART fails to acknowledge that many of these so-called meetings took place in open areas with campaign posters and flyers and under the watchful eye of management.”

BART implies that only future campaign activities will be subject to disciplinary action, ignoring the fact that professional union organizers made false statements about the purpose of these ‘meetings’ at numerous places and times.”

I reiterate my call that a full inquiry needs to be conducted by an independent party to ensure the fairness of the review. Given my criticism of management’s role in these activities, the BART Board of Directors should insist that the investigator be in a position to hold both union members and managers accountable.”

I know there is resentment by BART unions and management for my criticism of their involvement in the eight days of strikes in 2013. These actions by the union and management resulted in exorbitant pay raises in an agency that claims that it has no money for train, station and technology upgrades. But that is no excuse for allowing this illegal conduct at numerous BART facilities and a cursory investigation.”

In press interviews, Union President Pete Castelli claims that if any campaign activity occurred, it was the result of spontaneous individual conduct. He ignored the obvious fact that Union organizer Dan Jameyson was in every ‘spontaneous’ campaign picture even though he is not on work assignment at any of the three work areas or various work shifts. BART’s preliminary findings dispute this.

If union leaders show this type of disdain for following the rules and being truthful, it is not a surprise that the collective bargaining process broke down and eight days of debilitating strikes occurred,” Glazer added.

Glazer is Mayor of Orinda and a Trustee of the California State Universities. He is competing in a special Senate runoff election that ends on May 19th. He was the top vote getter in the primary, leading his second place finisher by more than 10,000 votes. The Senate District includes most of central and eastern Contra Costa County as well as the cities of Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin in Alameda County.

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Glazer complains of BART union illegally using work sites to campaign; Bonilla calls for all parties to stop campaigning at BART stations

Monday, May 11th, 2015
CONC1 BART Concord Yard Bonilla Rally Shift No. 1 1024x768 Glazer complains of BART union illegally using work sites to campaign; Bonilla calls for all parties to stop campaigning at BART stations

Bonilla rally at Concord BART Yard, Shift No. 1. photos courtesy of Glazer for Senate campaign.

By Allen Payton

During a press conference at BART headquarters in Oakland, today, State Senate candidate Steve Glazer condemned the illegal electioneering on public property by the BART unions and management, and called for a swift crackdown on the use of BART facilities for campaign activities. In a letter to BART Board Chair Thomas Blalock, Glazer wrote, “During the same week that BART experienced major breakdowns, inconveniencing thousands of Bay Area commuters, BART workers were holding illegal Susan Bonilla for Senate rallies at BART facilities throughout the Bay Area. Some of these activities occurred openly with management personnel nearby.”

HAY1 BART Hayward Yard Shift No. 1 union leaders lead member training session about SD7 race 300x225 Glazer complains of BART union illegally using work sites to campaign; Bonilla calls for all parties to stop campaigning at BART stations

Union leaders during member training session about Senate District 7 race, Shift No. 1, BART Hayward Yard.

This is an outrageous abuse of public property for campaign activities,” Glazer added. “I know there is resentment by BART unions and management for my criticism of their involvement in the eight days of strikes in 2013. These actions by the union and management resulted in exorbitant pay raises in an agency that claims that it has no money for train, station and technology upgrades. But that is no excuse for allowing this illegal conduct at numerous BART facilities.”

I am calling on the BART Board of Directors to initiate an immediate investigation into these violations. This inquiry needs to be conducted by an independent party to ensure the fairness of the review. The BART Board should also take steps now to prevent these abuses from happening again.”

The attached photos show maintenance personnel rallying for Senate candidate Susan Bonilla at facilities in Concord, Hayward and Richmond. These events were not just held in private rooms but were in open spaces in clear view of management. In one case, union leaders are showing television coverage of a recent Glazer and Bonilla debate using BART audiovisual equipment.

In response to Glazer’s complaint, Assemblywoman Bonilla issued a statement calling on Glazer, BART workers and Bill Bloomfield, who has been funding an independent expenditure campaign to support Glazer, to stop campaigning on BART property.

Glazer on BART platform 290x300 Glazer complains of BART union illegally using work sites to campaign; Bonilla calls for all parties to stop campaigning at BART stations

Photos of Glazer at BART stations, used in his campaign materials and on his website.

I am appalled that BART platforms and BART property have been used for electioneering by Steve Glazer, Los Angeles billionaire Bill Bloomfield (who has spent $2 million on Steve Glazer campaign advertising), and by BART employees who were holding my campaign signs – these parties should immediately stop using BART property for electioneering, including candidate Steve Glazer who has repeatedly used internal BART property for self advertising,” Bonilla stated.

