A Winters Express opinion column
By Richard Casavecchia
Special to the Express
I’ll keep it simple this week, here are my thoughts on a few offices on the June ballot:
California Assembly District 4
Bryan Pritchard is challenging incumbent Cecilia Aguiar-Curry. I’ve met Pritchard, he has a rough road ahead of him to knock off Aguiar-Curry, but I think he has a good chance of taking Winters which is really the message that needs to be sent.
Pritchard owns a winery in Napa and understands the troubles of running an agriculture-based business. I like that he recognizes Sacramento policies are driving the cost of living up and people out of our state. The status quo seems to care about image and politics more than impact on the voters. Pritchard has also been endorsed by Mayor Cowan according to his social media.
Aguiar-Curry has been sponsoring and voting for bills that do not represent most of Winters. She is in lock step with whatever her party tells her to support, not what is desired or best for her constituents. We need someone who will evaluate issues on their merits not on their politics or what is good for them personally. Public servants serve the public, when they start serving their political party or themselves it is time to change them out like used oil.
Pritchard is the better candidate for Winters.
Yolo County Supervisor District 3
Redistricting could have put us in a more representative district but the Board of Supervisors did as they do and voted their egos after patting themselves on the back for the token actions they took for each of their respective “rural communities” … as if we are indigent and incapable of advocating for ourselves. Winters now gets another ten years of Davis representation while our community of interest that we belong to with Capay Valley stays with Woodland in an effort that could possibly be described as securing the seat Angel Barajas holds.
Supervisor Saylor is not running for another term and has appeared to anoint Lucas Frerichs as his successor, who is being challenged by Juliette Beck. Supervisor Saylor was the only county supervisor to endorse Cynthia Rodriguez for District Attorney rather than Jeff Reisig, which should tell you the type of candidates he supports. Both supervisor candidates are way outside the typical view of residents of Winters, where we tend to be more middle of the road, despite what local social media pages may lead you to infer.
I think our own Councilmember Jesse Loren would have been the best candidate of the three if she had run and it is a shame she didn’t, given our options. Standing out and challenging the hand-picked successor as someone with experience would have shown moxie. I don’t always agree with her but she is far more level headed than what I’ve seen from our two options.
I’d leave this one blank; a lack of voting will be a stronger message to our next Davis picked supervisor than making a choice between six of one half dozen of another.
Yolo County District Attorney
Jeff Reisig is the current DA challenged by Cynthia Rodriguez. Rodriguez has pledged to “keep the district attorney’s office out of the parole hearing process except to support the release of an individual.” She has made a blanket commitment to never prosecute certain misdemeanor crimes, rather than evaluating each situation on the merits of the case. She also pledged to have an office to identify and correct wrongful prosecutions, but failed to define what wrongful prosecution is.
If Rodriguez is an activist (which she appears to be), she could define wrongful prosecution as crimes she does not feel should have been prosecuted regardless of actual guilt. One of her donors is currently seeking the overturn of his brother’s conviction for raping his adopted daughter so this pledge creates some ethical questions for me as it relates to that case. These commitments, as well as others, can be read on the ACLU’s Vote 4 DA website where she went down the line agreeing to nearly every extreme ACLU demand.
I do not agree with everything the current DA has done, but we do not need a prosecutor that thinks it is their job to nullify duly enacted laws by the legislature by refusing to consider enforcing them. Nor do we need a DA looking to be more like San Francisco’s DA than an unbiased enforcer of the laws on the books. I think the devil we know is better than the devil we’re learning about. The more I learn about Rodriguez, the more dangerous she seems for our county with her pushing positions well outside the mainstream.
Jeff Reisig is the best candidate.
This one is easy. Our current Attorney General Rob Bonta was appointed to fill the position vacated by Alex Padillia who was appointed to Senate to replace our current Vice President. Bonta is not cut out for this position and was clearly a political appointee.
Ann Marie Shubert, the District Attorney from Sacramento County is currently running with no party affiliation for AG and speaks like a middle of the road moderate who isn’t concerned with politics for the position. For those of you who want someone who will prosecute criminals, she is a career prosecutor who convicted the Golden State Killer and Second Story Rapist.
She was one of the first to use DNA evidence, as well. For those of who who are interested in making history with your votes, she would be the first openly gay Attorney General in California and only the fourth nationwide. We have at least one person in town who has been on a defense team against her who told me she is a straight shooter and very tough, interested in adjudicating cases properly, not closing cases to rack up wins.
I had an opportunity to hear her speak and while I didn’t agree with everything she said, I do think she is the best choice for the job. I especially liked that she feels the AG job should be non-partisan, something we have not had for decades in California.
Yolo County Sheriff: Tommy Hayes
Controller: Lanhee Chen is clearly the best choice (Harvard Law / PhD, Stanford University Professor and Director of Public Policy Studies, Hoover Institution Fellow).
US Senator: This office needs a change. No candidate really excited or inspired me, not even the ones I’ve met. Cordie Williams is a veteran and younger, so he’s my pick.