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Former Police Chief Wants to Return as Clovis Councilman



Former Clovis police chief Matt Basgall is running for city council. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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A former Clovis police chief wants to return to public service as a city councilman.

Photo of GV Wire's David Taub

David Taub

Politics 101

Clovis voters will select three members in an at-large election this November — the first to be held in an even-year in modern times.

There will be at least one new councilmember. Bob Whalen won election in June for Fresno County judge, and will be sworn in next January.

Two have already pulled papers to run — incumbent Drew Bessinger, and former police chief Matt Basgall.

After retiring in 2019, Basgall returned to public life this year, advocating for more money for police. Voters will decide in November on a separate hotel tax initiative. The two percent increase (from 10% to 12% for hotel guests) is estimated to raise $500,000 for the general fund. There is no sunset date.

Basgall already has a $10,000 contribution from the Clovis police union.

Jose Flores, the third incumbent, has not filed. He told Politics 101 previously that he plans to run for re-election.

Also in Politics 101 …

  • Clovis opposes gambling initiative.
  • How Valley congressional delegation voted on Respect for Marriage.
  • Former congressional candidate Phil Arballo finds a new job.

Clovis Says No to Gambling Proposition

The Clovis City Council voted 4-0 to oppose Proposition 26, at its meeting Monday night.

The ballot initiative would legalize sports betting at American Indian gaming casinos. The 500 Club Casino urged the city council to oppose the measure, saying its passage could hurt their business.

Councilman Bob Whalen abstained, citing ethical concerns as his position as judge-elect in taking issues on political issues beyond what directly affects Clovis.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the city council appointed Sargeant Green to the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District. Green will replace the retiring Roy Spina Jr., who represented Clovis in the district for 28 years.

How Valley Delegation Voted to Respect Marriage

This Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed the Respect for Marriage Act. Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, was one of 47 Republicans to support the bill which would codify same-sex marriage and interracial marriage into law.

“No one, regardless of their race, gender, or sexual orientation should be discriminated against because of who they are. All Americans should be treated equally under the law,” Valadao told GV Wire.

Valadao was the only member of the Central Valley Republican delegation to vote yes. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, Connie Conway, R-Tulare and Tom McClintock, R-Roseville, voted no.

McCarthy told the Washington Post the vote was a “political game by the Democrats.”

”They’re not being serious about the issues that the American public care most about (like) inflation. This is not an issue that’s coming before us,” McCarthy said. “And I just think you give them more fodder to keep playing political games instead of being serious about the issues we need to work on.”

How Local Congress Members Voted HR840 Respect for Marriage Act (GV Wire/Paul Marshall)

Fresno Democrat Jim Costa voted yes.

“Marriage equality must be protected and guaranteed to all Americans under federal law,” Costa said in a news release. “The extremist Supreme Court majority decision to overturn Roe v. Wade shows their willingness to attack other fundamental rights like interracial and same-sex marriage. We must assure Americans that they have the right to marry whom they want.”

Arballo Has New Job

If you can’t win a congressional election, join another candidate who can’t win either.

Phil Arballo, who finished third in the 13th Congressional District in June, will now consult for Michael Barkley, D-Manteca, in the 5th Congressional District.

Barkley has run six times for Congress since 2012. This is the first year he’s advanced past the primary. Arballo also lost in the 2020 congressional race to Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare.

Could the move help with Barkley’s fundraising? Arballo led CD 13 candidates raising $1.6 million. Barkley only raised $40,522. He’s making the pitch on Twitter.

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Roseville, enjoys a district with a 10.3% Republican advantage over Democrats.

The expansive district stretches from “Gold Country” in eastern California into eastern Fresno County.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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