EBCampaign: Look out! Is Mary Hayashi getting back into the game?

Is Mary Hayashi making some sort of a comeback? The San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday that the disgraced former East Bay assemblymember who was caught stealing from Neiman Marcus in 2011 was the emcee at a function for Illinois U.S. Senate hopeful Tammy Duckworth. Hayashi has rarely been seen in political circles since her ill-fated 2014 run for the state Senate. In that race, Bob Wieckowski‘s campaign used Hayashi’s past legal trouble to devastating effect. But her appearance at the San Francisco fundraiser follows numerous East Bay polticos receiving a LinkedIn notification from Hayashi in recent weeks. Some took it like she’s getting back into the game, at least, in some type of capacity. According to her LinkedIn page, Hayashi has served as project manager for the Silicon Valley Women’s Sports Safety Initiative since December 2015. Aside from her precipitous fall from grace, many tend to forget how Hayashi ruled the district with an iron fist. She was feared by many and destined for higher office, but that all changed one day in October 2011 over a few tops and a pair of leather pants.


DAYS OF THEIR LIVES Hayward continues to be the East Bay’s best and longest-running soap opera. After its school superintendent Stan “Data” Dobbs, currently on paid administrative leave, appears to be suing the Hayward Unified School District, his days in the Heart of the Bay are obviously numbered. In fact, he could be out of job by early September. Dobbs’ consigliere, Hayward school trustee John Taylor, appears doomed to see past the November election. He’s up for re-election, but the investigation that found Taylor used school district resources for his unsuccessful City Council campaign last spring, also makes his re-election very unlikely. In fact, there are some rumors that he will pull out of the race for three open seats. Dobbs and Taylor, however, might not be the only public officials harmed by this entire ordeal. That’s because the incestuous ties between Dobbs, the Hayward business community and the City Council runs the possibility of others being exposed this entire affair. For one simple fact, because Dobbs is on leave, he isn’t around to stymie or meddle in the school board’s past bids to investigate possible wrongdoing. Sources tell me the first fruits of the board’s independence will implicate Dobbs and lay the groundwork for his dismissal and maybe others.

Nancy Skinner and Sandre Swanson

SKINNED It’s hard to discern, at this point, whether Nancy Skinner‘s release of internal polls is anything but a chance to gloat. Earlier this month, Skinner’s campaign touted another poll showing a dominating lead for the former East Bay assemblymember seeking a promotion to the state Senate’s Ninth District. The Aug. 8 memo shows Skinner leading fellow Democrat Sandre Swanson by 18 points, 45%-27% percent. The spread is about the same as the June primary when Skinner won 48 percent of the vote in a four-person race. In addition, according to Skinner’s survey, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leads Republican Donald Trump among Ninth District voters, 84% to 9%.


WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN Former state Sen. Ellen Corbett’s foray back into electoral politics at the East Bay Regional Park District Board and the candidacy of former Pleasanton Mayor Jennifer Hosterman for the BART board makes for an interesting connection. At one point in 2014, both were eyeing challenges to then-first-term Rep. Eric Swalwell. Hosterman had second thoughts and Corbett went on to a humiliating third-place finish in the primary, losing out in the Top Two to first-time Republican candidate Hugh Bussell. Now, both Corbett and Hosterman are seeking down-ballot office. Corbett’s path for replacing retiring EBRPD Director Doug Siden is much more clear. Meanwhile, Hosterman is challenging incumbent BART Director John McPartland in the Tri Valley and Castro Valley district. McPartland, you might recall last year, sought a concealed weapons permit because he feared reprisals from his own constituents angry over the BART strikes of three years ago.

To make it abundantly clear Jean Quan does not
have a mustache.

HERE AND THERE Speaking of Ellen Corbett, her brother Kevin Corbett is running this fall to unseat Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb in District 1…. Rep. Eric Swalwell was so outraged this month by Donald Trump’s comments suggesting Second Amendment fanatics harm Hillary Clinton that the only outlet for his anger was to put out a fundraising email asking for campaign contributions… Just an observation: Did Oakland Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney just learn how to use Twitter? Maybe it was a coincidence, but just as six potential challengers pulled papers for her seat, McElhaney began tweeting up a storm that included subject seemingly unrelated to the city… Jean Quan didn’t like that I tweeted a photo of her recently sporting a mustache. The point of the joke was to suggest the at-large Oakland council candidate Bruce Quan was actually Jean Quan in disguise. She didn’t think it was funny…


Oakland voters should not miss the political buffet happening this Thursday. The Alameda County Democratic Party is holding an Oakland City Council candidates forum on Thursday, Aug. 25, 6-9 p.m. at the Elihu Harris State Building, 1515 Clay Street. All five of the contested city council contests will meet in forums moderated by former Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris.