Larnie Fox: Clearing up a Misconception

To be clear…

By Larnie Fox, September 26, 2022

Larnie Fox, Benicia CA

In her letter to the editor in the Benicia Herald on September 23, 2022, my friend Patty Gavin quoted me writing to Christina Strawbridge “Thanks for your commitment to the arts…”. Unfortunately, she inadvertently implies that I am supporting Christina in the upcoming elections. To be clear I am strongly supporting Kari Birdseye and Terry Scott for City Council. So strongly in fact that my wife and I have spent hundreds of hours working with a talented group of people organizing scores of local artists to create colorful, creative, one-of-a-kind campaign yard signs for Kari and Terry. Watch for them around town and on social media.

Kari has kept a steady hand on the rudder as Chair of our Planning Commission, doing her homework, making careful decisions, guiding us through difficult times. Terry has shown boundless energy as Chair of our Arts and Culture Commission, working to open up the Majestic Theater, bringing Shakespeare in the Park, facilitating concerts by the Golden Gate Symphony with their Benicia Chorus, working to fund all our local arts nonprofits, and bringing a flowering of public art to town, crowned by the stunning “Neptune’s Daughter” sculpture gazing out from our waterfront. Kari and Terry will bring new energy and new ideas that our Council clearly needs.

I personally like both Christina Strawbridge and Lionel Largaespada. However, Lionel is still a Republican who leans toward short-term thinking, and Christina has been weak on crucial issues. Both have been compromised by our elephant in the room, Valero.

I do NOT want to live in a “company town”. Lionel works for a company that does business with Valero. Christina is married to a man with powerful connections to pro-Valero Unions. She has been working behind the scenes to obtain funding from Valero for a multi-use soccer field. Though Christina and Lionel publicly deny any connection to Valero, I find it troubling that Valero spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to support them in past elections, and to discredit Kari Birdseye and Mayor Steve Young. What does Valero know that we don’t?

I know that whoever wins our two City Council seats will be decent people who care about Benicia, but I don’t want them beholden to big oil. I want them to be focused on keeping Benicia safe, clean, culturally engaging, economically vibrant and independent.

Larnie Fox

More letters, news & links about Kari here on the BenIndy

And best of all – Kari’s website!

Kari Birdseye For Benicia City Council 2022

Seenos, Grayson, Concord Police join with Christian Nationalist PAC to support Concord Council candidate

[Editor: PLEASE NOTE CORRECTION – On Sep 25, I received an email from Lisa Tucker of the Tim McGallian for Concord City Council Campaign. According to Tucker, “Concord Council Member Tim McGallian has not endorsed Robert Ring for city council. In fact, Mr. McGallian has endorsed his colleague, Council Member Laura Hoffmeister.” Other claims in the article remain, and are highly significant – please continue reading! – R.S.]

Concord Police and Theocratic Nationalists Endorse Same Council Candidate, Open-Publishing Newswire, by News You Can Use, September 23, 2022

Candidate Robert Ring is endorsed by the Concord Police Department for the District 1 council seat. Robert Ring also has the support of the American Council, a Christian Nationalist PAC which is supporting like-minded candidates in city council and school board races.

The Concord Police Officer’s Association have gone all in on Robert Ring. Concord’s fourth district has 3 candidates, and Robert Ring is their guy. During last month’s Contra Costa County TV forum for D1 candidates, He touted his double endorsement from the Police Association and the Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney’s Association. Ring said “I am the candidate of law and order.” Video:

As part of his platform, Robert Ring proposes raising the pay of the police department. Ring acknowledges that 57% of the Concord city budget goes to the police, but he is calling for an increase for pay and for equipment. Ring has not explained where the money for such an increase in police spending is going to come from.

Robert Ring received $1,500 from the police association. It’s an investment. Need to spend to money to make money.

Ring is the “law and order” candidate. What guides his sense of what that phrase means? Is he guided by the “Book of American Laws” (She-Hulk reference, I couldn’t resist) or could Ring be guided by some particular religious sense of “law and order”?

Robert Ring received a payment of one-thousand dollars from a Christian Nationalist PAC called the The American Council for Evangelicals (or just The American Council for short). The American Council is a California based PAC that is trying to place candidates in city councils and school boards. They have candidates who are sympathetic to their theocratic values. The American Council is mobilizing to seat candidates who believe American is a Christian nation, and should be governed by their ultra-Conservative interpretation of the Bible. Robert Ring is one of those theocratic nationalist candidates.

On the subject of LGBTQ+ rights, the American Council does not approve of homosexuality nor same-sex marriage. The PAC believes that liberal attitudes of supporting the the LGBTQ+ community are damaging. They believe American society has compromised too much to the LGBTQ+ community. They believe these compromises are separating America from God.

Their stated goal is “mobilizing people of faith to pursue revival and reformation in America.” ( These are right-wing Evangelicals who want to Make American Great Again. Former Trump senior adviser Kayleigh McEnany is headlining the American Council Gala. This is a fundraiser to “fight for Biblical values in in legislation and the ballot box”. (Info here: This is a theocratic fascist political movement, and Robert Ring is the candidate for “law and order” in Concord.

The general council for the American Council is Denise Grace Gitsham: a former White House aide for George W Bush, a public speaker at CPAC, and Trump supporter. Advising the American Council is Kelly Kullberg, who organized a far-right astroturfing network called the Kullberg Network. This was a 2020 pro-Trump campaign used to spread conspiracy theories, anti-Islamic sentiment and racial propaganda. This White Christian Nationalist effort also operated sock-puppet social media accounts for “Blacks for Trump”.  (Snopes: Robert Ring received $1000 dollars from this organization. Robert Ring is the “law and order” candidate. The Concord Police Officers association has fully endorsed him.

