Vote to protect our coastline on June 22

June 12, 2010


Governor Schwarzenegger last month called for a special election to fill the California State Senate seat vacated by Republican Abel Maldonado.

Schwarzenegger set a date of June 22, now just 10 days away. Efforts by Democrats to stop the election due to the burden of cost to the counties failed, and absentee ballots were mailed in SLO County on May 28.

Unfortunately, many voters in Senate District 15, which runs all the way from Santa Clara County (south San Jose) in the north to Santa Barbara County in the south, are not even aware the special election is happening.  The Republican candidate, Sam Blakeslee, is running against Democrat John Laird.

John Laird comes to us with 25 years of experience. He has opposed offshore oil drilling since he was a Mayor of Santa Cruz in the 1980s. As a Community College Trustee and Assemblyman, Laird has never taken a dime from big oil companies seeking to influence his vote. He is endorsed by the Sierra Club, the California League of Conservation Voters, California Federation of Teachers, Cuesta College Federation of Teachers, and CDF Firefighters.

Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee voted to open new drilling just 25 miles from Pismo State Beach and used tax dollars for an elaborate mailer promoting his oil drilling plan. Calbuzz and Capitol Weekly reported that Blakeslee then tried to hide his vote. Blakeslee worked for Exxon for 6 years and has received thousands in donations and gifts from oil companies.

The Central Coast deserves someone who represents OUR needs, not those of big oil companies.  The recent mailer, sent to Central Coast residents promoting Blakeslee and featuring a “train wreck”, was funded by JOBS PAC.  The latest official report from the Secretary of State indicated that CHEVRON is the second largest funder of JOBS PAC.

Be aware of what is at stake in this election and VOTE for John Laird on June 22nd in the Special Election.

Marilyn Armstrong is a member of San Luis Obispo Grassroots Democracy.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Sam Blakeslee took over $100,000 from oil companies, then turned around and used tax dollars to promote oil drilling off our coast. Seems like he’s been doing a good job representing his oil company buddies and not the Central coast.

John was elected to represent the 27th Assembly District, including portions of Santa Cruz, Monterey and Santa Clara Counties, in 2002. He was re-elected in 2004 and 2006, receiving over 70% of the vote each time. As Budget Committee Chair from 2004-2008, John earned a reputation as the Assembly’s budget expert and a strong proponent of investing in California’s future and a critic of excessive borrowing. In 2006, John helped deliver the first on-time budget since 2000 – a budget that reduced community college fees, restored funding for public transportation and K-12 education and dramatically increased the budget reserve, while reducing the deficit.

In 2008, the San Jose Mercury News named John their “Most Effective Legislator” in the region. He didn’t accomplish that playing frisbee.

John Laird gave us the “Laird Bill” which is an adjunct to the Williamson Act to protect farmland. Other than that, I think all he did was play frisbee and practice contra dancing.