Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - May 15, 2009

Joan Buchanan---resign your Assembly seat

by Dave Abelmann

Quoting from your campaign for the State Assembly, "California's budget is a mess! Performance Not Politics. Joan Buchanan is ready to go to work."

After only months on the job as the District 15 Assemblymember, you announced your campaign for the District 10 Congressional seat. Congresswoman Tauscher's congressional district does not even include your current District 15 cities of Pleasanton, San Ramon, Danville, Elk Grove and Stockton, to name a few--so you would be abandoning thousands who voted for you and put their trust in you and contributed to your campaign.

The 15th Assembly District deserves a representative, who is committed 100 percent to doing an outstanding job for the district, not someone who has let us down and would be accepting her second best opportunity. Your failure to understand the incredible honor, importance and responsibility of being elected as a leader of our district is peculiar.

In the business world in which you profess to have honed your organizational and budgeting skills, if you join a company with commitments to that company and its organization and within 4 months you start looking for a new job, you would likely be fired. In such a short time you would have accomplished nothing other than perhaps putting the company's name on your resume.

In a recent public forum at the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation dinner honoring you, you stated, "the best part of going to Sacramento is leaving Sacramento."

You have not accomplished much in your brief tenure in Sacramento. Your office was hard-pressed to name one accomplishment. We expect you to execute on your commitments. To play back your own words "Performance not Politics." In your case, that should now read "Politics before Performance".

And if you lose, which is likely, your current constituents will know that they have an assemblywoman, who was not committed to the job, and is in Sacramento only because she failed to get elected for a congressional office. In a recent interview with the Danville Weekly, you state that many issues you care about are decided at the federal level; a convenient and different message this time around.

While elected officials frequently pursue higher office, you should work hard to develop a track record of your own, accomplishing something, anything, for the District 15 constituents. You have a lot to learn in the Assembly and it's clear you are out of touch with your constituency. As you work to get out of Sacramento with only months on the job, what kind of political capital do you think you'll now have with your colleagues in Sacramento? You currently have little support from those currently in Congress. State Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) is endorsed by Congressman George Miller (D-Martinez) and Congresswoman Tauscher (D-Alamo). Congresswoman. Lt. Governor Garamendi has also entered the race.

Resign now; let a committed candidate assume your seat in Sacramento; and you can pursue your personal political ambitions. If you are elected, good luck. If not, your insurance policy seems to be a fall back into the Assembly.

Dave Abelmann is a Danville resident who runs a China consulting and import business. He majored in political science and economics at UC Davis.


Posted by Susan, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 25, 2009 at 1:28 pm

It's important to remember that Joan Buchanan's opponent Mark Desaulnier was just recently elected to his current post as well. Shouldn't he be held to the same standard? This editorial is playing politics.

Posted by Sandy, a resident of Mohr Park
on May 25, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Sandy is a registered user.

I think that's what editorials do, Susan. Expressing opinions, playing politics.

I don't have an opinion about the candidates for the district 10 congressional district, but I do want newspaper editors to express their opinions -- on the editorial page. The rest of the paper (the articles, news stories) should stick to the facts.

Posted by agree with Sandy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 27, 2009 at 11:09 am

Sandy said
I don't have an opinion about the candidates for the district 10 congressional district, but I do want newspaper editors to express their opinions -- on the editorial page. The rest of the paper (the articles, news stories) should stick to the facts.

I agree with you Sandy.
Now if could convince Jeb Bing to limit his opinions to the editorial page, the PW would be a much better paper.

Posted by Rae, a resident of Mohr Park
on May 27, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Did any of you happen to notice that the original post was a "Guest Opinion" written by Dave Abelmann? It was not a PW editorial, but one person's opinion, published on the Opinion page of the May 15, 2009 PW.

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