Show Me the Real Money

By Steven Tavares

Is there a tangible difference between non-monetary contributions versus cold, hard cash? San Leandro mayoral candidate Stephen Cassidy says no. A press release Tuesday touted financial disclosures filings showing a considerable money advantage over the incumbent Mayor Tony Santos and Councilwoman Joyce Starosciak.

“Demonstrating strong momentum as the campaign enters its last 100 days, campaign manager Tim Holmes, announced today the Cassidy for Mayor campaign has received over $30,000 in contributions for 2010, exceeding opponents Santos and Starociak by over $7,000 and $20,000 respectively,” said Cassidy’s web site.

But is it a true statement?

If you breakdown Cassidy’s reported $30,005 in total contributions, just over one-third come from individual donors. In fact, Cassidy’s own campaign manager is his largest contributor. Holmes and his wife gave $1,250 to the Cassidy campaign this year. In addition, $7,560 in loans Cassidy gave his campaign and not mentioned in the release.

The bulk of Cassidy’s contributions came from non-monetary contributions. Supporters furnished web designing, graphic art work and data analysis worth $11,740. Non-monetary contributions are quite fungible and usually not reported in terms of fundraising strength, a fact even Cassidy acolyte and San Leandro School Board President Mike Katz noted on his blog.


TEA PARTYING WITH BROWN? Santos takes great glee in portraying Cassidy as a conservative, whether it is true or not. Santos has mockingly referred to Cassidy as the “new Lou Filipovich”–the rickety San Leandro conservative and now mayoral candidate. After Cassidy came out in favor of pension reform for city employees, Santos asked, “When did Cassidy join the Tea Party?”

The assertion may have taking a bit of a toll on Cassidy, but his position was buoyed recently when Jerry Brown told the Los Angeles Times, he too, favored reigning in state pensions. Very few would put the Democratic nominee for governor and theTea Party in the same sentence. “I’m not going to blame public servants for problems that have been created by Wall Street hedge funds and mortgage sellers,” said Brown, “but at the same time, as I did as governor, I know when it’s time to tighten our belt,”

The employee pension issue and the city’s quarter-cent sales tax measure are shaping up as the likely point of difference between Santos and Starosciak against Cassidy.


GOOD COP/BAD COP It is not a good idea to stoke controversy among the electorate when you are the incumbent and the election is less than three months away. When Santos and City Manager Stephen Hollister met with representatives from the school board there was a chance the city would take a hard line against funding crossing guards for the upcoming school year. Hollister had said in council chambers and in an interview with The Citizen the city simply could not fund even half of the programs amid steep cuts in staff and services.

Santos and Hollister, though, may have been playing good cop/bad cap that day. Santos said he pulled Hollister aside before the meeting last Thursday and discussed again splitting the $100,000 cost of crossing guards with the school district. “We can’t go in there and say we’re not funding this,” said Santos. During the meeting Hollister again listed the cuts to the city budget and dispelled rumors the absence of guards would put the city in legal risk. When it was Santos’ turn to speak, he immediately said the city would offer to split the costs. The potential deal quickly took the air out of potential opposition, including mayoral candidate Sara Mestas, who led the fight to reinstate the program last year and was in attendance at the meeting. With that, the ball is back in the school district’s court. The first day of school in San Leandro is Aug. 25.


THE BREAK-UP San Leandro School Trustee Pauline Cutter wants to know what’s eating Tony Santos. Cutter is running to replace outgoing councilmember Bill Stephens for the District 5 seat against Corina Lopez and Ted Kai. During the same city/school board liaison meeting last Thursday, Santos and Cutter sniped at each other when the mayor asserted the school board could have received a new sports complex without tax dollars. Santos detailed past discussions of building a field on the grounds of San Lorenzo High School. Cutter noted the board had looked at the proposal but quibbled over funding a project in another municipality. When she noted Alameda County oversees unincorporated San Lorenzo, Santos quickly shot back, “I know it’s Alameda County.” Cutter took slight offense to the retort. Afterwards, Cutter said it was the second such outburst in recent weeks made by Santos towards her. “I don’t know what’s going on with Tony,” she said. “I’m going to have to find out what’s wrong.” While both have ties to labor unions, Cutter may be worried about receiving the mayor’s endorsement for council this November. The worry being Lopez’s connection to consultants associated to Santos may draw his support. “I’m staying neutral on that race,” said Santos.

