Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 8, 2016

Who run the world? 2016 edition

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

If you haven’t yet taken Mike McMahon’s election day survey, here’s the link.  Generally I do a brain, heart, gut post close to the day of the election, but to be honest I am so emotionally and mentally exhausted from the national election that I really just want this day to be over.

Leave your election day thoughts here, hopefully however this election turns out both nationally and locally we’ll all be able to come together toward a common goal and that is to do the best we can we for greater good.

Oh, please make sure to get out and vote.  I’m not even going to write it doesn’t matter who you vote for, just make sure to vote because that’s not even true.  Vote for Hillary Clinton.  Anyone who says that the world will be just fine no matter who wins is not (1) female, (2) a person of color, (3) a non Christian, (4) not heterosexual, or (5) any combination thereof. We have a choice between an actual three-dimensional person with flaws just like the rest of us but with deep knowledge and ability to lead this country or a one-dimensional  dumbass who has singlehandedly destroyed a party and political discourse.  Choose wisely people.


And about those labor unions. I know it’s quite popular these days to be down on organized labor.  But when I look at the national landscape and I recall American’s history, it is organized labor which has been the backbone of this country to ensure that individual voices can come together to make a huge difference.  Given that organized labor will have helped build a huge firewall against the most horrific choice for President ever, I will forever be grateful.

Ask yourself the next time you rail against the public safety unions in Alameda.  Do you hate them because they’re organized or do you hate them because they’re effective and they support candidates and positions that you do not?   A singular politically active firefighter, police officer, or teacher may not have the voice or the reach to make a difference in an election, but organized they have the money and the resources to add to the discourse.  Not everyone can afford to invest $100K into their own campaign in order to say that they’re not beholden to special interests.  Not everyone can position themselves to do enough favors for enough individuals with money to also then claim that they are not beholden to special interests.  If people really want to rage against the campaign contribution machine and remove ALL special interest money from elections, then agitate for publicly financed elections or some sort of meaningful campaign reform.

Or we can do it like the elections at Ruby Bridges, hand everyone two pieces of white poster paper and let them know that the two posters and their speeches are their only campaign materials.  If they do more than that they’ll be disqualified from the election.

Gratuitous (but appropriate) Beyonce video:



  1. If people really want to rage against the campaign contribution machine and remove ALL special interest money from elections, then agitate for publicly financed elections or some sort of meaningful campaign reform.


    A properly written recusal law would work without the public expense. Simply stated, a candidate/official could accept money from anyone but would be barred from voting on contracts or other disbursements of public funds to parties or entities whose money he/she accepts.

    The devils would, as always, be in the details. There would need be be a provision allowing small contributions by people who are entitled to vote for a given candidate, for example. De facto support, such as a mailer paid for by one of groups or individuals would need to be counted as a contribution. Special care would be needed with the precise language to avoid loopholes as best as possible. Complex, yes, but it would be cheaper and more effective than a publicly funded campaign.

    Comment by dave — November 8, 2016 @ 6:59 am

  2. Pity poor San Francisco voters having to tackle 25 additional local ballot measures. If only there were another way, such as democratically delegating an individual to represent the interests of a given community in a body of such people who make informed choices on matters of state.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — November 8, 2016 @ 7:10 am

    • Thanks Mike. Sadly, won’t work in a world where too many of “the elected” view their primary responsibility to be getting elected….

      Comment by Jordan1324 — November 8, 2016 @ 7:41 am

    • Weird idea, Mike. The candidates would have to both represent and lead their constituents? That sounds hard.

      Comment by Gaylon — November 8, 2016 @ 10:20 am

  3. The charge that those around town are anti union or demonizing them, or calling them evil, is just pure BS. It is a diversionary tactic to avoid addressing the political behavior of the unions. Attempting to smear candidates out of office with lies and distortions.
    This behavior was especially evident with Tony Dasog.
    Addressing the underlying issues is what is needed. Topics people stay carefully away from for fear of drawing the ire of the union.
    City says they have no money for anything, fire dept has one or two fires a year and spends all their time with large crews doing medical. The public safety spending is proportionally to large for a city this size. Any and all attempts to address this bring retribution politically.

    Comment by Rob — November 8, 2016 @ 8:02 am

    • I live on Encinal, the apparent main route for the fire trucks. Rest assured, they get more than ‘one or two’ fires a year. More like a couple times weekly. Yes, I can tell the difference between when they send one truck out for medical, versus several that go by on the same call, along with the chief’s car. That happens quite regularly, to my detriment.

      Comment by Brian K — November 8, 2016 @ 1:55 pm

    • Rob, just this morning AFD had to respond to a huge structure fire. In the last few weeks, I recall not even having enough firefighters on hand and had to have OFD cover some calls. You REALLY want to go without or with fewer? We could use more. And definitely more APD, too.

      Comment by TK — November 8, 2016 @ 2:08 pm

  4. Rob, your quote ” with lies and distortions”. “fire dept has one or two fires a year”. does the shoe fit???

    Comment by John Piziali — November 8, 2016 @ 8:18 am

  5. Get back to me when I mail that stat to every voter in town and do not print where it came from.

    Comment by Rob — November 8, 2016 @ 8:20 am

  6. I don’t exactly vote “non-union” but I have to say it comes to mind when I vote on local issues. The AFD truly believes they should get to decide who is on our school board and that is nuts.

    Comment by my kids are more important than a union job — November 8, 2016 @ 8:43 am

    • how about if it were YOUR union job? Maybe that’s what you were saying, but we don’t know what work you do, so that dilutes the veracity of your opinion a bit. (did I use “veracity” correctly ?) Are you a cashier at Wallgreen’s ? Come to think of it, that may be union job.

