San Joaquin County reps. react to SOTU

In the flurry of reactions to come after President Obama’s State of the Union address, were a pair from the two congressmen representing San Joaquin County, Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, and Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton.

Both mentioned Obama’s plea for bipartisanship.

Denham: “I hope he’ll follow through on his remarks by taking up some of the bills that have already passed the House this Congress to create jobs and extend opportunity for all.”

McNerney: “I support his call for bipartisan work on Capitol Hill, and hope all my colleagues are ready to work towards commonsense solutions for our middle class families.”

Here is Denham’s statement:

“The President spoke tonight about working together to craft bipartisan solutions. I hope he’ll follow through on his remarks by taking up some of the bills that have already passed the House this Congress to create jobs and extend opportunity for all. I hope he’ll heed his own advice when it comes to tackling tax reform and work with us to establish a fairer, flatter, simpler tax code to save American families and small business owners time and money. I hope he’ll remember his comments and come to the table to work out a fiscally responsible plan for much-needed updates to our water and transportation infrastructure.

“I also hope to see the President working to follow through on the intentions of the law he signed last summer to transform healthcare and benefits system for our veterans. One project ready to make a huge difference in the quality of care for Valley veterans is the planned clinic at French Camp. Yet for years, delays with funding and planning have prevented the VA from breaking ground on the project. It’s time for the VA to re-align their priorities and get construction funded at French Camp before the President’s next State of the Union address.”

Here is the reaction McNerney posted on Facebook:

“Tonight’s State of the Union address was one of President Obama’s best. He shared the good news about the national economy, the success of Obamacare, and the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan. He discussed America’s leadership in natural gas production and wind power, record graduation rates and more. He promised to veto bad legislation, while advocating for equal pay, a fair minimum wage, and more robust efforts to fight climate change.

“I support his call for bipartisan work on Capitol Hill, and hope all my colleagues are ready to work towards common sense solutions for our middle class families.”


Posted in Denham, McNerney | Leave a comment

More from Election 2016 preview

The race to replace Supervisor Steve Bestolarides after he terms out is already starting to take shape. Stockton City Councilman Moses Zapien and Stockton business owner Tom Patti are already jockeying for position. Here’s a little bit more about them, in this story.

Both candidates had filed initial paperwork with the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters Office last year. Zapien, though, sent out a press release as his official announcement.

Here is that announcement:

Stockton City Councilmember Moses Zapien announced today that he is seeking to represent the residents of San Joaquin County’s 3rd District on the Board of Supervisors which encompasses north and west Stockton neighborhoods, Lathrop and most of the City of Manteca.  Zapien was originally elected to the Stockton City Council in 2012 and has been a vocal advocate for quality of life issues like crime reduction, promoting economic development, improving literacy and cleaning up blighted and disadvantaged neighborhoods.  In addition, Moses has worked on regional issues on the San Joaquin Council of Governments (COG) addressing transportation, farmland preservation, sustainability, land use and housing challenges throughout the county.

Councilmember Zapien’s work in the community has earned him the support of a number of current and former elected officials and leaders in San Joaquin County.  Former County Human Services Agency Director John Vera believes that “Moses’ proven experience, leadership and strong work ethic will be a great asset to the County Board of Supervisors.  He has a unique life experience that allows him to understand the needs and perspectives of people across the social spectrum.”  Manteca Mayor Steve DeBrum states that “I have worked closely with Moses on the San Joaquin COG Board and have found him to be an extremely hard working and well prepared board member who understands the regional transportation and planning needs and issues facing San Joaquin County residents.  He will be an honest and effective leader on the Board of Supervisors.”  Stockton City Councilmember Susan Lofthus is supporting Moses because of his “proven leadership, willingness to tackle tough issues like public safety, fiscal responsibility and economic development while being open, honest and approachable to those he represents.”  He is also supported by the Vice President of the San Joaquin Delta College Board of Trustees Claudia Moreno “because of his focus on increasing literacy in the county and spearheading the Little Free Libraries program that promotes reading and education in disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout the community.”  Zapien has also received the endorsement of former San Joaquin County Supervisor Larry Ruhstaller for “his work in fighting the state’s efforts to ship Delta water to southern California and for his efforts in protecting our local water supply.  Moses has been a vocal advocate for the water needs of San Joaquin County farmers and residents. ”

Born and raised in Stockton, Moses’ parents taught him the value of hard work and service to the community.  After attending the University of the Pacific and the University of Southern California, he joined his family’s denture manufacturing business in Stockton. Following his dreams of becoming an attorney, Moses earned his law degree from the Laurence Drivon School of Law. During law school, he served as President of the Student Bar Association, where he established the Annual Student Bar Gala fundraiser to support student scholarships. Moses is also a graduate of Leadership Stockton and the San Joaquin County Superior Court Community Leadership and Liaison Program.

