Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 5, 2006

Mayoral Candidate Profile, part 1 of 3: Beverly Johnson

Filed under: Alameda, Election — Lauren Do @ 9:53 am

johnsonphoto.jpg 

Beverly Johnson is currently the Mayor of Alameda and is running for re-election.

Her candidate statement for this election is:

I am honored to be your Mayor and lead our city with programs and policies that have made Alameda one of the most desirable places to live in the Bay Area. During my time as Mayor, Alameda has made many improvements. Alameda has the lowest crime rate of any Bay Area city its size, and test scores at local public schools are up. Our new main library has been completed on time and under budget. Many new retail opportunities exist along Park and Webster Streets, and at Bridgeside Center. We have a new park and school - the first to open in over twenty years. Our parks have been physically upgraded. and we have added recreation directors after school and on weekends. These are exciting times for Alameda with more opportunities on the horizon. Developing responsibly, within Measure A – in a way that carefully considers traffic, transit options, housing affordability, as well as economic benefits- are key to ensuring that our quality of life continues to improve. With your support, I will continue the work I’ve done to revitalize our business districts and protect our neighborhoods. Let’s keep Alameda safe, friendly and thriving. 

She does have a web address: www.johnsonformayor.com, but as of this posting, there is nothing there yet.

Beverly Johnson also announced in May her plans to run for office as reported by the Oakland Tribune.  This tidbit, I did not know, but I am not surprised that:

Johnson, the second female mayor in the city’s history…

Here is the profile she submitted to the League of Women Voters for the 2002 election, her top priorities if elected were:

  • Responsible Conversion of Alameda Point
  • Quality Programs for Youth and Seniors
  • Clean, Safe Neighborhoods

Additionally, Beverly Johnson did a neat little interview with Talkof the Nation on NPR regarding the base closure, you can listen to it here.

From what I remember, Beverly Johnson is a republican.  She is not cited on the Alameda Democratic Club’s page as one of Their Democrats.  And since I cannot imagine that they would leave out a prominent politician, she is either Republican, Green, or Libertarian.  I’m guessing, Republican. 

Thanks to John W. for the correction, Beverly Johnson is a Democrat after all.  (See what happens when you don’t scroll to the right!) Scroll right for her photo and listing.

One of the first things that I saw associated with Beverly Johnson was a proclamation she had issued proclaiming Sept 14-30, 2003 as Falun Dafa Day in Alameda.  I am surprised by this, simply because there is such a controversy regarding Falun Dafa, sometimes it is called Falun Gong.  I know that when I worked for a city official more than 6 years ago, we didn’t touch Falun Gong with a ten foot pole when it came to issuing a proclamation. 

There is an article which discusses some questionable financials during her last race for Mayor which reported:

The election took an unexpected turn this Friday when the Oakland Tribune reported that a political action committee had circulated some $16,000 worth of mailers on Johnson’s behalf. The group had not properly reported its activities, and included among its members Centex Homes, one of the major developers on the island.

Other than that, I can’t find a whole lot of information on Johnson, other than the odd quote in a paper regarding some issue.  She does have the benefit of being an incumbent and the experience of sitting of a number of regional boards. 

If anyone has more information about Beverly Johnson, please feel free to add it to the comments section.  BUT…if you do post something, please make sure to cite your reference and add a link so that others can reference it. 

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24 Comments

  1. Lauren – I have a copy of Johnson’s California Form 496 “Late independent expenditure report” from 2002, if you want to see it. (They are also available from the city clerk’s office at city hall.)

    She filed this as late as possible – Nov 1 – before the election, presumably to keep from the public the number of developers on her contribution list.

    Here’s some excerpts:

    The DeSilva Group $15,000
    Doric Realty $25,000 (Ron Cowan)
    Signature Properties $1000
    No. CA Carpenters Regional $1,000
    Cabc Inc. $17,500
    Foster Interstate Media $10,000
    Dryery’s Grand Ice Cream $10,000
    KB Homes $500
    just to name a few.

    The total from this late-filed report is well over $110,000. It looks like Johnson outspent anyone on the 2002 campaign.

    Comment by keepmeasurea — September 5, 2006 @ 10:25 am

  2. I believe Beverly Johnson has done an amazing job, especially with everyone polarized on everything. Someone has to lead and in my opinion she has.

    DeHaan seems to go from one side to another and after his “too bad, to late” reply to my letter, I would never vote for him or anyone who alined themselves with him.

