Election 2014: Swanson Makes It Official; Learning About Bill Dodd

swanson-swear-inCity Councilmember Rochelle Swanson is making it official, she will be running for re-election.  Next week will be her kickoff event.

In an email Saturday to supporters, she wrote: “Now that most of us are ready to embrace 2014, it is time we look to the future. For me, this means the beginning of a new chapter in my service to our community. It is with that in mind that I invite you to join me this Saturday, January 11th, at high noon, when I will officially announce my intention to seek re-election to the Davis City Council. This event will take place at Davis Roots, at the southeast corner of E & 2nd streets in our beautiful downtown.”

She continues, “While reflecting upon my first term in office, it is clear we have made great progress as a community. But there is still work to be done to accomplish the sustainability and resilience that prompted me to accept the request to run in 2010. I am truly excited for the opportunity to keep doing the hard, yet rewarding work of representing our great community and the individuals who make it special.”

Rochelle Swanson won her seat on the city council in June 2010.  She finished second in a field of five candidates.  When Mayor Don Saylor resigned his seat to serve on the county board of supervisors, Ms. Swanson served as Mayor Pro Tem from January 2011 until July 2012 when Dan Wolk finished first in the June 2012 elections.

Councilmember Swanson has been a strong proponent of economic development, and has cast critical votes on fiscal issues in her first term on the Davis City Council.

She now officially joins Robb Davis and Daniel Parrella in the race, but two-term school board member Sheila Allen is expected to join the race this month.

Dodd-BillLearning About Bill Dodd

Most local residents may know very little about Bill Dodd, candidate for the State Assembly.  Mr. Dodd is a County Supervisor in Napa County who switched from Republican to Democrat.

Mr. Dodd is being honored in late January by the Napa Chamber of Commerce with their 2013 Citizen of the Year.

Writes the Chamber: “Through hard work and determination, Bill has personally raised more than three million dollars for local charities to help those individuals who need it most. He has led many successful ventures for organizations including the Wolfe Center, a youth drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, and the Napa County Children’s Health Initiative, among many others. He has offered his time and expertise as a member of the Justin-Siena High School Board of Trustees, Queen of the Valley Hospital Foundation, the Napa Rotary Club, and the Queen of the Valley Health Care for the Poor Committee.”

This week, the Bee ran a story that “a former adviser to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger who has pledged to help elect ‘a few courageous legislators’ has found a candidate in the crowded race to replace a termed-out Yolo County lawmaker.”

“David Crane, a wealthy investor and registered Democrat who has advocated for overhauling California’s public pension system, has made the maximum contribution to Napa County Supervisor Bill Dodd, a Republican-turned-Democrat, running for a 4th Assembly District seat now held by Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis,” the Bee reports.

“Dodd also reported receiving $8,200 maximum checks from Crane’s wife, Carla Crane, as well as from Bay Area investor John H. Scully, five members of the Fisher family, which founded the Gap clothing stores, and from Gregory Penner and Carrie Walton Penner. Gregory Penner is an investor who sits on the board of Wal-Mart, founded by his wife’s family,” the Bee reports.

They continue, “Crane and Penner founded Govern for California, a group that emerged in the 2012 election to push a pro-business agenda that includes support for charter schools and an overhaul to reduce debt

of the public pension system. Crane and the others now supporting Dodd poured more than $200,000 into the Assembly campaign of charter schools executive Brian Johnson, who ran unsuccessfully for the San Fernando Valley’s newly drawn 46th Assembly District.”

Mr. Crane’s spokeperson is Aaron McLear, who was once the spokesperson for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  He declined comment to the Bee.

A source told the Vanguard that Davis Mayor Joe Krovoza, who has championed pension and fiscal reform in Davis was not seriously considered by Mr. Crane for support.  That source indicated that Mr. Crane was looking for Republicans, although Mr. Dodd is no longer a Republican.

In addition, Davis Mayor Joe Krovoza and Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk were among those who signed the November letter that “urged San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed to end his effort to put a measure on the November 2014 ballot that would slash retirement security for millions of California’s teachers, firefighters, police officers, school employees and other public workers.”

Mr. Dodd told the Bee that he will remain neutral on the proposal by the San Jose Mayor.

He told the paper, “If I am going to be involved in negotiating something, I would prefer to come in without a lot of baggage.”  “We are going to have to find some very creative solutions for the state of California, and that doesn’t mean all of them have to come out of labor,” he added. “That’s all I am going to say about that.”

Mr. Dodd also told the Bee that “the money he’s raised from Crane and other big-name donors from outside the district “is a pittance compared to the amount of money I raised in my district.””

The Bee reports that Mr. Dodd backed pension reform in Napa County but “he switched his party affiliation more than a year ago after it became clear the Democratic Party better reflected his values on marriage equality, immigration reform and how to stem the shrinking of the middle class.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. growth issue

    “Mr. Dodd is a County Supervisor in Napa County who switched from Democrat to Republican.”

    “That source indicated that Mr. Crane was looking for Republicans, although Mr. Dodd is no longer a Republican.”

    So which is it?

  2. Mr.Toad

    Supporter of John Munn, George W. Bush and pension reform in Napa County. Supported by member of the Walmart Board.

    Obviously one does not truly want to stem the shrinking of the middle class by implementing policies friendly to members of the board of directors at Walmart. Too bad nobody asked him how pension reform expands the middle class.

    1. J.R.

      Walmart has done more to expand the middle class than any other corporation that I can think of. It has provided a major expansion of the purchasing power of tens of millions of people, lifting their standards of living. They vote for it with their feet and their wallets. It is opposed by selfish union bosses who don’t like that it has avoided their protection racket and by elitists who don’t care if the lower income groups have limited access to well priced goods.

      1. Jim Frame

        “Walmart has done more to expand the middle class than any other corporation that I can think of.”

        Agree wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, the middle class in question resides in China.

        1. Frankly

          Walmart has been putting stores in low incme areas where no other business would go.

          It created jobs where no jobs existed before.

          It sells products for much less so low income people can afford them. Purchasing power is always conveniently left out of the stadard rant about wages and outsourcing to China.

          So, I guess you would prefer that we manufacture these products in the good ol’ USA where unions will take control and cause the price of the products to skyroxket without any appreciation in quaility. Then Walmart would not be in these low income areas.

          Does not sound like a good change to me.

  3. Mr.Toad

    David Crane was economic advisor to Arnold. Remember how California was broken and these guys were going to fix it. Yet when they left the deficit was as bad as when they came in and not just because the economy tanked. These guys raised tuition so much resulting in student debts so high many now argue against going to college. Something i never heard in my entire life until recently. They blew a hole in the budget by repealing car taxes that created a structural deficit. Then when the state got a tax windfall from Google going public they gave it away to public service workers as raises to help get Arnold re-elected. As a result when the economy tanked there was no meaningful reserve and the education budget was cut terribly resulting in teacher layoff and class size increases. Giving raises while complaining about unfunded pension liabilities is like pouring water on a drowning man. Peopled wondered if CA. could ever be governed when Crane was helping to govern it. Crane now wants to get people elected to the legislature. He is a Democrat that served a Republican. Now he wants to back a Republican who wants to serve as a Democrat. If their politics are anything alike Crane and Dodd are the last thing CA. needs.

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