Blogging Bayport Alameda

June 7, 2012

Vote no is better than no vote

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Election — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

It’s old and tired news already, but yes, that’s right Measure C lost, which means very little for the actual budgeting process since the money collected from Measure C would go toward servicing bonds that would pay for capital improvements.   The big downside of the demise of Measure C is that capital projects which have been on the backburner will continue to remain on the backburner until something catastrophic happens and then the City will have to shift pots of money to find a way to pay for whatever needs fixing with more than just duct tape and custom machined parts.

Going through what the Measure C campaign did wrong would just take too long.  Suffice it to say — as others have written — hopefully John Russo (and I use John Russo as a placeholder for everyone who thinks this is the best way to stabilize and provide predictability in the budget) will learn from this the way that the school parcel tax folks did and come up with something that has some widespread support without seeming kitchen sink-ish and pandering.

On a more exciting note, even though I have to say this “top two” onto the November election thing will take some getting used to.   Vice Mayor Rob Bonta completely owned the Assembly 18 primary on Tuesday night.

I had heard different polling results and assumed that Joel Young was in the lead given the concerted effort to take him down via glossy mailers, but either people hadn’t planned on voting Young to start with or the glossy mailers did their job because Young did really poorly, only 3 percentage points better than the Republican candidate who did zero campaigning at all.  Suffice it to say, his political career seems to be in a downward spiral.

So it’s Abel Guillen and Rob Bonta headed to November to battle it off.  So far, since the focus — on the part of the independent expenditure committees — have been to neutralize Joel Young, we’ll see if the negative campaigning comes out for either of these two guys.

I have to say, I really hope that it doesn’t come down to that.   What will be interesting to see is if some of the individuals and groups that have co-endorsed these two candidates will decide to pick sides instead of straddle the fence in the November election.   If Rob Bonta is able to protect his base, Abel Guillen is going to have some ground to make up since he is trailing a good 9 percentage points behind Rob Bonta.

Of course the big story of the election is just how crappy the turnout was.  I mean, it was pathetic.  Right now the turnout is only about 28% of registered voters, compared to the School Parcel Tax Special Election in March of 2011 which saw 51% of registered voters vote.    And that was a special election, and generally special elections do much more poorly than regular elections.   I realize that people like to be excited about what they vote for, but come on.  Voting is so easy with absentee ballots now, there really is no excuse to not vote.


  1. “Kitchen sinkish and pandering” about sums it up. See, Lauren, you knew it all along.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — June 7, 2012 @ 7:46 am

  2. “I realize that people like to be excited about what they vote for, but come on.”

    So John Russo’s a ‘placeholder’ now.

    Only thing that brought me out to vote was C, and that issue wasn’t worth the $2.55 it would have cost me to send my three absentee ballots in (I get three votes). The guy at the polling place was wearing a cap with a Communist red star on it over the word ‘ALAMEDA’, I asked if him if that wasn’t redundant but he didn’t get my humor. He had a hard time finding a Libertarian ballot for me and his assistant couldn’t pronounce the word.

    And so goes life in Alameda…

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 7, 2012 @ 9:22 am

  3. “Kitchen sinkish and pandering” – perfect description of a failed initiative.

    As for the 28% turnout of registered voters, it is a sad commentary of this society. I get a lump in my throat when I see the long lines of patiently waiting voters casting their first ballot and we can’t garner an interest even at filling out an absentee ballot.

    Comment by Basel — June 7, 2012 @ 9:51 am

  4. @3

    If it was redundant, you would be probably sitting right now in jail for having dared to disagree with Commissar Russo and City Council Politburo.

    Geez, why don’t you first spend living about ten years under communism/dictatorship.

    Comment by oleczek — June 7, 2012 @ 10:44 am

  5. Bonta “really owned” this election??? Oh, please! It’s State Assembly, not county supe. He edged Guillen by less than 4000 votes. I’m impressed that Weber, who did no campaigning, polled so many.votes!
    Re Jack’s comment on absentee ballots:For that reason, I decided to be an Official Poll Observer for this election, as part of an election integrity project, and observed the voting at 5 Alameda precincts/3 locations. At 4 precincts, the voting roster, by law posted outside in the wind, had blown away by the time I arrived. While things appeared to go smoothly at Edison, the room assigned for polling at Lincoln School was completely wrong for the task. It was listed as “handicap-accessible”, which ceased to be true once one crossed the threshold. This was NOT the fault of the Poll Workers-they couldn’t believe it either. There were risers or stairs, on which the voting carrels had to be placed, and which took up at least 4/5ths of the floor space. The narrow hallway of accessible space which remained had to accommodate 2 precinct tables [with a judge, inspector, & 3 poll workers Each=10 Poll Workers total] plus the 2 touchscreen machines, 2 ballot readers, 2 ballot boxes. There was literally almost no room FOR THE VOTERS! If you couldn’t climb stairs, you had to wait for the Single carrel not on the stairs. To top it off, the infrared autoflush mechanism of toilets in the women’s restroom [at the top of the stairs] had stopped working. I cannot imagine anyone stuck there manning the polls from 7 am to 8:30 pm wanting to repeat the experience. Voters did approach me to complain, altho I can only make a report.
    At 4 of the 5 precincts, I did observe a disconcerting number of voters reporting that they never received their Absentee Ballots in their mailboxes! Fortunately, they cared enough to vote provisionally, But, as should be obvious, if their ballot was stolen & filled out differently, their vote has been cancelled & they have effectively been disenfranchised. There were 45 polling precincts in Alameda for this election & 1 person cannot cover them all. Since I was the only Alamedan at orientation, I believe I may have been the only non-partisan observer on the Island. If anyone wants to join me for the next election, please contact Alameda County Coordinator Susan Morse:

    Comment by c gottstein — June 7, 2012 @ 11:11 am

  6. 5. “non-partisan observer”

    Any more jokes for today Vigi?