    Joe

    Comment by Joe — September 5, 2006 @ 4:53 pm

  3. This post caught me off-guard, I was pretty certain that Mayor Johnson was a democrat. A quick visit to: http://www.alameda-demo.org/ confirms it. Her photo is posted on the right-hand side, right next to Alice Lai-Bitker.

    There’s only one republican slate running for council (Bail was the president of the Republican Women Federation and is funding the slate). I think everyone else is democrat.

    Comment by John Knox White — September 6, 2006 @ 9:51 am

  4. Here’s an article outlining Johnson’s shenanigans from 2002. The one thing I grant her is nerve–she only got “kind of a little angry” at the revelation.

    November 2, 2002

    Fund-raising laws broken in Alameda

    As in Oakland, soft-money group refused to reveal who paid for campaign mailers

    By Kristin Bender and Robert Gammon
    STAFF WRITERS

    The soft-money group that violated state campaign finance disclosure laws in Oakland this week did the same thing in Alameda by refusing to reveal the names of contributors who paid for mailers supporting several prominent candidates, records show.

    Californians for Neighborhood Preservation, which ignited controversy in Oakland this week for its secret fund- raising in support of Mayor Jerry
    Brown’s 100 cops initiative, also is papering the Island with homespun mailers backing Alameda mayoral candidate Beverly Johnson.

    The group, which has ties to Brown and state Sen. Don Perata, D-Oakland,
    reported spending $15,280 on the Alameda mailers. The mailers also urge voters to cast ballots for City Council incumbent Tony Daysog and challenger Frank Matarrese, along with school board hopefuls David Forbes and Tracy Jensen and AC Transit board candidate Dolores Jaquez.

    Until late Friday, the soft-money group had refused — just as it had done
    earlier this week in Oakland — to report its donors to the city of Alameda, as required by state law.

    But after repeated inquiries by The Oakland Tribune on Friday, Californians for Neighborhood Preservation filed late contribution reports showing the same
    donor list it revealed late Wednesday in Oakland.

    The group’s large donors include Ronald Cowan, developer of Harbor Bay Isle in Alameda, a longtime ally of Perata and top contributor to his campaigns.

    The group’s chairman, Joe Camicia, a former Alameda City Council member and longtime friend of Perata, also revealed the people behind the group for the first time Friday.

    Camicia said the group’s three officers are himself, Oakland Planning
    Commissioner Clinton Killian and Oakland fund-raiser Rhonda Hirata.

    The group’s treasurer is Jill Cabeceiras, who is also Perata’s treasurer and
    whose office is in an Alameda duplex owned by Perata. The group’s address
    originally was in that duplex. It later moved to Killian’s office in Oakland,
    then back to the duplex, according to amended statements filed Friday. Camicia also was the original treasurer of the Three Rs, the controversial soft-money group formed by Perata and Brown that raised $550,000 in the 2000 election.

    Despite the connections, Camicia said Perata is not a member of Californians
    for Neighborhood Preservation. And he said he “didn’t know” about Brown’s
    involvement, other than that Brown had signed letters on behalf of the group.
    Perata and Brown have not returned phone calls this week seeking comment. Brown told KCBS radio that the group’s failure to report its donors was an innocent oversight.

    Camicia, meanwhile, denied the group was purposely withholding its donor list
    to avoid public scrutiny. He said the group had received the wrong advice from the state Fair Political Practice Commission. He would not say, however, who there provided that advice. He also said the group as of Friday now believes it was right to not reveal its donors in the first place.

    But a review of state law shows that political action committees must file
    disclosure statements that list both their contributors and their expenditures within 24 hours of spending at least$1,000 advocating for a candidate or a measure in the 16 days before an election.

    Californians for Neighborhood Preservation now reports that it started spending thousands of dollars in Oakland beginning Oct. 22, but it did not file a complete donor and expenditure report until Oct. 30. In Alameda, the group reported passing the $1,000 expenditure limit on Oct. 28, but it did not file a complete disclosure list until Friday.

    “They definitely are trying to make it difficult for people to find out their
    contributors,” said Jim Ferguson, Alameda County coordinator for California Common Cause, a political watchdog group. “This really raises a red flag.”

    The maximum fine levied by the FPPC for campaign reporting violations is$5,000 per occurrence.

    The soft-money group’s actions this week have not only angered opponents of the measures and candidates, along with good-government advocates, but also have gotten under the skin of people the group supports.

    “I’m kind of a little angry that we are having to go through this because of
    some group that I don’t know about when things are going so well,” said
    Johnson, who is completing her first term on the Alameda City Council and is a candidate in the race to replace the late-Mayor Ralph Appezzato.

