WatchSonoma Watch

Demos clash before endorsing for Petaluma council


The Sonoma County Democratic Party has endorsed the three most liberal of six Democrats running for Petaluma City Council in November, overruling the recommendations of a committee that interviewed all six candidates.

Democratic activists involved in the process characterize the change as an effort by the more progressive members of the party to assert their influence. They say the switch came after intense internal disagreement during the selection process.

Local elected offices in California are technically nonpartisan, although party politics can be influential.

The county Democratic committee ultimately endorsed Councilwoman Tiffany Renee for a second term; Jason Davies, who unsuccessfully sought election two years ago; and newcomer Alicia Kae Herries, an anti-big-box activist on the city Planning Commission.

That slate was markedly different than the recommendation from the interview committee: Davies and Councilmen Gabe Kearney and Mike Healy.

In other city council races in which the central committee has made endorsements this year, it followed the exact recommendations of its interview committee.

Sonoma County Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Gale described the discussion to dump Kearney and Healy for Renee and Herries as “robust.”

Four other committee members who asked not to be named were more descriptive. They said the group of more liberal members, including Assemblyman Michael Allen’s committee appointee Pam Torliatt and Petaluma Mayor David Glass — hijacked the process and intimidated committee members.

Torliatt and Glass spoke out against endorsing Kearney, Gale said.

Kearney and Healy have endorsed Allen’s opponent in the 10th Assembly District race, Marc Levine. Both Levine and Allen are Democrats.

Healy has never been favored by progressives, and Kearney apparently fell out of favor since 2010 because of his more moderate votes.

The committee agreed on Davies and Renee by more than the two-thirds vote needed, Gale said. After a motion to endorse Kearney failed to reach that threshold, a move to endorse Herries attained two-thirds agreement.

Kearney, active in the local Democratic party for years, was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention this year and is a former chairman of the Sonoma County Young Democrats. That group endorsed Kearney, Renee and Davies.

53 Responses to “Demos clash before endorsing for Petaluma council”

  1. Terry says:

    When Renee, Herries and Davies lose, will that prove to the Central Committee that they are out of touch with the voters? Just askin’.

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  2. Demosthenes says:

    Did Gabe Kearney go to college? What’s his educational background?

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  3. The Oracle says:

    Some families fight louder than others; and political activists are about as loud as they come. Kearney has never been allies with the progressive activists on the central committee, and there are many of them. He’s a pro-union, pro-business liberal who’s progressive on many social issues. The fact he can work with the activists on the central committee is a sign of his patience and ability to work with others. He won’t have his name on the party’s mailers and door hangers; so he won’t win by as many votes now; but he’s been working hard to win over the people of Petaluma; and in the end that’s what matters.

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  4. Jimmy Pera says:

    “He was appointed by making back room deals in advance with the rubber stampers on the council and by Renee making a grave mistake….one she’s never acknowledged even as she now tries desperately to keep him off the council. Too bad much of Renee’s base isn’t paying more attention, he vote for Gabe was a vote for bad planning and she knows it.”………

    Prove these theories….Prove “advanced deals”….Prove it….as far as Renee, then don’t vote for her. I guess “If” it is true, she was hoodwinked huh? What does Ms Renee have to say MR. @????

    If local Law and Fire endorse him and the people that grew up and know him from the time he was a boy going to school to now then people should take that into major consideration.

    Tell us what he doesn’t have as a Leader?

    Yes Renee made her bed……but Kearney has never dropped bombs on people for having a different view…he has been diplomatic and a Leader.

    Leadership is not always doing the Popular thing….Kearney is a leader not an activist. Many old time Petalumans are backing Kearney…..and even more so now.

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  5. Wilson says:

    @@ Jimmy Pera – Many people who once supported Renee are most definitely paying attention. Her name was conspicuously absent from endorsements by Pam Torliatt. (Like her or not, Ms. Torliatt is very influential) Renee will not get any endorsement from Petaluma Tomorrow with their large list of campaign volunteers. And most telling, people are ignoring her at local events. Renee made her bed and is about to sleep in it.

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  6. @ Jimmy Pera says:

    Funny, what makes you think he will win when he’s run twice already and lost both times? He came in 5th in 2010 and lost in his first race as well. Does he even have a degree? What qualifies him other than being a political insider for years….that now can’t even seem to get support within his own party….at least among those who know him. He couldn’t use “re-elect” on his signs because he was never elected.

