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Bates, Butt and Bell win council race

on November 7, 2012

In a hotly contested City Council election, with millions of dollars at play and a recent push into the national spotlight, Richmond voters have elected Nat Bates, Tom Butt and Gary Bell to the three open seats on the council dais.

The two RPA candidates, Eduardo Martinez and Marilyn Langlois, finished just outside the top three, with Martinez trailing Bell for the final council spot by 600 votes.

The return of Bell after an eight-year hiatus and reelection of incumbents Butt and Bates means the Richmond Progressive Alliance will lose its four-seat majority on the council once Councilmember Jeff Ritterman retires.

Bates led all candidates with 17.9 percent of the vote, Bell received 15.2 percent and Butt received 15.6 percent, according to the Contra Costa County election results.

In response to accusations that he is tied to Chevron, Bates said his victory was not about the money, though he said he appreciates those who gave directly to his campaign. “People know me, they trust me, they respect me,” he said.

Bates, who has historically opposed RPA-sponsored issues and positions, was critical of the RPA and their support for Measure N. “If you get too far out in front of your constituents, no matter what high goal the cause may be, you run into difficulties,” he said.

Butt has served on the council since 1995. Although not an official member of the RPA, Butt and current Councilmember Jim Rogers will likely maintain the council’s progressive direction.

“There’s Nat and Gary, Tom and I, and Gayle and Jovanka,” Rogers said, laying out his vision of the council’s new political makeup.

Butt agreed. “I don’t think it’s going to change radically,” he said.

Butt’s supporters did speculate that the shift gives Rogers more power because the progressives will need him more.

Energy at the RPA office started out high but dropped steadily as the night wore on; dancing to quick salsa beats that blared from speakers at the group’s headquarters dwindled as the election results poured in.

“The money is what it is, you know what the figures are,” Langlois said of the thousands spent to defeat her. “There are entities trying to buy this election. We had a lot of heart, and that counts for something.”

Additional reporting by Zach St. George, Stephen Hobbs and Sarah Phelan.



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  2. Angela Cleo Smith on November 7, 2012 at 7:49 am

    As the Campaign Coordinator for Gary Bell, our team worked long and hard to make this WIN successful. I thank all you participated. Angela Cleo Smith

    • Angela Cleo Smith on November 7, 2012 at 8:01 am

      I thank all “who” participated. A little excited!

  3. Scott Littlehale on November 7, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Congratulations to the Mr.’s Butt, Bell & Bates. This outcome was partly shaped by outside money, but it will be up to residents + the Council Members-elect (and our excellent City Staff leadership team) to get down to the grinding business of making policy choices through a local participatory process.
    Fortunately, we’re heading in the right direction. The General Plan represents real progress. Our finances have improved. Winning LBNL’s 2nd campus is huge.
    For what it’s worth, I always refer to 4 touchstone principals of development when I think about public policy priorities: productivity, equity, sustainability and empowerment.*
    I hope that Mr.’s Butt, Bell, Bates + the rest of the council will keep all of those pillars in mind in the coming months and years.

    *for wonks & geeks, these pillars were identified and measured by the father of the UN Human Development index, Mahbub ul-Haq.

  4. Mr. Martin on November 7, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Its sad to say, but Mr. Bell only has Chevron to thank for this WIN. Even with all the Chevron funded pro-Bell flyers / signage and Chevron funded hit pieces against Eduardo Martinez, Mr. Bell barely pulled this off – his margin of “victory” over Martinez was razor thin.

    Mr. Bell can say what he wants about being “independent”, but his mealy-mouthed attempts to distance himself from Chervron’s Moving Forward PAC tell the real story here. You can’t have it both ways, and Mr. Bell wanted exactly that – he wanted the mailers, the signage, the billboards, but did NOT want to admit any connection to Chevron. Please.

    Sadly, I believe this was one of the more egregious efforts by a corporation to openly “buy” an election that I’ve ever personally witnessed. However, even with the depressing election results (wins for Bell & Bates), the thin margin of victory for Mr. Bell was somewhat encouraging – even with the huge advantage in campaign spending, MANY Richmond residents were smart enough to follow the money.

    • Angela Cleo Smith on November 7, 2012 at 9:59 am

      Sadly, you believe that. The best candidate(s) won the election. As a Richmond resident and one who worked the Bell campaign the whole way through and through, we deserve more respect. Gary Bell will prove himself worthy. Thank you. Angela Cleo Smith.

