Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bay Area Local: endorsing Teresa Alvardo in Santa Clara County, April Vargas and Dave Pine in San Mateo County

It's interesting to actually know some of the people running for office pretty well.  I've met Teresa Alvarado a number of times over the years in my day job of protecting open space from sprawl, and she's a committed environmentalist running for county supervisor in the biggest and most conservative supervisor district in Santa Clara County.  If she wins in this very tight race, her influence in representing the areas where developers are often pushing for sprawl could be a tremendous influence in protecting all 700,000 acres of Santa Clara County.    If you know anyone who knows anyone in South San Jose/Evergreen, Morgan Hill, San Martin, or Gilroy, please please please send them to her website at the link.  And they can also listen to a debate between Teresa and her fellow candidates.

I've known April Vargas and Dave Pine, both running for separate county supervisor seats in San Mateo County, for years as past and present members of my organization's board of directors.  You won't find a harder worker than April, in many ways the anti-politician due to her lack of egotism.  Dave is also smart and committed, and I think he's running without real opposition.

I'll use this opportunity to get back on my hobbyhorse against candidates loaning money to their campaigns.  I don't object to candidates donating to their campaigns, but loaning money creates a situation where a winning candidate receives a direct financial benefit from contributors whose donations to the campaign then gets paid to the candidate to retire the loans.  Candidates and contributors might not think of it in those terms (although I'm sure some do), but it's a messed up system that should be changed.  A legal prohibition might run into problems from the current Supreme Court that thinks unlimited money is fair because everyone is free to loan millions to their campaigns, but it's worth a shot.  Teresa and April haven't loaned money to their campaigns, but each have opponents who have.

Finally, I might as well disclose that I'm personally thinking about running for local office - haven't made any final decisions yet.  Could be interesting....

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