Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 1, 2012

Reading the tea leaves

Much like the “Bronco Bamma” girl, I’m really quite “done” with this whole election.  Between the national and local elections, next Tuesday can’t come fast enough.   While I’m not quite at the point of shedding tears quite yet, my stomach lining can’t take any more of the stress.  But I just wanted to point out that, if you haven’t had quite enough about election stuff and you still haven’t quite done enough research yet, I’ve been keeping my election roundup page quite updated.

And in the grand tradition of trying to read the tea leaves, my election Brain Heart Gut predictions.   I can’t recall if I did this for 2010, but my 2008 guesses were right on City Council wise, but I was way off on my School Board predictions.  So for those new to the Brain, Heart, Gut game, you make predictions based on who you logically think will win (Brain), who you want to win (Heart), and who you believe will win (Gut):

City Council:

Brain:  Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft and Stewart Chen.  Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft has great momentum this time around and is the candidate to beat.  She has the endorsements of a wide variety of groups which means that the majority of folks have more or less coalesced around her.   Stewart Chen has the “Asian vote” factor and the endorsements that should  push him over the top, plus he’s pretty non-controversial which helps as well.

Heart: Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft and Jeff Cambra.  See endorsement post.

Gut:  Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft and Tony Daysog.  I think Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft has one of the seats  locked up this time around.  As for Tony Daysog, even though he’s run a pretty quiet campaign, you cannot discount the power of name recognition.   While folks may not quite remember Tony Daysog, the familiarity of the name might get him the second seat.

In all circumstances, I think Jane Sullwold will be a serious contender for the third place slot which will earn her the third seat in the case that Rob Bonta is elected.    Given Rob Bonta’s trajectory, I think we’re probably looking at three new(-ish if Tony Daysog is elected) members on the Council.

School Board:

Brain: Ron Mooney, Niel Tam, and Trish Spencer.  Logically speaking, barring any huge scandals, incumbents generally win election.   I guess it’s debatable whether the current state of the School District is scandalous right now, but typically incumbents win.

Heart: Rob Mooney, Niel Tam, and Michael Robles-Wong.  See endorsement post

Gut: Niel Tam and Trish Spencer, third place toss up between Barbara Kahn and Ron Mooney.

Hospital Board:

Brain/Heart/Gut: Jordan Battani and J. Michael McCormick.  Given that the opposition has literally not run a campaign, unless people really hate the Hospital, they’re going to stick with the incumbents.


  1. School Board- Trish Spencer (despite smear campaign) Barbara Kahn,. (does it have to be Tam because of the “Asian” vote?). …maybe Mooney squeezing in…

    City Council- Ezzy Ashcraft, Stewart Chen- maybe Daysog

    hospital?- taxpayers do hate the hospital…

    Actually, I think Mike McMahon will pick the winners correctly…Romney?

    Comment by Commonsense — November 1, 2012 @ 7:02 am

  2. Romney? common , silver spoon guy son of geoge w Romney , millionaire mormon made his money in the auto industry and went yes in the most crooked administration this country ever has the Nixon era
    Nixon does not ring a bell to you it should
    Like father like son

    Comment by mijoka — November 1, 2012 @ 8:29 am

  3. To clear up some perceptions about local Alameda races. Incumbents running for City Council do not lose. However, for School Board races since 2004, 4 incumbents have won and 3 incumbents have lost. During the Presdiential race cycle, only 25% of the incumbents for School Board have won reelection. One incumbent won in 2004, one incumbent lost in 2004 and in 2008 two incumbents lost.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — November 1, 2012 @ 8:31 am

  4. And in keeping in my grand tradition, I am running my election prediction contest. No real prize for the winner other than bragging rights among your online friends. Four simple predictions should take a minute or two to complete.

    It is highly likely that a winner will not announced until the week following the Election. With the significant number of vote by mail voters who walk their ballot to the polls on Election Day, the outcome and final results will not be known until the week of November 12th. In the last election cycle, Lena Tam overtook Beverly Johnson for second place in the City Council race after the VBM ballots were counted.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — November 1, 2012 @ 9:08 am

  5. #2: Nixon signed the Environmental Protection Act, ended the Vietnam War, & opened the door to trade with China. Amazingly good historical record for a crook. Re:millionaires. What about those Google, Apple, & Facebook m/billionaires who obscenely amassed their wealth much faster doing less work for others than Romney? Oh that’s right, they donate to Obama’s campaign, so they must be “good” m/billionaires.