    He was appointed by making back room deals in advance with the rubber stampers on the council and by Renee making a grave mistake….one she’s never acknowledged even as she now tries desperately to keep him off the council. Too bad much of Renee’s base isn’t paying more attention, he vote for Gabe was a vote for bad planning and she knows it.

    But he’ll have the police endorsement because he gave them shopping centers. The funny thing is, very few of the police even live in town. Yeah, he’s for the community, as long as the community paves the way for his political ambitions…as he paves Petaluma with more strip malls and traffic. His previous supporters need to wake up and smell the asphalt before it’s too late.

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  7. Harry Moynihan says:

    I have to agree with dem voter that if Kearney could only get 10 votes out of 27 from people who know him well than that is really telling. Healy made it possible for him to be appointed and now Kearney is beholden to him. He is not an independent thinker-he votes how Healy wants him to and Healy votes how the developers want him to. Connect the dots…vote against those that are in the developers back pocket…Kearney, Healy and Miller. We need people who have the people’s back not the rich corporation’s back.

    When you make up misleading statements like progressives are anti-business look into it a little more please. No one is against business-we all need to work and we all support businesses in one way or another. We’re not all living in Yerts chewing on tree bark. We merely want decent paying jobs from companies that don’t export all their production and manufacturing jobs overseas. Is that so wrong?

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  8. Jimmy Pera says:

    The fact of the matter is Gabe Kearney is going to win because he has the support of people that know him, the native Petalumans.

    Any distraction with slander towards him will not fly…

    He is a candidate that is of the people That’s refreshing especially in today’s politics….and Manny please read the quote under yours.

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  9. Dem Voter says:

    No, I’m not in the race for city council in Petaluma, I am, however, a member of The Central Committee who had high hopes for Gabe. Alas I was duped!

    “he thinks for himself when he votes” -Independent Voter

    That’s partly the problem, HE ONLY THINKS ABOUT HIMSELF. Every time a vote came up that was the least bit controversial he would cuddle up with Mike Healy for protection. Again, I point to the lack of leadership.

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  10. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Jeez, Gaj, I completely agree with your post saying ALL the taxes should expire. Are you sure you aren’t a closet liberal? My measly $20 a month I got from Bush didn’t go very far with all the inflation that year. My homeowner’s insurance increases took that and more.

    We can’t have all cuts because this is a time of need with so many people out of work. The rest of us who are lucky enough to have decent jobs need to pay more. For instance, it makes no sense to cut state funded childcare and inhome support. If a parent can’t afford childcare they are right back on AFDC. (The average cost of childcare in this county is close to $1000 per month). If a disabled or elderly client can’t get inhome support they end up institutionalized at 4X the cost in taxpayer money. It costs $4,000 to $5,000 per month of government money to put someone in a long term care facility. I don’t call that saving money.

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  11. Jimmy Pera says:

    umm Manny…I know…read the post under yours…I explained that…;)

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  12. Thanks for the correction says:

    Oh, and Healy had zero support outside of the recommendation from one person on the interview committee who works for Jared Huffman. Healy threw a fundraiser for Huffman and endorsed him in the primary….despite Huffman asserting in previous years that he wouldn’t endorse in local races, he endorsed Healy and tried to push him through using his surrogate who actually should have had to recuse himself on that….it fell far short regardless because Healy has consistently voted against Democrats and the committee was well aware of that. So, there was no “robust debate” to dump Healy, he was never a viable choice for the Democratic endorsement. Funny that Huffman, a “loyal Democrat” and “environmentalist” ended up endorsing two candidates that were NOT endorsed by the Democratic party and have received ZERO endorsements from the environmental organizations…I suspect Huffman will regret his intervention in our local race…pretty embarrassing and humiliating to see his two choices miss the most important endorsements for Democratic voters in this race.

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  13. Thanks for the correct says:

    Glad to see they corrected article with respect to Renee not being initially recommended by the interview committee, but there was no “robust debate” around Renee per se, it was with respect to Kearney. Kearney just didn’t have the support among his own party members, which speaks volumes. Herries just reached the threshold by a single vote, after the motion for Kearney failed. Regardless, people voted how they wanted to vote and the votes just weren’t there for Kearney.

