Archive for the ‘Politics & Elections’ Category

Glazer releases Ten Governing Principles for Legislative Service

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

State Senate candidate, Mayor Steve Glazer, today, released his ten governing principles should he be elected in the California Senate special run-off election on May 19, 2015.

Good government and thoughtful decision-making is rarely achieved without a solid blueprint,” Glazer said.  “By releasing these governing principles, voters will know exactly what they can expect from me in conducting their business in Sacramento. You’ll see in these principles my priorities to support education and the environment, and to promote civility and bi-partisanship.”

Glazer’s Ten Governing Principles are as follows:

1. Represent the people of our Senate district, not political parties or special interests. 

2. Maintain a balanced budget to allow government to help people, and people to have confidence in government.

3. Pursue bi-partisan decisions. They are always better and longer lasting.

4. Emphasize education as the gateway to opportunity and prosperity.

5. Work hard to set priorities and hold the line on taxes.

6. Incorporate environmental protection as a part of every decision.

7. Empower local decision-making rather than state mandates. It is more responsive and trustworthy.

8. Advance accountability and efficiency with every government program.

9. Promote civility and respect for all people and perspectives.

10. Conduct myself always with honesty and integrity.

This framework of ten Governing Principles lays out the values I will use when I evaluate budget and policy initiatives,” said Glazer.

Glazer currently serves as the Mayor of Orinda and a Trustee of the California State University, 23-campus system. During his tenure on the Orinda City Council, Glazer has helped balance budgets while making improvements to schools, libraries and roads and is working to pass some of the strongest anti-tobacco laws in the State. He is running against State Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla.

State Senate District 7 includes the communities of Alamo, Antioch, Bay Point, Bethel Island, Blackhawk, Brentwood, Byron, Clayton, Concord, Danville, Diablo, Discovery Bay, Dublin, Lafayette, Livermore, Moraga, Oakley, Orinda, Pacheco, Pittsburg, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Sunol and Walnut Creek.

The Election will be held Tuesday, May 19.

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Group claims Glazer won’t disclose client list, Glazer’s campaign says he’s done so on publicly required forms

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

By Allen Payton

Steve Maviglio, spokesman for Working Families Against Glazer for Senate, a union organization opposing Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer who is running against Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, in the special 7th State Senate election on May 19, has stated in a news release, this week, that “Glazer has made transparency a cornerstone of his candidacy. He has a ‘Transparency Pledge’ on his website and notes ‘voters…should not be left wondering what sort of promises any of us made to secure that position.’”

Why then, when asked by the Contra Costa Times for an article that appeared over the weekend, did Glazer refuse to disclose his clients?” Maviglio asked. “Is it because voters will discover that what puts food on his table is that he’s a political consultant (his website doesn’t mention it)? Is it because they’ll connect the dots and discover that he earned $15,000 per month as a political consultant to JobsPAC, a political action committee, the same PAC that has put $906,290 toward electing him to the Senate?”

Maviglio offered some examples of Glazer’s clients and projects.

In 1998, Glazer managed and was the spokesperson for the campaign supporting two Marin County measures that opened up Black Point Forest, the longtime site of the Renaissance Pleasure Faire, to build 53 luxury homes and a golf course. According to Maviglio, the measures, A and B, allowed developers to cut down mature oak trees to make way for the 238-acre development project. Project opponents claimed it would destroy natural habitat and that the developer promised to set aside 64 acres for a wildlife reserve and replant trees to abate the damage.

In 2003, Glazer acted as the political strategist for New York-based mall and supermarket developer Newman Development Group as the company proposed building a big-box Lowe’s store in the town of Cotati in Sonoma County. The measure allowing the store (Measure B) passed by 34 votes in November, and following another unsuccessful initiative [to stop the project] in November, 2004, the store was built and became part of Cotati’s largest development at the time.

