Home > Uncategorized > The Stealth Candidate of District II

The Stealth Candidate of District II

The race to replace Shirley Bianchi is definitely heating up. Three candidates are slugging it out in the June 6th primary: Judy Vick, Rodger Anderson and Bruce Gibson.

But actually there’s a fourth candidate lurking in the shadows — Sarah Christie.

Her fingerprints are all over the Vick campaign. I didn’t realize it until I interviewed Judy last Tuesday night. She’s a very nice woman and obviously very passionate about running for office. Still, i was struck by her response to my question about endorsements. She immediately ticked off Jim Patterson, the Sierra Club, and Rock the Vote. This came about ten minutes after Judy explained how she had gone to the East Coast for a three-day candidate training workshop sponsored by EMILY’S LIST, a well-known Democratic organization.

It was at that moment that the light went on and I connected all the dots. Sarah Christie ran the Patterson campaign in ’04 and was rewarded with a seat on the Planning Commission. Her brother Andrew heads up the local chapter of . . . the Sierra Club. Sarah is also connected to Rock the Vote. Wouldn’t she also be in a prime position to connect Judy to Emily’s List?

So I made some phone calls and asked around. And I was reminded of the story.

Sarah used to work for former supervisor Bud Laurent, who had quite a nasty falling out with Shirley Bianchi a few years back. Shirley appointed Bruce Gibson to the Planning Commission and there’s no secret that Sarah isn’t happy with Bruce’s actions during that marathon Diablo meeting earlier this year. Nor is Sarah especially close to Shirley. Sounds like Sarah is causing trouble by getting neophyte Judy Vick to run and split the environmental vote with Gibson.

But towards what end????? What is the risk that Sarah runs in creating an even deeper rift in the local environmental community? Does this improve the chances for Rodger Anderson to get on the board? And just what is the status of the local environmental community? The Environmental Defense Center is kaput. ECOSLO is barely alive. Truly a sad state of affairs.

I like Judy Vick. I especially like Sarah Christie, but I find it fascinating to watch the behind-the-scenes drama unfold. It’s clear that there are four candidates now in District II.

  1. Anonymous
    May 4, 2006 at 8:05 pm

    Dave, I guess that aluminum foil hat isn’t working like it is suppose to. You’ve just been full of conspiracy type ideas lately. Seems you’ve been listening too much to that George Noory guy.

  2. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    May 5, 2006 at 5:54 am

    And I thought the “Good old boys network” was just for rich conservatives, not rich liberals too!

  3. Anonymous
    May 6, 2006 at 1:35 am


    Your premise is flawed – as are many of your facts.

    1. Judy Vick has been endorsed by Vote the Coast (not Rock the Vote)
    2.Judy attended an Emily’s List workshop in San Luis Obispo and Camp Wellstone (named for deceased Senator Paul Wellstone) on the East Coast.
    3. Sarah wasn’t “rewarded” with a seat on the Planning Commission – Jim Patterson and the people of the Fifth District were rewarded that she was willing to serve.
    4. Judy attended the Emily’s list training and decided to run for supervisor long before she ever met Sarah.
    5. It is an insult to Judy – who is a strong-minded, determined and intelligent woman, with a mind very much her own – to imply that she is somehow a pawn in this race.
    6. The “rift” in the environmental community is nothing more than an urban myth.

    Dave, with so many REAL controversies and questionable behavior going on on the part of political figures in the county, I can’t – for the life of me – understand why you need to drum up make believe issues!

    Get a life!

  4. Sarah Christie
    May 6, 2006 at 5:10 am

    A friend just referred me to your blog about the D-2 race. Well, you got it partially right! Yes, I did run Jim’s campaign, although I would hardly call
    my seat on the PC a reward!!! ;~)

    Yes, my brother Andrew works for the Sierra Club. And yes, I did work for Bud Laurent and no, unfortunately, I’ve not had have much in the way of a working relationship with Shirley since she replaced him on the BOard.

