May 4, 2015
By Allen Payton
I wasn’t happy with the way the field of candidates was cleared of all Republicans, before and after filing closed in the Special State Senate election in District 7, to help Democrat Steve Glazer, have a better chance of winning. I wrote a lengthy and scathing analysis of how it happened, which you can read on the Herald website.
But, I believe Glazer, who is the Mayor of Orinda, when he told me he had nothing to do with it. So, to sit out the election in protest, as I had considered doing, and allow others to choose for me was just the wrong approach.
I thus had to do make an effort and do some work in considering whom I would vote for and whether or not I would endorse either of the candidates in the General Election, on May 19.
While there’s not much difference between Glazer and State Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, in her final of three terms, under the old term limits, on the moral issues, which are important to me, there are some differences on other issues, such as taxes and spending.
Bonilla’s record on both the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and in the State Assembly has been marked with irresponsible votes on spending, including giving herself and the other Board Members a 60% pay raise in one year, alone, and rich retirement packages to government workers, at the expense of us taxpayers.
While Glazer hasn’t been tested at the state level, he has proven to be responsible with spending as part of the Orinda City Council.
I was concerned he would be, in effect, a man without a country, by being a fiscally conservative Democrat in Sacramento. But, as one of only 40 State Senators, where the margin for a two-thirds majority is pretty slim, he can actually be the deciding vote on a variety of issues, which can benefit our county.
The final issue that did it for me was that if Bonilla is elected to the Senate, there will be a special election to fill the rest of her term in the Assembly. That, according to County Clerk Joe Canciamilla, will cost Contra Costa taxpayers another $1.3 million, assuming both a primary and a general election. That figure doesn’t include the costs in Solano County, which makes up the other part of the Assembly District. That’s on top of the $2 million he estimates we’re spending for the current special election.
Bonilla said she was already planning to run for the State Senate seat, next year, when Mark DeSaulnier would have been termed out. But, he started this game of political musical chairs, when he was elected to Congress, last fall, in the middle of his final term in the State Senate.
But, Bonilla didn’t have to run, this year and by doing so, shows that she places her own political career above the interests of the taxpayers.
She could have either waited, or backed former Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, with whom Bonilla seems to agree with, more than she does Glazer.
Whoever wins this year will have to run, again, next year if they want to retain the seat. So, Bonilla can just wait until then to run, or run for something else. Better yet, she could take a break from public office for a few years and get a job in the private sector to see what it takes to create wealth and the impacts of the decisions she and her fellow legislators made.
I like Susan Bonilla, and have been on friendly terms with her. But, this is not about personality. It’s about whom we are going to rely on to vote in our best interest in the areas of spending and taxes.
I don’t know Steve Glazer and have only spoken with him on the phone a few times.
But, I believe he is the better choice, this year. If there’s a better candidate, with whom I agree more, next year, I’ll consider them, then. For now, Glazer is the best choice to represent us in the State Senate, offering a fresh perspective and an independent voice.
I’m voting for him for Senate on May 19 and recommend you do the same.