Guess What? Hayashi Is The Front Runner For Alameda County Supervisor

ELECTION ’12//ALCO DISTRICT 2 | Mary Hayashi is a fighter. So, it shouldn’t be surprising the only East Bay politician who rivals Nadia Lockyer’s huge negatives is the candidate for her seat most likely victorious this November. I know it’s shocking and the last sentenced elicited a round of “fucks!” and knee jerk thoughts of moving the family to Tracy, but there’s reason for this growing consensus. She is probably the best candidate equipped to win the largely three-person race.

Of course, Hayashi’s election to the Alameda County Board of Supervisor just 10 months after being convicted of shoplifting would be national news, albeit, a small paragraph in The New York Times national round-up section, but big news, nonetheless. For the East Bay electorate, might be akin to Nadia Lockyer hitting rock-bottom last week in Orange County, at least, we hope. 

So, you ask how could such a roundly loathed politician, especially among her colleagues even before the Oct. 25 shoplifting charge, be in position for a Bill Clinton-esque comeback this November? It’s easy. If Hayashi is a puncher with a loaded glove, the rest of the politicians in Alameda County are bitch-slappers, if not, blatant cowards. Which fighter would you take? Which would Las Vegas give the best odds?

Richard Valle, Mark Green, Mary Hayashi

While Hayashi haters and labor-friendly supporters of Supervisor Richard Valle are merely amassing their considerable forces, it is not clear whether his troops are totally unified in battling Hayashi, herself sporting vast support, in the past, for workers. It’s difficult to win the hearts and minds of the population if you can’t even inspire your own soldiers and, apparently, that is what is occurring with Valle.

Never known as the most inspiring of politicos, Valle, nonetheless appears listless in person. Assuredly, his motivation in real terms is legitimate, observers repeatedly tell me, but if you have never seen Valle in person, it is very difficult to say you will ever pine to listen to him again. One person summed up Valle’s perceived lack of enthusiasm as a second sequel to “Weekend at Bernie’s,” the 1980s film featuring Bernie, a dead man, who is propped up in public by two employees who hope to convince people their boss is still alive. Although, Valle says he is a spiritual man (he’s a practicing Buddhist), he has also shown an inclination for getting dirty as he did when grabbing the appointment for supervisor last May from Newark Councilwoman Ana Apodaca. Can he outdo Hayashi, whose political career has always been about intimidation and threats? How will it appear to voters if Valle, in the previous role of Mother Theresa, starts mouthing off?

Whomever is going to win this race, will have to do it by diving to the depths of negative campaigning. Hayashi can do it and has probably already rented a block of rooms in Mudville. Union City Mayor Mark Green can certainly spin a vicious and humorous sound bite better than anybody in the East Bay, but he probably has to fire off invective in both directions while also appealing to centrist voters. The best case scenario for Hayashi would be for both Valle and Green to make her into a public punching bag. The theory of being the only female in a race is a very valuable position and might be an important factor for Hayashi. While she is known to put on the charm among men in a crowded room, she no doubt is someone who punches below the belt when the referee isn’t looking.

If her mugshot is trotted out, she will play the damsel in distress and seek sympathy. She might not bring up the alleged brain tumor because that only conjures up the mess surrounding her conviction. However, she is already exhibiting a different, more successful response to the mugshot. While seeking the endorsement of the Alameda County Democratic Party, Hayashi reportedly threatened using the race and gender card against certain members if they backed Valle. So far, it has been successful, but that was before her term in the Assembly ended Aug. 31. When the party gathers this Saturday afternoon, Hayashi will have less power to dissuade dissidents to vote for Valle or vote for a non-endorsement. Rest assured, Hayashi’s team will be compiling a hit list for those who vote against her. If that doesn’t work, there are rumors Hayashi will attack Valle’s integrity by asserting his work at Tri-Ced in Union City was aided by political favors.

But, if you throw all the fisticuffs aside, the numbers are already favorable to Hayashi, if not solely because Green is in the race. Union City may not be very big, but it will likely have a disproportionate role in who wins. Both Valle and Green hail from Union City and it is likely they will split the vote in the area where they are best known. The eventually winner might not even have to break 35 percent in this scenario.

