The Battles For Hayward

SUNDAY COLUMN | On Saturday, Rep. Eric Swalwell opened an office in downtown Hayward. The bit of real estate is important to note. His battle for re-election next year runs right through the Heart of the Bay. But state Sen. Ellen Corbett is also hoping to throw a “loop” in Swalwell’s plans.

During the last few weeks, it has become clear that Swalwell views Hayward’s voting bloc and women voters, in general, as the key to his re-election. You might say it is also his Achilles’ Heel. Corbett is well-known in Hayward and, of course, she is a woman. Not only that, but also one of the most accomplished politicians in the entire East Bay.

Swalwell had one hit in a 22-0
rout of the GOP last week.

This is why, in the last two weeks, Swalwell has donned a Tennyson High School baseball jersey for the annual Congressional baseball game in Washington (nevermind a white boy from Dublin like Swalwell would not last a second at Tennyson) and routinely tweets his doings in the area. Conversely, Corbett has been seen doing the reverse–showing up in the Tri Valley early and often in recent months. Swalwell;s problem is he lost Hayward last year to Pete Stark in a convincing manner and his good showing in nearby Castro Valley may not be replicated with Corbett’s high-name recognition in that town.

However, it is Hayward that is destined to either make or break Swalwell. Can he be liberal enough for Hayward, and Fremont, for that matter, while still catering to Tri Valley moderates? What if Tea Party darling and newly-minted Republican Chris Pareja joins the race and gobbles up rightwingers Swalwell cheerily courted last year? And how will he attract Hayward’s large Latino population? By courting the support of Councilmembers Francisco Zermeno and Mark Salinas and having your events at a Hayward restaurant named “The Mexican Restaurant? Good luck with that. In that case, he would be better off driving around the Hayward Loop in a rented convertible Impala wearing a huge foam sombrero

While Swalwell vs. Corbett is an ideological battle, the literal war surrounds saving the city’s school children from decades of graft and corruption among the Hayward Unified School District and some in the business community. As we saw this week, both those groups showed no shame and suggested the enormous left hook it sustained last year with the deposing of former school president Jesus Armas has forced these shadowy characters to, in effect, go bigger than ever before.

This week, school board members Lisa Brunner and John Taylor used same dangerous cover for these group by urging everyone to again look away from the mess certain to reappear at HUSD and, instead, think about the children.  If you understand Hayward, you will understand how outrageously faulty such logic is when it has been the children, a large percentage of which are minorities have paid the costs with their futures and taxpayers have been duped by exorbitant tax increases.

But that’s why Stan “Data” Dobbs is back as interim school superintendent. He is a respected pillar of the community, his supporters say, and his financial acumen will greatly aid the district’s bottom line. In fact, HUSD again finds itself in the same pickle of mismanagement it faced two years ago when whispers of the state taken over were loudest. Sounds great, except for a report by staff said HUSD is again unable to pay its financial obligations. Did staff simply undo the work Dobbs’ reportedly did in just six-month after his brief sojourn to San Diego? The answer is no. Also, anybody else notice the absence of any rhetoric involving hiring an administrator that can change the educational philosophy at HUSD? Hayward is the most underperforming school district in Alameda County because kids in Hayward are not learning. That doesn’t take money per se, it takes innovative new ideas for helping them understand the curriculum.

However, there is good news. the four-year battle in San Leandro to save its hospital is weeks away from an armistice. The good people of San Leandro have won. Our work is done. The mission statement of the East Bay Citizen calls for underserved areas to again have important news stories at a keystroke. In addition, one huge, overarching issue, not necessarily pertaining to our bread and butter coverage of local government, should be given a substantial amount of our collective bandwidth. With nearly 200 original articles posted over four years detailing the fight to save San Leandro Hospital, we can now declare mission accomplished. Now, we turned our sights on saving Hayward’s schools and I really don’t think they’re much of a match for us. 

“We’re lawless.”
Luis Reynoso, the Hayward school board’s rapier-tongued board member said June 19, and with dramatic exasperation, after he charged his colleagues with violating the Brown Act last week by calling a special meeting to discuss the contract details for its interim superintendent. Doing so, is expressly forbidden in the state sunshine law.