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  14. Manny Rivers says:

    Um, Jimmy? Here’s an important correction. Kearney has never been elected to the Petaluma City Council. In 2010 he came in 5th in a race to fill three seats. He was appointed to fill a vacancy on the city council created by David Glass’s election as Mayor in that election.

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  15. Jimmy Pera says:

    I made the correction but the typo wasn’t picked up.

    Now back on topic,

    By the way radicals (@ and the “Bears”: “crawling” or “walking”, whichever.. maybe you and the other Goose stepping haters of self thinking free people should actually understand diplomacy. Radicals (who I won’t call Liberals because it would disgrace the word) need to understand that you are going to lose.

    Yes Gabe was appointed and yes he is a true Democrat.

    If John F Kennedy appeared and decided who he would support, it would be Kearney. Kennedy would not have anything in common with the radicals that have disgraced the Democratic Party here in Sonoma County. Continue to blast your none diplomatic parvda.

    Gabe Kearney must be supported by all true Petalumans. He is a true Leader. A modest and Humble leader.

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  16. Missy says:

    Why is it that the Republicans are the party of The Big Tent & the Democrats seem to be the party of Stalinist like thinking?

    The Repubs have a plethora of opinions, many are pro-green, pro-environment, pro-choice (R -Sen. Scott Brown just said he was 100% pro-choice btw) but for fiscal responsiblity.

    Mitt Romney is a moderate Republican by his record.

    The other side of the aisle, the Dems are filled with radicals, Stalinists, and “think as I do or else”.

    Look at the big deal today with the horrible school lunches – worse than the previous batch of school lunches! Do as WE SAY / THINK ONLY LIKE US is the mantra of the Dems.


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  17. Sandra Mehan says:

    This was a democratic vote, so what was all the fuss? Sounds very much like some sour grapes by the losers. Mike Healy has never represented Dems and Gabe Kearney has got to be one of the most underwhelming and unexperienced city council members ever. From his insipid social media posts to his vapid remars at council meetings you can see he is just not up to basic standards for a local leader. Speaking of standards, this reporter fails to meet them for a variety of reasons as well particularly in using anonymous sources to accuse people of “intimidation” but without one iota of fact to support the statement. Back to journalism school Ms. Carter

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  18. Vinyl Rules says:

    Since when did the conservatives of Sonoma County become so passionate about Democratic Party politics? If you all are so interested in the inner workings of the Sonoma County Democratic Central Committee, why not join it? As previously stated, Mr Kearney has been a member of said committee for years. He had many opportunities to solicit votes for an endorsement. He clearly failed. His votes on the city council were not in line with what the Central Comm. wanted in a candidate. No conspiracy, no one was “intimidated”, and I fail to see how members of a committee can “hijack” their own meeting.

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  19. @Jimmy Pera says:

    Here we go again with the Nazi talk from the right wing (THIS JUST IN: GABE KEARNEY SUPPORTER BELIEVES DEMOCRATS ARE NAZI’S). I hope every person who posts on here immediately disqualifies your comments due to the vitriol you spew. And I also hope that Kearney himself comes on this forum to disavow such language as the Nazi’s were down right horrid to the homosexual community during the holocaust, but he won’t, I’m sure, that would take true leadership, so I wont be holding my breath.

    You’re also factually incorrect in your post, your home town boy Gabe Kearney took a licking in the only election with his name on the ballot, came in last, he was later APPOINTED not elected to the council, because he lied to the council when they were going through the appointment process.

    So when you say “re-elect” you actually mean elect for the first time because the voters saw through his crap the first time, lets hope they see it again!

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  20. Buddy Bear says:


    I’d actually ask you to look at Governor Jerry Brown and the state legislatures 2 year session that just closed. These are Democrats, progressives in many cases, who voted for a cuts only budget 2 years in a row. Why this hasn’t earned them a “Fiscally Responsible” label is beyond me. They were brave enough to begin the conversation on pensions, I was pleased with what was produced out of Sacramento, not because it was hard hitting reform, but because they are taking it one step at a time and looking at things reasonably.

    But you’re right, a balanced approach is what we need at every level of government, no more patch work, no more excuses, just solid leadership, which the Democrats are providing. People may not like the Democrats/Liberals, but dammit they’re the only ones left talking sensibly at any level of government.

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  21. Independent voter says:

    Someone on these forums (Dem Voter) sounds as if they are one of the candidates running against Gabe. Such bitterness! All due to the fact that Gabe did not vote in favor of your highness a time or two!