    The group, meanwhile, also filed amended campaign statements in Oakland, showing that it has spent $29,352.67 supporting Measure CC, Brown’s hotly debated initiative to make permanent Oakland’s Strong Mayor form of government.

    On Monday the group also said it spent $38,808.96 in support of four Oakland
    ballot measures that would pave the way for Brown’s 100-new-cops plan. On Friday the group amended that report, saying it spent only $31,671.40 on the
    measures.

    Also on Friday, the group reported raising $126,250 so far in the campaign. But other campaign reports show the group may be underreporting its donations, which, if that is the case, would also be a violation of state law.

    Centex Homes filed a late campaign finance report with both the city of Alameda and the Secretary of State’s Office, saying it had donated $25,000 Oct. 30 to Californians for Neighborhood Preservation. But Californians for Neighborhood
    Preservation did not report Centex’s donation.

    Centex is one of a consortium of developers negotiating with the city of
    Alameda to shape prime waterfront property at Alameda Point, the former Navy base. Calls to Centex were not returned.

    Two of the Alameda mailers are written under the letterheads “Alameda Seniors
    United for Beverly Johnson” and “Alameda Neighbors Supporting Johnson for Mayor,” but state they were paid for by Californians for Neighborhood Preservation. Johnson and Daysog said they had never heard of any of the named groups. One letter is signed by political and community activists Dave Tuchsen and Penny Stanley, neither of whom returned calls for comment Friday.

    Daysog said he did not mind the free publicity but was displeased that it came by breaking a law. “Transparency is absolutely vital for our democracy —
    that’s why we have the state Fair Political Practices Commission,” he said. “I guess it comes down to this: Those who provide unsolicited support need to pay special attention to their FPPC responsibilities, otherwise they place
    candidates they support in awkward positions.”

    Councilmember Barbara Kerr, who is running against Johnson for the mayor’s job, put it more bluntly. “Don Perata is obviously trying to decide who becomes our next mayor,” she said.

    Staff writers Paul T. Rosynsky and Angela Hill contributed to this report.

    Comment by NIMBY — September 7, 2006 @ 9:35 pm

  5. Every person that was mentioned in this article, including Tony Daysog who I disagree with on many issues, but would never say is bought and paid for by developers, claim to have not known about these mailers.

    To my knowledge, these mailers were sent out by Don Perata to support candidates that he supported without the knowledge of the candidates involved (there are 6 mentioned in the article.

    At the end of the day, the law was circumvented by Perata and Co. and no allegations were made against Daysog, Johnson, et. al. except by the same people who continue to lob spurious, unfounded allegations about people with whom they disagree.

    It’s easy to accuse people of things when you don’t have to prove them in a meaningful way.

    Comment by John Knox White — September 8, 2006 @ 8:22 am

  6. Alameda Democratic Club has endorsed Beverly Johnson for Mayor
    Lena Tam for City Council
    Frank Matarresse for City Council

    Comment by Leland Traiman — September 21, 2006 @ 9:16 pm

  7. My comment to Leland Traiman expressed a lack of surprise at the Democratic Club’s endorsement. I would like to add to that my educacted guess that, based on campaign funding by Don Perata last elections, these are also the people who I expect will receive the big bucks this year.

    Comment by NIMBY — September 23, 2006 @ 11:55 pm

  8. How can anyone purchase over an acre of public land that is prime real estate in Alameda for $45,000, and then get it re-zoned to exactly what they need, instead of open -green space? Doric Realty/Harbor Bay did just that. Maitland Drive was even moved to make it work for them. How? How? Well Geez – Look who gave Mayor Johnson $25,000.
    I’m not saying “Bribe” – Just that this is what Alameda politics has become with the present Mayor. Why was Mayor Johnson silent about the Oak to 9th Project? Oh Look – Contributions from the Developer…
    Thanks for the info “KeepMeasureA”, who are the others you listed and what did they get from city Staff and Johnson/Matarrese/Gilmore?

    NO WAY WILL THIS ALAMEDAN VOTE FOR JOHNSON AGAIN – For integrity, for the rights of our City’s citizens over the rights of developers I‘ll VOTE for the new SLATE. We need People Standing up for Alameda, not stepping on Alameda to further political aspirations.
    -Dave Kirwin

    INFO FROM:
    Lauren – I have a copy of Johnson’s California Form 496 “Late independent expenditure report” from 2002, if you want to see it. (They are also available from the city clerk’s office at city hall.)

    She filed this as late as possible – Nov 1 – before the election, presumably to keep from the public the number of developers on her contribution list.

