Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 10, 2006

Don’t cry for me, Alameda

Filed under: Alameda, Election, Errata — Lauren Do @ 6:29 am

I wanted to post this photo:


With this photo of Pat Bail photoshopped over it:


But alas, my “photoshop skillz” are sadly lacking, I couldn’t get the head tilt right and Pavita ended up with two ears on her right side.  So you will just have to use your imaginations.

The alternate title for this post is: “The Don Roberts Show, I know you all watched it.”

Tony Daysog is the first guest and talks about asking for a recount, now I don’t fault Tony Daysog for asking for a recount, he should, but I’m bothered by the insinuation that there was something underhanded about the way that the results were tabulated and reported at the very end.

But on to the real show…Pat Bail

Pat Bail starts off so graciously that I am hopeful that the tone will stay positive even though losing is never fun.  But, it is not to be, the “interview” takes a quick spiral downward when Pat Bail notes that Don Roberts is about to show off the award that was given to him (he wasn’t at the “victory” party…what do they call them when it’s for the losing candidates?) by “Action Alameda.”  I guess no one wants to take responsiblity for it.  A few of you Don Roberts junkies caught that one quickly.  He was dubiously honored with a bottle of Smoking Loon red wine for the “Mister Media Award” and the reason why? Well “having the ability to put John Knox White’s panties in a knot.”  I wish I had the ability to screenshot Don Roberts’s face when he said “panties.” I don’t think that man has ever said the word “panties” before in his life.  And where have I heard a similar term before…hmm….  Three guesses who came up with that line.

Pat Bail springs the news on us that Action Alameda is going to stay formed as a group (surprise!), a “community watchdog group” no less.

We go back to gracious Pat Bail who thanks everyone who voted for her and has nothing but nice things to say about Doug deHaan and Eugenie Thomson.  It was a little creepy that Don Roberts knew exactly how many votes were cast for Pat Bail, but maybe he’s just a big numbers guy.  She then wishes well to everyone who won and says that she hopes that they will represent everyone and not just a few people.  That was nice of her and it really sounded genuine.

Our resident political expert Don Roberts mentions that it was “sad” that there were candidates that should not have run this time because they simply diluted the vote against the incumbents.  And of course those people were Ash Jones and Mike Rich.   He states the if they hadn’t run then the 5000 some odd votes between the two them would have been split between Pat Bail and Eugenie Thomson and Pat Bail would have ended up beating Frank Matarrese.  I’m not even going to comment on the audacity of Don Roberts to say that Ash Jones and Mike Rich shouldn’t have run.  In fact, I think Ash Jones did extraordinary considering that he didn’t spend a dime of money on his campaign and he was only 4% behind Pat Bail.  Just think how well he might had done if he had some money, in the immortal words of Marlon Brando he “could’ve been a contender.”  Don Roberts goes on to say about Frank Matarrese that he didn’t do that well for an incumbent.  Considering that Frank Matarrese went from 17% of the vote when he was first elected to 24% when we was elected this time, I wouldn’t say that was bad.  In fact, as a contrast, when Barbara Kerr was re-elected in 2000, she only captured 21% of the vote and she was an incumbent member at that time.  So I guess that means she didn’t do that well for an incumbent either, eh?  Pat Bail is again surprisingly gracious about this and doesn’t agree with Don Roberts about his observations though.  Good on you, Pat Bail.

Pat Bail goes on to explain why disagreeing with what is going on in Alameda isn’t the same thing as going negative.  Although it may be true, I don’t think the Slate ever came out with a list of projects that they thought were a positive addition to Alameda or something that they supported.  It is hard to send a positive message when all you are saying is we don’t like this or we don’t like that.  Just an observation from the peanut gallery.

So this is the part that I love, I like to call it Robertoralizing, Don Roberts says that none of the Slate candidates ever made any personal attacks, unlike the supporters of the other side.  Your point, Don Roberts?  None of the candidates made any personal attacks, not a one.  Comparing the Slate candidates’ actions to those of “other sides’ supporters” is a bit of an apples and broccoli argument isn’t it?

But how can we have any conversation about politics in this city without the requisite mention of Don Perata?  It’s like a picnic without the ants.  Don Roberts talks about the glossy mailers and how it’s not fair that there is no way to attribute the dollar amount that benefitted the candidates.  But glossy mailers, just like signs, don’t vote.  A lot of you weighed in on the “do mailers actually help a candidate” argument and in my household, mailers go straight into the recycle bin.  Pat Bail goes on to say that we should have campaign finance reform, I don’t think anyone is in disagreement with that, but says that she “doesn’t support the citizens paying for it.” So, I guess she didn’t vote for Prop 89.   She then begins to double speak about how she thinks campaign financing should be set up, none of which is practical.

