Moderate Democrats Vying for the 16th Assembly District Find Much in Common

ELECTION 2014 | ASSEMBLY | 16TH DISTRICT |It wasn’t too long ago that Contra Costa County’s wealthy 16th Assembly District was a pinkish shade of red. Termed out Assemblymember Joan Buchanan is credited for turning the Lamorinda district blue, but following an outspoken stance by one of the candidates hoping to replace her decrying the havoc caused by a pair of BART strikes last year, the rift between left and right is again in the spotlight.

Steve Glazer

Last week, the three Democrats in the race, Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti, former Danville Mayor and current Councilmember Newell Arnerich and Steve Glazer, an Orinda council member who was Gov. Jerry Brown’s former campaign manager, discussed among other issues, the future of regional transportation strikes, raising the minimum wage and the legalization of cannabis in California. Also in the race, but not included in the Democratic candidate’s forum last Thursday in Lafayette, is Catherine Baker, a Republican, who is showing significant fundraising strength. According to campaign finance reports released last Friday, Baker raised nearly $124,000 during the last half of 2013, the most among the quartet of candidates. (Read below for complete campaign finance totals in the 16th Assembly District.)

Her potential to sneak into the top two next June between three moderate Democrats may be a reason for the strong push by Glazer to highlight angst among some in the Bay Area following successive BART strikes late last year that buckled transportation in the region. Glazer called BART management’s role in the strikes as “incompetent” and faulted them for agreeing to pay raises. “This was excess on all sides and we were held accountable for it,” said Glazer, who asserted other large cities around the country, including San Francisco, have moved to prohibit transportation unions from striking. “They decided–both Republicans and Democrats–that it’s not anti-union to say you can’t strike.”

Tim Sbranti

“Be careful what you wish for,” said Arnerich, who worried about ceding control of the negotiating process to an arbitrator. “By the way, then we have to live with us not having a say in what their new future contracts will be.” However, said Sbranti, tinkering with one group’s collective bargaining over another is a “slippery slope.” “Nobody benefits from a strike, however, when you look at what’s at stake, I think this is bad policy.” He questioned whether transportation affects the region’s health and safety, as it would police and fire labor negotiations. Transportation strikes are not the highest priority, said Sbranti, when more pressing needs exist such as parking at BART, its security and extending the line. “This effects BART on a daily basis, this, to me, is not one of those issues because it’s something that occurs infrequently.”

The discussion began with two candidates pressing their opponents to enter into various pledges. Glazer challenged Arnerich and Sbranti to disclose their answers to private union surveys they might fill out during the campaign. Later, Arnerich proposed a pledge against accepting money from outside special interests. There was no response by the candidates on either proposed pact.

All three presented somewhat nuanced answers to whether state and cities should raise the minimum wage. Arnerich and Sbranti say they support raises tied to inflation, while Glazer focused on the increased burden on small business owners. “Most of these jobs are being provided by small business people in our communities,” said Glazer, “I think you should talk to them. I think they’ll tell you things aren’t so grand.” However, Glazer called a desire for higher wages a “fair argument.”

Newell Arnerich

“I want to pay my employees as much as I can because I think they will work harder for that,” said Arnerich. He added the minimum wage issue is also a national issue since another state can undercut California’s higher minimum wage to attract companies seeking to pay lower wages. Sbranti also said wages should be indexed with inflation, “Otherwise, if you leave it flat, workers fall behind and inequality grows.” However, he too, realizes small businesses also have a burden, he said.

There was also tepid support for the possible legalization of cannabis in the state. Sbranti and Glazer urged for the state to take a “wait-and-see” approach and monitor the successes and unintended consequences that may arise from Washington and Colorado, two western states which recently approved legalization. However, Sbranti and Arnerich both offered standard tropes regarding the use of cannabis among teenagers. Sbranti, who is a high school teacher, said “I’ve literally seen lives ruined by marijuana.” He recounted some older students who expressed lament their drug use hampered their lives and identified marijuana as a “gateway drug” to their other addictions.

Although, Arnerich said legalization could save the state money on medical costs and financially hurt the local drug trade, he said society has not yet communicated the risks of using marijuana. “We’ve have told our youth it’s okay to use marijuana, but what we haven’t told them is all the repercussion of it and the responsibility that goes along with it.”

There was consensus among the candidates the state’s controversial high-speed rail project is imprudent during the state’s current financial situation. Sbranti called for “collective pause” on the project, while Arnerich and Glazer questioned the rush to move forward with the project devoid of initial funding.

Later, a Miramonte High School student asked the candidates whether taxes are too high. Glazer said, “Absolutely” and questioned whether taxes are being spent effectively. Arnerich agreed, saying state taxes have “probably reached its max.” Sbranti, though, advocated for an overhaul of state taxes, including a discussion on Proposition 13 and enacting a two-year budget process. “We’re always in crisis mode in California when it comes to budgeting,” said Sbranti, “and we need to get away from that.”