    Comment by yeah right — June 7, 2012 @ 11:14 am

  7. Almost four now and counting…

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 7, 2012 @ 11:21 am

  8. Gee, I wonder if I could make money selling Bonta election gear? How about t-shirts that say “I’m a Bontupie” (Bonta groupie)? Lauren, Kate, Jon, and all the other usual suspects are sure to want one. Just because I’m mad at him doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to exploit his fast track to Sac.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — June 7, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

  9. #6: You know, you could always choose to be useful, in addition to just posting cynical remarks.

    Comment by vigi — June 7, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

  10. #5 If indeed a vote by mail ballot was stolen and someone voted with it, the signature on the envelope, which is read electronically and matched to the digital signature on file at the ROV, didn’t match, the stolen ballot would not be counted, and the provisional vote ballot would. Over 50% of voters now vote by mail. What was “stolen” was often as it turns out tossed in the trash in error by someone unfamiliar with what a vote by mail ballot looks like. Thanks for serving as an observer – we need lots of those to ensure that all is well, and if not, someone is notified and the issue gets corrected. Yeah for you!

    Comment by Kate Quick,. — June 7, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

  11. 10
    Just think, if you’d left the ‘h’ off, it would have been a yes vote.

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 7, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

  12. Measure C should have been a parcel tax: renters vote for those because they don’t perceive a direct impact but they don’t vote for sales taxes, but they vote for parcel taxes, a la the community college measure)

    Comment by LindaonOtisSt — June 7, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

  13. Apparently, LindaonOtisSt, you must be unclear on the concept. Read my lips, we find ways to defeat tax hikes we do not find ways to pass them.

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 7, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

  14. Do you think that those who voted no on C would vote yes for a cut in pensions?

    Comment by Adrian Blakey — June 7, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

  15. Lauren do….you beat the sh.t out of deHaan for NOT supporting Measure C and now that the voters proved him correct you can not give him any acknowledge for sticking by his guns. Too bad because I know if measure C passed you would have been all over him. I guess if I want a true unbiased opinion I need to watch fox news…..NOT.

    Comment by JLS — June 7, 2012 @ 9:22 pm

  16. 14

    What the unsustainable Salary’s, Pensions and Benefits are doing to City,County and State.
    Is like learning to enjoy gangrene as it spreads throughout the remaining healthy parts of the body.

    Look at what it’s done to our pools, streets and City Assets. Deferring maintenance.

    Were not much different than Spain, and Greece.These are Interesting Times.

    The State of California is in more debt than Spain….Throw in all the Local Cities and Counties with these Unsustainable Pension liabilities hanging over them who really knows. We might be looking for Bailouts and Austerity programs just to get this all under control. Will be interesting times after November Elections.


    Comment by John — June 7, 2012 @ 9:41 pm

  17. I wonder how much PERS holds in Muni Bonds in California.

    Fitch downgrades $252 mln of Stockton, Calif., debt

    Reuters) – Fitch Ratings downgraded on Wednesday more than $252 million of Stockton Public Finance Authority debt after the cash-strapped city voted to allow the city manager to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection if necessary.

    Comment by John — June 7, 2012 @ 9:57 pm

  18. @#13 Jack R: Guess I wasn’t clear. I was not saying I thought Measure C should be a parcel tax; as a homeowner I’m pretty tired of being a piggy bank for everything. I was just surprised at Lauren’s surprise that Measure C lost, because renters don’t vote for things they actually have to pay for.

    Comment by LindaonOtisSt — June 8, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

  19. “…because renters don’t vote for things they actually have to pay for.”
    And neither do owners…and they shouldn’t unless there’s a damned good reason to vote for it.

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 8, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

  20. #18 I beg to differ, I know quite a few people who voted pro despite being ” renters”- the vote difference overall (pro and con) was really small so I would imagine that they were not exactly alone. I also know a bunch of home owners who voted pro (at least 2 are hard core Republicans) because they took a look and decided that a 1/2 cent was totally worth it for them and the money would have gone to projects that they cared about personally. While I was not on board with all the projects on the list like the Museum reno and will never use the pools, I thought, after due consideration, that it would be worth it to me in the long run because I love the life that we have in Alameda. While I get the whole pensions and benefits argument and do agree with alot of it- I felt that destroying the future to punish the past seemed like the wrong direction to be going. I do believe the other issues need to be addressed also.

    BTW- I do get a little tired of the whole “renters” aren’t real Alameda citizens with the good of the community in their hearts. I know a lot of people very committed to this community and who could buy other places but prefer to love here because they love it or are saving to buy homes here while they rent. Frankly some of them contribute more to the community in time and service than some of the old timers that I know. I certainly see them at various charity events and fund raisers. Maybe because they understand the priviledge and don’t think they are entitled.

    Comment by Donalda — June 8, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

  21. Donalda
    I will have to agree in most of your points , like everyone in this post I was a renter ….
    It is ironic to see so many peoples bashing other on this status when thdey were there themselves.
    The Sad truth is every taxes is actually a dent in the American Dream .
    Taxes are like drugs the more they have the more they need , Why ? they do not spend their money but everyone else .

    Comment by mijoka — June 13, 2012 @ 12:09 am

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