Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 20, 2014

Socrates asks whose bias do y’all seek

Filed under: Alameda, Election — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am


So, before I left for Vietnam at the end of September I received a campaign mailer that was, ostensibly, anti-Mike McMahon and anti-school bond.   The mailer had no identifying information of who sent the mailer itself.  Given that this community tends to lose its shit over political phone polls and likes to call even the most basic  phone poll a “push poll” if it has anything remotely negative in it, I’m shocked that in the weeks that I was gone that this anonymous mailer hasn’t received more traction.

The only identification on the mailer itself is the permit number for the bulk mailing company which, I assume, belongs to the company that printed the flyers.

Why is this a big deal?  Well, according to FPPC rules there must be a disclosure of who paid for the mailer if it went out to 200 people.   From the FPPC:

A mass mailing — over 200 substantially similar pieces of mail — must include on the outside of the envelope: “Paid for by” and the name and address of the candidate or committee sending the mailing. The name and address must be in no less than 6-point type and in a color or print which contrasts with the background so that it is easily read.

Just so you know what the penalty is for a violation:

The penalty for failing to comply with the Act’s disclaimer requirements is a fine of up to $5,000 per violation.

So just so you know, I tried to track down the company that created the mailer but came up blank.  I even called the post office to see if I could find out, via the bulk mail permit, who the company was that printed up the flyers, but it involve a Freedom of Information Act request and I was literally getting on a plane the next day so I just couldn’t spare the time to send off the FOIA.

Here is the front and the back:

unnamed 2014-09-24


I mean, in the amount of time I was away I imagine that perhaps one of the real journalists of Alameda City and not some lowly blogger would have brought this to the public’s attention and discovered and shamed the culprit.  I suppose the mailer could have been sent to 199 households, but what would be the point of only 199 mailers?

But seriously we all know there is only one person who both (1) hates Mike McMahon with the passion of 1000 burning suns and (2) begrudges any money at all going to the school district in the form of taxes.  Name rhymes with the same action that made the decision to not place on the mailer who paid for and sent out the mailers in the first place.


  1. Any mailer I get goes IMMEDIATELY into my Recycle Bin. I have never taken the time to look at any of them. Really I don’t like negative stuff from either side and really feel it is unnecessary especially in a small Community like Alameda.

    Comment by frank M — October 20, 2014 @ 6:43 am

  2. Actually the biggest election kerfuffle is not mailers, push polls or the like, but whether or not candidates should be allowed to join the Facebook Alameda Peeps. It appears over the weekend, some candidates figured out that 2,862 members in the closed group made requests to join the group. The administrator of the group has not processed their request. 112 comments the group appeared equally divided about letting candidates join the group. My favorite comment:

    I imagine that a week after joining the group, there will be campaign promises to 1) make the zombie crawl quarterly 2) publicly flog water wasters and 3) finally and without question explain that noise.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — October 20, 2014 @ 7:43 am

  3. Since the last election , we have decided to throw every single mailer where they belong in the recycling bin , I could not help but laugh last week as one of them dropped down along with a card bord of toilet tissue from the recycling truck we both laugh pollution …….I do not recall seeing any of the Mac Mahon nasty one , they must have run out of money already .
    We do not answer the phone either , simply flip the phone over on the couch , the time they spend talking to my rear is not spend bothering anyone else .

    We can stop this trashing campaign , the printer got the money from someone , let’s take them to court . say small claim court and require the fund be donated to the food bank .
    Whether one like or not any specific candidate it is their choice , trashing someone to achieve a goal is highly reprehensible in a Country which claim to be free , Elections are rigged as much as they are in the third World Country .

