ALAMEDA COUNTY DEMS
Oakland civil rights attorney Pamela Price lashed out last spring at what she perceived was a lack of transparency at the Alameda County District Attorney office, and will likely do the same during her fall run for Oakland mayor. But Price is also apparently taking aim at the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee. During its most recent meeting Price was highly critical of the central committee accepting $30,000 from the campaign of her former opponent, Alameda County DA Nancy O’Malley, shortly after the June primary election. Price is still steamed after the progressive central committee voted to endorse O’Malley instead of her own campaign. And the endorsement has created a rift between progressives and the central committee. Now, Price is taking exception with the central committee’s executive board for including a member of Buffy Wick’s assembly campaign as part of the group that privately interviewed local candidates last weekend vying for the Alameda County Democratic Party endorsement. The individual, Dean Wallace, is also a veteran of Rep. Eric Swalwell’s first congressional campaign. Price said Wallace excluded her from interviewing for the Tri-Valley Democratic Club’s endorsement in the DAs race earlier this year. She called the ploy “undemocratic,” and her campaign, at the time, chose against filing a complaint with the Democratic Party. The Tri-Valley Dems, however say Price was invited to seek their endorsement, but never responded. Price speaking out against the central committee’s leadership, however, may make it difficult for her to win, or more likely, block the endorsement of her latest electoral rival, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
In recent years the notion of running a slate of candidates in San Leandro has been met with poor results on Election Day. But the slate in 2014 was backed by San Leandro’s pension-busting former Mayor Stephen Cassidy and ultimately became a symbol of his rapidly decreasing power. A group of four San Leandro candidates calling themselves the “Fresh, Clean Slate” is running in all four contested seats this fall, including mayor, however, with a far more progressive flavor. Jeromey Shafer, a co-founder of Our Revolution San Leandro, a local offshoot of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, is challenging Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter. Like Sanders’ campaign, Shafer and the slate are eschewing money from special interests. In this case, developers, multi-rental owners and even public service unions. The rest of the slate includes Eva Arce in District 1, Victor Aguilar, Jr. in District 3, and Maxine Oliver-Benson in District 5. All three are facing first-term incumbents. The slate’s main platform appears to focus on San Leandro housing instability and the council’s connection to campaign contributions from developers. “We have seen the corruptive power of money in politics first hand in San Leandro. Developers who have contributed to City Council campaigns have been offered no-bid deals for City properties while lobbyists for the Rental Housing Association have been able to kill rent control initiatives with the power of their donations,” said Arce. The slate, meanwhile, says it will only accept donations up to $99.
The Tri-Cities Democratic Club, which covers Fremont, Union City, Newark, sidestepped almost as many big endorsements Saturday as they awarded. The club voted to endorse Sen. Dianne Feinstein over the more progressive Kevin de Leon, and said no to perhaps the most wide-open Fremont City Council races this fall in the newly created District 1 and 4. Tri-Cities Dems also endorsed Fremont Councilmember Rick Jones for re-election, appointed Councilmember David Bonaccorsi, in addition, to Dianne Jones and Fahria Khan for the Fremont school board. Others receiving the club’s backing include, Ana Natarajan for the open BART Board of Directors seat; Harris Mojadedi for Union City Council; incumbent Nancy Thomas for Newark school board; incumbent Sarabjit Cheema for New Haven school board; incumbents Vivien Larsen and Richard Watters for the two Ohlone Community College Board District 1 seats; TJ Dhami for the Ohlone District 2 short term seat; and Sue Chan and Jan Giovannini for the two District 2 full terms seats.
HERE & THERE
Jovanka Beckles, who is running in the marquee East Bay race in the 15th Assembly District is holding a press conference in Oakland on Tuesday morning, along with Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, and Berkeley Councilmember Cheryl Davila to call on Gov. Jerry Brown to phase out oil and gas production in California… Oakland City Council District 4 candidates Natasha Middleton received the endorsement of State Sen. Nancy Skinner on Monday… Alameda City Council candidates will meet Wednesday night at the City of Alameda Democratic Club candidate forum and endorsement meeting at the Elks Lodge on Santa Clara Avenue at 7 p.m… Last week, the club’s Alameda mayoral forum and endorsement resulted in “no endorsement” of the three candidates, Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer, Councilmembers Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft and Frank Matarrese. No candidate came close to the 60 percent threshold for passage. Roughly one-third of the voters marked “no endorsement.