Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 1, 2012

All the things I could do If I had a little money

Filed under: Alameda, City Council — Tags: , , — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

In general I’m very supportive of campaign finance reform, after all it’s a shame when the viability of a candidate has more to do with the size of his/her war chest than their actual abilities as an elected official.     As I mentioned last week, tonight Councilmember Doug deHaan has asked that a Campaign Finance Reform ordinance by the Sunshine Task Force be brought back for action, but in addition to that he threw in some nonsense about analyzing that against the 2010 election.

While the Campaign Finance Reform ordinance takes steps in the right direction, it certainly has a long way to go to address some of the largest complaints about previous campaign contributions in previous elections.   One is the issue of Political Action Committees spending an unlimited amount of money for or against certain candidates and the second is the amount of money spent — or rather loaned — by a candidate to their own campaigns.    Both of the issues are problematic and nothing in the Campaign Finance Reform really does anything to address it.   Not because the Sunshine Task Force didn’t want to address it, but because there probably is no legal way to curtail these two big elephants in the campaign room.

Limiting campaign contributions, while a nice start, doesn’t eliminate the problem of a well funded candidate, fueled by his/her own fortunes, to continue pumping money into his/her own campaign.   And having everyone agree to a voluntary spending cap is great in theory, but does nothing to limit the amounts of money spent by PACs.

Also, limiting when campaigns can accept contributions severely limits the time a candidate can retire the debt incurred during an election period.   Which would leave the problem of public service being the playground of the wealthy or the retired since folks with jobs and more humble means would never have the time or the blunt to be able to actually consider a run for public office.  I think we need to be mindful with these Campaign Finance Reform ordinances that we don’t make it harder for regular old people to run for office, when I think the intent is to do the opposite.


  1. Thank You council member DeHahn for speaking up again and protecting Alameda and Democracy

    Comment by Dr Poodlesmurf — May 1, 2012 @ 6:59 am

  2. Poodles… how about sharing some of that wealth, since only the rich need apply to run for Council under deHaan’s rules.

    Comment by BarbaraK — May 1, 2012 @ 11:14 am

  3. Dominic, I mean Barbra or whatever name you hide behind now is, dont get all bent out of shape that deHann is calling for an audit during your measure C campaign. A little public scrutiny over past political election contributions won’t spoil your current push to bankrupt the city.

    Comment by Gregg de Haan — May 1, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

  4. I thought the opposition from other members of the City Council was very strongly worded last night, and appropriately so, since it appeared that Council member deHaan either does not realize the effects of what he has recommended and supported, or he is not being completely forthright in making his intentions clear. (Those are the only two explanations I can discern for his support of extremely problematic attempts to limit local campaign financing under Citizens United, which has been a death knell for all manner of reasonable controls over the buying and selling of politicians.)

    Comment by Jon Spangler — May 2, 2012 @ 10:17 am

  5. Gregg … Why is Domenic and why are you accusing me of being him? No one is objecting to any campaign scrutiny, but when your Dad tries to stifle the voices of ordinary people’s rights to organize and contribute to campaigns, he is a hypocritical blowhard.

    Comment by BarbaraK — May 2, 2012 @ 5:14 pm

  6. Since he is usually the only one with his point of view, it seems a bit of overkill and bullying for ALL the other councilmembers to jump all over Doug DeHaan. And they always say: “I’m SO offended you would characterize us that way”. Easy to be so brave when you’re the majority, eh? I think we need Campaign Reform, not necessarily having anything to do with Finances. [altho an ad on cable TV during a baseball game seems a bit over the top].
    The 2010 Alameda elections remain the nastiest in at least 50 years. Let’s not set anymore obnoxious records. I can’t help thinking Jean Sweeney might have been with us a little longer had SunCal not spent 18,000 USD on her attack ads.

    Comment by vigi — May 2, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

  7. Jon Spangler and his sockpuppets on other blogs are worried about the Koch Bros..LOL…..

    As him and the Bride Shirtail and Profit from the Suncals and Unions in their Marketing…

    501(c)(4) organizations and labor unions? 501(c)(4) organizations and labor unions can
    support or oppose ballot measures, and, because they can engage in an unlimited amount of lobbying,
    need not worry about lobbying limits or which activities count as lobbying. They can spend unlimited amounts
    to support or oppose ballot measures. Before proceeding with these activities, however, they should check
    state campaign finance and disclosure laws for any registration and reporting requirements

    In addition, as long as it is not their primary activity, 501(c)(4)s and unions may support or oppose
    candidates (in accordance with federal or state campaign finance laws). Therefore, they could urge elected
    officials to resign or push for impeachment. In addition, 501(c)(4)s and labor unions can work on recall
    elections. Recall elections would count as a political activity, and a 501(c)(4) or union may be subject to tax on expenditures made for political activities. The tax is imposed on the lesser of the organization’s annual net
    investment income or the aggregate amount expended on political activities during that year.

    Comment by John — May 3, 2012 @ 12:39 am

  8. coward council with lots to hide

    Comment by Dr Poodlesmurf — May 3, 2012 @ 6:26 am

  9. do you think voting people trust a council like this?? kiss your 30 year tax goodbye!!