Bonilla’s campaign also provided examples of dozens of uses by Glazer and his backers, including use of BART platforms and internal BART property for electioneering and promoting his political campaign, including campaign photo shoots, use of those photos in campaign advertising, direct mail and on his website, and displaying Glazer campaign signs and materials at BART stations.

Visit SteveGlazerFacts.com, to see examples of Glazer’s usage of BART property for his campaign advertising.

It is illegal for BART workers to use BART facilities to oppose or promote a candidate during work hours. They can campaign on their own time, but only at BART stations in public areas. It’s also against BART’s code of conduct to campaign at BART facilities, other than stations, any time. 

However, candidates can campaign at BART stations and have been doing so for years. BART has a permit system and Glazer says he has the necessary permits to campaign.

I have the right, I have a permit and I’m not an employee on the premises,” he stated in a brief interview, today. “I’m talking about their [the BART employees'] place of work.”

RIC2 BART Richmond Yard Shift No. 1 rallies for Susan Bonilla 300x225 Glazer complains of BART union illegally using work sites to campaign; Bonilla calls for all parties to stop campaigning at BART stations

Rally for Susan Bonilla at BART Richmond Yard during Shift No. 1.

According to Director Joel Keller who represents Antioch and East County on the BART Board, “It is a violation of BART’s code of conduct for all employees. The short answer is it is not allowed at BART.”

He further stated, “Anyone can campaign at the non-paid areas of BART stations on their own time at any time. Directors, management and employee groups may not use district property to campaign at any time.”

As of the time of publication of this article, Bonilla had yet to respond to why she’s calling on Glazer and his supporters to stop campaigning at BART stations when it’s legal for them to do so.

Glazer is Mayor of Orinda and a Trustee of the California State Universities. He was the top vote getter in the primary, leading Bonilla, who finished second, by more than 10,000 votes. The 7th Senate District includes most of central and eastern Contra Costa County, including all of Antioch, as well as the cities of Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin in Alameda County.

Bonilla is serving in her final of three terms in the State Assembly. For more information, visit www.glazerforsenate.com or www.susanbonilla.com. The election is Tuesday, May 19.

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Q & A with Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer candidate for State Senate

Friday, May 8th, 2015
Steve Glazer Q & A with Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer candidate for State Senate

Steve Glazer

1. Why are you running for state senate?

I’m not part of the political establishment. I’m a local Mayor who is a problem solver – not a partisan. My record demonstrates the courage to take a stand against entrenched special interests. I was the first elected official to oppose the BART strike and support a permanent ban on transit strikes, like they have in New York and San Francisco.

I’m a father of two daughters who have gone through our public schools. We need education policies that put students first and allow local school board to ensure quality teaching in classrooms regardless of seniority.

I support pension reform that creates a sustainable financial model and ends pension spiking. We need to prioritize road improvements I oppose high-speed rail without a sound financial plan because it drains money from local transportation needs.

I’m fiscally conservative. As a local elected official and Mayor, I balanced 10 straight budgets without ever taking a salary. As Trustee of the 23-campus California State University system, I fought for affordable and accountable higher education. I oppose the proposed Delta tunnels.

Our legislators exercise poor financial discipline that contributes to billion dollar deficits and tax increases. They use a loophole so they can receive tax-free income for being in Sacramento on weekends and holidays even when they are not there.

It’s time for smart priorities that focus on education, job creation, the environment and caring for those in need without new taxes.

2. What philosophy would guide your legislative decisions?

I should conduct myself in the campaign and in office with honesty and transparency.

Government closer to the people will be more responsive and trustworthy. Always ask why state legislation is needed rather than leaving those choices to local government, school boards, and commissions.

We should strive for be-partisanship and consensus when ever possible.

A balanced budget and fiscal responsibility is a foundational requirement if you want government to help people.

Always advance accountability and efficiency in every government program.

Education is the gateway to opportunity and prosperity.

3. Would you oppose any new taxes?

Yes. We just increased taxes by $8 Million dollars. Californians cannot afford a government that won’t balance its books and live within its means. And Sacramento cannot continue to look to taxpayers to bail it out from bad decision-making. I will work to avoid new State tax burdens. Fiscal security requires greater focus on creating jobs and growing the economy. The best way for California to pay its bills and keep its promise to future generations is to build a strong economy, which will increase tax revenues.

4. Do you support or oppose changes to Proposition 13?

Oppose. I am committed to maintaining Proposition 13 and the protections from higher taxes that it provides homeowners.

5. What steps would you take to improve education?

We need to continue to invest in our schools and universities. The State Senate plays a critical role in education. It goes beyond funding – which is vital – to creating educational reforms to ensure that each student who attends a public school has an equal opportunity to succeed. There isn’t a one-size fits all solution to improve public education. My priorities include:

  • Local empowerment. We need to empower local school boards to lead on educational issues.

  • Restore School Reserve protection. We need to restore school reserve protections that were stripped away by the Legislature in a last-minute budget deal in 2014.

