PDB Meeting – July 12th, 7:00 PM

General meeting Thursday July 12, 7:00 pm

Dona Benicia Room of the Benicia Library

  • Speaker: Lynette Henley, California Democratic Party (CDP) Region 2 Director.  Lynette has agreed to give her insights and thoughts on the state of the California Democratic Party prior to the general elections, now that the primaries have set the candidates.
  • Agenda (download) Highlights:
    • Flip 14: voter registrations; Benicia ISO next steps.
    • Ms. Lynette Henley, Region 2 Director, CA Democratic Party/Solano Co Democratic Central Committee member: June 6 Primary results. Suggestions on how PDB can best focus its efforts on the races and candidates in the November 6th election.
    • Benicia School Board Trustee elections. Panel discussion.
    • CA-10: Jeff Denham (R) v. Josh Harder (D). PDB support for ongoing operations in Tracy, which resume July 14th, to elect Josh Harder on November 6. (See handout.)
    • PDB Endorsement committee and process for November races and candidates.
  • Invitation letter from PDB Chairperson Ralph Dennis, 7/5/18
  • Draft 6/18/18 minutes – for approval

Questionable community outreach by Air District for Industrial Safety Ordinance audits

Repost from the Benicia Independent, from local emails…


From: Roger Straw
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2018 9:45 AM
Subject: FW: [BAAQMD Coalition] Questionable community outreach for Industrial Safety Ordinance audits

This is amazing – read below, from bottom, up.  (Click on the image for larger display.)  And then come back and ask a couple of questions:

  1. Does Solano County have to report to the public like this now – even under current regulations?  Do they publish a notice like the one Nancy sent from Crockett?  Is this something that our newbie “CUPA” needs to be doing on our behalf?
  2. If/when we have an ISO, what assurances do we have the Hazardous Materials staff (Contra Costa OR Solano) would be any more attentive to Benicia citizens’ needs.  (Randy Sawyer should be embarrassed by this.)

I think the Working Group could be making a big deal out of this!  I think I’ll post about it on the BenIndy.


Begin forwarded message:

On Tue, Jul 3, 2018, 3:28 PM Nancy Rieser via BAAQMD Network wrote:

The Contra Costa Health Department considers a booth behind an elementary school two blocks away from a street fair in Crockett as a “public meeting..”   They reckon that the booth where they will be twiddling their fingers while the locals drink and dance a few blocks away will meet its obligation to hold a face-to-face public meeting.

Guess we are lucky.  Martinez gets its face-to-face at a Christmas tree farm in August on National Night Out.

I called the Health Department:  The gentleman who answered the phone said that apparently nobody cares enough to hear this kind of information and they won’t hold a meeting unless they can get a guaranteed audience of 25 people.  Neither will they mail notices to individual homes about their meeting to hustle the crowds.  “It is too expensive.”


From: Ralph Dennis
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 12:26 PM
Subject: ISO related

I noticed in the Benicia Herald this morning two public notices for Risk Management Plans prepared by Solano County Department of Resource Management, one for Praxair and the other for Benicia’s Water Treatment Plant. These are part of the 5-year audit review process, I believe, the same reports referenced in the Contra Costa County notice you sent around the other day.

I figured there ought to be one for Valero, so I called the Solano County Department of Resource Management. Turns out the Valero plan was filed in Dec. 2017 and is still under review. The staffer I spoke with who is doing the review is suppose to call me about status. Interesting, I guess: no public meetings planned, copies of plans not available in our library (as in Contra Costa County). He seemed surprised at my question about public meetings, said he could check with management.

CCHMP public notice meetings July-Aug 2018

Private prison groups receive huge state contracts, fund Dem & Republican state politicians

An email from Andrés Soto, citing an article from Capitol Weekly

GEO Group and CoreCivic In California

Dear Friends:

Andrés Soto

Below is an article that details the contributions GEO group and CoreCivic have been making to California politicians. Note Democrats have been primary recipients since they are the majority.

As private prison groups they have been deeply involved in Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policies by running private prisons, detention facilities etc…

This is an example of how private industry has found a way to make money of of poverty and suffering with the complicity of politicians who say nice words and screw us.

