Down Ballot, May 27, 2014; 7 days to Election Day

Just so we’re completely clear.

HAYWARD CITY COUNCIL If you drive east on A Street in Hayward near Hesperian Boulevard, you will see a billboard paid for by the union-backed political action committee, Healing the Heart of Hayward (ProTip: about a block away is World’s Faire Donuts—best in town). The signage hopes to stoke anger among many Hayward residents over the chaotic Hayward Loop that wraps around its downtown. A mailer sent recently to residents knocking the Loop and offering up union-friendly council candidates Rocky Fernandez and Sara Lamnin as solutions, could also be used by Councilmember Marvin Peixoto, who is up for re-election for one of top at-large seats. There’s irony here since Peixoto voted for the controversial five percent wage imposition on city employees represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) earlier this year, which the union abhors. Peixoto was also a bit more confrontational with the union in public than his council colleagues and once told SEIU rep/former San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly to be quiet during one contentious council meeting. However, Peixoto has probably been the most vocal critic of the Loop since even before it was built as a member of the Hayward Planning Commission. Two months ago, Peixoto even derisively equated the fast-moving traffic on the Loop to the start of the Indianapolis 500.

CONGRESS 15TH DISTRICT From the Bay Area News Group’s preview story for the 15th Congressional District race comes this odd angle: “Swalwell should sweat ‘only if he’s jogging,’ quipped Larry Gerston, a San Jose State University professor and political expert who sees little chance for Corbett.” Gerston adds Swalwell’s politics matches the values of the district. No other preview contain such a clear guide post for declaring the result of a race…Meanwhile, over the Memorial Day weekend, the candidates braved the searing heat of the Tri Valley in search of remaining votes.

MEASURE AA Alameda County’s important renewal of the Measure A health care sales tax needs to garner two-thirds of the vote for passage. Over the years, the half-cent sales tax has helped prop up the county health care system during heady times, but it is due to sunset in 2019. Approving Measure AA would only extend the tax to 2034. Proponents of the measure want to make it clear this is not a new tax. Just to remind you, a new mailer sent to voters shouts in large type: “Measure AA does NOT increase taxes!”