The Week That Was

Cisco Field: future home of the A’s?

>>>Opening A Way To San Jose?: The City of San Jose apparently had enough and made good on a threat to sue Major League Baseball in hopes of forcing a determination on the future home of the Oakland Athletics. In general, the move seems to enforce a new perception that MLB would rather have the A’s stay in Oakland rather than get into a messy battle with the Giants over rights to the South Bay. Nevertheless, this game probably isn’t even near the seventh-inning stretch. And, oh, yeah, there was a major sewage leak in the locker rooms at the Oakland Coliseum making matters a bit more…messy.

>>>’Dro TV: In a week when government transparency took a hit on a statewide level, San Leandro joined the 20th Century and approved a $395,000 remodel of its council chambers to install high-definition video and improved audio. San Leandro is the only city in Alameda County that does not televise its government meetings over the air or online. It currently livestreams audio-only on its Web site. Don’t expect must watch T.V., however, from the San Leandro City Council, other than witness Councilmember Jim Prola’s biweekly 15-20 item rundown of every single meeting he attended in the past two weeks, along with an update from Alameda County Mosquito Abatement Committee of which he proudly serves.

>>>As Hayward Turns: First the Hayward School Board appointed former employee Stan Dobbs interim superintendent. Then just days before offering him a contract, he suddenly drops out citing the blitzkrieg leveled by The Citizen surrounding his resume. A few days later, a potentially illegal special meeting is called regarding his contract and the next day, the man who calls himself “Data” Dobbs is pulling in a contract commensurate with his vastly more experienced predecessor. In the meantime, a bevy of issues fail to pass the smell test, meaning, stay tuned for a summer of wild antics in the Heart of the Bay.

>>>Hospital moves: Alameda Health System, former Alameda County Medical Center, is going big in advance of Obamacare changing forever the business landscape of health care in the county. AHS this week entered into an “affiliation” with the struggling Alameda Hospital. The deal follows a similar move last month for San Leandro Hospital. Both deals would maintain the emergency rooms, involve no changes in staff and provide hope to the county’s safety net hospitals. In addition, the Eden Township Healthcare District approved adding $20 million to the operating costs for AHS to run San Leandro Hospital.

>>>Young is back!: The notorious former assembly candidate and current AC Transit board director who allegedly hit his former girlfriend is the target of a scathing internal report charging him with potentially breaking board bylaws and state law. Young, according to the report, may have used his privileged duties as an AC Transit board member for his own profit and that of the law firm he is employed. His use of insider information for his own benefit is nothing new. Just ask SEIU, who revoked their endorsement last year when he peddle its confidential questionnaires to potential supporters to undermine his opponents who also had the backing of the powerful union.

Tweet of the Week
“The asshats at @SFGate think Wolff selling #Athletics to group that would keep them in #Oakland would be a bad thing”
-@HarryElephante, tweeting June 18 about a San Francisco Chronicle editorial in favor of San Jose’s lawsuit against Major League Baseball. Of course, everybody in Oakland already knows the Chronicle hates Oakland.

Best Reads
>>>Cal State East Bay’s iconic Warren Hall, is due to be imploded within the next two months, but scientists plan to use the event to study the potentially dangerous Hayward Fault. (NBC News, June 21.)

>>>Having trouble understanding the legal underpinnings of San Jose’s lawsuit against Major League Baseball in hopes of freeing the team to move from Oakland to the South Bay? Here’s a highly-detailed primer of the case. (Baseball Prospectus, June 20.)

Voice of the People
“I too love this blog. We have the [Voice of] San Diego but yours is more entertaining because your politics are more crooked. Thank you for taking Dobbs back from us.”
Anonymous, commenting June 22 on “Hayward School President Admits They May Have Broken The Brown Act.”

Categories: Alameda Health Systems, Athletics, CD15, coliseum, Ellen Corbett, Eric Swalwell, hayward school board, hayward school district, Joel Young, S.L. City Council, San Jose, Stan Dobbs, sunday column

75 replies

  1. Just hate it when Swalwell staffer's try and defend his cuts to senior's cost of living increases from Social Security by trying to change the subject. My wife and I are both seniors and will vote for Ellen Corbett in the next election.


