Maybe it’s because I’ve seen one to many AD-11 race analysis done by the papers, but I really can’t take it anymore when I see Len Augustine claiming to be an independent and claiming to work both side of the isles. I really wish Mr. Augustine would call himself what he is and that is a lifelong Conservative Republican.
In fact, if he had stayed Republican, I might just be endorsing another candidate right now. Truth be told, Len Augustine more conservative than Mike Hudson who is the only stated republican in the race. In fact, the republicans won’t admit it, but the republicans know Augustine is one of them—but their by-laws won’t allow them to endorse Mr. Augustine or support him.
At age 74, someone who has been politically involved for most of their life and fought hard against the Democrats does not just one day wake up and change their party line claiming they see the light and wants to work with both sides of the isle.
One theory I’ve been told is that Mr. Augustine is only running as an Independent as a way to further dilute the Democrat vote which is true because he does have name recognition in Solano County which already has 5 other candidates compared to Contra Costa County who only has Oakley Councilman Jim Frazier running for the seat.
The silly thing is as much as I dislike someone flipping parties, Mr. Augustine is actually the wildcard come Tuesday. He has a shot of winning the Primary.
Still, truth be told, this switch from Republican to Independent is out of convenience, that’s right I said it, it was out of convenience in order to allow him to pander for votes from Republicans, Democrats and a chunk who are independent. It’s not a bad strategy; I just don’t agree with it and have told Mr. Augustine he lost me when he pandered for votes.
At the Oakley Chamber of Commerce Forum, a person asked Len Augustine that if he was elected, which party he will caucus with because eventually he has to choose.
Augustine responded by saying 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.
The reality is if this were true, both parties would have endorsed him and would be supporting him. The Democrats chose Frazier as the candidate they want to work with while the Republicans, due to by-laws, chose Mike Hudson.
At three other forums, one which is even taped by the NAACP, Mr. Augustine came off as no independent, but stayed true to his Republican beliefs—I’ve got all the recaps on this very site as proof. While I can’t blame Augustine from trying the “Independent Strategy”, I just can’t support it. My other hardcore Republican friends are supporting him over Mike Hudson even without the Republican title because they claim what I see–Augustine is more conservative than Hudson.
We can blame the open primary and a new strategy as the reason for the recent switch. After all, how can one truly claim to become Independent when one has been a Republican for 50+ years.
For those who are unaware of what an Open Primary is, under the new top-two rules, voters are set to decide, irrespective of party affiliation, who should face off in November. Voters are able to vote for only one candidate, but the top two vote-getters will face each other in the fall.
In doing a Google Search this morning for a grand total of five minutes, Len Augustine name came up as one of 19 Republican Mayors and Councilmembers to sign a letter entitled, “Keep Local Funds – Local “Loans” From Local Governments Are Irresponsible which is located on www.flashreport.com. The letter was sent in 2008.
Heck, even the Tea Party Patriots of Vaca Valley (Vacaville-Dixon) list Len Augustine in the AD-11 race as a Republican—remember, this is Tea Party we are talking about, if you are not a republican, you are essentially the enemy.
So while I like Len Augustine a lot as a person and believe he has great wisdom to share, I cannot support him for this seat as he is trying to fool Democrat and Independent voters while ensuring Mike Hudson a spot in the General Election in November.
As the wildcard in the race, the Democrats should be very worried about further splitting votes as you have five democrats dividing up votes plus losing some who will support Augustine under the Independent label.
Well played Len! Due to a diluted Democrat vote, Mr. Augustine may have now ensured no Democrat makes it out of the Primary.
This is a three horse race between Mike Hudson, Len Augustine and Jim Frazier. Since Patricia Hernandez, Gene Gantt and Charles Kingeter have no chance of winning, the Democrats really need to protect their interest and ensure every vote goes towards Jim Frazier or else its a Hudson/Augustine runoff.