      • Don Bertolino on November 7, 2012 at 3:26 pm

        Chevron spent millions on this local campaign. Millions. That shouldn’t be in dispute. The phrase “believe that” is not only condescending, but misguuded. Look on the back of every shiny/professional flyer released- pro or anti – and you’ll plainly see major funding by Chevron.

      • chris crider on November 7, 2012 at 6:44 pm

        And what is it, Angela, that you deserve respect for? Spending Chevron’s money?

        • Mr. Martin on November 7, 2012 at 8:52 pm

          Unlike certain Richmond City Council seats, respect is earned, not purchased.

      • Linda on November 7, 2012 at 8:52 pm

        Sorry, Angela, you don’t deserve my respect. You used the money from a huge corporation who avoids paying its fair share of taxes, and you put that money to work so that Chevron can keep doing the same, and you drowned the voices of regular citizens with glossy flyers and billboards. You don’t deserve the respect of the people you disenfranchised. If you want our respect, earn it by respecting the voices of your fellow citizens.

        • Angela Cleo Smith on November 8, 2012 at 5:28 pm

          I don’t know who you people are, but I ran this campaign for Gary Bell and Chevron never consulted with me on any of the literature they put out on Bates, Bell and Robertson. Gary Bell raised enough money to set up an honest, fair campaign. You all should get to know him before worrying about Chevron. Gary Bell is now the councilmember of Richmond and you should direct questions to him that relate to the City of Richmond and not Chevron. Robertson did not win. We worked very hard to make this campaign a success. I am out of it now; however, I am a Richmond resident and I plan to help in any way possible to keep this city moving forward. You all who are bashing Chevron should speak with them directly. Leave me out of it. I know for a fact that Gary Bell had nothing to do with whatever Chevron, Richmond Police Department, Fire Department and Unions decided to put out to the public regarding the Richmond City Council race. If you want your voices really heard, get to the next Richmond City Council meeting and share your concerns. I am moving in another direction. This no longer concerns me. My job is done here.
          Angela Cleo Smith

          • Mr. Martin on November 8, 2012 at 8:57 pm


            We seem to keep coming back to the same question, but if Mr. Bell had nothing to do with the media being put out to support him by Chevron (the other entities you mention did not offer any significant funding in comparison to the support delivered via Chevron’s Moving On PAC), why didn’t he take a principled public stand and demand that Chevron stop funding pro-Bell media?

            Its a simple equation – if Mr. Bell didn’t want to be associated with Chevron, and assuming (though I personally find this impossible to believe) that he had not given Chevron his stamp of approval to mail out massive amounts of pro-Bell media on his behalf, Mr. Bell had all the opportunity in the world to demand they stop doing so. This would have proved his “independence” in a resounding manner. However, he did not do so.

            So I suppose that leaves us where we are – with a Chevron-funded councilman who arguably owes his election success to this giant corporation.

            In closing, congratulations on your WIN. While the taste of victory is sweet, it can be sweet like an apple from the Garden of Eden. I will let the citizens of Richmond decide who is Adam, who is Eve, and what corporate entity might represent the Serpent. 😉

  5. rick sterling on November 7, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Chevron paid for much of the Bell and Bates campaigns. Chevron paid for the vicious attack ads against Langois and Martinez, mailed to every registered voting household in the district. There was hit piece after hit piece, smear after smear. Without the funds to respond sufficiently, some of it inevitably stuck. Should we send congratulations to Chevron? I suggest Richmond Confidential do analysis of how a corporation with a tiny number of employees living in Richmond determines Richmonds government.

  6. Mr. Martin on November 7, 2012 at 10:29 am


    If you claim Mr. Bell is not “Chevron’s Candidate”, here are some thought-provoking questions that perhaps you can answer for us:

    1. Why did Mr. Bell “allow” Chevron’s Moving Forward PAC to fund the vast majority of the glossy pro-Bell flyers that ended up in my mailbox? If this was done without Mr. Bell’s consent, why did he not publicly denounce this and make a public statement asking “Moving Forward” to cease sending any Bell-related media to the Richmond voters?

