MARY HAYASHI The historians will have to sort out which fall from grace was more precipitous. In terms of their personal life, it’s the sad tale of Nadia Lockyer, but politically it’s Mary Hayashi. In just one year’s time, Hayashi went from chair of the Assembly’s powerful business committee and likely state senator in 2014 to a candidate who couldn’t even finish SECOND to Richard Valle at the Alameda County Board of Supervisors! However, if you think the keys to her dreadful third place finish last Tuesday was solely because of her shoplifting conviction, I think you would be wrong. It was not the indiscretion that made her literally a pariah among local leaders; it was the catalyst for paying her back for years of abuse. Coincidentally, it was the same perception of Pete Stark among old Democratic hands, who while supporting him, also faulted him for his treatment of them. What’s next for Hayashi? Well, not much. Some believe she will emerge again in 2014 to battle Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski for the state senate. But, that inclination is based solely on her large remaining campaign war chest. She’s tainted and unpopular. In this situation, it might be better for her to shower others with campaign donations and look for one of those $150,000-per-year state boards and hope for better days.
POLITICAL REPORTING See Carla Marinucci of the San Francisco Chronicle and realize if she is the best we have in political reporting, then we are, indeed, fucked.
LOCAL TAX INITIATIVES Not only did nearly every single local tax initiative stall at the ballot box, but their existence should have been questioned from the get-go. With the crucial Proposition 30 on the ballot and the Democratic Party’s thrust to get it approved taking resources away from local measures to fund transportation, zoos, community colleges and school parcel taxes, they never really had a chance. What a waste of money. It would be sad if an important initiative like Measure B1 is stymied because of the existence of these other municipalities also asking for tax dollars. The gambit was ill-advised and greedy at the same and they are lucky, at least, it did not get in the way of keeping Prop. 30 from passing.