Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Property Owner Interested in Mayor's City Email Account

By Steven Tavares

A former San Leandro resident and critic of Tony Santos has filed an official request for the archives of the mayor's city email account from the past year.

A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was made this week, according to the city, by a San Leandro property owner who says he hopes to find electronic correspondences between Santos and other parties that reference his campaign for mayor. The use of the city's email delivery system for campaign-related work is prohibited, according to the Fair Political Practice Commission.

Frank Lynn, who is an out-spoken critic of Santos and supporter of mayoral candidate Stephen Cassidy, is best known for rallying opposition to the city's plan to build the San Leandro Crossings housing development near East 14th and Davis Street. The project was held up earlier this year after the developer temporarily shelved its plans due to the poor economic environment.

Lynn says his interactions with Santos in the past along with rumors he is coordinating his campaign through his city email, gave him the impetus to request the documents which may contain thousands of potentially mundane emails. Lynn moved from San Leandro to Pleasanton, but says he still has interest in the future of the city since he still owns rental property here.

Santos said he is confident there is nothing illegal in the emails and says he routinely forwards campaign-related emails to his personal or campaign account for a response. The FOIA requests comes after a spate of accusations and attacks among Santos and his two main opponents, Cassidy and Councilwoman Joyce Starosciak.

UPDATE: Lynn said Thursday he has withdrawn his request to the city.


  1. Frank, I hope that you get the others as well as you lasso in the abuse of email power in San Leandro. Corruption in town. Heavens to Jack.

  2. The one thing I'll give Tony Santos--he does respond to email; and it's pretty revealing on how the man thinks (or doesn't).

    In the past, he's explained to me via email that the role of the city's Redevelopment Agency is too complex, and that the public doesn't need to know how it works; as well as countless rantings--such as chastising me for writing a scathing letter to the editor. From reading Jim Knowles blog; I know that Tony responds to what he feels are San Leandro Times' unfair portrayals of him and city staff.

    During this tumultuous campaign, I can't imagine that Tony has the ability to keep city business and his campaign separate--he sure hasn't been able to do this during city council meetings where he's repeatedly attacked Joyce.

    Even if Santos has violated the FPPC laws, I believe he will lose the election as per the will of San Leandro voters.

    Frank Lynn

  3. The only person who has violated the fppc rules is Cassidy.
    He broke rule 81000 from what I have been told and that is the guy Lyhn supports.
    I hope Cassidy is proud to have a racist homophobe carry his water.
    This move shows how gutless Cassidy is to have someone else do his dirty work

  4. Why is Frank Lynn a "racist homophobe"?????

  5. Too bad it is not about the issues. Instead it is about this Mayoral Race. I have only heard Cassidy attacking both Joyce and Santos, never heard either of them attack back. As someone who is new in town, from Tracy, this kind of stuff grosses me out. We had to deal with Pombo which is very close to what I have learned about Cassidy. It should be about the issues. It took me 30 minutes to get across town today and when I realized one lane was closed for street reepairs I was thrilled and not as pissed. Looks like our City is not as in bad of shape as it is.

  6. Frank....Kitty's calling!! She doesn't like your behavior!!

  7. Mike Santos,

    Looks like you're just as good at name calling as your father. Shall we have a yo-mama style name calling contest in front of city hall?

    I really wish I didn't own property in San Leandro; it is a stressful liability when the town is going downhill so rapidly. This election seems to be the one chance San Leandro has to change itself for the better. After this election, I will no longer be involved in San Leandro politics; because things will either start to get better with new leadership; or they will be beyond repair. Pleasanton has great public schools and almost zero crime; and I'm confident of my family's future here.

    However, I pray for those who remain in San Leandro, many of whom are stuck underwater on their houses and have no choice but to stay. I hope that San Leandro voters are wise enough to understand that doing the same thing but expecting different results is Einstein's definition of insanity. And I hope that Tony doesn't engage in voter fraud or any other dubious ways to win the election "by any means necessary." His comments on this blog that he knows about "skeletons in the closet" of members of SLPD are disturbing in this regard.

    Frank Lynn

  8. Frank

    I suggest you read Sullivan vs New York Times

    You have slandered my father for some time making accusations w/o proof I am afraid the next person you hear from will be the family attorney.

    You are a seriously disturbed individual and I feel sorry for you.

    Mike Santos

  9. Mike,

    It's interesting that a public official's son would threaten a lawsuit against an individual who just made a Freedom of Information Act request about his father. I also find it interesting that you feel that calling me a "racist homophobe" and "disturbed individual" is okay.

    However, I'm now definitely worried about the lengths to which your father will go to win this election; so I will cease writing letters to the editor, or commenting on blogs altogether in hopes to avoid further harassment of myself and my family. I will also withdraw my Freedom of Information Act Request in hopes that you or your family will consider ceasing any litigation against me.