    2. Mr. Bell certainly had the opportunity to publicly distance himself from the glossy Chevron-funded below-the-belt hit pieces on Martinez / Langlois that bombarded my mailbox, paid for by the same PAC that funded the majority of Mr. Bell’s own campaign media. Why didn’t he take the opportunity to do so?

    I believe the answer is simple – Mr. Bell didn’t feel he could take this election without the Chevron / Moving On funding – he feared he would lose again like he lost his previous council seat and the 2006 mayoral election. I think the ultimate vote count numbers show his fear was spot on – without all of the Chevron-funded flyers, signage and billboards, Gary would have lost, badly. He barely squeezed out a win even with the huge financial advantage provided by Chevron.

    One can only hope Gary’s votes on the council will prove my doubts about him to be wrong, but in my experience, you don’t bite the hand that feeds you. And Chevron provided Mr. Bell with quite a nice meal through this election.

    • Angela Cleo Smith on November 8, 2012 at 5:41 pm

      Ignorance is something I don’t deal with. Get the facts before you start making comments about something that you obviously know nothing about. This forum is not my personal fight. I’m out. Gary Bell won fair and square. That’s it, that’s all.


      • Mr.Martin on November 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm


        Your reply here fails to answer the open questions about Mr. Bell and his ties to Chevron. You can call me “ignorant” or any other name you like all day long – trust me when I say that you won’t hurt my feelings. But any diversionary name-calling doesn’t change the fact that you are side-stepping questions I’ve asked that are 100% based on factual events (ie Chevron’s funding of the Bell for City Council campaign, and Mr. Bell’s answers to these questions in another Richmond Confidential discussion forum), and any non-factual assertions I’ve made here have clearly been noted as my personal opinion.

        The following items are factual:

        1. Chevron’s Moving On PAC funded the majority of Mr. Bell’s campaign media.

        2. Gary Bell claimed he has no connection to Moving On PAC.

        3. Gary Bell never asked Moving On to stop funding campaign media that supported his re-election.

        4. Gary Bell only beat Eduardo Martinez by 600 votes.

        Those are facts. I apologize if items 1-3 (and maybe item #4 as well) are sticky items for you, and ones you or Mr. Bell would avoid discussing.

        Since you have stated you are “out”, I will leave this for the citizens of Richmond to consider – if Mr. Bell didn’t need Chevron’s funding to win this election, and he is truly “independent” (as he clearly states in another forum here), why did he allow Moving On to fund his campaign? That’s the 1.2 million dollar question here.

        PS – “Fair and square” is quite a subjective term when it comes to situations like this. I think “within legal bounds” would be a better descriptor here, but that is my personal opinion.

  7. Deborah bayer on November 7, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Congratulations to chevron on their big win.

    • Tim Patel on November 8, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      Hooray for Chevron! More fires! More smoke! Higher gas prices! Screw paying your taxes!

      Seriously though, does anyone notice how often they change their landscaping at the Castro St. entrance? About every other month they remove and replace the plants and the three big Chevron signs. Not a cheap thing to do. It’s an indication of how much money they are making and not spreading to its neighbors. Yet they share their pollution and higher prices to us.

  8. Aardvark on November 7, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I think people are forgetting the partnership Chevron appears to have with the police/firefighters groups that have historically been more responsible for hit pieces, ask Rosemary Corbin about those.
    It is still startling that any candidate should not denounce these tactics, regardless of who they are. Not to do so is a serious show of character: the lack of. Lack of ethics, lack of moral.
    When Richmond residents start to vote away from candidates whose visages are plastered all over, then the “people” will finally win, not special interests or corporations.

  9. Chris on November 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Well Chevron must be ecstatic. We really need to get Bates out. He does nothing positive for our community.

    • Rubin on November 7, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      Bates is too smart and savvy for RPA to deal with. You should try and work with him if you want to accomplish something. Just as in congress, once the election is over, the council should come together for the betterment of the city. Unless this occur, the council will continue being an embarrassment to the people they are suspose to represent.


      • Linda on November 7, 2012 at 8:56 pm

        DIrect your message to Booze, not to the RPA. He is the most disrespectful clown I have ever seen in politics, and the biggest embarrassment to the City Council. And, BTW, I am NOT an RPA member.

  10. Megan Roberts on November 7, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Yes, no question Chevron (and the American Beverage Company), bought this election. We will find out how beholden Mr. Bell is to Chevron if he pushes back against tax shenanigans, insists on strong local environmental oversight, and demands more jobs for Richmond residents. We’ll see.

