Recap: Oakley Chamber Hosts AD-11 Candidates Forum

First off, kudos to the Oakley Chamber of Commerce for getting a decent crowd to the AD-11 Candidates Forum last night as it was one of the better crowds to attend one of these events.

On hand was Mike Hudson (R), Charles Kingeter (D), Gene Gantt (D), Patricia Hernandez (D), and Len Augustine (I) who were asked a series of questions and at times appeared to be naïve towards East County issues being that each of them was from Solano County. Both Mike Hudson and Patricia Hernandez told major lies during the forum which should not be ignored come June 5.

Oakley Councilman and AD-11 Candidate Jim Frazier was unable to attend the forum because he had a prior commitment as he was sworn in by a representative of the Attorney General’s Office to serve on the Delta Protection Commission. He is now the Contra Costa County Cities and Solano County cities representative on the commission.  If you ask me, this is a perfect example of putting the good of the community/District before his own interest and campaign.

Aside from the Measure S question (Question 2) which all of the candidates bombed except Patricia Hernandez, I thought it was fantastic when the audience got to ask questions so I’ll start with that followed by the question & answer recap.

My question to the candidates was simple because I believe what you do in your community is more important than what you have done while elected or paid to do something.

My question was “Before running in AD-11 Race or serving office, what have you done to make your community a better place?”

Len Augustine – gave off a list of things he had done from youth sports teams to organizations that help the community. It was a nice long list.

Mike Hudson – gave off a list of sports and other organizations that give to the community.

Gene Gantt – sports teams to boy scouts to organizations that give.

Patricia Hernandez – after college, she went to work for the sheriff’s department and became a voice for her coworkers.  She then went to become a union negotiator and negotiates healthcare for the community.  She explained how she commutes 2-hours two and from work with her son who doesn’t go to school in Rio Vista where she lives so she helps out at his school when she can.

Charles Kingeter – helped youths learn how to program and set up neighborhood games.

My thoughts on the responses is simple, I am okay with Augustine, Gantt, Hudson’s answers while Kingeter gets a pass for making an attempt to help on a small and intimate level—it should be noted Jim Frazier is also very involved in the community. With that said, Patricia Hernandez has done very little (if anything) for her community and her answer shows she has only helped her community when she has been paid— she could have said bake sale and that would have saved her.

Of course, as I was leaving, the Hernandez supporters harassed me for asking that question and working on a campaign which is untrue and I denied it. For the record, I’ve never accepted any funds nor do I have any future promises to work on a campaign.


Resident Question:  A person asked Len Augustine that if he was elected, which party he will caucus with because eventually he has to choose.

Augustine responded said he would not pick one. The resident again asked the question again and said then as an assemblyman you would not have a committee because that is how they make assignments. Mr. Augustine said not true, he has talked to both sides and both want to work with him.

Fact—not true, Democrats have already picked Jim Frazier to want to work with.  They do not want to work with a lifelong republican.   Maybe 1 or 2 Democrats do, but Frazier is the endorsed Democrat and their choice. Mike Hudson is the only Republican, so he would be their pick. The resident is correct, Augustine will have to pick once elected or AD-11 is toast.

Resident Question (paraphrased): A Patricia Hernandez supporter asked about lobbyist and unions funding campaigns and what should be done to stop it or change the rules

This was by far the best exchange of the evening as Patricia Hernandez proclaimed her opponent was funded by lobbyist and will have to be loyal to them. She also complained that her opponent had all the endorsements the day he announced he was running because he was handpicked and part of the club. She also stated that has not accepted lobbyist money (which is untrue, look at her 460 report). Clearly,  this is a case of someone else getting the support she wanted and is sour about it.

Mike Hudson said his supporters are folks who have donated around $100. Gantt said there should be public financing in place to even the playing field. While Augustine said as an independent, he is not getting big money from either side.

