Media asks: Where’s Sam Blakeslee?

July 24, 2010

The League of Women Voters is scheduled to host a debate Monday night at Cuesta College. All four candidates in the special state Senate election have been invited to participate. So far, only three are confirmed: Democrat John Laird, Independent Jim Fitzgerald, and Libertarian Mark Hinkle.

Republican Sam Blakeslee, thus far, has declined to participate, citing the need to stay in Sacramento and attend to legislative business.

Blakeslee’s low profile on the campaign trail is earning him brickbats from media outlets throughout the 15th Senate District, which stretches from Santa Maria to Santa Clara.

Friday night, television station KSBW in Salinas took Blakeslee to task in an on-air editorial by station manager Joseph Heston, who compared the Republican Assemblyman to the mythical whale Moby Dick.

“His campaign rarely returns our calls, never provides a direct answer to our interview requests, and as far as we can tell, Blakeslee hasn’t made any public appearances on our Central Coast,” Heston said. “Other civic organizations like the League of Women Voters are just as frustrated.”

Heston’s comments echo similar editorial positions taken recently by the San Luis Obispo Tribune, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, and the San Jose Mercury News, all calling for Blakeslee to debate Laird.

Blakeslee’s campaign staffers insist that their candidate is more than willing to debate–provided that the forums are held on Fridays, or weekends, when he can be away from Sacramento. They point to invitations Blakeslee has already accepted in San Jose and Arroyo Grande to debate.


Did the League of Women make any effort to synchronize schedules among the debate participants? It would be much more clear if the League would release a meaningful statement regarding the attempts at scheduling.

In the absence of such a statement, some people jump to the conclusion Blakeslee is trying to avoid the debate.

Other people, myself included, jump to the conclusion that the League is trying to smear perceptions of Blakeslee in a nefarious fashion. As evidence, I point out that Sam is pleased to participate in candidate forums in at least two other venues.


Sam is in Sacramento, because Sam is MUCH more comfortable hanging out with lobbyists, and special interest donors than to actually show up in his district.

Sam has become a Sacramento Capitol creature and doesn’t give a damn about whom he supposed to be representing. Its much easier to kowtow to special interests and rake in $$$ up in Sacramento than have actually show up and listen to his constituents in his district.

Wham bam, no thank you Sam


Ref the letter to editor from Mary Lea Harris (second post below)

Harris is North County woman who is entrenched in Republican Party and Republican Women’s Federation.

I have no problem with your party affiliation but for God’s sake Mary … let Sam speak for himself. You don’t need to fight his battles too do you ?

He should debate and be done with it. Hiding from debate signals weakness.


Just to clarify some of the misinformation above:

Blakeslee doesn’t serve on any Budget committees (see list of committee members here: )

Blakeslee is no longer in a leadership position like he was last year (Assembly Minority leader), so he doesn’t participate in the Big 5 meetings anymore. See here for current Republican leadership:

Furthermore, the Assembly is adjourned until the speaker says they need to come back. He has not done so, so members are free to be in their districts.

This is just more of the same from Sam- doesn’t see the need to answer to his constituents. If this is him in campaign mode, just imagine how absent he’d be if he was elected to the Senate…


Oh poor Sam – he’s being faulted by the League of Women Voters and others for not participating in debates because he has to be in Sacramento on “legislative business.”

BUT – the GOP in California are running TV ads dissing DEMS for not being in Sacramento to do their work.

So, is Sam attending meetings with members of his own party and none of the opposition? Or are the TV ads lying about Republican wanting to work and Democrats staying away – you can’t have it both ways.

A better scenario is that Sam believes he has the district wrapped up because it’s heavily gerrymandered in his favor.


Just a thought… Blakeslee wouldn’t be the first Republican that doesn’t like women…


Funny one!


Sam shouldn’t be out on the campaign trail debating. He belongs in Sacramento until we get the budget that was due in June. This whole special election is a crock, anyway. Sam and John both have legislative records and debates/campaigns aren’t going to change those.

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