State Sen. Steve Glazer‘s anti-BART strike rhetoric has created a cottage industry in the moderate to conservative Outer East Bay. Nevermind that the issue is more than two years in the rearview mirror and a new contract extension was signed last spring. But like-minded Glazerites running for office in bordering Contra Costa County and the Tri Valley are borrowing heavily from what is actually not just a stance against collective bargaining for public transit workers but anti-union in general.

In fact, three of the four incumbent BART board directors next month will be facing some variation of Glazer’s BART strike critique. In the Ward 1 district, which constitutes most of Glazer’s state senate district, challenger Debora Allen is predicating her entire campaign on the transit system’s aging infrastructure and instituting the Glazer anti-BART strike playbook against incumbent Gail Murray. BART strikes being one of the reasons why BART continues to “deteriorate,” Allen said when announcing her candidacy this summer.

Trashing BART got Steve Glazer elected in 2014,
leading others to borrow heavily from his playbook.

Former Moraga mayor Ken Chew has also played the BART strike card while challenging first-term BART Board Director Rebecca Saltzman, suggesting she kowtowed to labor during contract negotiations with BART unions. “My opponent has no governing experience but only political ambitions. She had not prevented BART strikes but has financially benefited from the unions to hold on to her seat,” said Chew. However, the line of attack will likely be blunted by the makeup of Ward 4 which covers more liberal Berkeley through San Leandro.

And in the Castro Valley, Hayward, Dublin-Pleasanton seat represented by gun-toting BART Board Director John McPartland, former Pleasanton Mayor Jennifer Hosterman has also taken a anti-strike stance. Surprisingly, she sought the Alameda County Democratic Party’s endorsement with such a anti-labor leanings and was rebuffed.

The only incumbent not facing a challenge from a Glazer wannabe is BART Board Director Zakhary Mallett (last name pronounced like BART delay). That’s because he already espouses Glazer’s tactic for cutting labor at the knees. Mallett voted against BART’s most recent contract extension negotiated earlier this year. It’s a reason why so many local Democratic leaders and unions have rallied behind challenger Lateffah Simon.

Meanwhile, any hope Glazer will ever make nice with progressives is gone. That ship sailed long ago when he took it further this summer by openly opposing Measure RR, BART’s $350 million infrastructure bond measure on the ballot this November. This week Glazer charged BART with possibly violating election laws by sending a mass public email that referenced the transit district’s infrastructure woes along with a link to what amounts to a pitch for voters to approve Measure RR. In this case, Glazer may be right. If not, BART is definitely walking a fine line by advocating for the bond measure while using taxpayers’ resources.

Hayward school board member Luis Reynoso and 
others protested a candidate forum this week.

HAYWARD NO-SHOWS What if there was a candidates forum and nobody showed? Did it ever exists? Candidates for the contentious Hayward school board race were scheduled to meet Wednesday night at Eden United Church of Christ. However, just three (Robert Carlson, Daniel Goldstein and Todd Davis) showed up to debate, all affiliated with political action committee seeking to unseat the three incumbent school board members. The reason for the absence of the five candidates had mostly to do with the conflict between the PAC and the host of the forum. The leader of the Eden United Church of Christ is a supporter of the PAC calling itself Hayward Civic Leader Advocating Student Success (CLASS). One candidate, school board member Luis Reynoso said the idea of the church group holding a forum is akin to Hillary Clinton agreeing to a debate with Donald Trump that is hosted by the National Rifle Association. Among others who ditched the forum were school board members Annette Walker and John Taylor, and Reynoso, who said it was out of protest for the conflict, Walker said she had a previous engagement and Taylor has been noticeably missing from all things school board since being accused of misusing district resources for his previous City Council campaign. Wynn Grcich also protested, but another candidate, the rambunctious Joe Ramos, attended the forum, but just to lambaste the group before sitting out the forum.

A number of anti-rent control mailers in Alameda
have met no rebuttal from the island’s renters’ group.

MONEY TALKS IN ALAMEDA The expected avalanche of special interest money opposing Alameda’s rent control initiative Measure M1 has arrived. Several mailers in recent days have hammered home the strategy of steering island voters to support the less restrictive, City Council-backed ordinance, Measure L1. A strong talking point being repeatedly offered by Alameda landlords and the California Apartment Association is the estimated cost of the city bureaucracy included in Measure M1. The proposed $3.7 million expenditure, however, only represents one-time start-up costs, but the grassroots Alameda Renters Coalition, which is not well-financed, is having difficulty pushing back at the landlords’ claims in the form of mailers. The group which brought the entire rent issue to the forefront of Alameda politics has had very little public presence of late. No yard signs and no mailers. But, yard signs to opposed the “Yes on L1, No on M1” signs seen around town are coming, the group said this week. It also put out an email asking for $1,000 in donations for a direct-mail piece. The time for public outreach is now or never as vote-by-mail ballots begin arriving next week. In the meantime, expect more disinformation like a mailer last weekend from the California Apartment Association which was filled with innuendo about the Alameda Renters Association along with a source document published before either Alameda rent initiatives were even created.


HONDA AD Rep. Mike Honda appears to be in a nice little groove after filing a lawsuit Sept. 22 against Ro Khanna and his campaign manager alleging a high-tech Watergate break-in of his campaign donor data. The race, however, is certain to go down to the wire, and a long sought debate is likely to happen, but not soon enough to make much difference. Sources say a debate is likely to be scheduled sometime around two weeks before the Nov. 8 Election Day. In the meantime, the blunt action seen recently by the Honda campaign is significantly softened in a new commercial released Thursday, titled “Finish Line.” The 30-second commercial has been running during the local early morning news programs.


HERE & THERE Alameda County Democrats are putting all hands on deck when it comes to 16th Assembly District candidate Cheryl Cook-Kallio. There is unanimity that the push to unseat Assemblymember Catharine Baker, the only Republican in the East Bay legislative caucus is their number one goal this November. Whether they achieve the goal is going to take more than registration advantages but getting the reported droves of newly-registered Democrats in the district to the polls… Democrats are also voicing concern over Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison‘s re-election chances against Councilmember Lily Mei, an independent, but with a wink and a nod (she has Republican tendencies). “It’s going to be a close race,” said one Democratic central committee member. “Lily Mei has run a nasty campaign.”…