Home 2016 Election Editorial: Political Bullying in Contra Costa County Must Stop

Editorial: Political Bullying in Contra Costa County Must Stop

by ECT

Across the country, there has been a national anti-bullying movement in both schools and the work place. In politics, however, its business as usual; bullying is generally accepted and enabled out of fear of retaliation.

In East Contra Costa, we have a real-life game of “House of Cards” being played out behind the scenes which is not for the faint of heart. Candidates are shunned for standing on their own; left out of endorsements and financial support. It’s no longer political parties in Contra Costa who are in control, now it is political dictatorships who expect officials to fall in line rather than empowering them to advocate for the greater good.

The filing period has not yet closed in the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisor race and there are already a variety of whisper campaigns being spread against multiple candidates, phony tales are being shared, and juicy gossip is being taken as fact—and people are repeating nonsense while eating it up. Meanwhile, endorsements and the piles of money are being prepared for distribution.

It’s a novel idea to think our local elected leaders are better than that, but it appears some are not. Some are even reverting back to the role of school yard bully all in the name of power and control.

Politics in Contra Costa County has become bizarre and frustrating. The bully is your friend today and tomorrow you are their arch enemy. Next comes the public accusations, cocktail party gossip—all the worst kind of bullying. As if that wasn’t bad enough, these folks are then targeted by the political machine in their next election seeking to take them out at all cost.

AntiochLogoFor example, a cautious tale as to what can happen if you don’t follow the line comes from Antioch several years ago when a councilmember voted for Walmart–even when she was right based off a California Court decision.

In response, this councilmember was bullied and eventually run out of office by various groups and elected officials. To this day, local elected leaders use this former council person as the prime example of what happens when one does not “fall in line” and vote the way they are told.

With a Board of Supervisor race taking off this week with the filing period now open, we can expect another election season of countless mailers featuring lies, to mudslinging—the goal is to bully and embarrass candidates out of the race.

This type of behavior is aimed to get the voters to question a candidate’s integrity, intelligence and character based on lies and innuendos.

In fact, one state elected official has decided to insert himself into a county election. This official has gone as far as to brag that he has lined up $75,000 in support of an Antioch Councilmember to put out mailers targeting candidates. This same elected official has directed his taxpayer supported staff to explore options into developing a bill that specifically targets one candidate in hopes of damaging their livelihood.

The question becomes, since when is it okay to slander and threaten someone intentionally all in the name of political power.

OakleyFurthermore, when is it okay for an elected official to abuse his political status and withhold resources by abandoning his elected duty to represent a city? For those unaware, the Oakley City Council has been told they will not receive state help unless they fire their city manager. Since the council has not given into to this demand, the state official has abandoned his duty to represent the city and withholds any assistance. In the end, Oakley residents and community organizations in need of help have been hurt.

In Brentwood, based on the political makeup of the City Council and the leaders of community groups, items that could benefit the Brentwood community are on hold due to political power plays at the state.

When it comes to endorsements, heaven forbid someone, a business or a labor group stands on their own and endorses the candidate they feel best aligns with their wants and needs versus what “the machine” wants them to do.

An elected leader recently declared anybody an enemy that doesn’t support his county supervisor candidate in the District 5 race. Under this scenario, does a city councilman or labor group now get unfavorable treatment going forward based on a difference of opinion in supporting a Martinez City Councilwoman? For labor groups, will this mean contract negotiations now become much more difficult with the county?

It should not be tolerated both by other elected officials or the public.

Of course, the common response is likely “get thicker skin” or “politics is for the big boys”. But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. The voters deserve a chance to get to know candidates, their ideas, solutions, what they stand for without outside influences confusing and misleading the public.

We would like to see Contra Costa move to higher level of behavior and expectations while not falling for such juvenile behavior such as campaign nonsense and drive-by hit pieces.
Contra Costa voters should reject any candidate who doesn’t focus on issues. Voters should look for candidates who stand on their accomplishments, forward thinking ideas and those who can stand by their convictions.

It’s safe to say we all know a bad politician when we see one, but it’s time to stop looking the other way when bad behavior rears its ugly head during the election season.

Politicians at all levels should be the example, not be the exception to the rule when it comes to bullying. These people need to be leaders and not followers.

