Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 27, 2014

And the endorsements keeping rolling in…

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

Generally I do a huge roundup of all the article about candidates and whatnot and throw it up on my roundup page.  But I’m feeling lazy right now, just an overall sense of “meh” about this election in general, however I did get around to updating the endorsements that have begun to roll in for the candidates.   There are not a whole lot of surprises so far, the all Democratic affiliated clubs went for Marie Gilmore for Mayor and Stewart Chen and Jim Oddie for City Council.  The Sierra Club opted to only elect to endorse Frank Matarrese.  And the Green Party for Alameda County, which has the strangest endorsement procedure, went for Trish Spencer for Mayor and Frank Matarrese for City Council.

The Alameda Journal/Oakland Tribune went for Marie Gilmore for Mayor and Jim Oddie and Frank Matarrese for City Council. But I think the only endorsement that I was actually surprised at was the one from the East Bay Express.

Now the East Bay Express is not typically known for being that kind to whoever is the sitting incumbent.  In fact often, it tends to be down right hostile in the way that only the East Bay Express can be.  Typically flying in at the last second to cover the issue from whatever may be considered the “underdog” point of view.  Which is why the East Bat Express not going for Trish Spencer must have been quite the blow to her campaign.  From the EBX:

In Alameda, we’re endorsing Mayor Marie Gilmore for reelection, because we think she’s been a good mayor who deserves another term.

Additionally, the EBX decided to back both Frank Matarrese and Jim Oddie.  Leaving Stewart Chen in the dust after endorsing him just two years ago.   Even for the Council endorsements, the EBX declared Jim Oddie the best candidate in the race and sort of damned Frank Matarrese with faint praise by indicating that he would be an “upgrade” over Stewart Chen who was a disappointment.

Special nod to the piece in the EBX about the myth of unbiased media, the EBX focused on mainstream large scale media organizations like the Chronicle, it happens locally as well:

Mainstream journalism organizations forbid their news reporters from openly supporting or opposing political candidates and issues, but that doesn’t mean that reporters and editors don’t have biases. They do, of course. But, according to media critics, because the mainstream press bans overt bias, the partiality often becomes covert — and can only be detected by examining the stories that reporters and editors choose to pursue and ignore, and the terms they use to describe candidates they like and don’t like.

“The word choice is about the only way to tell where they stand,” said Dan Froomkin, a media critic and journalist for the Intercept, who previously worked for the Washington Post. “They’ll say they don’t stand for anyone, but their words give them away.”

And it’s not even that I have a problem with people having biases. Even media type people. It’s the whole idea that anyone, any media organization can be unbiased that makes me batty. If people would just own their biases and be honest with them rather than trying to position themselves as unbiased I think coverage of issues would just be a lot more clear for consumers. This is how the EBX wraps it all up:

But some critics contend that media bias itself is not the problem. The problem is that the mainstream press adamantly maintains that it’s unbiased. As a result, mainstream news consumers often wrongly assume that they’re reading “objective” political coverage when such a thing may not exist.

The belief that objective journalism is the most trustworthy form of news reporting is still a dominant paradigm, however, and is unlikely to change any time soon. Still, the media landscape is evolving. NYU journalism professor Rosen contends that digital news consumers are increasingly skeptical about what they read, and expect journalism — whether its objective or advocacy journalism — to be more transparent.


  1. A question/observation:

    Looking around town it *seems* to my eyes that a great number of businesses are posting candidate sign this year, far more than in past election years. This is a risky move for a business, as it can alienate customers.

    Do my eyes deceive me, or is this a thing this year?

    Comment by dave — October 27, 2014 @ 6:25 am

  2. I’ve noticed that too. Perhaps it’s candidates asking more frequently this year, putting the businesses in an awkward position of not being able to say “no.”

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 27, 2014 @ 6:43 am

  3. I haven’t been keeping count, but it *seems* like Chen signs are predominating at businesses. Again I ask, is this accurate or just my skewed perception?

    Comment by dave — October 27, 2014 @ 6:48 am

  4. The Alameda Wine Co has a Trish Spencer sign – so maybe Karen Ulrich started something who knows. Also Santoro’s Italian Market and Deli on Santa Clara had a Trish Spencer sign in their window, but they took it down.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 27, 2014 @ 7:53 am

  5. Signs have no impact on me at all. I understand that name recognition is important, but if I’ve spent any time at all viewing and listening to the candidates, I don’t need to be reminded. If they deserve my vote and I believe they can work effectively with others in City Government, they will get my vote. If I feel they are not an effective communicator or collaborator, they won’t. If in fact, there are more signs out there this year, I just hope they take them down immediately following the election!

