Will this campaign stain
Bob Wieckowski forever?
Last Feb. 21, the widely-read capitol tip-sheet, The Nooner, slyly mentioned the rumors of Wieckowski and a sex tape. “On this Friday, there is a #bimbotastic rumor being floated by a certain someone making allegations about someone s/he is running against alleging having a videotape of said person being with another someone who also was with another someone, but you know, I can’t ‘print’ just rumors,” wrote the author of the newsletter, Scott Lay. “So, time to play Mad Libs and appreciate how nasty some of the Dem on Dem races have become..”
So, what is a campaign to do with such a candidate widely described as someone who talks first and thinks last? First, you limit how many times Wieckowski is seen by the public. In this case, it means avoiding candidate’s forums and this is what happened. Wieckowski’s campaign manager Mark Goodwin, also ran Joel Young’s ill-fated Assembly race two years ago and employed a similar strategy after frequent missteps, including allegations of domestic violence by the candidate against a girlfriend. For most of the spring Young never attended a candidate’s forum. Second, and most importantly, you change the subject. Of course, this happened the very moment Wieckowski turned this campaign into the most vitriolic contest ever seen in the East Bay. In fact, the level of sheer anger Wieckowski’s campaign has unleashed against Hayashi is commensurate to weakness of Wieckowski as a candidate. Whether Hayashi deserved the attacks she is absorbing is not the point, the real question is what type of state senator will Wieckowski be if this is how treats his opponents? Is this how he treats minorities? Is this how he treats women? In addition, one of the most amazing aspects about the onslaught against Hayashi is the dead quiet from women in the district.
There has to be some sense of shame building up for the legion of women in this highly-progressive region who are allowing this type campaign to be waged against Hayashi. Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg only lives a couple of exits away from the 10th State Senate District, but she might as well be a million miles away since so many women in this area have ignored her call to “Lean In” and instead have turned their back on a woman who embodies the same strong personality that is often celebrated if she was a male executive. Instead, it is women who are Hayashi’s worst enemy. In 2010, former state Sen. Liz Figueroa faced similar sexists attacks from her opponent, Nadia Lockyer. They told Figueroa in a mailer to pay the lien on her house before buying a BMW. Lockyer tried to humiliate her and no woman, other than former county supervisor Gail Steele, stood up for Figueroa. Nevertheless, we mistakenly believe our brand of Bay Area liberalism is impervious to the perceived closed mindedness of conservatives, but it’s not.
However, politics is often equated to war, but even on the battlefield, sensible nations long agreed chemical weapons were immoral and banned them. Likewise, denigrating and stomping on your opponent like Wieckowski has done over the past three weeks is the most telling aspect of this entire campaign and the candidate lobbing the mustard gas at Hayashi. Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle did not resort to this type of campaign and he handily defeated Hayashi two years ago. Is Valle that much better of candidate than Wieckowski? Yes, but probably not that much. Then, why the nuclear option? It’s a question we might never know until it’s way too late. But, I’m not telling you to vote for anyone, I’m telling you to start asking questions and you don’t even have to ask about the sex tape, Wieckowski will bring it up on his own.
SUNNY IN SAN LEANDRO As the primary season nears an end, there is a palpable sense some East Bay citywide races set for November are beginning to heat up. Of course, this is excluding Oakland where they have been ready to go since last fall. But, in San Leandro, the typical re-election ploy of an incumbent taking credit for absolutely everything positive that happens in the city will not be a part of this year’s mayoral race after Stephen Cassidy chose his job over another four years in office. It’s a missed opportunity for him, especially after some great news in San Leandro this week. Crime is considerably down, said the city’s police chief, and an article in the San Francisco Business Times touted its red-hot commercial real estate market. The preponderance of good news this year does not match a mayor deciding to leave office after one term, especially when he would have been the overwhelming favorite. In fact, it lends credence to the belief the San Francisco law firm which employs Cassidy applied pressure on him to focus solely on his job. It’s a bit disconcerting that a group of hot-shot lawyers are choosing who will lead San Leandro and not voters. The void will be filled by mayoral candidates who have been part of the establishment. Councilmember Diana Souza has been in office for almost eight years and Councilmember Pauline Cutter has been there half the time and both are early candidates for mayor.
HERE AND THERE A long-time Hayward politico expects Councilmember Marvin Peixoto to win re-election, but if he does the achievement will come by spending less than a bargain basement price of $10,000…The same source predicts Councilmember Barbara Halliday will win the mayor’s race, followed by Councilmembers Mark Salinas and Francisco Zermeno. There appears to be some consensus on this, but additionally, there is also a good chance all three candidates will garner at least 30 percent of the four-person field. Rakesh Kumar Christian, the other candidate in the race, is also running for governor…Bal Theater owner Dan Dillman announced he will run for mayor of San Leandro this week. On Facebook, he pledged to bring a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods Market to the city. Don’t laugh, but Trader Joe’s shunning the city about six years ago still stings and it became a minor issue during the 2010 mayoral race.
ONE MORE THING For #ThrowbackThursday, Rep. Eric Swalwell posted a YouTube video recalling the day in 2011 which he announced his candidacy for “the Congress,” as he routinely says. It features a familiar refrain vowing to always work hard for the district and not take you for granted. In hindsight, the pledge sounds oddly similar to previously unknown political consultant Rick Astley. His 1987 hit, “Never Gonna Give You Up” delivered the same message. Check the chorus for yourself:
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you
As a whole, Swalwell stayed true on five of the six pledges.