    Comment by vigi — November 1, 2012 @ 9:27 am

  6. Lauren, on council my guess is Ashcraft and then a neck and neck race between Chen, Cambra and Sullwold. I think Tony has lost a bit of traction and may not have name recognition with newer residents. He has been out of office for eight years? This race, not unlike the last, is one where Single Transferable Vote would be much more fair and render a clearer outcome. Outside of the confusion generated by RCV detractors and fuzzy headed voters, there is no reason the entire ballot could not be ranked ( as opposed to just 3) which would completely ameliorate the objections Mike McMahon had about Quan/Perata race with persons who did chose either of them being technically disenfranchised by instant run-off. All you need is the option to rank them all, but the system works democratically no matter where voters stop ranking.

    On incumbents for BOE, remember Forbes and Gibson losses. I think Mooney may be similarly vulnerable in that respect, but Tam may have enough support to avoid that fate. Will be real interesting to see if anti-Spencer campaign is effective. In her last race she got the largest number of votes. If she were to repeat that one might attribute it to anti-campaign back firing. My gut aligns with yours on BOE. I expect Wrobles-Wong to run strong. STV would also be huge improvement for this race also.

    #5. not all Silicon Valley types back Obama. The ones who do obviously support rolling back Bush tax cuts for the rich, so yes, they are “good” m/billionaires. Read about the other ones here:

    Comment by M.I. — November 1, 2012 @ 10:18 am

  7. The problem with ranked choice is that there is no way to know the value of the 2nd ord 3rd choices. It is obvious that a voter’s first choice is the one they want to win. After that, who knows?

    Choice 2 may be someone the voter really does like, or it may be a pointless afterthought, one that a voter ticks off only becuase the box is empty on the ballot. It’s how Oakland ends up with a mayor who could never win a race outright, but some voters had heard her name and decided to throw a bone. An outcome with a clear winner is much better than the fuzzy outcome Oakland got. The vote count tells us conclusively that more people wanted Perata to win than any other. It doesn’t really offer us a firm conclusion about Quan other than she was not the winner.

    Comment by Jack Schultz — November 1, 2012 @ 10:38 am

    Link above shows the last race. She was a distant 2nd to Tam.

    Comment by member of a real family — November 1, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

  9. @ Vigi
    Thank you I stand partially corrected , did nixon or ford ended the Vietnam war ? , neither !
    the crashing economy caused by the war along with an almost civil war condition did . And yes He opened the Doors to Communist China which now own the US economy , including national security . Kisinger was the one orchestrating it , as well as the “disparidos” in Argentine , they dealt with the situation with full support of the us , their approach was simple put anyone suspect in a plane , fly for 1 1/2 hour and make them jump in the open ocean , 30 000 , proud of his success he repeated in cambodge 600 000 , then back in the entire south America .to east timor and they gave him the Nobel price. {by the way do you know why Ford pardonned Nixon? there is an interesting book, he had leverage and BIG TIMES }

    As far as apple I totally agree with you , they are thieves and bring absolutely nothing of sustance to the USA , they design PC phone and electronic devices , have them manufactured in China by slave worker , sell them top price in the USA ,and have their edge fund {braeburn capital the world largest edge fund $115 billons } which they use to take over other company anfd monopolize the field , they are located in Reno Nevada for only one reason avoid paying taxes in California , they do not mind however using the feeways , fire dept and police dept at the taxpayer expense I am a proud owner of their competitionb , as far as google I have no use for it , do the same , aside of the elections , vote with your wallet year around .


    Comment by mijoka — November 1, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

  10. 7. Jack, the value of those votes is completely verifiable after the election provided they are cast. Nobody knows the value of their vote going in. It doesn’t seem like you get the math in RCV systems. The vote count tells us that in fact more people wanted Quan than Perata in the end or Perata would have won. The fixation with the fact that Perata got a plurality of votes in the first round, misses the point every time. Round one was a mere plurality not a majority which ignores that in the end even though he got even more votes than in round one, Quan beat him by getting even more votes that that, once first round voters for candidates like Kaplan got to exercise their second choice through IRV. Hardly a pointless afterthought. The anybody but Perata sentiment seemed won out.

    If I had been an Oakland resident I would have voted Kaplan, the TV producer guy and then Perata, so in the end my vote would have gone to Perata. I’ve always thought Quan was…. how to say it? muddled. So Perata would have gotten benefit from my lesser ranked vote and there must have been people registered in Oakland whose vote count was similar.

