Contra Costa Times / East County Times / San Ramon Valley Times / Tri-Valley Times
March 5, 2015 (print editions)
Labor unions are branding state Senate candidate Steve Glazer as too conservative -- and too liberal.
In duplicitous, targeted mailers, they tell Democrats that Glazer is a business-loving special interest sellout who wants to give millionaires tax breaks. To Republicans, they say Glazer is a tax-and-spend liberal and that they should instead support a candidate who withdrew from the race.
In fact, Glazer, a California State University trustee and former political adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown, is a moderate Democrat who earned our endorsement because of his centrist politics and desire to build bipartisan coalitions.
Labor leaders hate him because he dared to help elect moderate Democratic candidates to the state Legislature and called for banning BART strikes. Their mailers, among scores in the March 17 special primary election that has so far attracted about $2 million in contributions, prove once again that voters shouldn't trust such propaganda.
The special election will fill the seat Mark DeSaulnier vacated after his election to Congress. The ballot has five names, but only three candidates, all Democrats, are credible. The only Republican, Michaela Hertle, dropped out of the race early and endorsed Glazer.
Glazer, the most centrist candidate, is counting on backing from moderate Democrats, independents and Republicans. Labor is trying to undermine his support from both ends.
The mailers to Republicans were sent under the guise of the "Asian American Small Business PAC," funded with $50,000 from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the California Professional Firefighters Political Action Committee.
One mailer to Republican voters claims Glazer wants to raise taxes and smacks him for having advised "liberal Jerry Brown." Two others call on Republicans to support Hertle, without mentioning that she dropped out. By the way, Hertle is not Asian.
The labor-financed mailers complain, ironically, that "there are just too many Democrats in the State Senate causing partisan gridlock" and decry "the special interests that are paralyzing our state government."
The mailers to Democrats brand Glazer a "Republican Sellout" who "wants to give millionaires a tax break" that will lead to education cuts. Once again, the twisted message is bogus. It comes from eight labor groups that provided $230,000 to fund "Working Families Opposing Glazer for Senate 2015."
Lest there be any doubt the pincer movement is a coordinated labor campaign, the mailers to Democrats and Republicans feature the same grainy, unflattering picture of Glazer.
With all the spending in this race on all sides, there will almost certainly be more misleading mailers coming. Voters should beware.
[Contra Costa Times circulates in Clayton, Concord, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Pacheco and Walnut Creek.]
[East County Times circulates in Antioch, Bay Point, Byron, Brentwood, Discovery Bay, Knightsen, Oakley and Pittsburg.]
[San Ramon Valley Times circulates in Alamo, Blackhawk, Danville, Diablo and San Ramon.]
[Tri-Valley Times circulates in Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton and Sunol.]