Stephen Cassidy

ELECTION ’12//SAN LEANDRO CITY COUNCIL | Mayor Stephen Cassidy of San Leandro donated money to political allies in all three open seats on the City Council up for re-election including Morgan Mack-Rose for District 2, Chris Crow for District 4 and Hermy Almonte for District 6.

Cassidy gave $500 from his 2010 election committee to Crow and Almonte and $1,000 to Mack-Rose. Two of the candidates receiving contributions from Cassidy, Mack-Rose and Almonte, are running against incumbents, Ursula Reed in District 2 and Jim Prola in District 6, which Cassidy has lent no money.

What the contributions reveal, though, is a sitting mayor, often criticized for his failure to compromise with members of the current City Council, attempting to stack the board by financially supporting candidates, two of which have recently been caught in blatant campaign lies.

Mack-Rose recently accused Reed at a candidate forum and via mailers last month of accepting an iPad on taxpayers’ money, but proved to be false according to the City’s IT department.

As for Crow, he was denied a ride along with the police due to an unpaid ticket concerning marijuana possession that turned into a warrant. Crow denied these allegations that proved to be true. He also has touted the endorsement of Supervisor Wilma Chan whose office recently told The Citizen she hasn’t endorsed anyone in San Leandro for district 4. Crow later denied this truth as well. Both lies came to light after controversy stunted his campaign concerning a comment about Chinese Olympic athletes that some from the Asian population in San Leandro considered racist although Crow says his comment was solely about the Chinese comments about American athletes and not their race.

As for Almonte, he hasn’t performed well against Prola; a well polished and most battle-tested San Leandro politician. Almonte commonly reads off notes perched before his bespectacled eyes at forums while Prola speaks more confidently in his experience as councilmember. Almonte has attempted to lash out at Prola on financial issues at the tail end of forums which Prola has pushed back against by denouncing financial decisions made by Almonte as vice president of the San Leandro school board.

Although, Prola has greatly outraised Almonte with a total of $34,230 raised thus far but ending with $21,123 with expenditures included. Much of Prola’s support comes from labor because of his long association as a union man. Sharon Cornu, Pete Stark’s campaign manager also donated to Prola’s campaign. Almonte on the other hand only managed to raise $4,505 while ending with only a mere $1,185 made up of small individual contributions from San Leandro residents other than Cassidy.

Chris Crow, who although has raised more money than competitors for District 4, trails behind financially due to his competitors significant loans to their own campaigns. Chris Crow has a total monetary contribution of $5,682 but ending with $4,293, Darlene Daevu with $10,800 but ending with $11,166 overall, Benny Lee with $12,441 and ending with $5,473. Dan Dillman, candidate for District 2, gave $125 to Crow as well.

Mack-Rose leads District 2 with $26,150 raised but ending in $10,822, Dillman raised $3,107 but ending with $624 and Reed, the incumbent, trails behind Mack-Rose with a total of $9,100 raised but ending with $8,189. Reed has received support from the Teamsters Union and SEIU with Mack-Rose receiving some union support from Electrical Workers Local 595 but also the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce. Furthermore, Tim Holmes, Mack-Rose’s campaign manager, gave $1,000 to Mack-Rose’s campaign and $250 to Crow.