Usual Suspects

Usual Suspects

Gold Diggers, Cont.

The 5th Supervisorial District isn’t the only political race this March, but it does provide an unusual amount of column fodder. And if the ability to raise dough qualifies you to hold office (and statistics support that notion), we can already see the winners. But let’s not get too cynical. As reported earlier last month, the seven west county candidates have set a record-breaking pace when it comes to campaign contributions and raised slightly over $205,000. Former construction contractor Bill Dowd leads the pack, collecting $10,000 since Jan. 1 to bring his total to $69,388. His biggest single contributors of late are Freestone realtor Gene Walker ($671), Canyon Rock Co. Inc. of Forestville ($600), and Codding Enterprises of Santa Rosa ($599). Dowd’s closest competition in the cash department are attorney Eric Koenigshofer, who’s collected $45,779, including a bushel of cash from local lawyers, and Mike Reilly, holding down a close third with $44,765. Laurence Sterling, whose family owns Iron Horse Vineyards near Forestville, has raised $32,800. Gay rights activist Maddy Hirshfield clocks in with $13,006. Sebastopol businesswoman Shela Furze, who has been rather evasive about her Christian Coalition connections, has raised $8,484. . . . Winner of the Deadhead candidate award: Eric Koenigshofer who has not only reaped a fair amount of local wine industry money, but also picked up $500 from Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart and his attorney wife Caryl Orbach, as well as some CDs and books for a fundraising auction. And you thought we were avoiding the real issues.

Face Value

It’s a truism that name recognition is all-important in politics, but two local candidates are taking that a step further. Shela Furze and Holly Gustafson, probably the two least-known candidates in the crowded west county 5th District Supervisorial race, have sought to counter their lesser familiarity in the most graphic way possible–photographs of the candidates are featured on their campaign signs.

Sound of Silence

You didn’t think we’d hold an election in the 5th District without gender politics rearing its ugly head, did you? After learning that she would be appearing with just the other women candidates on KSRO, Gustafson blasted talk-show host Alan Stock for arranging an “all girls” panel on his morning program. The three women had been invited to appear on Thursday (coincidentally, the anniversary of the birth of women’s suffrage champion Susan B. Anthony), and the four men on Friday. Gustafson called the situation “inappropriate in this day and age.” Stock responded that the arrangement was purely coincidental and based on the availability of the candidates. He has said he was amused when he’d noticed the politically incorrect lineup but saw no reason to change it. Hey, Alan, what’s the sound of a hundred west county feminists’ radios tuning out KSRO? . . . Meanwhile, the most recognizable name in any race in the Democratic primary is looking a little different in the harsh light of the hustings. Former congressman turned Assembly candidate Doug Bosco appears to have embraced the Greco-Reagan method of tonsorial maintenance (as in Grecian Formula), even as his “message” harkens back to the quasi-progressive stances that first carried him to Sacramento back in 1978. Would that make him a dye-hard Democrat?


An upbeat, almost giddy gang of Democrats swarmed past tables piled with cooked crab at the party’s annual Sonoma County confab last Friday, and it only seemed as though the rash of candidates for various offices accounted for a majority of the several hundred faithful in attendance. Perhaps tapping the source of the positive vibrations, party wag Carol Ellis led the group in a pep rally-style chant of “Go, Pat, go” to cheer on GOP presidential spoiler Pat Buchanan. Later, featured speaker David Bonior, the House minority whip, succinctly characterized the four leading Republican presidential contenders (Steve Forbes, Buchanan, Lamar Alexander, and Bob Dole, respectively) as “flat tax, flat earth, flat wrong, and flattening out.” Rim shot.

From the Feb. 28-Mar. 6, 1996 issue of the Sonoma Independent

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