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Opinion: Write-In Tim Sergent for 5th District Supervisor


Opinion: Write-In Tim Sergent for 5th District Supervisor

By Keith Rhinehart

It is the simplest of arguments – First, vote for an actual resident of the 5th District. Tim Sergent. Second and always, follow the money. Tim Sergent isn’t taking money or even asking anyone to vote for him – I am asking all of you to draft him into greater public service, representing the 5th District, because he will do the job unfettered by excessive campaign contributions for the residents of both the District and Sonoma County.

As I review the financials of both Noreen Evans and Lynda Hopkins, I am floored by the amount of resources squandered in the political process. Simply put, our Communities could house homeless people, purchase automobiles and school supplies, even help with the transition of clients at the Sonoma Developmental Center, for the hundreds of thousands spent buying a vote, or making sure the elected Supervisor returns your call and recognizes your monied interest.

In the Press, Hopkins supporter Eric Koenigshofer was quoted as saying, in regards to a statement attributed to Noreen Evans, “…They cannot let go of the old model of adversarial politics between supposed environmental and labor on one side and business and ag interests on the other. It’s such a tired construct.” It may be a “tired construct,” but it remains true to form in Sonoma County. Hopkins’ large donors, mostly wealthy winery, construction and real estate interests, are outspending Evans’ large donors, mostly unions and environmental groups, by 2 ½ to 1. That’s about $245K for Hopkins; Evans, clearly the “people’s candidate,” in this race, with many, many donors under $500 each, stands at about $95K in “big money” contributions.

The greedy public employee union SEIU 1021 has filed an Independent Expenditure Committee supporting Evans’ candidacy, so far spending over $80,000 to win their candidate the coveted 5th District seat. Therefore, if Evans wins, with SEIU 1021 supporters Susan Gorin and Shirlee Zane on the B.O.S., the union will hold a 3-2 sympathetic majority on issues that SEIU 1021 wants passed or “killed” by the BOS, like pension reform. Pension reform will NEVER occur with a 3-2 BOS split in favor of SEIU 1021. 

Hopkins supporters are fond of saying how “fresh” she is, a political newcomer who is not part of the “system.” The problem with that fallacy is that the “system” drafted her, just like they drafted James Gore in 2014, and Efren Carrillo in 2008. Yes, I’m talking about the business and real estate interests that support a candidate who will carry out their agenda in terms of approving winery and event expansions, new wineries, commercial pot grows and other projects that may not be in the best interests of our 495,000 residents. Another argument on Hopkins “freshness” is, given her age, she may easily become accustomed to the power, privilege and prestige that comes along with a highly-compensated elected position, becoming dependent on her supporters’ cash to get re-elected or move to a higher office, like Evans, Mike McGuire and Gorin already have. That’s the “downside” of a fresh young face in politics – it becomes a profession.

That is Sonoma County politics. It’s not “fresh,” and it’s not good for us, except for the few that can afford to give “big money” to buy a vote on the B.O.S. Neither candidate has resided in the 5th District for any length of time, Hopkins asking us to believe she decided to run after she moved from the 4th to the 5th Districts last summer, and Evans making no effort to hide her carpet-bagging over to the 5th for a better salary than she made as a state senator, the last job she was termed-out of.

Neither candidate appears interested in those of us who don’t give to local races. Instead the elected will represent special interests that have only two things on their minds: Easy access to their own supervisor (and the BOS), and making more money for themselves or their public employee union. And guess who pays for THAT.

That’s my case. I hope I made it to you. 

The solution is simple: Write-in Tim Sergent – It’s the right thing to do… for all of us.

Enough for this month -- Peace. I’m outta here. Send your questions, thoughts and ideas to me at: Thank you.