  • Teacher Accountability. We need to support our teachers in every way possible, while holding them accountable for performance.

  • Allow families to select the best schools for their children. I support the ability of families to select the best school environment for their children, be that a public charter school or a nearby public school. I don’t support private school vouchers as they siphon vital tax dollars from public schools.

  • Greater educational resources. As a Member of the Senate, I will work to strengthen California’s economy and bring greater resources to our K-through University education system.

  • Accessible and affordable higher education.

6. What steps would you take to reduce crime?

I support our law enforcement officers. They are doing all they can to combat crime, but they need adequate resources to do their jobs.

Eleven years ago, in October, 2003, I was shot in the neck by a high-powered pellet rifle while driving with my family. The .17 caliber projectile just missed my carotid artery and lodged next to my spine. The perpetrator was caught but never charged with a crime because pellet guns were classified as toys in the criminal code. I was able to get the law changed to treat these guns as serious weapons.

I have provided critical support to ensure perpetrators of rape are caught and prosecuted, and strongly support victim’s compensation.

One of the expectations of living in a free and civilized society is that citizens follow the laws of the land. Lawbreakers must be swiftly and justly prosecuted.

7. What steps would you take to deal with homelessness?

I would support another affordable housing bond, as well as other legislative efforts to address California’s housing affordability problems.

I have organized campaigns to fund homeless shelters, affordable housing and residences for abused women and foster children.

We need increased state involvement in helping homeless veterans to find safe and adequate housing.

8. Do you support or oppose the Twin Tunnels project?

Oppose. The current plan to build massive tunnels to take Delta water to Southern California does not make environmental sense, and increases the dependence on the Bay-Delta as a water source. We need to protect California’s long-term water availability through recycling, reuse and better groundwater practices.

9. What is your position on AB 60, “driver’s licenses for undocumented workers?”

Licensing and verifying the true identity of all drivers in California, with proper background checks and other security measures, contributes to improved security for all Californians.

10. What is your position on AB 1266, regarding gender confused youth using opposite sex school bathrooms and locker rooms?

I appreciate and recognize the unique challenges and obstacles faced by transgender and gender non-conforming youth, and I support efforts at the local level to protect the rights and safety of these students. I feel that local school boards should be responsible for setting policies to protect the rights and safety of all students.

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Q & A with Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla candidate for State Senate

Friday, May 8th, 2015
Susan Bonilla Q & A with Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla candidate for State Senate

Susan Bonilla

By John Crowder

State Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, candidate for State Senate in the special District 7 election on May 19th, recently provided answers to ten questions asked by Antioch Herald staff. The questions and her answers are provided below.

1. Why are you running for state senate?

I am the only candidate with a proven record of building bipartisan consensus to get results, both on the state and local level, from balancing budgets, creating jobs, improving schools, fighting crime, opposing the twin tunnels, and protecting our water and the Delta.

2. What philosophy guides your legislative decisions?

As a local Mayor, County Supervisor, and State Legislator, I’ve always focused on bringing people together, Republicans and Democrats, to solve problems. I believe that the principles that have guided my life as a public servant are the reasons why I have been a successful legislator. I believe a successful legislator is someone who is accessible, approachable and trustworthy, who listens and respects others, leads by example, stands strong for their beliefs, advocates fiercely for their community and has the leadership skills to find common ground and solutions especially in tough times. In may of those respects, I believe that my approach to public policy and public service is one of the key differences between me and my opponent.

3. Would you oppose any new taxes?

In California new taxes have to be approved by a two-thirds majority of the legislature or by a majority of the voters. This sets a high bar. For me, the decision is always focused on the need and a cost benefit analysis. For example, like my opponent I strongly supported Prop 30 because our state faced historic debt, and a fiscal emergency after years of drastic budget cuts where education and other vital services were slashed to the bone. Prop 30 was necessary to make our state finances solvent and we made the case to voters to make the ultimate decision.

4. Do you support or oppose changes to Proposition 13?

I have always supported and am 100% committed to protecting homeowners under Prop 13. I could not support any changes to Prop 13 that would put a new fiscal burden on homeowners.

5. What steps would you take to improve education?

I’ve led efforts to modernize our public schools, improve academic standards, and bring more funding to our local schools. For example, I succeeded in bringing more than $3.6 million in additional funding to Antioch schools for technology upgrades, professional development, and new instructional materials. I have passed historic reforms by working with Governor Jerry Brown in changing the state’s education funding formula so that more money would be allocated and streamlined directly into local schools, giving control to local school districts and parents. I want to continue modernizing our schools to ensure our teachers and students have the resources they need to succeed. When our schools perform at high level, we all benefit. I have worked – and will continue to work – to make college more affordable for middle-class families, and I will continue opposing tuition increases at UC and CSU university systems.

