Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley and
Bryan Parker in Castro Valley.

Every four years, Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley’s mantra is to express gratitude to his opponents, you know, for running against him. The utterance, however, is always dripping with insincerity. Miley doesn’t appreciate any type of challenge, whether it an unfunded first-time candidate or someone like Bryan Parker, a primary opponent this year that is matching him dollar for dollar in contributions.

Despite Miley saying he’s ready for any challenge, over the past few months, and especially recent weeks he has shown profound dose of hubris and has run one of the worst primary campaigns in recent memory.

Even an outfit that only in recent days has flooded all-important areas of the Fourth District like Castro Valley and Pleasanton with bright yellow campaign signage and has barely dented anybody’s mailboxes with mailer, just might pull out a win against Parker’s insurgent bid.

In the meantime, it is very clear that if Miley loses on June 7, it will be due to a lackadaisical attitude toward actually running a campaign. Think about it? Parker’s strong campaign and financial wherewithal has been known since last fall. So, why has Miley’s campaign only now putting the pedal to the metal over the last two weeks, even last 10 days?!

His campaign signs should have been planted in the ground exactly one month ago, not last week. And how can Miley have so much money, yet wait until two weeks ago to send his first mailer? Furthermore, why choose to focus on the county’s drug disposal ordinance as an opening volley?

Voters in the district received a mailer from Miley’s campaign showcasing photos of pills. Hardly inspiring, but telling. In fact, according to Miley, himself, the county drug disposal ordinance is the only accomplishment worthy of trumpeting after 16 years in office.

Miley is also showing he’s scared. Money is suddenly pouring in. The going rate appears to be $5,000 apiece in campaign contributions. Shamefully, Miley is also playing Castro Valley residents–telling them he supports a non-union grocery store coming to town, while on the other hand, accepting $10,000 and more from the labor union blocking the store from opening shop by way of a CEQA appeal. Cannabis interests are chipping in at an extremely fast pace–around $60,000 and growing, and an independent expenditure committee formed this month only started receiving money last week. Keep a sharp eye on that IE.

What’s happening here is very clear and indicative on what happens when public officials become entrenched in their office and insufficiently unafraid of voters. When it comes to running for your political life, Miley is extremely rusty and it shows. But, despite Parker’s campaign hitting all the right notes and creating it own luck, Miley is possibly favored to win in June. However, all things even, and it’s not entirely clear where at this point yet, it’s wise to place your bet on the campaign with the better ground game. In this case, it’s clearly Parker.