Hayward may seek greater campaign finance transparency

Hayward Councilmembers Greg Jones and
Al Mendall may be targeted by unions for their
vote to impose a wage cut on city workers.

Some CMs may fear union reprisal in 2016 election

HAYWARD CITY COUNCIL | With an eye toward a likely contentious municipal election next year, the Hayward City Council is exploring a proposal, its backers say, will bring greater campaign transparency to its city elections.

On Tuesday, Hayward City Attorney Michael Lawson detailed changes to the election code that could require candidates and independent expenditure committees to print the top four donors to its campaign on election materials, such as direct-mailers.

The plan is essentially the DISCLOSE Act, a noteworthy bill that stalled in the State Assembly last year, in part, due to opposition from labor unions. “It’s not necessary to be a policy wonk to understand the influence of money in politics at the national, state and local level,” said Lawson.

Hayward has stringent campaign finance rules already on its books. Candidates who accept spending limits can receive individual contributions up to $1,295 with a spending cap of $66,009. Those who do not can receive unlimited contributions, but only up to $250 per individual. Over the last decade, no candidate has declined to follow the voluntary limits, said Lawson.

Tuesday’s discussion was scheduled as a work session item, meaning no definitive action was made by the council. But there was a clear direction by the council to staff for greater scrutiny on the outside influence of special interest committees, an issue which will likely dominate the 2016 City Council elections featuring four at-large seats.

Union officials from SEIU Local 1021, which represents over 300 city employees, vowed to defeat each Hayward councilmember who voted for the imposition of a five percent wage decrease on city workers in February 2014. Four months later, the union helped one of two labor-backed candidates win a seat on the council, but in the process spent over $100,000 in independent expenditures. The specter of big money determining the 2016 election in Hayward may be on the minds of some councilmembers in local races that typically cost less than a fifth of what SEIU spent last summer.

“That is absolutely appalling that a city of this size has an election where people spend that type of money,” Councilmember Marvin Peixoto said of the union’s outlay last year. “And I’m telling you, the average person in Hayward, they can’t afford to compete with that.” Peixoto voted for imposition, but still won re-election last year, while spending next to nothing in campaign expenditures.
Others who may be targeted by the unions in 2016, include Councilmembers Al Mendall and Greg Jones, and to a lesser degree, Francisco Zermeno.

Councilmember Elisa Marquez, who is a likely candidate next year, expressed discomfort with the political nature of the agenda item Tuesday night. “It feels very self-serving and I question our ability to be objective in making those recommendations.” Marquez was appointed last July to serve the remaining two years of Barbara Halliday’s council term after being elected mayor.

Following the council’s direction, city staff will bring back a more detailed piece of legislation for the council’s approval in coming months.

Categories: Al Mendall, campaign finance, Elisa Marquez, Greg Jones, Hayward, Hayward City Council, imposition, independent expenditure committees, Marvin Peixoto, Michael Lawson, SEIU Local 1021

18 replies

  1. The toxic and filthy unions must be broken once and for all. Good deal to Marv. My wife and I supported him, and he is representing our interests very well. Jones and Mendall are looking out for the little guys so that the whorrific unions don't continue to pick our pockets clean.

    We saw how well Marv did, Cathy Baker, Steve Glazer and others. The day of the ignominious indestructible unions is past. They are nothing more than yesterday's trash spewing mildly-tepid, stale air!


  2. Entirely self serving. Very astute observation Ms. Marquez. Union support with money and endorsements was just fine when they were getting it (Jones, Mendall). Now they want to punish labor for looking out for the interest of workers. Will they also punish the very powerful firefighters union? Not likely


  3. If expenditures are independent, how can city expect to control what is included on a mailer?


  4. Greg Jones is just trying to stay in his elected seat. Let's not forget when he was City Manager he supported all of the costly labor contracts so they would support him. He is a liar, cheater and should not be trusted.


  5. Greg and Al will continue to get money from the HPOA and Firefighter' Unions. Money talks, while Al & Greg are beholding to Police & Fire. Al looks like he wants to be mayor one day and finish running Hayward into the ground. Realty World's recorded phone message kept blasting my phone telling me to vote for broken record OPEB Marvin. Jones plugs Realty World on his city voicemail, conflict of interest. Ex-city manager Jones has a fat money cake pension that the average city worker won't get yet he and other council lump all city employees together as fleecing the tax payers. As a citizen of Hayward, I'm paying for his mistakes as a former city manager, and his screw ups as a councilman. Let's not forget to add Fran David's obscene salary that he and council voted to approve into the mix. Her contract is being renewed next Tuesday. I wonder if she'll get a raise on that $294,500.00 salary. She only pays 8% of her pension for being a top wage earner. Gov. Brown earns less to run the entire State of California. Fran donated $2,500 of her own money to back the new 21st Century Library. Maybe that's why the city should use “transparency” on big money for measures instead.


