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Has Ted Gaines Gamed the System?

Submitted by Jack Sanchez

Has Ted Gaines Gamed the System and forced taxpayers in Ca Senate District 1 and other districts to Spend Millions of Dollars not just in Placer County but in the 10 other counties in the District?

Ca Senate District 1 contains all of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, and Siskiyou Counties, as well as parts of Placer and Sacramento. Its population is just shy of one million, including 200,000 children.

About 80% of its residents are white, 11% Latino, 5% Asian, 2.5% Native American, 1.8% black. Almost 12% live below the poverty line, 15.9% depend on Electronic Benefits Transfers (EBT), which is lower than the California average, yet still too high.

Ted Gaines certainly knows how to play politics.

He was elected to Senate District 1. California’s top three GOP strongholds by county – Modoc, Lassen and Shasta – exist in Gaines’ territory, so he ran in a district in which a Republican was nearly certain to win. Some 42.6 percent of the district’s registered voters are Republican—fully 15 percent above the statewide GOP registration—in a region stretching from Folsom and Roseville to the Oregon border. He ran in the second most conservative Senate District in the State, almost guaranteeing the R after his name would get him elected, rather than any merit on his part.

When he left the Assembly to run for the Senate, his wife Beth conveniently and successfully ran for his Assembly seat and served for five years.

Gaines recently left his Senate seat before his term was up, necessitating a special election and providing him time to plan to replace himself with fellow Republicans such as Kiley or Dahle or Hime. He had time to recruit his replacements with his encouragement and with his political machinations before others even knew his seat was up for grabs.

The March 26, Special Election will cost Placer County taxpayers about $1 million dollars, but the cost does not end there. If no candidate receives 50% of the vote, then another million-dollar election must be paid for by Placer County taxpayers. In this election, if no candidate gets 50% of the vote, then another election must be funded by Placer County taxpayers.

Then, if Assemblyman Kiley wins, another special election involving over 180,00 Placer County registered voters must be held to replace his Assembly seat, costing taxpayers another possible million dollars. If Brian Dahle wins, then another election must be paid for to replace him in the California Assembly District 1.

Because Gaines implemented what appears to be a carefully planned, self-serving manipulation for himself and his Republican colleagues, Placer County taxpayers could be on the hook for as much as four million dollars.  And the costs for the remaining 10 counties needing to repeat the same possible election procedure outlined for Placer County could cost the California Senate District 1 taxpayers a total of $30 million or more. All this just to accommodate Ted Gaines’s political ploy.

It appears, when Ted Gaines finds a way to help himself and his Republican colleagues, fiscal conservatism goes out the window and the taxpayer pays the bill.

Please consider voting for Silke Pflueger (, who is a Democrat, an engineer, an environmentalist, a cancer survivor, and an immigrant.

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