Shady state senate campaign tricks has ties to teachers’ union

Joan Buchanan’s state senate was endorsed by the 
California Teachers Association. 

STATE SENATE | 7TH DISTRICT | Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters has been to many political rodeos in California. In a column Monday, Walters laid out a very cynical, but truthful view of the campaign shenanigans taking center stage in next week’s special election primary in the 7th State Senate District. Campaigns viewed as front runners have often tried to surreptitiously help weaker candidates usurp stronger challengers, wrote Walters.

The tactic is based on a theory that a substantial number of voters aren’t really paying attention and can be fooled into voting a certain way. But, one wonders, will it work in the 7th district, where the voters are mostly upper-middle class suburbanites? It’s getting heavy media attention in the district and could backfire on Bonilla. 

The CTA’s IE contributed the Asian American Small
Business PAC in February, but the expenditure didn’t
show up until last week.

It’s becoming clear that voters in this district, who typically have higher than average turnout, in fact, are paying attention and are also energized during this odd year special election.

However, the sense outside interests are meddling in the district’s state senate race, could alternately affect Democrat Joan Buchanan, as well. Conventional wisdom says the push to marginalize Glazer helps Bonilla, but it more likely helps Buchanan.

Two special interests entities are driving the perceived chicanery in this primary race: the labor-backed Asian American Small Business PAC and an Independent Expenditure committee (IE) calling itself Working Families Opposing Glazer for Senate 2015. Both have ties directly to Buchanan, according to finance records.

First, the California Teachers Association endorsed Buchanan in late January. Last Thursday, a $35,000 contribution was posted to the Working Families Opposing Glazer IE by the teachers’ union. The next day, the California Teachers Association IE spent $145,000 for a radio advertisement supporting Buchanan.

Notably, a $40,000 contribution from the California Teachers Association’s IE was reported on their most recent campaign finance report, through Feb. 28, to the Asian American Small Business PAC. The group raised attention recently when it spent over $100,000 to support the Republican who had already dropped out the race and opposed Glazer’s campaign. However, the contribution is absent from the Asian American Small Business PAC’s report.

The CTA also has a certain history with centrist Democrat Steve Glazer from last year’s 16th District Assembly race. The teachers’ union fought vigorously to successfully force Glazer out the top two last fall. However, the narrative created by Glazer in June helped defeat CTA’s preferred candidate, Tim Sbranti.

Further down the line, Democrats may be playing with fire in the outer East Bay. They bucked trends and elected Republican Assemblymember Catharine Baker for a reason and it wasn’t because they enjoyed behind-the-scenes political maneuvering.

10 thoughts on “Shady state senate campaign tricks has ties to teachers’ union

  1. I'm one of those working family members who oppose Glazer because he is so corrupt that he received more special interest money than any other candidate! Agree with 11:31


  2. “Working Families Opposing Glazer for Senate 2015” – that's a cute name for an organization!! Actually, just pretty sneaky!!


  3. Glazer is not the people's choice as much as you may want to rant and rave and call people sexist names. The voters proved that a few months ago. Maybe they thought he was too radical as shown by the people who support him above.

    Since he had an expenditure of about $600,000 from Bill Bloomfield, a former Republican multi-millionaire businessman from Southern California who is trying to buy the election for him, Glazer is not clean, but he is an upper class corporate shill who cares little about the average voter.

    I'll be supporting Susan Bonilla because she is supported by Progressives, Moderates and Conservatives. You support whoever you want since you don't even live in the district.


  4. Boy, you union sluts are running G-d awful scared, as well you should. Not only will CLEAN STEVE GLAZER finish number one on Tuesday, but he will win then or else in May. You just don't get it. The public wants an advocate on THEIR side, not the corrupt special interest union bosses. Phase I was electing Cathy Baker and Phase II will conclude with Steve's election. They will be an awesome tag team and work for the public.

    SENATOR STEVE GLAZER–The People's Choice!


  5. The conservative newspapers only print one-sided info on what they want you to believe. No one has received more corrupt independent expenditure money from outside groups than Glazer.

    He has received almost $600,000 from a Southern California conservative businessman, almost $400,000 from the California Chamber of Commerce PAC ( most of which went to oppose Bonilla and Buchanan), and about $175,000 from the Charter School Association as of the end of last week. Talk about sleaze?

    He may get into the top two, but whichever woman, Susan Bonilla or Joan Buchanan, is there with the weasel, will win the run-off. They are definitely cleaner than he is.


  6. Sadly, I do think Glazer will finish in the top 2. He will be in a run off with Susan Bonilla or Joan Buchanan. He might even be the top vote getter even though he has no principles and is a stooge for corporate business. He has taken more special interest money than any other candidate in independent expenditures. Look it up. The newspaper reports are one sided and only report what they want you to read. What a sleaze! He will never win the run off because both Bonilla and Buchanan can win a head to head race with the double talker.


  7. Of the four candidates, only Glazer has taken courageous stands and has rewarded the voters' intelligence with principled positions. He's no stooge, and gets our votes.


  8. You have to be kidding me! Glazer is telling the Republicans that he is really a Republican at heart. He's telling the Democrats he's really a Democrat. Then, Glazer is running against Taxes. Fact is that Glazer led the charge for 4 taxes in the city of Orinda, including 1/2 cent Sales Tax, and 3 Property Taxes. Orinda home owners pay thousands of dollars in property and sales taxes each year because of Glazer.

    WHO is DECEITFUL and DIRTY? Glazer is the king of talking out both sides of his mouth.



  9. The union whores are an awful, dirty, corrupt bunch of filthy sluts. This article, East Bay Citizen, confirms that.

    We will move heaven and earth, and back again, to make sure that CLEAN STEVE GLAZER is elected. He is the only clean candidate in this race. The unions must be broken at all costs!

    Steve is THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE and that is why the entrenched special interests are scared for their dirty lives. He won't let the filthy union punks pick the public's pockets clean!


  10. Contra Costa Times Editorial: Voters should ignore deceitful labor attack on Glazer
    Contra Costa Times
    March 4, 2015

    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.



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