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Condits go to great lengths to get elected

It’s safe to say that political ambition through the veins of the Condits.

Gary Condit rapidly climbed the political ladder from Ceres City Council to the halls of Congress in 17 years. He would likely still be in politics had there not been that little bump in the road in 2001 that eviscerated his base of support. Son Chad and his wife Helen Condit have been solidly connected to jobs involving state government or political consulting. Chad, however, could not tap into the Condit charm to reclaim his dad’s seat in Congress in 2012.

Now Chad’s sons are involved in politics. To even the casual observer, it appears that with the Condits everything is politically calculated.

Channce Condit was elected to a four-year seat on the Ceres City Council in 2018 and not even midway into his term he felt compelled to jump into a county supervisor’s race because he felt City Attorney Tom Hallinan – someone who has served on the Yosemite Community College District board for two decades – couldn’t adequately represent District 5.

Couper Condit, who served on the Ceres Planning Commission until he was bypassed for reappointment this year by a mayor unhappy with his obstructionism, is now making his foray into politics. Knowing he’d have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever being appointed to his brother’s vacant council seat once he bails to join the Board of Supervisors, Couper Condit made a suspiciously-timed move in June to a rental home in a less-than-desirable District 4 neighborhood – literally 400 feet from the din of Highway 99 traffic. I’m not the only one who believes his move into Council District 4 – the month before the July opening of the candidate filing season – was less than coincidental.

Couper’s campaign finance report, dated Sept. 21, shows large donations coming from sources outside of Ceres. The report also contains conflicting information on two different lines asking for addresses. In Box 3 for “Committee Information,” Condit lists a Ninth Street address. In Box 5 for “Officeholder or Candidate Controlled Committee,” Couper Condit lists an address on Leilani Way.

Couper told the Courier he has been living on Ninth Street since June. If that’s the case, why does his FPPC form indicate that he loaned himself $1,000 on July 6 from a Leilani Way address? 

Carpetbaggers, defined by Oxford as “political candidates who seek election in an area where they have no local connections,” are generally viewed unfavorably. Granted, carpet-bagging may hold less significance in a small city like Ceres at 48,000 – which really isn’t large enough to have council districts in the first place. Districts were only formed because minority groups routinely threaten cities with a lawsuit if they don’t. But coupled with the $10,000 raised from the family’s political connections mostly outside of Ceres it does, however, highlight the lengths some will go in pursuit of power.

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I told you a long time ago how Councilman Channce Condit was pushing for some of his pet causes because they would be used in play for the offices he would seek in the future. I was spot-on.

They include the insistence on earmarks that cannabis revenues go to public safety, a press that city employees actually live in Ceres, and the bizarre insistence that the General Plan contain a minimum police staffing level mandate when that’s a budgetary function. 

Last week he continued the political gamesmanship. Last week Condit said he’ll support the garbage rates being raised because it’s necessary but insisted over and over that there must be fees that can be lowered to offset them. He was told by two staffers that it’s just not possible since there must be a nexus between the fees to cover costs. The only other monthly fees charged by the city are for water and sewer and they are all based on operational costs and capital investments such as lines and pumps. Channce Condit should know better that one can’t willy-nilly lower one fee to offset another. It was just another example of shamelessly kissing up to voters.

On Sept. 14 Channce Condit also continued to beat his drum over his previously-rejected move that councilmembers give up their healthcare benefits. In doing so he claimed the council was just a part-time endeavor undeserving of health benefits. It was a two-fold move – to prop himself up as the selfless public servant – and hand ammo to brother Couper to fire at Councilman Mike Kline. Lo and behold on page 14 of our candidate’s section last week Couper takes a page from brother’s playbook and attacks Kline over his support of council benefits.

Each time Channce Condit has pressed for the council to give up health benefits he has chastised the others who disagree, reminding them over and over that he didn’t run for office for health benefits. According to Channce Condit, being a councilman is a part-time effort that doesn’t warrant paying out bennies.

Which poses an interesting question: Since all the members of the Board of Supervisors have other business interests and jobs, isn’t being a supervisor a part-time job? And if Condit is elected to that board, will he press for all supervisors to give up their benefits (and his) estimated $83,000 annual salary? After all, Condit is only running to be a public servant, right?

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What happens you put the fox in charge of the hen house? They get their way and eat up the chickens.

The fox is the Democrats and the chickens are us – and they’re eating all of us slowly.

Black Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (of course, a Democrat) authored a bill which paves the way for blacks and descendants of slaves to receive reparation payments. Our governor, who is one of the foxes running afoul, made the stupid statement when he signed it, “After watching last night’s debate, this signing can’t come too soon.”

What the hell is that supposed to mean?

According to Newsom, we can’t thrive until “every one of us has the opportunity to thrive.” And WE DON’T ALREADY? Of course we do! Some are incapable of thriving because they don’t work hard for it.

Weber’s is perhaps the most ludicrous bill I have seen these self-serving miscreants in Sacramento pass in their efforts to buy black votes at your expense.

Weber was born in Arkansas and said she and her family relocated to California to realize “tremendous opportunity.” She just embraced the notion that any poor person can be successful. What the hell does acknowledging past wrongs like slavery back in the 1860s have to do with people being successful today? Did the distant memory of slavery hold back successful black Americans like Don Lemon, Colin Powell, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, John Legend, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Halle Berry, Eddie Murphy, Stevie Wonder, Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Williams? Of course not! They got ahead applying their talents and their hard work.

It’s too bad I can’t prove that my great-grandfather Alfonse Benziger had been harassed and cursed when he came to New York from Switzerland in 1870, otherwise I might state the case that today’s taxpayers should be forced to pay me for past injustices to him. Of course I’m being silly for a point. Nor am I making light of the horrible cases of slavery but if ever there was justified reparation it’s when President Reagan sought payment of $20,000 to each Japanese-American who was forced to leave their homes and live in internment camps during World War II. It was for the people who endured the suffering and inconvenience themselves. Paying blacks for what their ancestors, long since dead and buried, endured seems most unjust and unfair to those living 160 years later.

Do you want to address a real problem, and not dredge up a phony one to buy black votes? Take on the real and present danger of the sex trade in California! The market for sex slaves is thriving in our state and nobody in Sacramento is as concerned about that as they are pandering and paying people today who honestly never tasted black slavery nor did their grandparents or great-great-grandparents. You have to go back to 1865 to find a slave!

If you want to know why California is going to hell in a handbasket, just look at our governor and his “progressive” minions in the state Legislature.

It could all be ended. QUIT ELECTING DEMOCRATS!

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The president is right when he states fraudulent voting takes place in our country. Joe Biden wants you to believe there is no evidence of voter fraud but he is dead wrong. He should quit watching CNN; he might learn what is really happening.

The attorney general of Texas – they have a good one, we don’t – busted four people who rigged a 2018 election by manipulating votes cast by mail.

Gregg County Commissioner Shannon Brown and three others face 134 felony charges in connection with a ballot harvesting operation during a Democratic primary election. Specifically, the four were targeting young voters who did not know what was taking place. The four are charged with marking applications for mail-in ballots claiming that the voters were disabled when they were not.

Brown won that race with just 767 mail-in ballots.

No wonder they want young people to vote. They tend to not be real aware of the world around them.

Texas AG Ken Paxton, the highest law enforcement official in one of our largest states said: “Election fraud, particularly an organized mail ballot fraud scheme orchestrated by political operatives, is an affront to democracy and results in voter disenfranchisement and corruption at the highest level. Mail ballots are vulnerable to diversion, coercion, and influence by organized vote harvesting schemes.”

Do not give your ballot to anyone! Trust nobody! Drop it inside of a post office lobby or at the elections offices. There’s too many bad actors out there!