Who else has endorsed Robert Ring? Sitting councilperson for Concord’s first district Tim McGallian. [See correction above.]  Ring also has the

Robert Ring for Concord City Council – I am grateful to have the endorsement of Assemblymember Tim Grayson….Thank you for support, Tim!

endorsement of Assembly-member (CA 14) Tim Grayson, a former city council member and an Evangelical preacher. Grayson was a Republican, who cleverly ran as a Democrat to get his seat on the state Assembly. Here’s a photo of Grayson and the “law and order” candidate:

The Contra Costa Building and Construction Trades Council also endorse Ring. Ring is Pro-Seeno. The Seeno family of developers are in negotiation with the city of Concord to develop the Concord Naval Weapons Station. Ring’s two opponents are both against Seeno, as is the general public. The Seeno deal has become a huge scandal, with allegations of bribery and organized-crime tactics. Oh, the police association is also involved with this scandal, as they have openly supported Seeno. Why are the police involved in a construction and development matter? That’s a good question, which seems to involve some kind of quid pro quo. Ring’s the “law and order” candidate.

Christian Nationalists are supporting Robert Ring. The cops like him, too. The 2 Tims – McGallian [See correction above.] and Grayson – are all in on Ring. The endorsements and the checks are coming in…. Ring-A-Ding-DIng! Ka-ching!


Here is the contribution from the Concord Police Officers Association. They either didn’t do their research before choosing their candidate, or they did their research and they like what they see. After donating, they gave their official endorsement.

The Concord police do not have civilian oversight..

Stay tuned for more. Oh yes, there will be more!

Kathy Kerridge: Kari Birdseye is competent, intelligent, hard-working…

Thinking globally, and acting locally

By Kathy Kerridge, September 23, 2022

Kathy Kerridge, Benicia CA

I heartily endorse Kari Birdseye for Benicia City Council.

I have seen her in action in various roles, including as chair of the Planning Commission and as a member of the Solano County Democratic Central Committee. I know she is a competent, intelligent, hard-working person.

Kari’s values are in the right place, and I have not one doubt that she will always put the health and safety of Benicia first. She will bring her concern about the environment, climate change, housing, and protecting the character of our city to the city council.

We are at a critical stage on many fronts, and local government can make such a difference. With the right people on the council, we can move forward on local issues that have a broader impact. I like to think globally, and act locally. Kari will do the same thing.

I trust Kari Birdseye to represent us and to provide a voice on city council that I know will always have the best interests of our city and humanity at heart.

Kathy Kerridge
Benicia Resident

More letters, news & links about Kari here on the BenIndy

And best of all – Kari’s website!

Kari Birdseye For Benicia City Council 2022

Lisa Reinertson: Kari Birdseye Sees the Big Picture

For a healthy planet for my children, for my grandchildren, and their children’s children…

By Lisa Reinertson, September 21, 2022

Lisa Reinertson, Benicia CA

What do the wildfires and recent air quality index of over 500 at Lake Tahoe have to do with Benicia? (Besides ruining some people’s vacations?) What do recent record-breaking temperatures throughout California, with some temperatures going above 115 degrees as close as Fairfield have to do with our town, or even with our elections?

Why does a huge Texas based oil conglomerate like Valero feel the need to meddle in our town’s local elections, using a PAC to the tune of around $240,000

The big picture is that we are all witnessing the effects on our climate; drought, wildfires, record-breaking temperatures, fish die offs, etc., due to, in great part, our reliance on fossil fuels. And the fossil fuel industry, aware that people might want to protect our water, our air, our planet, are wielding their power to protect their own interests, which is their profits. Our small quaint town of Benicia is again witness to their attempts to wield their power here. Like the story of David and Goliath, it’s the giant corporation against our citizens’ best interests, using PAC money to fight against City Council candidates that will hold them accountable. With their history of air polluting accidents and keeping serious toxic emissions in Benicia secret for over 15 years, they would prefer to not be held accountable.

I am a Benicia citizen who would like there to be a healthy planet for my children, for my grandchildren, and their children’s children. I want folks on our City Council who don’t have any ties to or accept any help from fossil fuel interests. Folks like Kari Birdseye.

Kari Birdseye, whose resume includes a stellar career in journalism, has devoted years of service to our community, both as president of a local PTA, and as the chair of our City’s Planning Commission for the past two terms. She currently works for an environmental organization, which is one of the things I admire about Kari, and what the oil interests are afraid of.

Kari, having raised two children in Benicia, understands the concerns and hopes of families in our town. She understands the need to protect our city’s financial base by diversifying businesses. She understands that clean air and water and the health and safety of our community are top priorities.

Kari cares deeply about the state of our environment and will work diligently on sustainable ideas and solutions to the problems that affect us now and into our future. Kari is beholden not to any corporate interest but only to the citizens of our beautiful Benicia. She is kind, thoughtful, accessible, smart, resilient, and not afraid to fight the good fight for the good of our community. Please join me in voting for Kari Birdseye for Benicia City Council.

Lisa Reinertson
Benicia Resident

More letters, news & links about Kari here on the BenIndy

And best of all – Kari’s website!

Kari Birdseye For Benicia City Council 2022

For safe and healthy communities…