  11. Rubin on November 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    All of you Richmond Progressive (Plantation) Alliance folks need to stop crying like the Republican and take your whipping like grown ups. None of you said a word when McLaughlin, Beckles and Booze rode to victory on the anti-casino money. Beckles and fence straddling Rogers will be next to get their whipping in two years.


    • Richmond Warrior on November 7, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      The Only Plantation is Slaves like you that are Attached to Chevron Plantation and it’s Uncle Tom overseer Nat Bates.

      • Angela Cleo Smith on November 7, 2012 at 3:33 pm

        I would be careful with these type of “slave” comments. What has our world come to?

        • Richmond Warrior on November 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm

          Angela you should be telling Nat Bates that he’s the one that started calling the Rpa a Plantation basically saying that any one who is with the RPA is a slave don’t be a Hypocrit. Nat Bates is part of the Biggest Plantation in Richmond Chevron. hurts to hear the reality.

  12. Angela Cleo Smith on November 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    What is this? Bash the winner hour. This should be prohibited. Accept your loses and move forward to work with the council instead of acting like the enemy. These are some of the tactics were are trying to rid of. Work together for the betterment of the residents of Richmond. If you have a problem with Chevron talk it over with the council to come up with a happy medium. Chevron is here to stay, hold them accountable, and tell them what your issues are. This is the democratic way of thinking.

    • Mr. Martin on November 7, 2012 at 5:26 pm


      If you are concerned about “bashing”, perhaps you should have pressured Mr. Bell to denounce the personal attack “bashing” tactics used by Chevron’s “Moving Forward” PAC to portray his main competitors in the City Council race in a negative light. One of the questions I had asked you earlier (and that you failed to answer) speaks directly to this subject.

      What many here are doing is simply pointing out that this race was almost certainly decided by the massive input of cash that Chevron injected into both Mr. Bell’s campaign and the Bates campaign. I ask you two very pertinent and civilized questions in my previous post concerning Mr. Bell’s relationship with Chevron and “Moving On”. Can you please answer the two questions I’ve asked? Or would Mr. Bell be so kind as to do so himself (as he has commented on forum items in the past)?

      • chris crider on November 7, 2012 at 6:58 pm

        Don’t hold your breath. These people want respect that they haven’t earned.

        • Mr. Martin on November 7, 2012 at 9:02 pm

          While I would love Mr. Bell to make a personal appearance here to answer my very legitimate questions, these questions were already posed to him pre-election in another Richmond Confidential forum thread (the one attached to Mr. Bell’s campaign profile) and he tap-danced around them without offering a direct answer. So, no, I am not holding my breath for an answer, but I feel it is my civic obligation to pose these questions in a public forum.

          I am quite certain Mr. Bell is following this thread as well. I do hope he understands that every Chevron related vote on the Council will take him right back to this election, and straight to these unanswered questions about his allegiance to this corporation.

  13. Don Bertolino on November 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    I am part of NO coalition. I didn’t take “a whoopin”. It’s just to me, this election sticks like the refinery fire.

  14. Mike Raccoon Eyes on November 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    OMG, What cowards, whimps and major losers the RPA and their lackys are here!





    Those Chevron flyers had NO impact or influence on HOW we the REAL PEOPLE OF RICHMOND VOTED!
    Most people and families I know just threw them in the trash, including the crap we got from your so-called candidates!

    Take your lumps, the Green Party is finished in this town and your so-called party is not welcomed here!
    Hit the road Jack!

    • Mr. Martin on November 7, 2012 at 5:52 pm


      I am not a member of the RPA, and in many ways, I feel that their members are quite naive and somewhat misguided.

      However, I believe the majority of them (though I personally believe there are a few disgusting parasites in their mix who use the RPA to their own economic advantage) mean the best for the Richmond community. I can’t say that for Chevron, and thus I am distrustful (to put it lightly) of any candidate who accepts Chevron assistance in gaining political office.

      In my opinion, its extremely naive to say all of the Chevron funded hit pieces and pro-Bell / Bates propaganda had no effect on voters. If you sling enough mud, I believe that mud will start to stick, and Chevron provided over a million dollars worth of mud in an attempt to elect three specific candidates.

