Health Care’s Prescription for Bioscience – Will Kennedy Decide America’s Fate?

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

Yesterday, I spent the day in Menlo Park with national and
state partners who came together to discuss the future of biotechnology in
Northern California.  The Bioscience
Business Roundtable
is the voice of industry leaders in the bioscience community promoting public
policies on the federal, state and local level that provides a dialogue and proposes
solutions to keep America’s place as a world leader in the bioscience sector.

Three tenets discussed by industry leaders were the
promotion of access and prevention and the encouragement of innovation through
building a greater understanding of the roles of government, the business
community, and academia.

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Who to Watch in the CD-10 Special Election

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

A long left to right airplane ride from California to New York State gave me time to research more fully the FEC reports and e-campaigns from the 14 candidates in the Special Election for Ellen Tauscher’s seat in Congressional District 10. Here’s what I’ve seen in print and on the ground –

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi – Declared the “frontrunner” due to his statewide pedigree – nobody has seen the guy in CD-10 in the last few weeks. He raised $300,000 in the latest filing and had $260,000 COH. His most interesting donor is former “St. Elsewhere” Actor and now political activist Ed Begley, Jr.

At a recent Innovation Summit in Livermore, Garamendi was questioned after his luncheon speech about what he would do to increase innovation beyond increasing government funding. He really had no clear answer beyond spending more money however his name ID might just carry him to the run-off.

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Congressional District 10 – Let The Race (Finally) Begin!

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

The race is finally “on” for Congressional District 10 to replace former Congressman Ellen Tauscher who just did a double-swearing in last Friday. She was married again and was sworn in as the Arms Control chief for the Obama Administration.

Key Dates have been announced, so get your game face “on” if you vote in this district or have designs of representing us in Congress.

July 20th is the date when candidates must complete paperwork and pay the $1,740 filing fee to be listed on the special election primary ballot.

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Trashing Chevron in Amazon Court

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

Chevron’s global headquarters is just a couple of miles down the road from where my family and I live. I pass it several times a week when driving through San Ramon.

Chevron is an important part of San Ramon, the 680 corridor, and the Bay Area community. From their refinery in Richmond to their headquarters in San Ramon, they employ many of my neighbors and give millions of dollars through corporate philanthropy to the needy and underprivileged each year. They are a well-respected corporate citizen and a good neighbor.

Not surprisingly, because they are a successful company, they are also a target for trial lawyers seeking to line their pockets through endless litigation.

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CD10 – Tauscher Nominated, Let the Games Begin!

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

We started the sweepstakes in Congressional District 10 when news was leaked of Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher’s prospective nomination by President Obama as the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security on March 18th.

So today, May 6, 2009, the real games begin with the President’s announcement of Tauscher’s formal nomination.

Democrat, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi released a poll on Tuesday showing his standing as strongest among the top Democrat contenders at 24%. Senator Mark DeSaulnier had 13% and Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan got 10%. Garamendi’s name ID is not surprising at 80%, given that he has run for every office in the state of California. DeSaulnier’s name ID trails at 39% to Buchanan’s 45%.

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Everyone into the Pool

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

The field to replace Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher in the 10th Congressional District keeps getting bigger and bigger. Newly announced Democratic candidate Anthony Woods entered the race yesterday and he offers an attention-getting story. Woods is an Iraqi war veteran, bronze star winner, West Point Grad and he’s out of the army because of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Woods is gay and disclosed that to army brass so he was sent packing. Read more about Woods’ story in Shane Goldmacher’s Capitol Alert report.

Just a week of so ago John Garamendi pulled out of the Governor’s race to focus on the CD-10, thinking he’d have an easy ride to congress. It appears others don’t see Garamendi as a sure thing and are willing to challenge him for the seat.

Garamendi chose a taxpayer-funded facility to do an “official” visit prior to his very political entry into the CD-10 race. Garamendi is “in” with his one major endorser – the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299.

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Sweet Emotion – Tax Day in the Protest Capital

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

There’s nothing in the Bay Area like a good protest! A Berkeley alum once told me that they used to just post a sign that said “Protest!” and people showed up – whether they were protesting something or nothing at all. People like a good party.

The peaceful protest at the Tax Tea Party in Pleasanton was one of several in the Bay Area. Even after 6 hours, there were still 600 angry taxpayers when I closed the program with KSFO radio personality Barbara Simpson. I learned later from other reports that there were actually 2,000 during the day in that location, 500 in Walnut Creek, and nearly 1,000 in San Francisco.

What I liked best about the Tax Tea Party was that these were real Californians – people who showed up because they were sick of paying for things they don’t benefit from – like corporate bailouts and bloated government. These people scratch their heads every day wondering what that extra tax dollar is paying for. It is not putting food on their table or clothing on their kids. These were not Republicans or Democrats – they were Americans. People Taxed Enough Already.

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Special Election Scramble – Raise your hand if you’re not thinking about running in CD10

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

Rep. Ellen Tauscher’s appointment by the Obama-Clinton Administration has sure ignited the political talkers. Open seats and special elections bring out the most qualified candidates, the least viable, and sometimes nobody at all.

The sweepstakes could be really intriguing or completely dull in this district which is really not much like the one Bill Baker held in the mid-1990s – the new “10th” is yet another poster child for redistricting reform.

As a resident of this district, I have to admit, it crossed my mind – for about 5 seconds. Let me be the first to raise my hand and say I’m not running. It took me about seven minutes to look at the numbers and rule myself out as a candidate. In the last four days, I’ve gotten a myriad of calls from my friends from Capitol Hill, so I started to evaluate others who might be better positioned to run in this congressional seat where Democrats dominate by 18-points of registration over Republicans.

Yes, it’s a GOP long-shot but special elections sometimes yield unconventional results.

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Just A Local Hero – “Sully” Comes Home

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

This past Saturday, the Town of Danville welcomed home Captain C.B. “Sully” Sullenberger for the first time since that heroic day when this courageous and talented pilot performed a “near miracle’, making a perfect landing in New York’s Hudson River that saved 155 lives.

My town rolled out the red carpet for Sullenberger, his family, and the several thousand guests who packed the town green. With the usual flourishes about to begin, I stood with my 11-year old son, an aviator-to-be someday, whose father, grandfather, and two uncles are pilots. In a family like this, you learn a lot more about the pinpoint precision, steady hand, and clear mind required with all flights – this one being nothing less than remarkable.

As Springsteen’s “Local Hero” passed through my head, the ceremony began. I thought about what “Sully” would say, how he would say it, and what the crowd’s reaction might be. I thought about when Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s Iron Man record appearing in the most consecutive games (then 2,130) in Major League Baseball history.

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Getting the GOP Groove Back – The Messengers

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

Like so many others who suffered bruising losses this past Tuesday, I had that moment that CNN Commentator Donna Brazile described in her “letter to losers” of being tired, angry and sad. I lost my own primary for state assembly in the 15th district in June and promptly jumped in to help the winner Abram Wilson retain our only Republican seat in the Bay Area legislature. I did everything I could to help the presidential ticket and my friend congressional candidate Dean Andal in the 11th district.

I raised an astounding $22,500 for the Victory campaigns and even more for Andal and Wilson during the general election. Why? I just didn’t see how we could risk having a GOP “shut out” for business-friendly candidates – thus paving the way for more regulation and mandates and less flexibility.

Then Election Day and the Obama tsunami hit.

The reality of no Bay Area representation in the state legislature and the U.S. Congress was as biting a cold as I’ve felt since I left Clarkson University (where it is 45 degrees below zero in the winter).

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