Sunday, May 31, 2015

Khanna's 2016 campaign team will have a more local flair

Ro Khanna's 2014 bid to unseat Rep. Mike Honda in CA17 had all the earmarks of a national campaign. His second attempt, announced Saturday in Santa Clara, will be different.
Ro Khanna’s much-ballyhooed hiring two years ago of Jeremy Bird and other alums of President Obama's re-election team for his campaign against Rep. Mike Honda in the Seventeenth Congressional District was an early part of his campaign’s narrative, including an attention-getting feature in Time magazine.

Khanna’s campaign team for the 2016 rematch has not yet been named, but Khanna says he will make an announcement shortly. However, don’t expect any high-priced out-of-state political consultants being on the payroll this time.

Instead, word is the team, at least, in the early going, will all hail from California and have a mixture of aides with previous campaign experience in South Bay races. The Seventeenth District runs from a portion of Fremont through Silicon Valley and parts of San Jose.

Silicon Valley angel investor and Obama acolyte Steve Spinner, however, is again serving as Khanna's campaign chair.

And there are already signs Khanna intends to bring a very local flavor to the race through his advocacy recently for several grassroots causes in the district.

Of course, Khanna has never had trouble raising millions for his campaign. But, last year his team also had no problem spending it to the point its treasury was nearly depleted for the important stretch run last October.

To be fair, a large portion of Khanna’s early campaign spending focused on introducing him to district through television commercials and numerous mailers and lining the pockets of Bird's 270 Strategies, but the intent to spend more wisely this time around could have a great impact on the 2016 race.

Nevertheless, Khanna only lost by 3.6 percent of the vote, a spread thin enough for contributors, through their checkbooks, to urge for another run in 2016.

What?! Tri Valley Democratic Club backs a socialist for U.S. president

Hardly the bastion of socialism, the Tri Valley
Democratic Club endorses Sen. Bernie Sanders.
DEMOCRATS | The Tri Valley Democratic Club believes they are the first such group in the state to endorse Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for president. The club voted to back the independent senator running as a Democrat on May 20, more than a year before the California presidential primary in June 2016.

“Sanders comes from the people… He has paid his dues and understands from town hall meetings and face to face encounters with voters, how Americans feel today. He does not walk in the world of the rich and powerful nor will he court the rich and powerful. His power will come from the people for whom he speaks.” says Eloise Hamann, political director for the club.

However, there are always risks in backing a candidate so early in the electoral process. Sort of the same reasons bridges and parks are typically not named for people still alive. Sometimes the recognition comes back to haunt you.

This week, a Mother Jones article reported, somewhat in passing, on an sexual fantasy commentary Sanders wrote in 1972. The salaciousness of the short piece is hardly commensurate with the attention it has received in the national media, but nowadays any reference or imagery to rape, even in a fictional setting, raises significant concern. Appearing on “Meet the Press” Sunday, Sanders called the essay “poorly-written” and akin to the novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

As for the endorsement of Sanders by the Tri Valley political group for a self-proclaimed Socialist Democrat, it appears to be the work of the club’s president Ellis Goldberg. With his well-worn stars and stripes cap, Goldberg has always been more in line with Oakland’s progressive movement far more than the small band that exists in the much more moderate Tri Valley.

Keep in mind this is club that counts Rep. Eric Swalwell as a long-time member.

City Hall Insider: City Council agenda notes from around the East Bay, June 1-2

OAKLAND/June 1, 10 a.m.
Controversial issues, budget talks continue in Oakland

BUDGET NITTY-GRITTY The arduous tasks of listening to budget presentations from each of the city's departments begin during a special meeting of the City Council on Monday morning. The agenda also includes discussion of Councilmember Desley Brooks' proposed new city department on race and equity sure to contain heated rhetoric from its creator. Plan received only $150,000 in Mayor Libby Schaaf's proposed budget.

June 2, 5:30 p.m.
12TH ST REMAINDER SALE The controversial $5.1 million sale of an acre of public land near Lake Merritt forced a council meeting this month to early adjournment. The shutdown led by BlackLivesMatter activist triggered a strong reaction from city administration in the form of stricter security measures at #oakmtg. The proposal is back for a vote Tuesday night. Still included in the proposal is 25 percent of proceeds from the sale be allocated toward the city's Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Developers hope to build a 24-story market-rate luxury tower at the site.

DAC PRIVACY POLICY The long-awaited Privacy and Data Retention Policy for the city and port Domain Awareness Center (DAC) awaits approval from the Oakland City Council. Curiously, for an issue fraught with public skepticism by some toward its government, the policy names the city administrator as chief privacy officer. No data systems can be added to the DAC, without council approval, 40 cameras around the city will not be included in the data stream, which will be retained for two years. Information from DAC cannot be shared with other jurisdictions.

FBI-OPD COURTSHIP Meanwhile, a proposal to build a workspace at the Oakland Police Administration Building for 10 FBI agents comes to the City Council. The city administration says the workspace will allow for greater collaboration between the FBI and OPD and its Safer Streets Taskforce. It will also aid the department's lackluster Criminal Investigations Division, says the city. The FBI is footing $110,000 of the build out and OPD allocating $63,000 for furniture and digital infrastructure.

ALAMEDA/June 2, 7 p.m.
Expensive APD Body Camera purchase, budget approval

$424K FOR BODY CAMERAS Alameda Police are seeking to receive approval for the purchase of 80 body-worn cameras for its officers. The proposed five-year contract with Taser International is for $424,752. The cost of the 80 AXON Flex body cameras alone are $39,221. Storage of data and other accessories boosts the first-year costs to $142,000 and the on-going costs at $62,000 annually. However, no policy for data retention exists yet.

BUDGET APPROVAL Alameda City Council is set to approve the biennial budget for FY2015-17. It's the first time in three years that no cuts were made to city departments. The city's non-existent Information Technology Department will receive two new positions as part of this two-year budget.

WATER REDUCTION Following Gov. Jerry Brown's order to reduce water use by 25 percent due to the state's continuing drought, EBMUD will provide a presentation on its water reduction efforts, but Alameda says it has already reduced municipal water usage by 29 percent between March 2014 to December 2014 over the previous year, or more than 120 million gallons of water.

SAN LEANDRO/June 1, 7 p.m.
Two-year budget set for approval; $4mil for roads

BUDGET APPROVAL The city's two-year budget for Fiscal Years 2015-17 is set to be approved by the San Leandro City Council Monday night. The total budget forecast for FY2015-16 is $141.8 million and a general fund balance of $93.5 million. In FY2016-17, the total budget increases to $148.3 million; general fund, $95.2 million. An increase in revenues were derived from a pair of successful revenue-enhancing measures approved recently by city voters. Therefore, nearly $4 million in each fiscal year is budgeted toward rebuilding San Leandro's woeful roads.