This is when Charles Kingeter put a certain Oakley resident in his place by asking for donations in the room to fill his cup because he can’t raise any money. He got the cup back empty stating I have a hard enough time getting $1 from people in this room. To win you have to raise money to get your message out and that if someone is offering you $5,000, you are going to take it.  It’s how the game is played no matter how one feels about it, it’s the way it is because the people in power won’t give it up.

AD-11 Recap:


The only thing that stood out during the introduction was the flat out lie and asinine statement by Patricia Hernandez stating she is the only candidate who had spoken out against a peripheral canal. Each of the candidates has stated their opposition of this canal many times which I’ve witnessed firsthand—Augustine, Gantt and Hudson corrected her later in the evening on this flat out lie.  She also claimed to be the only one to take on the issue of underwater mortgages—another lie.

The other odd ball thing that came out of the introductions was Len Augustine told the story that he had no intention of running and he was making calls to try and get others to run. He stated they wore him down and convinced him to run and sometimes he wonders why he is even running because he was retired.

This makes me question his motivation going forward since he was “talked into it” and “worn down”.

Question 1: Name top two issues and your solution

Augustine: Jobs & public safety
He stated businesses are over-regulated. As far as public safety, Redevelopment going away impacts schools and safety and that cities will soon file bankruptcy.

Gantt: Fixing state budget & delta protection
Stated that we can’t keep throwing money at the problem while he opposes the peripheral canal which he correct Hernandez earlier statement.

Hernandez: Fix underwater mortgages & jobs
Wants to stop all fraudulent forecloses by requiring banks to show the note. Wants to author bill to ask banks and make banks refinance anyone who is in an underwater home.  She believes when the housing market is stable, it will fix the job market.
Hudson: Jobs & Infrastructure
Need to ease burden of businesses and make it easier on them.

Question 2: Is Measure S a good solution and would you support it?

Gantt:  Questioned the leadership of Measure S. Explained how “something happened” who were given adequate funds and spent the money. He explained the situation of having 3 or 4 stations with 2 guys on rigs and how dangerous it is. If he lived here and had a vote, he would vote yes because it’s the right thing to do. He also explained the idea of privatization and how it’s failed time and time again.

Hernandez: In favor of Measure S and would vote yes because public safety is very important. She explained how unfortunate Proposition 13 (which caused a revenue loss of 30%) is in this situation and it has to be a legislative fix and that she would be at the forefront of this to change the funding allocation in special situations like East County.

Hudson: Stated Measure S is tough for him and said he attended the Chris Hunt vs. Vince Wells debate a few weeks back. He is against Measure S because it’s fatally flawed and doesn’t solve the problem. Stated in four years the District will again have to ask for more money. He took a cheap shot at one of the ECCFPD directors for stating in public that they had to spend all the money so they were forced to potentially close stations and force people to vote yes.

Kingeter: If he had to choose, he would pick yes because of public safety.

Augustine: Not going to vote against something that will increase response time of up to 13-14 minutes.  He doesn’t know much about our mutual/auto aid agreement, but it’s a leadership problem at the board.  Stated East County cannot afford the risk to lose a life/property so he is forced to vote yes if he had a vote.

Note: I am no Patricia Hernandez fan by any means, but she is the only one of the candidates who understood this issue and its complexities while at the same time explaining why ECCFPD is in the situation it is in. Kudos to her on this topic!

Question 3: Plans to mitigate risk by loss of Redevelopment

Hernandez:  Address the foreclosure issue as property tax helps funds cities

Hudson: Big proponent of Redevelopment and stated “it was a dumbass thing to do”. Stated he would like to bring it back without imminent domain.

Augustine: Taking way redevelopment was the dumbest thing the Governor could have done. He would bring it back in some form or another. He called this move a travesty.

Gantt: If he were elected, he would have voted against taking it away. Local cities thought it was safe and so they invested in it and used it like a drug.

Questions 4: What type of businesses do you hope to bring to AD-11

Hudson: we need to build things again from cars, airplanes, defense

Augustine: Food processing plants, agricultural and bio-tech.

Gantt: Protect agricultural land and clean manufacturing plants. We need to welcome businesses back to California.

