Special election one week away

June 15, 2010

The special election to fill the state Senate seat of Abel Maldonado is now one week away and the environment, thanks to the British Petroleum oil spill, is dominating the race between Democrat John Laird and Republican Sam Blakeslee [Mercury News]

According to financial statements, Laird has raised $930,000, much of it from the Democratic Party and labor unions, while Blakeslee has raised $637,000, with contributions from oil, insurance and other corporations.

Blakeslee has also benefitted from $771,000 spent on his behalf by organizations funded by Chevron, British Petroleum, Shell and Exxon, along with pharmaceutical, chemical and other industrial firms.

Democrats hold a 41 percent to 35 percent edge of Republicans in the Senate district, which covers five counties from Santa Maria to San Jose. Political analysts suggest that a low turnout election favors Republicans, so both sides are mounting massive get-out-the vote drives.

The Sierra Club and other environmental groups have endorsed Laird, the former mayor of Santa Cruz, saying that he has earned 100 out of 100 on their legislative score cards. Blakeslee, on the other hand, has a score of 25.

Democrats are trying to paint Blakeslee as a former oil executive who openly supported offshore oil drilling off the coast of Santa Barbara. Blakeslee defends his position by noting that several environmental also endorsed that specific project.

For his part, Blakeslee is accusing Laird of being too willing to raise taxes at a time when spending needs to be curtailed ro solve the budget crisis.



  1. gardengal says:

    Sam Blakeslee signed the tax pledge, has voted to cut funding for schools, and of course did vote to expand offshore oil drilling off our coast. I urge everyone to vote for John Laird–a proven supporter of education, health care for families and sane government.

    (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  2. SLO LOCAL says:

    Come on Cal Coast, you are usually a little better at hiding your liberal bias than this. I now see that a politician can really get a bang for his buck by buying advertising on the page. Your article simply parrots the marketing campaign that the Laird people have been spending thousands of $’S to beat into peoples heads “this campaign is about the environment, Blakeslee is a bad oil guy” (see paid advertisement right next to this article)

    The biggest issues in California are 12% unemployment and a disastrous state budget. One of the large contributors to our economic plight, certainly locally, is what the Sheriff Department labor union has accomplished with the blessings of the democrat led state senate. Laird is a huge union guy. Do we really need a guy in there that will be supporting strengthening labor unions, do we need more lavish pay and pensions for public employees when the largest job providers, small businesses are being hammered? As a small business owner, I am cutting back, I do not get 4 weeks paid vacations, medical, dental and a $300,000.00 pension if I retire at 55 years old. The public employee gravy train has got to stop. Laiard is a Communist and will take us the wrong way.

    (-9) 11 Total Votes - 1 up - 10 down
    • marypress says:

      Laird is a Communist? And you wonder why the efforts to protect ourselves from people who say crazy, outrageous things like that is increasing? I’m also a small business owner who has been victimized by unregulated corporate greed every time I turn around – huge box stores bringing in cheap merchandise from China – stores that would be perfectly content to shut down every small business in town, high merchant fees, credit card fees and bank fees, high health insurance fees. I would much rather pay social security than keep adding to the wealth of these huge corporate entities that have us all on our knees. And after 30 years of watching this unregulated greed take over our country, there are people who believe the answer is to weaken the government and make sure it can’t possibly have the strength to stop the abuse, and to continue to put people in office who obviously protect corporate power? To weaken the government also means to continue to put nothing into deteriorating infrastructure, to continue to weaken our education system, and to do nothing to direct the change from oil to cleaner energy. Except of course, when it comes to war – then the government can spend on and on and on. I agree that the lavish pensions were wrong – we’ve never learned our lesson that in a strong economy we should be building a savings rather than increasing our spending as if the good times will never end. However, the powerful corporate world has kept wages flat for many years, while basic expenses of housing and health insurance have skyrocketed. As long as the goal is pure capitalism where the wealthy get wealthier and the middle-class deteriorates, and any logical system such as what our country had when we were known for the strength of our middle-class, is called communism or socialism, we will remain in serious economic trouble. I’m voting for Laird because of the two candidates, Laird gets this.

      (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down
    • hotdog says:

      I’ll take a communist over a fascist any day. However, in the case of John Laird, neither applies. For you, one does.

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  3. asthecrowphlies says:

    how about posting where the voting stations will be .

    (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
    • hotdog says:

      Everyone was supposed to get a ballot with that info, you could call the county clerk or go on their site for info.

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
      • asthecrowphlies says:

        thanks hotdog i did not get a ballot .

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
    • racket says:

      I think the democrats go to their usual polling station on June 23. The republicans have been issued absentee ballots which must be returned by the 22nd.

      (-7) 7 Total Votes - 0 up - 7 down
      • asthecrowphlies says:

        racket funny or not your not the kind of person i want in my party .

        (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  4. —————————–When i talked to the Sierra Club about the pollution that Caltrans has been shoveling into the Oceano Communities storm water drainage system to our Pacific Ocean; no one cared!

    Sam, on the other hand has been helping and has helped in stopping Caltrnans from shoveling their debris into this drainage system as seen at http://www.oceanonursery.com and on YOUTUBE under Caltrans!

    (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
    • hotdog says:

      It is commonly known that it is illegal to dump polluting materials into drainage systems, and a job for the authorities to investigate. I wonder who you talked to and what constitutes ‘not caring’. I will actually send your comment to them for a reply but on the face of it things don’t look accurate.