6. What steps would you take to reduce crime?

As a mother of four daughters, grandmother, and as an educator, I have always made the safety of our families, children, and seniors as a top priority. I have a proven record of keeping prisoners behind bars, cracking down on child predators, fighting back against gangs and drugs, and protecting seniors from abuse. For example, I have worked to ensure that local law enforcement would have the resources to ensure each officer carries a mobile fingerprint device to keep criminals off our streets. That’s why I have earned the trust and support from law enforcement leaders in Contra Costa County from Sheriff David Livingston and from District Attorney Mark Peterson, and Attorney General Kamala Harris, as well as local police officers, sheriffs, and firefighters who put their lives on the line to keep our streets and neighborhoods safe.

7. What steps would you take to deal with homelessness?

I support the proposal of Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins to address housing instability and create more affordable housing in California, using a comprehensive approach that includes new funding as well as improving government efficiency.

We also must continue to work on core issues like creating jobs and improving job-training programs that help people improve their own lives. At the same time, we must continue to support services like mental health counseling – especially for veterans, who make up a high proportion of those who are homeless, which is why I helped pass the Veterans Housing Bond last year.

8. Do you support or oppose the Twin Tunnels project?

As Mayor, Supervisor, and as a State Legislator, I have strongly opposed the twin tunnels, and have actively worked to stop them. For me, it isn’t just a recent campaign pledge like it seems to be for my opponent. That’s why I have earned the trust and support of key leaders in the fight against the twin tunnels – including Congressman Jerry McNerney and Congressman John Garamendi, as well as local environmental leaders across the district.

I have consistently opposed the tunnels and protected the Delta, but it isn’t enough to just say no. Leadership is standing strong and stopping bad policy, but also bringing people together to find solutions, especially during crisis. I’m proud of my work in protecting our water, and helping pass historic water legislation to protect our local water supply and address the crisis of the drought.

9. What was your reasoning behind your vote on AB 60, driver’s licenses for undocumented workers?

This is a public safety and a consumer protection issue. We need to face the reality that undocumented workers are driving on our streets, roads, and highways, and as such, we need to make sure that everyone on the road, including undocumented drivers, have auto insurance and are fully educated on driving safety, and the rules of the road. That’s good for public safety and for our local communities.

10. What was your reasoning behind your vote on AB 1266, regarding gender confused youth using opposite sex high school bathrooms and locker rooms?

As a parent, educator, and leader, I looked at both sides of this issue very closely, and it is a complex and emotional issue. At the end of the day, this legislation is about protecting vulnerable students, many of whom are being bullied and ostracized, facing physical violence, emotional abuse, and some even turning to suicide.

Public schools needed to do a better job meeting the privacy needs of all students and this bill has moved schools in that direction. The old days of locker room hazing are not something we need to protect. All students will benefit from this bill as schools update their restroom and locker room designs and standards. This bill will result in schools having more single stall self contained restrooms that many students will appreciate.

This issue can’t be ignored, and if we can help children feel valued, save young lives, and protect many, then we’ll have done our jobs. As I have said, I have always put protecting the safety of children as a top priority. This legislation is another step towards that goal.

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Sierra Club California condemns Chamber-led PAC’s unapproved use of logo

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

By Allen Payton

A political action committee, JobsPAC, co-chaired by the California Chamber of Commerce, has mailed campaign literature to voters in special State Senate District 7 election, that prominently displays the Sierra Club logo.

The SD 7 race will fill the State Senate seat vacated by Mark DeSaulnier following his election to Congress in November, midway through his term.

Sierra Club California Director Kathryn Phillips released a statement regarding the logo.

The mailer from JobsPAC to Senate District 7 voters is deceptive,” she said. “It implies that Sierra Club has endorsed one of the candidates for the Senate District 7 seat. In fact, Sierra Club has not endorsed any candidate in that race. The irony is that one of the long-time barriers to environmental policy progress, the California Chamber of Commerce, has used the Club’s logo on its JobsPAC mailing to try to win votes for its favored candidate. Is this the start of a trend? Has the Chamber decided environmental groups are correct after all? Can we now expect the California Chamber to actually support good environmental legislation?”

I doubt it. But hope springs eternal,” Phillips added.

Sierra Club California is the legislative and regulatory advocacy arm of the Sierra Club’s 13 chapters and more than 150,000 members in California.

In response, Martin Wilson, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs for JobsPAC offered the following statement:

The mailer’s intention is to make it clear that Susan Bonilla is a typical politician who says one thing and then does the opposite. In this case, during the 2012 legislative session, Bonilla sided with the NRA against the Sierra Club and other environmental and animal rights groups who wanted to ban lead ammunition. Mrs. Bonilla was present and voting that day but when it came to voting for the environment she was AWOL.”

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