Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 9, 2006

Unions? We don’t need no stinkin’ unions!

Filed under: Alameda, Election — Lauren Do @ 5:36 pm

The Oakland Tribune reported on campaign disclosures and Doug deHaan said:

“You’re not going to see (contributions from) labor unions or any special interests,” he said. “That’s been our vow…

Well, considering that they have been using non-union labor for their collateral, that falls right into step with their MO.   The ironic thing about their vow to turn their backs on all things special interest-y and that includes labor is that on last Wednesday’s Don Roberts show…you didn’t watch it did you?…Don Roberts had Pat Bail on and she was talking about her background and how she got to become involved in community issues.  But here’s how it went, Don Roberts starts off by asking her to tell the viewers a little bit about her background and whether or not she grew up wealthy.  Say what? 

Yes, that is what he asked her.  Clearly they talked about what they were going to say prior to the “interview” starting.  So she goes into her “back in my day” spiel, telling us how she grew up poor, the only daughter of seven children to “immigrants.”  Can you guess where she “immigrated” from?

I’ll give you a hint…it’s not across an ocean and it’s not Canada or Mexico.

Give up?


You know how rough it is being from Oklahoma and immigrating to California.  Not knowing the language, the culture.  Man, it must have been rough for her family.   Then she talks about how she used to live in the projects.   I guess this is to establish her street cred.

But, I’m getting off topic, I brought this up because Pat Bail’s father was a lifelong union man, who never made more than $90 a week.   I guess she brought up the whole, my-father-was-in-a-union thing in order to prove that she is pro-union by simple genetics I suppose. 

Another interesting thing that was in the article was this nugget from Doug deHaan:

DeHaan said the slate could spend more than the $30,000 goal if its candidates are faced with last-minute attacks by opponents and need to respond, but he said topping $30,000 is “not what our desires are right now.” [emphasis added]

Followed by this letter from Diane Coler-Dark ($3000 to the “Slate”, more than any “special interest” group has given to any candidate so far):

Michael Vernetti’s letter to the editor in the October 6, 2006 issue of the Alameda Journal was a personal attack on Pat Bail inferring that she is bankrolling the slate of Doug deHaan for Mayor and Pat Bail and Eugenie Thomson for Council. [emphasis added]

Does that mean that the proverbial gloves are off and anything goes now for the “Slate” funding?  You knew that the “Slate” was going to give themselves an “out” regarding their $30K spending cap.  I guess they just created one right here even though their information about the letter writer was just, well, wrong.  Bonus points for Michael Vernetti for the added humor in the letter to Alameda Daily News.  Did I mentioned how nice it is to have an archive now? 


  1. You’d think Pat Bail would be all for affordable housing considering her tough past.

    Comment by Ben Kruger — October 9, 2006 @ 6:59 pm

  2. LaurBendo – your “affordable housing” is not intended for the type of people that Pat Bail came from. Your “affordable housing” is for high income people – those that don’t qualify for traditional affordable housing.

    As for Vernetti:

    1) Michael’s protestations to the contrary, the fact that he works for a public relations firms whose clients include Catellus, Warmington Homes, Bayport, The Waterfront at Harbor Bay and Marina Village to name a few, should give readers to pause to consider if he is truly un-biased. He’s an executive with his firm and I’m sure his compensation package is structured such that what’s good for the firm as a whole is also good for him.

    2) In keeping with 1) above, Mr. Vernetti would seem to think it more acceptable that developers funded Mayor Johnson’s last campaign and “bought” her mayoral seat for her than Pat Bail funding her own campaign in 2004.

    3) I have documents from Mayor Johnson’s 2002 campaign – including last minute late disclosures presumably to hide the source of funds – that show Johnson raised over $100,000 to “buy” her seat. Will Mr. Vernetti also speak out against Mayor Johnson raising “megabucks” to buy her seat, thereby distorting local politics? If not, he must have an ulterior motive.

    Comment by keepmeasurea — October 9, 2006 @ 9:36 pm

  3. The slate has plenty of union workers supporting them, myself among them. I’ve been a union worker since 1980, and have served as the president of IATSE union local 611. I wholly support the slate. I found other union workers who wanted Slate yard signs too. I am disappointed that both labor and the Democratic Party who I had supported for so long have turned to the ‘dark side of the evil corporate empire’. While some may say ‘That’s business today kid” – I plan to stick to my values, maintain my integrity, and vote for the slate, because they are the ones on the ballot who will represent the citizens of Alameda rather than developers who want to suck every available dollar from this community and don’t want the community to have any self-determination. That’s why they bought Johnson’s seat last time, and I am willing to bet they’ve filled her purse again this time (or at least committed to), but she just hasn’t claimed those contributions yet; again like last time. Financing Johnson has been a great investment for developers; they are still profiting. Calling her last campaign finance group “Californians for Neighborhood Preservation” she has been voting every motion in favor of the developers ignoring public outcry, or unanimous no votes from her planning board or Historic Preservation Committee. She has been clearly degrading Alameda Neighborhoods with all the development approvals. Her present “Save Measure ‘A'” campaign flies in the face of her past actions.

    Comment by D.Kirwin — October 9, 2006 @ 11:20 pm

  4. I am under the impression that with every new developement comes a percentage of affordable and low income housing. So being anti developement is being anti affordable housing. Moreover the affordable housing being built, at least in Bayport is indeed for the blue collar workforce currently in Alameda.