      While there is no way to quantify or qualify the effect of Chevron’s massive effort to shape opinions, let’s be realistic – why would campaign finance reform be such a hot-button topic in this country if this kind of media bombardment was completely (or even partially) ineffectual in shaping opinion? Why? Because these tactics WORK.

      So what we have here is a massive corporate entity pouring huge sums of money into a local election in an attempt to escort their chosen City Council candidates to a win. That being said, let logic rule the day – Chevron made a $1.2 million investment in electing their preferred candidates (with Mr. Bell being one of them), and generally speaking, investors expect a return on their investment. One doesn’t need to align themselves with the RPA (or have a strong “head for numbers”) to see the forest through the trees on this issue.

      • Mike Raccoon Eyes on November 7, 2012 at 6:10 pm

        Good evening Mr. Martin,

        I am simply stating that for a vast majority of Richmond voters were simply waiting for election day to come, It was political payback on the socialist Green Party and their RPA front group for what they have done to our community. Most of the glossy flyers from all candidates and incumbents had NO IMPACT OR INFLUENCE on how we voted. The glossys ALL went to recycling. Nobody read them, hence nobody cared.

        • Mr. Martin on November 7, 2012 at 6:23 pm


          I would have to respectfully disagree with your viewpoint here. If this were about political payback, I would imagine Tom Butt would have fared far worse than a second place showing as he’s allied himself more or less with the RPA on most critical issues. Additionally, Gary Bell squeezed out a 600 vote margin on Eduardo Martinez. That isn’t exactly a repudiation of the RPA by the citizens of Richmond. I’d call that an extremely close vote, not a mandate or a “whipping” as others here have stated.

          Additionally, to say no one reads those flyers is, in my opinion, extremely naive. They are designed to get their message across with only a quick glance – they are designed (some more effectively than others, for sure!) to be digested on the way to the recycling bin. They are the print media equivalent of the 30 second campaign ads you see on TV, and for the less educated / informed voter, definitely can have an impact. Sadly, many citizens vote on name recognition alone, and may have little actual knowledge about a candidate. The psychological principle of familiarity is used to sway the uninformed, and thus having the funding to send more political propaganda (than your competitors) to each household is a distinct advantage than can be capitalized upon.

          • Mike Raccoon Eyes on November 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm

            Mr. Martin, believe what you may in this matter, by the way are you even a real Richmomd resident?

    • chris crider on November 7, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      Someone who doesn’t use his real name is calling other people wimps and cowards? And would you stop yelling young fella?

      • Mike Raccoon Eyes on November 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm

        I am a Native man and my name is Mike Raccoon Eyes, you racist bigot!

        • Mike Raccoon Eyes on November 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm

          And further more, I wass the ONLY Native Candidate that ran for the Richmond City Council! You are SO dense that you must not even live in Richmond. So shut the hell up and stay the hell out of my business,

          • Mr. Martin on November 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm


            Why such anger? No one said anything remotely racist or bigoted. While I am familiar with you (you’ve been attending Council meetings as long as I’ve been watching them), I would imagine that Mr. Crider simply though your name (at least the “Raccoon Eyes” part) was a screen handle, and not your given name. That’s all – no need to get so riled up!

            PS – I cannot speak for Chris but I am a Richmond resident. I would guess he is as well as otherwise this forum / thread would not be his concern.

    • Richmond Warrior on November 8, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      Mike Ali sold out to Chevron he knows it he will never admit it. Chevron won this election by throwing Bait at them to vote for the pro Corporation Buisiness as Usual Candidates like Bates. Nat held Power for more then 30 years and what has he really done for the city in that time. Mike Ali you need to wake up to reality and stop selling your soul to evil. that goes to say a lot about you and what you really stand for.

      • Mike Raccoon Eyes on November 8, 2012 at 5:56 pm

        You are nothing but a straight up Richmond Progressive Alliance sell-out artist! Mr Wannbe, you need to shut the hell up and get your little nose the hella out of my business!! You are such a coward that you try to be such a big man hidijng behind a keyboard. You dont know me and therefore in NO position to judge me. Back off and back down, little wannabe.

        • Richmond Warrior on November 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm

          sell out. Big Soda and Chevron supporter . you are so fake it’s not even funny.