    While the future of San Leandro is important to me; the physical safety, financial security and freedom from harassment of my family comes first. I'm glad that I physically reside in Pleasanton; as I fear I would be in even more danger if I was still in San Leandro.

    If you truly feel that I have made up claims about your father; please feel free to email me (your father has my email address); and I can provide you with email evidence to back up claims of what he has said.

    Frank Lynn

  10. I'm crying crocodile tears for you Frank.
    You're a typical bully, you spout your specious lies and then act hurt when you get called on your bullshit.

    Mike Santos

  11. Frank Lynn is a supporter of Cassidy. That's all you need to know. Obviously, he has a vendetta against Santos. He doesn't live in San Leandro, so he should just mind his own business.

  12. Santos is a threat to all sane people. The man's ego is huge and his intelligence is small. With these politicians in disarray and lacking a leader it's dog eat dog. Jr. Santos doesn't even live in San Leandro, so who the hell cares what that piece of blubber thinks?

  13. I live on Garcia and its pretty easy to throw stones when you lack the balls to sign your name to your hateful posts

    Mike Santos

  14. It is amusing to see Mike Santos, as posted above, who doesn't live in SL, castigate Frank, for not living in SL.

    As for Mike's insults, I'm sure Frank can handle it, but it's such a typical knee-jerk Bay Area liberal response, it'd be funny if it weren't so sad. Can't debate the issues? RACIST! Favor lower taxes and gov't spending? RACIST! Prefer to have lower crime? RACIST! Better schools? RACIST! Give me a ** break.

    Tony Santos has not acquitted himself well as mayor. Period. Spending money the city doesn't have on having a "Green" SL, ghetto BART housing etc etc were all extremely foolish, and doubling down on these foolish decisions should cause any rational SL voter to vote for the fiscally sane alternative. Cassidy isn't perfect (supports measure M), but he's orders of magnitude better than Santos or the others.


  15. David,

    If you read any of Franks comments on the San Leandro Bytes blog or here you will have plenty of evidence of his leanings.
    As for whether or not my father has done a good job thats what ellections are for.
    Also I do live in town, in fact my relatives have been in town since 1949.
    No one deserves the vitriol that has been hurled in this election.
    No one deserves to have racist graffiti hurled at them.
    No one deserves to be accused of a wrong doing with out proof.

    I see you share many of Frank's morals with your ghetto housing comment, nice ignorant remark. Subsidized housing for working people is "ghetto"

    I see where you're coming from.

    Mike Santos

  16. Looking forward to the discussion tonight.

  17. Frank, please don't be intimidated by Mike Santos' crude threats. He has absolutely no case to make - something he will find out when/if he talks to a lawyer. This is what the lawyer will probably tell him.

    - Written defamation is called libel, not slander.

    - Defamation requires false statements. In cases against public officials, it's up to the official to show the statements are false.

    - The statement has to be one of fact, not opinion.

    - The statement has to be said with /malice/. The writer needs to know that the statement is false and say it anyway.

    - In cases when the statement is somewhat ambiguous (such as the one above), the plaintiff (Santos) has to show special damages. Basically he has to show exactly how he was damaged as a consequence of what you said.

    The lawyer will probably also tell Michael about the California anti-slapp statute, which aims to stop public officials (or other powerful forces) from silencing citizens such as yourself by threatening them with lawsuits.

    So, by all means, have Santos call his lawyer.

  18. - The statement has to be said with /malice/. The writer needs to know that the statement is false and say it anyway

    Something Frank Lynn has done constantly

  19. Marga

    Was Frank doing this for the candidate you support.

    Is that why you are here telling him to continue?

  20. I don't follow Frank so I don't know what he has said or not in the past, but nothing said on this discussion even approaches the legal definition of libel.

  21. I'm pretty sure that Frank was doing this for himself. I have a vague idea of his doing something of the sort years ago. His feud with Santos is very long, and definitely Tony has given as much as he's gotten. Remember, it's Tony (via Michael) here who is calling Frank a racist.

    Anyway, unless there is something wrongful in Tony Santos' e-mails (which he denies and I have no reason to not believe him), I don't see how this is going to benefit any candidate. Yep, I'm sure Tony has made a fool out of himself on his e-mails (I've gotten e-mails from him before), but what's new?

    What I am defending here, however, is the right of citizens to criticize their elected officials without being threatened by said elected officials or their representatives. It sucks that Frank is afraid enough of what Tony might do that he decided to withdraw his request. But Tony does have a reputation for vindictiveness (cue for Mike Santos to threaten to sue me), so I can't say that he's not justified on his fear. I may very well go and make the e-mails request myself and see what he throws at me.

