Blogging Bayport Alameda

June 9, 2014

Running man

Filed under: Alameda, Election — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

Tonight is the Planning Board meeting with lots of really important topics like the draft Housing Element and the Alameda Town Center plan etc and so forth.   But I’m not writing about that instead I just wanted to point out for those wondering if Stewart Chen was running, he is and has been for some time now.


Not only that, he has been actively seeking and receiving endorsements, in case you were curious.

From his website:



Here are the announcements made on Facebook as to the rolling endorsements received:

endorse endorse2 endorse3

Just didn’t want anyone thinking that Leland Yee’s third place finish had anything to do with Stewart Chen’s decision to run since he had already made up his mind a while ago.



  1. Convicted of healthcare fraud, then runs for the healthcare board, conveniently forgetting to ever mention that little, uh, situation.

    When exposed later, he blames it on poor lawyering and insists he is innocent despite a guilty plea and hefty fine.

    I’m shocked anyone would endorse him, let alone vote for him, but it is helpful that the endorsements are public. The list is a handy quick reference guide of people to avoid doing business with.

    Comment by . — June 9, 2014 @ 7:53 am

  2. I’m not sure where Chen stands exactly on many issues at this point, though he has the endorsement of Michael Yoshii from Buena Vista Methodist Church, which speaks volumes. Yoshii has always been a fair a just individual, thus it’s surprising that Chen has his endorsement along side some other people who are far less fair and far less just. I’ll vote for Chen if Yoshii is voting for him. I will also vote for Chen if he supports the rezoning of the Crab Cove property to open space and park.

    Comment by William — June 9, 2014 @ 7:57 am

  3. I am surprise he is running. I myself have made many mistakes in my life but I never made one such as insurance fraud…or cheating on my taxes. BTW I still owe money to the IRS but I make a monthly payments. His endorsements I haven’t even heard of any of these people. People should be forgiven, but he has never came out publically and asked to be forgiven or that he made some bad choices, yet he is running for a public office.

    Comment by Joseph — June 9, 2014 @ 8:37 am

  4. depends on whether your vote is purely on principle or is strategic i.e. based on who else is running, the plurality system for two openings at the same time, lesser evil principle etc.etc. I respect Michael Yoshi a lot also, but no endorsement is likely to sway my vote if there are other circumstances or stronger candidates, the latter being a likely conundrum. Reaching back to last week’s discussion on voting it would be good to have Ranked Choice Voting system and “none of the above” option.

    Comment by MI — June 9, 2014 @ 8:41 am

  5. Makes perfect sense! Elect someone convicted of insurance fraud to a position of great fiduaciary duty over our tax dollars. Oh, but wait … I forgot that apologist Lauren tells us: “but it was so long ago, he’s paid his debt to society.” Sure, sure … now we can trust him.

    Comment by Big Johnson — June 9, 2014 @ 9:46 am

  6. but it illustrates a point.. Those 3 State Senators, in dutch over corruption charges, who have now left 3 California senate districts without representation, started out in local office somewhere. Leland Yee, for example, started out on the School Board. He has had plenty of community endorsements over the years, even won awards. Means Nothing.

    The great majority of voters just never learn, or don’t have the time to.

    It’s amazing what a retired judge can get away with having printed in a local paper, even if it isn’t true.

    Comment by vigi — June 9, 2014 @ 10:02 am

  7. Would “none of the above” have kept Jean Quan from winning? What if NOTA won?

    Comment by dave — June 9, 2014 @ 11:16 am

  8. Here’s what should happen:

    Binding None of the Above (NOTA) provides a way for voters to register a protest vote on election day. Binding NOTA means that if “None of the Above” wins a plurality—more votes than any other candidate—a special election is called with new candidates. The candidates beaten by “None of the Above” cannot appear on the ballot in the subsequent special election(s)

    Comment by Jack — June 9, 2014 @ 12:16 pm

  9. dave, I think people voted for Quan as one of the anybody but Perata people but with ranked choice, even had NOTA been a ballot option, she would probably have won. I told my Oakland friends I would have voted for Kaplan, the TV producer guy and Perata in that order, because I knew Quan was fuzzy head, but I didn’t know how awful she would be. It will be interesting to see how the vote goes this year. Ignacio and Larry Reid both whined about RCV without understanding it, and whined louder after the election while still not understanding it.

    NOTA isn’t a ballot choice anywhere in US that I’m aware. I’d like to know if there has ever been a binding NOTA vote.

    Comment by MI — June 9, 2014 @ 12:52 pm

  10. It’s hard to imagine a better argument against RCV than Quan.

    Comment by dave — June 9, 2014 @ 2:46 pm

  11. That argument is in fact no argument at all and just means you don’t understand RCV either. In fact that is, how shall I say it politely, a pretty “silly” take on RCV. Quan is the product of a majority vote, period. You put yourself among the ranks of Ignacio and Reid in that opinion. Not great company. It’s the voters fault, not a flaw in RCV. The only other scenario is the typical run off between two top vote getters which would have been Perata and Quan. But in that case if Perata had won it would have been because he could laser focus one candidate and dump lots of special interest money into the race. And you seem plenty critical of that sort of cronyism so maybe you should reconsider what you said about RCV. The instant run off renders a verdict immediately and saves lots of public money for run off, plus it saves us from being bombarded with another election cycle of phone call TV ads and all the other election BS.

    Comment by MI — June 9, 2014 @ 4:12 pm

    • MI – Well stated. you hit reality on the head.