Moses’ professional experience also includes serving as the Coordinator for Senior Legal Services at El Concilio and working for the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, assisting victims of crime. He currently practices immigration law at the Sacramento law firm of Oh and Choi.

Moses is active in the community and serves on a number of boards. He currently serves as President of the San Joaquin County Bar Association, the first Hispanic to hold the prestigious post.  He recently spearheaded the Association’s efforts to establish a free legal clinic to serve the needs of the greater community. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Library and Literacy Foundation of San Joaquin County, and has played an integral part in the Little Free Libraries Stockton movement to establish 100 neighborhood book exchanges in Stockton. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the Tiger Elementary School Mentoring Project.  Moses previously served as Chair of the Stockton Civil Service Commission from 2010 to 2012, and on the Board of Directors of the California Young Lawyers Association, as one of 20 attorneys state-wide to represent the interests of young lawyers.

Moses is dedicated to serving the residents of Stockton. During his term, his focus will be on improving public safety, promoting economic development to facilitate job creation, and ensuring fiscal responsibility and accountability.

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A rundown of an eventful year in San Joaquin County

During his remarks at Monday’s changing of the guard, Supervisor Bob Elliott looked back on his year as chairman of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. He also submitted an Op-Ed piece to The Record that went into further detail.

Here’s that letter, in its entirety:

While serving as Chairman of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors this past year, I’ve witnessed many challenges facing our region, as well as tremendous progress and significant achievements.  The Board has taken numerous actions over the past year to set San Joaquin County on an exciting path toward continuing financial stability, cutting-edge innovation, and becoming a magnet for economic development and new jobs.

First and foremost, the County’s financial affairs are in order.  We achieved a structurally balanced budget for the first time in the past six years. We partially restored the County’s reserve and capital improvement funds by returning $17.4 million to those accounts. We owe it to our taxpayers to manage their money responsibly, and I’m proud to have helped achieve that goal with our 2014-15 budget.

While bringing our financial house under control, we have also worked diligently to become a regional hub for economic development and job creation.  Recent activities indicative of improvements in economic opportunities include:

  • Docking of the Google Barge at the Port of Stockton;
  • Expansion of the Amazon fulfillment center in Tracy to recruit 200 additional employees;
  • Tesla’s announcement of a 431,000 square-foot advanced manufacturing facility in Lathrop;
  • Groundbreaking for a 1 million square-foot facility at Cordes Ranch in Tracy for Prologis Inc., a global leader in industrial real estate;
  • Development progress at River Islands, Austin Road Business Park, Blossom Hill Industrial Park and Mountain House;
  • Expansion of services and facilities at Stockton’s Metropolitan Airport, to include adding passenger flights to Phoenix, pursuing options to offer international flights, terminal and runway improvements, and commencing apron reconstruction to accommodate five aircraft rather than one; and
  • Expansion of the County’s economic development program that promotes San Joaquin County as “Greater Silicon Valley” to entice expanding companies, as well as entrepreneurs looking to jump-start their businesses, to locate in San Joaquin County.

Another exciting development was the official formation of the Innovation Hub (iHub) San Joaquin program which will promote economic advancements in the County and improve the State’s competitiveness by stimulating partnerships, economic development, and job creation around specific research clusters, such as Health Care, Sustainable Construction, and Agribusiness Technologies.

Regarding the County’s agricultural industry – our number one industry – our 2013 Agricultural Report showed that agriculture had a banner year despite the drought, with gross value of agricultural production reaching another all-time high of nearly $3 billion. We must work closely with the legislature to ensure that this premier industry continues to thrive.

