After Poor Results In 25th Assembly Delegate Elections, Wieckowski Asks For Re-Vote, Risks Alienating Minorities

ASSEMBLY 25 | Winners of the 25th Assembly District delegates election say Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski’s office is attempting to overturn the results, which critics say will disenfranchise many of the Fremont and Santa Clara County minority groups whose opposing slate of candidates successfully won 9 of the 12 seats two weeks ago.

At issue is at least 40 non-Democrats and decline to state voters who may have been among the over 400 votes cast Jan. 12 when party faithful chose all-important delegates to the next two Democratic Party convention. Candidates often run on slates under the direction of party leaders. They also underscore the importance for some forward-thinking elected officials, like Wieckowski, who have an eye on procuring crucial party endorsements for future runs for higher office. Most believe Wieckowski will run for the state Senate in 2014 after four years representing the Fremont area in the Assembly.

However, Wieckowski’s slate of candidates was nearly swept away this month–a serious, but not fatal blow to his reputation. Now critics are labeling an attempt to overturn the results led by his firebrand Chief of Staff Trisha Tahmasbi as sour grapes. Wieckowski’s office filed a complaint with the party’s Compliance Review Commission on Jan. 18 seeking to overturn the election and allow for a re-vote. The deadline to submit testimony and evidence is Tuesday, Jan. 29.

In the complaint, signed by Wieckowski and Alameda County Democratic Party chair Robin Torrello, among others, it claims chatter Jan. 12 among attendees that some without the party’s affiliation had already voted. This led a group to sample the credentials of ballots already cast. The letter alleges over 40 non-democrats registered a vote, a clear violation of party bylaws.

Some of the winners, however, say the Tahmasbi’s allegations are hypocritical since most of non-Democrats were brought in by Wieckowski’s office and actually voted for the assemblyman’s slate of candidates. “After we won, the assemblymember’s chief of staff did not like the results and retroactively called for voter registration to be checked,” the group of winners said in an email to party officials. “This is rank hypocrisy because many of the illegitimate voters were ones that voted for the assemblymember’s slate.”

The group was also upset when Tahmasbi allegedly erupted in anger the same day and threatened to alert the state Attorney General to prosecute ineligible voters for perjury. They also believe she should be censured for her alleged actions. “Many of the Asian American voters who have heard about this are dismayed, frightened and intimidated. They are concerned about the impact to their reputations when they feel they are innocent and have been maligned for no fault of their own.”

On Monday, Tahmasbi said the allegations are “completely ridiculous and contradictory.” “Why would we encourage non-democrats to turnout for a democratic delegate election, and then threaten to pass their names along to the Attorney General’s office for voter fraud?” said Tahmasbi. “One can easily see the absurdity in those dueling accusations. We had nothing to do with either.” She also believes none of the non-democrats who may have voted did so maliciously, but were misinformed about the rules.

One winning delegate, who chose not to be identified, said the convener of the election was alerted the Friday before about rumors the Wieckowski slate might bring non-democrats to the vote. The convener downplayed their concerns, they said, but upon arriving at the hall, some were surprised to also see members of Wieckowski’s staff facilitating the election process. “We have been cheated by the assemblymember and stabbed in the back by his chief of staff,” said the delegate of the district’s large Asian American constituency.

Several sources say they believe Tahmasbi’s actions are unwittingly undercutting her boss’s reputation in south county and Santa Clara County even as many of the non-Wieckowski delegate winners are among some of his strongest supporters. Tahmasbi’s arm-twisting has caused tension in the Fremont area as recently as last September when some supporters of Fremont Councilwoman Anu Natarajan, then running for mayor against the fellow Councilman Bill Harrison, blamed Tahmasbi for their candidate losing the party’s endorsement.

Categories: AD25, Alameda County Democrats, Assembly, Bob Wieckowski, delegates, Fremont, Indian American, Robin Torello, south asians, State Senate, Trisha Tahmasbi

123 replies

  1. 1:01pm
    Other question is what policies separate Wieckowski/Honda. None.
    But your point is taken, and most respectfully agreed with. Wasted energy, no results, and quite immature.


  2. The title of this article should have been “Hey everybody! Let's trash Bob and Trisha.” The article itself sets the tone for the subsequent, nasty comments. Bob and Trisha are criticized for their actions while the other side is allowed to be quoted anonymously. We're told that Bob risks 'alienting minorities' with his slate which actually had one white male and one white female out of 12 people. Anyone who knows anything about this story knows that the group opposing Wieckowski's slate was predominantly Indo-American. That fact is conveniently left out of the article.

    Let's look at the facts. From what I've heard, which is repeated by several people on both sides, the AD 25 election was a complete clusterf**k. So, Wieckowski and party chair Robin Torello asked the State party folks to look into a possible reelection. That's it! Is this sour grapes on the part of Wieckowski? Perhaps, but that's the end of the story.