Some highlights:

  • Asm. Rob Bonta has received $1,000.00
  • Sen. Bill Dodd is the favored legislator with $5,900.00
  • Senate Leader Toni Atkins is second only to Dodd!
  • The Women in Power PAC and the Latino PAC have taken this dirty money.
  • Gavin Newsom, Antonio Villaraigosa and John Chiang have all taken their money.

In return, GEO Group and CoreCivic receive state contracts worth $72 million and $23.5 million respectively. Are theses the people we want to represent us?  See below…


Repost from Capitol Weekly

Private prisons are California political players

So you think privately run prisons are a Republican thing? Perhaps in Texas and Tennessee.But in deep blue California, it is the Democrats who take in the most contributions from for-profit correctional corporations, primarily Florida’s The GEO Group and the Tennessee-based CoreCivic, formerly Corrections Corporation of America.Both The GEO Group and CoreCivic own and operate immigration detention facilities for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, facilities that are at the center of President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy.

The California Democratic Party tops the list of recipients with $140,000 from GEO and $20,000 CoreCivic.

California Democrats — the state party, candidates and affiliated PACs — received about $251,000 from GEO Group and CoreCivic thus far during the 2017-18 election cycle. GEO Group contributed $156,000, while CoreCivic gave nearly $95,000. Relative to the dollars contributed to Democrats by tech, developers, unions, gambling and cannabis interests, the money is small. However, private-prison contributions to Democrats are more than double what Republicans received ($100,000).

Favoring Democrats with campaign cash is not surprising. Democrats handily control both houses of the Legislature and all statewide offices, including the governor. Indeed, Republicans, at 25.07%, have dropped to third place in voter registration: They trail Democrats (44.36%) and those who decline to state a party preference (25.51%).

The California Democratic Party tops the list of recipients with $140,000 from GEO and $20,000 CoreCivic. Gavin Newsom’s gubernatorial campaign received $5,000 (Antonio Villaraigosa and John Chiang also got CoreCivic money). Democrats Bill Dodd of Napa, Blanca Rubio of Baldwin Park, Anthony Rendon of Los Angeles, Phil Ting of San Francisco, Ben Allen of Santa Monica, and 16 other Democratic members of the state Legislature accepted contributions from CoreCivic. Dodd also is GEO Group’s favorite California officeholder ($5,900), followed by Senate Leader Toni Atkins, lawmakers Ben Allen and Jim Cooper.

The Democratic-leaning Women in Power PAC took in $5,000 from CoreCivic, while a California Latino PAC received $2,500.

CoreCivic contributed to the campaigns of 12 Republican state legislators, such as Tom Lackey, Catharine Baker, Brian Dahle and Chad Mayes. The GEO Group contributed to the campaigns of Heath Flora, Bill Brough and Brian Maienschein.

The GEO Group has 47 operations in California, mostly inmate reentry and retraining. CoreCivic operates seven facilities in California, mostly county and city jails.

Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy, the pro-corporate PAC that supports both Democrats and Republicans, received $10,000 each from the GEO Group and CoreCivic.

GEO Group and CoreCivic have much business in the state. Outside of the federal government, California is GEO Group’s second biggest client.

For CoreCivic, California ranks third after the feds and Tennessee, the company’s home state. The companies operate modified community correction facilities, which transition inmates to the outside, as well as other inmate reentry programs.

The GEO Group has 47 operations in California, mostly inmate re-entry and retraining, plus ICE facilities in Adelanto and Mesa Verde.

CoreCivic operates seven facilities in California, mostly county and city jails, and an ICE facility in Otay Mesa near San Diego.

“That is a prison. You walk through the halls and the doors clank shut, there are bars on the windows.” — Kamala Harris

In addition to their business with state, city and county governments, the GEO Group and CoreCivic own and operate immigrant detainment centers for ICE. The GEO Group operates Adelanto ICE Processing Center in San Bernardino County and Mesa Verde ICE Processing Facility in Bakersfield. Under GEO Group, Adelanto has had a rash of detainee suicides, in-custody deaths, and accusations of sexual assault and abuse. Inspectors have also cited the facility for delayed and inadequate medical care, an unexperienced medical staff, and deficiencies in their medical grievance reporting system.