Pat Bail then says “who in their right mind is going to present an opposing point of view if they personally are attacked.”  Perhaps Pat Bail should pose that question to some of the Slate and Measure A’s biggest supporters.  Just a thought.  She further muses that she can get up in the morning and brush her teeth (what about flossing?), comb her hair and look in the mirror, but she isn’t so sure that perhaps “those people” can do it with “quite the same clear conscience” that she can.  Really, she needs to stop talking about her own supporters that way.  🙂

And now, Pat Bail wants to enfranchise young voters, she tells us that we need to get young people to run for public office.  And who are these bright young people that Pat Bail has such high hopes for?  You’ll have to wait until she gets there because first she wants to rag on the newspapers a bit.  Although I wonder what Pat Bail’s definition of young is, I’m sure it’s not the same as mine.  She says that maybe “we’ll finally one day get a newspaper in this town that will actually report the news. If that ever happens it would be a good thing.”  I wonder if Don Roberts is a little stung by this pronouncement, I guess she doesn’t think that Alameda Daily News is a real newspaper either, even though it says this on his website:

By reading this award winning daily newspaper, you have become one of over 2,000,000 visitors to Alameda Daily News and you have become one of the best informed Alamedans, as we regularly publish Alameda news stories before they appear in the Journal, the Times-Star and the Sun.

On the heels of that pronouncement by Pat Bail (about the newspapers), we have the follow-up “looky-what-I-found” letter from Action Alameda’s favorite researcher about how biased the reporters are in Alameda.  I think it’s amusing that while the “Slate” messages were being given positive column space there were never these complaints, but as soon as the reporters attempted to do their job and actually report the news, they helped bring the “Slate” down.  Psst…to any of the reporters out there, a few people have wondered about the statement made by Doug deHaan to the Sun about:

According to deHaan, polling carried out by the Slate in advance of the election had already indicated his message wasn’t getting across to voters.

What polling was this?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Here’s where it gets good, this is when we find out who will be carrying the torch for Alameda’s newest watchdog group.  The group who will be “very significant people in the community.”  Are you ready for it?  Awww…you already know who it is so it’s not even suspenseful anymore.  So here is what she says about them:

  1. David Howard is, in Pat Bail’s words “an extremely bright young man, he’s a real bulldog, very creative, very smart, very determined guy.”
  2. Valerie Ruma, “an extremely bright woman”
  3. Ani Dimusheva, sorry Ani D. she doesn’t say anything about you, she just lists you.
  4. Dorothy Reid, ditto.

But she does say about the “Fantastic Four” that they are all “interested and active and smart…and they can do a lot of things.”  I know you all are asking the same question I asked, “what kind of things?”  We’ll have to wait and see won’t we?

Action Alameda will evidently be “helping” Doug deHaan though, this is Pat Bail’s response to Don Roberts’s general musing that poor Doug deHaan will be the lone “no” vote amongst all the city council people.  Pat Bail tells us that Action Alameda will be a “presence at City Hall” and will be picking apart staff reports.  Is anyone else concerned about the “help” that Doug deHaan will be receiving?  If we are going to see more stellar anaylsis like we did during the election, we’re in for a long two years.  But I’m hopeful that the newly formed City Council will reach out to Doug deHaan and mend any rifts there may be.  They are all competent and “bright” adults that understand that just because you may disagree on topics that you can still work together for the residents of Alameda.

Don Roberts asks whether Doug deHaan is going to run for Mayor again and envisions a battle of Doug deHaan vs. Frank Matarrese and again states that Frank Matarrese has lost support (okay whatever you say Don).  But Pat Bail says that she can’t answer for Doug deHaan.  She then notes that if Eugenie Thomson ever decided to run again she would work for her because she is a “bright woman.” The big question is, will Pat Bail run again and Don Roberts didn’t ask.

This Don Roberts Show episode is brought to you by the word “bright.”


  1. It was an episode to relish, and it was very appropriate that Pat was dressed in black, as this was for all purposes her political funeral. I thought she was suprisingly gacious. She finally must have figured out that the show actually is being watched and archived, and that she would be accountable for her words.

    She was more reasonable than Don Roberts – I guess that isn’t saying much. However got a screencap of him holding that bottle of wine, that will make a wonderful picture to mark the date he finally threw out the last small shreds of journalist integrity.

    When she named David Howard as one of the fabulous 4 it just confirmed for me how out of touch she and the slate are with reality and the feelings and values of the voters. David Howard probably did more to help the slate lose than anyone else, including Don Perata. His personal attacks, lies, false accusations, manipulation of data, etc., all done on behalf of the slate prompted a lot of people to turn away from the slate and say enough to divisive politics. If there was ever anyone who deserved a smoking loon wine award, it is David Howard. All Don did was provide the forum for his attacks.

    As for Doug running again, since he seems to have the polling resources , I hope he does some polling and asks people if they would have voted for him if he had run independently, not alligned with or connected with Pat Bail. I would have voted for him, and I hear a lot of other people would have as well. It was his connections with the hate slate that doomed his chances.

    Comment by notadave — November 10, 2006 @ 8:05 am

  2. Love the comment about Don P and the ants. Yes the guys weilds some power but not even George W has the power Don Roberts and Pat claim he has. If my comment about Don R. and Pat B. being the “religous right” of Alameda is true then they clearly see Don at Lucifer.