    From this, we're now told that Bob has an out of control chief of staff, that Trisha is “SOCIOPATHIC”, that she's offered to run Jennifer Ong's campaign, and now we're even being told which anonymous posts are hers, etc. Someone just wrote this to her – “You're such and evil person that I bet your own mother would cry.” It's true that Trisha is known for playing political hardball, but I hardly think her behavior warrants the level of cowardly, anonymous attacks seen here.

    I'll give Chinmoy props for speaking out as himself but he completely misses the point of the article. We're talking about which people to appoint as delegates to the Democratic party convention, not how to replace elected Democrats with Republicans (or with Republicans who masquerade as Democrats such as Garrett Yee). Like it or not, Democrats should be the ones deciding who their delegates are.


  3. Anonymous 12:53 all you need to know is that I'm a constituent. One that is scared of the COS. Yes that is right I am scared of the people employed by the state to address my concerns about where I live. That is not the way a relationship should be between a constituent and the people that represent them. So if you ask why I'm anonymous its because of that. So if you ask why its because the COS is a bully and I don't want to lose my lunch money. Also if you're going to make a point don't contradict yourself by posting anonymously. Has the rabies gone to your brain are you sick?


  4. aref aziz congratulations on your new position in assemlyman jim beall's office!


  5. Haven't seen him in a while, but next time I do I'll tell him you said hello, Zuhal.


  6. C'mon we all know your depth chart goes deeper than that. I think the 25th assembly employees, of the people, should take a physics lesson from their friend to the north Assemblyman Bill Quirk. He could teach them that you can't observe an atom without changing its direction. Just like when people see how petty the COS is she should try to change her attitude. But the sum of the parts is dumber than the building blocks. The basic premise here is that its not hard to smell bull shit, especially if you see the bull and a heaping pile of shit next to it. There is no question where it came from. But we're people, and I'm assuming these people haven't left their humanity behind, we can clean our shit up. If only they would clean up their shit instead of trying to manipulate more people with shit still on their hands. Politics as usual….


  7. I'm rather disgustedly all of the comments and attacks on this blog post. Shame on everyone – is this what you people have become? The Ro/Anu/Yogi people are no better than the Wieckowski people. These series of exchanges will definitely do more harm than good. Is that what everyone wants?


  8. The only Yogi that I support is a bear from a cartoon. I seldom like to (Ro)w down the Niles river. And I think we need Anu set of rules about comments. DO you see how easy it is to just throw unrelated people's names out their. Its obvious that there are people in this thread trying to shift the focus from Wieckowski and Tahmasbi to random people in Fremont. Has anyone's mother never taught them that if they have nothing nice to say they should say nothing at all.


  9. As I have said earlier, those Anonymous folks showering me with accolades for posting with my real name doesn't sound very kosher. You got to say something in which you genuinely believe and are willing to stand behind, then come out and be proud of your opinions. However, when you deliberately express a spiteful or hateful opinion and know full well that it is it is a shameless opinion, then you hide behind. I support all communities, those born and raised here and those that we have the benefit of having brought other cultures from overseas. I am not afraid of being displaced both economically or politically.

    We have nonsensical folks in our Democratic party leadership in our city as well as the county. We had County leaders actively encouraging Republicans to switch parties, seeking their donations after the switch and now when their power is challenged by these folks they behave like “political prostitutes.” when this was going on, I seriously thought to myself why the County Democratic party leaders were soliciting the Republicans and what was wrong with long term Democrats like many of us.

    So I have a fundamental issue with the Democratic party leaders in the County and city. and then off course there is a “appearance of impropriety” with folks like Bob using his COS in both capacity. I know Bob personally. He is a very smart man and I would be surprised if he has not given this issue some thought while continuing to have his COS function in both the spheres, as his COS as well as his campaign chair/worker or whatever.


  10. It took Democratic Party Chair Robin Torello almost a decade of consistent badgering to get Haggerty to switch from Republican to Democrat. She should be applauded for her persistence. Big Tents and all. And there's room in the party for war hero eagle scout college board trustees as well.


  11. Chinmoy Roy – it is common practice and legal for staffers to work on political matters for their boss' benefit during non-state time. In fact, most staffers began working for their bosses during campaigns and then got hired to be staff.

    Regarding Trisha – it is evident by the number of responses to this story that she crossed a line through her actions and words that reflect badly on Wieckowski. I haven't seen this many comments since Nadia Lockyer and the Armas/Heredia articles.

    It is important for Wieckowski to address this issue himself and apologize on behalf of his staff for the actions of his COS – because rightfully or not – she has angered a large segment of people within the party and throughout the community, including elected delegates that will determine the endorsement of her boss for the 2014 election.