CoreCivic runs Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego. Recently, California U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris toured Otay Mesa, visiting mothers detained there. After her tour, Harris told a crowd gathered outside, “I am a career prosecutor, I have visited many prisons and jails. That is a prison. You walk through the halls and the doors clink shut and there are bars on the windows.”

Harris said mothers were being charged to call their children — 85 cents per minute — after being paid $1 a day for work. Later, she told reporters that detainees claimed that they were being drugged against their will. She added, “This is clearly a crime against humanity that is being committed by the United States government,” Harris said.

CoreCivic rejected her allegations.

Neither ICE nor its contractors provide information on the value of their contracts.

The Los Angeles Times reported that inmate per diem is $107-$112 per day. A public information request by the National Immigration Law Center found the minimum detainee population guaranteed for each facility.

Using this data, Capitol Weekly estimates that The GEO Group’s two contacts are worth a minimum of $72 million and CoreCivic’s Otay Mesa contract is at least $23.5 million.

The following are contributions by The GEO Group and CoreCivic to California legislators, candidates for state office, state political parties and PACs.

Total contributions for 2017-18: $371,436

GEO Group 2017-18 total: $218,600

  • California Democratic Party: $140,000
  • California Republican Party: $35,000
  • California for Jobs and a Strong Economy: $10,000
  • Republican Party of San Diego: $10,000
  • Bill Dodd (D): $5,900
  • Toni Atkins (D): $4,200
  • Heath Flora (R): $3,500
  • Ben Allen (D): $3,000
  • Bill Brough (R): $2,000
  • Jim Cooper (D): $2,000
  • Brian Maienschein (R): $1,500
  • Todd Gloria (D): $1,500


Democratic interests: $156,600

  • Democratic state party: $140,000
  • Incumbent candidates: $16,600
  • GOP interests: $52,000
  • GOP state party: $35,000
  • GOP San Diego: $10,000
  • Incumbent candidates: $7,000
  • California for Jobs and a Strong Economy PAC: $10,000

CoreCivic 2017-18 total to date: $152,839

  • California Democratic Party: $20,000
  • California Republican Party: $20,000
  • California for Jobs and a Strong Economy: $10,000
  • Tom Lackey (R): $5,000
  • Gavin Newsom (D): $5,000
  • Women in Power PAC: $5,000
  • Phil Ting (D): $4,566
  • Catharine Baker (R): $4,500
  • Bill Dodd (D): $4,000
  • Josh Newman (D): $4,000
  • Andy Vidak (R): $4,000
  • Antonio Villaraigosa (D): $3,500
  • Anthony Rendon (D): $3,227
  • Blanca Rubio (D): $3,000
  • Brian Dahle (R): $3,000
  • Dante Acosta (R): $3,000
  • Adam Gray (D): $3,000
  • Tim Grayson (D): $3,000
  • California Latino PAC: $2,500
  • John Chiang (D): $2,500
  • Autumn Burke (D): $2,000
  • Ben Allen (D): $2,000
  • Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D): $2,000
  • Chad Mayes (R): $2,000
  • Heath Flora (R): $2,000
  • Jacqui Irwin (D): $2,000
  • Jose Medina (D): $2,000
  • Kevin de Léon (D): $2,000
  • Kevin Kiley (R): $2,000
  • Lorena Gonzalez (D): $2,000
  • Richard D. Roth (D): $2,000
  • Marc Steinorth (R): $2,000
  • Matt Dababneh (D): $2,000
  • Henry Stern (D): $2,000
  • Susan Rubio (D): $2,000
  • Tom Daly (D): $2,000
  • Vince Fong (R): $2,000
  • Scott Wilk (R): $2,000
  • Cristina Garcia (D): $1,000
  • Susan Eggman (D): $1,000
  • Pat Bates (R): $1,000
  • Rob Bonta (D): $1,000


Democratic interests: $94,839.27

  • Democratic Party: $20,000
  • Dem connected PACs: $7,500
  • Democratic governor candidates (Newsom, Villaraigosa, Chiang): $11,000
  • Democratic lieutenant governor (de Léon): $2,000
  • Incumbent candidates and Legislature (27): $52,339.27
  • First-time candidates (1): $2,000

Republican interests: $48,000

  • Republican Party: $20,000
  • Incumbent candidates (11): $28,000
  • Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy: $10,000

Equity & Justice for All