ELECTION ’12//ASSEMBLY 18
May 10, 2012 | Someone must have told Abel Guillen one of his two spirits is backing Joel Young, his opponent in the 18th Assembly District, according to a list of endorsements uploaded Tuesday evening and removed the next day on the League of Women Voters’ election Web site.
Young’s campaign said the list of endorsement viewed Tuesday night on SmartVoter.org, the League’s online guide for voters, was mistakenly transferred from his past run for the AC Transit board of directors. A corrected version was uploaded Wednesday night, but not before a chorus of criticism erupted as many of the people erroneously listed again say their names connected to Young’s downtrodden run for the 18th Assembly seat.
Many were skeptical of the mistake Wednesday afternoon when contacted about Young’s latest inability to keep his endorsement list true. An article detailing a false endorsement from an Oakland domestic violence shelter published online Tuesday night in the East Bay Express also raised suspicions that the campaign, increasingly known for stretching the truth, was up to something again.
It is not clear how the list, that included just about every local official of note in the East Bay, showed up on Young’s Assembly page on the Smart Voter site. The list even included his current opponent Abel Guillen and former challenger, Kathy Neal. Mark Goodwin, Young’s campaign manager, said information was incorrectly pasted from the old AC Transit page to the new Assembly page. The League of Women Voters on Wednesday said the organization only provides the free platform for candidates, but does not monitor it for accuracy. All content is provided by the candidate, they said.
However, one East Bay consultant, who has used the Smart Voter site in the past and has inputted information dozens of times for candidates in the area, says the explanation is not plausible. Information similar to what was inputted on Young’s page would have to be created anew, they said. Unless there was massive user error in inputting the new list of endorsements to Young’s Assembly page, they added, you have start over with every new campaign.
Regardless, the episode illustrates growing concern over the continued misuse by Young of endorsements that either no longer belong to him or never were given to him in the first place, in addition, to a palpable paranoia among his detractors, bordering on hysterical, about what type of campaign misdeed he will commit next.