CCA A presentation will be given to the council on Alameda County's efforts to potentially create a Community Choice Aggregation program (CCA), which gives residents an option to purchase energy from an entity other than the current provider, Pacific Gas & Electric.

HAYWARD/June 2, 7 p.m.
Break-even budget; water rate hike; new poet laureate

BAD TIMES BE GONE? After years of multi-million dollar cuts, Hayward projected budget for FY2015-16 is almost break-even. The City Council met for an all-day budget work session on Saturday, followed by another this Tuesday night. Hayward, however, is one of the few cities around who still attempt to calculate the often dubious 10-year budget projection. Whatever it's worth--assuming the city did nothing over the next decade to avoid disaster--the shortfall for 2023 is still only $10.4 million.

3% RATE HIKE Water rates for Hayward resident could be raised, according to a proposal before the City Council . Rates for single-family, multi-family, mobile homes to those with limited incomes would rise by three percent across-the-board. Single-family residents, for instance, currently pay $28.09 a month, which under the proposal, would rise to $28.93.

POET LAUREATE NAMED Bruce Roberts will be named Hayward's first poet laureate. The position is newly-created and labeled by city staff as a one-year pilot program. Roberts, an author and former educator, will not be paid for his work.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Khanna, preaching resilience, announces another bid for Honda's seat

Ro Khanna: "The resilience that I have is not just because I was born in Philadelphia and grew up watching Rocky movies. It’s because this stuff matters." Khanna announced another run for Congress in CA17 Saturday.
In addition to his 2014 congressional race, Khanna
ran as 27-year-old against former Rep. Tom Lantos.
PHOTOS/Steven Tavares
CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT | Nearly six months after his bid to unseat Rep. Mike Honda fell short, Ro Khanna announced Saturday afternoon he is revving up his campaign for a second shot at his fellow Democrat in 2016.

With a theme of resilience, Khanna and several speakers, highlighted issues leftover from his 2014 campaign, including the environment, strengthening computer education in the classroom, in addition, to a sharper focus on local grassroots issues in the Silicon Valley-centric district.

Khanna also returned to the theme of protecting the American Dream for immigrants like his parents who moved from India to Philadelphia in the 1960s.

“What’s heartbreaking, what’s upsetting,” Khanna said from the steps of the Santa Clara Civic Center, “is something doesn’t quite seem right in this country. For the first time there is an anxiety whether that American Dream that my parents came to this country for, whether that dream is going to exist for this next generation.”

The faces of many of his diverse supporters who attended the weekend announcement reflect what America will look like over the next few decades, said Khanna. A vast majority of school children he’s visited on the campaign trail, he said, tell him they too have parents who are immigrants.
“That was my story [growing up],” he added.

Similar to last year’s race, Khanna used the announcement to focus on successes he believes the campaign achieved for engaging the youth vote often dispirited by politics along with a rebuttal for some fellow Democrats who continue to label him as overly-ambitious.

“People say to me, ‘Wait my turn.’ Maybe, I’ll wait my turn. What about the other 520,000 offices? There’s no one willing to run. There a generation of Americans who no longer believe that politics matters, that politics can accomplish anything. There is a sense that special interests and money has taken over.”

Afterwards, Khanna, 38, said people identify with those who respond positively to setbacks. "The average person is resilient," he added. “But, what about Honda? He’s run for office seven or eight times. Is he overly-ambitious?”

This will be Khanna’s third campaign for Congress. In addition to his 2014 race in the Seventeenth Congressional District against Honda, which Khanna lost last November by less than four percent, he ran a somewhat symbolic long-shot bid in 2004 as a 27-year-old to unseat Democratic stalwart Tom Lantos in San Mateo.

Ritu Ahuja, Khanna’s fiancĂ©e, compared their on-and-off relationship over the past eight years to his political career and chances for winning next year. “Our courtship can be summed up as a first attempt that barely counted,” she told supporters. “A second attempt that came quite close and third attempt that recently landed Ro on one knee, finally getting the response he wanted…I guess, the third time is a charm and Ro never gives up on what truly matters to him.” Their wedding is set for August.

Whereas, Khanna was previously trumpeted as the candidate bringing Silicon Valley-style disruption to Congress, this next campaign may take a slightly different spin on that strategy. “I don’t want to take the thinking of Silicon Valley to Washington,” said Khanna. “I want to take the spirit of the people in this community who believe still in the democratic process to Washington. To say that there can be a better way.”

Thursday, May 28, 2015

P.M. BRIEFING | 5.28.15

ASSEMBLY | Motorcycle lane-splitting bill passed by California Assembly (San Jose Mercury News) Assemblymember Bill Quirk says motorcycles weaving through traffic safer

California Assembly Moves to Make It Harder for Dumb People to Do Stupid Things (San Francisco Magazine) Well-meaning bills that could have unintended effects on state initiative process

OAKLAND | Activists Work to Stop East Bay Coal Exports (East Bay Express) Controversial Oakland developer was against bringing coal through the Oakland Army Base before he was for it

Ten FBI Agents Joining Oakland Police Department (East Bay Express) Conspiracy theorist will say the FBI has always been in the shadows in Oakland since the 1930s

FREMONT | Balanced Fremont budget anticipated for upcoming fiscal year (San Jose Mercury News) Fremont is rolling in dough, too, with 8 percent bump in revenues

How the lines are drawn meet two strong challenges

Rep. Eric Swalwell: One of the biggest winners
following the state's 2010 citizen-led redistricting.
PHOTO/Shane Bond
REDISTRICTING | The manner in which states decide how congressional district are drawn and exactly how many people represent each is facing stiff opposition.

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether states like Arizona, California and four others can legally use non-partisan citizen commissions to draw congressional boundaries.

In California, following a state referendum in 2008, such a commission formed new lines based on population and regions with common attributes instead of the squiggly districts commonly used in the past to aid incumbents win re-election.

In addition, on Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court also agreed to hear a Texas redistricting plan that challenges the "one person, one vote" standard used to divvy up congressional seats across the country. In its place, the Texas group argues the number should be based on the number of eligible voters, (i.e. citizens) in each district. 