Beginning in 2007, Glazer worked as a consultant for the Gold Rush Land development in Amador County. The development project plans included the creation of 12 neighborhoods, of nearly 1,350 homes, a golf course, and community tennis courts on 945 acres within the city of Sutter Creek, a small town with a 2,000-plus population. The project also included assessments for a new fire station, a new water treatment plant, and land for a new school site and a library. The project was anticipated to more than double the population of the town and be completely built out over 20 years.”

So, what other clients is Steve Glazer hiding?” Maviglio asked. “It’s time voters get an answer.”

In response, Glazer’s campaign spokesperson, Jason Bezis simply stated, “Steve has filed Form 700 for all his years of service on the city council (2004 to date). Per the law, they provide the disclosure of his clients over the past 10 years.”

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County Democratic Central Committe Chairman files complaint against PAC supporting Glazer

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Accused of hiding contributions, PAC’s attorney says it’s baseless

By Allen Payton

Contra Costa Democratic Central Committee Chairman Jeff Koertzen, on Monday, filed a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) alleging two political action committees are playing a shell game to hide donations of more than $300,000 to their campaign to elect Steve Glazer to the State Senate.

“This elaborate shell game tried to obscure extraordinary sums of pro-Glazer money from voters,” Koertzen stated in a news release about the issue. “JobsPAC is no stranger to intentionally withholding crucial information from voters to achieve an election advantage. We are hoping the FPPC will move quickly to enforce the law that we contend has been violated.”

JobsPAC is the political arm of the California Chamber of Commerce, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary, this year. 

According to Koertzen, JobsPAC, whose donors include insurance, oil, tobacco and pharmaceutical companies, has spent more than $530,000 to date in an independent expenditure campaign to elect Glazer to the State Senate. Their efforts have included dozens of negative direct mail pieces attacking his rival, Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (D-Concord).

Koertzen further stated that Glazer was JobsPAC’s political consultant in 2012, when the political action committee was involved in an attempt to hide an in-kind contribution worth $100,000 that resulted in JobsPAC making changes in its filings after media reports exposed its failure to properly disclose the contribution.

Also according to Koertzen, the complaint shows that JobsPAC has reported receiving $300,000 in political contributions from another PAC named “Govern for California” since January, 2015 and that Govern for California is largely funded by former Gov. Schwarzenegger’s economic adviser David Crane and hedge fund manager John Scully.

The complaint alleges that to avoid disclosing their contributions to the JobsPAC effort to elect Glazer, the donors contributed to Govern for California instead of directly to JobsPAC. This appears to be an attempt to hide the Crane and Scully contributions, says the complaint. It notes Govern for California had less than $15,000 in funds at the end of 2014, and raised more than $285,000 to support the JobsPAC campaign to elect Glazer. That, says the complaint, is a violation of state law.

When reached for comment, Martin Wilson, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs for the California Chamber of Commerce, provided a response from the attorney for the two political action committees.

“The complaint is baseless,” said Steven S. Lucas, Partner in the San Rafael law firm of Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni LLC. “This is a desperate and futile attempt to derail JobsPAC’s strong support for the leading candidate in the race, Steve Glazer.  Both JobsPAC and Govern for California are in full compliance with all applicable campaign disclosure requirements.”

The complaint can be viewed online.

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Bonilla touts endorsements of two liberal organizations, NOW and Planned Parenthood

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla announced, this week, that she has received the endorsement of the California National Organization of Women Political Action Committee and Planned Parenthood Northern California Action Fund.

California NOW PAC fights to make sure political, social, legal, and economic institutions recognize and ensure women and girls’ equality. The feminist organization is considered one of the most liberal political groups in America.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s top abortion provider. Of the approximate one million abortions in the U.S., each year, they performed 327,653 abortions at it’s clinics in its fiscal year 2014 (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014), according to Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s annual report.

Susan Bonilla has a proven record of expanding access to reproductive health care, fighting for gender equity, and protecting reproductive rights for all,” Planned Parenthood Northern California Action Fund Acting CEO Gilda Gonzales said. “Planned Parenthood Northern California Action Fund proudly endorses Susan Bonilla for State Senate.”