          • Mike Raccoon Eyes on November 9, 2012 at 3:49 pm

            Hey Fool, why dont you spend your time to learn to read and write. Get the hella out of my business little boy! Your not even a man, just a little boy!

  15. Joe Bako on November 7, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    If the Chevron propaganda truly stuck, why was Bea Roberson not elected as well? People still strongly favored Bates and Butt over everybody, as they have in the past, because they are respected independent of Chevron. The Chevron campaign was in support of Bates, Bell AND Bea, but people will always ultimately vote for who they feel will do the best job. Marilyn’s radical past and Eduardo’s overcharged statements at Council meetings just don’t sit well with the majority, plain and simple. The mayor herself is the primary beneficiary is a split vote between two Dems, so in that respect its a little under 2/3 majority AGAINST the Green Party more than it is a little over a 1/3 vote FOR it.

    I think the residents of Richmond just want a little more moderation and cooperation on the dais, and not have a highly charged small group trying to force their hand so much, no matter how noble some of their causes may be.

    • Mike Raccoon Eyes on November 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm


    • Mr. Martin on November 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      Bea Roberson was not funded (by Chevron) to the same level as Bell / Bates. I don’t have the figures in front of me, but I can easily make that statement based on the number of flyers that ended up in my mailbox (and recycling bin).

      Bea also suffered from lack of name recognition – Bates and Bell have had their names exposed in the media for many years. Roberson had not.

      If I had to call it, I would guess her real purpose in the election could easily have been to pull potential votes away from Langlois / Martinez. I would guess the Chevron strategists never gave her much of a shot at actually winning, but was a useful tool in capturing the votes of a select demographic.

    • Felix Hunziker on November 7, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      Well said Joe Bako

    • Mr. Martin on November 8, 2012 at 5:49 pm


      I should also mention that Chevron obviously would not choose to throw 1.2 million dollars down the drain for no purpose. This company employs and / or contracts a cadre of sharp-minded political advisers, consultants and analysts to make calls on where “donation” money should be spent. These people do this for a living, and understand the political game far better than any of can ever hope to. Again, Bea Roberson was likely nothing more than a diversionary candidate – an insurance policy if you will. Chevron knew Tom Butt was bulletproof, and that at best, they were going to get two of the seats, not all three. So they picked a candidate who fit a particular demographic profile they felt could take votes away from the RPA candidates, especially Langlois.

      • Mr. Martin on November 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm

        To build on my last post, the Richmond Confidential profile for Bea Roberson pretty much backs up what I just said – it sounds like Bea was more concerned with making sure the RPA didn’t keep control of the council than actually getting elected. To that end, her campaign was 110% successful – she pulled away almost 5,000 votes that easily could have gone to Langlois. Even the president of the Richmond Police Officer’s Association agrees with this assessment in the profile. Political views aside, Roberson and Langlois are of the same general demographic profile, and this was understood and acknowledged. While I can imagine someone will step up and say this is irrelevant, I personally believe its just as relevant as spending 1.2 million dollars on campaign media. Sadly, I do believe many uninformed voters will tend to vote for candidates solely on the basis that they match their own demographic. I’m sure Chevron’s political advisers took this into account in their strategy.

        Read the profile here:

        • Don Gosney on November 9, 2012 at 3:02 am

          Are you crazy? How could you possibly think that if Bea were not in the race that those votes would have gone to Marilyn. They are nearly polar opposites and just about the only thing they share is the fact that they’re both women.

          And why on earth would you think that everyone outside of your collective are under the thumb of Chevron? Do you honestly believe that all of us who disagree with you came from a pod that Chevron put in our front yards? Is it possible that some of us–many of us–simply have opinions that do not mesh with yours?

          We don’t have to have been bought off by Chevron to believe that they’re not the force of evil you proclaim them to be. And we don’t have to be in the pockets of the soda bottlers just because we enjoy our Dr. Peppers and don’t believe that Jeff and his associates were elected to come into our homes and dictate what we should be allowed to eat and drink.

          The world is not painted only in shades of black and white. There are plenty of shades of grey in between.

          • Mr.Martin on November 9, 2012 at 10:28 am


            Polar opposites, yes, no question. However, I don’t think I am crazy.

            As I mentioned in my other post, I believe you have a percentage of uniformed voters who will vote purely on the basis of voting for someone similar to themselves without even understanding that person’s positions. Sad, but true.

