How Sam Blakeslee misleads the voters
August 9, 2010
I recently received a mailer from Sam Blakeslee regarding the special state Senate election on Aug. 17, which has him facing John Laird, and on one side it has this:
John Laird Has the Wrong Priorities
“Politician John Laird used his Sacramento insider connections to get a $132,000 a year state job. Then, he only attended one board meeting a month!!! How could he rip off taxpayers in times like these?”
Below that is a picture of Carla Borchard with “Carla Borchard, Morro Bay Councilwoman” beside it.
This allegation by Borchard is based on false information from the Blakeslee campaign. I asked Laird’s campaign about the charges and here are the facts:
The accusation is a gross distortion. His position with the State Integrated Waste Management Board was actually a full-time job after he left the Assembly in 2008. The statement by Borchard is completely misleading because it only counts official board meetings.
The fact is, there also were over 40 board and committee meetings the year Laird was on the board. The bulk of the work was done in those committee meetings, not board meetings. This fundamental fact is completely ignored in Borchard’s statement, which obviously has the purpose of misleading voters.
The truth is committee meetings are an essential part of the work that gets done. As a result of the untold hours doing the business of the state board–mostly in those committees–thousands of green jobs were created by the board. And it was all done without one dime from the state’s beleaguered general fund because it all paid for itself.
In addition, over the course of 20 years, the board diverted 58 percent of what used to go into landfills, saving Californian hundreds of millions of dollars.
Lastly, Laird voluntarily took a nearly 10 percent cut in salary while on the board in order to be in synch with the salaries of other state employees, whose pay was cut by the governor.
This is just the latest example of mailers to voters from the Blakeslee campaign with information that is clearly contradicted by facts.
Jack McCurdy is a former reporter for the Los Angeles Times who now lives in Morro Bay