Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 2, 2016

Pay to play, part 2

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

While it was pretty eyebrow raising to see Tony Daysog’s most recent campaign contributions align nearly perfectly with his “no” vote on the senior facility on Bay Farm, this is not the first time that Tony Daysog has acted very specifically for the benefit of a select few in Alameda.

In this case, Tony Daysog called for review a project on behalf of certain residents in order to help them avoid paying for appeal fees that other Alamedans without a hotline to a City Councilmember would typically have to pay.

In early November of 2015, Tony Daysog called the container project at the foot of the Park Street Bridge for review.  In that email he wrote:

Several residents have asked me if I’d call for review the matter of the Park Street container project that the Planning Board deliberated over last week. I indicated that I don’t have an opinion on the matter one way or the other but, per their arguments, I’d oblige them by bringing this to Council for further public input and Council deliberation.

In late November of 2015, an op-ed by Reyla Graber was published railing against the project.

One of the letters asking the City Council to overturn the project was from Pat Gannon:


Both names should sound familiar because both were large contributors to Tony Daysog’s campaign:


Just a reminder, “special interests” are people that give to other candidates. “Public interests” are people who give to Tony Daysog:




  1. The proposed container project (hello Daly City) was incredibly ugly. Thank you Pat Gannon. It is common knowledge that the ” pay to play” in our town( with MUCH larger sums of money) is driven by the Firefighter’s Union.

    Comment by Captain Obvious — November 2, 2016 @ 6:23 am

    • Yes! The firefighters know who butters their bread with high and higher salaries and benefits. Yes, they do. and they support them financially in their bid(s) for office.

      Comment by A Neighbor — November 2, 2016 @ 7:47 am

  2. It wouldn’t have been so bad. It’s a trendy way to create a destination and attract millennials and young families to our shopping districts

    Some examples:

    A new kind of office and retail park is landing in Oakland’s trendy Temescal neighborhood this fall:

    An innovative new shopping development, made entirely of shipping containers, is in the works for Berkeley’s Sacramento Street, which has seen a spate of growth already this year:

    The Biergarten serves beer and German food out of a shipping container to patrons lounging in its sunny outdoor space.

    Aether, a clothing store shown at the top of the article, stacks three different shipping containers on top of each other:

    Which is why several shop owners on Park Street supported the project.

    Comment by Karen Bey — November 2, 2016 @ 6:47 am

  3. I should add, Tony being the youngest person on the City Council could have added a new perspective — a younger voice — something we desperately need on the Council. What a missed opportunity!

    Comment by Karen Bey — November 2, 2016 @ 7:03 am

  4. Last night’s Council meeting included the Mayor’s people praising Tony and Jennifer and against UMA. The Mayor was obviously behind the messages. The fact that someone praised Sullwold, who is nothing more than a bully hiding behind a keyboard, speaks volumes about the type of people behind Spencer. The more I see and read the more I am sickened by Spencer’s lack of caring for Alameda and its residents. The only thing Trish Spencer is interested in is power, control and HER interests. Roloff is bad for Alameda, Daysog is bad for Alameda, Spencer is bad for Alameda.

    Comment by Eyeroll — November 2, 2016 @ 8:55 am

  5. Rail-a Graber

    Comment by MI — November 2, 2016 @ 9:07 am

  6. It is almost comical how distorted politics in Alameda have become when taking developer and fire and police union money, and then voting accordingly is acceptable practice, and independent candidates are accused of Responding to individual citizens. That is what many people like about Alameda, it’s elected officials are often fairly responsive to the citizens.
    In SF, Oakland and Berkeley, money runs the show at those city halls.

    The container issue was simply individuals suggesting council follow extensive architectural guidelines that were developed for Park St. Many people had spent a lot of time on those guidelines. Someone used the example of containers for Sacramento st in Berkeley. That area of Berkeley would be great for such building materials, whereas other areas are filled with older historic architecture. Different areas of a city will often have different looks. That issue was simply to retain Park streets more historic character. If a city does not retain standards, most developers will put little to no effort into quality and character of building materials. Most people do not want Park St to look like any town USA. Try driving across the country to see what that looks like and how bad it can get.