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Last week I told you I’m voting a big hell-no on 15 and a big yes on 22.

There are also propositions 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24 and 25. Whew!

Here’s my take on them:

Prop. 14. No. It’s another bond measure. Might as well say it’s a take out the public’s credit card.

Prop. 16 – No. We do not want to bring back reverse discrimination, ie, legalized discrimation! California banned the policy in 1996 by passing Proposition 209, which said public institutions and government work should grant no preferential treatment based on race, sex, ethnicity or national origin. Prop. 16 essentially says that Prop. 209 should be reversed. I agree with University of San Diego law professor Gail Heriot when she states: “What’s fair is everyone is treated the same regardless of race.”

Prop. 17. No. It would let parolees and ex-felons to vote. Newsom and the Democrats are for it, of course, but voting is a right that offenders should receive once they demonstrate they have been rehabilitated; not before.

Prop. 18. Vote no. We have no business lowering the voting age to 17. To quote Kamala Harris, that age group is “stupid.” Democrats like this because kids are under the spell of their liberal teachers and overwhelmingly vote Democratic. Imagine having a minor weigh in on tax policies, for example, when it doesn’t even affect them financially.

Prop. 19 – If Newsom is for something, run from it. Thus vote no on 19.

Prop. 20 – Vote yes if you want criminals to get away with more. I’m voting hell no.

Prop. 21 – No to local rent control. It just messes with rents and punishes investors. It also takes away the incentive to offer rental properties. Independent academic experts from Stanford and U.C. Berkeley agree extreme rent control policies discourage new construction and reduce availability of affordable and middle-class housing, driving up rents for many Californians. Instead, as I have explained, if you want housing supply to increase, get rid of CEQA.

Prop. 23 – Vote no on this measure affecting kidney dialysis. 

Peter N. Bretan, M.D., President, California Medical Association said: “Prop 23 would unnecessarily increase healthcare costs and make the doctor shortage worse for all Californians by moving thousands of practicing doctors into non-caregiving roles in dialysis clinics.” According to a study by the independent Berkeley Research Group, Prop 23 would increase dialysis treatment costs by $320 million every year. Nearly half of the 600 clinics in California would become financially unsustainable — resulting in clinic closures and cutbacks that would jeopardize access to dialysis care.

Prop. 24 – No. It will add another bureaucratic state agency that will cost taxpayers $10 million each year. Can you say tax increase?

Prop. 25 – Democrats support this, duh. Vote no to keep the cash bail system. We don’t need free get-out-of-jail cards. As Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco says, “Prop. 25 will endanger public safety and makes it harder for police and sheriff’s departments to do our jobs.”

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Apartment complexes for teachers on school district property?

It’s concerning that state leaders are very much in bed with the California Teachers Association, one of the biggest donors to Democrat politicians, to the point that they extend special favors.

AB 3308, authored by Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills), was signed into law by Gov. Newsom which empowers school districts to utilize low-income housing tax credits to construct affordable housing for teachers and school employees on district-owned land. The legislation also clarifies that local governments can work collaboratively with school districts to build affordable housing for their employees as well as members of the general public.

In his press release explaining the bill, Gabriel notes that “California’s affordable housing crisis is particularly acute for teachers and school employees, many of whom cannot afford to live in the communities where they work.” He fails to explain that it’s Democrat and environmental policies which have caused housing to be unaffordable which also exacerbates the homeless situation. Gabriel says it’s shame that “so many teachers have to work second jobs or spend four hours a day commuting just to afford rent.”

Helping teachers is a politically advantageous thing to do but being singularly concerned for them and not anyone else seems distasteful. Too bad the Democrats aren’t willing to budge on CEQA – the affordable housing killer law – because lots of non-teachers would also like to have housing they can afford too.

This column is the opinion of Jeff Benziger, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Ceres Courier or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA. How do you feel about this? Let Jeff know at