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By Tim Hunt

Tuesday thoughts

Uploaded: Jan 28, 2014

The memorial service for former Mayor Ken Mercer drew more than 500 people to a standing-room-only event at the Pleasanton Senior Center.
Political colleagues abounded, but so did the non-political folks who knew Ken as a friend—not a mayor.
It was cool to see the mayors of Dublin and Livermore when Ken served (Pete Snyder and Dale Turner) both venture down from their Central Valley homes to pay their respects. Standing quietly in the crowd in the back was one of Ken's long-time political friends and allies—state Treasurer Bill Lockyer (the longest consecutive serving politician in the state with 40 years in Sacramento in various roles).
I arrived 40 minutes early and stayed for almost two hours after the formal ceremonies were completed—time spent catching up with friends and colleagues that you don't see other than at a memorial service for a person like Ken. That is how broad his reach was within the county and beyond.
The idea of serving Casper's' hot dogs with all of the trimming was a particularly good one –executed by the BBQ crew that Ken served on. It is led by Tony Macchiano. Tony, incidentally, had an amazing day. He oversaw food for 500 plus relating (as one of the designated speakers) the story about how he showed up in the ValleyCare emergency room after being "stabbed by Ken" (a cooking accident). He then went on to cook for 2,500 people that evening at a crab feed.

Advance info on the president's State of the Union message indicates he will spend plenty of time on income inequality.
Perhaps the one-time professor of constitutional law should spend some time studying the nation's formative document.
This nation's founders never promised equal outcomes—only equal opportunity.
Depending upon your birth, there can be some very difficult mountains to climb, but having Uncle Sugar trying to mandate outcomes instead of ensure opportunity is simply dead wrong.
The founders would be spinning in their graves.

Wow—has state Senator Mark DeSaulnier done an amazing job of clearing the Democratic field of any challengers for the Congressional seat that George Miller will leave at the end of this year?
Miller announced his retirement on a Monday, Jan. 13 and by Tuesday DeSaulnier had withdrawn his name from candidacy for the leadership of the state Senate so he could focus on the 11th Congressional race. That is how prized Congressional seats are in safe districts.
By the middle of last week, DeSaulnier had endorsements from state Sen. Darrell Steinberg (current Senate leader), Ellen Corbett (San Leandro), Loni Hancock (Berkeley) and Lois Wolk (Davis) as well as Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan (Alamo) who ran against him and John Garamendi when Ellen Tauscher resigned from her 10th District seat in 2009 to join the Obama Administration. He gave up his term-limited job as lt. governor to take the Congressional job.
Buchanan's endorsement was particularly telling and likely leaves DeSaulnier with an easy path to the primary victory.