    Comment by Rob — November 2, 2016 @ 9:17 am

    • There is a mechanism for people to question the Planning Board’s decision. It’s called filing an appeal. It costs money.

      Subverting the process by having a City Councilmember Call an item for Review so that you can avoid the appeal fee and then financing that person’s campaign is the very definition of pay to play politics.

      Comment by Lauren Do — November 2, 2016 @ 9:28 am

      • Add several zeroes to that and you get the IAFF’s pay-to-play, which I have no recollection of you ever criticizing (or even admitting it exists).

        Daysog’s behavior is not above reproach, and can be fairly criticized, but it is also de minimis and immaterial to the city at large. The firemen, not so much.

        Comment by dave — November 2, 2016 @ 9:53 am

      • I guess we’ll be reading a lot of detailed pay to play stories right here in the months and years after this election, it being so heavily financed. Also, I guess the “play” can come before or after the “pay” in a pay to play, but applying the label to a mid-sized contribution a year later from someone who supported a council referral that ultimately led to a unanimous vote – like or dislike the outcome — seems a stretch.

        Comment by MP — November 2, 2016 @ 3:41 pm

    • Rob, there are no significant historical facades on Park before Gold Coast Grill with Kung Fu studio diagonally opposed, and then a pretty big gap until Buena Vista. The new building across Buena Vista from the Market Place is a sorry example of faux historic. The containers would have been a) quirky b) showed a sense of humor and c) actually in context to the historical estuary uses. That’s just my opinion. The objecting parties were….I can’t think of P.C. alternative to “pearl clutchers”, sorry. Ms. Graber needed a petition, a long one.

      Why would Sacramento street in Berkeley be such a great fit, but not Park Street ? Ashby and Sacramento actually has similar historic facades which have been similarly degraded. Maybe less so. It is the “Flat Lands”, which is code……

      It does feel like the influence of money in Alameda politics has reached a point of no return. Several council cycles back, even Tony voted for the police and fire contracts and nobody complained. Nobody was watching.

      Comment by MI — November 2, 2016 @ 11:42 am

  7. It’s off topic, but the mention of senior housing reminded me. My friend’s MIL is in a recently built “high end” memory care facility in Alameda. It costs $8,000 a month. My friend walked in the other day to find that her MIL, who has dementia, had been using a large vase as a chamber pot (it was full) and had a drawerful of underwear caked with feces. Just a warning that these facilities are not necessarily the godsend they’re made out to be. Expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better. The slick new facilities impress the family and make the sale but they are no indication of the level of care your loved one will receive. This is not to say they shouldn’t be built, it’s just a warning that no matter how expensive a place is, only frequent visits by friends and family insures against neglect. I hope the City is vigilant about holding these places to high standards.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — November 2, 2016 @ 10:02 am

  8. I actually really liked the container project as it was new and it fit in with that part of Parks Streets architecture of steel bridges, old car lots, brick warehouses, and industry on both sides of the bridge.

    Comment by Jake — November 2, 2016 @ 10:30 am

  9. Bob Sullwold is the only person in Alameda who even comes close to being an investigative reporter. He investigates. He is clear about his sources and lists them for anyone to double check. He is far from a bully.

    Comment by A Neighbor — November 2, 2016 @ 11:31 am

    • He’s extremely long-winded. He seems to know law but not economics or planning. When I read him (and even more so the fawning comments), I’m reminded of what Paul Krugman said about Newt Gingrich: “A Stupid Man’s Idea Of What A Smart Person Sounds Like.”

      Comment by BC — November 2, 2016 @ 11:42 am

      • BC, good one.

        Comment by MI — November 2, 2016 @ 11:44 am

    • It’s weird how all of his investigative reporting work always ends up supporting his side of the issues! A regular Sherlock Holmes that one.

      Comment by brock — November 2, 2016 @ 6:25 pm

      • And that differs from this — and EVERY OTHER — blog in the world??

        Comment by dave — November 3, 2016 @ 5:29 am

        • Nobody is designating this or other blogs as a source of “investigative reporting”, to which none other “even comes close”. CLEAR NOW??

          Comment by brock — November 3, 2016 @ 9:20 am

  10. The correct link to Bob Sullwold’s blog is:

    Comment by A Neighbor — November 2, 2016 @ 11:32 am

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