            Would every one of Bea’s votes gone to Langolis – certainly not. But in an election such as this, stripping even 1000 votes could be a game changer. Again, I believe Chevron fully understood only 2 seats were really in play here, not three.

            What I think you ultimately may be missing is that people like myself are not RPA activists or even RPA fans / supporters. What we have an issue with is a company like Chevron dumping so much money into a local election to elect their chosen candidates. This isn’t at all about the RPA, its about the predatory actions of a deep-pocketed corporation that wants to dictate politics in the City of Richmond. You’ve decided I agree with RPA politics on the basis of my disdain for Chervon’s election-meddling ways, but I can assure you this is not the case. I believe there are others who feel exactly as I do.

          • Don Gosney on November 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm

            My apologies, Mr. Martin. You’re correct in that all too often I see people as being supporters of the RPA for all of the wrong reasons.

            I suppose it comes from spending months of having to defend my own viewpoints because I disagree with the hard core RPAers. If I don’t stand on the table tops demanding that Chevron be shut down then they proclaim that I’m in the pockets of Chevron. If I tell people that I enjoy my Dr. Peppers then I’ve been bought and paid for by the bottlers.

            It’s as though they see things only in black and white with no gray areas in between. It’s much like so many of the arguments we’ve heard about the dangers of drinking sodas: “Drink a soda and you’ll die”, “Pop the tab on your Dr. Pepper and they’ll start cutting off your limbs”, “All people who gamble become addicted”–and the list goes on.

            Of all people I should be the one to keep in mind that we don’t live in a world where you’re either for me or “you’re against me”. I have to remember that there are people out there–just like me–that simply have an opinion that may not be the same os that of other people.

  16. Sarah on November 8, 2012 at 6:54 am

    What’s this I hear the RPA (Plantation) is planning a recall on Corky Booze in April 2013. Let me understand this clearly. RPA elected an individual and because that person do not jump and dance to their music, they now want to recall that person. Bring it on and that will be the demise of RPA.

    • Don Gosney on November 9, 2012 at 3:10 am

      Have you noticed how many times these people want to use our money to put things on the ballot and then fight them in court afterwards? How many local jobs are lost because their funding went to putting issues on the ballot? How many potholes go unfilled so we can pay high priced out of area attorneys to fight our cases because we screw up what we put on the ballot?

      Putting Measure N, Measure O, Measure T and Measure P on the ballot didn’t come free. We the people had to fork over the funds to put them on the ballot. Then we had to pay for the attorneys to straighten things out. And then we had to pay for even more attorneys to defend us afterwards.

      And in the mean time, the Council cuts back on funding for our festivals, they let our streets go unpaved and they tell our children not to come back begging for help from the Council.

  17. Sarahs on November 9, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Mr. Gosney is right on target. City spending too much money on legal matters. Does anyone know when the final results will be posted?? When they do, watch for Bell to pass Butt in the final standing.

    • Don Gosney on November 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      Typically it;s around the end of November or the first couple of days of December.

      New results were posted as of late Friday afternoon.

      According to a news story, the County still has between 80,000 and 100,000 ballots county wide yet to count. These are usually last minute mail-in ballots that might have been dropped off (like mine) because it was too late to mail them. Provisional ballots would also be in that group.

  18. Sarahs on November 9, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Why can’t the RPA concede the election like Romney and wish the three winning candidates the very best as they resume and take office. The election is over and Richmond need to start fighting for jobs, etc.

    • Don Gosney on November 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      While Tuesday’s election may be over, the campaigning has already started for the election two years from now. Rather than wait until the last minute to start tearing apart the competition, they feel the need to chip away at everyone they despise so come election time there’s little left of their competition.

      They did this six years ago, four years ago and two years ago.

      They’ll be losing their mayor at that time and one of their Councilmembers will up for re-election. Plus, they need to destroy Corky and Jim Rogers so they can be replaced by the party loyals.

      And don’t forget that before long we’ll have our County Supervisor’s seat up for election and some RPA members have high hopes of getting their friends in El Cerrito, Kensington and San Pablo to send their candidate to Martinez. Already when they head into the hills of El Cerrito and Kensington they’re whispering “Green, Green, Green” and they stand on the corners of San Pablo telling everyone about how they’re going to build soccer fields on every corner.

      Don’t for a second think that this is over.

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