Hayashi Skips Final Forum Before Election Day As TV Cameras Await


Supervisor Richard Valle speaks to voters Nov. 3 outside Paddy’s coffee house in Union City. PHOTO/MATT SANTOS msantosphotographer.com 

A cameraman from NBC Bay Area and reporter with mic in hand were waiting for Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi to make her grand entrance last Saturday morning at Paddy’s Union City’s venerable coffee house. Except she never showed up for what is likely the final chance for voters to see all four candidates for the Alameda County District 2 supervisors race in the same room.

According to organizers, the short forum was meant to offer each candidate a three-minute introduction and opportunity for voters to chat one-on-one with candidates, but Hayashi cancelled at the last minute leaving just a campaign staffer in the audience and explanation other than a vague, “something just came up.”

The abrupt cancellation, however, led some at the packed coffee shop known for its involvement in local politics to believe the presence of television cameras scared Hayashi away. Some observers standing outside the coffee house described what they believed was the campaign staffer communicating via cell phone with Hayashi and speaking in the direction of cars parked down Smith Street.

The concern over being asked about her shoplifting conviction by the NBC11 reporters on camera would obviously be great for Hayashi, who has been able to both duck the question while being the beneficiary of her opponent’s position against using the incident against her in a forceful manner.