Steven Glazer, an unsuccessful candidate for the California State Assembly (AD-16), is featured in a glossy, 16-page color brochure that criticizes the California Teachers Association (CTA). The brochure is entitled Anatomy of a Political Smear, and shows Glazer with a smeared face.
The campaign against the political spending of the California Teachers Association was financed by Spirit of Democracy California, 455 Capitol Mall, Suite 600, Sacramento, California 95814.
Glazer, a member of the Orinda City Council, lost the June primary in the 16th Assembly District (16th AD). The district includes Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Alamo, Danville, San Ramon, Dublin, and Pleasanton.
Under California’s new voting system, all candidates for state-wide office, run on the same ballot. The top two vote-getters, regardless of political party, face each other in the November general election. Under this system, it is theoretically possible for two Democrats (or two Republicans) to compete against each other in November.
The incumbent in AD-16 is Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo). Buchanan is retiring because of term limits.
In the June primary, Catharine Baker, an attorney, came in first. Tim Sbranti, a school teacher and the mayor of Dublin, finished second. Glazer was in third place. Danville mayor Newell Arnerich was fourth.
Baker is a Republican. Glazer, Sbranti, and Arnerich are Democrats.
In November, Baker and Sbranti will run against each other for the Assembly seat in the 16th AD.
Sbranti, in his campaign, allegedly received over $1 million from teachers’ groups. Glazer allegedly received over $1 million from real-estate interests.
Language in the brochure featuring Glazer says: “The story of Steve Glazer’s political downfall in the Bay Area’s 16th Assembly District is set not in the Assembly District itself, but in Sacramento, where a few special interest powerhouses have learned to leverage their tremendous financial resources to influence legislative outcomes through political campaign spending.”
The brochure cites a report by California’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). The brochure states: “According to the FPPC’s report, by far the most powerful political interest in terms of spending and Sacramento influence is the California Teachers Association [CTA] — which spent a record $211 million on influencing political outcomes in the last decade alone.”
The brochure goes on to criticize Sbranti, stating: “Sbranti’s prolific spending on campaigns cemented the California Teachers Association’s reputation for practicing tough, brass-knuckles politics on behalf of its members . . . ”
The San Francisco Chronicle, in its August 5 online edition, reported that
” . . . Steve Glazer said he was shocked this week to find himself the star of an extensive web and mail campaign charging that he was the victim of a political ‘smear’ by his Democratic opponent in the primary.”
The Chronicle also reported: “Even more shocking: The campaign is funded by an independent expenditure group backed by multi-millionaire Republican activist Charles Munger Jr. — who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking Glazer before the June primary.”