Note: didn’t catch Hernandez or Kingeters answers.


Question 5: What are the job duties of an Assembly person and who will you fulfill the needs of the District

Gantt: I am not an expert at everything and I will get input from the experts. Says he is not a lobbyist and never has been.  His job is to ensure local government is successful.

Hernandez: Explained how she was not a Politian and did not have political experience, but she is the most qualified (Note: I don’t know how that is possible to be most qualified without experience) she was left off a flyer and how she is not part of the good old boys club. Then proclaimed her not being included on the flyer was an attack on women. (Note: candidates did not control this flyer; it came from people who focused on the most viable candidates in their opinion which are Frazier, Augustine and Gantt).  She stated lobbyists write the bills and how she won’t allow it to happen anymore. She wants to start writing the laws for the people. She stated lobbyist have funded her opponent’s campaign (Note: sounded like sour grapes and complaining to me).

Hudson:  the job is to balance the budget and wants to create a balanced budget amendment with a spending cap. Make it easy to grow and expand businesses.


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!
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6 Responses to Recap: Oakley Chamber Hosts AD-11 Candidates Forum

  1. Per Charles Kingeter….

    Mike these are the points I made:

    1) I am in favor by default, because i am worried about the service being interrupted.

    2) Use this time to ORGANIZE.

    3) Create an oversight committee to audit and look over the expenditures of the Fire Dept. like a Grand Jury would do and publish the findings and recommendations.

    4) Push back with the idea of bringing back the Old Oakley Tradition of a Volunteer Fire Dept.

    5) Gather signatures to repeal the proposal.

    6) If the Measure fails … they will come back with a fee for Service say $500 + for a fire and $100 + for a medical emergency and be prepared for this.

    But maybe i am wrong
    Again these are just suggestions, Tell me want you think

    Is the tax acceptable?
    Can you afford it ?
    Do you wish for any other outcome?

  2. Jack Ryan says:

    The AD-11 Candidate Forum held at the Oakley Chamber of Commerce on 05/24/2012 was in Oakley City Councilman, Jim Frazier’s hometown. The Oakley Chamber of Commerce held the forum on a date that Jim Frazier requested. However, when it came time for the forum Jim Frazier suddenly had another matter to attend to and did not participate or appear. Why was Mr. Frazier afraid to show up at his own city’s forum? Could it be that Mr. Frazier did not want to face the scrutiny from his constituents for attempting to gift a home to the Oakley City Manager? Or was it because he did not want to debate the only real qualified candidate for AD-11, Patricia Hernandez?

    In the past some prize fighting boxing matches have been called into question when the title holder refused to fight with a real contender so he could keep his title longer. It appears this is the case with the AD-11 special interest candidate and front runner, Jim Frazier. By the answers and commentaries given by Patricia Hernandez at the Oakley Forum it is apparent she is the most qualified, fit and prized champion for the people of AD-11, not special interest. The fact that the independent expenditure that funded the democratic voter guide for AD-11 intentionally left Ms. Hernandez off the flyer can only be one of two things; either the publishers of the voter guide are completely sexist and/or racist by refusing to put the only Latina and woman candidate on the flyer, or they see Ms. Hernandez as the biggest threat to their candidate, Jim Frazier.

    The Democratic Party once prided itself in being a champion for women’s rights. However, during this AD-11 political race it is apparent that women and/or Latinos are of no interest to the political good ole’ boys club. If the people want a representative in Sacramento that will fight for them and not special interest, then they must vote for Patricia Hernandez on June 5th.

    • Valerie says:

      Oh my, Mr.Jack &^%$^,
      Why do you have to bring sexist, racist, and biased claims into this. WOW
      As a Latina woman, I resent that. And as a Latina woman I think Patricia Hernandez is an embarrassment to all women, especially Latina women. I saw her yesterday at the Oakley Forum Debate and she stood against the wall like a Latina barbie doll and said hi to maybe three people. I got a flyer today with a woman wearing a burka and my Muslim friends resent that. I resent it because how does she know if I am pro-choice or not? Jim Frazier has done a lot for Latino people in this community. He has helped open La Clinica, he has done much for than I heard she’s done. The reason you don’t know a lot of this is because he doesn’t have to flaunt himself and his good deeds. He has a heart, I have never heard him say anything bad about any of you. I thought Patricia’s answers were stale and she kept repeating herself. I think she would make a better lawyer than an assemblywoman. So you know what Jack? You don’t know Jim.