    Comment by Dr Poodlesmurf — May 3, 2012 @ 6:33 am

  10. 7. hey asshole, you have no terra firma to stand on when it comes to internet abuse like sock puppetry you anonymous piece of detritus. Spangler is often prolific in his posting, but sock puppetry? come on. LOL Just stick to your spam and skip the lame accusations.

    Comment by M.I. — May 3, 2012 @ 8:39 am

  11. Poodles… Alameda Community News Project just exposed that deHaan was leaking closed session information to his friends, and trying to hide his agenda behind Gallant by going after the firefighters. Your dude has no integrity.

    Comment by BarbaraK — May 3, 2012 @ 10:43 am

  12. Right BK……..Integrity…

    Both Bonta and Gilmore took in around $68,000 in 2010, while Tam raised around $44,000 deHaan took in $23,000 and Johnson, $5,200 disclosure records showed.

    Largest Contributors To California Campaigns were Unions …And Just a Coincidence that Same PR Firm Handled Gilmore ..Bonta..Tam…and their Major Client is Alameda Fire Dept….Small world…LOL

    Comment by John — May 3, 2012 @ 11:00 am

  13. BarbaraK: what closed session information are you referring to?

    And John: I believe the numbers for Johnson are severely underreported by ACNP since it doesn’t take into consideration the money that was transferred from Beverly Johnson’s supervisorial campaign.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 3, 2012 @ 11:03 am

  14. Thanks Lauren

    I did wonder why the Numbers looked way off for Johnson……..How could I forget another Major Client of PR Firm was Cowen…….So a Nice tight Knit Group of Gilmore …Tam ….Bonta ….AFD… Cowen …with a side Order of Johnson…Hard to figure why deHaan gets thrown Under Bus on any Drive By Attack.

    Comment by John — May 3, 2012 @ 11:36 am

  15. Barbra K / Dominic, your IP address leads back to city equipment. Weird, you may want to get that checked out to ensure you have not been hacked.

    Comment by Gregg de Haan — May 3, 2012 @ 11:42 am

  16. I guess when you know a City is Looking for a New City Manager…. and you want to Bail from your Job why you wouldn’t just take a Ride in the Fire Truck and Join the Donations R Us Club and throw your Hat into the Ring along with Your money and possibly become the New City Manager. Off Steps our New City Manager..It’s a Great way to do Politics as they say….It makes good business sense.

    Comment by John — May 3, 2012 @ 11:45 am

  17. Gregg: that is completely bullshit, please do not make implications that you have any ability to track IPs on my blog.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 3, 2012 @ 11:49 am

  18. You Don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes or Sammy Spade to put Puzzle together.

    But BK loves throwing around the word Integrity

    Johnson, deHaan and former Councilman Frank Matarrese were the subject of a spate of anonymous attack calls and mailers in the runup to the November 2010 election – mailers that could still run without donors’ names becoming public if the ordinance were enacted – along with others from named political action groups that wouldn’t see their spending limited by the proposed ordinance.

    Comment by John — May 3, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

  19. Lauren

    There is software and programs that can detect quite a few things…..whether Greg has access to servers is another question……I’m not defending anyone…..Just saying it might not be you that is giving information but might be the actual poster.

    Comment by John — May 3, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

  20. Lauren, Thank you! It was just pointed out to me that Gregg placed this on your blog.

    Gregg- that type of accusation would be taken serious by the City and our Department. Dominick had reconstructive knee surgery two months ago and has not been at work. As for the repeated accusation that Dominick uses the above alias that is absolutely false. We put our name on everything and standby what we say. Just like we did with the 2010 letter we sent out to the community in regards to your dads position on the ambulance service. I know Dominick and myself have reached out to you and your dad numerous to sit down and hash this out. But instead of doing that you once again use a public format to launch false allegations that could have serious consequences for someone.

    Comment by Jeff DelBono Alameda Firefighters Association — May 3, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

  21. John: Given that his revelation about the IP address was completely wrong, I doubt he has access to whatever software and/or program you are referring to.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 3, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

  22. Lauren — The reference that I made about deHaan leaking information, was in the comment from Domenick Weaver on the Alameda Community News Project. It appears to be from a private conversation between David Howard and Gallant. My mistake for jumping to the same conclusion that deHaan did about closed session.

    I can tell you that I don’t work for the City of Alameda, and do not have access to their servers.

    Comment by BarbaraK — May 3, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

  23. Jeff I appreciated the upfront discussion we had other night.

    “We put our name on everything and standby what we say.”

    “I also want to point out that as a firefighter I make $32.00/hr. I do not receive any overtime until I work over 52 hrs a week. We work 56/hr weeks”

    “I would love to see the salaries for 2011 because I can promise that it is a lot less than 2010. We had employees working an extra 2 months on average in 2010 with Mandatory Overtime. That means we had to stay whether we wanted to or not. If you go back and watch the council meetings the leadership of our associations was warning the council that the overtime was out of control. With the Safer Grant that we have received the last 2 years we have been able to stabilize the staffing levels for the community while reducing the overtime cost.”

    Here are 2011 #s That someone sent me . I know you Standby what you say.

