Hayashi, Cassidy, Natarajan Had A Bad Election Night

MARY HAYASHI The historians will have to sort out which fall from grace was more precipitous. In terms of their personal life, it’s the sad tale of Nadia Lockyer, but politically it’s Mary Hayashi. In just one year’s time, Hayashi went from chair of the Assembly’s powerful business committee and likely state senator in 2014 to a candidate who couldn’t even finish SECOND to Richard Valle at the Alameda County Board of Supervisors! However, if you think the keys to her dreadful third place finish last Tuesday was solely because of her shoplifting conviction, I think you would be wrong. It was not the indiscretion that made her literally a pariah among local leaders; it was the catalyst for paying her back for years of abuse. Coincidentally, it was the same perception of Pete Stark among old Democratic hands, who while supporting him, also faulted him for his treatment of them. What’s next for Hayashi? Well, not much. Some believe she will emerge again in 2014 to battle Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski for the state senate. But, that inclination is based solely on her large remaining campaign war chest. She’s tainted and unpopular. In this situation, it might be better for her to shower others with campaign donations and look for one of those $150,000-per-year state boards and hope for better days.

Stephen Cassidy

STEPHEN CASSIDY Hubris can catch you with your pants down even if you’re as smart as San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy thinks he is. The city’s moderate conservative mayor won in 2010 by demonizing city employees and tried to use the exact same recipe to pack the city council with three endorsed candidates. It didn’t work so well this time with all three possible going down to defeat. Not only did Cassidy endorse the candidates, but he also contributed to their campaigns, including two who were running against incumbents. A third, Hermy Almonte, seemed like he was reading familiar past speeches written by Cassidy, himself. Indeed, it was Cassidy’s biggest fuck you to his colleagues ever, but voters in San Leandro showed they are wise to Cassidy’s cancerous and cantankerous ways and beat the shit out of him on Election Day. The result was a clear referendum against Cassidy and doesn’t favor him for re-election in two years.

POLITICAL REPORTING See Carla Marinucci of the San Francisco Chronicle and realize if she is the best we have in political reporting, then we are, indeed, fucked.

LOCAL TAX INITIATIVES Not only did nearly every single local tax initiative stall at the ballot box, but their existence should have been questioned from the get-go. With the crucial Proposition 30 on the ballot and the Democratic Party’s thrust to get it approved taking resources away from local measures to fund transportation, zoos, community colleges and school parcel taxes, they never really had a chance. What a waste of money. It would be sad if an important initiative like Measure B1 is stymied because of the existence of these other municipalities also asking for tax dollars. The gambit was ill-advised and greedy at the same and they are lucky, at least, it did not get in the way of keeping Prop. 30 from passing.

Anu Natarajan

FREMONT’S ANA NATARAJAN My grandmother always says, “Somebody has to lose for someone to win,” but it didn’t have to be so for two once-up-and-coming women in local government. Campaigns are about correct political calculations and sometimes simply exercises in patience. For Fremont’s Councilwoman Anu Natarajan, the local establishment and Democratic Party encouraged her to wait, instead of running against their guy, fellow Councilman Bill Harrison. She didn’t listen and apparently Fremont voters did the same. She finished third to Harrison and Republican Steve Cho with just a quarter of the vote. However, she is very well liked in the East Bay and her set back may not be a mortal wound. In fact, her future may lie one day in Sacramento representing a large and dynamic demographic in Fremont’s South Asian population.

Sara Lamnin

HAYWARD’S SARA LAMNIN It’s not so for Hayward’s Sara Lamnin whose nascent political career is starting to resemble a former top baseball prospect who seemingly has all the tools to succeed, but simply cannot make the transition for Triple-A to the majors. After failing to grab a seat on the Hayward City Council in 2010, Lamnin again fizzled in last week’s school board race. How many times can she fail before her promising career in elected service is irreversibly diminished? Her decision to run for the seat this spring was curious when it appeared all three incumbents would run for re-election. When Armas and Heredia were bumped aside, it greatly brightened her chances, but sadly one of Hayward’s most dedicated and capable public servants is left to wonder about what went wrong.

Advertisements