Categories: Corina Lopez, election, Joyce Starosciak, mayor, Pauline Cutter, pensions, S.L. City Council, Stephen Cassidy, Stephen Hollister, Tony Santos

10 replies

  1. As someone who works in the IT industry, it's good to see that Web 2.0 is enabling grass-roots democracy, specifically for Mayor Cassidy's campaign.

    Cassidy and team have created a great campaign web site, Facebook page and communications campaign; and already have a wide assortment of endorsements. His campaign literature looks way better than Joyce or Tony's – despite the fact that Joyce and Tony pay high-priced political consultants. It's probably because what he puts out is smart and well written; as for Jocye and Tony the old saying, “You can't polish a turd” applies.

    If anything, the in-kind campaign contributions are most likely undervalued in terms of any monetary reporting.

    What's more, is that in-kind campaign contributions for Cassidy are donated by San Leandreans with a vested interest in the betterment of San Leandro. Joyce's consultant is an out-of-towner doing a job for payment; he couldn't care less if San Leandro is better or worse under Joyce's leadership. I believe Santos still uses Charlie Gilcrest; and Gilcrest only cares about carrying water for Santos (he practically jumps around him like a lap-dog) and future appointments to boards and commissions so he can further his political consulting business.

    Frank Lynn


  2. Filipovich a conservative??? WTF?


  3. I can see the debates now;

    Bacalao; Re-elect me, because I'll keep Wal-Mart out of San Leandro.

    Corned Beef and Cabbage Head; Elect me, because I'm smarter than all of you and I don't smell of dried fish.

    Little Katie Couric; Elect me, because I'm smarter than Corned Beef, I have an Engineering Degree.

    Wiley Ho; Elect me, because I'm double jointed.

    Looney Flip-u-off-a-inch; “Elect me because I have an important document here from Howard Jarvis”.



  4. Mr. or Ms. Bahahahhhahahahahah, kudos and thanks for a good laugh! I loved the names, good matches!


  5. On non-monetary contributions.

    I used to think that non-monetary contributions weren't that important, exactly because they are fungible. However, these financial disclosures have changed my mind.

    Tony Santos has spent about $15,000 paying for a badly-designed website and an e-mail newsletter. That's FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS, by far the greatest expense he's had so far.

    Stephen Cassidy has a much better website and a much better internet communication system, designed and implemented by graphic design and internet professionals on his volunteer staff. Without them, he might have had to raise an additional $15,000 in hard cash to pay for those services – such as Tony did.

    Similarly, Tony and Joyce have to pay out-of-town campaign consultants for help on steering their campaigns. Cassidy, OTHO, has a staff of volunteers that include not only communication professionals but people who have successfully ran other San Leandro grass-roots campaigns. Another expense for which he doesn't need to fund-raise.

    So let's not minimize the importance of non-monetary contributions. Indeed, I think the record shows that it's exactly those contributions which win campaigns in San Leandro.


  6. Hey, there's another candidate in there; John Palau. So now some people who normally would blindly vote for Santos will mistake Palau for Simao and vote for him over Santos. bahahahhahahahahaha I can hear them now; Oh Tony has been in there awhile, I'm voting for Simao. bahahahhahahaha


  7. Manuel…..or blahblahblah…..whom ever you're or pretend to be Youre a disgraceful racist person!!!! you really do show your colors,you RACIST SOB!!!! SCUM UNEDUCATED IDIOT


  8. Gilcrest??? That piece of blubber. Reminds me a Bob Glaze; fat, stupid, blubbering moron who spits when he talks.


  9. Tony Sand-toes is mocking Cassidy because Cassidy wants very limited pension reform??? That just goes to show you that Tony Santos is an absolute fish head. What a moron. Hey, you FATHEAD; Santos, other than raising taxes what's your idea? Oh wait this Knucklehead once said to the effect that “well when you add up local, state and federal taxes it's only about 35% to 40% of a persons income so there's plenty of room for more taxation”. This Bacalhao Head is a disgrace.

    How anyone can blindly vote for this jackass is beyond me.


  10. In regard to the crossing guards meeting with the city, it should be know that the city (Santos and Hollister) had previously in two (2) different occasions cancelled the meetings. This is not a new area of discussion the city has had knowledge of the crossings guards since last school year! Funny how there is no money in the budget for the safety of our school age children …but there's money in the budget for the dredging of the marina!!!! No money for the Senior Center but there was money for the dredging of the Marina……


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: