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Bonta Consolidates Power Among Alameda County Democrats

Alameda resident and California State Assembly District 18 representative Rob Bonta solidified power in the East Bay today, pushing through his preferred slate of delegates to represent his district with the California Democratic Party State Central Committee.

Local Democratic Party members were voting in Oakland from 10am to 1pm today.

Margarita Lacabe, who runs the San Leandro Talk blog, and advocated for the election of what she called a “clean” slate delegates that weren’t beholden to Bonta, told Action Alameda News, “Botna’s slate won, not even close. They mobilized unions.”

Bonta’s apparently preferred slate of delegates consists of:

  • Lynett Gailord
  • Brendalynn Goodall
  • Liz Ortega
  • Merian Reynosa
  • Pheleta Santos
  • Lena Tam
  • Malia Vella
  • Jahaziel Bonilla
  • Karl Debro
  • Keith Gibbs
  • Diego Gonzalez
  • Mike Henneberry
  • Doug Jones
  • Sean Sullivan
  • California State Executive Board: Jeff Delbono

Lena Tam is a former Alameda City Councilmember who sat with Bonta on council for less than two years between his election to that body and his resignation upon being elected to the State Assembly.

Mike Henneberry is the ‎Communications Director for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 5, a member of the City of Alameda Planning Board, and husband of Solana Henneberry, who was elected in November to the Alameda Unified School District Board of Trustees.

Jeff DelBono is president of the union local that represents firefighters here in Alameda.

In her blog post, Lacabe wrote that the only purpose of Bonta’s slate was “to make Bonta have more influence in the party, which he can then wield to further his political career. He is not in the least shy about this. All candidates in his slate must commit to ‘consult’ with Bonta before voting, and Bonta is spending thousands of dollars of campaign funds to get them elected. Bonta is hoping to use his delegates’ votes to decide who will get the Democratic endorsement in the race to replace state senator Loni Hancock in 2016.”

She also wrote that Bonta has been cozy with police unions “who’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get him elected” and been refused to carry any legislation that would put limits on mass surveillance of California residents.

In 2012, when sitting on Alameda City Council, Bonta voted in favor of approving funding for the Alameda police department’s purchase of a Ballistic Armored Tactical Transport vehicle.

Writing ahead of the vote, Lacabe argued that, “as any fight for civil rights and social justice in California goes directly through Sacramento, it’s dangerous to give Bonta so much say over which senate candidate will get the Democratic endorsement.”

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