    You can't build coalitions and support with a staffer who continuously alienates a segment of your base.


  12. Robin duh ho whorillo had NOTHING to do with arrogant Haggerty's switch! Scotty boy looks out for himself. Period. He found it advantageous to himself.

    He's a whore unto himself who doesn't give a rat's ass about anyone other than his reflection.


  13. Is it even possible to get elected in Alameda County as a Republican???


  14. Anon, 3:36P; your comment is very interesting to me since you just proved my point as to why I have problems with the Democratic party honchos at the Country and the city.

    We just had a historic Presidential election where we had for the first time a President re elected with such a high rate of employment. Mr. O couldn't have achieved that feat if he spent his time in office to working with the Republicans and trying to make them Democrats, something you applaud Robin for doing. Instead, Mr. O, the biggest community organizer, did exactly that: organize the community and took his and the party's message out to the voters. And he is leader of the entire party. Our county leaders instead are not doing so and instead rubbing noses with Republican leaders and trying to bring them over. And that is the issue. Way off base. Now you are a free person and you are entitled to hold opinions which to some including myself sound very misguided. But people and not party leaders are the core of any democracy. Yes indeed, the Democrat party tent is very big, but also note that many of us in that tent also know why we support the ideas of the party. We don't expect our party honchos to be headed in the direction they are headed.

    Now going back to Robin, with all due respect since she is a woman who earned her way up to the position she now holds. She was the one, who two years ago personally went and welcomed Japra into the party and took his sizable donation. She needs to think hard before she signs on to the petition to the party to revisit the elections on whatever grounds she and Bob have to make that request. Knowing Dr. J very well, I know he is not the type of person that expects anything in return for what he has done. And the minimum that we are obligated to those who won the elections along with his is not even think that the people who voted for them did so fraudulently. I don't hero worship any person (Bob, Dr. J, Robin etc.) But I do care for and will stand upto the democratic process. I do not support folks who claim that the Republicans stole the elections in 2000 nor do I support the claim now that the delegates who won (our own fellow Democcrats) stole the election also. For doing so speaks of “rudderless politics.”

    And Anon 3:49, it is the “appearance of impropriety” that all politicians from Obama on down observe in not mixing up their campaign staff with their operational staff. After reading your opinion, it seems to me you have your head on your shoulders and hence hold a very balanced view. I do agree that Bob needs to take charge and unite everybody instead of dividing then that his COS has very successfully managed to do.

    Anyway, enough said. Let us hope that Robin and Bob does the right thing for preserving democracy since it ultimately benefits this country and off course with it the party too


  15. “Regarding Trisha – it is evident by the number of responses to this story that she crossed a line through her actions …”

    I wouldn't be so sure. You can hold Trisha accountable for the ONE action that is talked about in this article. All of these posts, and all of their wild accusations about Trisha, could be written by only a few people. These are likely the same people that are mad at her because they are the ones being challenged by the potential reelection.


  16. Anony 10:41:
    Trisha Loser Tahmasbi has provoked a lot of people by her callous attitude multiple times. The situation in this story was probably the tipping point with the statement – “no more”.


  17. No mas! No mas!



  18. Congratulations Trisha! 117 comments about you and counting!

    Come on Bob! At the minimum keep your COS up in Sac dealing with legislative issues and capitol politics. Her involvement in the district is polarizing at best.

    If she wants to be the next Assemblymember she needs to quit and up her community profile. She already showed she needs more than just the party snd labor endorsement to be a viable candidate. Stop trying to be a king maker and instead talk to the average voter.


  19. What? Trisha running for assembly. What a joke ! If this is true then politics of this district is being flushed down the toilet. Any other democrat will be a better one than her or else look in the republican camp. She is a serious trouble to the future of the party and Bob in this AD.


  20. Looks like the shananigans of TT came to an end and the slate endorsed by Bob and masterminded by TT lost again. Same result after waste of party and tax payer money and after forcing a re-election in hope of victory for Bob's staffers and moving the location to San Jose – another indication of how much he cares of the majority of his constituency.
    Wonder how this is going to impact Bob's Senate race. Looks like he is in some serious trouble .


  21. Hey Dharminder,

    It's not a big deal. Calm down.


  22. Don't blame me. I voted for Bob in Nov. 2012 just like Trisha did.

    Bob, good job. Keep it up. I can see the CA Senate at the end of the tunnel.


  23. 11:18,

    The 20th and 28th ADs checked every single registered Democrats because every single voter's registration was challenged.

    Party Rules state that voter verification can not be done without someone challenging a voter's eligibility.

    They did this is direct response to the disaster of AD 25th's election.

    Neither Assembly District wanted to participate in “racial profiling” so all voters were challenged.

    Over 40% of those that wanted to vote were rejected due to ineligibility.

    Obviously this says something.


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