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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | East Bay | Environment & Forest Defense
Rob Bonta, District 18 Rep (Oakland, Alameda, San Leandro): No Show on Fracking
Bonta's rise to power was enabled by the Sierra Club, and yet, he couldn't be BOTHERED to show up for the vote on the BAN ON FRACKING in California?? As the below write-up stated in 2012: "with all due respect . . there is a disconnect between Bonta’s stated ideals and his recent political practice."
Despite 500 Californians signing a petition to Rob Bonta calling on him to ban fracking (http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/no-fracking-in-california-1.fb40?source=s.fb.ty&r_by=9831701), he couldn't be bothered to vote on the bill. A search of his website for "fracking" returns nothing.
He also voted yes on SB4, Brown's bill to regulate fracking (http://votesmart.org/bill/17362/46138/129483/rob-bonta-voted-yea-passage-with-amendment-sb-4-amends-hydraulic-fracturing-laws#46138), but so did almost all the Ds.
Here is the 2012 Alameda County Green Party Voter Guide write-up on Bonta, which did not endorse him:
Rob Bonta (http://www.robbonta.com) was elected to the Alameda City Council in 2010, his first elected office. He serves as Vice Mayor. He is “running for state assembly to continue the commitment to public service and the struggle for social justice and progress that my parents were a part of” when they were farm worker organizers with the United Farm Workers and worked directly with Cesar Chavez Dolores Huerta, Philip Vera Cruz and Pete Velasco in La Paz. If all we knew about Rob Bonta came from his campaign literature (including his very thorough answers to our questionnaire) he would sound good. But with all due respect to Bonta’s parents, there is a disconnect between Bonta’s stated ideals and his recent political practice.
Bonta’s “Key Endorsements” (his term) include Don Perata, who arranged for the legislative action allowing the very large Oak-to-Ninth development to be approved by the Oakland City Council in 2006, although thousands of units of residential housing is not a proper use of waterfront property under the “Tidelands Trust” law.
The biggest, most significant fight that Alameda recently experienced was that of the attempted land grab of 450 acres of Alameda Point (formerly the Naval Air Station) by SunCal, backed by a major Wall Street hedge fund. Because their plan involved over 4,000 residential units, a citizens’ vote was required. The progressive community successfully organized to defeat this plan and did so by an 85 percent to 15 percent vote. While Mr. Bonta claimed, AFTER the election, that he was opposed to the SunCal plan, he did at no time take a public position against the plan during the campaign. Bonta was closely identified with council members who supported the SunCal plan and was perceived to be in that camp.
On his questionnaire Bonta assumes development at Alameda Point will lead to “creation of thousands of jobs and massive revitalization,” which sounds like he expects a future similar to the one already rejected by Alameda ’s voters. In his comments on environmental concerns he again speaks of Alameda Point cleanup and development. Bonta considers climate change “the most pressing long term environmental challenge we will confront,” which seems incompatible with a business-as-usual large developme incompatible with a business-as-usual large development a few feet above current sea level on Alameda Point.
Citizens soundly rejected high density on the Point for good reasons. Alameda is an island with limited access. When Alameda residents asked the City Council to sponsor an initiative protecting all public parks from swaps or sales without voter approval, the Council—including Bonta—refused. So the community rallied to place an initiative on the ballot, gathering many signatures beyond the required number for ballot qualification.
In several places Bonta writes long and strong support of public schools, but his endorsement list does not include either of the state teachers’ unions, the California Federation of Teachers and California Teachers Association, which went to Guillén.
Bonta seems to be treating his short period as a City of Alameda politician as a stepping stone to higher office.
And that was certainly true . . .
Sierra Club endorses Tam and Bonta for Council
Nearly 90% Of Bonta, Quirk’s Donors This Year Are Unions, Special Interests
"The Democratic State Central Committee received $34,785 from Bonta over the past six months. The total is not unusual and illustrates Bonta’s growing power in Sacramento. He also donated $1,000 to Abel Guillen, his opponent for the assembly last year. In addition, he contributed to the campaigns of former Oakland City Council candidate Sean Sullivan, Alameda Councilmember Lena Tam and Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan. Bonta also dabbled in Southern California politics, donating $1,300 to the successful mayoral campaign in Los Angeles of Eric Garcetti."