    I will be voting for Gabe for exactly that reason – he thinks for himself when he votes. He does not need to be persuaded by one side or the other. I hope Gabe wins and beats Herries who has zero experience and will vote exactly the way the mayor votes without forming her own opinion and Renee, as she talks and interrupts too much.

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  22. Jimmy Pera says:

    Tough economic times call for freedom of commerce and not a Political Power Play set to make a one minded ideology at city counsel.

    Democrats will decide who they want. I believe in the end Gabe Kearney will be re-elected by the Petalumans.

    Kearney, like I have said is a good home town man, who was raised here and who everyone knows.

    Partisan attacks on him will not work. We all know his family, friends and a lot of us went to school with him and know his character. No one, not even radicals with an agenda can change that fact.

    Gabe Good Luck, you were elected as a candidate of the People and you have done well. When the powers to be weren’t successful in making you one of their stooges they turned on you. You stood on principle as an elected offical, not a dictator. Humble diplomacy is one of the gretest keys to being a leader, who is fair and respected. You proved that.

    For that reason I will vote for you, one Petaluman to another.

    I will also vote for Mr Healy. The Radical gangster minded Progressive movement cannot act as a Diety.

    They tried to run another candidate throught mud four years ago, a nice woman named Samantha Freitas. That was a disgusting partisan hit job on her by the same people.

    Petaluma and the Blue collar tax payers must not stand and allow failed leadership with radical goals to undermine the foundations that made this town great.

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  23. GAJ says:

    @Buddy Bear.

    Obviously serious cuts need to be made but we also need targeted tax increases to address deficits.

    The left of center crowd won’t make the needed serious cuts, (see the lukewarm efforts on pension reform and Public Safety’s ever growing desire for more, more, more plus the ever expansion of Social Programs at State/Federal levels), while the right of center crowd won’t raise taxes, even in a targeted fashion.

    I’d have no problem with a 50cent increase in the gasoline tax that would go directly to national infrastructure programs. That’s better than doing it with borrowed money as we do now.

    The left of center crowd would howl and call that regressive, the right of center crowd would howl and say the money would be siphoned off to support unsustainable Social Programs.

    I also think that ALL the Bush Tax Cuts should be allowed to expire.

    I’m sure that my thoughts won’t be greeted with much enthusiasm by those on here but belt tightening is inevitable as is paying more to get less.

    We can only support our bloated lifestyles with borrowing for so long.

    Rock, meet hard place.

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  24. bear says:

    Dear Friends.

    You need to think carefully about who “creates” jobs. Not the president,
    not the BOS, not the Petaluma City Council.

    Then you need to think about what kind of jobs. Petaluma can’t survive on fast food and big box jobs with zero benefits.

    So land use and budget decisions need to be made with a skeptical mindset. Will this or that project provide jobs that will support a family? Will they pay off in fees or taxes that will support immediate infrastructure needs, or will they generate long-term maintenance costs that the City can’t afford?

    Approve any project, bridge or highway and the politicians proclaim victory. But like the interstate highway system, which I totally support, most turn a blind eye towards the long term costs of maintaining the infrastructure that supports the original project.

    Tell me how this is not rational and logical.

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  25. brenda says:

    We now have an extreme wing of the
    Democratic Party which is as intolerant as the tea party on the right.

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  26. No disagreements allowed, huh? says:

    It’s always curious that the Republicans and Tea Partistas who frequent these PD commments online insist that any disagreements within the Democratic party are signs of treason.

    When there are vigorous disagreements in the Democratic Party that get aired (as they should be), it’s a sign to the Teas that the “socialist, commie pinko Gestapo Soviet Counsels” are taking over. Sorry, that’s the Tea Party’s m.o. across the country, usually against their own party members.

    Disagreements in the Republican Party have thrown hundreds of moderate Repub stalwarts under the bus in service of the radical right purists.

    If you look more closely at the candidates in Petaluma, Davies, Herries and Renee more closely represent the regional and State Democratic values. That’s why they have huge number of endorsements across the field. Healy and Kearny have too frequently played fast and loose with the Republican values.

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  27. James Bennett says:

    Interview committee?
    More charade as to portray genuine process. We’re being played again.

    ‘Wanna see real organic politics?
    Watch Cotati closely. Watch the resolve, the concerted effort to keep George Barich out of there. Why? Because he didn’t catch goalongitis. He won’t just go along with these progressives.

