ALCOD4 PREVIEW: Is a monumental upset in the cards?

Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley faces Bryan Parker in next week’s winner-takes-all June election.

MEET THE CANDIDATES Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley has represented District Four since 2001. Before that, he was an Oakland city council member. Miley’s years of service include several accomplishments: Keeping the county afloat over several years of triple-digit deficits without cutting staff. Miley also led the county’s effort to build youth centers and libraries in unincorporated Alameda County. In addition, he helped modernize Castro Valley Boulevard’s streetscape. Curiously, these accomplishments have rarely taken center stage through the course of the campaign. Instead, Miley’s county ordinance requiring pharmaceutical companies to provide drug disposal services has been front and center in direct-mail pieces. On the flip side, Miley is well-known for being brusque and confrontational during Board of Supervisors meetings. County watchers know his favorite go-to line is to challenge opponents to “vote me out of office.” That’s exactly what Bryan Parker is hoping.

The former 2014 Oakland mayoral candidate and former health care executive has never been elected to public office. He was appointed in 2013 by former Oakland Mayor Jean Quan to serve on the Port of Oakland commission, but stepped down earlier this year to challenge Miley’s re-election. Although, Parker finished sixth in 15-person mayor’s race two years ago, he’s recreating one important strength from that campaign–an ability to raise large quantities of fundraising. In a race where, the incumbent is always one of the most prohibitive favorites in all of East Bay politics, Parker’s fundraising prowess has significantly neutralized Miley’s inherent advantage to tap into a variety of sources hoping to maintain the status quo. What is left is an evenly-matched winner-take-all June election that may come down to whose ground game is the best and which candidate wins Pleasanton, the most conservative portion of the district, that also includes East Oakland, Castro Valley and other unincorporated areas of Alameda County.

WHAT’S THE BEEF? Keeping the status quo versus change at the Board of Supervisors. Miley says Parker’s lack of experience should concern voters. However, on most issues, they appear to see eye-to-eye–no rent control for unincorporated Alameda County, the need for affordable housing–included. This is not a job that can be easily done by a neophyte, Miley has often said during this campaign. Parker’s campaign, however, has been about a relentless push to characterize Miley as an entrenched public official working for his own interests. An attack web site and companion mailer asserting, “Nate is in it for Nate,” appears to have hit Miley’s campaign squarely between the eyes. It describes Miley’s past coziness with county contractors and money doled out to his children via his own campaign funds. Oddly, it took a few weeks for Miley to respond. A mailer last week took Parker to task for going negative, while pledged not to do the same. However, an independent expenditure committee formed May 6 in support of Miley is out there potentially with a late negative piece up its sleeve.

PAST RESULTS 2012 June Primary: 1. Nate Miley 32,389 (71.56%) 2. Tojo Thomas 12,562 (27.75%).

CAMPAIGN FINANCE (Through May 21): Miley $246,181 raised, $66,230 cash on hand; Parker $172,233 raised, $32,671 cash on hand.

OUTLOOK If body language is any indicator, Miley is extremely worried and Parker is extremely confident. Moreover, Miley’s late moves also show his campaign is scrambling to hold onto re-election. The mailer pledging to take the high ground in response to Parker’s devastating hit piece and the IE (Yes, IEs legally cannot coordinate with campaigns) appear to be very late attempts to shore up rising doubt about Miley and concerns that so goes Pleasanton, so goes the election. Rep. Eric Swalwell’s surprising endorsement of Parker in late April is important in the Tri Valley. Swalwell has also been proactive by campaigning a bit for Parker. That’s troublesome for Miley. It’s why the IE is focused on Pleasanton with a mailer, door hanger and radio spot touting the endorsement of the entire Pleasanton City Council. That doesn’t seem good enough. Furthermore, if Miley is voted out of office next week, he can only blame himself for running one of the worst re-election campaigns ever seen in Alameda County. Miley clearly was not telling the truth when he declared recognition of Parker’s candidacy late last year because his campaign is asleep at the wheel, making strategy moves in the last two weeks that almost suggests they erroneously believe Election Day is July 7, not June 7. This race will go down to the wire. Parker has run an efficient, mistake-free and well thought out campaign that has put him in position to register the biggest upset in Alameda County politics since Swalwell ended Pete Stark’s 40 years in Congress in 2012. The victory will also have wider ramification later for other county supervisors, some even more entrenched than Miley.

PREDICTION 1. Parker 2. Miley

9 thoughts on “ALCOD4 PREVIEW: Is a monumental upset in the cards?