Or, some people should simply grow up before serving the public.

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FrankS Feb 17, 2016 - 6:56 am

This is very powerful ECT and I hardly agree with you but this one I do. While I do not believe any politician will play fair and bullying will continue, its a concept I wish they would do away with and stick to the issues. I feel bad for the City of Oakley. Why are we just now hearing about this? Why has the council remained silent?

Anti Bully Fan Feb 17, 2016 - 7:04 am

Just wow at the games being played. Had no idea. Good job ECT.

Bill Moon Feb 17, 2016 - 7:17 am

Jim Frazier is not the man he once was while serving on the council. He is holding the City of Oakley hostage out of hatred for Bryan Montgomery. That is not a leader, that is a child in old man’s clothing.

Contra Costa Political Insider Feb 17, 2016 - 7:40 am

I like everyone complaining on FB that this is so vague. No its not if you have been paying attention.

He is talking about the only Antioch City Councilmember in the race = Monica Wilson. The only state official from Oakley is Jim Frazier who is blackmailing Oakley. Use your head people. The District 5 race is people who are supporting Martinez City Councilwoman AnaMarie Avila-Farias over Supervisor Federal Glover.

I understand what you tried to do, but you should have just named people.

We the people Feb 17, 2016 - 8:04 am

Amazing how the concept of a “city” has been lost and the roles have eroded. Regardless if it is Antioch, Brentwood or Oakley (sure wish Oakley’s name was something other than Oakley, maybe starting with a “C”, then everything would be as it should be), as simple as A. B. C. Sadly, it’s not. How is it possible, even in a drought, elected and appointed can hoard the resources for their own benefit. The residents, the constituents, of East Contra Costa County must make it as simple as A, B, C once again – take back your city, before it’s too late.

CoCo Observer Feb 17, 2016 - 8:48 am

ECT I wished you would have named names. People need to know what Jim Frazier is doing or not doing with the City of Oakley. This article is correct and the public needs to be aware of what is headed their way with lies and mudslinging and we can hope it changes, but it will not. Politics is dirty.

It’s not just limited to Contra Costa, but as a country we are more divided than ever. Both the District 3 and District 5 races are going to be nasty ones. I am surprised that Dave Miller was not called out for his political bullying of Jim Frazier or Kathryn Nance against Jerry McNerney. Those are two other examples.

Even if Monica Wilson gets $75k, she would need a million dollars just to beat her own Mayor in the race.

I know this post means well, but names should have come out so a real discussion could occur.

Cathy Feb 17, 2016 - 8:49 am

I remember Jim Frazier walking our neighborhood when running for city council. He was so nice and I was really happy he was representing me. When I heard he was cheating on his wife and had left her in a public way I was very disappointed in him. To hear this stuff that he is doing makes me wonder if it was too much too soon. I hope he takes this as a chance to turn himself around because I think down deep he is a good man.

Concerned citizen Feb 20, 2016 - 1:54 pm

Yes, at first I really thought Jim would totally go to bat for us and now I don’t even think he can be trusted.

Candidate X Feb 17, 2016 - 8:49 am

ECT I am confused, isn’t this a form of political bullying? Correct me if I am wrong.

Unome Feb 17, 2016 - 9:06 am

This is politics. Nothing is new. This type of campaigning has been going on in CoCo for years. Even the sitting Supervisors did what they felt to get the seat. Lie, manipulate, promise falsely, befriend special interest, and dig dirt up on opponents. Nothing will change either. What use to be representing the people is now say or do anything for whom has the money. Sad but voters have been preoccupied with making ends meat and paying the mortgage. Wake up people look further than just a popular name. Principals and values used to get votes. Now it’s bull crap and false promises. we need to focus on the few good leaders left and dump the bad ones as soon as possible. Do your homework before you vote or you will continue to see masses of tax and bond ballot measures instead of the few great leaders that will work with the revenue already provided.

Lil Feb 17, 2016 - 9:26 am

First rule of journalism is to break it down for the reader to understand what you are writing about. Unless people have been paying attention, they have know idea who you are talking about. Until I read these comments, I was not 100% sure. After reading them, now I get the article and love what you wrote because its true.

