Local Politics

Judy Sly: Conservative candidate has most money in school board contest

jsly@modbee.comOctober 19, 2013 

  • ABOUT THE REPORTER
    alternate text Judy Sly
    Title: Editor of the Opinions pages
    Coverage areas: Local politics and government
    Bio: Judy Sly joined The Bee staff in 1973 and has worked in a variety of reporting and editing roles since then. She grew up on a farm in Oregon and graduated from the University of Oregon.
    Recent columns written by Judy
    On Twitter: @judysly
    E-mail: jsly@modbee.com

Most of the candidates actively campaigning for the Modesto City Schools board had collected several thousand dollars as of Sept. 21, the last reporting deadline. Then there’s Brett McBay with more than $40,000 in his account, including a $20,000 loan to himself; $7,000 from a local physician and $3,000 from the Olsen for Assembly 2014 campaign treasury. McBay works as a district rep for Kristin Olsen.

With Nancy Cline stepping down, the school board is left with just one social conservative, Cindy Marks. McBay is tapping the conservative well as the replacement conservative, at least among the six people vying for the four, four-year seats. His donors include a number of well-known Republicans: Supervisors Jim DeMartini and Dick Monteith, former City Councilman Brad Hawn; attorney George Petrulakis; and insurance man David Wright.

The Modesto Teachers Association’s political action committee is the single largest donor for several candidates, giving about $2,000 a piece – McBay not among them – in cash or signs and support. The next financial campaign reports are due Thursday.


Some people barely know there is an election coming up Nov. 5, but thousands are done with the voting. Nearly 7,200 mail ballots have already arrived at the county elections office.


Frank Bigelow stands out in the state Capitol because there aren’t many cattle ranchers up there. Bigelow, R-O’Neals, wrapped up his first year in the Assembly representing the Mother Lode and Sierra, and he just got his first bill passed and signed by the governor. It’s akin to a baseball player getting his first home run in the major leagues. Bigelow’s first score, Assembly Bill 924, will beef up the penalty for livestock theft, aka cattle rustling. Just seems appropriate.


Political analyst Tony Quinn, writing in Thursday’s edition of Fox & Hounds, took on Tom McClintock, who represents the Mother Lode and Sierra in Congress. Quinn wrote: “It is time for California Republicans to confront the real enemies who are dragging them from defeat to defeat, and this means dealing with the Tea Party extremists in their own ranks.” Quinn went on: “No Tea Party congressman is more deserving of defeat than Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove) whose 30-year career has been devoted to destroying the sunny, positive conservatism that Ronald Reagan gave us and replacing it with a sour, negative, anti-everything fringy right-wing populism.” Wow, and some of you think I am harsh.


A bill by Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, caught the attention of a national family-values group and the New York Times. Cannella wrote and the governor signed Senate Bill 355, the so-called revenge pornography legislation. It makes it a misdemeanor to publish online nude photographs of another person with the intent to embarrass or humiliate him or her. A conviction could result in a fine of up to $1,000 or six months in jail – although, let’s face it, that jail term isn’t likely given the crowding of local jails.

Rob Schwarzwalder, senior vice president of the Family Research Council, wrote an op-ed praising Cannella’s legislation as “an important step toward safeguarding the privacy and reputation of persons who could be seriously harmed by publication of illicit photographs.” The new law, although not the senator himself, also was mentioned in an Oct. 12 New York Times editorial.


Earlier this month, a permanent exhibit was added to the state Capitol honoring four legislators, including former Sen. Dave Cogdill of Modesto, for their political courage in putting together a deficit-reduction deal back in 2009, according to Capitol Alert. Cogdill lost his GOP leadership seat over the deal. Some Republican hard-liners were unhappy about the award, saying Cogdill sold out. He paid the price, losing his leadership post.

Contact Sly at (209) 578-2317 or jsly@modbee.com.

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