According to some estimates, California's 53-person congressional delegation could shrink to 47, but the East Bay representative's lines appear relatively unchanged. Paul Mitchell, vice president of Political Data, LLC ran the numbers for each office in the Legislature and found most East Bay seats would shrink under the Texas redistricting plan. 

Catharine Baker (R-AD16) and Tony Thurmond (D-AD15) would shrink by 10 percent; Susan Bonilla (D-AD14) 7 percent; Rob Bonta (D-AD18) 3 percent. Bill Quirk (D-AD20), however, would grow by 3 percent.

In the State Senate, Loni Hancock's Ninth Senate District would shrink by 7 percent, Steve Glazer's Seventh District would decrease by 5 percent, but Bob Wieckowski's Tenth District would grow by 4 percent.

When it comes to the Arizona lawsuit, there is some fear the high court could strike down the citizen's commission method of drawing congressional lines as earlier as next month. A bill offered by Southern California Rep. Dana Rohrbacher is attempting a short-term solution to maintain the current lines. H.R. 2501, offered May 21, would keep the current boundaries in place, at least, until the next U.S. Census in 2020.

Unsurprisingly, Rep. Eric Swalwell, one of the biggest winners following the 2010 citizens' redistricting effort in California, is a co-sponsor of Rohrbacher's legislation.

The redrawn former Thirteenth Congressional District included a wealth of new and more moderate Tri Valley voters to the progressive Pete Stark's district. The new set of voters and a series of gaffes by Stark, a 40-year incumbent, opened the door for Swalwell's upset victory in 2012.

Glazer takes his seat in the State Senate with a cordial response from colleagues

Steve Glazer addressing the State Senate following
his swearing-in Thursday morning in Sacramento.
STATE SENATE | 7TH DISTRICT | Steve Glazer’s new colleagues in the State Senate--especially those backed by labor--did not turn their backs or throw tomatoes as he was sworn-in Thursday morning by Gov. Jerry Brown. In fact, Glazer’s first vote (an aye vote), a procedural bill involving the state budget, was followed by a hearty round of celebratory hoots and hollering from lawmakers.

Glazer’s special election victory in the Seventh District last week over another Democrat Susan Bonilla was highlighted by acrimony from labor unions who strongly opposed the new senator’s stance on transportation strikes. Although, Big Labor, still smarting from the bruising defeat, continued their rhetorical assault on Glazer even after Election Day, none of that ill-will was evident Tuesday on the senate floor.

The swearing-in ceremony, however, was delayed about 20 minutes until Brown arrived to deliver the oath of office to his former campaign consultant. Glazer ran Brown’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign before returning to the Orinda as a councilmember and mayor. “Always a hero of mine,” Glazer said of Brown, “for his vision, courage and dash of pragmatism in public policy-making.”

In his remarks, Glazer focused heavily on his roots growing up in Sacramento, including his first exposure to political activism during the Vietnam War and five months picking oranges and grapefruits at a kibbutz in Israel. “It gave me a great deal of appreciation for all of those who grow and harvest our food.”

Even though Glazer's tenure in the State Senate begins today, he won't have much time before pivoting towards another potentially hard-fought re-election campaign in 2016. That's because the May 19 special election was called to only fill out the remainder of Mark DeSaulnier's term following his election last November to Congress.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

(UPDATE) Assemblymember Bill Quirk offers his thoughts on 'The Bachelorette'

Assemblymember Bill Quirk hopes failed Bachelorette
Britt finds love with Brady the Musician.
ASSEMBLY | 20TH DISTRICT | Assemblymember Bill Quirk may be the most misunderstood politician in the entire East Bay. At times he's the wonky former nuclear scientist, while other times behaving in such a way that personifies his surname--quirky. But, forget about all that for a moment because Bill Quirk loves watching "The Bachelorette."

Seemingly out of nowhere and more than a week since the iconic show's season premiere, Quirk posted to Facebook Wednesday morning his opinion on the choice of the next bachelorette.

Pleased that Kaitlyn is the Bachelorette. It should be a fun and humorous season. Feel sorry for Britt. Hope things work out with Britt and Brady.
Posted by Bill Quirk on Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bazinga!: Quirk and Halle Berry.
Quirk's nerdy-cool factor is not an act. In fact, his campaign team for the 2012 Assembly race purposely used Quirk's quirkiness to good use. There was a semi-ironic mailer showing a younger Quirk posing, fists-out, in karate garb and also circulation of the infamous Star Trek photo of Quirk sitting in the captain's chair among four Klingons.

Last year, Quirk also opined on Twitter over the scientific accuracy of a few scenes in the film Interstellar.

In addition to Quirk's opinions on "The Bachelorette," he can appreciate beautiful women. Recall, the day Halle Berry traveled to Sacramento to promote anti-paparazzi legislation? Quirk does and based upon the look on his face in this photo from that day, dreams do, indeed, come true.

UPDATE: Quirk offered no opinion on news Thursday of the sudden break-up of the previous Bachelor and his girlfriend after just two months.

UPDATE: Sunday, May 31, Quirk sent an email with his thoughts on the recent break-up from The Bachelor: 

"It is a shame that Bachelor Chris & Whitney broke up. I have to think that Whitney may have been reluctant to move to Arlington Iowa. Every store and bar has closed. The only business left is the post office."

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

P.M. BRIEFING | 5.26.15

SCOTUS | Could U.S. Supreme Court case shrink California's congressional clout? (Los Angeles Times) This has potential to be one of the impactful political stories of the year with wide-ranging implications

OAKLAND | Former Congressman Ron Dellums: Organizing for Peace Forces Us to Challenge All Forms of Injustice (DemocracyNow!) For those of you wondering what ol' Ron is up to

HAYWARD | How a family of refugees turned a bakery into a dessert powerhouse (Fortune) Sugar Bowl Bakery was one of the first to remove trans fat from its products.

ASSEMBLY | Fighting Pollution From Microbeads Used in Soaps and Creams (The New York Times) California bill would restrict not only plastic microbeads but biodegradable versions.

CALIFORNIA | California Dream Under Attack in All Manner of Cinematic Imaginings (The New York Times) Hollywood never messes with the East Bay

The new Ro strikes a populist pose

Ro Khanna is running for Congress again. An official announcement is expected Saturday, but according to his Twitter page, he has hardly been coy about his intentions.
CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT | Ro Khanna walked into the Sunnyvale City Council chambers last week as a former congressional candidate with talking points that often hovered around the center of the political spectrum and left a new man.