We can’t discuss agriculture without highlighting the Board’s efforts to protect the Delta.  San Joaquin, in partnership with the Delta Counties Coalition, has worked tirelessly for the past seven years to educate State policymakers and the Administration about the fatal flaws of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and its devastating effects on the Delta. Recently, the federal Environmental Protection Agency came to a similar conclusion, stating that the proposed $50 billion tunnel plan would violate federal law.

We’ve also worked extensively to improve Veterans Services. The County continues to aggressively advocate with Congressional and VA representatives in support of Federal funding for the VA Central Valley Clinic and Community Living Center in French Camp.  Additionally, the County secured a contract with Triwest allowing the VA to refer Veterans to San Joaquin General Hospital for medical services to alleviate excessive wait and travel times for Valley veterans.

In July, San Joaquin County achieved Federally Qualified Health Center Look-A-Like designation for County Clinics.  This designation will provide expected increased revenues of $8.4 million annually, which will allow expansion of clinic services and enhanced access to care for patients, as well as assuring future stability and viability of our County Clinics.

In an effort to strengthen public safety throughout the County, Supervisor Villapudua and I reconvened the City/County Criminal Justice Task Force late last year, and continue to use it to engage elected officials and decision makers in improving our criminal justice system.  The Board approved additional staff for the Sheriff and District Attorney.  We also upgraded security at both our Honor Farm and the County Jail.  Our County Community Corrections Partnership continues to develop methods to effectively manage AB 109 released State prisoners.

An initiative that I’m particularly proud of is our effort to improve openness and transparency in local government.  An excellent example of this is the implementation of an OpenGov application on our County website (,) which enables individuals to see where their tax dollars are being spent with the click of a button.  In addition, we initiated a “Take Government to School Day” by holding a Board of Supervisors meeting at Kimball High School in Tracy, providing students an opportunity to gain an orientation and insight into local government.

It’s truly been a pleasure to serve the County as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, and to provide highlights of our achievements over the past year.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to make continued progress in the coming year.

Byline: Supervisor Bob Elliott is the Chairman of the San Joaquin Board of Supervisors. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He served his country for 30 years in the United States Army, and retired as a Colonel, US Army Special Forces (the Green Berets.) Chairman Elliott was elected to the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors in 2012 and represents the Fifth Supervisorial District, which covers portions of south San Joaquin County, including Tracy, Mountain House, half of Manteca, and a portion of Lathrop.

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Amador concedes in Congressional race

Congressional candidate Tony Amador thanked his supporters in a concession message posted on Facebook late Thursday. The Republican said his campaign made inroads with independent and Democrat voters, but the number of votes left to count was not enough to make up the gap remaining after San Joaquin County released updated totals earlier in the day.

He challenged Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, who declared victory after the Associated Press called the race after Contra Costa County updated its totals last Friday.

Here’s Amador’s Facebook post, pasted in its entirety:

To all of my relatives, friends and supporters who gave me encouragement, worked and contributed what they could to OUR campaign, financially and otherwise, THANK YOU. There are approximatly 5,700 Provisional ballots which will be counted tomorrow and Saturday if necessary. At this point I am over 4,900 votes behind the incumbent. This race is now over for all practical purposes. At this point I received 54,989 votes to the 59,919 votes for the Congressman, out of the 114,908 votes cast to date in the 9th Congressional District. We knew it would be a challenge as my opponent had a 13% Gerrymandered advantage in registration. This was unlike the evenly divided registration numbers in the district 4 years prior. The incumbent had nearly $ 1,000,000.00 to work with compared to our $ 55,000.00. We did extremly well where we made our presence known, obviously garnering votes from Independents/Decline to state and Democrats also. I believe voters crossed over to vote for me because I ran as an independent “representative” and not as a politician. Evelia and I have no regrets. We are proud of our team who did the best we could. God Bless you all.

Posted in CD09, Elections | Leave a comment

Amador not giving up yet

Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, had a narrow lead of 3 percentage points over Republican challenger Tony Amador. McNerney has 51.5 percent of the vote, Amador has 48.5 percent.

McNerney’s camp felt good about the lead late Tuesday before everything was counted, and the gap did grow when the last numbers from Democratic Contra Costa County came in.

But there are thousands of vote-by-mail and provisional ballots to be counted, something that Amador noted in a Facebook post today. “The race is not over,” he says in the post.

