ELECTION ’12//ALCO SUPERVISOR DIST 2 | The hardscrabble fight between Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi and Supervisor Richard Valle for District 2 has oddly been missing the largest target for attack of all–Hayashi’s sordid tale of shoplifting $2,450 worth of clothes from Neiman Marcus in San Francisco last year.

A few months ago at a meet and greet event hosted in Union City for Valle the appointed incumbent shared with The Citizen his concern about Hayashi’s run for Supervisor and her large campaign war chest she could utilize for a campaign against him. He was critical of her phone surveys that he called “skewed” to soften the image of her crime. But while Valle has been willing to discuss Hayashi’s crime privately he hasn’t brought it up at a single public forum yet.

In fact, after his State of the County address last month Valle said he was focused more on District 2 than her career when he was asked to comment on disparaging comments Hayashi allegedly made against Assembly member Bob Wieckowski on the Assembly floor. Since then Valle’s strategy has been to praise his own work at Hayward’s St. Rose Hospital to help maintain viability and his company Tri-CED which has provided jobs to ex-cons and the unemployed. Only during the Alameda Democratic Club endorsement meeting was Hayashi’s crime alluded to during a question about ethics from a Democratic Central Committee member.

Hayashi has said then and since then that she made a mistake and confessed to it. She told The Citizen recently that people should be focusing on policy rather than a “mistake” that she confessed to and apologized.

Last night at the Union City forum the moderators never mentioned Hayashi’s crime nor did any questions from the audience. Neither did Valle or Union City Mayor Mark Green. After the forum though Valle said his strategy wasn’t to pummel Hayashi over her crime, referencing Meg Whitman’s run against Governor Jerry Brown when she played aggressive offense that Valle believes worked against her. Instead, Valle’s strategy is to wait for Hayashi to lunge and then counter.

 “She is going to play dirty because that’s what she does but when she attacks we are going to wait and see the white of her eyes and then we are going to come hard” said Valle. Hayashi’s crime is a major target open for attack in probably one of the most watched races in East Bay and while Valle says he is just waiting for the opportunity to use it against her time is starting to run short with less than five weeks away to Election Day.

Shane Bond is a contributor to the East Bay Citizen.