    IRV is still a run-off, just instant, but it eliminates another round of costly and stressful campaigning, or giving candidates with more money behind them a chance to hyper-focus that advantage against a single opposition candidate as opposed to an entire field. If people want to throw their 2, 3 and 4 votes away that is their choice, but all voters operate on an equal footing. Single Transferable Vote is some what of a misnomer as it is a system used for multi-east races. It at least insures thresholds for being elected which come closer to some standard like a majority in single seat race. In plurality with single seat race and seven candidates a person can be seated with a little over 14% of the votes. How is that democratic?

    Comment by M.I. — November 1, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

  11. Say you like the A’s, but you kinda like the Giants too. You wear one of those split hats. You vote the A’s 1 and the Giants 2.

    I like the A’s. I like em a lot. After that, I don’t much care for other teams but the Royals have nice uniforms so what the hell, I’ll vote them second.

    Both of our first votes have the same meaning, we want the A’s to go all the way. Our second votes have vastly different meanings. My second vote is essentially pointless, but it still counts the same as yours, and could swing a baseball popularity contest, despite its meaninglessness. Remember the hanging chads: the voter’s intent was what mattered even if the punch was incomplete. We simply don’t know the intent behind a 2 or 3 vote.

    Quan was elected by 2nd & 3rd place votes that were meaningless because they don’t express the will of what voters wanted. If they wanted Quan, they’d have voted her #1. wtf do 2nd and 3rd place votes mean, if anything?

    Comment by Jack Schultz — November 1, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

  12. Apple is Calpers and CalSTRS largest Holdings…… About 2.5 Billion….Amoung the Top 7 holdings in each of their portfolios is those pesky Oil Stocks Exxon and Chevron…. About 3 Billion…They also hold Large positions in WAL Mart….

    It’s popular to talk bad about those companies …..But they are their Largest Holdings and reaping the rewards. Interesting Times.

    Comment by John — November 1, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

  13. #11, I think that your analogy is off, you don’t know anymore about voters first choice than you do about their subsequent votes. A persons first vote could fall under “nice uniforms” as well.

    Quan’s election failed to meet the standard that M.I. identified as supporting RCV because voters are only allowed to choose three candidates to rank because of the voting methodology (dictated by the voting machines chosen), therefore, nearly 14,000 voters (over 10%) did not have a vote in the final outcome, and Quan who got just above 50% and won by just about 1,500 votes only received 45% in the final count.

    That’s something that needs to be fixed. You should be given as many choices as there are candidates. (if there are seven candidates, then rank 1-7 is you want).

    The thing that people should be educated on is that you should only rank candidates that you are willing to support. you don’t have to rank all of them. RCV allows the electorate to identify the candidate who has the strongest support with over 50% of voters. if one doesn’t want Quan, then one shouldn’t rank her at all.

    RCV offers an opportunity to identify candidates who have broad, but possibly less enthusiastic, support, while winner takes all plurality values passion over support. Traditional run-offs favor the candidates who can afford to run a second campaign. Perata lost because he had high negatives amongst a broad electorate, but in an RCV environment, he couldn’t afford to go scorched earth on Quan.

    Comment by jkw — November 2, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

  14. Thank you everybody for your analysis on the school board race, the young voters, are up for grabs, and they will be the deciding factor of the School Board races.

    Comment by peace — November 3, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

  15. correction M.I., Nielsen Tam, got the largest amount of votes, not Trish.

    Comment by peace — November 3, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

  16. And the winner in election prediction contest is………….. actually three entries. Commonsense, blogmaster Do and JKW were the only entries out of 25 to correct predict the three individuals who finished in the top three for both CC and BOE races. Lauren had the CC race nailed getting the correct order for CC and Commonsense was the only one to get the correct finishing order for the BOE race. As for Measure D, JKW had the better prediction compared to Lauren and Commonsense.

    Overall out 25 entries only three correctly predict Stewart Chen coming third, two correctly predicted TonyDaysog second place finish. 18 predict Marilyn Ashcraft would finish first. Three correctly predicted Trish would finish first, one person had Barbara Kahn finishing second and three had Niel Tam finishing third.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — November 11, 2012 @ 9:38 am

  17. the last time they won it was by cheating , this time they dumped 3 billions dollars and could not win ouch !!!!!
    what is more stupid than a republican ? another republican!
    they alienated themselves from the peoples they needed the most , “the People”
    should the Democrat play it right the next election will be a repeat for the Democrat , why ?
    the kids who saw their mom and pop thrown out of their house , loose their job thanks to peoples like romney and that buffoon donald trumpet , will be in age to vote !
    {this does not apply to the alameda Fire Dept}

    Comment by mijoka — November 11, 2012 @ 10:05 pm

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