WatchSonoma Watch

Thompson weighs in on Woolsey’s successor


Rep. Lynn Woolsey of Petaluma, who is retiring in 2012 after 20 years in Congress, has no plans to endorse a candidate for the new 2nd Congressional District stretching from Marin County to the Oregon border.

Jared Huffman

But Mike Thompson, a fellow Democrat from St. Helena who represents the neighboring congressional district, stepped into the fray last week.

He threw his support behind Jared Huffman, a San Rafael Democrat who has represented Marin and southern Sonoma County in the Assembly since 2006. Huffman already has forged a sizeable lead over the other five Democratic candidates in both campaign donations and endorsements.

In his endorsement, Thompson said Huffman is “the best choice to represent the North Coast in Congress.”

Thompson is seeking his eighth term in an inland district, including Santa Rosa, created by a citizens redistricting commission for the 2012 election.

Huffman acknowledged he was not the only Democrat who sought Thompson’s endorsement, and winning it was “a hard sell, absolutely.”

“He put all the candidates through the ringer,” Huffman said.

Thompson said in an e-mail that he had met most of the candidates. “They had many questions for me. And I had many questions for them,” he said.

An endorsement by Thompson, who is seen as a “heavy lifter” in Congress, is a “big coup” for Huffman, said David McCuan, a Sonoma State University political scientist.

Huffman, a former environmental attorney, is “a little more liberal” than Thompson, a member of the House Democrats moderate Blue Dog Coalition, McCuan said.

“They are much more similar than different,” he said, but the relationship between the two “hasn’t always been smooth.”

Huffman’s campaign strategy in piling up endorsements and donations is to “put space between himself and everybody else,” McCuan said.

Adding Thompson and Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro, D-Arcata, last week, Huffman has endorsements from 31 current and former North Coast political leaders, as well as 21 labor, environmental and business groups.

Huffman held a substantial lead in campaign donations with $416,000 reported last month, followed by Stacey Lawson with $238,000 and Norman Solomon with $221,000.

Solomon, a Marin activist and author, cited 10 endorsements, including the Progressive Democrats of America, Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., farmworkers advocate Dolores Huerta and Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.

Lawson, a San Rafael businesswoman, said she will be announcing endorsements later.

Susan Adams, a Marin County supervisor, has endorsements from the American Nurses Association and California Association of Nurse Practitioners, as well as six North Coast political leaders.

Tiffany Renee, a Petaluma councilwoman, and William Courtney, a Mendocino County physician, have not announced any endorsements.

You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 521-5457 or guy.kovner@pressdemocrat.com.

15 Responses to “Thompson weighs in on Woolsey’s successor”

  1. Western Cluebird says:

    @ dan roberts,
    What do you have against capitolization and punctuation?

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  2. dan roberts says:

    the lone republican, dan roberts , a 40 year resident of tiburon provides choice in this election. my answers were worlds apart from the rest of the candidates.this is so because im not a professional politician looking for another public job. rather ive run a small business for 25 years and have been a financial profressional for 40 years, all in the bay area.look to my web site: danrobertsforcongress.com

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  3. Read Between the Lines People! says:

    What’s interesting about Woolsey staying on the sidelines is it shows what a liar Norman Solomon is. In 2008 he was claiming that Woolsey was planning to retire and resign in 2009 just so she could endorse him and help him succeed her…a tall tale that a lot of local activists bought. But it wasn’t true in 2008, 2009, 2010 or even last summer when she did decide to annouce her retirement but also said she wasn’t endorsing a candidate. Her message to her supporters: be careful and don’t waste a vote on Solomon.

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  4. truth in news says:

    I want to know how much she is getting for a pension. How much she is getting for medical. And what other perks go from my taxes to her pocket! SHE IS PART OF THE PROBLEM LETS REDUCE HER PENSION AND MAKE HER WAIT IN LINE FOR MEDICAL WITH THE REST OF US!

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  5. Tom Lynch says:

    @ Goldman Sachs

    It ain’t unions that are the problem GS; though some would make it so; it’s more a generational thing. And though Wall Street blew a big hole in all these unfunded pension plans; does that mean we force the next generation to make up the difference?

    Our generation (I’m assuming you’re a boomer approaching retirement as I am)has created an unsustainable system; we’ve negotiated agreements between ourselves (management, unions and electeds alike)without funding them. Now we’re expecting the next generation to pay for it as we’re laying them off.

    We’re creating another “Lost Generation”, just like the best and the brightest lost in the trenches of the Battle of the Somme in WWII. Instead of battlefield losses, now it’s loss of education, jobs, mental health services, and economic opportunities. We’re leaving them with lifelong crushing debts to pay for our retirements.

    “We have met the enemy and they is us.”

    “Perhaps dear Casius the fault lies not within our stars but within our selves.”
    from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar



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  6. Camino Alto says:

    Of course a sitting politician will endorse Huffman. He represents the Status Quo that got us in the financial mess that this country is in. And of course he emulates woolsey… all bark and no bite whatsoever. Neither of them are left-wing porogressive in my book. They both ride the center line and serve nobody. Huffman is indeed a political hack with aspirations of nothing more than becoming a career politician and feeding off of the publc.

