Monday, June 4, 2012

In A Race Once Tailor Made For Young, Bonta And Guillen Prepare For Victory

June 4, 2012 | From the start, the race for the 18th Assembly District was all about demographics and which candidate would have taken the largest voting bloc--African Americans--and ride that group to the Legislature. Go back to February 2011 and that person was undeniably Joel Young. The following month, though, was the first of many wholly self-inflicted wounds to his once-promising campaign. The shocking domestic violence allegation in March 2011 marked Young, but his personal errors, as we would see on many occasions later, radiated from his bedroom to the public realm (allegedly spitting at Oakland council aide in a bar) to the professional (double-crossing the hand that would have fed him during the campaign season with the loss of the SEIU endorsement). Things just got worse and worse for Young and nobody is to blame but himself. A look at AD18's voting-age demographics should have been an oracle to how the June primary should have finished up:


Also, being an Oakland transplant was also a beneficial factor across the board for Young, and for a lesser case, his opponent Abel Guillen, a Latino. Of course, for all the pratfalls Young forced upon himself, both Guillen and Alameda Vice Mayor Rob Bonta stood their grounds and may have ultimately, surpassed Young when the votes are counted Tuesday night. All done without getting their hands soiled by trashing Young. A special interest group called, California Alliance, backed by consumer attorneys and conservationists, greatly helped on that front. The group's $109,000 in independent expenditures over the past month put an exclamation point on all of Young's transgressions with a series of pointed mailers.
Bonta, Guillen, Young
In the meantime, Bonta has run a solid, if not unspectacular, that is giving observers a sense of quiet momentum that could last well into the end of the year. However, if there is a race in the new top two primary system that could flip the primary winner to second place in November, some consultants believe it could be this one. The power of Oakland, even with a mass exodus of people over the past decade, according to the U.S. Census, could still stoke interest in handing over the seat to an Oaklander like Guillen. If Bonta should prevail Tuesday, the efficacy of his fall campaign may lie in his numbers coming from Oakland. It also would not surprise many if Bonta takes both Alameda and San Leandro on Tuesday, in fact, it's almost a must for him to do well in those areas to win in November.

One problem, shown constantly in this campaign, in a very blue race populated by very blue candidates is that they is no room for the candidates to make a distinction between each other with three people, let alone two in November (i.e. boring debates). Here's how the district voted in the last presidential and gubernatorial races:

2008 Presidential

2010 Governor

Most people call it for Bonta at around 40 percent, Guillen in the very low 30s and Young in the high 20s. That sounds about right. However, November may almost seem like an entirely new campaign in substance. If it's, indeed, Bonta and Guillen, you should expect more questions arising from Alameda's vocal, sometimes kooky contingent of anti-labor folks who insist Bonta is on the take for the Alameda Fire Department. And, for Guillen, expect thorny and persistent questions over his service on the Peralta Community College board while certain officials were raiding the agency for personal gain. And, if Young were to finish in the top two, you can be sure the depth of his bench for bad behavior runs very deep.


  1. Rob Bonta is the only candidate in that top 3 that is married with kids. Being a deputy City Attorney and born into the labor movement growing up with icons of the labor comunity, he's the best bet. He went to Yale, he and his wife are multi-ethnic, he relates and can advocate based on broader personal and professional experience.

  2. Rob is a great person and the best choice of the three candidates. Vote for Rob!

  3. Good job interns keep to those stale talking points!

  4. Rob Bonta is that rare combination of intellect, compassion and charisma. The CA State Assembly needs someone like him. Rob Bonta, a product of CA public schools, worked his way through Yale earning his B.A. and J.D., could have chosen Wall Street, but he chose to serve the people. Currently, he is a City Attorney fighting the good fight on behalf of the citizens of SF. This is the measure of his character. This is why I believe in Rob Bonta. My name is O.J. Leonardo and I stand with Rob Bonta. You should too.

  5. Rob Bonta has benefited from "Independent Expenditures" that can be directly tied back to his patron Don Perata and his political consultants Duffy Capitolo.

    $10k in a last ditch attempt to boost Joel Young's vote count (and presumably to detract from Guillen's,) submitted from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association was funnelled through the California Black Political Action Committee, just in the last few days.

    Previously, an IE in support of Bonta from the Golden State Leadership Fund PAC cost $34k, after his consultants contributed $24k, alongside PG&E and other corporate donors.

  6. I support Rob Bonta because of his integrity, competence, and courage to defend the fundamental rights of all Californians. He successfully challenged the inequities of California's public school finance system in Robles Wong v. California and honored the fundamental right to education that Thurgood Marshall had fought so hard to preserve in Brown v. Board of Education. With income inequality reaching unprecedent levels and spending disparities remain and are growing between schools in California and throughout the nation, Rob is the leader we need in Sacramento to stand up for what is good and just. And this is what he's been doing all throughout his career and his personal life. I'm not an intern. I'm an attorney and a friend of Rob Bonta. I too stand with Rob. -Jacqueline Yu

  7. Uhm, the Robles Wong case had 60 individual plaintiffs and nine school districts, plus the California Teachers Association, the California School Board Association, the California PTA, and the Association of California School Administrators all on the same side...so Rob did it all by himself?

    I'm sure a lot of the urban students in AD18 can really relate to the guy who went to Yale, Oxford, and Yale again.

    I'm also sure that his Chamber of Commerce contributors are really concerned about righting the educational funding system here in California...for that matter, how much money does police or firefighters pension spiking rob from California classrooms? Where did the IE money come from? A whole lot of integrity, Rob has, fine. But follow the money and ask what company he keeps.

    We'll see how competent he looks after the results of Measure C come in, for that matter...

  8. hey where did Bonta go to school again??? oh, and is he married? I don't think that has been reiterated enough by people who clearly think that Ivy Leaguers can do no wrong, and only parents can have the best of intentions. We know both are not true and not a measure of someone's worth in office. Abel took on those Ivy Leaguers who destroyed our economy by taking Peralta money out of corporate banks. His fought again and again for educational opportunities for our people throughout the East Bay so that all kids can have the same access to education as he, a CAL graduate, had. I voted for Abel, and come November so should you...

  9. By MW:

    In regard to Joel Young's pattern of repeatedly shooting himself in the foot and also repeatedly finding ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, various people will respond in different ways to the same experiences or "education."

    And Joel Young is a lawyer and also someone who attended and graduated from law school. So what are some of the different ways that different people respond to a law school "education?"

    A small percentage of the people who go through law school do actually become more intelligent, more logical, more ethical, and do learn to think better. However the overwhelming majority of the people who go through law school are instead turned into totally blind, narrow, and stupid extreme zombies, drones, and mental retards who really aren't much good for anything except shooting themselves in the foot, getting drunk on alcohol and high on heroin and cocaine, engaging in domestic violence, being professional pathological liars and world class parasites, and arranging illegal backroom fixes in exchange for under the table bribes.

    In fact to give just a few examples of the people that law school turned into such extremely wonderful, intelligent, and superior creatures, just think of Nadia Lockyer, Mike Nifong, and Robert Noel.