    Lauen posted previously about the requirements. I think they were something along the line of family of four who live in Alameda with an income of ~ 70k.

    So again I am surprised Pat Bail is against affordable housing concidering her tough past!

    Comment by Ben Kruger — October 10, 2006 @ 5:51 am

  5. D.Kirwin, it is refreshing to hear a different POV without it being an attack on someone other Alamedians post! While I don’t agree with you, I can see your point and respect your POV.

    Comment by Ben Kruger — October 10, 2006 @ 5:53 am

  6. D.Kirwin, you make an very interesting statement about the Mayor ignoring the unanimous no votes from the Planning Board or Historic Preservation Committe. I would hate to think that is the case since those committees IMHO are the exact reason we don’t need the antiquated Measure A Law anymore.

    Perhaps our host Lauren could educate us or at least me 😉 on what the role of the planning Board and Historic Preservation Committee is in Alameda. I’d also be interested in learning what and how much power they hold.

    Comment by Ben Kruger — October 10, 2006 @ 5:59 am

  7. D.Kirwin,

    Also with regard to Union support, how can you justify “the slate” not usuing Union labor?

    Comment by Ben Kruger — October 10, 2006 @ 6:02 am

  8. “LaurBendo – your “affordable housing” is not intended for the type of people that Pat Bail came from. Your “affordable housing” is for high income people – those that don’t qualify for traditional affordable housing.”

    Ok Keepmeasurea, then if the type of affordable housing that you suspect developers are building for sneaky rich people isn’t the type of affordable housing that should be built, then what do you propose would be acceptable?
    There have been some extremely compelling suggestions from numerous people on this forum that suggest multiple income level, mixed use, mixed income housing. I for one see absolutely no problem with this and neither do many people here. Instead, I suspect that you are opposed to any type of new housing developments, period, whether they are intended for rich or poor alike.
    The truth of the matter is that putting all evidence aside of a pending RE fallout over the next few years, I find it a little difficult to believe in the image that many Alamedans seem to have of their town, which is of a cute, quaint place where you can say hello to the local barber, shoeshine boy, and cobbler. The sad part people that made Alameda what it is would not be able to afford the same homes they lived in. Alameda is expensive. You almost have to make a LOT of money to buy here, so unless there is new housing developed in a responsible manner, then your agenda against rich people buying here will simply balloon out of proportion because they will be the only people left who CAN afford.

    Comment by superentindent — October 10, 2006 @ 8:09 am

  9. I think unions are a two edged sword. Obviously they brought us the eight hour day, etc, etc. I support them. I was in one. Before becoming a teacher my wife practiced law and at one point it was union side labor law, including Asian garment workers.

    When a bunch of people were trying to save the multi unit Navy East Housing which stood where Bayport now stands, I talked to a guy at Central Labor Council about getting their support for our effort on the basis of East Housing being affordable for blue collar types. The guy said he was in complete support of the spirit of our effort but that his job was to support his union members by supporting jobs, i.e. contraction jobs building new housing. He told me there was a project in Oakland which affordable housing activists solicited their support and they also went for the jobs.

    I don’t know how progressive Dave K. might consider himself over all, but my experience in the union was that the rank and file are not all died in the wool lefty radicals, i.e. some are pretty rank me first individuals, which can be found in every group (right David Howard?).

    And that’s the real world, but I still support unions as crucial, even though they are by definition a “special interest”. The eight hour day is pretty “special”. Collective bargaining is pretty “special”.

    Doug’s quote is another indicator to me that he is clueless. Some would say he is just being honest, but if in his shoes I would not pander to one potential constituency at the expense of alienating another. Obviously Dave is an example where the risk seems not to have hurt Doug. If I were an Alameda Fireman I wouldn’t support Doug.

    Comment by Mark — October 10, 2006 @ 9:02 am

  10. As often as willy bloviates about how vastly different Tennessee is from Alameda, we might be forgiven for thinking someone from Oklahoma is an immigrant.

    Comment by dave — October 10, 2006 @ 12:11 pm

  11. Let us not confuse and muddle the meaning of the word:”difference” in terms of applicable comparison: Cost of living.

    Comment by superentindent — October 10, 2006 @ 1:44 pm

  12. I use to be anti-union, but I was anti everything. I use to be a stanch republican…but now vote mostly (not always) democrat. I have changed over the years (I use to be for measure A…now I see a compromise).

    I think unions have done a lot of good and we still need them. I don’t believe anyone else would stand up for some of these groups if we didn’t have unions such as Teachers, Police, Fireman, Steelworkers, ect… They also provide health care, pensions and other benefits. We are the United States…”united we stand, divided we fall”…sort of speak. 🙂

    Comment by Joe — October 12, 2006 @ 6:04 am

  13. Superintendent – my statement has always been the same. And I’ve stated it many, many, many times on this blog and my own.

    HOMES proposes “affordable housing” as a means to get people to buy into their agenda, because those people think it means affordable housing for the HUD and CA state definitions of very low, low and moderate income people.

    When in fact, what they really mean, is housing for high income people – people like LaurBenDo with $900K Bayport homes and $40K BMW’s with sports packages, and people like Willy with $140K household incomes.

    What would be acceptable? True affordable housing, for very low, low and moderate income people, as defined by HUD and CA state.

    LaurBenDo and HOMES statements about affordable housing is misleading, and gives one cause to suspect their true motives.

    Again – I have stated this time and time again on this forum and others.

    Comment by keepmeasurea — October 13, 2006 @ 9:10 pm

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