San Jose Mercury News (CA)
February 14, 2002


San Jose Mercury News (CA)
February 14, 2002

The best Assembly candidate in the 22nd district Democratic primary has received the least amount of attention in the campaign. Rosemary Stasek doesn't have Rod Diridon Jr.'s name recognition or family political connections, and she doesn't have Sally Lieber's personal wealth. But she's the brightest and best qualified person to represent Silicon Valley in state government.

Stasek, 38, is serving her second term on the Mountain View City Council. She has been mayor and vice mayor. She's an extremely active council member known for taking principled, if not always popular, positions.
Stasek has an economics degree from Cornell, has worked for 12 years as a systems administrator and Web developer, and has taught computer technology at DeAnza College. She understands the problems confronting Silicon Valley and speaks persuasively about the need for industry to work with government to solve housing and transportation problems. As a leader of Catholics for Free Choice, she has tried to work within the church to resolve conflicts on difficult issues.

Stasek has a firm grasp of state and local budget issues, not just of the numbers but their meaning as well. She would get up to speed quickly in Sacramento, an advantage in a term-limited legislature.

Stasek's strongest opponent is Diridon, 32, a first-term Santa Clara city councilman. As the son of a long-time county supervisor by the same name, Diridon has been able to assemble a long list of influential endorsers and considerable campaign cash. Diridon has worked in community affairs for 3Com, but has focused his life largely on politics and community issues. He's a smart guy, but he cannot match Stasek's command of the issues or her persuasive style.

Lieber, 40, is serving her first term on the Mountain View City Council and is the current mayor. She is an active community volunteer. She has a blunt style that sometimes sparks controversy, but she's a hard worker on local and regional issues such as education and conservation.

Lieber and her husband, a successful high-tech executive, loaned her campaign $100,000 to get started. Both she and Diridon plan on spending close to $400,000, while Stasek hopes to raise $75,000.

In a race of bright, dedicated public officials, Stasek is a cut above the competition. It's unfortunate that the political establishment isn't behind her. Voters would do well to look past the high-priced campaigns and select the person who clearly would be the best legislator for Silicon Valley.

The Assembly is the lower house of the California Legislature. Its 80 members are elected every two years and are limited to three terms. They are paid a salary of $99,000. The 22nd Assembly district includes Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, most of Santa Clara and a portion of west San Jose.

The Republican and Libertarian candidates have no opposition in their party primaries.