    Here’s some excerpts:

    The DeSilva Group $15,000
    Doric Realty $25,000 (Ron Cowan)
    Signature Properties $1000
    No. CA Carpenters Regional $1,000
    Cabc Inc. $17,500
    Foster Interstate Media $10,000
    Dryery’s Grand Ice Cream $10,000
    KB Homes $500
    just to name a few.

    The total from this late-filed report is well over $110,000. It looks like Johnson outspent anyone on the 2002 campaign.

    Comment by D.Kirwin — October 4, 2006 @ 9:55 pm

  9. It has been pointed out that Mayor Johnson was quoted in the September 8, 2006, issue of the Alameda Journal as supporting Measure A. Allegedly, this is a fact that I “and the majority of people who post here choose to conveniently ignore.”

    Well, I can’t speak for the others, but I’m not going to ignore it or try to deny it. Yes, Mayor Johnson has always supported Measure A, and yes, I’m supporting Mayor Johnson in this race. I realize I’ve spent an inordinate share of my time here talking about Measure A, but believe it or not, I’m not a single-issue voter. I have looked at the positions, qualifications, and records of Mayor Johnson, Councilmember deHaan, and Mr. Kahn, and I have decided that Mayor Johnson is the best choice, regardless of her stance on Measure A. Shocking, but true!

    If I were going to vote solely on the Measure A issue, I suppose I would have to vote for Mr. Kahn. According to a story in the Alameda Times-Star, Mr. Kahn “said Measure A, the city’s landmark low-density ballot initiative of 1973, should be amended.” As we know, Mayor Johnson supports Measure A, and given Councilmember deHaan’s status as a member of The Slate, I can’t imagine that he could ever consider any sort of change to Measure A without being accused of breaking a campaign promise.

    However, despite Mr. Kahn’s refreshingly open-minded approach to Measure A, I just cannot bring myself to take him and his campaign seriously. So far, the comments on his blog candidate profile have done nothing to raise my confidence.

    Comment by Michael Krueger — October 5, 2006 @ 6:59 pm

  10. Beverly Johnson’s web site http://www.johnsonformayor.com does now appear to be up and running.

    Comment by Steve — October 11, 2006 @ 9:39 am

  11. For anyone landing on this page for the first time, please be aware that David Howard’s doubly erroneous claim that “Mayor Johnson raised over $100,000 in her 2002 campaign” — a claim that has been repeated above and elsewhere by Mr. Howard (AKA keepmeasurea), Dave Kirwin, Ani Dimusheva (AKA NIMBY), and others — has been thoroughly debunked.

    For the bottom line, please see the aptly titled “dead horse” post. For a more detailed refutation of Mr. Howard’s claim, please see the “Oh . . . Snap!” post in general and comments #22 and #30 in particular.

    Comment by Michael Krueger — October 17, 2006 @ 11:30 am

  12. I wanted to share real quick my impression of the Mayor Johnson tonight at the candidates forum sponsored by Crosstown coffee house. She announced she couldn’t stay, got up and made her statement anyway, refused to answer a question that was submitted to her, and left without even a goodbye. Since these forums are for candidates to answer questions, not make statements, she shouldn’t have bothered. She left a very bad impression.

    The other candidates were Doug DeHaan, Mike Rich, Kenneth Kahn, Ash Jones and Frank Matarrese. Pat, Eugenie and Lena were absent.

    Comment by NIMBY — October 24, 2006 @ 11:01 pm

  13. SCOOP! NIMBY has a bad impression of Mayor Johnson!

    No surprises here, eh? After all, we know how “fair and balanced” your views are re: Mayor Johnson! Might a little difference of opinion about a certain theater have anything to do with this?

    But let’s get real: I wouldn’t read too much into it. Pat Bail was a no-show twice (at the LWV forum and last night, as you mention). But that doesn’t seem to change your opinion!

    Comment by Alameda — October 25, 2006 @ 7:52 am

  14. I’m with Alameda on this. We only have NIMBY’s bizarro theories to go by and don’t know why Johnson had to leave.

    NIMBY, didn’t you threaten to stop posting here? Why do you keep coming back with the same drivel (in various forms and shapes)? Your soulmate’s blog is hardly getting any traffic, perhaps you could spread some much needed cheer (or what passes for it when it comes from you) there?

    Comment by Richard — October 25, 2006 @ 8:30 am

  15. The whole “there goes NIMBY again” thing is getting a bit old. She’s entitled to her opinion.

    Anyone that feel she is unwavering in it, already know that, continuously pointing it out is unnecessary.