For Valle to win re-election, he is going to need quite a bit of help from Hayashi’s long list of enemies in the East Bay and Sacramento. There were rumblings that Hayash’s colleagues in the Assembly would publicly turn on her after the end of the last legislative session two weeks ago, but that hasn’t happened. However, a few unknown assembly members won’t turn the tide. Instead, a cacophony of voices will have to be heard in the next month all saying the same thing. If there is a candidates forum, between this bunch, Valle and Green could hope for a poor performance from Hayashi. She’s a bully and those sorts of people rarely emanate from a study session at the library. Hayashi rise in politics came though blunt force, not dynamic rhetorical skills.

As I wrote this summer, relying on the “mugshot” will not do the trick in denying Hayashi a seat at the Board of Supervisors, but boiling down the anger and the ill will behind the conviction to a sweet confection might. Hayashi not only indiscriminately stole $2,450 in high-end clothing from Neiman Marcus and then never really apologized, but also made excuses for her indiscretion. As a part of the State Legislature, Hayashi and her colleagues not only “stole” precious tax dollars from local cities with impunity and failed to say sorry, but continually did it every year to stick a finger in the state’s annual budget problems. To voters in the know, the second example of larceny may be more problematic for Hayashi. Are there other examples of somewhat existential theft more specific to Hayashi and her acolytes that could fit into this narrative? Probably. If you boil it all down, the most effective response to Hayashi’s artillery is to brand her with one word: thief. In fact, the word should be used so many times in tandem with her name, that they become interchangeable in voter’s mind.

IF THE ELECTION WERE TODAY…The remaining four members of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors would each be figuring out a way of gaming next year’s seating assignments to avoid sitting next to Hayashi. It also begs the question of whether former Supervisor Gail Steele upon retiring sacrificed her pet goat and placed a curse on District 2.

More ominously for her rivals, if Hayashi can parlay what should have been a political death sentence last January into a significant pay upgrade this November, then she can again be viewed as the front runner for the State Senate in 2014 and that does not bode well for Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski.

Categories: Dems Central Committee, Mark Green, Mary Hayashi, mugshot, Neiman Marcus, Richard Valle, shoplifting

34 replies

  1. Steve – this was not a good move. This is the exact article that Hayashi is going to take to her Sacramento donors to get them to pony up.


  2. This is a wake-up call for District 2 candidates and voters…don't hit the snooze button…time is awaste'n!!


  3. “Sacramento Donors”?…shes termed-out…and has NOTHING to offer…she's damaged goods, and very low on the “help list” for power players out of Sacramento.


  4. I'm not making a move other than to report what I'm hearing. It's possible some of the Sacramento donor you're referring to are the same people telling me Hayashi is the front runner.

    In fact, over the past few weeks, I haven't come across a single person who said Hayashi won't win, as it stands right now.


  5. To Yogi, Raj, Sue, Shawn W., Ana A., Anu N., and maybe even Liz F.: please stop telling people that Richard Valle isn't “inspiring” or that he is dull.

    You don't have to be Barack Obama to be a genuine, hard working, progressive public servant. Richard may not have a commanding presence, but he is fighting for all the things that are important to working families in our County and our State.

    So back off. We need people reinforcing all of Richard's good qualities, and there are many of them. Otherwise, you should ask Mary if she'll offer you guys a paid position on her campaign, because all you're doing, every time you publicly trash Richard, is helping to elect Mary.

    Geez, who needs enemies when we have friends like you?


  6. By MW:

    I do not think it really matters very much which one wins because:

    In recent years Alameda County voters have been so extremely lucky and blessed to have such wonderful all stars to pick from, and Mary “The Shoplifter” Hayashi and Nadia “The Drug Addict” Lockyer are just two of many examples, that therefore as far as I am concerned we could just put the names of all of the candidates in a hat, pull one name out, and regardless of which name was pulled out of the hat, we would definitely have a wonderful, fine, sober, honest, intelligent, and extremely ethical representative.

    Lucky us.


  7. Steve – Please, then, count me as the first person who tells you that Richard is going to win, and Mary is going to lose.

    In a Presidential year, with a high Democratic turn out, the Democratic Party Endorsement and Labor Endorsements are key. And Richard will have both.


  8. I agree with MW. Valle doesn't even have the support of all four of his colleagues. Miley supports him because of the cushy job his kid has, first with Lockyer and now with Valle. Chan does whatever the union whores tell her to do.

    MW is right. Unfortunately, this time around all are slim pickings, and two are outright trash. Nowhere to run or hide. Might as well just stay home.


  9. in all deference to steve, i question his comments-doubt seriously mary has that much support-in general voters do not like people who violates the law-and even if she is leading, no way she has majority support among voters-ask the question-what has mary done for you lately-i can assure everyone, she never did anyting for san leandro-tony santos


  10. Valle turned a lot of people off with his fullcourt press for the appointment. Lots of people who would have campaigned for him will just sit out this race or work on other races.


