Early Successes for IETA – Two Bond Measures Defeated

 

“Measure G, the college campus issue, was soundly defeated, 33,530 opposing to only 27,533 in support. The measure, which would have mostly benefited the Pass Area, still needed the support of the entire San Jacinto College District and that certainly didn’t happen.

Measure H, which would have funded improvements within the Banning Unified School District, also lost, but barely. It needed a 55% margin to pass but captured only 52.5 % with 1,155 in favor and 1,045 against.

The Inland Empire Taxpayers Association, founded by Chris Mann, a member of the board of the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency, strongly opposed both school measures as it had the San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital bond measure earlier this year.”

 

Record Gazette Logo

News

Semper Fi: Paul Cook rules GOP 65th

By Charles G. Ferrell
Editor – The Record Gazette

Paul Cook

The big money and the big negative campaign strategy failed in the 65th Republican Assembly District primary on Tuesday, two school bond issues impacting the Pass Area failed and the Sun Lakes Country Club senior citizen community finally got final OK from the voters to switch school districts.

Voter turnout in the Pass Area, Riverside County and throughout the state was as expected poor on Tuesday, with few issues or races of interest on the ballot to attract decent numbers to the polls.

Two statewide bond measures, Prop. 81 which would have provided funds to build libraries and Prop. 82, actor Rob Reiner’s “tax the rich” plan to tax high income Californians to create free preschool education for 4 year olds, were defeated.

While Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was virtually unopposed on his party’s primary ballot, Democrats Steve Westley and Phil Angelides waged a mighty negative campaign of their own, with Angelides emerging the winner.

In Riverside County, there were no competitive or interesting races. Fifth District Supervisor Marion Ashley easily won re-election over challenger Sandra Baxter-Dutcher.

65th Assembly
Paul Cook took the high road as he traveled along the road toward the 65th Assembly District’s June 6 Republican primary election.

Overall there were five Republican candidates on the ballot trying to get the chance to replace incumbent Assemblyman Russ Bogh (R-Beaumont) who is leaving office because of term limits.

Bogh will finish his third term at the end of this year.

While other candidates, especially San Jacinto City Councilman Jim Ayres and Banning City Councilwoman Brenda Salas and their supporters engaged in well-financed mud-slinging, Cook, the mayor of Yucca Valley, kept well below the radar.

He spent virtually all of his campaign dollars in the San Bernardino County portion of the assembly district with a goal to lock up as much support there as he could and hoped leading candidates from Riverside County – Salas, Ayres and Hemet Mayor Robin Lowe – would divide those votes among themselves.

He stayed away from negative campaigning, worked on locking up the support of his neighbors and look what happened. He won on Tuesday and big time.

Cook managed to hold his own with Riverside County voters in the district, finishing fourth but less than 200 votes behind third place Salas.

Among Riverside County voters, Hemet’s Lowe, who also stayed above the Salas-Ayres fray, was the top vote getter, capturing 5,441 votes to 5,156 for Ayres and 4,648 to a distant third Salas. Cook was fourth with 4,458 while Ken Smith trailed with 859 votes.

However, Lowe paid a heavy price for her lack of a campaign in San Bernardino County and it clearly cost her a chance at the Republican slot on the November ballot.

In his own backyard, Cook really cooked, piling up 3,866 votes, bringing his total to 8,324, plenty enough to run away with the election.

Salas gathered 1,786 votes in San Bernardino County, but her overall total of 6,464 fell 1,860 votes short, well out of contention.

Still she far outdrew the other candidates in Cook’s county to finish second overall. Ayres could only muster 1,201 votes to finish third overall with 6,357 votes while Lowe had no strength there at all, getting only 784 to wind up with 6,225 votes and in fourth place.

Smith picked up 510 votes in San Bernardino County for 1,369 overall and last place.

On the Democrat side, Rita Ramirez-Dean was unopposed and received 17,692.

The Republican primary race was one of the most expensive in recent history, expected to come close or even exceed the $2 million. It was one of the most nasty in memory, with candidates and their supporters slinging attack mailings and phone calls, one after another.

In the end, the candidate from Riverside County who took the high road, Lowe, finished on top here, but couldn’t overcome the candidate from San Bernardino County, Cook, who also took the high road and didn’t have competition from anyone on his own turf.

5th Supervisorial District

Supervisor Marion Ashley was an easy winner four years ago in his first try for a seat on the board of supervisors, but it was easier this time.

Ashley piled up 15,669 votes or more than 65% compared to his opponent, Sandra Baxter-Dutcher, who came in with 8,308 or just less than 35%.

80th Assembly

Not all of the Pass Area is in the 65th Assembly District. While Banning, Beaumont and Cherry Valley are in the 65th, Cabazon is the 80th Assembly District where Republican incumbent Bonnie Garcia ran unopposed in her bid for a third and what would be her final term in Sacramento.

In the race between two potential Democrat challengers, Steve Clute narrowly defeated Ron Oden to win the chance to take on Garcia this November.

Measure B

At last, Sun Lakes residents in Banning got final voter permission to switch school districts from Beaumont to Banning. When the Sun Lakes community, generally south of the I-10 Freeway between Highland Home Road and Highland Springs Avenue, was formed and annexed into the city of Banning two decades ago, the area remained within the boundaries of the Beaumont Unified School District.

Often at odds with things going on in the city of Beaumont on the west side of Highland Springs Avenue, the dividing line between the two cities, Sun Lakers and Beaumont Unified School District officials finally found something that they could agree upon.

The majority of Sun Lakers wanted to shift school districts and the school district in Beaumont was more than happy to see them go.

A Riverside County panel agreed and the matter was placed on Tuesday’s ballot. It won easily, 5,320 votes to 3,376 votes.

School measures

Two school measures, one which would have funded the building of a community college campus in Banning and another which would have funded improvements in the Banning Unified School District were defeated.

Measure G, the college campus issue, was soundly defeated, 33,530 opposing to only 27,533 in support. The measure, which would have mostly benefited the Pass Area, still needed the support of the entire San Jacinto College District and that certainly didn’t happen.

Measure H, which would have funded improvements within the Banning Unified School District, also lost, but barely. It needed a 55% margin to pass but captured only 52.5 % with 1,155 in favor and 1,045 against.

The Inland Empire Taxpayers Association, founded by Chris Mann, a member of the board of the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency and fiancé of losing assembly candidate and Banning City Councilwoman Salas, strongly opposed both school measures as it had the San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital bond measure earlier this year.

The hospital measure was a big winner, but these two school measures fell in defeat.

There were no other Pass Area-related issues on the June 6 ballot. See more election coverage in this edition of the Record Gazette.