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Democrat Bill Dodd is being hit with a barrage of union-funded ads that blame the Yolo-Napa county Assembly candidate for faulty materials on the eastern span of the Bay Bridge.

Dodd, a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, is pictured in a series of recent campaign mailers that question his ability to grasp the "nuts and bolts" of his post -- costing taxpayers $135 million.

The ads fault Dodd, a past chairman of the regional transportation agency and Napa County supervisor, for the nearly three dozen cracked steel anchor rods and assert he failed to properly inspect the manufacturing materials during two separate trips to China.

Dodd was a member of the Bay Area Toll Authority at the time of the trips, which exerts some oversight over bridge funding.

The Sacramento Bee has reported extensively on the issues facing the new $6.5 billion San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

The mailers leave out that the so-called bolts were made not in China, but in the United States. Dodd's campaign consultant, Matt Reilly, also noted that reports have largely placed the blame not on the commission, but on Caltrans and contractors.

"The distance between where they say the bolts are made in China when they are made in (Ohio) is about the same as the distance between these mailers and the truth," Reilly said.

The union attacks are part of a series of back-and-forth outside spending for and against Dodd and Democrat Dan Wolk, a Davis city councilman and the son of Sen. Lois Wolk. The outside spending ranks No. 4 in races across California.

A previous mailer from pro-business Dodd supporters erroneously claimed that Wolk voted to increase water rates without community input. The group has made other spurious claims about Wolk's record.

The 4th District race also includes Davis Mayor Joe Krovoza and a pair of Republicans.


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