Claycord – Talk About Local Politics

November 30, 2018 17:06 pm · 24 comments


This special post is “Talk About LOCAL Politics”.

Please use this post to talk about LOCAL politics, and keep state and national politics out of this thread.

Thank you, and be kind to each other.

Please Note: Users who use multiple names will be deleted. Please choose a name so others can easily chat with you. Users must provide a name in the ‘name field’, please do not use the ‘@’ symbol in the name field.

Forsythe December 2, 2018 at 6:34 AM

Stealing California, one crooked legal ruling at a time.

Ballot Harvesting is illegal almost everywhere in the world. Except California. In 2016, a new law, AB1921 enacted it. Anyone can turn in ballots, no questions asked, no chain of custody required.

Even though they were running a one-party state at that time, as they are now, Democrats claimed to be concerned about low turnout in their districts, many of which were known as ‘rotten boroughs’ full of non-citizen voters.

Most of the attention at the time from Republicans was focused on the involuntary registration of voters through the Department of Motor Vehicles, which has led to what was feared: the registration of illegal immigrants.

Read more:

WC Resident December 2, 2018 at 7:22 PM

So far nobody has demonstrated that harvesting is or was done.

For example, has the election results. Click and then look at the “Final Unofficial(PDF)” document. Take a look at the percentages in the far right hand column of the “Times Cast” lines. That’s the voter participation rate for each race on the ballots.

If the votes for a particular race are harvested you would think that people will just vote on that race and leave the rest of the ballot blank. That would make the participation rate much higher than average for a seat or issue and much higher than similar races or issues.

For the first nine races (pages 1, 2, and the first two on page 3) all show 423,333 votes out of 619,963 registered voters for a 68.28% participation rate. We know that none the races were harvested. I am surprised that all of then are identical and not a single person decided to ignore the races for the more obscure seats.

Stege Sanitary District Director has 78.90% participation rate? I had no idea people cared so much about Sanitary District Directors.

Other than proposition 1 and 2 all of the propositions were at about 68.1% indicating none of them seem to be harvested. Propositions 1 and 2 were at 67.83% indicating slightly less interest than with the remaining propositions. None of the propositions were even a percent more than the others indicating none of them were harvested.

Forsythe December 3, 2018 at 1:24 PM

@WC Resident: Ballot harvesting and illegal voting is rampant in California.

Please read below.

Ballot Harvesting. California Dems’ Latest Election Stealing Tool

14-point Republican lead disappears

Figuring out new and creative ways to steal elections is what Democrats do best. No one thinks “Republicans” when they hear the slogan “vote early and vote often”.

mtzman December 3, 2018 at 2:11 PM

I read the articles you cited and there is absolutely no evidence of any voter fraud. Regardless of who turns in a ballot, they all still need to be verified and counted. Republicans, on the other hand, have been proven in courts of law in several state around the country to have illegally gerrymandered districts to favor their candidates. Let’s see your typical vitriol for that type of voter fraud and maybe then we can have a discussion about the wisdom of what you call harvesting.

Forsythe December 3, 2018 at 6:10 PM

Democrats love to complain about gerrymandering, but they sure don’t hesitate to deploy it to maximum effect. Case in point is New Jersey, where the Democratic Legislature is trying to lock in one-party rule by essentially enshrining it in the state Constitution.

More about ballot harvesting:

California lost 7 of its 14 Republican House seats this election cycle. This was after the state legislature passed “ballot harvesting” laws. Ballot harvesting is illegal in most states. In Texas, New York and Pennsylvania they arrest people for ballot harvesting.

WC Resident December 4, 2018 at 11:00 AM

@Forsythe – I will agree with you that Assembly Bill No. 1921 seems to be screwy. Unfortunately, laws never have a sidebar that explains the reasoning for the change. I noticed that assembly member Catharine Baker (R that smells like a D) voted “no” on it and state senator Glazer (D that smells like an R) voted “yes” but did not look further to see if it passed along party lines or if it had bipartisan support/opposition.

What you are not showing is evidence that harvesting has occurred in California. Political races have swung one way or another long before AB 1921 was passed and so a single race’s wing in Orange county is not evidence that harvesting occurred there. I demonstrated that harvesting does not seem to have happened in Contra Costa County.

I did find that Republicans also harvest, and it was outside of California.

