Hayward Mayoral Candidates Face Labor | Mr. Know-It-All | Guillen is a Lock | Forum ScheduleCHAPTER 9 | Sometimes all a campaign needs is a little luck. Just as pressure was renewed for Rep. Mike Honda to debate his fellow Democratic challenger Ro Khanna, comes help from an unlikely source—the Republican Party. Honda desperately needed an avenue to change the conversation being stoked by the San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial board, along with KPIX-TV and KCBS radio, which offered to host a televised debate in coming weeks. Honda again declined. Whispers were then spread why is Honda, yet again, ducking a debate? Well, two points: the debate debate is meaningless especially since not a single issue has been discussed thus far in the race, and, second, there is no front-running campaign known to man that would advocate their candidate risk a lead this early in a race. The Chronicle’s gambit is merely to knock down an incumbent with a sterling progressive pedigree (Recall Pete Stark?).
Leah Cowan, Khanna’s campaign manager tried to turn the tables on Honda, even though it was attorneys linked to the state Republican Party's vice-chair who filed the lawsuit Mar. 24. "It’s obvious that the defenders of the status quo feel threatened by the momentum behind Ro’s change campaign and now they’ve resorted to old-style political attacks and dirty tricks," said Cowan. "There was never evidence to support the ridiculous claim and it was dismissed yesterday by the judge who examined it.”
Singh, who only launched her campaign last December, has the most to lose by the appearance of electoral shenanigans in this race. She shot back Thursday at Khanna calling the allegations against his campaign, “disturbing." “That a candidate or his supporters would tamper with an election like this demonstrates a deep and clear sense of entitlement. California’s top-two primary system is new. And it should be respected, not manipulated by candidates desperate to gain an unfair and undeserved advantage through vote dilution."
Although, in Khanna's defense, if you believe he urged Rathore to enter the race as a Republican, one would think his highly-paid and experienced staff would have done a better job to get him on the ballot. That Rathore only submitted the minimum 40 nominating signatures, and thus leaving no room for error, is telling and a common mistake made by many first-time candidates.
GUILLEN FOR OAKLAND With progressive candidate Abel Guillen in the race for Oakland’s District 2 council seat, there may not be a race this election cycle more of an early lock than this one. Port Commissioner Michael Colbruno said Guillen is very familiar to voters in District 2 and will be hard to beat based on past performances. Guillen has won Oakland elections for his seat on the Peralta Community College Board of Trustees and, although Guillen lost the race for the 18th Assembly District to Rob Bonta in 2012, he garnered the most votes in the same area. Bonta, in fact, already endorsed his former opponent. Bonta’s staff said the decision was a “no-brainer.”
NO ENDORSEMENT Despite the recent anti-unions actions of the Hayward City Council, the city is still one of the most labor-friendly cities in the entire Bay Area. Three candidates for Hayward mayor, all of which are members of the City Council and voted to impose wage cuts on city workers without collective bargaining, are having a hard time answering to local Democratic clubs who are offering their endorsements. Last week, the Hayward Demos declined to endorse any of the three candidates. Most of the questions posed to the candidates—all three have been backed by the club in previous campaigns—had a distinct union theme. Apparently they all failed to make a convincing argument. On Tuesday, one of the candidates, Councilmember Mark Salinas said of the club’s decision, “I can only worry about what I think, how I look and what I say. I can’t worry about what they think or what you think.” Salinas has the most to lose this June. Instead of running for re-election to the council this year, he chose to run for mayor. If his mayoral aspirations are dashed, he’s out of office. Meanwhile, both Councilmembers Barbara Halliday and Francisco Zermeno have two more years remaining on their terms.
STUPID COMMENT I recently wrote about glaring weaknesses in San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy’s argument for re-election this November. During his State of the City this week, Cassidy again laid out his case for another four years in office. However, nearly all of his accomplishments could be ascribed to the previous administration. Most significantly, the notion a sales tax increase approved by voters in 2010 greatly aided the city’s finances. The major problem for Cassidy is he vehemently opposed the measure while running for mayor the same year. When asked this week by a local newspaper in San Leandro why Cassidy opposed the now general fund-boosting measure, he said it was because he worried then-Mayor Tony Santos would squander the additional tax revenue. It’s a silly assertion since it was Santos who greatly slashed city staff and expenditures during the worst of the Great Recession. Observers in San Leandro, however, know Cassidy’s schtick. The guy is never wrong. Like. Never.