Should Joan Buchanan drop her bid for Congress? | May 29, 2009 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Perspective - May 29, 2009

Should Joan Buchanan drop her bid for Congress?

Readers of offered the following comments in response to a guest opinion by David Abelmann that chastised Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, elected in November, for announcing that she is running to replace U.S. Rep. Ellen Tauscher in the 10th Congressional District.

To read David Abelmann's guest opinion or to read comments about a variety of subjects, visit

Joan Buchanan HAS violated an important trust. Let a committed candidate represent us in Sacramento. This is NOT a viral e-mail.

Dan from Danville

Joan Buchanan is less than useless and is a political hack at best. I am tired of politics as usual, and Ms. Buchanan is the local embodiment of this animal.

No one who actually reviews her record would vote for her, but since she carries the Democrat seal of approval, her record won't matter. This is a sad state of affairs when your political affiliation is more important than your record. Of course this mindset has gotten us into the position we find ourselves with little hope of it changing.

Shelby, a resident of Alamo

Bravo on the article. Yes - Joan Buhanan should resign.

Any candidate who - for greedy political ambitions - choses to abandon his/her responsibilities to their constituents, should step down and make room for someone more responsible to carry on the duties.

Ike, a resident of Danville

Alamo region and Iron Horse corridor e-exchanges are questioning demands for Joan's resignation. It appears that a campaign in Solano and Contra Costa counties is coordinating resignation demands among conservative Republican without specifying any issues beyond Joan's interest in the 10th Congressional District.

There are claims of Joan's lack of performance in a very dysfunctional State Assembly that is operated by party politics against any individual member's ability to progress resolution of fiscal and operational decisions. Each party is positioned against the other with no interest in the realities and immediacies of fiscal management. Just look at the May 19th propositions as examples of various special interests attempting to work around Senate and Assembly politics.

So, Joan is interested in resolution at the federal level using a congressional seat and, likely, staff to resolve fiscal issues for California and our region. That cannot be considered abandoning her promised fiscal responsibility and moderate political commitments because it is simply delivering those promises at a larger, more receptive level of government.

Our neighbors in your readership area want to know any in-depth issues that are the basis of calls for Joan's resignation. As Rachel wrote to the e-exchanges, "If successful results in the State Assembly are the criteria for Assembly Members to retain their seats, then likely all members should resign!"

Community courtesy

I've said it before and I'll say it again. When you elect community activists instead of experienced business professionals this is what you get.

Rufous, a resident of Alamo

Politicians should be judged on what they accomplish as our public servants. A resume, once established, that can produce a record of dollars into the district is a politicians ticket to the next level of elected office. Working at gaining trust by showing competence and an ability to get things done on behalf of your constituents earns a person the right to stay in office; remember they stay in office because of "the consent of the governed."

Based on that criteria, and not how nice she is, but that criteria alone, one must question Joan Buchanon's irrational decision to run for Congress. She has been in elected state office barely 5 months. It is not like she is a seasoned legislative veteran. She has sponsored as far as one can tell, a single piece of legislation. She took no position during the budget votes, and to me most importantly, unlike Guy Houston, did not negotiate school equalization funding for SRVUSD. Please remember that Houston, a moderate republican, bought back millions during his tenure as our representative.

Buchanan, with her words, has clearly articulated that she is not really interested in serving in the State Assembly. And this comes at a most critical juncture. We need leadership in Sacto and Buchanan wants to bail for higher office. She is a political opportunist of the worst kind; all want no give.

DeSaulnier at least has a respectable multi-year track record of decent representation for his constituents (and I am not a supporter of his, never met the man).

Joan, and her supporters, wake up. This is not a swift boat attack. This is not a political attack. Those who call for her to resign, or at least rethink her decision, are citizens who would like honest, decent representation. Finish your 2 year term first and then let's see if you have the right stuff to represent us in Washington. Or dog catcher.

h. sachs, a resident of San Ramon

Joan should resign and in fact she should have never been voted into office. She is a typical self serving politician looking to feather her nest and couldn't care less about the job at hand. If you think other wise...well let's just say, you lack good judgment.

I commend David Abelmann, Shelby, Ike, Jacqueline, Rufous, H. Sachs for their input and I'm sure there are thousands more like us that believe Joan Buchanan is a total waste of time.