    Progressive. Another perfectly good word. Like sustainable. Who wouldn’t want to be progrssive or sustainable?
    Answer: Someone who likes their freedoms and thinks public officials should play by the (rule) book. The Constitution.

    Progressives are progressing us toward globalist directive socially and civilly engineering our oppression, under the guise of green.

    They should know this by now because we’ve told them every way we can think of.

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  28. Buddy Bear says:

    Bill Me, GAJ, and Pera ,

    How is it that moderates are the solution? in bad economic times we have always used a similar model, a combination of cuts and tax increases. Moderates are afraid to raise taxes or makes serious cuts because they rely to heavily on the either side for votes. And in places like the state legislature where republicans have successfully made it nearly impossible to govern, moderates are almost worse, I say that because legislators can make cuts but would have to agree by a vote of 2/3 to raise taxes, and a cowardly moderate won’t break with popularity to help fiances. The myth that moderates will find balance is hilarious, those days are long gone.

    And I assume all three of you believe in cut-only solutions…

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  29. Steveguy says:

    Tiffany Renee ? Really ? It’s no wonder we are so doomed.

    The left-wing supported kooks are just as bad as the right. We should be ashamed of ourselves to have devolved this far as voters. Or NON-voters, as in Sonoma County, 20% can usually win if they turn out. So you get politicians like Noreen Evans, Tiffany Renee, etc, etc. Easily schmoozed ones.

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  30. Dem Voter says:

    Here’s my problem with people like Gabe Kearney, he has a little scheme in mind.

    He knows that the North Bay is an extremely liberal region and he also knows that his blind ambition for public office (please, tell me what he stands for, cite one example of him actually standing up for something), so what does one do in order to growth their ambition, they lie. Gabe Kearney joined the young democrats, California Young Democrats, and eventually the Central Committee. He told those groups how “liberal”, “progressive”, and Left leaning he was, but just as soon as he gets appointed to a governing body, he runs to the right to pander to moderates. Want an example? Take the temporary tax hike that Petaluma desperately needs Kearney said “I wont vote for it because I don’t think people will pass it in November”, that isn’t leadership, that is the absence of leadership. As a leader you must go to the people to sell what you believe is important and right, not hide behind the easy choice. Leaders shouldn’t just take the easy path, the easy path piles on debt.(He cast several votes to support tax hikes as a member of the SCYD and the SCDP) This should prove his prior beliefs prior to being on public record).

    But to the actual meeting itself, why is it that the PD is defending a guy who has done nothing in his tenure on the council? You are making it seem as if there was a coup, Gabe has been a member of the Central Committee for years, one could argue they know him better than any voter in the city does. If only 10 people in that room could muster up a vote for Kearney, one of their own, that says more about him than anything else, he lost that vote because he lied to the committee about his Democratic values. He said he’d do one thing and did something completely different. Why should he be rewarded?

    It’s funny to me how the PD and conservatives seem to think that the Central Committee should throw their values as Democrats away because a guy checks all the boxes (Young, Gay, Latino), that isn’t how it works they are an ideological group making ideological decisions. By nominating a conservative Democrat, they would have left one person out of their endorsements who is a better fit.

    People Like Kearney and Levine are spineless, they are Republicans who want so badly to be in office they will tell you they’re Democrats because they couldn’t get elected otherwise. I for one applaud the Committee and its Chariman for bringing the truth to light, sorry PD and Kearney, the truth hurts.

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  31. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Jimmy Pera, the “hacks” I’ve caught with many different posts have been right leaning. Maybe some of us are worried about our jobs when we post the truth.

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  32. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Terry, knock it off about Susan Gorin being a carpetbagger. I’m in her district and I thank god that she moved here. In fact, Efren did the very same thing. Sawyer is a conservative and he betrayed the city employees by supporting the safety employees so he would get their support. The city employees got a 3% decrease in their paychecks while the safety employees got a 9% increase. That’s called bribery to me. He’s doing the VERY SAME THING with the county sheriff’s department to get their endorsements while threatening the rest of county employees with MAJOR CUTS to their income.
    It’s not ethical to bribe one set of government employees while shafting the rest. His honesty is what I have a problem with.

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  33. Joe Leisek says:

    The Green Tea Party?