    I will never claim to remember who said what during the whole theater process but clearly people who didn’t want it, said some things in anger at the city council that were awful. I have been angry before and said things I wish I didn’t. Having the figure heads of the anti-growth group claim their sides innocence at mud slinging only shows how closed their ears and minds are.

    The one thing I vow is to try and take the John Spangler high road. I don’t always agree with John but I respect the fact that he can take a step back and not make it personal. We do that to much in Alameda. I want to be able to disagree with them and still like them. I truely don’t think anyone gets into local politics to screw things up. People go into it because they care about something that is important to them and they want it their way. We all want eveything our way underneath it all. Growing up is learning we can’t have our way all they time and still cope. OK, some people cope better than others.

    Comment by Barbara M — November 10, 2006 @ 9:06 am

  3. Lauren,

    You hit on every salient point and captured Roberts’ show perfectly, as we knew you would.

    Being a contentious sort of person I’m quick to debate, but I’ve learned to appreciate a worthy opponent. That’s why Roberts makes my blood boil. He is a pompous hypocrite and wind bag. Hey Don, maybe Pat Bail shouldn’t have run and Ash Jones might have prevailed.

    A lot of us have been critical of the Don’s claim of any journalistic impartiality for a long time, but as notdave has already noted, with this race the guy has finished himself as any kind of legitimate purveyor of “news”.

    Comment by Mark — November 10, 2006 @ 9:49 am

  4. Well, here’s the thing about Don.
    He’s got a website. He’s got a TV show.

    And yes, there’s a definite slant to his show and his website. But note the subtle distinction — it’s his show.

    His show, his rules.

    If he truly wanted it to represent the community, it would have a name at least closer to the website — perhaps the “Alameda Weekly News Show” or somesuch.

    People listen to him because (in my humble opinion) there’s a perceived and utilized community need to be aware about local issues, yet we speak out here because (for the most part) we don’t feel he necessarily represents us.

    And I think this site has provided a forum that the silent “majority” has tapped into.

    But it’s not enough.

    If there’s anything positive I’ve gotten out of the YouTube videos on both sides, it’s this: you can argue about their effectiveness on the election, but they were watched by both sides.

    Media is power.

    And it can drive the local discussion of the issues facing Alameda.

    Here’s my suggestion — I’ve seen it out there already, but consider this an underlined and bolded suggestion — a local “YouTube show” for the Alameda we want to show. To discuss. To laugh. To live.

    If, like me, you feel Don doesn’t 100% represent your Alamedan interests, we should represent ourselves and let the public decide the relevancy of the two shows.

    It could be produced cheaply, and with enough backing could probably be translated to the public access channel with little difficulty.

    It’ll need manpower, somebody good with DV equipment and computers, a good sense of humor (without making it 1-1 personal), and likely a lot of fortitude.

    It wouldn’t have to be weekly.
    (We’re all busy people. I myself haven’t determined whether or not I have the time to pull this off. But I do really LIKE the idea, and one way I could see myself being involved would be if the involvement wasn’t as periodic.)

    It wouldn’t have to be a half hour long show.
    (A half hour is a really long chunk of time. And on the net, it’s an eternity.)

    It wouldn’t be bound by the same “Don Roberts” model.
    (e.g. I know I’m not reading Lauren’s website and then videotaping it.)

    It could be investigative rather than “interview format”.
    (Dark room interviews? Uh, no! Show Alameda off!)

    It could be funny.
    (Consider this — Jon Stewart is often cited as being the #1 source of news among young people. Granted, the emphasis on humor wouldn’t need to be the primary focus, but it would buy headspace.)

    “Dave S… out!” 🙂

    Comment by Dave S. — November 10, 2006 @ 10:31 am

  5. stay tuned–some of us are already on it

    Comment by Barbara Kahn — November 10, 2006 @ 7:04 pm

  6. (rubs hands together)… “Excellent.”

    I await the first episode, Barbara! 🙂

    Comment by Dave S. — November 12, 2006 @ 10:24 am

  7. in Photoshop:
    filp horizontal>
    should allow you to get that head tilt right.
    If that doesn’t work, try the “free transform” tool under edit.
    magnify the image and use the magnetic lasso tool to do the cut and paste. I just made a version but I don’t think there is any way for me to post it here.

    Comment by J. Iscariot — November 30, 2006 @ 2:29 pm

  8. So I have written numberous letter to alameda daily news and 1/2 of them have not been published for one reason or another. So a wrote one a few weeks back about Measure A and it wasn’t published…so I sent an email asking him why to hold him accountable. He wrote back saying I did not end my message with my name and phone #. I went back and it did have my name and where in his blog site does it say to put your phone number. I also noticed he is all of a sudden seems to be for the new Theatre complex when he seem to be against it all along …what a hypocrite he is worse than P. Bail (no library no arts nothing except what she wants).

    Comment by Joaquin — July 1, 2007 @ 12:08 pm

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