Khanna, who lost an insurgent bid for the 17th Congressional District last fall, will officially launch a second campaign for Rep. Mike Honda's seat this Saturday morning in Santa Clara. Last November, Khanna fell less than four percentage points short of upsetting Honda.

So, how does Khanna expect to close the gap in 2016? Earlier on, it appears Khanna intends to circle back to his populist roots.

Looking noticeably more well-fed than he did during the 2014 race, Khanna appeared before the Sunnyvale City Council on May 19 and spoke in favor of a union-supported local hire ordinance. The item was precipitated by complaints that developers are relying on the heavy use of out-of-state workers and day laborers for construction projects in the city.

In his public remarks, Khanna highlighted the soaring wealth of Silicon Valley while referencing the median wage needed for a one-bedroom apartment in Sunnyvale is $100,000 a year. "It's painfully obvious not everybody is participating in this economy," he said. Khanna then amplified the populism.

"I hope Sunnyvale will not just be looked at as a leader in innovation, but also as a model around the Bay Area and country for building an inclusive economy," said Khanna. "At the end of the day, we can have innovation that does not leave so many people behind."

During the long 2014 election, Khanna never really veered far from his left-of-center roots, but the intense media coverage of campaign contributions from the tech titans of Silicon Valley, along with Honda's easy delineated progressive credentials, may have pigeon-holed Khanna to a less productive set of voters in the district.

In addition to Honda's unfortunate sleepy spell on the House floor earlier this year, Khanna 2.0, for the early going at least, might be looking to pry a few of Honda's fingers off the tight grip of progressives the congressman now enjoys.

SCOTUS won't hear challenge to Alameda County drug disposal ordinance

ALAMEDA COUNTY | The U.S. Supreme has denied a petition by the pharmaceutical industry to hear a challenge to Alameda County’s prescription drug disposal ordinance.

The denial issued Tuesday morning leaves in place a decision by the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in favor of the take-back ordinance passed in 2012, which was the first such law in the nation adopted by a local jurisdiction.

The county ordinance was originally backed by Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, with support from the District Attorney Nancy O’Malley. At the time of the ordinance’s passage, Miley said the lack of avenues for residents to properly discard unused prescription drugs in turn pollutes the water supply and runs the risk of young people obtaining and using narcotics for recreational use.

O'Malley added during a Board of Supervisors meeting in January 2012, "We say the child's drug dealer is not the person in a dark alley with drugs inside their overcoat. If you open your medicine cabinets, that's your children's drug dealers of today."

Even during discussion of the take-back programs three years ago, county officials suggested drug companies would follow-up on threats of litigation. Under the ordinance, the cost of prescription drug disposal programs is paid by pharmaceutical companies, along with a $1,000 a day penalty for non-compliance.

The pharmaceutical industry argued the county’s ordinance violated the U.S. Constitution by interfering with interstate commerce and singled-out out-of-state drug companies. At the U.S. District Court and Court of Appeals, both sided with the county.

In a statement, county officials said they will urge pharmaceutical companies to work collaboratively with them in creating drug disposal programs in the county.

Friday, May 22, 2015

P.M. BRIEFING | 5.22.15

RAIDERS | Why Oakland, Alameda County aren’t clamoring to keep the Raiders (San Francisco Chronicle) Exhibit A for why local officials are actually acting prudently with your tax dollars...so far

How The NFL Is Using Los Angeles As A Bargaining Chip (ThinkProgress) Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf retweeted this article

CA DROUGHT | California farmers strike a deal to cut water use (Associated Press) Nearly 4,000 senior water rights holders alone consume trillions of gallons a year

OAKLAND | Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Institutes Ban On Nighttime Street Protests (East Bay Express) Not a new law, says the mayor, but a reinterpretation

ASSEMBLY | Controversial piece of body camera bill could be deleted (San Diego Union-Tribune) Seems like police union use-of-force is effective in Assembly committee hearings

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY | Bay Area county will end youth solitary confinement per settlement (Reveal) Precipitated by lawsuit involving 14-year-old girl held in solitary for about 100 days

Swalwell forms Sharing Economy Caucus, then pushes tax-free employer credits for using Uber, Lyft

Reps. Eric Swalwell and Darrell Issa.
CONGRESS | DISTRICT 15 | Rep. Eric Swalwell is already known as the young member of the Congress in charge of explaining the Internet to his aging colleagues. He is also not shy about placing his shaky progressive credentials on the line by reaching across the aisle with the most notorious of conservatives.

Earlier this month, Swalwell melded the two by teaming up with the ire of many Democrats, California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, for the creation of a bipartisan Sharing Economy Caucus.

“As more Americans are opting to stay at Airbnbs, share their cars on Getaround, and take Uber and Lyft, it is important for Congress to take a closer look at the emerging Sharing Economy sector,” said Swalwell said in a statement. “This Caucus will explore the opportunities made possible by the sharing model, and how Congress can foster innovation and address challenges posed by this emerging sector.”

But, it didn't take long for Swalwell to plug an idea already pushed by an official from the ride-sharing company Lift. At the press conference announcing the new congressional caucus, The Hill reported a Lyft government affairs officer suggested providing employers with tax-free credits for their worker's transportation costs could be beneficial for traffic congestion, parking and the environment.

Swalwell, in response to a question about what the government can do to help the sharing economy, the paper reported, said, “One idea that I have heard about is the commuter tax benefits. I do think that we need to expand those to include ride sharing. If we believe that commuters should have a tax benefit for not using a car or for reducing the number of cars on the road, I think we should also include new and innovative ways people are getting around. So that’s one easy one where I think we could probably add that.”

As for Issa, the Republican firebrand and noted richest member of Congress has long been anathema to most Democrats. In recent years, he led the House's investigation into the Obama administration's handling of Benghazi.

Hayward school district ends contract impasse with teachers

HAYWARD | Hayward Unified School District officials said they negotiated with its teachers union into the early morning Friday to reach a tentative new two-year contract.

The negotiations which the district said ended at 3:05 a.m. Friday ended an impasse between the two sides.

The Hayward Education Association’s membership will still need to approve the deal in the next few days. If approved by teachers, the Hayward school board will vote on the pact in June.

The tentative agreement is for two years and includes a two percent boost in salary for teacher this school year and a five percent increase in 2015-16. Hourly and stipend compensation will also increase for after-school duties.