    But beyond that, your speculation and dot-connection gets a little sketchy.
    Bruce and I part ways on some issues on the PC, Diablo among them, but we
    agree on things more than not. We in fact work well together despite our
    differences. It’s called professionalism, something not seen much in public
    officials these days…..And both of us value it highly.

    For the record, I did not recruit Judy to run in D2. I never even met her until she introduced herself to Anne McMahon and me, and told us she was
    going to run. People do, in fact, exercise their democratic rights from time to time without me or anybody else pulling their strings. She didn’t have
    anything in particular against Bruce, she just got the “calling” stemming largely from a local issue she got involved with, overlaid by a general fed-up-to-here-ness with the state of national and state politics these days.

    She had already attended the Emily’s list training at that point. She later attended a Paul Wellstone training, which I also didn’t set her up
    with. She got Jim’s endorsement all on her own, which she sought because his story is an inspiring one of an underdog prevailing despite the conventional wisdom of the local poli pundits. I actually thought he should hold off on
    his endorsement for a bit!!!

    But even if I HAD recruited her, how would that be “making trouble” for the enviros? This is a primary election, the basic crucible where candidates
    step forward, make their case, are tested by the campaign trail, and chosen or rejected by the voters. The more choices the voters have, the better. It
    leads to more dialogue, more participation, more education of the voters,more likelihood that one of them will appeal to someone enough to get them
    off their couches and out to the polls. In short, contested primaries are good for democracy.

    I don’t know where people get this idea that candidates can only run if they have been “chosen” by some mysterious annointer or cabal who decides en camera who may step forward to carry the enviro torch and all others must march in line behind as dutiful supporters. And besides,
    Judy main credentials are in the area of public and mental health, not environmentalism! She brings along a whole constituency not shared by either
    Bruce or Rodger!

    Lots of people, many of them long-time enviros, are unhappy with Shirley’s record on the Board. Many people are concerned about the possibility of an
    all-male BOS. There are lots of good reasons for Judy to be in this race, and while I haven’t been much involved in it to this point (please don’t say
    my fingerprints are all over it, because if I truly had a hand in it, it would be a VERY VERY VERY different campaign!!!) I’m glad she is running.

    I’m glad Bruce is running. This is only a problem if the eventual victor emerges bitter, nasty and vindictive, as Shirley did when she beat Kat.
    Fortunately, I see no sign of that danger emerging between Bruce and Judy.

    But open speculation such as you pose on your blog doesn’t help to keep the good will flowing between the many good people on both sides of this race.
    Nor does it give Judy the respect she is due, in my opinion, for having the strength of character and conviction to step forward into what we all know
    is a messy business.

    Of course, you are entitled to your opinions, and you’ll not find a biggerfan of free speech anywhere!!! But I just wanted to correct the record in
    hopes that the speculation doesn’t take on a life of its own, and become its own reality!

  5. Anonymous
    May 6, 2006 at 10:59 pm

    Here’s my take. I think Dave’s head is getting too large for his body to carry around. His program has subtly shifted to more mirror the contrived controversy shows that proceed him. The shows are beginning to lack substance and becoming more acrimonious and without any informative value. It’s too bad in many respects. Here’s a little FYI Dave you’re not a great nor as smart as you think you are.

  6. Rob
    May 7, 2006 at 4:57 pm

    and here’s my take –
    anybody who lacks the courage of their convictions enough to post ANONYMOUSLY is not worth listening to. Grow a spine and post with a name attached.

  7. Anonymous
    May 8, 2006 at 1:16 am

    “Rob said…
    and here’s my take –
    anybody who lacks the courage of their convictions enough to post ANONYMOUSLY is not worth listening to. Grow a spine and post with a name attached.”

    So you think including a name makes a difference, “Rob”. Someone who attacks the messenger and not the message also says a lot.

  8. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    May 8, 2006 at 6:57 am

    Yeah Rob…erta! That is part of the fun of blogging and being on talk radio…..Constipated Bob, Santa Maria BBQ Bill, Larry Davis….see they are all stage names. Newt One, no one even knows I am Newt Gingrich and am here blogging! It is a total blast to let my real feelings go on the blog and the rest of the guys here on my cell block don’t even know I am the one posting these ridiculous things will all of these basic spelling errors! Heck, even the sheriff Pat Hedges does not know that when I clean his office (since I am an inmate worker) I log on and do a little blogging! It’s all ANONOMOUS and no one can ever find out who you are! Heck, I bet you could even put some bad words here like or even and they would come out right here for all to see but no one to know who did it!