    Thumb up 12 Thumb down 6

  34. Jimmy Pera says:

    What needs to happen here, in this forum, is post your actual name and don’t be a Partisan radical Coward…..State your opinion as the Real person you are.

    Too many hacks come on these forums, post multiple times under false names and sound the same.

    Moderates must represent this area….not radicals!

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  35. Bill me says:

    It is quite sad to see the only folks doing anything to help bring some good paying jobs to Petaluma, are being dismissed by the Democratic Party. We will see if reasonable and informed Democratic voters respond with the moderate voting slate: Kearney, Healy, and Miller. They would be able to bring jobs while retaining Petaluma’s charm. One can hope—-

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  36. Sports Fan says:

    Is it any wonder our cities, county, California and Federal government are all broke and dysfunctional? Keep voting Democrat and that is what you will continue to get.

    Thumb up 51 Thumb down 22

  37. Terry says:

    Vinyl Rules…you are missing the point. What happened at the meeting is irrelevant. It is the end product that is disturbing. The radical extreme left rules Petaluma, is attempting it now in Santa Rosa, and is attempting to add Susan Gorin (a radical carpetbagger extremist who will attempt to destroy agriculture in this County) to the Board of Sups. All of these seats are supposed to be non-partisan, but is now being hijacked by the radical elements of the anti-business crowd.

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  38. Vinyl Rules says:

    Please read the comments by “Corrections needed” for what ACTUALLY happened at that meeting. I was there, and the way it is depicted in the article is misleading. Healy never was even considered for a vote. Kearney needed 18 votes to secure an endorsement. He only netted 10. Its hilarious to see The PD making Michael Allen out to be the mastermind of local Democratic politics. He may have swayed a few votes, but Mr Kearney wasn’t even close to getting the nomination. And as previously stated, Healy wasn’t really even an option. Herries does have a record of votes as a planning commissioner, and those votes were more in line with Democratic principles than Kearney’s. This article is just sour grapes because the chairman Stephen Gale voted for Kearney and lost. Gale is probably the main source of this article.

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  39. Terry says:

    Unbelievable how the Democratic Party has hijacked local NON-PARTISAN offices. Sonoma County needs to wake up and realize how the Demo Central Committee is ripping apart the political fabric of not only Petaluma, but Santa Rosa and the County as well. Time to elect people from the center rather than the left or right. In other words, reject anyone endorsed by the Demo Central Committee.

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  40. Jimmy Pera says:

    Yes…Mike Harris may not be running this time…but he is an example of another Moderate…example to compliment the other moderates…;)

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  41. @ Andersen says:

    Just to be clear, who is it that you were referring to Paul as a politico wanna be?

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  42. Jimmy Pera says:

    The fact about Progressives (Depressives’) is they want to push their Radical political agenda. They are like a Nazi Gestapo or a Soviet counsel. They have no moderate views and see any moderates as “The enemy”. That is not the way Petaluma is or should become.

    Gabe Kearney is a moderate, a true Petaluman and someone, who I may not always agree with, but can bring both sides together to get issues done. He understands his fellow Petalumans because he grew up here. That is the reason he is good for Petaluma.

    Mr Healy and Mike Harris are other outstanding Petaluma candidates/councilmembers. They are good for Petaluma and good for the local economy.

    Petaluma is a moderate town that needs to stay that way.

    It’s funny how any organization with radical views somehow legitimizes an election.

    The candidates should worry about Petaluma Blvd and job creation, not activists that only want to have power in a supermajority while following a dead “Saul Alinsky” ideology.

    Job creation and Road reconstruction is what is needed. Look at each candidate. If they are against Business then they are against revenue.

    The truth is, the radical left has no solutions but to try to stop at all costs any fiscal and economic growth, while peddling their unproven economic and environmental myths.

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  43. Games says:

    I will admit Gabe made a couple of voting errors this past year but who hasn’t made errors? No one on that city council is perfect, although some seem to think they are. I agree with Paul Anderson – they shove Gabe under the bus because two people did not get their way. Whaaa. And then they want someone with zero experience in place of Gabe. Herries has no skills, however she does know how to sue and say NO to everything that comes forward. I give Davies credit as he has good ideas for generating revenue for the city.

    Let’s see what happens in two years when the two that hijacked this process are up for reelection and running for election. I doubt they would be pleased if the Democratic Party threw them under the bus due to pressure from “self-important people”. Good choice of words, Paul.

