A push poll, suspected by many, to have originated from Alameda landlords’ groups, is probing and testing potential attack lines against a lengthy list of potential progressive candidates for the city’s mayoral and city council elections this fall. The existence of the poll portends for another heated political season coming to Alameda.

It is unclear whether the push polling, which began earlier this month, is still on-going. However, it is clear, according to those who have participated in the survey, that the poll is intended to smear candidates who oppose limited growth in Alameda and fewer restrictions on its landlords.

Among those skewered in the poll are potential progressive candidates for mayor and city council, including, Councilmember Jim Oddie, who is up for re-election in November; Councilmember Malia Vella (a potential mayoral candidate); Councilmember Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft (an almost certain mayoral candidate); and Alameda Planning Board members John Knox White and David Mitchell, who have both showed interest recent in running for the council.

Almost everyone mentioned in a recent
Alameda push poll takes a hit except
former Councilmember Tony Daysog, a
darling of local landlords.

Suspicions over who funded the push poll are motivated by the survey’s clear positive view of Tony Daysog, a former Alameda councilmember who is a likely candidate for one of two at-large seats on the five-member council.

Daysog’s support for landlords and his opposition to greater restrictions on rent control, landlord-paid relocation payments, and just cause evictions has made him a darling among this group. Daysog lost re-election to his seat in 2016, finishing third for two open seats, albeit, with a robust 20 percent of the vote.

Jeff Cambra, the chair of the Alameda Rent Review Advisory Committee, is also mentioned in the push poll, and like Daysog, is not besmirched in the survey. Cambra ran for the City Council in 2014 and is rumored to be showing interest in another attempt this fall.

Push polls are typically used to test potential negative attack lines against opponents and in some cases to directly sow suspicious in the minds of voters. The presence of a push poll this early in Alameda’s election cycle (The November ballot will not be finalized until mid-August) suggests that the landlords’ intention to raise and spend significant amounts of money to defeat Ashcraft for mayor and Oddie’s re-election to the council are now highly likely events.