  2. My 74 year old lesbian wife and I will be voting for Eric.

    So there!


  3. You are entitled to your opinion, but most of us Seniors will be voting for Ellen, not someone who wants to cut Social Security. Eric is running scared and rightly so. He's looked at the polls too, and understands his district much better than you. His constituents, by large numbers, don't agree with cutting Social Security, even though you might.


  4. Nothing is being cut, just not getting a a gazillionth increase. There's a difference.

    All depends on your 'interpretation' of interpretation.'


  5. Try not to exaggerate. The CPI increases have been very moderate and small ever since Reagan was President and the CPI was indexed to more conservative figures. Some seniors would argue that while it may reflect a higher middle class workers CPI because they can stop buying steak and buy hamburger for instance, a senior who's on Social Security is already eating hamburger, rice and beans, or worse. I would like to see workers try and live on the average Social Security salary only, even with the small current CPI increases. Some would say a senior can't even do that because of higher medical costs including drugs. Some are on 6-12 prescriptions and can't afford the co-pays, so are reducing the dosage they are taking because they can't afford to do what the doctor tells them. Cutting this small CPI benefit even further like Eric wants to do, will literally cost some seniors their lives.
    I suggest you and Eric know nothing about our pain and suffering. That's why most of us will be voting for Ellen. We do want to live out our last few years with some dignity.


  6. Try going vegan…and gain some dignity.

    Stop tearing down a good man who's doing an excellent job.

    If Corbett runs, which is certainly her right, she will lose. Then we don't want to hear any whining or boo hooing that the woman who was going to sell out the American people at large to give a few of us old timers more than we're entitled to at everyone else's expense was cheated.

    Just remember that.


  7. You wouldn't say that if you watched some seniors buying cat and dog food when they don't have pets, because their Social Security dollars don't stretch far enough. Seniors who have worked hard all their lives and paid into Social Security are entitled to an honest CPI index. What are you talking about more than we are entitled to? You are certainly not a Senior, and if you are , you are a wealthy one. Most of us are poor. Why don't you just take us and kill us quickly. The fact that Social Security can be saved by just raising the cap and forcing the extremely wealthy to pay their fair share, seems to escape you and Eric. You are both heartless and that's why you will lose in 2014 to Ellen.


  8. Continue to live in a dream world.

    By the way, vegan is a lot cheaper than cat or dog food and healthier. Kind of went out in the 1970s.

    Better research your consumer price index a little better next go around. Be sure to educate Corbett, too.


  9. For the Senior pretender and LIAR: This is why real seniors support Ellen.

    AARP estimates the Chained CPI alone would cut Social Security benefits for seniors, veterans and people with disabilities by $146 billion over the next 10 years. Let’s set aside the fact that balancing the budget on the backs of vulnerable Americans is just plain wrong. Benefit cuts that large would harm our economy—at a time when we can least afford it.

    Unlike tax breaks for corporations and the super wealthy, Social Security benefits actually have a positive impact on our economy. Seniors spend their benefits on food, shelter, health care and other necessities that keep our economy going. Social Security benefit cuts are yet another example of austerity that hurts our economy.


  10. Anon 8:37–you're getting destroyed on this blog by someone who actually does some research. That person knows more about the chained CPI than you or Swalwell. If Eric supports the chained CPI and votes for it, he will get destroyed by Ellen Corbett. I can see the campaign flyers now. You continue to live in your own dream world–LMAO


  11. Agree with the above blogger and I'm not a senior.


  12. Ah, it's you again–Laughing AT your fat ass.

    We've missed you, like the Plague. You're the same fat ass who took shots at CONGRESSMAN Swalwell while old man Stark was going down to defeat.

    Want to talk about getting destroyed? Keep chanting in front of the mirror 'Congresswoman Corbett,' because you and your reflection are the only ones who will ever here it.

    But hey, you can keep on dreamin'! Even you have that right.



