Ron Briggs jumps Cherie L Raffety to run for Treasurer-Tax Collector
Although it is unusual for a popular, sitting, and entrenched politician to see a serious challenge like Ron Briggs offers, it is not surprising to those that have watched the debate, and elimination, of large bonuses going to elected officials with significant longevity in the job. In what was almost universally held as an improper 'bonus' for nothing more than successfully getting reelected, Cheri Rafferty was a poster child of such abuse. Due to their longevity in office, Joe Harn and Cheri Rafferty were two of the county elected officials that received $10,000s of bonuses every year.
The only significant concern that supported retaining the bonuses was the Mt Democrat Newspaper. Not too surprisingly, the money from the bonuses went right into Editor Mike Raffety's household income, since the Editor Mike Raffety is the Husband of Treasurer-Tax Collector Cherie Raffety.
But it would be a mistake to think that the Rafferty's were worried about the effect the cut of Mrs. Raffety's pay would create financial hardships for them. Although Mike is a newspaperman, his wife is in a different category than most citizens. Both Mrs. Raffety and Ron Briggs have a common attribute not shared by most in the community, they are the children of very successful fathers.
Cherie L Raffety now controls the charitable trust fund left by her father and everyone in the charity world in the county knows that she is a deep-pocketed funder of local charities.
Her father, Leo Albuche, was one of the most successful businessmen in Placerville in modern history. He was the founder and publisher of the Foothill Times and was well known under the pseudonym of B.S. Smith which suited to his ironic view of life. Leo sold the newspaper and started Western Sierra National Bank.
"A native of the Bay Area, Albusche worked as a musician and played trombone in big bands and dance orchestras. When the big band era declined, he started building homes. In 1950 Albusche moved to Placerville and worked as a real estate broker and car salesman. He continued to build homes on the side, and in his spare time he performed as a piano player. He developed and built the Carriage Trade Shopping Center in Placerville and the original Safeway Shopping Center in Cameron Park. He built and operated the Carriage Room Restaurant and the El Dorado Motel. He was instrumental in restoring what had been the abandoned historic El Dorado County courthouse. A private pilot, he flew for 44 years. http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2007/04/23/daily23.html
He was a founder and chairman of Western Sierra National Bank in 1981. Leo J. Albusche died in April 2007 at his home in Placerville. He was 78.
Mrs. Raffety is not the only star-child running for the office. Ron Briggs' father is one of the most noted conservation California politicians and is now a major land holder and investor in the county.
Creedence Clearwater Revival sang, "I ain't no senator's son, son" but that is not Ron Briggs' tune. Ron's pop is Former Senator John Briggs.
John Briggs, Former OC State Assemblymember/Senator (born 1930) is a retired California state politician who served in the California State Assembly and the California State Senate. He is perhaps best known for sponsoring Proposition 6 in 1978, also known as the Briggs Initiative, which attempted to remove all gay or lesbian school employees or their supporters from their jobs.
in the 35th District (which included northern Orange County and neighboring parts of San Bernardino County). Re-elected three times in this district, Briggs went on to successfully compete in the 69th District in the 1974 election. In 1976, Briggs ran for, and was elected a member of the California State Senate, representing the 35th District, comprising most of Orange County. He unsuccessfully sought the 1978 Republican nomination for governor. Re-elected in 1978 and 1980, Briggs resigned from the Senate at the end of December, 1981.
But the heavy-weight candidates have baggage of their own.
Cherie L Raffety has been lampooned last year for her part in collecting big money bonuses paid for by county taxpayers that struggle to pay basic bills. How will they react to the idea that she lined her fat bank accounts with unjustifiable bonuses while the voters paid her salary, and bonuses. Without much doubt, this will be a theme of Briggs' campaign against her, as it has been a main issue of Briggs for the last year.
But Briggs has his own baggage. His father lives with him on the family farm near Gold Hill and several members of the household are owners and beneficiaries of a family trust that has been buying land for development in the county. Several pieces of land are near the new proposed courthouse adjacent to the jail. He hoped to develop some of it into legal offices to serve the new courthouse.
This would just be grist for the mill, but Ron Briggs also voted on several policy votes regarding the new courthouse. This has put a real threat into the county that we may lose the new courthouse as state officials review the potential conflict of interest votes made by Briggs.
This will be a classic race which will suit both candidate's personality.
In a race against an entrenched candidate, the incumbent strives to stay above the fray and away from debates, in an attempt to hold their front-runner status. The opposer will attack, attack, and attack more in an attempt to bring down the incumbent's favorable rating from voters.
Mrs. Raffety is a quintessential "lady" that always maintains a friendly and professional manner in public. Even many that hate the 'tax man" like Raffety just because of the power of her positive personality. Taking the high ground and staying away from the fray is a natural and practiced presentation for her.
Ron Briggs is just about the opposite, a rash, indiscreet, bold, and willing to look a fool if it serves his agenda. He is good at the attack and use of back-room deal making.
The question yet to be answered is if they can be effective at the other end of their comfort zone. Can Cherie Raffety mount an aggressive attack against Briggs if he makes headway closing her assumed lead. And conversely, can Briggs show himself to be a judicious, temperate, and consistent, as a voter would expect out of a candidate for an office like Treasurer-Tax Collector.