      (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
      • —————————-Hotdog, not when you are Caltrans as seen in YouTube videos at http://www.oceanonursery.com or the Oceano Community Service District that use this storm water drainage channel to discharge their excess well # 8 drinking water into this drainage system daily!

        Assemblymember, Sam Blakeslee with his May 8, 2009 and April 30, 2009 letters to Caltrans has at least stopped Caltrans from shoveling their contaminated storm water and debris into this drainage channel that goes to our Pacific Ocean!

        He has got my vote.

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
        • hotdog says:

          Well, that’s OK who you want to vote for. And in your case I don’t know but I disapprove of anyone voting on a single issue. As I said before Sam is a good guy and anyone with a brain should have stuck up for your issue if it had merit. I have gone to Blakeslee with an even bigger situation that his office declined to show any interest in. Though he beat his chest on the air on Congalton about his constituent services a caller disagreed, and so do I.
          I did contact the Sierra Club about your issue, and referred them to this comment. But they told me they get oodles of ‘complaints’ everyday about this and that, many way outside their area of expertise or interest. Could be they were overloaded when you made your request for attention. Again, a single issue, single item. To throw rocks at this worthy organization for failing to do what you wanted on a certain issue would be sadly immature, if that is the case.

          (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  5. south says:

    This is a no brainer. If the local Sierra Club supports Laird, Blakeslee has my vote. The Christies hate humans.

    (0) 20 Total Votes - 10 up - 10 down
    • hotdog says:

      Oh really! Were YOU at the CPUC hearing tonight where a Christie and other Sierra Club representatives spoke in favor of keeping YOUR utility rates down? Maybe you were part of the cheering section PG and E sent to bore us to death with irrelevant issues.
      The trollish comment about the Christies hating humans is typical of the brain dead righties who would relegate us all to a gloomy future by gorging on the present without a thought for others who would like a fair share of this bountiful life we enjoy on Earth.

      (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
    • uncomfortabletruth says:

      Blakeslee is like all the other “professional politicians” in sacramento who long ago forgot who he is supposed to be representing. The only thing he cares about is his own re-election.

      He is seen less and less down here because he is more and more comfortable hanging around lobbyists and political contributors. Even when he was minority leader last year and could of made a difference for us down here in his district, he chose to represent special interests in vote after vote.

      Don’t be fooled – just because he says he’s looking after us, doesn’t mean he is. I don’t know anything about Laird, but he can”t be any worse than Blakeslee, We need to retire Sam from politics now.

      (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
  6. hotdog says:

    Sam is the well-rounded candidate? Read the article? He has heavy backing from huge corporations that stand to gain millions from having people like him in office.
    On the other hand Laird has the backing of workers and environmentalists (who make NO money from wins, their agenda is protecting the environment and our health). I wonder who would knowingly consign their children and other descendants to a lousy life of misery and deprivation due to environmental disaster by voting for those who are in the pockets of greedy and heartless corporations.
    Just look what PG and E tried to do to us with prop 16, ripping off the constitution so they could retain their crummy monopoly. Corporations have only one agenda item, make money at all costs (to others). Environmentalists only want a sustainable and just future for all of Earth’s critters, minerals, water and air.
    Vote Laird to preserve what little is left, what we have not already despoiled in the name of greed for more, more, more.
    Laird will work to prevent dangerous offshore oil drilling; Sam is obviously a darling of the oil cartel.

    (-2) 18 Total Votes - 8 up - 10 down
    • rukidding says:

      Wait a minute hotdog. You don’t think the environmentalists are in it for the money? I think Al Gore and his charade on Global Warming has filled his and his cronies pocket book pretty well.
      Good old Al just bought himself a little vacation or weekend home for $9 million. Not bad!\

      They are all legalized crooks!

      (-5) 15 Total Votes - 5 up - 10 down
      • Paul Anthony says:

        To equate Al Gore’s earnings as an ex-senator’s son, accomplished attorney, ex-two-term Vice President, and sought for public speaker’s salary with the average “environmentalist” whomever that is, is absolutely and stunningly ludicrous.

        (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  7. Paperboys says:

    I know Sam personally and like him as a person. His politics are a tad to the right for me, but those lines are so blurred these days with all the attack ads, it’s no wonder voters throw up their hands and then don’t vote.
    Does make me wonder though, if the oil companies are backing Blakeslee or just attacking Laird so he doesn’t get in there?
    My girl and I already voted absentee and so I know Sam’s going to get at least 2 votes…

    (-1) 21 Total Votes - 10 up - 11 down
  8. racket says:

    Maybe the Sierra Club branch is different up north, but down here their obstructionist agenda kind of makes them the pariah of politics.

    For them to claim Laird as their man speaks volumes about him, but not in a particularly positive light.

    Blakeslee is the well-rounded candidate that we need in this election.

    (-3) 27 Total Votes - 12 up - 15 down
    • Paul Anthony says:

      Whoa! Laird want to protect the environment. Oil and pharmaceutical companies have given Blakeslee, AND HE HAS ACCEPTED $150,000 MORE in contributions than he has raised himself.

      Look at the numbers, people. Do the math. (re-read the seven sentence article)

      How does this make him “well-rounded”?

      Blakeslee is the Oil and Pharm companies. He -will- be beholden to them .

      Just imagine the results…

      (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down

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