|Bob Wieckowski, Mary Hayashi|
The site features Hayashi’s infamous mug shot along with headlines and corresponding newspaper links to Oct. 25, 2011 arrest. A colorful graphic explaining the incident is also included for users to share on various social media platforms. A second page attempts to link Hayashi’s transgression to the notorious trio of state senators recently accused or convicted in the Legislature’s upper house.
Wieckowski’s campaign manager Mark Goodwin, citing an internal poll that found Hayashi’s negatives “off the charts,” said the decision was made to strongly highlight Hayashi's shoplifting arrest at a Neiman Marcus in San Francisco. She later plead guilty to a misdemeanor and received three year’s probation ending in 2015 and a fine of $180.
“I guess when you don’t have something good to say about yourself, you have to tear down others,” said Josh Pulliam, Hayashi’s campaign consultant. He believes the “tone and tenor” of the site has “racist and sexist overtones” because every person pictured, including Hayashi and the three state senators, is a minority. “I think it’s telling his first thing out is a personal attack like this,” said Pulliam. “What does that say about his character?”
In addition, Pulliam said an assertion made on the site that Hayashi never apologized for the incident is “completely false and they know it.” In fact, Hayashi has apologized numerous times all the way back to her run for Alameda County supervisor two years ago and as recently as the local Democratic Party pre-endorsement meeting in February.
The strategy to directly attack Hayashi’s negatives in such a strong and deliberate fashion is completely opposite to the plan Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle employed in their 2012 race. Aside from a few negative comments, Valle chose, instead, to let the issue fester on its own. He went on to win re-election in November, while Hayashi finished a distant third.
UPDATE Mark Goodwin, Wieckowski's campaign manager responded Saturday to the assertion from Hayashi's team that the Web site it released this weekend has racist and sexist overtones. "Shoplifting luxury goods isn't a women's issue; it's not a race issue; it's a character issue. Mary Hayashi has never apologized for shoplifting. She's apologized for the negative press."