  6. Greg Jones and Mark Salinas are better suited for the School Board. That seems to be a good place for those who have integrity issues and behind the scenes drama. I remember when Greg and Anna May were going to run for seats on the School Board, to help the children. How very noble of them.


  7. Actually, good old Marvin has referred to himself as being a proud union member of SEIU. His campaign flyer displayed SEIU purple & yellow colors. Unions are there to protect employees from virulent and unscrupulous management. He said he walked a picket line with Josie Camacho so candy workers could get a contract. Marvin is a union man, but he also knows when not to admit it so he'll get union hater votes.


  8. Greg Jones was a rotten City Manager. His mismanagement and generosity towards Police & Fire contracts, and whopping pay raises for himself & fellow cronies helped add to Hayward's debts. When you give in to two powerful unions as a CM, you get their financial backing when you run for council. I want to see what happens when Hayward goes “Chuck Reed” on police & fire, because their pensions are the most costly of all City Workers-with the exception of city staff hotshots. Only David, Lawson, McAdoo & Vesley don't risks their lives to do their jobs.


  9. Fire Fran David and spend that money on Hayward Kids, the elderly & homeless. Do something for the people, for a change. No one on Council should be involved in changing campaign rules. They all are backed by unions currently or were at one point in their political careers. Halliday's gramps was in the union and she said she believes in unions. She also said that “unions are good for city workers.” Of course, what she says and does are two different things. Much like Jones, Mendall, & Peixoto who are also truth challenged.


  10. The council should reject this nonsense of political transparency designed to appease the likes of Peixoto, Mendall and Jones who have made zero contributions to our city after a collective 10+ years of making our city one of the worse in California.


  11. Time to vote out these losers. Wasting time & money trying to reinvent the wheel. How about tackling some real issues in Hayward; like crime, empty buildings, limited residential parking, trash & debris all over Hayward-for example. Jones should stick to realty and selling houses. Instead of selling out the people of Hayward and its workers. Also, there is life beyond the historic Prospect Street neighborhood. Open your eyes Greggy!


  12. Anna May should just run for City Council, that way she won't have to waste time telling Greg to vote “no” on every single redevelopment plan for the old Mervyn's building site. Too much traffic in my neighborhood, boo hoo! When he was the City Manager, he said the Hayward Airport wasn't a money maker and sales tax was next to nothing. So as a councilman, millions were spent to remodel the airport and sales tax was raised to build a 62 million dollar glass fronted library across the street from the Hayward Fault. That's okay, because The Daily Review endorsed him because he was so smart. Don't waste your vote on that rummy.


  13. Don't even live in Hayward, but down with union whores!


  14. What an unintelligent comment 8:30. The unions helped create the middle class in this country, and now that unions are weakened, the middle class is disappearing.


  15. Jones & Mendall want to screw the little guy. They could care less about your interests. They have their own self interests and pet projects that are costing the tax payer too much money. They want to keep their seats on council. Really, what has Greg Jones done as a city councilman, that has benefitted Hayward? Seriously. He sucked as a City Manager and came close to getting fired. He has poor ethics and questionable morals. If Police & Fire hadn't have endorsed him & precinct walked for him, he would have lost. He gave them generous contracts and great benefits on a silver platter. So much for looking out for the little guy. The biggest joke on Hayward was when Jones got elected to city council.


  16. The only thing Greg cares about is keeping his CalPERS pen sion, medical benefits and trying to stick it to the people at City Hall that wanted to fire him. He has no morals or ethics. While working for the city of Concord in the Human Resources department, he had a relationship with two different staff members with one of them becoming wife #2. We know how well that turned out when he cheated on wife #2 with wife#3 who was his boss. Get rid of this guy. He isn't good for Hayward!


  17. Get rid of Fran David too.


  18. Fran David and Greg Jones are two peas in a pod. Greedy, unscrupulous and inept. They need go. Fire Fran and don't waste your vote on do nothing Greg. He's the worst of the lot. Couldn't hack it as a City Manager and is even worse as a council member. His policies and practices as a City Manager helped get Hayward further in debt.


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