    By the way. Check out all of the support/contributions/endorsements that Huffman is getting from entities that generally support the Republican Party candidates. And it looks like the PD is going to be endorsing him too. That alone is reason enough for me to NOT vote for him. Just look at this article. It isn’t unbiased news. It’s pure political propaganda.

    And to Tom Lynch and the others who see no difference in the Democtatic candidates, I strongly suggest that you check out Norman Solomon. He really is different. He actually has the needs of teh common person at heart.

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  7. Goldman Sachs says:

    @Tom Lynch

    “The issue most affecting the day to day lives of the citizens of the North Coast; is the continuing dramatic demise of jobs and services local governments used to provide for generations. Much of this is due to massive unfunded pension obligations…”

    “Thus far none of the candidates seem to offer anything different, than the same old same old, that’s gotten us into this fiscal disaster.”

    Thank you Tom for continuing the fallacy that unions are to blame for everything, and letting us off the hook. We appreciate it.

    “The financial crisis was triggered by a complex interplay of valuation and liquidity problems in the United States banking system in 2008.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late-2000s_financial_crisis

    (No mention of unions and pensions there. Shhhhhhhh.)

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  8. Truth Teller says:

    This is news? Politicians endorsing other politicians? Incumbents taking acre of their own? Wow, what a shocker.

    I guess the good-ol-boys network still reigns on the north coast.

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  9. Chris says:

    Huffman is a hack. Do we really want a career politician who has sold us out on multiple occasions as our next representative?

    When Huffman negotiated the Huffman/Schwarzenegger Water bond, he not only made it so the north coast was going to send even more water to Southern California, but he also made it so we were going to have to pay for this through the bond payments! Sell out. Hack. Pick your term, Congressman should not be one of them.

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  10. Tom Lynch says:

    The issue most affecting the day to day lives of the citizens of the North Coast; is the continuing dramatic demise of jobs and services local governments used to provide for generations. Much of this is due to massive unfunded pension obligations, with increased costs born by younger, less senior employee layoffs and cuts in services.

    For twenty years UC California didn’t put one dime; university, faculty nor staff, into the retirement fund; then having drained it they now double tuition on students borrowing money at 6.8% interest with 25 year term loans.

    At a recent debate Assemblyman Huffman responded to a question about pensions offering a simple solution, saying local governments’ need to negotiate with administrators and unions. Thus far local officials have proven themselves incapable to change the system from within.

    I think our next Congressman needs to be front and center involved, with preventing the collapse of local government jobs and services; to be involved with righting the injustice of one generation’s burdens being paid by the next.

    We need a leader with courage and vision able to use the office as a bully pulpit to foster dramatic, creative and innovative changes. Hopefully Assemblyman Huffman will not be like that lyric from a John Prine song, “…and all the news just repeats itself, like some forgotten dream, that we’ve both seen.”

    Thus far none of the candidates seem to offer anything different, than the same old same old, that’s gotten us into this fiscal disaster.

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  11. Dave Madigan says:

    Baghdad Mike endorses Jared Huffman…

    Well there goes Huffman’s chances of being elected dog catcher!

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  12. Western Cluebird says:

    On April 8,2011 speaking at the Santa Rosa J.C.about the budget cuts and their impact on public education,Jared Huffman said “Why are we here and why does this feel like Deja Vu?” and “If there is a spending problem, I wish I could be a part of it”.
    Then he said “As we dealt with this crisis, we havn’t been entirely honest. We’ve used temporary borrowing, shifting and gimmicks. An 18 billion deficit was advertised as ballanced when actually it was about 7 billion short.”
    It is a 26 billion dollar crisis now.

    Then he went on to blame republicans as the entire panel did repeatedly.
    Good choice, Mike.

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  13. Just Asking says:

    What else is new? A left wing democrat endorses another lefty, Huffman. Huffman describes himself as a “little more liberal than Thompson.”

    Does that mean he is a radical socialist by his own definition? When will the democrats wake up and smell the coffee? Their brand of socialism has failed Obama and it has failed the economy and this country. 2012 will end Obama’s reign and hopefully start a more intelligent turn in the North Bay.

    Sonoma County is drowning in left wing poltics, debt, taxes and social programs. Maybe there will be a turnaround even in the little world of socialist Sonoma County.

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  14. Steveguy says:

    Another ‘coronation ‘ ?

    Just how well have all of these Reps that endorse him are complicit in the economic collapse of America ? All of them !

    Occupy the Politicians, as they are a devious club that cares less about you.

    Occupy the State Capitol, Congress.

    To me, this smells like more of the same that got us into this mess.

    They are a band of thieves— of our future.

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  15. Joyce Garcia says:

    No one is progressive enough for Woolsey I would imagine.

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