Alameda County Supervisor preview: Missed opportunity?

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors is by far the most stable elected body in the East Bay. But after 24 years at the helm of the Tri-Valley and Fremont District 1, Supervisor Scott Haggerty is retiring. This year mark the first time the general region has seen a competitive race for supervisor since Haggerty was first elected in 1996. Amazingly, this contest has featured enough action to almost fill the more than two decade that Haggerty never even faced one challenger. Dublin Mayor David Haubert and Fremont Councilmember Vinnie Bacon were not the candidates most believed would advance from the March primary, but both have pulled no punches for months.

One notable difference is Haubert’s change in strategy from the primary and Bacon’s decision to stick to an anti-developer script he’s used to win two terms on the Fremont City Council and a first-place finish in the March primary. In some ways, Haubert, with his access to large amount of contributions from housing developers, represented Bacon’s preferred candidate among the field of primary supervisorial candidates. Just like the primary, Bacon has hammered Haubert for having a campaign war chest of more than $400,000 that is larded with developer money. Bacon’s odd mix of progressive and NIMBY politics resonates with many suburban homeowners in the Tri-Valley and Fremont. So does his own description of being a “clean money” candidate who does not accept contributions from developers and special interests.

However, until this fall supervisorial race, Bacon never faced the kind of pushback he’s seen from Haubert’s campaign. The “clean money” script was flipped by Haubert when he charged Bacon’s overreliance on large donations from his own pocket and family members as evidence that Bacon is attempting to buy the District 1 seat.

Primary candidates: Melissa Hernandez, David Haubert, Bob Wieckowski, and Vinnie Bacon at a forum last January in Pleasanton.

Potentially more damaging to Bacon’s campaign, Haubert began painstakingly using his opponent’s past campaign finance violations to undercut the righteousness of Bacon’s “clean money” pledge. The onslaught continued when T.J. Dhami, a prominent Sikh businessman reported that Bacon had left him a threatening voicemail in late September. Bacon did not apologize for the voicemail, in which he suggested Dhami’s participation in local Democratic Party politics will be over because he was helping Haubert’s campaign.

OUTLOOK: Haubert’s assault on Bacon’s integrity throughout this campaign is necessitated, of course, because Bacon’s position speaks to both halves of District 1. This race comes down to voter outreach, which is proving to be maddening to gauge during a pandemic. Do residents unfamiliar with Bacon in the Tri-Valley know about the hits being made against his character? Like in life, money can paper over a lot of your problems. The money disparity in this race is extreme. As of the most recent reporting period, Haubert’s $200,000 in campaign cash reserves swamped Bacon’s 62,000. The difference is likely even larger when new reports are released soon. It’s very questionable that Bacon can be making the same consistent case against Haubert with so little money. It’s also very disconcerting that Bacon is not making more hay out of Haubert being an independent and former Republican. In Alameda County, more people than ever before are likely to vote in this November’s election. The increase is due to a passion to unseat President Trump. Linking Haubert to Trump like Rebecca Bauer-Kahan deftly did to upset Republican Tri-Valley Assemblymember Catharine Baker two years ago seems like a winning strategy and potentially a missed opportunity that could cost Bacon this election, if it’s the nail biter most predict.

11 thoughts on “Alameda County Supervisor preview: Missed opportunity?

  1. You list Bacon’s endorsements. Note that even his local group, the Tri-City Dems, would not endorse him, and he was the only Dem in the race! Haubert is endorsed by just about every Mayor in the East Bay, including all of the other Democrats. He is endorsed by current and former politicians who have served with Bacon, so know him very well. Haubert is endorsed by the guy who is retiring from the Supervisor position. Haubert is endorsed by unions, public safety, fire, and even the FREMONT Chamber of Commerce’s endorsing arm.


  2. Re: Bacon’s knee-jerk response of filing a complaint against Haubert (and then flaunting it in his social media posts and newsletters): The FPPC rejected his complaint.

    “Dear Mr. Bacon, This letter is in response to the sworn complaint you submitted to the Enforcement Division of the FPPC regarding the above-named committee. After review of the complaint, the Enforcement Division will not pursue an enforcement action in this matter.”

    Steven: seems like this would be newsworthy as a follow-up, since you published an article discussing the trend in filing complaints. Note that the complaint filed against Bacon is STILL under investigation, whereas the one filed against Haubert was promptly dismissed when they saw it was fabricated as retribution.


  3. Vinnie is my choice for Supervisor. Haubert’s campaign is funded solely be developers. Money should NOT be the determining factor for a candidate to win. I voted for Mr. Baron and hopes he sails to victory; if not, that just goes to show how important campaign contributions are. And pardon my French, that sucks.


  4. Well if Haubert’s developer-funded campaign hacks can get on here and comment anonymously to stir up more BS, why not me? David Haubert will sell Alameda County and our open space to the highest bidder. Done deal. Developers have invested over $200,000 in his campaign, which is a great investment for them because if he wins, they’ll make that money back and a whole lot more by selling just a single house in one of their developments. Alameda County isn’t for sale, especially not to a plutocrat who wants to govern women’s bodies, whose biggest endorser is a beleaguered sheriff, who spewed anti-immigrant rhetoric at a meeting of the Oath Keepers, and who has to lie about his positions to make him even halfway palatable to even the 25% of the electorate who voted for him in the primary. Vinnie Bacon is endorsed by the Democratic Party, the Sierra Club, the Alameda County Central Labor Council, and many more.


  5. More about Vinnie, seems the Fremont Chamber of Commerce also endorse his opponent, David Haubert. So does the Fremont Police Department. I think perhaps also Fremont Fire Department since Livermore and Alameda County Fire endorse his opponent. All these Fremont people endorsing Haubert, why not Vinnie?


  6. Wow, I couldn’t believe it so I looked it up. Yes, even Vinnie Bacon’s own club the Tri City Democrats voted NO on Vinnie Bacon.


  7. Is it true that the Tri City Democrats, Vinnie Bacon’s own home club voted to NOT endorse him. That may be the biggest tell in the whole election. The people who know Vinnie Bacon and his team the best know enough to NOT support him.


  8. The race is not even close. Haubert wins by a landslide. Bacon gets a taste of his own medicine for years of bullying people and dirty campaigning. Bacon has given so much ammunition to his opponent he should be embarrassed. He’s guilty of ethics violations, he threatened minorities with intimidating emails, so much more. The race is over. Haubert wins by 10 points.


  9. Thank you for highlighting Bacon’s hypocrisy when it comes to his self-appointed title of “the Clean Money Candidate.” He already holds the Fremont record for most FPPC violations, and highest fines. He’s currently under investigation for 35 more violations from this latest campaign, including one around perjury (where he did not report expenses appropriately, and signed off a report saying it was all truthful). In response, he conjured up an FPPC complaint against Haubert as a knee-jerk reaction — alleging that certain forms were not submitted. That was quickly shown to be false, but he continued to talk about it on social media and in his newsletter — KNOWING he was lying. See for the info substantiating all of this stuff. Seriously, is this the sort of person we want in office to represent us?


  10. Haubert has proven himself when it comes to our core values. There is no room for playing games by bashing anyone who isn’t a solid member of the Democratic Party that’s discriminatory.


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