Frazier Shines at AD-11 Candidate Forum

Oakley Councilman and AD-11 Candidate Jim Frazier was clearly in a league of his own last night at the first forum for the June 5 primary election at the Fairfield City Council Chambers last night. As someone who came in with an unbiased decision of who the best candidate is for the job, last night helped me make up my mind.

I am sitting here doing my scorecard from last night and trying to remain unbiased towards Oakley and my political party (Republican) but Jim Frazier was clearly just that good compared to the others—he was in a class of his own and actually “gets it”.  The more I thought about it the more I realized this was not reflective of any biased behavior, but rather it shows the lack of depth in the field for the AD-11 race. I didn’t tilt the scorecard in his favor, he did it himself by way of the other candidates somewhat poor and evasive answers.

The reality is Frazier is probably the fourth best public speaker of the six candidates, but he did not use generalizations (which I am tired of in politics) and he used real-life examples in his answers. He didn’t dance around the questions like others did and was direct in his responses by giving the most complete answers.

The sad part is a Solano County newspaper gave Frazier a partial quote to make him look bad with the labor groups.  While he did claim that the system is unsustainable, he also said that California need to honor previous agreements and work towards sustainability.  This is not about labor getting this benefits, its about going forward on new agreements which obviously the paper slanted towards the Republican Party on Question 3 overview.

In speaking with Frazier this morning, he stated that it was in reference to “pension spiking, and double dipping that create an enormous burden on the present system.” I tend to agree as you have a few bad apples who ruin the system for other hard working  folks.

Scorecard

Candidate

Intro

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q5

Q6

Closing

Augustine

5

4

5

4

3

5

4

3

Gantt

4

5

4

2

2

2

3

4

Hernandez

2

1

1

3

6

3

1

2

Hudson

3

3

3

5

4

4

5

5

Kingeter

1

2

2

1

1

1

2

1

Frazier

6

6

6

6

5

6

6

6

Totals:
Jim Frazier = 47
Len Augustine = 33
Mike Hudson = 32
Gene Gantt = 26
Patricia Hernandez = 19
Charles Kingeter = 11

Overview of the forum
This will be in bullet form and rather than a complete overview, it will just highlight some of the statements I thought were interesting or concerning.

Intro

  • Hernandez  says she gave a story about her parents coming here not speaking any English and how she would interpret/advocate. Spoke about how she works as a chief negotiator and how it would transfer over to politics.
  • Gantt  claimed 35-years of giving to the people in public service (wasn’t he paid for that service?). Mentioned water and water rights, economy, says he wrote legislation but failed to give the name of the legislation he worked on.
  • Hudson pawned off his own business by plugging it which was silly and totally inappropriate.  He also came off a bit arrogant which rubbed me the wrong way.
  • Kingeter claims he is just an average guy like you and I. I don’t want average, I want a superstar representing me.

Q1 – Support of Senator Dutton’s SB1186 (Special Access Liability)

  • Augustine, Gantt, Hudson, and Frazier all said they would support it.  Hernandez and Kingeter failed to give an answer and avoided whether or not they support this bill.
  • Gantt did state that he would support it if they can make an amendment to extend the 90-day window to a longer timeline.

Q2 – Position on Sales Tax Increase and fixing Economy

  • Surprise, none of the candidates support higher taxes.
  • Frazier stated CA can’t keep throwing money at problems that if something is not working they need to stop it—is a fan of a two-year budget plan.
  • Hudson is not in favor of any sales tax, parcel tax, or initiative because we are already at a high rate compared to other states.
  • Augustine stated when you raise taxes, people leave the state thus reducing your revenue
  • Hernandez stated increases in sales taxes were not the best way to rebuild the economy.

Q3 – Pension Reform for State employees

  • Frazier called the system unsustainable and step-program must be created for new employees while honoring previous agreements. He did state he did not have a pension of his own
  • Augustine stated pension reform is inevitable and it’s a matter of “when”. Blamed legislator for not fixing this so they can hang onto their seat.
  • Hudson made a statement about state believing in the “money fairy” while explaining the blame and solutions need to be a shared responsibility. Made a nice statement about how “it’s not the employees fault; it’s the Politian’s fault.”
  • Gantt stated the word pension really bothers him because it’s really a retirement. Blamed this on local governments rather than the state. Then claimed that PERS is not in trouble and the money was there.
  • Hernandez says this is where her negotiation skills can come in handy. Stated employees are taking the brunt of the anger, but it all comes down to employers willing to negotiate.