Here’s the post:

I want to thank everyone who supported me in any possible way. Words of encouragement and $$ helped in this California 9th Congressional District Race. With 2,397 votes separating the incumbent and I, and literally tens of thousands of provisional balots (sic) yet to be counted, the race is not over. The Registrar of Voters in three counties will count valid ballots before any official declaration of a winner can be ascertained. Thank you, Thank you. Thank you. We will keep you posted.

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(Raw video) Neel Kashkari speaks at Port of Stockton

Republican candidate for governor Neel Kashkari came to Stockton today. He’s running to unseat Gov. Jerry Brown. On one of the stops he took a ride on the Kennon Doyle with Republican candidates and leaders, as well as local water expert Dante Nomellini.

After the riverboat passes in the background, he mentions a previous meeting he had with Tony Amador, who is running against Jerry McNerney for a seat in Congress. Kashkari managed to out-shoot Amador at a firing range. No mean feat since Amador is a retired U.S. Marshall.

There were other Republican candidates for office on the boat trip: Sol Jobrack, who is running against Assemblywoman Susan Eggman and Chuck Winn, who is running against Russ Munson for a seat on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.


Posted in CD09, District 5, Elections | Leave a comment

Congressman meeting with hospitals to talk Ebola

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, released a statement recently about the spread of the Ebola virus. Reporter Joe Goldeen posted it on his blog, here.

Fears about the disease, which has seen three cases in the United States, have become a part of the national electoral landscape in the lead up to the midterms. That’s been the case in the 9th Congressional District, too, where Republican Tony Amador has released statements in his campaign to unseat McNerney.

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Ebola statement from congressional candidate

Congressional candidate Tony Amador released a statement this week calling on tighter travel restrictions to slow the spread of the Ebloa virus to the country.

The Republican Amador is running against four-term Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, who represents the 9th Congressional District.

Here’s the press release sent out from the Amador campaign:

Stockton.  Today Antonio C. ‘Tony’ Amador, candidate for the 9th Congressional District, called for the resignation of CDC Director Tom Frieden.

“The Ebola crisis cannot take the same road as the other Obama disasters like Fast and Furious, Benghazi, ISIS strategy, IRS stonewalling, and Obamacare. The CDC director has demonstrated during the last month the same disregard for protecting the public and lack of leadership as his boss, President Obama,” said Tony Amador.

Amador stated that the CDC is already pointing at others for its failure to maintain control of one the most terrifying viruses on the face of the earth. Freiden was warned several months ago that the “CDC protocols” were ineffective in guaranteeing health worker safety.

Anthony Bradbury, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative, said several weeks ago that the Ebola virus mutates at an incredible rate and could become airborne. “I believe that is exactly what has happened, and the CDC refuses to confront this possibility,” said Amador.

“In light of the developments in Dallas, I am also urging that the President consider and implement travel restriction, up to and including a ban on flights from affected countries “, stated former US Marshal Amador.

“The CDC and the Department of Homeland Security should also consider a standard 21 quarantine for anyone suspected of contact with infected persons, ” declared Amador.

“These measures may not halt the Ebola outbreak, but it will buy us much needed time to build up reserves of anti-virals to fight Ebola,” concluded Amador.

The U S healthcare system lacks a single standard for the Ebola response.  As the situation in Dallas develops, it is clear that no one is really in charge. Though the CDC is tasked with readying the nation for an Ebola outbreak, then leading the national response, the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for protecting the borders, according to Thomas Skinner, a spokesman for the CDC, which is under the auspices of the Department of Health and Human Services.


Posted in Elections, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fire Photo

At Tuesday’s dedication of a replica of a plaque dedicating a tree that had been moved across town town in 1965 to firefighters in San Joaquin County, the Board of Supervisors received a photo of almost all of the county’s fire departments and districts posed outside the County Administration Building.

I’m told it was no mean feat to line up a fleet of fire vehicles along blocked-off Stockton streets on a recent early morning.

Here’s the photo that Stockton photographer Tim Ulmer took.

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(Video) Munson and Winn talk to The Record’s editorial board

The Record’s editorial board meets with candidates in the weeks leading up to elections. It helps the ed. board pick which candidates it will endorse. We videotape part of those meetings and put them online.

Russ Munson and Chuck Winn both came by in their runs to replace Supervisor Ken Vogel, who is terming out. Here are the videos.



Posted in District 4, Elections | Leave a comment
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