In addition, class sizes will be reduced to 24 students per classroom for kindergarten through third grade.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

P.M. BRIEFING | 5.21.15

SD7Labor Democrats already on attack against Steve Glazer (San Jose Mercury News) Glazer's campaign will have to stay engaged for Round 2 in 2016

OAKLAND | Why Oakland Police Can't Solve Crime (East Bay Express) Only 18 percent of Oakland's police force is assigned to investigating crimes

RICHMOND | From the 'Arm Pit of the Bay Area' to a Progressive Utopia on Earth (San Francisco Magazine) And this makes Berkeley progressives very jealous

SACRAMENTO | Details Hidden on Legislative Lawyers Drafting Bills for Influential Groups (KQED) Sausage-making explained

How about Barbara Lee for Obama's 'Poverty Czar'?

Another potential landing spot for Rep Barbara Lee?
CONGRESS | 13TH DISTRICT | Many believe Rep. Barbara Lee is itching for something bigger than her seat representing Oakland and the East Bay in Congress. Here's another possible landing spot: President Obama's poverty czar.

The position does not exist, but Obama's comments this week highlighting growing economic inequality in America, reignited calls for its creation.

During the 2008 presidential election, Martin Luther King III urged for a poverty czar, but in the years since has never gained momentum, reported The Hill. “There is no more important time to appoint a poverty czar than now,” King told the congressional newspaper this week.

Lee even provided a statement in support of the idea.

“Appointing a senior level official solely devoted to addressing and ending poverty in America is major and exciting step forward and gives me hope that ending poverty is becoming a national priority,” Lee told The Hill.

In the past, Lee had been rumored for consideration as Obama's secretary of labor. In addition, reports linked Lee to potentially being tapped as ambassador to Cuba, if the position is created before the end of Obama's term.

Lee is already a point person on poverty in the Democratic Party notes an advocacy group in favor of her credentials. The East Bay representative is the party's whip for the Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality, and Opportunity and founder of the Out of Poverty Caucus and chair of the Congressional Social Work Caucus.

East Bay voters, however, might hope otherwise, since Lee is likely the most popular elected official in the region.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

P.M. BRIEFING | 5.20.15

Oakland City Hall flamethrower Gene Hazard giving councilmember's the business during a meeting last year.
OAKLAND | Civilians Are Finally In Charge of Complaints Against Oakland Cops. Kind Of. Not Yet (East Bay Express) Legislation was watered down by city administration, OPD

Tighter security at Oakland council meeting called excessive (San Francisco Chronicle) Issue of asking residents to sign-in before public meetings is also a problem at smaller government bodies

CA DROUGHT | California decision on farm water cuts to apply broadly (Associated Press) Like giving yourself a timeout before your parents ground you for a month

RAIDERS | Raiders owner Mark Davis still considers Oakland top option (Associated Press) Davis recently had a three hour dinner with Oakland Council President McElhaney, not at Hooters

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT | Nadia Lockyer: 'OMG! Twins!!!' (San Francisco Chronicle) The sperm of 74-year-old Bill Lockyer has quite the motility...or does it?

Report: Wieckowski aide, San Jose council candidate admits to DUIs

Tim Orozco finished first in the San Jose City
Council primary last April.
STATE SENATE | 10TH DISTRICT | Tim Orozco, an aide to State Sen. Bob Wieckowski and candidate for the open District Four San Jose City Council seat, admitted to San Jose Inside, he was twice arrested for drunk driving.

During the April 7 primary, Orozco finished first in the 10-candidate race with over 22 percent of the vote, followed by Mahn Nguyen, which San Jose Inside also uncovered rented an apartment in the district just weeks before entering the race.

In his bid to replace Kansen Chu, who left the San Jose City Council after winning a seat in the Assembly last November, Orozco also won the the backing of the South Bay Labor Council.

Meanwhile, Orozco said one DUI occurred 30 years ago as a college student and about 17 years ago while he worked on Sen. Barbara Boxer's campaign.

In addition,  the 55-year-old Orozco said he lives with mother and told San Jose Inside that he only works the minimum 17.5 hours a week as Wieckowski's point man in the State Senate's 10th District, which runs from Castro Valley to San Jose, to maintain health benefits from the state.

The admission is telling. During Wieckowski's campaign for the State Senate seat last year, one of his opponents, Mary Hayashi, charged his Sacramento-based chief of staff with similar allegations related to excessive time off with pay.

The San Jose City Council runoff is June 23.

The wild and wacky in Alameda politics

Alameda Mayor Trish Spencer's first few months in office have been turbulent and highlighted by extremely lengthy meetings and passive aggressive comments amount council colleagues. 
ALAMEDA CITY COUNCIL | After viewing a video recording of the March 3 Alameda City Council meeting, blogger Lauren Do called it “my all-time favorite TV show episode.” Do favorably compared the meeting’s entertainment value to one particularly melodramatic episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. What she found so painfully watchable was the dysfunction that she believes typifies city council meetings since the election of Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer.

Do uploaded and annotated a two-minute YouTube video clip. As senior city staff members quietly huddled to answer some questions from council members, former Board of Education candidate Kurt Peterson approached the other side of the council dais and talked to the city clerk in an apparent effort to reopen public comment. Several council members looked exasperated by this unscripted interruption.

Then Mayor Spencer rose from her seat and began walking toward the audience member, as if to talk or receive a note from the man. That prompted City Manager John Russo to sternly scold the mayor. “Excuse me; Madam Mayor, I’m sorry,” Russo said. “You know, I have a tremendous amount of respect for the public process. This, however, is a business meeting that needs to be conducted like a business meeting, and Mr. Peterson walking up to the proscenium and directing everybody how the meeting should proceed is, frankly, inappropriate. … This is the point; Madam Mayor, I need you to get control of the chamber, please.”

Russo’s admonition echoed criticism from the mayor’s detractors, who are still smarting from her surprise upset of former Mayor Marie Gilmore. Now, some of Spencer’s opponents from her six years on the Alameda school board are champing at the bit to capitalize on her transition to the mayor’s office, drawing attention to her missteps and the perceived ineffectiveness of her laissez-faire management style. The interlude also highlighted a nagging subtext of council infighting and dysfunction since Spencer’s December swearing-in...


Labor's losing SD7 strategy: Send union members to a district that hates them

Polling showed the Seventh District were more
than just not into labor unions.
STATE SENATE | DISTRICT 7 | Legions of clipboard-toting labor Democrats say they blanketed the State Senate Seventh District battleground just days before before Tuesday election. Five hundred campaign volunteers talked up their candidate, Susan Bonilla, from Pittsburg to Livermore, stumping for her and passing out campaign brochures. The sheer number of volunteers is what a candidate expects to receive from labor when they are willing to espouse support for the working person. You typically get that and more when your opponent is viewed as the anti-Christ to the labor movement.