Q4 – Workers Compensation Reform

  • This was by far Patricia Hernandez shining moment of the evening and gave one of the best answers of the night by any candidate. While others blamed fraud, she said it’s not just fraud, but the entire process/system has to be looked at. She explained you bring cost down by investing in education and safety programs to educate employees—when they are educated, they are less likely to get hurt.
  • Frazier stated as a business owner for 22-years, he lives this every day. He understands it and wants to reform it to incentivize businesses, not punish small business.
  • Gantt says this needs to be a legislative fix, but gave no examples or solutions other than fraud were too easy to get away with. Did explain that the system is set up right not to put employers in a bad position to fight fraud because its more expensive to pay off a claim.
  • Augustine claimed that claims are up but that premiums are down compared to 2004. Wants CA to look at other states for a solution module.
  • Hudson contradicted Augustine by stating that he has never seen a premium go down and is still looking. He blamed the larger payouts in court. He states that its time to get the state to start talking about fixing it and go after people who take advantage of this.

Q5 – Do you support states position on Redevelopment and how would you fix it

  • Hudson stated this is a black and white issue and that redevelopment helps cities by transforming them. Was not fan of redevelopment going away.
  • Augustine called this move by the state one of the dumbest things they could have done as it destroyed cities and put them underwater.
  • Frazier stated he was not a fan of it going away but stated the question was how would you fix it and he gave a nice answer stating the cities have to look at reoccurring revenue and start thinking like business people. It’s about creating local jobs to increase revenue.
  • Gantt explained how Benicia does not have redevelopment but they did well with out it. Said if elected, one staff member would be dedicated to Redevelopment and working with local cities because it’s that important.
  • Hernandez says Redevelopment going away does hurt, but need to look at other ways to help with affordable housing and if RDA does come back, it should not be in original form.
  • Kingeter made the awkward statement that redevelopment did not go away, its just in a different language but the process stays the same. Says that it’s now set up for investors.

Q6 – How would you stop businesses from leaving the state

  • Gantt says this is a regulatory issue with California and that while we have to protect environment, ADA compliance and fees run people out of the state. Says the state needs to better communicate with businesses for solutions.
  • Hernandez claims businesses leaving the state are “isolated incidents” Wants to focus on education to replace the workforce.
  • Frazier said he spoke to the firms who left who said they wished they had talked to him a year ago. He wants to further incentivize businesses and create a path to success in California. Wants do work with businesses and listen to businesses so they can stop creating constraints on business. Overall, he said California has to lower the cost of doing business for them to stay.
  • Augustine said he also spoke with businesses that left and said it’s because of lack of support with the state and no one talked to them. Tax burdens are why businesses leave and need to come up with a better way of doing things.
  • Hudson blamed it on legal fees and how anyone with $35 can file a claim and stop everything. A system needs to be set up to reduce regulators being rewarded for the amount of tickets they write and justifying their jobs and that tort reform is badly needed to grow businesses.

Closing

  • Frazier gave list of endorsements (a long and strong list) and states he has the relationships to work with people in Sacramento to get things done for the District. He wants to stop the bickering and get things done such as protecting the Delta and help businesses and put people back to work.
  • Augustine explained why he ran as an independent than be partisan. He says partisan behavior in Sacramento is at its all-time worst and essentially didn’t want to be a part of that, but rather part of the solution.
  • Hudson gave a nice story about how California used to be the best but now it’s in trouble because Politian’s self-destructed the state. The District needs someone who will do something rather than just provide lip service. Wants to work to balance the budget.
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About burkforoakley

I call it like I see it . I love my city, I love my community and I want what is best for the people around me. Do the right thing, I will support you. Do the wrong thing, I will oppose you!
This entry was posted in Assembly District 11, Contra Costa County, East County. Bookmark the permalink.

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