CHAPTER 3 | So, know that we know the Hayward City Council is the most conservative group of public officials outside of your local sanitary board, the Service Employee International Union Local 1021 is vowing to unseat the whole lot of them. But, the union has a big problem when it comes to overthrowing the B Street Bums inside of Hayward City Hall. There are very few liberal candidates already in races for mayor or the city council and fewer ready-made recruits to be had before the June 3 election. Last Tuesday night after the Hayward City Council offered nearly 300 union workers a fat cup of tea by unanimously imposing a one-year contract with a five percent pay cut, representatives for SEIU Local 1021 acknowledged some serious recruiting needs to be quickly accomplished. All three current candidates for mayor are members of the City Council. Councilmembers Barbara Halliday, Mark Salinas and Francisco Zermeno are, as former San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly said this week, “on his shit list.”
SEIU Local 1021’s Executive Director Pete Castelli said the entire Hayward City Council, in effect, sealed their destiny Tuesday night. “What they kissed off is this: there will be no central labor council endorsement, no endorsement for the Democratic Party. What they have said is I’m going to do this to these workers and launch into the political waters on my own to win and I think they’re going to find those waters are choppy and very problematic.”
Members of the Hayward City Council: will they still be
smiling after the June 3 city elections?
Castelli’s assessment is no doubt very plausible. This group of seven will be tarnished going forward. However, the three mayoral candidate’s may not feel the union’s threat unless a more progressive candidate enters the race. But, who might that be? One possible candidate could be former Hayward Councilmember Olden Henson, who lost his seat in 2012 after 18 years on the council. In fact, there’s a flip side here to the union’s threats against Halliday, Salinas and Zermeno. Henson’s defeat, in large part, came after he tread against the city’s business interests by blocking a Walmart Neighborhood Market from coming to Hayward. Henson was the deciding vote and it enraged some business leaders who, like SEIU this week, vowed retaliation. When Halliday was asked in an interview Tuesday night about SEIU’s plans for her ruination, she brushed away the threat. “You know they were coming after me two years ago when I voted on the [Walmart] grocery store.” Such talk only further inflames the union, especially one that vanquished much stronger opponents last year like BART and the City of Oakland.
Conversely, there is room for the union to make a difference in the city council campaign for two open seats. Councilmember Marvin Peixoto, already someone whose re-election was viewed in Hayward as somewhat vulnerable even before this week’s vote, could be in trouble. Currently, there are two members of the Hayward Chamber of Commerce running for the council. Likely, neither will satisfy SEIU. However, Hayward Planning Commissioner Rodney Loche has liberal-leanings and may be an attractive candidate for the union to pour its resources toward.
What exactly does SEIU have planned for Halliday, Salinas, Zermeno, Peixoto, and, to some extent, lame-duck Mayor Michael Sweeney? “We will be very involved in the elections,” said Castelli. “We will be monitoring every public event, every fundraiser and we’ll be there to let them know we’re watching.”
“They pulled the tail of the tiger,” he added. As for Sweeney, who will be out of office by July, Daly said, “It doesn’t mean we don’t visit his house and let him know we’re upset by his actions.”
|Striking Hayward city employees last August.|
TRI VALLEY CONSERVATIVES MIGHT BE WATCHING When Hayward city employees represented by SEIU Local 1021 staged a three-day strike last August, Rep. Eric Swalwell made no effort to publicly back the nearly 300 workers, most of whom are at the low-end of the city’s wage scale. Before the Hayward City Council came down hard on the union by imposing a one-year contract with a five percent pay cut, Swalwell again remained silent. However, representatives from SEIU Local 1021 say Swalwell made phone calls to council members on their behalf. Admittedly, the union reps were skeptical about Swalwell’s intentions and whether his sudden involvement had more to do with his union-friendly opponent, State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, than concern over the plight of union employees. If Swalwell, or his office, reached out to Hayward city leaders, they forgot to call Councilmember Barbara Halliday. She doesn’t recall receiving a call from Swalwell or any county or local state officials.
BANG BLACKMAILS HONDA? Those who recall the single, most ridiculous editorial in recent memory from the Oakland Tribune a few months back calling for Oakland Mayor Jean Quan to not seek re-election, know not to expect much from the Bay Area News Group’s editorial department. That being said, in an editorial this week published in the San Jose Mercury News, the paper’s call for Rep. Mike Honda to debate Ro Khanna, sounded an awful lot like blackmail. You don’t have to read much between the lines to understand BANG is demanding Honda get on that stage and debate or they will think about endorsing Khanna in the June primary. In addition, the newspaper reveals it is currently negotiating their own sponsorship of one potential debate. After this stunt, why should Honda’s camp trust the newspaper going forward? Conversely, who cares about newspaper endorsements, anyway? [Read “An Alternative Reason Why Newspaper Endorsements Mean Nothing] Especially one from an outfit so delusional about its place in the Bay Area media landscape that it thinks it can bully a seven-time congressman into a debate that is clearly not in his best interests. They even call Honda a “nice guy.” I guess nice guys finish last.
|State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier|
DUH-SAULNIER State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier doesn’t recall signing a card last year endorsing Ellen Corbett? Well, at least, he was honest about it. The erroneous campaign endorsement is one of the lamest and oddly common campaign missteps around. Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen somewhere in the East Bay about three more times this year. What makes this misunderstanding so dumb is it’s not as if DeSaulnier is never around Corbett. She’s the senate’s majority leader. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter how long ago he may have signed this endorsement card for Corbett. Eight months ago everybody knew Corbett was running against Swalwell and DeSaulnier knew the political dynamic that exists in his neck of the woods. Swalwell is Ellen Tauscher’s boy. He should know better and it doesn’t inspire much confidence that DeSaulnier is worthy of inheriting Rep. George Miller’s seat.
HERE AND THERE In 2010, there were 10 candidates for mayor of Oakland. This fall, there could potential be as many as 12 candidates. With so many people vying for the mayor’s office, it’s going to make candidate’s forums quite tedious as some no-name gets equal time with Quan and her four prominent challengers…In addition, the wife of Oakland mayoral candidate Dan Siegel was among those arrested last week following a rally calling on State Attorney General Kamala Harris to prosecute police officers alleged to have killed innocent citizens…Port of Oakland Commissioner Michael Colbruno filed papers to run for Councilmember Pat Kernighan’s open seat. However, he posted a message on Facebook this week stating he will pull out of the race if progressive darling Abel Guillen officially announces his candidacy…Two weeks ago, Mary Hayashi said she plans to pad her $734,000 campaign war chest. One pipeline of contributions might come from Korean dry cleaner owners in the Bay Area. This group has come through for Hayashi in the past.
Seven more votes and Swalwell would
have, indeed, won.
ONE MORE THING Rep. Eric Swalwell straight up lied two weeks ago when a graphic from his campaign declared he had won the pre-endorsement of the Alameda County Democratic Party. He didn’t win anything last Feb. 6. To be clear, he won the most votes over Ellen Corbett. But to say Swalwell won anything is to believe the Golden State Warriors won a basketball game just because they were leading after three quarters. A pre-endorsement victory would have entailed winning 70 percent of the vote. Everybody knew that. Swalwell garnered 61 percent, or, seven votes short of the requirement. The result was really a major blunder for his campaign since it couldn’t close small the gap. In fact, numerous sources say Swalwell was aggressive in parlaying pressure from Ellen Tauscher and, specifically, his old boss, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley for votes. There’s no room for Swalwell to equivocate here. He lied to his supporters and now there even exists a #EricLies hashtag on Twitter.