Wednesday’s Newsletter: Nadia’s book; Alameda County supports Newsom

Nadia Davis, the now ex-wife of former state Attorney General Bill Lockyer, has written a memoir detailing some of the personal struggles that led to her precipitous fall as an Alameda County supervisor nearly a decade ago.

Pre-orders for the book, titled Home Is Within You, are set to begin later this month, according to a press release for the memoir. No release date was given. In addition to being an author, Davis is also a certified yoga instructor, using the spiritual name of Priya Bachan Kaur.

Davis’s rise and fall in Alameda County remains one of the most shocking in East Bay political history. A virtual unknown other than her link to Lockyer, one of the most powerful politicians in the region and state, Davis benefited greatly from her husband’s connections and money.

In 2010, Davis easily defeated former state Sen. Liz Figueroa (Lockyer’s former girlfriend) for the highly sought-after seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. She abruptly resigned two years later and sought treatment for addiction to drugs and alcohol.

The move was also precipitated by a tabloid-worthy sex scandal that involved a man she met in rehab and periodic suggestions by Davis that she was a victim of abuse at the hands of Lockyer. Over the years, Davis has accused Lockyer of providing her with drugs, battery, among other shocking, but unconfirmed allegations.

Bill Lockyer and Nadia Davis

In one Facebook post in 2017, Davis wrote, “He hits, hurts me, yells, and I care for my children in between…then he calls people in control to manipulate the situation. I don’t have many options when your hubby is the former ‘top cop’ and is addicted to Ambien.”

At one point, Davis said she was living in a women’s shelter. Later, she was arrested for allegedly abusing Lockyer.

In terms of Lockyer, which Davis confirms are no longer married, but still friends, it’s unclear whether the memoir will delve deeper into her claims against her ex-husband.

However, Davis appears to harbor resentment toward the attention she received during her public fall from grace in 2012, according to the book’s website.

Last year, I was forwarded a message that Davis wanted to speak with me. Surprised, I gave my phone number. I was prepped by my contact that Davis appeared to be circling back, seeking closure with past conflicts in her life. We chatted and Davis voiced displeasure with my previous coverage of her time on the Board of Supervisors. The conversation was cordial, but she abruptly cut off the conversation and instructed me to call her at a specific time a few hours later.

When I did, she treated the call with disdain and threatened me with a lawsuit if I attempted to contact her again. A week ago, I was one of many local officials and political observers in the East Bay who received an email publicizing Davis’s memoir.

RECALL ELECTION

Newsom

The ineptitude of the California Republican Party was on display for the rest of the nation last night as Gov. Gavin Newsom easily avoided a recall. As of Wednesday afternoon, 64 percent of California voters did not support the recall question. The result, still a month from being certified, was definitive despite lingering questions about Newsom’s recent stewardship of the state during unprecedented times.

In Alameda County, true blue voters were even more hostile to the prospect of recalling Newsom. As of Wednesday, 83 percent of Alameda County voters did not support the recall. It’s not exactly a surprise given that Democratic voters make up 60 percent of the county electorate.

Those registered as No Party Preference (NPP) are more than double those identified as Republican voters in the county. NPP maintains 24.7 percent of the electorate in the county, while Republicans can count on just 11 percent.

Alameda County voters also heeded the Newsom campaign’s call to skip the second question of who would replace him if the recall was successful. Of the 347,730 who cast a vote for the recall question in the county, nearly 200,000 of those same ballots left the question of Newsom’s successor blank. Those who did, favored Republican talk-radio host Larry Elder with 24.5 percent of the vote.


NEWS BRIEFS

Oakland’s rise in crime this year and its propensity for high-profile cases continues to fuel the police department’s rhetoric in support of staff increases, while tamping down on calls to “defund the police.”

Oakland police officials believe the four deaths in the city earlier this week, including several injuries, was exacerbated by chronically low police staffing, KPIX reports. Oakland Police Officers Association President Barry Donelan called the spate of incidents “Bloody Monday.”

“Stop the attrition. We’re losing 10 a month and provide these officers a sense of value and appreciation that they deserve as the dedicated public servants that they are. Last night was extremely taxing to those who were on duty,” Donelan said.

— “Two rental property owners and/or their companies will pay the city of Oakland more than $3.9 million for violating the rights of tenants, Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker’s Office announced Monday,” KPIX reports.

The city of Oakland sued Baljit Singh Mann and Surinder Mann and two of their companies Dodg Corporation and Sbmann2, LLC, according to court documents in the matter… Parker’s office said the Manns subjected tenants at the six properties to serious health and safety risks. The defendants rented properties in substandard condition, including properties neither intended nor approved for housing, the city attorney’s office said.”

MEDIA

The Bay Area’s roster of alt-weekly continues to dwindle. Following the demise of the San Francisco Bay Guardian a few years ago, The City is now losing the venerable SF Weekly. Former SF Weekly columnist Joe Eskenazi lamented the paper’s demise and its ramifications for keeping tabs on San Francisco public affairs.

Over in these parts, the East Bay Express nearly folded at the beginning of the pandemic last year before being purchased by the owner of the San Jose’s Metro alt-weekly. But like SF Weekly, the once influential and robust weekly paper is noticeably thin.

PRESSING THE FLESH

Flip the 14, the statewide grassroot advocacy group with roots in Alameda, helped turn red congressional seats blue during the 2018 mid-term elections. The organization, founded by noted East Bay political consultant Doug Linney with some help from former California state Senate Pro Tem Don Perata, broadened its scope and became Flip the West.

Now the group has been rebranded yet again as Advocate America and aims to defeat Republicans in California, Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. Its efforts in California are mostly centered on flipping Republican seats and maintaining potential endangered Democratic seats in Southern California.

To boost its efforts, Activate America is enlisting East Bay Rep. Eric Swalwell for a fundraiser on Oct. 6. For more.