  22. Family attorney? Seriously, this Mike Santos guy sounds a little goofy in the head, maybe not all the lights are on, maybe he's all six's and seven's. Odd cat. Santos is as arrogant and bullish as Stark and has a son trying to defend him with words and threats of a law suit...doesn't make for a good time during a campaign. I have a feeling Santos Junior wants to fill the big chair some day, but I doubt folks will remember him when he's all growns up!

  23. Marga,

    Go ahead and ask for the emails, theres nothing in them.

    Just don't accuse someone of being corrupt or breaking the law without proof like Frank.
    He is a bully, he got called on his BS and he is running and hiding.

    If you condone his name calling and vicious remarks on line go ahead and defend him.
    I just feel personal attacks are petty and have lead to some actions in town that are despicable.

    You should read some of his comments left on your husbands blog and on this site before you deify him

    Mike Santos

  24. Mike,

    I've never accused Mayor Santos of using his city email address for campaign business. I was not aware that any comments I made to Tavares regarding my Freedom of Information Act would be used as a blog post. Frankly, I'm upset that he posted this article.

    I conjectured that Santos *may* have used his peronsal email account for campaign business. I think it would be difficult for anyone to keep the two separate. And *if*, and only *if* Santos had done so, a Freedom of Information Act request would uncover that. And even if the Mayor, *had* done so, I wouldn't have used the information to report him to authorities, I'd be more interested in the information itself. In fact, I expressly told Tavares that "His (Tony Santos') email responses to me over the years have been profoundly revealing; so I'm just interested in the information."

    For the record:
    To my knowledge, Mayor Santos has never used his personal city email account to conduct campaign business.

    Frank Lynn

  25. Mike, both Frank and Tony/you have decided that you enjoy calling each other names. He calls Tony corrupt, you call him a racist. It's not particularly mature, but political discourse seldom is. That doesn't bother me.

    But it does bother me when someone who is representing the Mayor of a city tries to use the power of the law to threaten a citizen into shutting up. And that's something that I care to speak out against. I'm sure that you didn't think your threat through, in this country we are very used to talk about lawsuits whenever something bothers us (and I'm guilty of that myself), but given your position representing a government official you have to be more careful of the ramifications of your threats.

  26. Frank,
    Stay in there. Screw Tony and Mike. They can't handle the truth. What are they so afraid of showing in those emails? That Tony is a pompous, arrogant man?

    When did Little Santos move back? I thought he was living in Alameda?

  27. Mike,

    I carried my political beliefs in Berkeley for over 6 years. I've heard it all, and calling me "racist" is certainly one I've heard before (never mind my grandmother was black, and unlike guilty white liberals, I know blacks can be racist too, so it's not a defense). It's the weak-minded cry of the sheltered white upper class/upper middle class guilty liberal who's never been challenged by a principled conservative.

    Let's rehash the subsidized ghetto housing.

    1) Fundamentally, the government should not be subsidizing housing. That's huge part of the reason we're in the financial mess we're in.

    2) The city should not be going DEEPER into debt in order to interfere in the housing market.

    3) San Leandro is already one of the most affordable communities in the "inner" East Bay (i.e. El Cerrito, Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda). Why is there a "need" for even cheaper housing?

    4) Importing a couple thousand poor people will not "revitalize" downtown. By definition, very low income folks don't have money to spend in downtown shops.

    5) Housing projects attract crime. Period. Look up Cabrini Green sometime. SL doesn't need more crime.

    Your counter:

    I'm "Racist." (where's race in my arguments?, never mind it's an ad hominem) SL "needs" more, cheaper housing (see #3). SL's retail businesses will be boosted (see #4). Anything else? SL can afford another $1M just in interest payments on the bonds needed to float this stupid idea? SL is going to get money from a bankrupt state?


  28. Look at how much the crime increased along 143rd Avenue when they put in that low-income housing at Nakashima's in 1985.

  29. The crossings is a 700 unit project of which 100 are subsidized, 600 MARKET RATE.
    How is that Cabrini Green? There is a huge difference between subsidized housing and a project.
    How is that bringing in 1000 of poor people?
    We are talking about helping people get a decent place to live.
    The ignorance of people like Dave is amazing.

  30. The "market rate" housing will NEVER get built. The first (and only stage) that made it far enough in the planning process was ONLY the 'very low income' housing.

    I've lived in Chicago. You know what happens, even with "small" projects? Crime goes up, neighbors move out, they're replaced by criminals comfortable in the new higher crime area, it spreads and ghettofies the whole 'hood.

    The ignorance of morons like you is amazing. Take a look ANYWHERE in the country at "very low income" ghetto projects, and look at what happens to the surrounding areas. I know, I've seen it everywhere--Chicago, Madison, Oakland, San Francisco, everywhere.

    You think it'll be different here? You're a fool.


  31. All you have to do is look at the old Nakashima Nursey on 143rd. Those were only "a couple low income" units. Same with that place on Fargo and Washington that they keep changing the name because it's a dump.