      Comment by William — June 9, 2014 @ 4:16 pm

  12. The problem with a 2nd place vote is that the meaning of that vote is unknown. The people who voted for Perata as first choice wanted him to win. Second choice votes could mean anything, though. It could be ethnic identity of last name, or the color of their campaign signs or literally anything else EXCEPT that the voter wanted that candidate to win. Quan’s second place votes meant little or nothing and she ended up in office with little or nothing for a constituency. Not to sound facile, because it’s not, but RCV is a lot like the wild card in sports. It gives a win to a second place finisher. In politics that often means a second rate ability, as it did in Oakland.

    Comment by dave — June 9, 2014 @ 5:48 pm

  13. dave – Well stated. you hit reality on the ballot.

    Comment by Jack — June 9, 2014 @ 7:08 pm

  14. I only understand the way I have been voting for 50 years, so far it has worked so I’m fine with it.

    Comment by John P. — June 9, 2014 @ 8:29 pm

  15. Dave, that is lame. In terms of ignorant voters who aren’t engaging the system with the right motive, regular elections are no different in terms of those factors and I think if you tried to verify that theory by examining that election closely and looking at other RCV election results it would not lend a lot to that theory. Regular elections resulted in Dellums being mayor of Oakland, but I wouldn’t blame that on lack of RCV. Quan was known to Oakland voters as were others and the outcome reflects what people thought about them at the time. Quan had support of people like Dan Siegel which got her elected and now he is running against her.

    Comment by MI — June 10, 2014 @ 8:28 am

  16. You certainly have a lot of emotional energy invested in a voting scheme….

    Please detail what one might learn from “examining the election closely” and explain how a bastardized result like a second place vote determining a first place finish is good for voters vs. the traditional way, where the winner was really the winner.

    Comment by dave — June 10, 2014 @ 8:55 am

  17. I’ve written about ranked-choice voting a couple times. These pieces may help you understand it better, and in terms of Alameda too:

    Comment by Irene — June 10, 2014 @ 12:04 pm

  18. read both columns, didn’t change my simple mind. This system doesn’t seem to be catching on.

    Comment by John P. — June 10, 2014 @ 12:57 pm

  19. Clear winners have clear constituencies, clear mandates, and clear legitimacy. A victory derived from losing candidates’ supporters 2nd or 3rd choice will lack those three things.

    Imagine a sports league where the champion isn’t the team that won the most games, but the team that had the highest total of wins and losses by 3 runs or less. Would such a championship be considered legitimate?

    Comment by dave — June 10, 2014 @ 1:14 pm

  20. Knowing our mayor was not the first choice for over 63% of the Alameda voters is hardly a clear mandate. Hey, but if that’s what you like, so be it.

    Comment by Irene — June 10, 2014 @ 1:48 pm

  21. Irene, our Mayor won an election, kinda like winning a ball game. one run or 20 runs is still a win. I’m with Dave.

    Comment by John P. — June 10, 2014 @ 1:53 pm

  22. I didn’t say that was better, to be clear. What I said is that RCV is not the panacea of representation you think it is. A majority win will always be better than a minority one. If Alameda needs to change its system, going to 50% + 1 would be vastly superior to RCV.

    Comment by dave — June 10, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

  23. Dave, A victory derived from losing candidates’ supporters 2nd or 3rd choice will lack clear constituencies, clear mandates, and clear legitimacy. The same can be said for an election in which the winning candidate in a three-way race wins with 34 percent of the vote with the other two candidates each getting 33 percent.

    Comment by Richard Bangert — June 10, 2014 @ 1:58 pm

  24. Dave, You said, “If Alameda needs to change its system, going to 50% + 1 would be vastly superior to RCV.”

    How else do you guarantee that you will always have a candidate achieving 50% + 1 unless there are only two candidates? What if there are more than two candidates and no one gets the 50% + 1? Do you hold a new election? Ranked Choice Voting is the only way you can end up with a 50% + 1 winner if there are more than two candidates.

    Comment by Richard Bangert — June 10, 2014 @ 2:05 pm

  25. 24



    Then have a runoff. It will have a much cleaner outcome than RCV. The meaning and value of 2nd & 3rd place votes is dubious. The meaning & value of a single vote to win is clear.

    Comment by dave — June 10, 2014 @ 2:09 pm

  26. Dave, I would agree that a runoff would tend to have a cleaner outcome and stronger mandate for the winner. But the runoff election option will encounter opposition from those who say it costs more money to hold a second election. And there is also the criticism that turnout for a runoff is decidedly lower than the main election with its multiple offices and issues on the ballot. Therefore, it could be argued, the lower participation in the runoff diminishes to some extent the legitimacy you seek to achieve.

    The system of Ranked Choice Voting was designed, in part, as a response to the money concern by having the whole process unfold in a single voting event. You’ll recall that the term for this system in earlier years was Instant Runoff Voting, with someone apparently deciding that “Ranked Choice” is now a better term.

    Comment by Richard Bangert — June 10, 2014 @ 2:25 pm

  27. “cleaner outcome”, dave, again I refer to special interest influencing run -offs in a negative manner. Your statements are completely subjective and you have the emotional investment. All I want is what is clinically most democratic and efficient, and also does not falsely disenfranchise third parties. This is first grade mathematics. not political game. It’s tried and tested in many countries like Australia. 19. John, it’s not about “catching on” because the two party duopoly which is afraid of it has been stacking the deck against it with fear tactics and general xenophobia. People don’t like what they don’t understand, but that alone is no measure of whether the math is effective and the method cleanest and most efficient..

    Comment by MI — June 10, 2014 @ 2:56 pm

  28. thumbs up to what Richard said about low turn out in run-offs.

    Comment by MI — June 10, 2014 @ 2:57 pm

  29. Please explain how a majority vote system disenfranchises anyone, whether falsely or honestly.

    Comment by dave — June 10, 2014 @ 3:38 pm

  30. Please also explain why a runoff is more susceptible to “special interests” than an RCV election.

    Comment by dave — June 10, 2014 @ 4:27 pm

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