A full list of endorsements, as well as statements of support from community leaders, can be found at www.susanbonilla.com/endorsements.

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California Small Business Association backs Bonilla for State Senate

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla announced, today that she has received the endorsement of the California Small Business Association, adding to the growing support for her campaign for State Senate by Democrats and Republicans, business and labor.

Susan Bonilla is a fiscally responsible leader with a strong record of partnering with small businesses, giving them tools to succeed and create good jobs,” CSBA President Betty Jo Toccoli said. “The California Small Business Association is proud to endorse Susan Bonilla for Senate.”

The California Small Business Association is a volunteer-driven, nonprofit, non-partisan organization that provides small business with a meaningful voice in governments, advocating on a range of issues including: regulation, access to credit, insurance, taxes and budgets, affordable health care, and workforce education.

Their endorsement adds to the growing support for Bonilla from Democrats and Republicans, business and labor. Bonilla has recently earned the support of Republican leaders including Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern and Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor, as well as earning the support of Democratic state leaders including Attorney General Kamala Harris.

A full list of endorsements, as well as statements of support from community leaders, can be found at www.susanbonilla.com/endorsements.

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FPPC will not pursue Glazer complaint against unions over campaign mailer

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

By Allen Payton

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) on Tuesday informed State Senate District 7 candidate Steve Glazer that they will not pursue his complaint against Working Families Against Glazer for Senate.

Glazer had alleged the committee had violated campaign reporting laws. But the FPPC said Working Families “has provided evidence that the mailer was already in production prior to the committee’s acquiring contributors of more than $50,000.”

The letter concluded with “The FPPC’s Enforcement Division will not pursue this matter further.”

“It’s unfortunate that he has wasted taxpayers’ resources for this publicity stunt,” said Steven Maviglio, spokesperson for Working Families Against Glazer for Senate.

A copy of the FPPC letter can be viewed here. FPPC Letter re Glazer complaint

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Glazer calls for Clean Government Pledge to reduce special interest power and lawmaker abuse, Bonilla calls it a gimick

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Saying that action must be taken to reduce the power of special interests in the State Capitol, Senate candidate Steve Glazer called on his election opponent, Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, to join him in making five clean government promises.

These pledges include a refusal to accept gifts, meals and drinks from groups influencing the lawmaking process; a ban on accepting campaign contributions during times when most laws are passed; and a commitment to publicly release secret candidate questionnaires.

The pledge would also ban tax free Per Diem payments for work in the State Capitol on weekends and holidays when a legislator is not present, and a prohibition on giving special interest campaign contributions to family members in the form of payment for services.

The power of special interests in the State Capitol need to be curtailed,” said Glazer. “These five simple reforms will improve public confidence in our lawmaking process by scaling back the corrosive influence of campaign contributions, gifts and secret agreements.”

Voters expect an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay,” said Glazer. “It is wrong to receive tax free Per Diem expenses for work in the State Capitol when you are at home on weekends and holidays.” The Per Diem rate is set by the State Board of Control and is currently set at $168 per day. *1

In February, Glazer challenged Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla to sign a transparency pledge that would require public release of all answers to special interest questionnaires. Glazer has not filled out any of these surveys, but has posted his positions on numerous issues on his webpage for all to see at GlazerforSenate.com. Thus far, Bonilla has refused to share her secret answers.

In the final days of each legislative year when hundreds of proposed laws hang in the balance, special interests shower lawmakers with campaign contributions, gifts, food and drinks,” said Glazer. “I support a ban on gifts at all times and a prohibition against taking campaign money from these lobbying entities during the most impactful time in the legislative calendar.”

Taking these five clean government actions will make our lawmaking process have more integrity and be more transparent and honest. I will follow this Clean Government Pledge. I hope my opponent will do so as well.”

Glazer currently serves as the Mayor of Orinda and a Trustee of the California State University 23-campus system.