    Ironically, Richard’s constant “there she goes again” responses are no different than the posts he’s criticizing. I could easily follow his posts with “there he goes again.”

    Momre appropriately, Alameda points to what s/he sees as a narrowness in NIMBY’s vision and describes the inconsistency. (thus adding to the conversation).

    Personally, I believe that Ani has drawn a clear distinction between the actions of the Mayor in her quick-hit style at the debate and not showing up at all. Her conclusion that the mayor “shouldn’t have bothered” showing up seems to state that she has no problem with no-shows at debates, especially if a candidate is going to leave a bad impression.

    Continuing with this thought, one has to wonder, is Ms. Bail skipping so many debates because of the fear her impression will make on the audience? Sorry (joke), couldn’t resist, I know that her son is getting married and she is doing all the work setting it up.

    Honestly, Beverly Johnson is not competing for Ms. Congeniality. She’s a mother and businesswoman running for mayor, balancing a lot of competing needs. The fact that she found time to show up and at least address the crowd should count for something. (and it’s a fair critique to say you didn’t like the way she did it).

    Comment by John Knox White — October 25, 2006 @ 10:17 am

  16. I have spoken at several council meetings and each time found Johnson’s demeanor ranging from unresponsive to downright snide & snippy. Ani has a a point.

    Just my $.02

    Comment by dave — October 25, 2006 @ 10:40 am

  17. Sorry, John Knox White! I am entitled to my opinion as much as you think NIMBY is entitled to hers. I don’t think there’s anything wrong in me pointing out NIMBY’s bias. Helps in pointing out where she comes from!

    For the record, Pat Bail did show up at the forum on Monday (23rd) at the College of Alameda, so she can’t be planning her son’s marriage all the time (to account for her absence at the other two events).

    Comment by Richard — October 25, 2006 @ 10:42 am

  18. Dave: And I have heard (and seen) Pat Bail far too many times to think she’s fit to represent Alameda! Your point is?

    Comment by Richard — October 25, 2006 @ 10:43 am

  19. It would be interesting to track which candidates attend which forums. I don’t believe Pat is coming to the Renewed Hope forum tonight, which will doubtless have questions about low income housing, but there is another forum before that one, and I’m not sure if she is attending or not. Is anyone taking roll call for these?

    Comment by Doug Biggs — October 25, 2006 @ 11:06 am

  20. Not showing up for candidate forums(Pat Bail) is a big deal! Not answering candidate questionnaires by community groups (Mayor Johnson) is also a big deal!

    Neither Mayor Johnson nor candidate Pat Bail are excused for snubbing the voters.

    Comment by Irene — October 25, 2006 @ 11:28 am

  21. I forgot to mention that Eigenie had a good excuse for not attending, her mother was taken to the hospital, and we never heard an explanation for Lena Tam’s absence. I find it disappointing that Pat has skipped some forums, but DeHaan said she would be there tonight. Go crazy!

    I will not be able to attend tonight, I said I would but forgot I have concert tickets. So I’d love to hear some balanced recap by someone different from Lauren (sorry Lauren, I know you are on a mission with your headlines, if it was me running a blog I’d be pulling my end too.)

    One candidate I found outstanding last night was Ash Jones, (who I’m not going to vote for, for a number of other reasons). But the man has his heart exactly where it should be, he is polite and direct, and able to get right to the essence of a question. And while I’m at it, (though this is the wrong page I assume) Doug came across knowledgeable and sincere, Mike Rich was very interesting to talk to (and a little tense) and Frank was predictably wishy-washy, and forgot to answer one question I submitted, though he promised to do so tonight. Kenneth Kahn, not sure what to say about him, except that he sure is tall!

    This is as biased as a personal opinion can possibly be. Have a nice day, all.

    Comment by NIMBY — October 25, 2006 @ 12:37 pm

  22. Oh yes, John. The quick-hit style of the Mayor (I like that expression!) was what was more disappointing, rather than her not saying good-bye (or hi, for that matter). People were prepared to quiz her, and she just left them hanging, but not without giving her pitch first. It felt…what’s the word..inequitable. Not surprising, to me anyway.
    Does that clarify my point?

    Comment by NIMBY — October 25, 2006 @ 12:52 pm

  23. What? I wasn’t asking for a clarification. I understood your concerns the first time and was pointing out that they were different than what was being said about them.

    Comment by John Knox White — October 25, 2006 @ 2:24 pm

  24. sorry John, I misundersood then, a bit tired lately…

    Comment by NIMBY — October 25, 2006 @ 2:40 pm


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