AD 16…….End Cash..2h-In…..2013-In…2h-Out….2013-Out

GLAZER……$329,074  $111,718  $357,440  $ 20,987  $ 29,072
BAKER…….$109,989  $123,920  $123,920  $ 18,436  $ 18,436

SBRANTI…..$ 94,203  $105,590  $218,345  $118,381  $140,163
ARNERICH….$ 72,941  $ 74,300  $124,313  $ 39,194  $ 51,373



Categories: 2014 Election, AD16, Assembly, BART, Bart strike, candidate forum, Contra Costa, Dublin, Joan Buchanan, Lamorinda, minimum wage, Newell Arnerich, Orinda, pot legalizaton, Steve Glazer, Tim Sbranti, unions

117 replies

  1. Tim Sbranti is our choice because:

    Steve Glazer is a political consultant who was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by a corporate interest group funded by tobacco companies, oil companies, real estate developers, pharmaceutical and insurance companies. If elected to to the state legislature Glazer would work to pass laws that benefit them and rubber stamp their issues.

    Tim Sbranti in contrast, is a statewide leader in education, a classroom teacher and effective local leader. Under his fiscal leadership he transformed Dublin from a city suffering from serious budget deficits into a city with a budget surplus, without sacrificing major cuts to community services.

    Like

  2. We believe that teachers belong in the classroom. To that end, we will be voting for clean STEVE GLAZER 2014. The future assemblyman knows that, too. We all need to send Steve to Sacramento and his opponent back to the classroom, where he belongs.

    Teachers have no business in the capital; that's the place for qualified legislators. Teachers belong in the classroom, implementing the policy that the qualified legislators have passed.

    Let's all do our part by supporting clean STEVE GLAZER 2014! He's the PEOPLE'S CHOICE candidate!

    Like

  3. Most of us will be supporting Tim Sbranti. He is one who works towards compromise and has the support of moderates, independents, democrats, consumers, police, fire, nurses, teachers, environmentalists, seniors, women, and others who care about multiple issues that matter to voters and not just one issue like your candidate.

    Like

  4. Most of us will not be supporting Tim Branti. He is one who whores and has the support the union whores, and others who are sluts for the entrenched union bosses.

    Assemblyman Steve Glazer is the people's choice 2014!

    Like

  5. That guy Glazer is bought and paid for by the corporate interest groups. He's not the people's choice in 2014 at all.

    Why the hell would anyone put a fox in the hen house? He'll bankrupt the treasury and give it all away to the corporate lobbyists who are supporting him and screwing the middle class.

    That's why my family voted for Tim Sbranti. Tim also did amazing things in his city to bring people together on issues, rather than tear them apart like you and your candidate. That's why Tim is supported by just about all the consumer groups, senior groups, environmental groups, etc.

    Like

  6. My family and I just voted for Steve Glazer since he isn't a puppet of the entrenched special interests. He's definitely not controlled by big business. After all of the accusations and counter-accusations, we did our homework. He is the best hope of having an independent-minded Democrat in Sacramento and who has an excellent repoire with Jerry Brown. The man knows how to say 'NO' to the unions, which want to bankrupt California and have done a pretty good job so far!

    Like

  7. Most of us will be supporting Tim Sbranti. He is one who works towards compromise and has the support of moderates, independents, democrats, consumers, police, fire, nurses, teachers, environmentalists, seniors, women, and others who care about multiple issues that matter to voters and not just one issue like your candidate.

    Like

  8. That guy Branti is bought and paid for by the corrupt special interest union whores. He's the dirty unions choice in 2014!

    Why the hell would anyone put that crooked fox in the hen house? He'll bankrupt CA and give it all away to the union whores, who are supporting him and continue screwing the rest of us.

    That's why my family voted for CLEAN STEVE GLAZER 2014. Steve has done amazing things in his city to bring people together on issues, rather than tear them apart like Branti. That's why Steve is supported by just about all the consumer groups, senior groups, environmental groups, etc.

    Like

  9. CLEAN is not a name for Glazer. Glazer is not CLEAN at all. Looks like the anti-union sexist troll is posting for the corporate lap dog Glazer again. This doesn't make him sound like a breath of fresh air. Glazer sounds like a dirty politician.

    Steve Glazer is a political consultant who was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by a corporate interest group funded by tobacco companies, oil companies, real estate developers, pharmaceutical and insurance companies. If elected to to the state legislature Glazer would work to pass laws that benefit them and rubber stamp their issues.

    Tim Sbranti in contrast, is a statewide leader in education, a classroom teacher and effective local leader. Under his fiscal leadership he transformed Dublin from a city suffering from serious budget deficits into a city with a budget surplus, without sacrificing major cuts to community services.