    I wonder, could I make my user name………JUDY VICK and write for her? Bet so! Maybe I will become Pastor Doug and write for him! Bill Denning and wri….no, he is just wierd. Bad idea. Well you get my point Rob….RoyRied. We are all anonoymous and we should really consider it being so since anyone can be anyone, even Newt One.

  9. Anonymous
    May 8, 2006 at 5:45 pm

    Gotta speak in Dave’s defense here. I, too have been dismayed at the split in the enviromentalist vote by Ms. Vick’s slightly whiny candidacy. Bruce seems like such a good candidate. Thanks for shedding some light on the issue Dave!

  10. Anonymous
    May 9, 2006 at 1:39 am

    I think that Bud Laurent is ghost writing for Sarah Christie. Who but Bud could have such long-winded and empty comments. I’m surprised he didn’t start crying 1 1/2 minutes into this puff. The issue is that Rodger Anderson is the darling of the radical right, and Judy of the radical left. Bruce supports the great 70% of us in the middle.

  11. Dave Congalton
    May 9, 2006 at 5:02 am

    Anonymous said…
    Here’s my take. I think Dave’s head is getting too large for his body to carry around. His program has subtly shifted to more mirror the contrived controversy shows that proceed him. The shows are beginning to lack substance and becoming more acrimonious and without any informative value. It’s too bad in many respects. Here’s a little FYI Dave you’re not a great nor as smart as you think you are.
    Huh? That’s a fairly broad statement with zero support or examples, don’t you think, Anonymous?

    The one major change in my show is that I have drifted more to the center in recent years, actively trying to reach out to multiple points of view and try to keep my own left-leaning bias in check. I would challenge you to list me major areas of local concern thay have been overlooked by my show.

    Obviously some segments are stronger than others, but we do OK.

  12. Robert Morgan
    May 9, 2006 at 6:31 am


    I started listening to your show about three years ago after we moved up (escaped?) from Irvine. You and Tom have been an enormous resource in helping my wife and I adjust to this new community by introducing us to special people (we love Christine Hill and Esther and especailly Pastor Doug’s laugh). You do a great service in spotlighting interesting community events and allowing us to eavsdrop on conversations with (mostly) interesting people.

    My point, Dave, is you do just fine with “Hometown Radio.” I enjoy your mix of conservative and liberal viewpoints and serious with fun topics. I can’t say I listen every day, but we catch a fair amount of your show each afternoon. The Central Coast is lucky to have a show like yours. The naysayers are merely jealous — they wouldn’t know what to do behind that microphone.

  13. JerryDinAZ
    May 11, 2006 at 5:24 pm

    Trust me…you won’t know what a huge asset you have in Dave’s show until you move to an area that doesn’t have anything close!
    Do I miss the central coast…no, I can visit anytime I want! What I miss is the connection to the local community provided by Dave! Through his show I have friends and enemies I have never met. His show makes my world bigger than I ever could. Kudos Dave! Glad you be steaming the net soon!

  14. JimR
    May 19, 2006 at 4:53 am

    Is anyone else getting tired of Sarah Christie’s excessively lengthy defenses of just about any criticism of her (here and in the Tribune)? I am. The more she writes, the more she exposes her deficiencies. What is she ultimately running for?

  15. Anonymous
    May 21, 2006 at 4:13 am

    That is because Sarah Cristie and her pathedic brother Andrew are here from Orange COunty to tell all of us how it is to be done, and you have to stuff cash up their butt to get a project through. They are the king and queen on the earth, and they decide if it is ok for you!

    They are aware, and know much better than us common folk how to keep the area pristine, clean, and how we all need to ride the bus and stay the hell out of “their” land unless a docent can take you and observe it in an enlightened way.

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