In Bush vs. Gore we also learned that who counts the votes may be more important than who voted…

I was not impressed with the washingtontimes article you cited. For starters it talked about Non-Citizen Voting and San Francisco. They chose to not tell people that Non-Citizen are only allowed to vote on internal San Francisco things such as local school board seats. They chose to not tell people that around 40 Non-Citizen voted. It simply was not a factor.

Likewise, Alameda county’s inmate voters are also only allowed to vote on things within Alameda county.

Non-citizens and inmates can’t vote in state level or federal level issues and seats.

While 16 and 17 year olds can now register to vote they can’t start voting until they are 18 years old.

I stopped reading that article at this point as it seemed to be a waste of time.

The townhall article you cited was better though fails to point out that as harvesting is now legal in California that both political parties will be using the tactic. While it’s running blue at the moment, giving blues a temporary edge at harvesting and Gerrymandering, California has trended back and forth many times.

A simple solution would be that mail in ballots should be postage paid by the state or county. At present it’s nearly a dollar to mail in the ballot which is a barrier to the elderly. Change the drop-off wording back to only allowing close relatives to do the drop off. Allowing anyone to drop off and putting no limit on the number of drop-offs opens up too much opportunity for abuse.

Forsythe December 5, 2018 at 10:30 AM

@WC Resident. I agree that changing the legislation back to only allowing close relatives to do the drop off would make sense.

But, since California Democrats legalized ballot harvesting, why would they want to change it?

Regarding free mail-in ballots. I agree that it would be worthwhile.

But a bigger problem is that the ballots keep getting bigger and more complex every year. Too much bureaucracy, red tape, unfunded liabilities.

Quincy December 3, 2018 at 5:34 AM

well this is kind of cute, funny even, but is it dignified? Does it hurt or help the cause of the Concord Police being respected or taken seriously?

WC Resident December 4, 2018 at 11:54 AM

Walnut Creek police’s version is so corny that I won’t even link to it.

I personally don’t mind. You need to have an outgoing and friendly personality to get selected into a police academy. It’s no surprise agencies are having fun making the videos.

Lars Anderson December 6, 2018 at 10:07 AM

I did see the video where a bunch of Concord police officers are dancing in front of Concord’s Taj Mahal PD station. The officers are laughing and smiling in the video.They have a lot to be happy about, let me tell you. Morale has never been higher at the Concord PD due to the fact virtually ALL city money now is flowing into the pockets of members of the Concord Police Officers Association. So much money now there is barely enough left to buy pencils and pens at the City of Concord (see looming 13 million dollar deficit, brought to us by Barrone, Hoffmiester, and Edi Birsan)
Ronald Bruckert, President of the Concord Police Officer Association, has made an average of 291,000 in pay the last three years – he’s almost made the 300,000 club. There probably has been a deliberate effort to keep Bruckerts pay just below 300K, had it gone over that it might have generated a newspaper story.
Actually, Bruckets gargantuan pay levels generated a newspaper story in 2010 by EastBay Times columnist Dan Borenstein, so Bruckert has been making that kind of money for at least 8 years, maybe longer. He is likely a millionaire many times over now – he works 90 hours a week, when would he have time to spend the money he is making working as a patrolman at Concord PD?
Police Captains at Concord PD, like Garret Voerge, make more than the most of the PD Chiefs in Contra Costa -if a Concord police captain got a PD Chief job in Martinez or Walnut Creek they would have to take a pay cut
.How about Concord PD officers, just the average patrolmen? They make 149,000 now, that’s why Bruckert is raking in so much money .He is just a lowly patrolman, but lowly patrolman make a lot of money in Concord – they make that even though Concord has very little serious crime
.Bruckert, because he is so well connected – many believe he is running the city behind the scenes – gets to work all the OT he wants. What police chief or council person or city manager would want to tangle with the President of the Concord POA. None will, so every year Bruckert tells Valerie Barrone and the Concord PD Chief Guy Swanger how much he wants to make each year, and Bruckert – who is greedy – likes that 300K figure, apparently. lol.
So yes, members of the Concord PD have a lot to dance about. They just don’t laugh all the way to the bank, they dance too.

Anonymous December 3, 2018 at 9:10 AM

We see our ethically challenged DA has demoted her campaign rival.

She is less then smart, but we knew that .

Recall 'Em All December 5, 2018 at 5:38 AM

If I were making such a statement, I would want it to be perfectly written.

hahahahaha! December 3, 2018 at 1:43 PM

“ethically challenged DA” Omg!! how long have you lived here?

