Another Baca Loss
10:00 PM PDT on Thursday, June 7, 2007
Are voters trying to tell Jeremy Baca something?
The political wannabe didn't just lose Tuesday's election for the Colton City Council. He was trounced.
Baca got half as many votes as winner Vincent Yzaguirre in the seven-way race for the vacancy left when Kelly Chastain was elected mayor.
It was his second defeat in just over a year. Baca lost to Wilmer Amina Carter by 42 percent to 58 percent in the March 2006 Democratic primary for state Assembly.
But two defeats don't deter the political Baca family.
At Baca's election-night party, the patriarch -- Rep. Joe Baca, D-Rialto -- gave a speech noting that he lost his first two races for Assembly before winning in 1992 and going on to serve in the state Senate and Congress.
Will Jeremy run again? He might, the defeated son said.
The elder Baca blamed the San Bernardino County Young Republicans, which spent $5,500 on two negative mailers about Jeremy, and the GOP-dominated New Majority California PAC, which poured $5,000 into Yzaguirre's campaign.
Yzaguirre disavowed the negative mailers, which dredged up Jeremy's 2005 drunken-driving conviction and a citation for a 2004 run-in with a girlfriend.
Yzaguirre said he kept his campaign focused on his qualifications and the issues and had no control over the group's independent expenditures.
In the weeks running up to the election, the city was papered with huge, 4-foot by 6-foot campaign signs for both men.
Yzaguirre's boasted "fourth-generation Colton resident," a subtle reminder that Baca had moved to the city from his longtime home of Rialto shortly before applying for the council vacancy -- without actually calling him a carpetbagger.
On Wednesday, both Republicans and Democrats celebrated Yzaguirre's victory.
The Blue County electronic newsletter called the 42-year-old real estate developer an "excellent Democrat" with "exceptional experience to help redevelop Colton."
The Red County e-newsletter gloated over Baca's loss, saying it left egg on the faces of his council supporters.
Yzaguirre and Baca were clearly the frontrunners from the time they and five others applied to be appointed to the council. Yzaguirre easily outperformed Baca in the public interview process, but amazingly, three council members -- David Toro, Richard DeLaRosa and Isaac Suchil -- supported Baca, causing a deadlock.
The Colton Chamber of Commerce hosted two candidate forums on successive nights last month, oddly scheduling the frontrunners separately.
That was a disservice to voters, who should have been able to compare their performances. If 10 Republican presidential candidates can share one stage for debates, why couldn't seven council hopefuls? Chamber executive Eufemia Reyes didn't return phone calls Thursday.
I attended a backyard barbecuing in south Redlands on Saturday afternoon and noticed a single-engine plane circling overhead. I wondered if the host had a pilot-friend saying hello.
Nope. It was a training flight of Redlands' new surveillance aircraft, which had its maiden flight Friday.
The first score came on its very first flight, when an abandoned stolen car was located.
Cassie MacDuff can be reached at 909-806-3068 or cmacduff@PE.com
BS Ranch Perspective:
There is no reason that Baca should be upset, and give up. I know that it is a hard thing to loose and election rocks a man to his core. But he moved there with a mission, and this paper has not given Baca a fair shake. His Brother has done great things in Rialto, Why, in some cases it has been Joe Baca Jr. and the Mayor Grace Vargas that have been looking after the best Interest of the people of Rialto, and not the rest of the Council.
Example: Joe Baca Jr. or his brother would have voted to clear out the existing Police Department in favor of a Contract with the Sheriff's Department, not just that But Every time you have a conversation with anyone from the Sheriff Department they said the following about the situation. That it was a Done Deal, that the only thing that was left was convincing the Judge that was ruling against the Sheriffs Department, They were picking out their Uniforms for the City, and getting all ready for their transfer papers to help out the City that was "Corrupt"
Sorry I am like a broken Record, but I guess I will be until the Three Council Members that are on the council are Elected off. I think that Colton was missing out on a good person that could have done some good for their city. Next time.