  11. Eight weeks to go and I sense no coordinated plan that will eliminate Hayashi from having a fair chance to win. Unfortunately, the entry of Green pretty much guaranteed she'd have a fair chance.
    I have voiced this before, only to be told to shut up, that I as a mere citizen don't know what the pros have in mind. I certainly hope they do have something.

    If you have a avalanche of pieces designed to hit Mary in the last 3 weeks, they are going to be only marginally effective when each mail delivery brings half a dozen shouting mailers on all manner of subjects.

    The only way to prevent Mary from getting a substantial number of votes is to be using a carefully crafted message that prevents voters from even considering her as a choice. The most important time for that groundwork to be laid is now, in September. It will have to be done door to door by both candidates.
    Does anyone know if Green and Valle have some kind of mutal agreement on this, or is each leaving it up to the other, resulting in a uncoordinated mixed message.
    Simply shouting out “she's a crook” later on will not work and as Steven said, may even turn her into a victim of the “guys” ganging up on the one woman.

    Huge numbers of voters have zero or very minimal memories of Mary's crime. Just go out on the street and ask them. Really, go do it. Sure, some are angry, but far more either don't remember or hardly care, because they've never been carefully apprised of the details which prove Mary is still lying about the incident until this very day.

    Also, I think Mary will get more than 50% of the votes of Asian voters even though they would normally be among the most adamant against a candidate with her recent criminal past.
    She will get at least 33% of the women voters just because she is a woman.
    She has a path to victory unless something is well planned to stop her.

    I don't think she has any foot soldiers so she will rely on mailers with emphasized endorsements, several of which she already has. Groups willing to ignore her criminal activity because she has voted for them in the past. Payback.

    Actually turning Mary into a joke again may be easier and more effective than trying to turn her into a evil immoral criminal. Its harder to defend yourself when your candidacy becomes the butt of a joke.
    She was a joke back when she was originally arrested and again when she claimed it was all the fault of a “brain tumor” but that is all in the past.
    Bringing her back as a popular joke may gain easier traction.
    I think voters are more disinclined to vote for a joke candidate than for a immoral candidate.

    Of course if Green and Valle start hitting each other, they'll only be making Mary seem more palatable by comparison.

    Looks like a interesting campaign. I certainly hope those opposing Mary have something great up their sleeve. Perhaps a brilliant theme or way to get free publicity exposing and emphasizing Mary's criminal behavior.
    Right now its a horserace. She certainly isn't out of it, not by a long shot.
    Don't forget, she spent over $20,000 on polling.


  12. Two excellent points here. At first, the Asian American groups were mortified by Hayashi's shoplifting charge. Over time, there's a sense of some forgiveness from that important group.

    Second, it is true people don't know or remember Hayshi's problems. In many cases, you need to prompt the person to jog their memory and say, ” remember that assemblywoman that got caught stealing from Neiman Marcus?” That clears some of the fog, but sometimes if I told them it was Ellen Corbett, I sense they would believe me.


  13. Someone needs to give the toilet a 2nd flush.


  14. Let's just hope that criminal never gets to occupy another public office. I WILL not be voting for her.


  15. Those people who would sit on their hands and see Mary Hayashi get elected over a capable public servant like Valle seriously need to rethink their priorities for District 2. So what if he leveraged his influence to get appointed. He's the incumbent now, the choice right now is between him and Hayashi, and that choice is a total no-brainer in favor of Valle. Even if you were an Apodaca supporter like I was, she's not running now. So get over it and get behind the only reasonable candidate that can stop Hayashi.

    I don't know if Steven is right that Hayashi would win today “as things stand”, but regardless, this article is a good wake-up call. So quit whining about who your ideal candidate might have been, or how inspired Valle may or may not make you feel. He's a big step up from what we've had, and he's the best shot we have.


  16. Sorry, friend. Can't vote for damaged goods, and that includes both the kleptomaniac and the shill for the unions. For some of us that's like voting for Ollie North or Gordon Liddy. Neither is a 'good fit.'


  17. 9:30 Why do you even continue to comment about this race. You can't stand Hayashi, you don't like Valle, and I can't remember your position on Green except you don't like him either.
    The 4th guy, his name escapes me, has essentially nothing to say.