However, labor may have been so angry at fellow Democrat Steve Glazer that they stopped thinking straight because in this moderate district the same group fanning out across Contra Costa County and the Tri Valley in Alameda County was viewed by voters as the problem.

Take note of last Friday's KPIX/SurveyUSA poll that showed Glazer leading Bonilla by 10 points with just days before the election and which turned out to be quite accurate. But dig further down and you will find why having a few volunteers backed by labor knocking of someone’s door in Walnut Creek isn’t going to yield the pot of votes Bonilla needed to overtake Glazer.

When respondents were asked the basic question of whether they support the right of BART workers to strike, a resounding 60 percent said no, while only 30 percent said yes. When the query is connected to the views of each candidate, Glazer believed transit workers should no longer retain the right to strike, while Bonilla supported the status quo, unsurprisingly Glazer comes out on top.

With Tuesday night's result come some serious questions for not only labor, but the Democratic leadership in both counties. Although, the moderate Rep. Eric Swalwell is not necessarily viewed as a problem in the 15th Congressional District, his election replaced a strong progressive steeped in the labor movement. What followed is much worse: Republican Catharine Baker won in the 16th Assembly District last fall over another strongly-backed labor candidate, Tim Sbranti. Now, with Glazer's big win, the mission creep of non-progressive elected officials in the outer East Bay has hit a critical stage. In this new world,if you’re a moderate, and there are many who might feel personally more comfortable as one, you now have a fully tested strategy for victory outside of accepting support from labor unions.

So, what should labor have done instead? Without a change in the narrative or credible bombshell since the March primary, labor’s hands were tied. If you want to tone down the strategy of sending young labor volunteers into unfriendly neighborhoods, then you might choose to focus on plastering Bonilla all over the local media and social media sites.

In addition, we never saw Bonilla act like the voice of her own campaign. Of course, you could argue the stakes in this election for Bonilla were minimal. She still holds her Assembly seat and could force a rematch next year for the same seat. But it’s more than that. Her public presence was so poor that it’s almost amazing she has held some many different public offices. Furthermore, linking moderates to rightwing nuts, such as the Tea Party and the Koch Brothers does not work in this area. It didn’t work for Pete Stark against Swalwell. didn’t work against Baker and it weirdly emboldens conservatives to embrace a candidate like Glazer.

Another question is why didn't Bonilla's campaign strike at the heart of Glazer's real strength, his consistent pledge of being non-partisan? The reality of Glazer's oath is the likelihood his effectiveness would be neutered in a political no-man's land in Sacramento. Democrats would loathe him and Republicans would harbor significant distrust towards him. Bonilla and labor tried this gambit to some extent, but it didn't cut through the noise of mailers and news articles over money in the race and it didn't have a story. Why didn't Bonilla show exactly what being non-partisan meant? It might mean legislators huddled in a conversation abruptly cutting short their chat when Glazer shows up, or Glazer sit alone in a packed cafeteria, or a still of Glazer standing alone in front of the capitol with a sad tear running down his cheek.

But, the main structural problem in Bonilla’s campaign is that she learned nothing from Sbranti’s disappointing loss to Baker, a race that also included Glazer in the June Primary. Nobody in the Democratic Party supporting Bonilla or labor thought to change the subject of the race from BART strikes that occurred almost two years ago and affect very few at this very moment? This has always been Glazer’s calling card and even when it failed for him, he allowed Baker to co-opt his message to victory in the 16th Assembly District. Voters in this area appeared to like the message from a true conservative rather than a moderate. This time around, though, these practical groups of voters saw Glazer as the Baker of this race and Bonilla as Sbranti.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Steve Glazer wins expensive State Senate special election

State Sen-elect Steve Glazer
STATE SENATE | 7TH DISTRICT | In a race that featured millions of dollars from outside interests, Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer has won the State Senate Seventh District special election Tuesday night.

With nearly all the votes counted in the district comprising Contra Costa and Alameda Counties, Glazer, a moderate Democrat backed by business interests and Southern California millionaire Bill Bloomfield, won 54.6 percent of the vote. Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, also a Democrat, and strongly backed by labor, earned just 45.4 percent of over 111,000 ballots cast.

Also: SD7 unofficial results

The result mimicked late polling in the race showing Glazer up by as many as 10 percentage points. Glazer also led Bonilla by an identical spread in the March primary.

Following Tuesday night's results, Glazer said one state senator cannot change Sacramento alone, and added, "Today we saw that people are more important--and more powerful--than special interests, and that’s a great message for our state to hear. Our campaign struck a chord with voters frustrated by the gridlock and dysfunction in Sacramento. They want leaders who are more pragmatic than partisan, more focused on answers than ambition."

Glazer's big win was never contested Tuesday night after early results showed a sizable lead that never changed throughout the night.

The result represents a big defeat for labor unions who had poured significant resources into the race featuring Glazer, a candidate who had staked his chances on unwavering opposition to transit union strikes in the Bay Area.

Upon his swearing-in, Glazer and Bonilla, who maintains her seat in the Assembly, will both serve in the Legislature. Tuesday's special election was necessitated by Rep. Mark DeSaulnier's election to Congress last November. Glazer will finish DeSaulnier's term and face re-election in 2016.


7th District..............................VOTES....PCT
Steve Glazer.............................67,301   54.6%
Susan Bonilla............................55,867   45.4%
*includes Alameda County/Contra Costa County

Alameda County/Contra Costa County........VOTES....PCT
Total Registration......................487,495
Total Ballots Cast......................123,168  25.27%

Last Updated: Friday, May 22, 3:30 p.m.

P.M. BRIEFING | 5.19.15

Newspaper racks in front of World's Faire Donuts in Hayward. Do you see four different newspapers or two?
BERKELEY | Berkeley soda tax: First month's take, $116,000 (Contra Costa Times) This will surely get the attention of other Bay Area cities

OAKLAND | Oakland's condo glut become a condo shortage (Oakland Magazine) Former Mayor Jean Quan had a plan for more units, but, well, nevermind.

Gavin Newsom Talks Marijuana Legalization, Youth Prevention in Oakland (East Bay Express) For 21 years and older, kids.

ASSEMBLY | Assembly bill would require hearings on police military gear (Associated Press) Recall, San Leandro almost skirted public hearings for their MediVac

STATE BUDGET | Analyst predicts California revenue will exceed revised budget estimate by $3 billion (Sacramento Bee) Revision to the revision

CA DROUGHT | Drought could spell trouble for California Democrats (Sacramento Bee) If God gives you lemons, you blame Democrats for not giving you water to make lemonade.