    Comment by Bill — October 27, 2014 @ 8:52 am

  6. While signs on people’s yards don’t generally have an impact on my, signs on businesses do, and I tend to avoid businesses that are supporting candidates that I don’t support. Their right, my right. I do like the gas station on Central and Encinal though that seems to have signs for all the candidates.

    Comment by notadave — October 27, 2014 @ 9:13 am

  7. notadave, it would sure make that gas station look alot nicer if there were no signs.

    Comment by John P. — October 27, 2014 @ 9:20 am

  8. We all go back to basic , are we shopping at any store for what they sell or their political view , as such I will no longer sponsor any business with Mr Chen name , He is unfit for office , Regardless if he paid His debt to society , it is even more pathetic when He post a fairly good education on his resume , yet was not aware that pleading guilty meant He was Guilty of defrauding every single tax payers in the State .
    Then blaming a Deceased Attorney for bad counseling , Excuse me for a second, without that Attorney Mr Chen would have and should have spend time in jail .For this reason He is unfit for public office

    There should not be an “Asian “on the City council , He is the wrong one .

    Prop 1 is just another way for the school to get into our bank account , under the pretense of security ???? nothing of any substance has been achieved on this segment , High school student still show up drunk or high on pot, yet they have Police in the school, Am I missing something ? Ask the teachers ! they experience it everyday.

    The very same peoples which are complaining of the high cost of living and taxes are the very same one endorsing every taxes without any understanding of the consequences , When your landlord pay $18000,00 in taxes for his rental , You bet He will pass on that cost to you .
    Want affordable housing ? then do not tax peoples out of their rental or houses .

    Comment by Karl — October 27, 2014 @ 10:03 am

  9. Excuse my typo:
    there Should be an Asian at City Council , Mr Chen represent only the convicted felon segment .

    Comment by Karl — October 27, 2014 @ 10:06 am

  10. Follow the $$$$$

    On private property, the Trish sign I put up has disappeared. The owner did not remove it.

    Two Chen signs remain on that property.

    Follow the $$$$. Why, oh why, are Chen’s financial backers so very anxious to get him elected???

    Comment by A Neighbor — October 27, 2014 @ 10:17 am

  11. Just in case anyone hasn’t noticed, the days of impartiality in journalism are over and, in fact, never really existed in the first place. I was reading a book recently about a famous trial that occurred in the 1930’s comparing court transcripts to newspaper stories. Competing newspapers picked a side and inflated and plain made-up stuff to support that side. It still happens today. It is almost always about money–in politics, in business, and sadly, too often in our own shrunken little hearts.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — October 27, 2014 @ 11:48 am

  12. Denise, even in the truncated and bias history books which pushed American Exceptionalism when I was in school, we were taught about Hearst papers fabricating incidents to help start the Spanish American War, “Remember the Maine!” ? Was the Gulf of Tonkin “incident” any different? NYTimes coverage of WMD?

    I’ve referred to the Andersen Valley Advertser or the SF Guardian (RIP) as traditional muck rakers who wore their bias on their sleeve. Still, there are some standards of idealism in journalism worth trying to maintain if a paper wants to be take seriously as reporting the news as fact, at least in the body of articles. I don’t like to watch cable like MSNBC much, but I troll the dial on the way to Al Jazeera, and Lawrence O’Donnel on MSNBC has done a thorough and lawyerly job of critiquing the NYTimes coverage of the shooting in Furgeson and the subsequent grand jury. As a reader I don’t know that I would have been astute enough to have noted what he points out, but these bias hardly belie the Times stereotype of a liberal rag. One was as simple as a blatant mischaracterization of witness accounts being wildly divergent, which they clearly were not. Reading Chronicle election recommendations yesterday I was really offended by the little one sentence blubs which are supposed to encapsulate the reason for their recommendations. Those blurbs are really damning in terms of revealing bias. I’ve ragged on the Sun enough.

    Comment by MI — October 27, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

  13. I don’t know Mark, have we ragged on the Sun enough?. When will they understand that we would welcome a small town newspaper that actually tried to give us unbiased reporting on local issues. To some extent they have by using Michelle Ellison to report on this election. Now if they can just follow what she is doing.

    Comment by John P. — October 27, 2014 @ 5:27 pm

  14. I am surprised that on the subject of Endorsements and Campaign Mailers no one has referenced the local ‘brouhaha’ with the Alameda Democratic Club.

    Comment by frank M — October 28, 2014 @ 6:10 am

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