First – take a look at the AFL-CIO endorsement of “Republican” Frank Bigelow.
And now for the main course:
Due to the Top Two Primary concept that passed in the last election, we have only a choice of two Republicans in our Assembly District race – Frank Bigelow and Rico Oller. As disenfranchising as this is, it does provide us the opportunity to select the candidate that is more moderate, has the most common sense, ability to work collaboratively and think through more complex ideas as opposed to what we have been seeing from the Republican party for the last 15 or so years. I have interviewed both candidates and would recommend that Democrats vote for Frank Bigelow. Let me be clear, Frank is not a Democrat. His views will be disappointing to us as Democrats. However, we cannot waste our vote by staying out of this race. If we do, we will most likely get the most ideological candidate. In our opinion, that is Rico Oller -a man supported by McClintock and Howard Jarvis.
Here is why I think Frank Bigelow is the better choice:
1. Contrary to his competitor, he has refused to sign the Grover Norquist pledge to not raise taxes – a pledge that has helped to cripple our nation in one of the worst economic times we have seen. This shows leadership.
2. He has been a supporter of agricultural issues in particular land conservation through the Williamson Act. His own family ranch is under such a contract. These contracts are some of the reasons we still have the beautiful working landscape most of us enjoy. My ranch is also under this protection.
3. He supports expansion of rural telecommunications/broadband access. Given his background as part of the family that owns Ponderosa Telephone in Madera County, this is a natural fit. Broadband expansion is critical to support home based business, micro enterprise, greater participation in democracy, increased access to healthcare (through telemedicine/telehealth), and educational experience access.
4. He did not discount investment in clean, renewable energy when I spoke about this to him. He said he would be willing to look at any proposal. Again, I want to be clear; he is a typical Republican climate change denier. Conversely however, when I brought up renewables to Oller, they immediately said climate change was “not true”. That was their response – the drill baby drill attitude.
5. In pulling both lists of major donors, Oller had more big corporation, lobbying associations, ultra right-wing supporters, including a contribution from McClintock’s campaign war chest (http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=147280). Bigelow had more agricultural related donors, grocery and American Indian Tribes (http://www.followthemoney.org/database/uniquecandidate.phtml?uc=1412061).
I hope you agree that our vote in this race cannot be wasted. If you live in a location that is along a highway or highly trafficked road in District 5, would you consider putting a large sign up for Frank? I have putt a sign up on my ranch in Mariposa County. There are also small signs for homes in neighborhoods too. FYI – The green large signs do not have the word “conservative” on them , but the small ones do. Please contact me if you are willing to put a sign up or if you have any questions. My email is (redacted).
Finally, we will be hosting a meet and greet with Frank Bigelow at our house in the Catheys Valley/Hornitos area of Mariposa County at 2pm on Sunday October 14. If you are interested in attending, please email me your RSVP, and I will send directions.
Thank you for listening.
Heather B and David R
Democrats who live in Mariposa County