  3. This is the problem with the Patrica Hernandez supporters, everything is about sex or race as opposed to substance. Not everything is driven by sexism or racism as you proclaim and it’s sad those are the only attacks you have. She couldn’t even answer my own question last night about helping her community.

    If she was so great, Frazier would not beat her at all the interviews for endorsements. By the way, didn’t that sheriffs group she work for and police officers association her husband work with both endorse Frazier? Thought so.

    Here is the irony of your comments about Frazier not being there aside from cheap shots.

    1. He was appointed to the Delta Protection Commission which is a very valid reason not to be there rather attend yet another forum (there have been 4 others with low attendance).

    2. Patricia lied about being the only candidate to come out against the Peripheral Canal (all of them are against it). The silly thing about that statement is that was where he was at–you know, not just saying he would fight against it, but actually doing the fighting.

    • Jack Ryan says:

      Mr. Burkholder. Thank you for not erasing my comment this time and actually responding. The words in your blog speak for themselves as far as racism and sexism. So I’ll leave that to the reader for now. As far as qualifications; Ms. Hernandez is Chief Negotiator at UAPD, giving her over 13 years of experience in working across both sides of the isle to come up with an agreed upon legal and binding contract. Ms. Hernandez has both an English degree and a law degree, making her the only candidate truly able to not only under understand the law when it comes to considering bills before the assembly, but also qualifies her to write assembly bills that will be passed into law for the benefit of all of AD-11 residents and constituents. Furthermore, Ms. Hernandez was the only democrat to attend the Delta Tea Party Patriots forum, showing she is the only candidate who has proven she will work in a bipartisan fashion to get things accomplished in Sacramento.

      In regards to holding a “bake sale”, like you have suggested, Ms. Hernandez is the mother of a young child whom she is nurturing while committed to serving her fellow AD-11 residents and working a full-time job. Your attack on her for not serving her community is comparable to Hilary Rosen’s statement about Mitt Romney’s wife “who hadn’t worked a day in her life”, although she is a committed mother. However, what Ms. Hernandez has not done, is attempt to gift a home to a city manager with public funds while taxpayers in the community were and are suffering from foreclosures. Instead, Ms. Hernandez has made mortgage reform a top priority when she gets to Sacramento.

      As far as education, Ms. Hernandez is the product of CA education and has been endorsed by the California Teachers Associations because of her commitment to educating our future generations. Because of Ms. Hernandez’s work with unions, she is has the proven track record of supporting the working class. As far as women’s rights, who else but a woman would understand women’s issues more than Ms. Hernandez. As far as the sheriffs and police associations that you mentioned; I must educate you that line personnel do not work for associations, they are represented by them in legal matters but often break from their association leadership and executive management who have different agendas in the political arena than those of the serving line officer or worker. That is the same in any union across the board.

      Your support for Mr. Frazier is your right and I don’t have a problem with with you being able to make your own decision. The issue is that you have singled out Ms. Hernandez in an ongoing series of negative bloviating; from things as silly as calling her campaign signs ugly to attacking her race and suggesting she should have done a “bake sale”. I have never seen any of your attacks as petty or personal on the other candidates as you have attacked Ms. Hernandez. I don’t think anyone would want to bang there head against the wall as you have said you wanted to do based on Ms. Hernandez’s responses during forums.

      As much as you distain the only woman candidate in this race for the AD-11 Seat, I have laid out a long list of experience and qualifications that prove Ms. Hernandez is the best choice for all of us on June 5th; a list you have requested.


