ELECTION '12//ALCO SUPERVISOR DIST 2 | After two side-by-side public appearances, Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle and Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, have given more than enough clues on how they plan to win this November’s campaign for District 2.
HIGHLIGHT LEGISLATIVE EXPERIENCE It’s clear Hayashi plans to run solely on her record in the Assembly. It will almost seem like she’s the incumbent and not Valle. “I have earned the respect in Sacramento and here in the district,” Hayashi said in her closing statement last Friday. You will also hear so much about A.B. this and A.B. that, that you will want to kick all that legislation up its A.S.S. Hayashi is already honing in a few bills, such as AB 509, her bill helping establish the statewide office of suicide prevention and a recently signed bills extending funding for veterans’ tuition to two years and high school sports concussions.
I’M THE STEWARD FOR OBAMACARE Hayashi is arguing her experience in Sacramento will help her regarding the implementation of Obamacare in the county over the next two years more than her opponent. “I’m the most qualified and best positioned candidate for Alameda County to get its fair share,” she said last week. It followed a longer recitation before county Democrats the week before. This stance could be an opening for Valle if he can identify Hayashi and her votes in the Assembly as being the cause for many of the budget shortfalls at the county and city level. But, he hasn’t touched it.
VALLE SCREWED UP ST. ROSE On this point, Hayashi is switching from acting like the incumbent to the candidate taking shots. This is a real Achilles Heel for Valle, if the current direction of the situation at St. Rose continues. It could continue wallowing near bankruptcy or it could be purchased by an acolyte of Prime Healthcare. Either way, Valle has little breathing room since he was at one time on either side of the negotiating table—as a member of the St. Rose Board of Directors and now as a county supervisor. A well-written mailer explaining St. Rose’s mismanagement to voters could allow Hayashi to easily paint an relatively unknown Valle however she wants.
MAKE TRI-CED VALLE’S WEAKNESS Eight years ago it was dubbed “swift boating.” But, the act of making your opponent’s superior strength their weakness is an underutilized political weapon. Democratic activists love Tri-CED, the state’s largest non-profit recycling company. Valle not only was ahead of the recycling curve three decades ago, but has long offered good paying jobs to ex-cons and troubled youths. Although, Hayashi has not made a public statement as of yet regarding Tri-CED, there are indications her team is planning an assault on his campaign’s “Honest & Accountable” tag line now emblazoned on his lawn signs across District 2. Among the possible attacks points may be Valle’s compensation at Tri-CED in relation to increases in recycling fees in Union City and Hayward, the company’s connection to former St. Rose CEO Michael Mahoney or something more nefarious.
ALL ABOUT ST. ROSE AND TRI-CED Valle is clear about running on (1) St. Rose Hospital. (2) Tri-CED, as he says. It’s actually that simple. However, there appears to be few positives for Valle when it comes to St. Rose. So much so that it almost appears like he’s unwittingly falling into Hayashi’s trap. Every time Valle mentioned St. Rose during the Democratic Party endorsement interview Sept. 15, Hayashi was seen grinning ear to ear.
TOUT UNION, PARTY ENDORSEMENTS It’s probably a no-brainer to repeatedly name-drop his expansive list of local party and labor endorsements, especially, when his appointment to the Board of Supervisors last June was procured in large part by extensive lobbying by the Alameda County Labor Council. However, the labor council appears to be on a job-related medical leave of absence lately. Not only did they possibly back the lesser opponent to face Hayashi in November, but also raised significant concerns by backing two anti-labor candidates for San Leandro City Council. Labor and party support, though, is significant, especially when Hayashi may hold access to equal or greater resources.
ATTACK HAYASHI ON THE SLY While critics of Hayashi and her shoplifting conviction are screaming for Valle to trot out “The Mugshot.” He has not done so, nor come close to referencing his opponent’s self-made wound. Aside from all the tough talk in the blogosphere, nobody has even questioned Hayashi about the incident. Democrats on Sept. 15 asked her obliquely about integrity and Hayashi acknowledged she had “paid a fair price” for the incident. Valle may be gun shy about attacking Hayashi forcefully and he has friends in labor who can do the hatchet job for him. It’s interesting, though, that you hear quite a few of his supporters clamoring for a more aggressive stance. The flip side though is with every public appearance Hayashi makes without being held to the fire, you can already see a growing confidence in her physical demeanor and comments.
BE LIBERAL AND BE PROUD Hayashi is clearly a very liberal legislator, but Valle’s ideological rhetoric sounds like he’s attempting to hip check Rep. Barbara Lee from the furthest left in the East Bay. With help from Robert Reich’s new book, Valle stood up for employee pensions and took aim at the far right. “We are pitting teachers against firefighters, firefighters against police officers and so forth and we are losing the big picture,” he said. “While we are fighting amongst ourselves for what little we are able to get in terms of pensions and health care—and they’re all going up—all of Corporate America are taking those jobs to the far east and don’t really have an allegiance to our country. That’s real simple. We need to be careful about falling into the pitfall of fighting amongst each other because that’s what the Koch Brothers want.”