Okay, maybe a few last things to wrap up the Measure A election. Personally I found it rather interesting that the statement from the Committee Against Measure A camp after Tuesday night was so full of bitterness that CAMA spokesperson David Howard couldn’t be bothered to compare the results to historic elections and turnout for previous election. From Michele Ellson’s The Island:
“Less than 32 percent of registered voters imposed an unfair, regressive tax on the residents of Alameda. This is a setback for the children of Alameda and their families,” the Committee Against Measure A’s David Howard wrote in a statement Tuesday. “Alameda residents will be surprised next year when they see their tax bills and realize what they voted for.”
First of all, it’s incredible that David Howard thinks that voters are so foolish that they couldn’t do basic math ($0.32 x your home’s square footage = Measure A parcel tax) and figure out what their potential tax liability would be. It’s also unclear how ensuring that kids aren’t crammed into a classroom with 31 other students is a “setback.” You know because all kids want to battle it out with 31 other children for a sliver of attention from his/her teacher.
So despite the fact that Alameda SOS worked their butts off to turnout the votes and get a super majority of voters to vote “yes” Dave Howard wants to reduce that to “less than 32 percent of registered voters.” And in reality it’s 34% of registered voters. And the raw number of people who voted in favor of Measure A (14,342) exceeds the raw number of people who voted against Measure B (13,797). The Measure B vote is, of course, David Howard’s pride and joy which has sustained him politically even though last November’s defeat of his favored candidates.
Adding to the overwrought communication from CAMA was this nugget, part of an open letter from “Action Alameda News publisher David Howard”, which a commenter posted earlier in the week:
The collusion of the state, media, civic organizations and loosely organized individuals to silence opposition to a government initiative is the sort of oppression that residents of Tunisa, Algeria, Yemen, Egypt and Libya have fought, or are still fighting, to overturn. This sort of intimidation – which we have seen in past school parcel tax elections – has no place in democratic society.
It’s amazing though, right? The comparison of a very heated democratic campaign to the turmoil currently being faced in North Africa and the Middle East. By someone who, ostensibly, has as much access to the media as the next person, being a “Publisher” and all. Let’s not forget that in addition to being a media type person, David Howard was also paid by (or rather he invoiced) the CAMA campaign for consulting services in the amount of $1291.74. Although he did neglect to disclose that information to the readers of his site which would have been the ethical thing to do.
That’s right a person who has spammed the internet far and wide using every form of social media possible and free PR newswires to make it seem as though his message had more legitimacy than it actually deserved actually complaining about being silenced. It would be hilarious if you didn’t know that he is probably being deadly serious.
As an added bonus, on Action Alameda “News” there was a letter by former Vice Mayor Barbara Thomas complaining that pro Measure A “folks” had filed a complaint about a letter that she was circulating. Specifically a section where she writes:
“Call and email at least 10 of your like minded friends, relatives and neighbors and remind them of their civic responsibility to Vote… Offer to drive friends, pick up absentee ballots and hand deliver them to the City Clerk.”
Barbara Thomas claims that the pro Measure A supporters want limited turnout (I guess she bought into the whole Trish Herrera Spencer theory that a lower turnout would spell a victory for Measure A while a higher one would not) and then she wrote:
Pro Measure A forces claim that I somehow urged illegal activity by the Against A Committee persons. I did no such thing. But perhaps I could have been more detailed and explicit. That, I will fix:…
She goes on to “clarify” her initial statement, which indeed did encourage illegal behavior without her clarification statement. Because someone must have pointed out to her that her initial statement urged people to “pick up absentee ballots” for people and “hand deliver them” which is not allowed under the law unless that person lives with the person unable to drop off their ballot in person themselves. Also, she told people to drop these ballots off to the City Clerk, and while that was not illegal, it was bad information since the City Clerk was not authorized to accept ballots for this election. But instead of accepting this critique, she decided to frame it as “filing a complaint.”
Anyway, I am glad this election is finally over. And I just want to point out that Alameda SOS did an excellent job of communicating to the voting public how important a “yes” vote on Measure A was for the kids of Alameda and for Alameda in general. Thanks!