Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 7, 2012

Girl put your records on

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

As I tweeted last night, after the first few ballots rolled in, there wasn’t a lot of movement in the election results locally.   In the School Board, Trish Spencer, Barbara Kahn, and Niel Tam took early leads and held on to them for the remainder of the night:

Same with the City Council, Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft and Tony Daysog took early leads and held on tight with Stewart Chen holding on to third, since it appears that Rob Bonta managed to hold on to  slim lead of Abel Guillen, Stewart Chen will be up for re-election in two years completing out Rob Bonta’s term:

The incumbents held on to their leads in the Hospital Board, and the Stewart Chen move to the City Council will open up another seat on the Hospital Board, but in this case the sitting Board Members will appoint, the third place finisher does not automatically win a seat.

Generally I would write something along the lines of blah blah blah, we all have to live together after this election blah blah blah, but here’s what I’m going to write about.

Pointing out an elected official’s record and holding them accountable is not bullying.  It’s not a smear campaign.  It’s not damaging their reputation.   It’s just not.   In the national election, we scoffed when a presidential candidate claimed they would not let their campaign be influenced by fact-checkers, but somehow in Alameda when it came to a certain candidate “fact-checking” ended up being labeled unfair.

A lot of people — not just me — received some level of heat for reminding people of Trish Spencer’s voting record on certain issues and all of the sudden, she’s being “bullied” or a “smear campaign” is being waged on her.   That’s completely bullshit.   She’s not a volunteer sitting in a classroom making art projects.   She’s an elected official that creates policy that will affect every single student within the Alameda Unified School District.

Perhaps to some people Trish Spencer’s record doesn’t matter.   But as with the other candidates and elected officials, their record is fair game if they are running for office.   Just like neither Niel Tam or Ron Mooney backed away from the critiques that they voted for the compensation package for the Superintendent or that they voted to lease out the new administrative offices, Trish Spencer doesn’t get to back away from her record on certain issues, nor does she get a free pass to claim that she supported issues that she didn’t support when the actual issue came before the School Board.

There was this great Daily Show interview with Martha Radditz where Jon Stewart asks of Martha Radditz:

Where does the pressure come from on journalists to not be journalists anymore…?  That idea that, has the pressure on journalists to not show an opinion in any way ruin their ability to call out facts or lies.

And that currently exists in this town as well.   Our elected officials — and I guess candidates — have gotten so used to not being challenged by “media” whatever you want to call “media” in Alameda that when they say “XYZ” that if folks do challenge that “XYZ” happened all of the sudden people are being unfair.

The notion that pulling out video or minutes and saying “wait a sec, that’s not what that person said three years ago about that issue” somehow doesn’t have a place in a local election is ridiculous.  If a person runs on their record, then they are accountable for everything in their record, not just the selective parts that make them look good.   And in the end, even though these are volunteer positions and thankless ones at that, these are people who are crafting policy for our local government entities, if we don’t hold them accountable, who will?   There is a difference between talking about someone’s record and being critical about that record and “bullying.”   We should be able to differentiate between the two.

Tomorrow: Election post-mortem, but for now:  Thank you America for electing Barack Obama for another four more years.


  1. I totally agree with what you’re saying here about fact-checking candidates’ records, Lauren.

    If revealing an elected official’s voting record “tarnishes her reputation,” the problem lies in her record, not the person or people revealing it.

    Comment by Susan Davis — November 7, 2012 @ 6:30 am

  2. Keep telling it like it is, Lauren! I personally appreciate your both your willingness to jump into the fray and say “hey, wait a minute….” and your commitment to then go to time-consuming and tedious lengths to provide indisputable evidence of events.

    As always, your site was an excellent election resource even beyond the Spencer fun. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication on behalf of the politicized citizens of Alameda!

    Comment by Willem Knibbe — November 7, 2012 @ 8:29 am

  3. Looks like A1 and B1 maybe falling short of the 2/3 majority … anybody know why Propositions (for sales/income tax increases) don’t have the same requirement? Having said that, I’m glad Prop 30 passed 🙂

