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Mountain View Voice

Opinion - May 30, 2008


Edge goes to Caserta in Assembly race

District 22 voters have a tough choice to make when they go to the polls next week. Four candidates are running in the Democratic primary, and the winner is all but certain to replace Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View, who is termed out.

Our choice in this tight race is Santa Clara City Council member and high school teacher Dominic Caserta, although we also are impressed with Paul Fong, a longtime professor and 15-year trustee of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District.

We gave the nod to Caserta due to the wealth of ideas he provided in a Voice questionnaire, which asked all four candidates to state their positions on a series of issues (see page 18). The other two candidates are county school board member Anna Song and Cupertino City Council member Kris Wang.

On some of the big questions, Caserta and Fong had virtually the same answers. For example, both support SB-840, the universal health care bill proposed by Assembly member Sheila Keuhl. But we liked that Caserta would go further, adding a series of community health care clinics to provide immunizations, preventive care and other services to ease the burden on doctors and emergency rooms.

This follows a pattern with these two candidates: Although we like Fong's blunt, no-nonsense style, we also like that Caserta seems to have thought the issues through more closely, often providing more specific or creative ideas.

On education, for example, Caserta and Fong are similar in most respects. Both of these educators agree passionately that the state's schools must be funded fully and without compromise. And both agree that Proposition 98, in Fong's words, "should be the floor, not the ceiling" of funding. But Caserta also wants to expand technical classes like auto shop, focusing on legitimate career paths for California's students that often are ignored.

Caserta, a former Republican, is running against the tide in this race, as Fong has been endorsed by Lieber and the Democratic establishment, including U.S. Reps. Anna Eshoo, Zoe Lofgren and Mike Honda. Caserta has backing from several unions and the Mountain View Police Officers Association.

Although it is a close call, we believe Caserta is the best candidate in the District 22 race, and urge voters to support him on June 3.

Vote yes on Measure C

A reminder: Last week the Voice endorsed Measure C, which would renew and increase the parcel tax in the Mountain View Whisman School District. The new tax would take effect in 2009, and provide an additional $1.3 million to the district. Most property owners would see their current parcel tax increase by $52 a year — more than worth it, in our view, to assure the quality of Mountain View's elementary schools.


Posted by Disgruntled Voter, a resident of another community
on May 30, 2008 at 4:24 pm

It's unfortunate the Voice has fallen victim to the influence of money and connections, areas where Caserta and Fong have proven are their strengths. What the Voice fails to portray or take into consideration is the moral corruption and unjust behavior that both Caserta and Fong represent.

There is a site dedicated to bringing Caserta down for good reason. There was also an article on the SJ Mercury questioning his moral judgement. The "wealth of ideas" that Caserta supposedly has is neither novel nor necessarily effective. Fong on the other hand has lied to citizens in Cupertino in more ways than one.

As a voter, I want someone who represents me! The best ideas often do not come from the candidate but rather are results of good listening and research from those around you.

Kris Wang is the only candidate who has demonstrated this ability to listen to the voter and do what is right rather than do what is most profitable for himself (Caserta and Fong). I urge readers to do their research before voting! Vote for Kris Wang.

Posted by santa claran, a resident of another community
on May 30, 2008 at 4:38 pm

The Voice decided not to interview any of the candidates, but Anna Song has the most policy specifics on her website annasong dot org. As for the editorial, no interviews and no comments about the female candidates, both of whom are elected officials? C'mon Voice!.I am voting for Anna.

Posted by unsure, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 30, 2008 at 5:10 pm

Both Song and Wang are interesting candidates to me, but they've both received little press attention in this election. Not having big money backing you in addition to being a woman appears to be a severe disadvantage in politics. I advise readers and voters to do their own, unbiased research, and stop trusting media which is obviously controlled by "someone."

Here's some bonus reading:

Dominic Caserta

-Took campaign contributions from some of the worst developers in Santa Clara Valley, including two companies where Emily Chen is a principal. One of Chen's proposed high-density developments is Santa Clara Square, which is strongly opposed by Sunnyvale residents that live next to where this massive high-rise complex is planned. Cupertino residents defeated rezoning efforts by another of Chen's companies which wanted to build high-density housing at Vallco Fashion Park in Cupertino. Chen's company had a lien filed against it by the construction company DPR, after failing to pay about 10 million dollars they owed (the lien was settled when they sold controlling interest in the mall to another company). Campaign contributions from Emily Chen's companies are a red flag for voters to not vote for that candidate.

-Refused to agree to campaign spending limits (as a result, he was not permitted to publish a statement in the voter information booklet).

-Changed from the Republican to the Democratic Party solely for the purpose of running for the State Assembly.

-Has a list of supporters that's a who's who of pro-development, anti-environmental, anti-education politicians and citizens, including Cupertino city councilman Orrin Mahoney, former Cupertino Mayor Sandra James, Cupertino resident Dorothy Stow (sued two Cupertino mothers in an failed effort to stop a referendum election in Cupertino), and Republican sheriff Laurie Smith.

A vote for Caserta is a vote for more over-development, over-crowded schools, and more environmental degradation!

Paul Fong

-Tried to push through a high-density housing development on commercial property in Cupertino for the benefit of Taylor-Woodrow, a major developer. Fortunately, rezoning was stopped by the Cupertino City Council, when one council member abstained due to a conflict of interest.

-Engaged in a highly misleading direct mail scare campaign with lies about how if the Measurex property on Bubb Road was not rezoned for housing that a big box store would be built on the site. One resident of Cupertino wrote,"It is so alarmingly dismal to see a resident, let alone a public official, is willing to lie and distort in order to garner his support."

-Served on the board of the scandal-ridden Northside Community Center

-Has a list of supporters that's a who's who of pro-development, anti-environmental, anti-education politicians and citizens, including Cupertino Mayor Dolly Sandoval, Cupertino City Councilmember Gilbert Wong, Cupertino Union School District Trustee Pearl Cheng, Cupertino Union School Board Trustee Gary McCue, and former Cupertino Mayor Patrick Kwok.

A vote for Fong is a vote for more over-development, over-crowded schools, and more environmental degradation!