  13. 11:32 –how does that contribute anything to this thread? Try and answer 10:10's research if you can without calling people names. You are not helping Swalwell who you claim to support. You are losing the argument because you have no facts or research to back your case, only emotion, which at times seems irrational. I too agree with 10:23 that Swalwell's support of the Chained CPI, which will reduce Social Security benefits, will hurt his chances against Ellen. I voted for Eric against Stark, but I also voted for Ellen Corbett for State Senator awhile back. After reading this thread I will vote for Ellen because I think there are other ways to protect Social Security, such as raising the Cap on the wealthy as has been mentioned. The rich can afford to pay more,while most Social Security recipients can not afford cuts.


  14. Nice try. You are one in the same. Really need to change your 'style' little more. This site is read by but a very few other than the Berkeleyesque crowd. The new district ensures that Rep. Swalwell will be re-elected since he has been doing an outstanding job. We voted him in because we didn't want the Pete Stark brand of politics anymore. Also, nice try to lie and write that you voted for Swalwell. You were one of the loyal Stark lieutenants who went door to door in a futile attempt to save his ass. Bottom line, district will be sending our congressman back to DC, whether you like it or not!


  15. Anon 1:54 I really love it when try and pretend you know that if they are going to vote for Ellen in 2014 they must have voted for Stark. That's not true in this case. I did vote for Eric in 2012 and I WILL vote for Ellen in 2014 and it definitely has to do with Social Security. In 2012 Swalwell didn't say he was for cutting Social Security like he says now. I notice you keep trying to change the topic from Social Security cuts. Are you a Swalwell staffer or just a rich person who doesn't want to pay his/her fair share? Stick to your and Swalwell's position and try and justify Social Security cuts to seniors, veterans and the disabled if you and Swalwell can. But you know Swalwell can't and obviously neither can you. Ellen Corbett in 2014–No cuts to Social Security!


  16. Enough about Social Security. We all want seniors to be able to provide for their necessities and for an occasional splurge.



  17. I agree. MORE than enough about Social Security. I support the program, but just as FDR expressed at the time and Truman echoed, was never meant to be a sole source of income. Too many people have tried to make the case for it. Like using a book to prop up a table missing a leg.


  18. Social Security doesn't need to be cut, just fixed by raising the cap, so the rich pay on all their income like everyone else does. I can see why Eric supporters don't want to talk about it because this will cost him the election. He made a huge mistake and Ellen Corbett won't let him forget about it in 2014. He knows this will probably cost him the election, as well it should.


  19. The children and the seniors are to often ignored by by politicians. Ellen has always been supported by children's advocates (including teachers) and senior groups across the board. She's always supported Social Security (unlike Eric) and education. She has a compassion for those less well off like seniors and children and that's why Ellen will win. Eric only seems to care for the valley developers and the rich.


  20. Swalwell made a big mistake in trying to cut Social Security benefits for Seniors, Veterans and the Disabled. He will pay for that on 2014, and Ellen Corbett will reap the benefits.


  21. And folks, the last three comments come to you courtesy of 'We're livin' in a Dream World' coalition–all two folks. [One posted twice!]

    Not to worry, the congressman will be there for you, too. One of his favorites is the Monkeys 'Day Dream Believer.' Life imitates art!


  22. Says anonymous 1:42 who has posted at least 20 times on this thread. Eric has not and will not be there for me since he wants to cut Social Security. I'm a senior on Social Security who is barely getting by. Some of my senior friends aren't getting by at all. We want a compassionate congressperson who does not want to cut Social Security. That's why we will be voting for Ellen Corbett. Eric only cares for the rich, and we are not rich.


  23. You're richer than you think!

    All those CDs and mutual funds, oh my!


  24. You may have those since you seem wealthy, but my friends and I don't. The only thing we have to fall back on is Social Security which doesn't even last till the end of the month for some of us. This also applies to some veterans and disabled also. That's why we will vote for Ellen and not Eric. You go ahead and vote for whoever you want. It's a free country and my friends and I fought to keep it free. We also worked all our lives and paid into Social Security. The wealthy have to start paying their fair share. We don't need a chained CPI, we just need to raise the Cap, so all income is treated the same.


  25. As I posted earlier, can someone point me to where the Congressman came out is favor of chained CPI? When I google Swalwell and chained CPI, I only see links to this blog where random people assert he is in favor. Just trying to find the source to make my own decision.


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