Claremont Insider: June 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Calaycay Defeated in Republican Assembly Primary

Recount Territory?

Claremont councilmember Corey Calaycay ran a strong third in the six-man Republican primary for the 59th Assembly district.

With all precincts tallied, Calaycay garnered 7,482 votes, more than 2,000 votes back of Tim Donnelly with 9,659 and Chris Lancaster with 9,619. With only 40 votes separating the leaders, a fraction of a percent difference, it seems likely a recount will determine the winner.

Anthony Riley, expected to run stronger, gained only 3,268 votes. Ken Hunter and Iver Bye received 2,353 and 831 votes respectively.

Results are posted here.

The winner, apparently Tim Donnelly, will face Democrat Darcel Woods in November.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Dear Leader: Dynasty Politics

You'd think we'd have had enough of Dynasty Politics to even entertain the idea of Chris Lancaster, son of former Assemblyman Bill Lancaster, running for a seat in California's 59th Assembly district, a district that stretches from Apple Valley to Acton and includes Claremont. Really. George W. Bush coming after George H. W. Bush, Kim Jong Il succeeding his father Kim Il Sung, and, closer to home Dennis Mountjoy occupying the latest incarnation of his father Dick's Assembly seat (the good old 59th) for six years. And let's not forget Papa Doc and Baby Doc (Jarhead) Duvalier in Haiti a generation ago.

Truly, as Marx said, "History repeats itself; first as tragedy then as farce."

Best we can tell, Chris Lancaster is an empty suit who followed a bit too closely in his father's footsteps, raised taxes in Covina shortly afer he was elected to the City Council, and was recalled for it. Now he poses as a tax fighter but he's contributed to many candidates on what is politely called "the other side"--meaning Democrats in this context, or Big Spenders, take your pick.

Some two decades ago, the California Political Almanac pegged Bill Lancaster, Chris's father, as the "Johnny Lunchbucket" of legislators...content to punch the clock each morning and go home each night." So maybe that makes Chris Lancaster Johnny Lunchbucket, Jr.

This pretty pass is brought to you by the redoubtable Dick Mountjoy, who inflicted his son Dennis Mountjoy on our district for six years, riding the crest of the Mountjoy brand, to mix metaphors and worse. We can't think of one thing, good, bad, or indifferent that Dennis Mountjoy accomplished in Sacramento, and he is thankfully back in private life.

These days, Mountjoy's mug appears in most of Chris Lancaster's campaign flyers and Mountjoy is recording Robo-Calls for Lancaster. Our private theory is that Mountjoy is grateful to Bill Lancaster for retiring from the Assembly in 1992, clearing the way for Mountjoy to run in their common district after the 1990 redistricting. But that's a lot of inside baseball. (By the way, in the image, right, of Mountjoy with Lancaster, doesn't Mountjoy appear to suffer some gastric indisposition?)

Chris Lancaster seems to stand for whatever he thinks will get him elected in the Republican primary Tuesday. Somebody ought to ask him how he stands on Proposition 13. Former Claremont Mayor Enid Douglass asked his father Bill that question in an oral history interview in 1994. He said--this is Bill Lancaster speaking--"First of all, I have to start off with I was very outspoken in my opposition to Proposition 13." [See the page image, right (click to enlarge it), or read the entire four-part interview here]

We understand you can't visit the sins of the father on the son, but we're just saying....

Chris Lancaster has garnered lots of endorsements from the Republican Establishment, which ought to be enough right there to make you leery of him no matter what your politics. In his race against Claremont Councilmember Corey Calaycay, the High Desert's Anthony Riley, and an assortment of third-tier candidates, he has apparently raised and spent the most money. He has enough money to go back on his pledge not to indulge in negative campaigning, sending out an amateurish hit piece on Calaycay last week. This thing misstated Calaycay's position on the No-Tax pledge--got it 180 degrees wrong--and even misspelled Corey as "Cory". It would have been despicable if it hadn't been so unintentionally humorous.

There are other, more serious objections to be made to this Lancaster hit-piece, but of course you won't find them here. Let's just say the entire flyer is heavy-handed distortion.

It's not that we so much want to see Calaycay go to Sacramento. He's nearly alone on the Claremont Council as a voice of reason and prudence. We can't think that the other four members of council would appoint one of Calaycay's fellow-travelers to his seat if it became vacant, and it doesn't seem as if the aforesaid fellow-travelers have another candidate racked up to run next March.

Besides, the California Political Almanac got it right, but nearly twenty years early, when it said of Bill Lancaster, "At some point, he may try to hand off his seat to his son, Chris."

Read it below. Click to enlarge:

Johnny Lunchbucket, Jr.