ELECTION '12//MEASURE B1 | Chris Pareja, the former congressional candidate who challenged both Pete Stark and Eric Swalwell in the primaries this year, has made his return in politics writing opposition to the county transportation parcel tax, Measure B1.
The polite, all-smiles former candidate ran as an independent, although ideologically conservative, during the primaries capturing a little over 20 percent of the vote, a surprising and impressive finish. But he was far below Swalwell to finish second. Pareja is uncertain if he is to ever run for political office again but said that he would help out conservative candidates running for other offices, such as state assembly. He has also been busy with his show, “The Right Side,” that interviews people involved in conservative politics.
Since his defeat in the June primary Pareja surprised some by giving Stark his tepid support, registered as a Republican and took his conservative principles into a fight against Measure B1, the county initiative that seeks to do three things: First it will extend in “perpetuity of the existing one-half of one percent transactions and use for transportation purposes, currently set to expire in March of 2022." Second it will increase the transactions and use tax by one-half of one percent and third will give authorization to Alameda County Transportation Commission to have authority to issue limited tax bonds.
Pareja and other opponents state that “B1 doubles the existing Sales Tax, adds $1,000,000,000 in revolving Bond Debts, adds a new ‘storage’ tax and all new taxes are forever taxes.” Pareja has been known to be a Tea Party supporter and spoke before a crowd of around 1,000 earlier this year at the Pleasanton Tea Party rally.
The proponents of Measure B1, which includes Union City Mayor Mark Green, Alameda County Supervisors Scott Haggerty and Nate Miley, and Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski, among others say that “the opponents of Measure B1 are members of an ultra conservative fringe group who either make up facts or are misinformed.”
“Measure B1 keeps our sales tax dollars in Alameda County. No money can be taken by the state or used for other purposes. An independent oversight committee has been established to provide audits and to ensure all funds are spent properly,” said proponents.
Pareja will be speaking tonight at 7:30pm against Measure B1 at the League of Women Voters forum held at Piedmont City Council Chambers.
Shane Bond is a regular contributor to the East Bay Citizen.