    Hope the Glazer troll doesn't cry when he reads this? Better yet read Tim Sbranti's website and you will see that Tim not your candidate is supported by consumer groups, senior groups, environmental groups like the Sierra Club, etc.

    Like

  10. LIES! LIES! LIES!

    I see the the shill is trying to directly link oil and tobacco companies to Glazer, rather than being paid as a consultant by JobsPAC. If you only would have gone 1-2 degrees further – you could say Glazer tax dollars are paying public unions – which are funding Sbranti's war chest. So you see, oil & tobacco are funding Sbranti's campaign!

    Of course, I don't see any effort to dig into Sbranti's political donation history before he became the unions' darling. If the shill did, he might have mentioned Sbranti's donations from PG&E and 3 donations from Chevron.

    The shill might have even mentioned the disgusting push polling tactics supporters of Sbranti are conducting in AD16 – a race & class baiting tactic straight out of the Republican playbook on how to manipulate low information voters in southern states.

    Now let's see how well that tactic works in AD16 – with Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, Blackhawk, San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore – the voters are not exactly low-information, and might actually care about where their tax dollars go.

    Oh, and it's only odd that the author did not mention any of this with the assumption the shill himself did in fact write this hit piece and not the Sbranti campaign – which in that case its totally understandable!

    Get ready to cry Tuesday night, union whores, when your stooge goes down to defeat bigtime. Will be CLEAN STEVE GLAZER 2014 v. Catharine Baker. Either way, seat stays in Contra Costa County!

    Like

  11. Most of us will be supporting Tim Sbranti. He is one who works towards compromise and has the support of moderates, independents, democrats, consumers, police, fire, nurses, teachers, environmentalists, seniors, women, and others who care about multiple issues that matter to voters and not just one issue like your candidate.

    Like

  12. That guy Branti is bought and paid for by the corrupt special interest union whores. He's the dirty unions choice in 2014!

    Why the hell would anyone put that crooked fox in the hen house? He'll bankrupt CA and give it all away to the union whores, who are supporting him and continue screwing the rest of us.

    That's why my family voted for CLEAN STEVE GLAZER 2014. Steve has done amazing things in his city to bring people together on issues, rather than tear them apart like Branti. That's why Steve is supported by just about all the consumer groups, senior groups, environmental groups, etc.

    Like

  13. CLEAN is not a name for Glazer. Glazer is not CLEAN at all. Looks like the anti-union sexist troll is posting for the corporate lap dog Glazer again. This doesn't make him sound like a breath of fresh air. Glazer sounds like a dirty politician.

    Steve Glazer is a political consultant who was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by a corporate interest group funded by tobacco companies, oil companies, real estate developers, pharmaceutical and insurance companies. If elected to to the state legislature Glazer would work to pass laws that benefit them and rubber stamp their issues.

    Tim Sbranti in contrast, is a statewide leader in education, a classroom teacher and effective local leader. Under his fiscal leadership he transformed Dublin from a city suffering from serious budget deficits into a city with a budget surplus, without sacrificing major cuts to community services.

    Like

  14. We believe that teachers belong in the classroom. To that end, we will be voting for clean STEVE GLAZER 2014. The future assemblyman knows that, too. We all need to send Steve to Sacramento and his opponent back to the classroom, where he belongs.

    Teachers have no business in the capital; that's the place for qualified legislators. Teachers belong in the classroom, implementing the policy that the qualified legislators have passed.

    Let's all do our part by supporting clean STEVE GLAZER 2014! He's the PEOPLE'S CHOICE candidate!

    Like

  15. I agree with most of the 11:54 post, live in Contra Costa and will walk and phone for Tim Sbranti. Yes I'm a supporter of teachers & nurses and believe that is a plus not a minus, as do many of my friends. Teachers and nurses are generally selfless individuals trying to help others and more should be in Sacramento. Most people aren't as far to the right as you are.

    Like

  16. We agree:

    That guy Branti is bought and paid for by the corrupt special interest union whores. He's the dirty unions choice in 2014!

    Why the hell would anyone put that crooked fox in the hen house? He'll bankrupt CA and give it all away to the union whores, who are supporting him and continue screwing the rest of us.

    That's why my family voted for CLEAN STEVE GLAZER 2014. Steve has done amazing things in his city to bring people together on issues, rather than tear them apart like Branti. That's why Steve is supported by just about all the consumer groups, senior groups, environmental groups, etc.

    Like

  17. Steve Glazer is not clean. He has been bought and paid for by the corrupt corporate special interest crooks that continually stick it to consumers. They have spent over two million dollars on his campaign.

    Tim Sbranti, on the other hand, is a teacher who is used to compromise and trying to find situations that help all. That's why he is endorsed by Nurses, Police, Fire, the Democratic Party, Consumer groups, Environmental groups, Seniors, Women groups, our current Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan and many others.

    Look at his site—Tim Sbranti.com

    Like

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