The Courier decided against endorsing candidates this election, although we hear that the editorial board may have been ready to endorse three people (none of them Pedroza or Elderkin). The family that owns the Courier intervened and decided they would simply not endorse, using Martin Weinberger's recovery from surgery as an excuse.
Today, the Courier ran responses from the seven council candidates to two different questions:
- What has been the most difficult or challenging aspect of running your campaign?
- What do you feel is one of the most pressing issues affecting Claremont and how would you solve this?
The Courier website didn't post the story, so we can't provide a link to it.
The answers were for the most part what you'd expect: safe, motherhood-and-apple pie responses. Peter Yao did have an interesting comment regarding CASM when he talked of "running a clean and positive campaign while enduring the below-the-belt hits from a misguided, well-financed group with its own lawn signs and massive mailers."
Sam Pedroza's response to the first question was curious: "There were some learned lessons from my campaign two years ago, where I came in at 168 votes shy of winning. Claremont experienced some of the worst electioneering in our history. Although I and my campaign had nothing to do with negative campaigning that took place, we did vow to run a very positive campaign focused on the positive and my qualifications."
One thing Pedroza ignored was the fact that he came in 168 votes short of Corey Calaycay primarily because Calaycay was the sole target of what Pedroza called "some of the worst electioneering in the history of Claremont" by Pedroza's friends at Preserve Claremont. Further, in that election in 2005, Pedroza, while running a "clean campaign," also refused to denounce the smear campaign Preserve Claremont ran. Why? Because Pedroza benefited from having others do his dirty work.
This time around, Pedroza is not being so coy. He has taken to bad-mouthing McHenry and Calaycay (who is not up for re-election) off the record. Pedroza has repeated several untrue rumors to voters in an effort to undermine his opponents. And then he has denied doing that when confronted with his statements. Further, Pedroza has taken direct support from Preserve Claremont. His supporter list includes the following people who were listed in Preserve Claremont's smear ads:
- Bo and Laura Bollinger--donated $500 to the Preserve Claremont campaign
- Suzanne Hall and Ken Corhan--$200 to Preserve Claremont
- J. Michael Fay--donated $100 to "Claremont Business PAC", now Honorary Co-Chair of Pedroza's campaign
- Paul and Kay Held--Paul Held was spokesperson for Preserve Claremont, donated $100 to "Claremont Business PAC"
- Frank Hungerford--$200 to Preserve Claremont
- Valerie Martinez--$250 to Preserve Claremont, $100 to "Claremont Business PAC"; spokesperson for Preserve, treasurer for Claremont Business PAC
- Lissa Petersen
- Randy and Rhonda Prout--$200 to Preserve Claremont
- Nick Quackenbos--$150 to "Claremont Business PAC
- Jil Stark--$200 to Preserve Claremont
- Roger Hogan--his business gave $2,000 to the "Claremont Business PAC" in 2005; his family gave $1,000 to Pedroza in 2007
- Patrick Sullivan--$250 to Preserve Claremont
(The dollar figures listed above come from the 2005 city election campaign filing documents on record with the Claremont City Clerk.)
So, all of the above were unabashed Claremonsters, and none ever disavowed their involvement or condemned it. And Pedroza now takes their support. This would seem to make his concerns about running clean campaigns seem to ring hollow. Pedroza benefited from their interference in the 2005 election, and he is dependent upon their support this time around. Nothing has changed, not Pedroza's dependence on the Preserve Claremonsters, nor his dishonesty about it. Pedroza's simply trying to play a game of "Good Cop/Bad Cop."
Speaking of supporter lists, today's Courier featured an ad for Linda Elderkin that listed her campaign committee. Among those listed were:
- All of the Preserve Claremonsters listed above for Pedroza.
- Michael Fay, a non-Claremont resident who is also an Honorary Co-Chair for Pedroza.
- Bridget "The Hammer" Healy, former assistant city manager under Glenn Southard.
If you were appalled by the Preserve Claremont campaign of 2005, if you were opposed to the the witch-hunt they conducted against McHenry and the lies and rumors they spread and published against Calaycay, then you cannot possibly support Elderkin or Pedroza, who are so clearly the children of Preserve Claremont today.