Lars anderson December 6, 2018 at 1:14 PM

I recall when disgraced ex-DA Mark Peterson was caught embezzling from his campaign funds – spending the money on expensive designer suits, shoes, fancy dinners at Ruth Chris Steakhouse, and lavish vacations, not a single police chief in the Contra Costa County, or police union official – such as Ron Bruckert, President of the Concord POA, called for Peterson’s resignation! Nor did Concord PD Chief Guy Swanger, or Sherrif David Livingston. lol.

Lars Anderson December 5, 2018 at 11:22 AM

I have no problem, with Paul Graves being demoted at the DA’s office. Graves was part of disgraced ex-DA Mark Peterson’s leadership team. We have a new DA, Diana Becton, she is bringing in a new leadership team, in doing so she is trying to put the Mark Peterson era in the rear view mirror, as she should.
Peterson, as many know, was prosecuted for embezzlement of campaign funds and he’s also been disbarred from the practice of law. Giveen that I do think it was prudent to clean house at the DA’s office. It’s a new day at the DA’s office, we have a reform DA now, it would have been ridiculous to keep the old regime in place.
Becton, I should mention, is keep her campaign promises, so far. One campaign promise she made pertains to police shootings, no longer will the Contra Costa DA’s office hide reports or video evidence related to police shooting of citizens. Becton believes, as I do, the press and the general public ought to be able to see these reports. Shining daylight on these kinds of reports will help build trust in the community.

KAD December 5, 2018 at 11:48 PM

I am just thankful I will no longer see Ron Leone on the Concord City Council.

Lars Anderson December 6, 2018 at 10:24 AM

To Leone’s credit, he did vote to keep that measure off the ballot that would have continued the temporary tax – a tax city officials have been using to overpay themselves and all city of Concord workers in general.
When Concord city officials asked voters to pass the tax previously they were asking us taxpayers to tighten our belts, but they themselves used the money to pay themselves fatter salaries. Talk about a racket. Today most Concord city workers make 150,000 and up, numerous city officials now make over 200,000. When residents ask things like ” Hey, “why can’t we get a new library in Concord – like Pleasant Hill is getting” – the $240,000 a year city officials tell us, “Uh sorry, the city is broke”. Not only is the city broke but a deficit is looming – even though we have the best economy in 40 years right now! Why is this happening? See Laura Hoffmiester.

Lars Anderson December 6, 2018 at 7:36 AM

I am deeply disappointed we will have to endure another 4 years of spendthrift Laura Hoffmiester serving on the Concord City Council. She has been on the council for decades now and the City of Concord is worse off for it.
Clearly, Hoffmiester keeps getting re-elected only because of voter apathy. When voters in Concord go to the polls they have so little information on the candidates they usually just vote for a name they recognize.While many voters believe it’s a civic duty to vote, they are often too busy to do the research on candidates for city council or county offices. Thus incumbents often will get re-elected even when their job performance in office has been abysmal, as is the case with Hoffmiester.
Evidence of Hoffmiesters inept leadership is everywhere. Concord, as many are aware, is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy – a 13 million dollar deficit is looming on the horizon. Even though the city laid off 25% of the people that worked at the City of Concord back in 2009 -supposedly it was a cost cutting move – that was the claim – the City of Concord is still going down the tubes. Thanks to Laura Hoffmeister and Valerie Barone in a year or two it’s going to be a sea or red ink at the city of Concord.
Concord, as some are aware, has the highest paid city workers in the bay area – really it’s statewide , few cities in California have city employees that rake it in like Concord city employees do. Concord city workers make more than than City workers in San Francisco, LA, and San Diego – almost 20,000 more per city employee in some cases. Because of all this money being squandered on city employee salaries we have no money in Concord to build a new library, no money for rec programs, no money, for the arts, no money for a teen center, we got no money for nothing.
We can thank Laura Hoffmiester. for this overspending on city employees, thanks to her Concord city employees are all vacationing now in Can Can in the winter. I am told during winter season there is often as many as 10 or 12 Concord City employees at a time vacationing in Mexico or Hawaii – sometimes they go in these large groups together – the reason for this is because so many city workers are making 200K a year and up.

Smith December 6, 2018 at 8:24 PM

I’m disappointed, too. I live in Clayton and I see no reason why one person should be occupying positions in both cities. Considering Clayton’s history, Clayton should be completely adverse to allowing such a situation to exist, and consider it a conflict of interest. She can’t possibly have both cities interests at heart. They are adverse to one another. Seems unusually bizarre that she is allowed to do this … like some “special” favor from someone in Clayton city government who obviously wasn’t here at the time Clayton was incorporated, or wants to maintain Clayton’s small town, more rural feel. Someone who obviously is all for over-development in the area.

Recall 'Em All December 7, 2018 at 5:54 AM

It remains that Concord requires three representatives to enact policies that contribute to the costs associated with employee salaries, etc.

Unfortunately, whiners do not discontinue their rants, flawed or not, based on general understanding, knowledge or fact.

Lars Sanderson December 7, 2018 at 8:19 AM

You are making very good points Smith, Laura Hoffmiester is a city employee at the City of Clayton AND she’s serves on the Concord City Council, so she is a walking conflict of interest.
As I understand it, Hoffmiesters job at the City of Clayton is linked to the sweetheart deal the City of Clayton has with the City of Concord – Concord books and jails people arrested in Clayton. That’s what I have heard, but I am not familiar with the details.
I myself would describe Hoffmiesters job at the City of Clayton as a make-work job; to the best of my knowledge she has no real duties at the City of Clayton. She pushes a few papers around the office, she talks on the phone a little, she puts together the agenda for council meetings. For this little amount of work she makes $86,000 a year. Hoffmiester job title at the City of Clayton Clayton is “Assistant to the City Manager”; I recall learning many years ago that when somebody has a job title like that their job is to talk to cranks the bigwig doesn’t want to talk to most of the time. If you want to talk to the Clayton City Manager – and he doesn’t want to talk to you – then you get Laura Hoffmiester.
One of the reasons, as I have previously reported, Hoffmiester has been such a disaster as a city council person is linked to her make-work job at the City of Clayton. I feel real strongly about that. Hoffmiester does absolutely nothing all day at her job at the City of Clayton – she produces nothing – so the same thing is happening in her job as council person. Hoffmiester just talks, she attends meetings, she talks on the phone, yet nothing ever gets done. Hoffmiester just sits in her seat at the City of Concord meetings, she talks, she yip yaps, she drones on year, after year – this has been going on 24 years now – but nothing ever get’s done, except raises for the city employees. lol.

Fyi December 7, 2018 at 9:15 AM

And here is the kicker, she gets a travel allowance. If I remember right it is like $500 a month for gas. How big is clayton to drive around?

Kirkwood December 7, 2018 at 12:20 PM

Additional F.Y.I: Concord also maintains Clayton’s sewer system.
Also: Laura Hoffmeister’s mother, Georgia Hoffmeister was Assistant to a succession of Concord’s City Managers.

Lars Anderson December 7, 2018 at 9:04 AM

Your point is good Recall Them All, it does take thee votes to do anything in Concord. However, Hoffmiester has been on the council for decades now, unlike others sitting on the council, so she deserves a lot of the blame for the big mess you see in Concord – the cuts in services, the elimination of 25% of the work force, the skyrocketing salaries of city employees, among the highest in the state of California.(see Transparent California).
As you may be aware, Hoffmiester has been Mayor 4 times now, so she has been controlling the agenda at council meetings for years. A key reason we can’t get a new library in Concord is because Hoffmiester is blocking the construction of a new library, she prefers granting ever larger salaries to city workers, that’s her priority. Only a bad economy keeps her from granting big fat raises to city workers, as you saw during the Great Recession.
The biggest problem with Hoffmiester – and the council in general – has been the way the Concord police labor union – the POA – continually rolls city managers for ever larger pay packages year after year, to the point where it has become ludicrous. Salaries are so bloated at the PD now the City of Concord is minting millionaires, like Ronald Bruckert. Pensions too, they are out of control.
Concord does not have a lot of crime – our city never has. The SF Chronicle, I should mention – reported 2 days ago that crime – arrests – peaked in 1989 – and we have 50% fewer arrests happening in 2018 – this trend is happening all up and down the state. Given this, why is the City of Concord spending astronomical amounts of money on the PD? The more arrests go down the more money the city of Concord spends on policing!
The reason this is happening is because of weak leadership at the City of Concord, we have had these do nothing caretaker city managers, and we have a Council that is totally controlled by the police labor union. Even though crime is down by 50% in California and Contra Costa and in Concord – Laura Hoiffmiester – in her recent campaign for city council – was calling for more spending at the PD! Just unbelievable.

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