    So you seem to be left with voting for the totally unknow guy, or one of the three you don't like.
    So go for it. Whether you vote for no one, or the unknown guy, or even for some write-in, it makes little difference.
    Its all the same as not voting in this race.
    Since no one here is advocating voting for Hayashi, your only purpose here seems to berate Valle and/or possibly Green.
    When you do that, and on the odd chance you convince someone of the same, then you've essentially voted for Hayashi. Something even you don't seem inclined to do.

    So one can't really figure out why you stay interested in, or comment on this race at all.


  18. One can argue Green is a better choice than Valle. Green is Mayor of a city, sits on many regional bodies, isn't beholden to the tentacles of the Den party or labor, and has a good reputation.

    Valle has many flaws which a dirty scrapper like Hayashi will not hesitate to exploit.


  19. i am a woman and you can count me out of that protion of women that will voter for her. i will not vote for that skitch!! what about her husband when is he up for re election because he wont get my vote too!!


  20. 5:01 pm. You have it wrong. Voters in Distric 2, or for that matter the Bay Area are not wanting “good qualities” or compassion and caring politicians. They want individuals who will fight to get them their fair share. Mary may be ugly in that mug shot, but she will fight in the mug to win. People want politicians who can win. That's why Democrats chose Obama or in the Bay Area any Democrat who can pull the coalitions together to get the job done. It doesn't matter how they are pulled together through threats or intimidation the outcome is what matters. Mary will fight therefore she will win.


  21. 6:27 is right. The Asian group will continue to support her. Women will continue to support her. But, the biggest thing Mary has in her favor is voter apathy. The bulk of the voters will hit the booth with no knowledge of the candidates or their political history. They will first vote by the big D or R. Then Mary's last name will get her the Asian vote, Mary's first name will get the woman vote. Mary's criminal history will not matter. The pot holders, the plants and any other tangible giveaways will get Mary the votes and she has the money to buy all the junk to give out. Mary will win.


  22. If you all think Mary is strong now just wait until she gets elected to the Board of Supervisors. With the box seats at Raiders, A's, Warrior's games and all the concerts and other entertainment venues she will use those perks to gain more and more influence. Unions, developers, and other special interests that bring money and influence will immediately be at her disposal once she is elected. She will be Board Chair within months if not weeks and she will power her way to every influential, money paying committee the position offers. ABAG, the Transportation Board, every board that matters will be hers. She will not share that power. Good luck Alameda County.


  23. 6:27 is on the right path. Green and Valle must work together at taking Mary out of the equation. They need to borrow a page out of Obama's playbook and scare the hell out of the voters. Mary with the power the Supervisor's seat will give her is a very scary thought. Work with the fact that voter's don't trust politicians. Give them a strong reason to not trust Mary.


  24. Valle's just another union hack like Mary. Mark Green is the only independent choice this election, and he's got my vote.


  25. 5:01 is probably a central committee member who thought Nadia was the Cat's meow. Any guess as to who 5:01 is?


  26. Ok, hand count. All in favor of Valle say so on this blog. All in favor of Green likewise. Those that don't vote automatically count as a vote for Mary. I'll start….GREEN!


  27. Ahhh, this thread is becoming true comedy gold. Only tens of thousands of votes to go for Green….The race will all get decided right here on the EB Citizens comments threads, I'm sure. Keep it up!

    Yes, having support from the Democratic Party and Labor unions is a BAD thing for your electoral prospects in this Supervisorial district. How is this so? SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP, that's how!!!


  28. Valle.

    as far as 6:28 is concerned…what are you concerned about? This is just another form of a poll for which many will be done…mostly by phone.

    At least here we all get to see the “true” results…not what the candidates staff want us to see.


  29. Look, rather than run a negative campaign, why don't Valle and Green give women and Asians a reason for them to vote for them and not Mary. It isn't about what race or gender a candidate is, many non-Blacks voted for Obama because of what he offered to them. Focus on positive messages and that may actually work with the apathetic voter because all they've heard is the same tired old negative crap.


  30. Do not live in the district, but Green represents a fresh start (although, I do kind of think he is a jerk). I think Valle has a lot of Lockyer baggage. I think Valle still has a better chance against Hayashi so I wish him godspeed.


  31. 8:35 hit it on the head. A vote for Mary is a vote for HOPE. Hope she doesn't screw over Alameda County too bad. Hope she doesn't embarass Alameda County too bad. Hope she runs for the Senate as soon as she can so she doesn't have as much time to ruin Alameda County too much. One can only hope.


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