      • Well Mr. Ryan, or should I call you by your real name? Since you are using a bogus email and multiple IP’s, you are somewhat of a hypocrite for attacking me while you remain anonymous—don’t worry, we can chat again soon  . The reality is you should be happy I mention your candidate or else she would receive little to no coverage at all.
        I am not going to waste my time trying to “clear my name” of being called a racist or sexist. The reality is if this was the case, I would not be supporting the You, Me, We = Oakley campaign which as Inside Bay Area refers to it as “Welcoming immigrants” with a heavy influence towards the Latino and Portuguese community in Oakley. Or the fact I’ve worked side by side for the good of the community with many ethnicities. The reality is you are trying to skirt the issue by attacking me by using race and sex—which has nothing to do with why I oppose her as a candidate. Simply put, her ideas scare the hell out of me should she be elected—she doesn’t even mention fixing the budget as a priority.
        Is Planned Parenthood sexist for endorsing Jim Frazier because he is a man who they believe can guarantee women’s rights to reproductive health better than she can in which she made it one of her 3 main agendas? The race and sexist thing doesn’t fly; again it’s her ideas as to why I oppose her.
        As for her qualifications, no doubt she has a nice legal background, but it still remains that she has never been elected to anything—and she assumes she can walk right into the assembly and be effective? Her stance against “being part of the club” is dangerous to the District because you need other votes to pass those many bills you assume she will write in her spare time because being a representative is not about writing bills. There are many many many meetings she will be attending if elected and her time will be stretched very thin.
        As for the Tea Party meeting, big deal! It doesn’t show she can work across the aisle, it means she can simply attend a meeting. I too have been to the rightest of right meetings, the middle of the road meetings and the far left meetings, which also makes me able to work across both sides which is why I am a Republican for Frazier.
        I would like to ask you what was accomplished by attending that Tea Party meeting other than having a few beverages or appetizers? What legislation did she co-write with a Tea Party member? What compromises did she make with the Tea Party in order to accomplish something great for the District? It was one meeting so please let’s just be honest about your statement of working across the aisle because Jim Frazier has been doing it for years.
        A perfect example of this is while you criticize Mr. Frazier for missing the forum last night, he attended the Delta Protection Commission meeting where he was not mingling and vying for votes, he was actually working with many republicans (including Supervisor Mary Peipho and Mike Reagan) to protect the Delta and make decisions on the Delta.
        And for the record, Ms. Hernandez is not the only candidate I’ve attacked; I’ve attacked them all, including Frazier prior to me endorsing him. In fact, within the last 24-hours, I attacked Mike Hudson (who I should vote for but won’t) for his comments towards Measure S last night. He and I had a civilized conversation and moved on. I’ve attacked Augustine on age and pandering to all sides for votes while Gantt I’ve flat out told to get out of the race because he has no chance of winning.
        As far as you bringing her son into the debate, I will not go there. Children are off limits. But I have a four year old and still manage to find a way to give back to my community—a bake sale is one example of thousands. Do you prefer I say coach soccer or hand out food to the poor during Christmas? You are cherry picking a comment and blowing it out of proportion.
        As for the city manager deal, we can agree to disagree. It was rescinded and nothing happened on paper. As for her mortgage reform, you can’t force the banks to do what she is suggesting which shows her lack of knowledge. I will disagree with the democrats because anyone underwater was not forced to sign that mortgage agreement. What do you tell those folks who have been making their payments without any assistance? Do we also get a lower rate or forgiveness of our loan because we want fairness as well?
        As for calling her signs ugly, sensitive much? Truth be told I am not a fan of most campaign signs—including Frazier’s. The reality is the best looking sign is Mike Hudson’s because he doesn’t have his picture on it. IT’S MY OPINION!
        And finally, I’ve never attacked her race, she should be proud of where she came from and what she has accomplished, I simply attacked her use of race and sex to pander for votes while using it as a crutch—that is a huge difference which you should apologize for accusing me of attacking her race, but I know you won’t. No one else has brought up their gender or ethnicity, why is she the only one? That was my point.

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