    Comment by alameda — November 7, 2012 @ 9:46 am

  4. Prop 13

    Comment by Jack Schultz — November 7, 2012 @ 10:44 am

  5. I know Prop 13 is what set the mandate for 66% plus one to raise taxes. Is that just on property taxes?

    Comment by M.I. — November 7, 2012 @ 11:01 am

  6. #1&#2=HAHAHAHAHAHA…LMFAO! Watching a precinct vote is like watching sausage being made. Once you do, you will never again trust the final product. Yesterday, I was an observer at Lauren’s precinct #305100 Ruby Bridges Elem Sch. I was sent there because in prior elections, unusually large numbers of provisional ballots have been cast from this location. When I first swung by, mid-afternoon, to scope it out, there were Three Federal Election Observers, all the way from Washington DC, sitting at a table in the back of the room. I know this because before I could even introduce myself to the inspector, one of them came up to me & asked who I represented & what I was doing there. She was not wearing any ID, & when asked could not produce any, not even a business card. [I guess the Feds don’t need no stinkin’ badges]. But I did get their names=Doris Ling, Gilbert delaCruz, & Vincent Hoang/Hoing-sp?. At least that’s who they said they were. Office of Personnel Management, Voting Rights Program, 1900 E St., NW, Rm 6484, Washington DC 20415, [866]885-4122. I left but returned later around 5 pm to watch the Closing of the Polls. By then, the Feds had left [for another precinct unknown]. But the fun was only beginning. Unlike what I might have expected in the middle of an expensive planned single-family development like Bayport [& unlike other Alameda precincts]. the torrent of voters which flowed thru the doors during the next 3 hours was a socioethnoeconomic rainbow of humanity. The beauty of it was, everybody got to vote! No one was turned away! After all, no one has to show ID. “I’m from Hayward..can I vote here?” SURE. San Leandro, too. Everyone gets an Alameda City ballot..just put it in a provisional envelope. At one point the Inspector stood up & made an announcement: ” You know, if you don’t live here, the ballot measures you vote on will be different”. No one was deterred. Was it something the Federal Observers said to the poll workers? The most frequent statement I heard from voters at the table was: “I haven’t registered yet/forgot to register. Can I still vote?” SURE. Here’s a Voter Registration Form. Just fill it out after you vote & turn it in. At the end of the evening, when the scanner was opened up, there were Voter Registration Forms INSIDE the scanner which had been fed in. Spoiled ballots had also been fed thru the scanner.

    Some Oakland absentee ballots were submitted, which is OK. But even voters from Madera & San Mateo County were allowed to drop off absentee ballots. Hell, just let the Alameda County ROV sort ’em out. The County has nothing better to do, right?

    As Batman [on MeTV] is quoted as saying: “If you can’t trust the voters, who can you trust?” Too bad the Feds had left before they could see everything described above.

    Comment by alameda vigilante — November 7, 2012 @ 11:09 am

  7. 5


    Comment by Jack Schultz — November 7, 2012 @ 11:33 am

  8. Got it. Looks like Prop 13 mandated the 2/3 requirement for all local taxes, not just on property.

    “In addition to decreasing property taxes, the initiative also contained language requiring a two-thirds majority in both legislative houses for future increases of any state tax rates or amounts of revenue collected, including income tax rates. It also requires a two-thirds vote majority in local elections for local governments wishing to increase special taxes”

    Comment by alameda — November 7, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

  9. I’d sure like what vigilante was smoking to giver that altered sense of reality. My guess is that there may have been less than a handful(that means 10) provisional ballots. I think the overarching message of yesterday’s election is that the nation isn’t buying into the scare tactics of the tea party, and their newly crowned spiritual leader donald trump. vigilante – it is time for you to buy the new playbook. your tactics aren’t working.

    Comment by notadave — November 7, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

  10. Dear Lauren- THANK YOU for digging into things and finding records on candidates. We all need information in order to vote and having multiple sources is the best way to find things out. And as to #6, I am glad that the precinct workers must have been instructed NOT TO TURN ANY VOTER AWAY. It is their job to help all potentially eligible voters to vote, not to hinder in any way except to keep the same person from voting twice. Those provisional ballot envelopes will be hand checked and verified by the registrar, who is in the best position to verify eligibility to vote in Alameda County.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — November 7, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

  11. Agree with you, Lauren, “thank goodness” the Obama’s will be living in the White House for the next four years…LOVE our First Family. Just think, it could have been “King Louis and Marie Antoinette” moving in…can you see “Marie” leading an anti-childhood obesity program and doing jumping jacks with local neighborhood kids…??? HELL no, she’d rather “let them eat cake”….!!! Good bye, Romney’s, how about moving closer to where you bank…!!!

    Comment by Anthony Bologna, Jr. — November 7, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

  12. Thank you Lauren for all your work and I’m thankful for your feistiness

    Comment by Robertamarie — November 7, 2012 @ 9:10 pm

  13. I would encourage our vigilante friend to go to the registrar of voters at the Courthouse on Fallon St. next election evening to watch the voting process as the material comes in from the precints. Those provisional ballots are hand examined, as are the “kick-outs” from the machines. There is a rigorous process of examination, often by more than one “team” of examiners to determine if the vote is valid, a duplicate, or, in case of an overvote, whether the intent of the voter can be ascertained. I am impressed with the care that is taken to insure that everyone’s vote is counted. Human beings make mistakes and sometimes they can be rectified, and sometimes not. I think the process is such that voter fraud and/or corrupt practices are just about nonexistent in Alameda County.

    Comment by Kate Quick,. — November 7, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

  14. Kate, if she did as you propose what would she have left to post here on Laurens blog??

    Comment by John P.(L) — November 8, 2012 @ 7:36 am

  15. Hmm.. The search for intelligent life in Alameda goes on. Unfortunately, not much of it here. The difference between me and notadave & Katie Q is I SHOW UP! You don’t. Katie you’re reading from a script, like you always do on those rare occasions when someone asks you to actually speak in public. You haven’t personally observed poll closing in years. As I feared, none of you liberal morons has the courage to check things out for yourselves, by calling the number I posted or writing the address. Not even Lauren, who was scooped at her own polling place. FYI, notadave, there were about a hundred provisional ballots this precinct alone. I was there watching. You weren’t. You should get out of your bedroom sometime.

    Comment by vigi — November 8, 2012 @ 11:26 am

  16. Your comments stay on this blog but my report goes to the California Secretary of State. You can thank me later..

    Comment by vigi — November 8, 2012 @ 11:29 am

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