    Should Mr Mc Mahon be interested , there is $199 seed fund available to go after the printer , It was their choice to print or not to print that garbage .
    It will cover the small claim court cost
    Interestingly enough the UPS is also part of the equation , that will force them to accept or refuse illegal mailers .
    Sound to Me the peoples in need will not go hungry this Holiday season

    Comment by Joel Rambaud — October 20, 2014 @ 8:14 am

  4. That post heading is copyrighted, by the way. I hope you paid Kanye West royalties for its use, else you’re in deep do do Do.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 20, 2014 @ 9:28 am

  5. I think it is pretty obvious that however sent out that flyer really likes to take Action. Alameda needs more people like that who both complain the most about campaign irregularities and then also commit the most incidents of illegal campaigning themselves. Eventually they will probably form a black hole of indignation and disappear, taking all their fellow conspiracy theorists along with them.

    Comment by notadave — October 20, 2014 @ 10:11 am

  6. Actually that portion is rapped by Jay Z. I quoted from the Kayne portion here.

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 20, 2014 @ 10:37 am

  7. Just saying… whether it’s rap or not.

    “Permissions for song lyrics and poetry

    Because songs and poems are so short, it’s dangerous to use even 1 line without asking for permission, even if you think the use could be considered fair. However, it’s fine to use song titles, poem titles, artist names, band names, movie titles, etc.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 20, 2014 @ 10:54 am

  8. We do not review any of the mailings. We vote based on our knowledge of the candidate. If we don’t know them, that’s our fault, but we don’t give them our vote. We know Mike McMahon and trust his judgment. He has far too much experience and knowledge about our school system and needs to not get our vote. If you think that Mike is not worthy of his position, you haven’t had enough exposure to him. We vote for Mike because we care about our schools and about financial responsibility and management.

    Comment by Bill — October 20, 2014 @ 11:44 am

  9. #7, look at the more detailed analysis ( linked from the article you posted. title of this post sure seems like fair use to me.

    Comment by ajryan — October 20, 2014 @ 12:14 pm

  10. #5 I think you are onto something. The phrase “tens of millions” comes up a lot on this search:

    Comment by ajryan — October 20, 2014 @ 12:18 pm

  11. whose car truck would you search if trying to find the most Marie Gilmore signs?

    the night after I went to court hearing about a bogus restraining order request ( against me for asserting free speech in a public setting) where I decided not to comment until I had a lawyer present, (because I was illegally served 10 pm night before the hearing) I found an old tire stuffed under our car in the driveway and an orange safety cone at the edge of the driveway. Sound like some kind of warning? After showing up two weeks later with some attorney in tow the case was thrown out, as the court officer said it would have been the first time if I hadn’t asked to return with a lawyer. Next day there was dog shit in the bed of my pick up truck. I just can’t figure who in this town would do such a thing.

    Comment by MI — October 20, 2014 @ 1:23 pm

  12. 11. should be “car trunk”

    Comment by MI — October 20, 2014 @ 1:24 pm

  13. Don’t you keep your car trunk locked?

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 20, 2014 @ 5:43 pm

  14. 8. Excellent comments.

    Even if he wren’t such an excellent candidate to start with, this mailer would be reason alone to vote for him to put such tactics in their place.

    Comment by Catherine Egelhoff — October 20, 2014 @ 7:06 pm

  15. 13, not sure of the import of that comment, but I have pick up and station wagon, no trunk and no skeletons in the trunk either.

    Comment by MI — October 21, 2014 @ 8:31 am

  16. Sorry, I thought you were referring to “dog shit in the bed of my pick up truck.” and you meant dog shit in your ‘car trunk’.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 21, 2014 @ 9:55 am

  17. whatever you’re getting at is too obscure for me Jack. I thought maybe you meant I should lock my car trunk so the culprit didn’t stash them there and then try to pin the blame on me or something. this exchange isn’t worth the energy.

    Comment by MI — October 21, 2014 @ 4:12 pm

  18. You’re over complicating this Mark. I thought your #12 meant that your reference to “car trunk” was to the last line in your number 11, not the car truck typo in your first sentence of number 11. 13 was My bad.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 21, 2014 @ 5:49 pm

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