Scott Haggerty – We swear this list was made before news reports last week cited Haggerty for shady business dealings with a Livermore developer. Full disclosure: he was originally listed fifth, but shot to the top of the charts like a rocket. The slightly confusing report by Matier & Ross last week is just the tip of the iceberg. Reportedly, the complaint filed by Haggerty’s former chief of staff Chris Gray is loaded with accusations that play on everything most have long suspected about the long-time supervisor–his temper, his brusque manner with constituents and a proclivity for openly encouraging big business in the Tri Valley, no matter how iffy the proposition. Hold on tight for this one!
Nate Miley – Many in the East Bay have given up on trying to bring down one of the region’s slickest politicians. In fact, nothing has stuck to the bully-prone Miley in recent years, but the fall of ACAP, the county’s former anti-poverty agency is still lying in the weeds waiting for a surprise attack on the supervisor who last year told an audience in Castro Valley he uses campaign dollars to pay dues at two prestigious health clubs. Why? So he could get away and relax from the hassle of dealing with constituents. What a great thing to say, huh?
Mary Hayashi – It was a very, very tough year for the woman most believed would be sitting in the state Senate in 2014. With over a half million dollars in her campaign war chest and despite the dismal election results last November, she is not yet politically dead. However, Hayashi, once the most vicious of East Bay pols, is now the weakest she has ever been. The time may be ripe for former staffers and termed out Assembly colleagues to blow the whistle…and there’s other things, too….Pay back is a bitch.
Eric Swalwell – What can you say? The boy sold his soul to the Devil and Beelzebub came through for Swalwell even though Pete Stark is an avowed Atheist. Go figure? In the meantime, Swalwell cannot win re-election in 2014 with around $700,000 in campaign contributions like he did this year. And, to get that much, he had to make certain promises in the Tri Valley—monetarily to developers and to the ideological right wingers he courted. Both will get antsy for payback and Swalwell’s history shows he has no problem understanding the rules of pay-to-play. In fact, the same Livermore developer, John Wong, cited by Matier & Ross in connection with Scott Haggerty’s shady 2007 land deal is also a twice maxed-out donor to Swalwell’s past congressional campaign. Connect the dots.
Noel Gallo PHOTO/Shane Bond
Noel Gallo – Oakland’s newest council member is not on this list because of any known condition of “shadiness,” but because his staunch and flowery law and order rhetoric coupled with the city’s on-going battle to reform its woeful police department runs the risk of setting off the voluminous anger of Oakland’s vaunted band of public speakers. Gallo is destined to become the City Council’s most eloquent and quotable members, but if his recent campaign for the District 5 seat is any indication, he knows how to play dirty, underhanded politics; and that’s fine. However, such behavior will likely elicit and equally harsh counterbalance. For example, look at the warning freshman Councilmember Lynette Gibson-McElhaney received this month when a report pegged her for not paying taxes.