  1. By MW:

    Related to the above post of 11:12, Nate Miley is an “educated” and experienced “expert,” and in fact even a law school graduate.

    However related to the “quality” of most of the “experts” that infest government, some years ago there was the comment, and which is probably correct, that the first two thousand names in the Manhattan phone book would do a better job of running the United States than would the faculty of Harvard University.

    In fact related to the “quality” of the “highly educated” phonies, jokers, con men, parasites, scam artists, and blood sucking leeches that some of our “very best” colleges and universities have been turning out for at least a few decades now, when a day or two ago I first read about the very light slap on the wrist that the judge gave to the Stanford rapist, I said to myself that the judge probably was a graduate of one or more of the TOP FIVE schools for producing “highly educated” con men, parasites, scam artists, and purveyors of lies and garbage, in other words Hastings Law School, Harvard, NYU, Georgetown, and Stanford. (NOTE: While UC Berserkeley does not make the TOP FIVE, however it does easily make the TOP TWENTY.)

    So therefore I checked, and yes, the judge is a Stanford graduate.

    By the way, I used to work in a building in which the building manager had displayed in a very prominent place in his office a piece of paper that was supposedly a diploma from Stanford. (The tenants found extremely amusing that piece of paper which supposedly “proved” that the building manager was a wonderful and highly educated person, since that building manager was one of the very sleaziest creatures ever to walk the face of the earth, and almost certainly a major reason that building had one of very highest vacancy rates, and in fact quite likely the very highest vacancy rate, of any large building of its type in the entire city of San Francisco.

    And even if the building ownership had hired to manage the building virtually any person whose named it had picked at random out of a hat, and even if with all the names in the hat only those of people who were high school dropouts, the building probably would have been much better managed than it was by that Stanford guy (I believe he had attended Stanford for a year or two, but evidently had not actually graduated from it, and even though that piece of paper on his office wall “proved” he was a Stanford graduate), and just as virtually any high school dropout whose name had been picked at random out of a hat would have come up with a much better decision than that judge whose “education” included a few years at Stanford.


  2. The difference in the two candidates is stark. Miley is a skilled politician who can lie to your face as he shakes your hand. He never missed a public meeting but arranges for all of his supposed issues to lose at the BOS. Parker is a businessman, a coach, a university trustee, and a sincere person. I honestly think that any average citizen picked at random would do better than a dishonest incumbent, but in Bryan we have a strong candidate.


  3. Integrity and honor are words that are not in Nate's vocabulary. He thinks that the public is ignorant and gullible and you know what…? They are. He laughs at the public behind closed doors and deceives them from the dais. There are so many harmful things that this slimy weasel has done that have been covered up or scapegoated that the people could find out about if they would only ask the right questions. #donottrustnatemiley


  4. Parker destroys the ultra-union whore slut, Snake Miley. Snake is finished. Loses 47%.


  5. By MW:

    In regard to another East Bay Citizen article on Nate Miley and his battle to be re-elected, one of the posters referred to him as Nate the Great (Liar), and which then caused a discussion on what would be also some other suitable nicknames for Miley.

    But the best one I can think of is “Nate the Snake.”


  6. I just received a negative mailer from Miley's campaign that attacks Parker for being on the Port of Oakland when another Port Commissioner had to resign for trying to have the Port pay for his strip club visits.

    This is the height of hypocrisy. During Miley's 16 years on the Board of Supervisors, Nadia Locklear was doing drugs, shaking up with a crackhead, shooting pornographic videos, and being a disgrace to the public. Does this mean that Miley and the other Supervisors are responsible for her actions?

    How about the strip clubs and bars that Supervisor Haggerty and his Chief of staff are known to have frequented?

    Weak sauce Nate….


  7. 2 things I think about this primary:

    1. For all the fuss about Pleasanton and Castro Valley, Oakland is still a large part of the district. Miley will clean up there, and keep it close enough in Pleasanton and CV, to do well.

    2. Parker is clearly relying on the votes of Rs and right-leaning independents, as Swalwell did, in Pleasanton and CV. But with no GOP primary, will they come out? Most will be Dems because of Clinton-Sanders, and most will not have studied the supervisor race and will vote for Miley as the party-endorsed candidate.

    Miley wins 53%.


  8. The very fact that Tojo pulled in 27% of the vote last time with a shoestring campaign shows just how many folks would vote for “anyone but Nate.”

    Nate says “If you don't like it, than vote me out.” Challenge accepted!

    Maybe if he loses, Nate can move to Fremont and take on Haggerty in 4 years.


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