LATINOS | 59% of college-educated Latinos have trouble meeting monthly expenses, report says (Los Angeles Times) Early researched showing household wealth for Latino fell 66 percent between 2005-09.

Monday, May 18, 2015

SD7 Election Preview: Which special interest will reign supreme?

Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer and Assemblymember Susan Bonila
MEET THE CANDIDATES Susan Bonilla represents almost half of the voters in Seventh District as an Assemblymember representing a portion of Contra Costa County. She is also a former high school teacher and county supervisor who has the endorsement of the Democratic Party and the former holder of the seat, Mark DeSaulnier, who left the seat for Congress. But, the endorsement that holds the greatest implications in this special election is Bonilla's strong ties to labor. Bonilla is also viewed as strong on education and the environment, although her stances on the latter are also similar to her opponent. Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer ran a similar campaign in last year's 16th Assembly District. Heavy on portraying himself as a moderate Democrat and reformer far removed from the traditional liberal acquiescence to the demands of labor unions. His early opposition to BART strikes put him on the radar last year, but he still only finished third in Assembly race's June Primary. This time around, the former consultant to Gov. Jerry Brown breezed to a nine-point victory in the March primary over Bonilla and another Democrat Joan Buchanan.

WHAT’S THE BEEF Maybe Bonilla and Glazer have differences in their platform, but there has been very little focus on substantive ideas and policies, as they pertain to representing the district in the State Senate. Like the March primary, this race has been a proxy war between labor unions supporting Bonilla and interests from the state Chamber of Commerce supporting Glazer, in addition, to over $2 million from centrist Southern California businessman Bill Bloomfield. The Koch Brothers even reared their head in this race through an independent expenditure committee. On both sides millions have been spent by IEs that dwarfed astronomical outlays in last year's Assembly race and State Senate primary in March. In fact, if they cared to do so, voters in the Seventh District could make a very thick coffee table book featuring all the direct-mail pieces that have been created for this special election. In a likely bid to return prominence to the BART strike issue, Glazer charged union members with illegal electioneering on BART premises. Bonilla agreed, but also charged Glazer with doing the same in the past. A heavy-circulated campaign photo from the Assembly race of Glazer perched on a BART platform confirmed the allegation.

PAST RESULTS 2015 Special Primary: 1. Steve Glazer (D) 37,664 (33.7%) 2. Susan Bonilla (D) 27,728 (24.8%) 3. Joan Buchanan (D) 25,147 (22.5%)4. Michaela Hertle (R) 18,008 (16.1%) 5. Terry Kremin (D) 3,175 (2.8%).

2012 June Primary: 1. Mark DeSaulnier (D) 91,224 (57.0%) 2. Mark Meuser (R) 68,730 (43.0%). 2012 General Election: 1. DeSaulnier (D) 229,105 (61.5%) 2. Meuser (R) 143,707 (38.5%).

VOTER REGISTRATION Democratic 210,970 (43.6%) Republican 103,854 (28.7%) 3. No Party Preference 106,268 (22.0%) American Independent 13,654 (2.8%) Libertarian 3,053 (0.6%) Green Party 2,020 (0.4%).

OUTLOOK Glazer put Bonilla's campaign in an early hole with his strong performance in the primary. It's not that Bonilla's second place finish was poor, but that support between her base in Contra Costa County was so uneven as compared to her dismal 14 percent performance elsewhere in the district. This area is known for being a very educated electorate and vote-by-mail data shows every ideological category is outpacing turnout over the primary when over 22 percent of voters cast a ballot. However, other than the war of IEs in this race--already a continuation of the primary discussion--the subject of this race has not changed. This is a big potential misstep by Bonilla's campaign since the default in this race is banning BART strikes and that's Glazer's greatest strength. Yet, the race didn't really focus on BART strikes until the last few weeks when Glazer brought it back to the headlines. Labor's overwhelming presence for Bonilla in this race might be her downfall. In an independent poll last Friday, 60 percent of respondents said they believe transit strikes should be prohibited. This means a boatload of union volunteers were swarming a district where they are not liked, which likely makes for some awkward Saturday afternoons for volunteers seeking votes for Bonilla. Also, don't forget. These two, and others, can do it all again in 2016.

PREDICTION 1. Glazer 2. Bonilla

AGENDA NOTES: Oakland City Council still feeling effects of May 4 shutdown

The Oakland City Council agenda is still feeling
the effects of the May 4 shutdown by protesters.
PHOTO/Jaime Omar Yassin
Oakland City Council Preview
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, third floor
Tuesday, May 5, 2015, 5 p.m.
Twitter hashtag: #oakmtg

THIS & THAT $8 million in New Market Tax Credits are coming to the developer behind the Foothill and Seminary Project featuring Walgreens as an anchor tenant. Approval would come on top of $6 million in tax credits already offered by the city. Recall the project attracted some controversy earlier this year when city staff asked for Walgreens to be exempt from the city's living wage ordinance. Walgreens' adherence to the ordinance was due to previously accepted said tax credits...Confirmation of a previous council decision to consolidate walk-in citizen complaints against police at the Citizens Police Review Board makes it back to the agenda after the May 4 early council adjournment delayed the action...More from the ongoing contract talks between California Waste Solutions and Waste Management on the city's zero waste garbage contract resumes Tuesday night. Still no agreement as the July 1 deadline nears...

An informational report from the Citizens Police Review Board covering January 2013 through December 2014 will be presented to the council, in addition, to audits on the Wildfire Prevention Assessment District and public safety Measure Y...Planning Commissioners Emily Weinstein and Adhi Nagral are set to be reappointed by Mayor Libby Schaaf, along with the appointment of Amanda Monchamp. Because it is an emergency finding, the appointments need a two-thirds majority... A resolution supporting State Sen. Ricardo Lara's Senate Bill 411 affirming the right of citizens to photograph and videotape police officers in public is being offered by Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney...

Also: May 11 Oakland City Council committee notes

POMP & CIRCUMSTANCE The council declares May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and National Community Action Month. May 17-23 is proclaimed as National Public Works Week. After the May 4 was shut down by protesters, the state champion Bishop O'Dowd boys and girls basketball teams will be honored Tuesday evening.