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  44. Thorn says:

    Maybe this reporter should exorcise critical approach to sources. This articles reads like at was planted by a disgruntled Kearny supporter.

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  45. A Real Petaluma Democrat says:

    Seriously? The Democratic Central Committee was going to endorse Healy and Kearney? Based on what? 

    It is mind-boggling to me that this outside group would presume to make recommendations without input from real Petaluma Democrats. Healy and Kearney don’t uphold Democratic values, unless you believe that crappy retail jobs in crappy cain stores generating a ton of crappy traffic are what it’s all about. 

    And Kearney … What has he accomplished in his two years on the council!? Reporter, information about that would be more newsworthy than the vague, “He’s been involved in party politics.” That last paragraph reads like an ad for him! I don’t agree with what Healy does, but at least he knows how to get things done.

    I see that despite the fact that the PD is no longer allowed to endorse candidates, their bias against progressives is still alive and well in their so-called news articles.

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  46. GAJ says:

    This kind of politics, the politics of the extremes rather than the center, is what has led to gridlock in Sacramento and Washington.

    Guess what, the majority of the people are in the center.

    As the story says, the extremists “hijacked the process and intimidated committee members.”


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  47. Too funny says:

    “Healy has never been favored by progressives, and Kearney apparently fell out of favor since 2010 because of his more moderate votes.”

    This is hysterical, Kearney wasn’t even appointed until March, 2011 when Renee, Alberston, Healy, and Harris put him on the council:


    Funny that the author seems to have forgotten her own article.

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  48. Thorn says:

    It is hard for republicans to get elected in Sonoma County with an “R” next to their name, so some try to hide behind the “D”.

    Healy and Kearny’s endorsed candidate for assembly, Marc Levine, seems to be one of them. Below is a link to a video with him rallying for Romney.


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  49. Corrections needed says:

    The article contains some critical misinformation.

    For starters, the interview committee initially recommended Davies, Healy, and Kearny and not Renee, as the article misstates.

    The endorsement committee then recommended just two candidates, Davies and Renee.

    Then there was a motion for votes on individual candidates.

    The votes were unanimous for Davies as well as Renee.

    Herries met the 2/3 threshold by one vote.

    There were no votes for Healy and no one spoke for him.

    Kearney didn’t meet the 2/3 threshold.

    Davies was the only candidate who was recommended at every stage in the process: the interview committee, endorsement committee, and full committee.

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  50. J.R. Wirth says:

    Every election the Democrats tell Sonoma County voters “dance for me monkey boy.” Sonoma County voters then do a nice tap dance for them.

    There’s no competition here, just like there’s no competition in places like Idaho when Republicans lock it down. Political parties themselves are vile and thuggish entities designed to suppress individualism in voters.

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  51. Wilson says:

    Kearney and Healy are DINO’s – Democrat In Name Only.

    Be honest. Both have centrist Republican politics. They both vote in lockstep with Republicans Harris and Albertson. Yes, I know the position is non-partisan, but nobody’s kidding anyone here. They both almost always bump heads Glass and Barrett. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

    Glass and Torliatt were right in pushing against Kearney. They obviously remember the very different person he was 12 years ago. That man would have never voted for the flawed Deer Creek project. Now Kearney is nothing but a hypocritical pawn for developers.

    Renee may be liberal, but her track record has a few monster screw-ups. She will not get the support from the progressives this time that put her in on the council four years ago.

    The endorsement committee went by the interview rather than the track record of the individuals. Davies and Herries deserve this endorsement by their track record. Congratulations to them. Time for new blood on the council.

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  52. Paul Andersen says:

    This is really pathetic.

    Gabe Kearney has done a lot for the Democratic Party in Sonoma County. Hell, he was one of our delegates to the national convention in Charlotte!

    So let’s throw him under the bus because a couple of self-important people don’t agree with a couple of his vote. And worse, let’s endorse some newbie politico wanna-be with virtually no record but plenty of brown-nosing points with the right people.

    I’m so tired of the cliqueishness of Petaluma politics. Opposing viewpoints become bloodsport and good people get the shaft. It’s really sad.

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  53. Christian says:

    Bull. Progressives are against progress. The worst thing that has happened to my beloved home town are all these socialists calling themselves progressives. They are just big government jerks looking to use force to put down families with their failed progressive ideas. We need jobs, not empty lots where shopping centers should be. VOTE THEM OUT!!!!

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