Julia, a resident of Alamo

Joan did the responsible thing by soliciting ideas from a group here on what steps should be taken to balance the CA Budget. No mention was made of her CD-10 candidacy. "coincidently," Lt. Governor is a featured speaker today at the Memorial Day Event in Civic Park. Mark DeSaulnier is also appearing at campaign events. None of these remarks should be interpreted as implying which candidate I support, including Nick Gerber and Tom Del Beccaro, quietly waiting in the wings for the Democrats to fight with each other. As responsible voters, we should engage our lawmakers in CA budget solutions. Think about the havoc of having to fill a vacancy in AD-15.

Ralph Hoffmann, a resident of Walnut Creek


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Posted by Halamo
a resident of another community
on May 29, 2009 at 8:44 am

Dear Dolores,

It is hard to imagine why Joan would want to serve our region if the negative commentary shown in this e-exchange were the attitudes of the majority of voters. But Joan, for now many years, has chosen to serve our region and face such negative commentary.

We can all see the issues of Joan's absence from SRVUSD Board and the loss of her fiscal and educational responsibility. We can all humorously admit the our State Assembly is a dysfunctional tragedy and wonder why Joan would choose to stay among such dysfunction.

What we can't seem to admit is Joan's willingness to serve. At some point that willingness will run out and our region will be left to evaluate her absence. In the vacuum, there will be politicians named Mark, Mary, Susan and more that serve none of us.

Politics is funny that way, right? Very funny!!

Hal, as Halamo
The Alamo Towne Fool
@ODDs, a Saloon for Fools

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Posted by informed resident
a resident of another community
on May 29, 2009 at 7:17 pm

I find it interesting that Mr. Bailey would be opining on dysfunction as well as a politician having to deal with negative commentary! Ironic don't 'cha think?

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Posted by Halamo
a resident of another community
on May 30, 2009 at 8:25 am

Dear Dolores,

Did someone just turn right at the wrong intersection? Did we somehow turn the wrong way on a one-way street. And did we think we were late because everyone was coming back?

As editor, you must be our navigational system. Why did you re-publish the commentary on Joan's consideration of 10th Congressional office? What response among the majority were you expecting?

Any rational person should carefully consider any role in political office today because of the impact of a fiscal crisis that will not remedy itself. Political participants today must reshape government to match funding from our devalued economy. Even with success in such endeavors, such politicians will be broadly blamed for those government services that ended in fiscal crisis.

Certainly, there are better roles for Joan in leading the remedies among teachers, parents and school associations. Thus, I am sure Joan is reviewing the realities of success in any political office. I would ask that we respect Joan as she considers her best options for her contribution.

Ah, but Dolores, I am only considered many fools in my perspective,

Hal, as Halamo
The Alamo Towne Fool
@ODDs, a Saloon for Fools
The Hotel Snaysmuth
2625 Crescent Moon Lane
West Willimantic CA 94507-1078

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Posted by Alamo Ron
a resident of Alamo
on Jun 1, 2009 at 7:04 am

Should Joan Buchanan drop her bid for Congress? !!!

She should have dropped her bid for Assembly. On her first chance to vote on an important issue, she abstained. So she doesn't want to alienate anyone? She alienated everyone.

Joan, dear - Forget it. There aren't enough paid-off teachers to swing this one for you.

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Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Jun 8, 2009 at 7:44 am

Hey, Alamo Ron, you hit the nail right on the head. Goodbye Joan, you really never had it together and you never will. I would love to see you come up for an election...I would be very surprised if you received 3% of us. Everyone that I have spoken to says, "Joan Who".

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Posted by Hal Bailey
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Dear Dolores,

As opinion without content continues to show contempt for Joan, we can only wonder who would be acceptable among the Contra Costa aggregated politics to be puppet to minority interests of very right-wing opinions. Never mind the reality that California is drowning in politics and debt, the drivel continues to blame considerate contributors such as Joan for the failure of their party in opposition to Democrats..and cleary vice versa in the party politics that restrict Joan's contribution.

It is clearly nonsense that is celebrated in blissful ignorance. Is another Oxymoron, without content, all we should expect?



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Posted by Dennis the Menace
a resident of Danville
on Jul 15, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Yea, we'll really miss Joan Buchanan's budgetary expertise. Like the time that property owners were double charged for a San Ramon Valley Unified School District parcel tax. No one said anything, not Joan Buchanan, not SRVUSD, and not the Contra Costa County Tax Collector. It was only a sharped eyed accountant in Danville who discovered it. After that it was quietly taken care of by only charging us a penny for the following year's parcel tax. No thanks, Joan Buchanan is the worst of the worst of cheap, hack, politicians to coin Keith Dobermann of MSNBC. Hey, hey, ho, ho,....Joan Buchanan has got to go.