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



  1. Bluebird says:

    Jack thanks for getting the facts out about this issue. I can’t understand why Laird’s campaign didn’t rebut the falsehoods about this issue.
    Early in the campaign II was asked to participate in a telephone survey. Questions were aked about both candidates to give the impression of objectivity. I was how I would feel about a politician who received $130,000 to attend one meeting a month to which I responded I would have to have more information before responding. I knew this was going to be a future hit piece.
    The first hit piece from JobPac (read Chamber etal) showed a plum with the words “Rotten” next to it and below it says “John Laird used his politcal connection to a land a juicy “plum” job on the state’s waste board – and what a plum.” They said he collected $132,000 a year to attend just one meeting a month.
    Two more hit pieces repeated this falsehood. One of the flyer’s was sent by Blakeslee’s committee. At one time I thought Blakeslee was a decent man. He’s tasted the blood of political power and he has sold his soul to move up the ladder via the most conservative nasty element of the Republican party. Shame on Sam.
    Unfortunately 95% of the voting population will not read this article and the majority of people have already voted.

    (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
  2. Independent Thinker says:

    I think you lefties will be in for a big surprise Tuesday night.
    Indies are not going to be voting for Laird,

    (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
  3. Observant says:

    Campaign for Laird encourages ‘voter appeal.’

    One clever calls-out the modus-operandi of the “powers that be” who hope that enough voters will overlook a special election; hence the thinking that a lower voter turnout favors Blakeslee.

    The Laird campaign is clever in empathizing with the very undecided, independent voters who are ripe to sway towards Laird, as well as favoring “get out the vote efforts” with an understanding of what encourages voter turnout during a summertime, off-election; a time in which elections would otherwise experience lower voter turnout.

    This Tuesday’s election has ‘voter appeal!’

    Way to go Laird!

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

    I believe in Laird’s priorities to create green jobs – and his belief that CA should follow all the other state’s lead in charging the oil companies an extraction fee for removing a natural resource, bringing in much needed revenue. I do not believe in Blakeslee’s priorities to protect the oil companies huge profits from tax. Any politician who has accepted contributions from big oil like he has, will not have as a priority to wean CA off oil.

    (11) 15 Total Votes - 13 up - 2 down
    • racket says:

      But what about weaning the state from its own employees? Doesn’t Laird’s money come from the state employees’ unions who are bankrupting the state?

      (-8) 14 Total Votes - 3 up - 11 down
      • marypress says:

        School teachers are not bankrupting our state. Big business would love for us all to think that. A beginning teachers salary is $35,760 per year after 5 years of college. Their pension had all the funds sucked out of it by Wall Street. If we don’t stop electing politicians paid to protect multinationals and their billions of dollars in profit in our state, we will have a lot more to worry about than our teachers pay.

        (6) 12 Total Votes - 9 up - 3 down
        • racket says:

          I am pretty sure I don’t understand the segue, ma’am.

          1) If the new teachers are starting at $36,000 they don’t have any pension to get sucked away by anything.

          2) Unless the “low” pay is a recent development, one might surmise that prospective teachers knew — before spending 5 years in school — that the pay is what it is. I firmly believe teachers teach because it’s what they love, not for the money. Harsh as it sounds, there seems to be a virtually endless supply of them, which by economic definition means they are overcompensated.

          (-11) 13 Total Votes - 1 up - 12 down
          • zaphod says:

            in a nut shell, one who knows the cost of everything , the value of nothing.

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

    To me the point is that a politician removed from office move right into a job with the state paying $132,000 dollars. You fail to state how many committee meetings Mr. Laird attended. If Mr. Laird was only on the board for one year I doubt he had much to do with the work the board has accomplished over the past 20 years. I’m sure that you are not shocked to learn that a politician would lie to get elected?!!

    (-4) 18 Total Votes - 7 up - 11 down

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