ASSEMBLY | DISTRICT 16 | This year’s race for the East Bay’s 16th state Assembly District is all about a proposal to ban BART workers from striking and the resulting pushback from organized labor. Not surprisingly, the battle over BART strikes has attracted truckloads of special interest money to the race. Since March, the fight over the right of transit workers to go on strike has drawn at least $2.7 million in contributions to so-called independent expenditure committees that are attempting to influence the race. Indeed, the total amount of money in the contest is extraordinary for a state Assembly race.

Although the June ballot includes four candidates — Democrats Steve Glazer, an Orinda City Councilmember; Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti; and Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich; along with attorney Catharine Baker, a Republican — the contest has boiled down to a fight between the two politicians who have come to embody the BART strike debate: Glazer, who is basing his campaign on the proposal to ban strikes, and Sbranti, who strongly opposes a ban. To date, the independent expenditure committee funds have been split nearly down the middle for Glazer and Sbranti…