Assemblyman Jim Frazier is all about Assemblyman Frazier and will trash anyone and everyone to get to his next goal or who disagrees with him. I am surprised the Oakley City Council did not out him over the last few year. Now that I think about it, I’ve only seen his staff in Oakley, not him.

ECT you have been very pro Frazier, I am very surprised you would be the one to call him out.

Julio Feb 17, 2016 - 9:56 am

I agree the names should have been put in but if you have been watching all of this it isn’t difficult to figure out. Despite Frazier’s dislike of Montgomery Montgomery should have been fired a long time ago. Bully #1, Harper, will make the very most out of Wilson’s difficulties that are on going and of her own making.

Not your best work ECT but a nice try.

Human Feb 17, 2016 - 10:05 am

Politics: the largest roadblock to the future of the evolution of mankind.

Anon Too Feb 17, 2016 - 10:13 am

There’s a much larger roadblock than politics but I’m not going to specify it here.

Human Feb 17, 2016 - 10:22 am

The American mind runs on one energy source: authoritarian persuasion. Political/religious/educationalauthorities. From birth we are programmed right from the TV, from the pulpit, from the textbook.

America’s obsession with zombies reflects its collective mind state, which is one of an unquestioned, automated search for the next thing to consume. WORK. CONSUME. DIE. REPEAT. To have America question its status quo brainwashing is like having a dog question why it has to shake a paw just to have a treat…

Richard Asadoorian Feb 17, 2016 - 10:12 am

It is happening on the Antioch School Board as well!

Proto-hominid Feb 17, 2016 - 10:14 am

Political bullying has been the norm since society first began. The moment human beings left the hunter-gatherer lifestyle and became sedentary city-dwellers, this paved the way for standing armies, divine-right monarchies, military-police states, segregation, etc.

This is why history is one big pile of crap after another, passed along from dynasty to dynasty, presidency to presidency, city council to city council. The human race can’t find a solution to it all by using the same methods. Politics have failed for centuries and there is no going back…

WTF Betty Feb 17, 2016 - 10:17 am

I thought this site was an outlet for Jim Frazier to spread his message. I find it ironic that this site would be the one to call him out on his shit. Good job ECT.

NN Feb 17, 2016 - 11:29 am

What is sad how we, the voters, don’t do anything about it. We actually contribute to the redderick by permitting these childish games to continue. We are too busy in our own lives to bother with educating ourselves about our elected officials. We read these slanderous mailers like they are factual? Repeating what we read to those who missed it? …… come on, thats like thinking the writing on bathroom walls should be copied to the bible…

**This actually applies to all levels of politics as well. (Example: In the whitehouse/pentagon, we have children playing G.I. Joe’s with our military, Monopoly with our economy etc…)

In real life, when our kids are the ones being bullied we are able to see through the games, uncover the truth, and demand resolution….
In advertising, we demand truth; a company can be sued if their ad isn’t litteral in their promise (ie. growing wings after drinking Redbull);
If we do not get the service we expect, or the correct item we ordered, we speak up. We demand fairness and respect in all other aspects of our lives, why not in politics?

We have to be the grown ups here….. hello?

First of all, anyone trying to win an election by slandering an oponent ….. obviously is not qualified for the position, doing this takes the attention off of themseves. (Ie.”pick me because he eats his boogers!”)
It is our fault for tolerating this to begin with. Someone should be liable for making false accusations, sued for defammation of character.

How about, show me what you have done, not what you didn’t do; tell me what you will do, not what you won’t; and… if you followed through on your last promise, I might give you another chance to come through for me again, but if I am still waiting on what you promised last time, Im probably going to give someone else a chance.
And…. do not mistake our kindness for weakness, if you let the power get to your head, and cause harm to anyone….. we will replace you with a quickness.

The solution is that simple. We have the power, lets use it…….

Conscious observer Feb 17, 2016 - 3:29 pm

Nicely put! Now if only we can get this message to circulate more.

Carolyn Phinney Feb 19, 2016 - 6:46 am

Yes, but who ever checks that promises are fulfilled. Look at Bernie Sanders. Great guy. Can’t possibly fulfill his promises. Will just blame it on Republicans, if he wins and doesn’t provide all the free stuff he is promising. Why are so many believing him now?? We don’t think.