LAST TIME OUT What didn't happened May 4 was a host of pending agenda items following the abrupt takeover of the Oakland City Council by protesters opposing the proposed public sale of the East 12th Street remainder parcel. The acre site is the planned location for a 24-story luxury tower overlooking Lake Merritt. Protesters shut down the meeting shortly after the mayor presented her budget proposal to the council. The proposed sale has yet to return to the council agenda.
Next council meeting: Tuesday, June 2, 5:30 p.m.

AGENDA NOTES: San Leandro to discuss major projects at the Marina, BayFair

The Marina Shoreline development would 
transform one of the city's most underused assets.
San Leandro City Council Preview
835 East 14th Street
Monday, May 18, 2015, 7 p.m.
Twitter hashtag: #slmtg

MARINA SHORELINE PROJECT It's the San Leandro development project that has long been discussed, proposed placed on a shelf, and brought back to life again. The San Leandro Marina Shoreline project may also be the most dynamic plan in fast-improving San Leandro and one that resuscitates a vastly underused community asset currently comprised of two moribund restaurants, vast greenery, a dog park and a golf courses.

The informational report given to the council Monday night highlights the work of the Shoreline citizens advisory committee and 65 public meetings over the past few years. Under its current iteration, the revamped Marina would include a 150,000 sq. ft. office campus, 200-room hotel and convention center, parking structure, three new restaurants and 354 housing units, according to a staff report. A library meeting space is also included in the plan, along with beach and recreation amenities and two miles of public promenade.

The plan also entails eliminating the current restaurants, Mulford Branch Library, San Leandro Yacht Club building, and reconfiguration of five holes at the Marina's short course to accommodate housing. The Marina Inn, however, will remain under this proposal.

BAYFAIR T.O.D. BEGINS The city begins the long process toward a transit-oriented development at BayFair Center with a $500,000 consulting contract with Rami + Associates. The Bay Fair Transit Village development already attracted $440,000 in planning grants from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission last spring. In addition to the grant, the current $500,000 budget for the project's early stages includes $30,000 from the city and $15,000 apiece from BART and Madison Marquette, owner of Bay Fair Mall. As far as committee outreach over the project is concerned, a 21-member citizen advisory committee is also due to be formed by the City Council, along with a pair of meetings detailing the plan. If all goes as planned, the project could be fully approved by the City Council in April 2017, according to the staff report.

THIS & THAT Finance Director Frank Baum will present the City Council with its biennial budget for Fiscal Years 2015-2017...Arleen Carino will be nominated as District 5 representative to the Human Services Commission...A resolution is on consent supporting San Leandro Creek as a "Priority Conservation Area Designation."

LAST TIME OUT May 4, the council unanimously approved raising some fees such as its Business License Tax, 911 Tax and EMS Tax based on the Consumer Price Index. The council also agreed to schedule consideration for sending the Eden Township Healthcare District a letter urging it to contribute its subsidy to San Leandro Hospital. >>>WATCH IT HERE>>>Next council meeting: Monday, June 1, 7 p.m.

ALMANAC Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter (first term, ends 2018); Councilmember Deborah Cox (first term, ends 2018); Councilmember Ursula Reed (second term, ends 2016); Councilmember Lee Thomas (first term, ends 2018); Councilmember Benny Lee, first term, ends 2016); Councilmember Corina Lopez (first term, ends 2018); Vice Mayor/Councilmember Jim Prola, District 6 (second term, ends 2016).

P.M. BRIEFING | 5.18.15

"Maybe governing needs correct governing," reads a concrete pillar on East 9th Avenue and Fruitvale in Oakland.
SD7 | Steve Glazer's Moment - And California's (Fox & Hounds) He would also be the most unlikely figure for change in Sacramento

EAST BAY | Bay Area city managers highly paid regardless of city size, raising questions (San Jose Mercury News) Fremont has a bargain in City Manager Fred Diaz. So does San Leandro with Chris Zapata

OAKLAND | Frontrunner emerges in bid to bring Oakland's historic Kaiser Convention Center back to life (San Francisco Business Times) Decision to approve will come before Oakland City Council in June

CADEM2015 | Disneyland Democrats: The Happiest Race on Earth (CalBuzz) The rundown from last weekend's California Democratic Party Convention in Anaheim

CA DROUGHT | As California withers, federal water bill mired in secrecy (McClatchy) A draft bill could be presented in the House next month

Saturday, May 16, 2015

SD7 Poll: Glazer leads Bonilla by 10 points with election just days away

SD7 candidate Steve Glazer
STATE SENTATE | DISTRICT 7 | Steve Glazer's hopes of winning next Tuesday's special State Senate Seventh District race were buoyed Friday by an independent poll showing a 10-point advantage over fellow Democrat Susan Bonilla with just days before the May 19 election.

The telephone poll, conducted by KPIX-TV and Survey USA, shows Glazer holding 45 percent of 684 registered likely voters, followed by Bonilla with 35 percent. Twenty percent of those surveyed May 12-13 say they are still undecided.

Read the KPIX/SurveyUSA poll here

According to the poll, much of Glazer's margin is due to support from independent voters, a voting bloc the moderate Glazer has strove to cultivate. Among this subset of voters, Glazer leads Bonilla, 46-26.

Glazer also leads among those who say they have already cast a vote-by-mail ballot, 52-39. The spread is notable since the high number of ballots already returned appear skewed toward Democratic voters. Supporters of Bonilla's campaign have pointed to the voter data as evidence of strong support for their candidate, although, both maintain the same party affiliation.

Unsurprisingly, Republicans support Glazer by a 5-to-1 margin, according to the poll, while Democrats support Bonilla by a 2-to-1 clip. Meanwhile, wealthy voters are backing Glazer by double-digits, yet those earning less than $40,000 a year are split between the candidates, 40-40.

The campaign's top wedge issue, whether or not BART employees should maintain the right to strike, highly favors Glazer. Sixty percent of those survey say they should not, while 30 percent want to maintain the status quo.

Friday, May 15, 2015


State Sen. Bob Wieckowski with San Francisco 49ers mascot Sourdough Sam.
STATE BUDGET | What Jerry Brown's budget plan means for state workers (Sacramento Bee) Employee compensation will rise to $57 million in 2015-16

Not enough money for highway repairs, Brown's budget acknowledges (San Jose Mercury News) Gas tax generates about one-fourth cost of maintaining highways and dropping because of electric cars

CA DROUGHT | California agency misses deadline on reporting oil-industry water use (Los Angeles Times) Slick

California's Future is in Australia (Bloomberg View) A Wall Street water exchange

ALAMEDA | In-N-Out Opens in Alameda (SFGate) "Alamedans expressed their concern that the delicious burgers would attract crime" No. Only one did.