Candidates in the 7th Senate District: Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer and Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, D-Concord. (Photo illustration, separate images combined: Tim Foster, Capitol Weekly)
Welcome to the 7th Senate District, where money and hardball politics came together in the primary election. The runoff likely will not be much different. Even in a state now accustomed to seven-digit spending in legislative campaigns, the 7th District showdown in May is likely to set records. And powerful interests that weighed in during the primary – organized labor, business interests, the dentists, the doctors and the fire fighters, for example – are all but certain to pony up again.
Ventura County voters go to the polls in a California general election. (Photo: Spirit of America)
We’re never actually out of election season. Not even in off-election years like this one. Gov. Jerry Brown has set the dates for special elections in three Senate districts to fill vacancies left by officeholders who won congressional seats in 2014.
“To me the best model is Japan which is a very different culture from ours with much higher densities. They started by building their inner city rail, then their commuter rail and then when they went to high speed rail on top of inner city rail, they did Tokyo to Osaka. So they moved out from where the ridership was and kept expanding based on where the ridership is and you generate a fair amount of revenue. And the reason they did that is that the private sector would then come in to securitize some of it. In Japan the secure lines are all publicly traded companies.”