Senate District 7 includes the communities of Alamo, Antioch, Bay Point, Bethel Island, Blackhawk, Brentwood, Byron, Clayton, Concord, Danville, Diablo, Discovery Bay, Dublin, Lafayette, Moraga, Oakley, Orinda, Pacheco, Pittsburg, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Sunol and Walnut Creek.

The general election will be held Tuesday, May 19.

*1 Sacramento Bee, January 15, 2015: “Under the state constitution, lawmakers receive daily tax-free living expenses on top of their salaries, as long as they are not out of session for more than three consecutive days. While the state Senate and Assembly usually meet on a Monday-Thursday schedule, the extra day will allow legislators to collect their per diem allowances over the holiday. The per diem rate rose slightly in October to $168, according to the Assembly Rules Committee, from $163 in the 2013-14 fiscal year.” Read more here.

Clean Government Pledge

Broad reform is needed to inject our lawmaking process with more integrity, transparency and honesty.

Today, special interests collude with candidates during an election on hidden promises in the form of secret candidate questionnaires.

These narrow interests shower elected officials with campaign contributions right before critical votes and provide them with gifts, including sports tickets, meals and drinks. Their campaign donations even go to support a lawmaker’s family.

Lawmakers supplement their state mandated salaries by arranging to be paid tax free Per Diem for working in the State Capitol on weekends and holidays when they are not even there. This is wrong!

We need to take important steps to limit the corrosive impact of special interest power and lawmaking abuse. I will follow this Clean Government Pledge. I hope my opponent will do so as well.

Clean Government Pledge

1. I will not accept any gift, including meals and beverages, from any special interest group who lobbies in the State Capitol.

2. I will publicly disclose every answer to any special interest questionnaire.

3. I will not pay family members from campaign contributions.

4. I will not accept any tax free Per Diem expense payments for work in the state Capitol on weekends and holidays.

5. I will not accept campaign contributions in the final 60 days of each legislative year from any individual or entity that has legislation under review. *1

*1 (July 15 – September 15 in first year of session and July 1 – August 30 in second year of legislative session)

Bonilla responds

In response, Bonilla offered the following:

The influence of big money in politics is a serious problem – but half hearted campaign gimicks like Mr. Glazer’s ‘pledge’ won’t do anything to solve the problem. Real actions and real legislation will. I’ve taken a voluntary pay cut to help balance the budget and have been a steadfast supporter of the comprehensive clean money campaign finance reform bill in the legislature. While I’ve spent my career as a public servant championing important reforms like these – Glazer has spent his career as a high paid corporate political consultant helping special interests like big tobacco game the system.”

The election to fill the final 18 months of the unexpired term of now Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, will be held May 19.

 

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California Attorney General Kamala Harris endorses Susan Bonilla in State Senate special election

Monday, April 6th, 2015

State’s Top Law Enforcement Official Adds to United Bipartisan Support for Bonilla Among Law Enforcement Leaders

Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla announced today that her campaign has received the endorsement of California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

“Susan Bonilla has a proven record of advocating for smart, innovative approaches to serious issues like crime prevention, consumer protection and the fight for equality,” California Attorney General Kamala Harris said. “Susan Bonilla is my choice for State Senate.”

I’m proud to have the support of Attorney General Kamala Harris,” Susan Bonilla said. “I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with her in our efforts to crack down on child predators, protect seniors, and keep neighborhoods safe.”

Support from Harris adds to the unanimous support that Bonilla has received from public safety leaders across the region and the state. Bonilla’s wide and bi-partisan support from safety leaders includes:

Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson

Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston

Alameda Sheriff Greg Ahern

Peace Officers Research Association of California

California Association of Highway Patrolmen

California Professional Firefighters

Cal Fire Local 2881 – Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Firefighters

Police Officers and Deputy Sheriffs from Across the District

A full list of endorsements, as well as statements of support from public safety leaders, can be found at www.susanbonilla.com/endorsements.

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