Dave Miller Feb 17, 2016 - 11:58 am

Friends in the East Bay…..In 2016, you do have an alternative to this kind of Politics. You have someone who will listen to the people, and draft creative positive Pro-growth Legislation that will hopefully return California to become the Breadbasket of America once again. I as your Representative in Sacramento, would never hold state monies owed to you, as hostage for Political favors.

I’m delighted ECT exposed this, as he has shown, without naming names, that Political Corruption exists in all levels of Government. That’s why I would propose, if elected, the California Sacred Trust Act, which if passed, would require prison time, for any Legislator (state and local level) found to be guilty of such Political extortion acts. Its in my platform page, and you can read about it at http://www.electdavemiller.com/issues

As for the unfounded charge that I bullied anyone, that’s just baseless and simply without merit…Frankly, I don’t have time for that. I’ve only met Kathryn Nance a couple times, and both conversations were during festive Holiday occasions, and were in regard to working together to defeat the likes of Jim Frazier and Congressman McNerney in the East Bay.

If found to be accurate, this recent editorial is most concerning, and should be ALARM BELLS TO EVERY VOTER IN ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 11.

Disappointed Feb 17, 2016 - 12:03 pm

I’m so very disappointed in Jim Frazier. I supported him as councilman, and he has turned into a MONSTER! Threatening, bullying, slandering, cajoling, manipulating, demanding, and most of all, attempting to use his political power and position to totally destroy good people’s lives. Just because they dare to disagree with him. And Monica Wilson, who has signed up to help him in this “witch hunt” is just as disappointing. Can anyone stop the Monster? How do we fight this?

Julio Feb 17, 2016 - 12:07 pm

NN; Politicians will never give you the information you are looking for….what will you do, what won’t you do. They will only tell you what they think you want to hear. None of which will apply to anything.

Dave Miller Feb 17, 2016 - 12:31 pm

I would encourage all of you who live in AD-11, who feel betrayed by this sort of politics, to join me, in doing what is right for both you and this District. http://www.electdavemiller.com

CoCo Observer Feb 17, 2016 - 1:05 pm

I am going to write in Mickey Mouse before I vote for Jim Frazier or Dave Miller. Can someone else please run?

Dave Feb 17, 2016 - 1:46 pm

Coco….Go right ahead and support Mickey.. I for one would if I didn’t care about our Children’s or this States’ future. Julio….I have no intention to hijack anyone’s blog.

CoCo Observer Feb 17, 2016 - 3:15 pm

I think you have lost it. A candidate suggesting someone vote for Mickey Mouse over them. I hope people blast that all over social media. Instead of screwing around on the internet, I would suggest you go knock on doors and tell people why they should pick you over Mickey Mouse.

Anon Too Feb 17, 2016 - 5:32 pm

A vote for Mickey isn’t as bad for him as a vote for Frazier (well, to be honest, more of a vote against Miller) …so he may not as far gone as one would think! I seem to find myself holding my nose and voting for the candidate that offends me the least.

Truth Seeker Feb 17, 2016 - 4:42 pm

Mr. Miller, you are not fit for office and are more self-serving than all of the other politicians put together. Your so called platform is a joke and what, if anything, will it do to help real people. Hang it up.

Julio Feb 17, 2016 - 1:03 pm

A good way to get no votes Dave Miller is highjack the ECT blog.

US Vet Feb 17, 2016 - 6:19 pm

Jim Frazier lost my support when he turned his back on Oakley Veterans and put it onto the City council to fire its city manager. Shame on him. He is a fraud.

J Feb 20, 2016 - 7:57 am

I am not sure how I missed this post, but it explains a lot of why East Contra Costa is screwed up. Frazier is the top dog and its trickled down into the City Councils. People are so focused on position and power and ECT is right, they need to instead focus on the greater good. If he has in fact playing hard ball with Oakley over a personnel matter, then Mr. Frazier needs to be addressed by those in Sacramento and removed from his committees. I do not think others elected would want to be lumped in with his behavior.

I would like more names mentioned such as anyone at the city council level contributing and what other issues have occurred because of this type of behavior. I am not happy to read this and just shaking my head.

Comments are closed.