    Here is Yours for Example.These were from the City and redacted on spreadsheet…For Jeff DelBono 2011 after new Contract.

    Total Salary 95,661

    Overtime 8,256

    Acting Pay 5,665

    Other 22,850

    Medical 23,161

    Retirement 41,058

    TotalComp 196,651

    So Lauren’s 62K estimates for a Fireman Average salary in Alameda in real #s appear to be 196K in Jeffs case in 2011. Probably why things get fuzzy . I’m not pointing you out specifically Jeff, But just showing Example.

    Comment by John — May 3, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

  24. Lauren

    I still Stand By my Offer of Donating 500 to our Favorite Fire Departments Charity on your 60K Number.


    The median annual wage of firefighters was $45,250 in May 2010.

    Meaning Half made more and about half made less.

    Are you saying with our Fire Department with Locality premimum of 35% that 1/2 made under 60k and half made over 60K but averaged around 60K.

    I will Donate 500 to the Firemans favorite local Charity if its within that for 2011 for Fulltime Fireman who worked the Full Year.

    Here is the ranges for US

    According to the International City-County Management Association, average salaries in 2008 for sworn full-time positions were as follows:

    •Fire chief: $78,672 to $104,780
    •Deputy chief: $69,166 to $88,571
    •Battalion chief: $66,851 to $81,710
    •Assistant fire chief: $65,691 to $83,748
    •Fire captain: $60,605 to $72,716
    •Fire lieutenant: $50,464 t0 $60,772
    •Engineer: $48,307 to $62,265

    I’m guessing we have either blown thru all these numbers or in top 20% percentile…in 2011

    Were a total of 10 Square Miles.

    Per capita money income in past 12 months (2010 dollars) 2006-2010 $38,434
    Persons below poverty level, percent, 2006-2010 10.

    Comment by John — May 3, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

  25. John- First realize we work a 56 hr/work week so 32.00 dollars an hour is accurate. I’m sure you agree that everyone should get paid for hours worked. I only get Acting Pay when I Act up in rank. Overtime is paid like I said after 52 hours a week. FLSA rules dictate that not our contract. As for the retirement I contribute 11% to PERS which is on average higher than most surrounding cities and I do not receive Social Security. My spouse only gets half of her Social Security Benefit when she retires do to the Windfall Act. As for my Salary and Benefits as compared to other like workers, like size departments with like size budgets Alameda is no where near the top. With that said I’m only giving accurate information and I’m not by any means complaining about what I make. We have been working in partnership with the City and Community to figure out how we can sustain the service while sustaining a fair benefit package. I’m done with this discussion for now. I hope it helps you understand how certain things in our contract work. I know first hand it can be confusing when you read it. Have a good evening.

    Comment by Jeff DelBono Alameda Firefighters Association — May 3, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

  26. Actually John what I wrote was that was the starting base salary for an Alameda Firefighter at step one. You are, once again, comparing apples to oranges. Other then both being fruit the similarities end. Other than base salary and total compensation being numbers the similarities end. You point to the total compensation package for one individual and then to average salaries nationwide. Those aren’t comparable numbers. Period.

    Also you seem to be confusing “median” with “average” or even conflating the two.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 3, 2012 @ 6:46 pm

  27. Lauren here is what I said…

    32.Lauren…….If average Salary is 45K………Throw in 50% of Salary for all Benefits ..Retirement ect….That puts you at about 65- 70K…………Nationally……Total Compensation

    Cost of Living Here is 35% more than National Average using Government #s and all other information available.

    Our Firefighters here should be earning around 60K with Cost of living figured in ….Throw in 50% of Salary for all Benefits ..Retirement ect….That puts you at about 90K…Total Compensation…Which is HUGE benefits package.

    Our Average Firefighters Base Salary in Alameda is more than 50 % higher than National Average even with cost of Living figured in….Kevis I think stated 92K Base.

    Probably why we don’t have any money to pay defeered maintance for of City and No money for Parks and Programs and why Every fee has jumped thru roof and now looking at adding more Taxes . Plus they were under 15% of Budget even 7 years after Prop 13 and Now Fire Department is 34% of Budget with Escalated raises to Salary, Benefits and Pensions while City Revenues were dropping last 11 years.

    This isn’t brain Surgury……Simple math.

    Comment by John — May 1, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

    Looking at the Spreadsheet from the City for 2011

    Our Average Salarys just for Firefighters is around 90K which is 50% higher than regionally adjusted Average Salarys and Double National Average. Total Compensations appears to be around Double their Salary…So if Firemans Salary is 95K his total compensation is around 190K…We had 37 Firefighters over 90K Salary in 2011………As you go up Fire pole Numbers are about the Same…With Fire Captains Salary at 118K and Total Compensation 236K. Where average Salarys for Captains ranged from $60,605 to $72,716.

    I’m Just saying were very frkn Generous and Sacrificing Tons for our Employees while we Defer Maintance and Up Fees and look for New Taxes .

    Whatever is right……..I just don’t buy some BS about they just want to be fairly compensated…Like They are Not……

    Comment by John — May 3, 2012 @ 7:42 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: