Local Candidates -Nov 2010

We don’t review every candidate or measure at the local  (i.e., city) level, however some individuals and issues standout and we believe are worthy of your attention.

US Representative – District 11: Jerry McNerney

Congressman Jerry McNerney is up for his third term and is being challenged by the heavily funded National GOP candidate David Farmer.  McNerney who ironically rode the anti-incumbent wave in 2006 and the Obama coattails of 2008, is now being painted with the 2010 “throw the bums” out sentiment. He voted for the big three spending bills – health care, federal stimulus, and Wall Street reforms – which has made him a big target of the GOP.

But despite many accusations of being a “uber-democrat like San Fran” (a not so flattering reference to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi) the only member of the House of Representatives to hold a PhD in science is actually viewed as a moderate by most.  Given his background in alternative energy and his son who joined the military after 9/11, he’s made positive impact on environmental and veterans affairs.  He successfully lobbied for a new veterans medical clinic in San Joaquin County which should be complete in 2015. he’s co-sponored legislation for Helping Families Save their Homes Act, ending discrimination for people to de terminated based on their sexual orientation (H.R. 3017) and School Building Enhancement Act, providing grants and assistance for energy efficient improvements in K-12 education.

If at first you don’t succeed, just move and run for office until you do

Let’s start with that David Harmer does NOT even live in the 11th district, but to run for Congress you only need to reside in California. Previously, he ran for the Congressional 10th district but lost to John Garamendi before trying his luck in the more heavily Republican 11th district. And in 1996, he ran for Congress and lost in Utah’s 2nd district.  Harmer is an attorney who worked for Washington Mutual (which was later acquired by JP Morgan when WaMu went belly up and Harmer received +$80K in severance – so much for being against bailouts)

Harmer has earned a perfect rating by the Pleasanton Tea Party and is on the record that as a free American mormon, he decided to run because he was prompted by the Spirit. So his platform reflects the Tea Party values of Fiscal Responsibility, Limited Government – possibly  run by “the Sprit”, Following the Constitution except when it comes to public responsibilities, etc.  In a Memorial Day letter to his constituents, he said

We love our country, but we no longer love our government. We see how it squanders our hard-earned tax dollars, how it neglects its core duties while intruding ever more deeply into matters far outside its constitutional authority, and we fear that it shows dangerous signs of outgrowing the consent of the governed.

But more troubling and probably the greatest contrast to Mr. alternative energy and PhD McNerney, Harmer doesn’t believe in the notion of global warming and believes it’s unconstitutional (insert bewildered look here):

Nowhere [in the Constitution] will you see the power to regulate carbon dioxide, what we all exhale.

We at PolitoMuse believe that someone should mention to Harmer that the Constitution is also silent on the right to drive a car…. Or for that matter for women to vote…

Just recently, it came to light that Harmer authored an op-ed piece advocating abolishing the public school system and returning education system to “the way things worked through the first century of American nationhood.”

Once a candidate makes those types of absurd statements on the record, we’re comfortable with a STONG endorsement of Congressman Jerry McNerney.

Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors – District 1 Mike Wasserman

With Don Gage migrating over to Water Board, Forrest Williams and Mike Wasserman are battling for this open seat.

Williams, a retired IBM engineer and former San Jose City council member, seems like a good man who has engaged in public service. Williams tends to bring a more antiquated view of dealing with budget crisis and the complexities of a county of communities that encompass Gilroy, Almaden, Evergreen, Morgan Hill.  Given the realities of an aging civil servant population requires taking a hard look at pension reform and negotiating a workable solution with the unions. We too are passionate about the tireless efforts of our overworked civil servants, but recognize that the status quo is no longer tenable.

Wasserman a certified financial planner, baseball card shop owner, and former Los Gatos Mayor and city council member, has a good track record with public management.  During his tenure, he balanced the budget (albeit a much smaller one than William’s San Jose budget) and actually added funds into the reserve. Los Gatos saw the expansion of a new library and police station. He seems to understand the complexities of county issues and land use issues (i.e., Coyote Valley), which are huge for District 1. Wasserman has also earned the endorsement of Don Gage, Mayors of San Jose, Gilroy, and Morgan Hill.

Morgan Hill Mayor: Steve Tate

Tate is running for his second term for Morgan Hill Mayor and has our endorsement.  In these challenging economic times where other cities are teetering on economic collapse, Morgan Hill is fiscally weathering the storm well. Yes the city has had to layoff 10 city staff, cut recreational programs, and dip into reserves to balance the budget, but the city’s recreational services have an almost 95% return on investment rate meaning the city gets back 95 cents for every dollar spent.  Tate continues to be a champion in reinvigorating the downtown and environmental efforts.

The other candidates Marby Lee and Art College (yes his parents must have had a good sense of humor) are lacking in relevant experience and seem to be running out of anger.  Lee is wrapping up her first term on MH City Council and seems overly fixated on the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) use of funds for an LED sign for the Morgan Hill Community Center. And while having diverse points of view on Council is important, Lee seems all too often interested in making a protest vote on city matters rather than working within the existing system to drive change.

College’s candidacy stem from the August controversial “speaker card Gate” incident where Mayor Tate allegedly denied College from speaking on an item at a city council meeting on the Santa Clara County weed abatement program (no, really we’re not making this up).   Besides the fact that there was no violation of the California open meeting act, College, a Tea Party supporter, carries extreme positions including that global warming science is a myth.

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