      Comment by MI — November 8, 2016 @ 9:14 am

    • maybe its because they actually live here and vote here. ya think???

      Comment by John Piziali — November 8, 2016 @ 2:08 pm

  7. It would help to sober up the discussion to employ accurate numbers. Thinking about it I can’t venture a guess as to how many fires we have but “one or two” a year is a pretty outrageous rhetorical slap in the face to such important work. Claiming nobody in town is “demonizing” them and it’s “pure BS” is actually pure BS. I’ve sat at Jim’s with Jeff Del Bono and listened while he was pretty heavily insulted to his face and his response was measured. I’ve listened to dave explain the roots of his vituperative opinions and they run pretty deep philosophically. Many of his screeds seem pretty hostile.

    But I’m with you on your general drift and political over reach and over staffing, but the fire fighters themselves, who are the experts, will quickly attack any attempt to make that argument with great authority. The truth is probably in between. Thing is, that when a fire DOES break out, and they do, you may need all those guys so you might as well keep them busy, right? I think it would be great to legislate a local prohibition on money in campaigning but ironically it might under Citizen’s United it might be unconstitutional. Smearing a candidate seems to go beyond the job description of fire fighters but it’s currently legal. Wasn’t one of the props we voted on today a referendum to our legislature to come up with an end run to Citizen’s United?

    Comment by MI — November 8, 2016 @ 9:09 am

    • “run pretty deep philosophically” sounds like a compliment. If it is, thank you.

      But it’s not very deep. It’s really a simple belief in good government and judicious use of public funds. The ability of a major receiver of tax dollars to influence the election of people who vote those tax dollars is a serious flaw in our system. That’s a very simple principle.

      Comment by dave — November 8, 2016 @ 10:56 am

  8. The “greater good” is not the same as the “common good”, a mistake liberals commonly make.. The common good serves the rights of everyone; The greater good serves only the majority. A society that works toward the greater good tramples the rights of the minority.

    Comment by vigi — November 8, 2016 @ 9:11 am

  9. Then of course there was the PG&E pressure relief valve that failed one night turning pilot lights into blow-torches and two dozen Alamedan’s homes caught on fire at the same time.

    But, if you want to believe that only one or two fires a year happen in Alameda, congratulate AFD for a job well done. Part of AFD’s mission is actually to ensure compliance with fire codes, so fires don’t start in the first place.

    Comment by Gerard L. — November 8, 2016 @ 9:14 am

  10. Amongst those I have heard discuss this topic there is not ever a devaluation of union labor, or police or fire persons. I hang out with liberal union supporters.
    Only discussions of the negative political involvement and the overweight response to medical calls. Medical calls far outweigh fire calls. Then the response in terms of fire personnel and fire vehicles is overweighted for the medical need.

    Comment by Rob — November 8, 2016 @ 9:24 am

    • You may not watch American football, but if you do you may have seen how many people are needed to lift a 300-pound lineman onto an ambulance from field level. Now imagine having to carry a uncouncious person the same weight down a flight of stairs. You send the entire firehouse to the emergency scene. Better safe then sorry.

      Comment by Gerard L. — November 8, 2016 @ 9:42 am

  11. Here’s a question I have that relates to public money, public safety and City Politics. Why are there no real questions or concerns over the new fire command/station being built on Grand St. It’s going to end up costing over double what was originally approved as all indications now look like it’s headed well North of 14m. Drive around the City, that 7m “extra” could have went to a lot of places that actually need it – schools, roads, parks, dog shelter etc etc etc. I mean, WTF. Why is no one being held accountable? If any of us normal folk ran our personal households like this we’d be broke and bankrupt. We all should be looking at who approved it, who managed the project and who actually benefits.

    Comment by FranklinB — November 8, 2016 @ 11:28 am

    • Jeapordy. Emergency Command Centers for $14 million. What is the Public Works Department?

      Comment by Gerard L. — November 8, 2016 @ 12:42 pm

    • I almost forgot that your kids teachers are union and even though their union doesn’t have the clout of AFD it isn’t “nuts” for teachers to decide their own destiny. I generally don’t agree with the teachers unions endorsements. Only one of their candidates won, the incumbent. I’m not certain how much money IAFF puts into teachers races, but if there even was any it didn’t seem to have succeeded very well.

      Comment by MI — November 9, 2016 @ 8:13 am

      • oops. comment above about IAFF influence is out of place. I’m actually shocked that the budget for command center has doubled, if it has. I’ve referred to it as Guilded Lily but can’t imagine how that much money could just slide by without the Mayor making big noise. Also don’t understand comment by Gerald L.

        Comment by MI — November 9, 2016 @ 8:20 am

  12. One way to counterbalance campaign spending is good public schools. It’s a long-term fix, but a person with a brain and a little interest is better inoculated against the mailers, etc. It also has some other good intended consequences.

    In the meantime, it’s fair to ask who is spending big, and why.

    The number one firewall against Trump has been his own performance, pretty much from day one.

    Comment by MP — November 8, 2016 @ 2:27 pm

    • Well said, sir. Go B1.

      Comment by dave — November 8, 2016 @ 4:01 pm

  13. Here are the results of 2016 Election Prediction Contest. With 83 entries it is largest number of predictions. When you review the results do it with big grain of salt. This is a self selecting contest so just remember most of the participants know me. As a result, I have a very hard time believing that I can overcome the huge amount money spent by the incumbent. Yet I also believed the Presidential race would not be close and yet it is appears it will be a nail biting night.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — November 8, 2016 @ 7:10 pm

  14. There were no changes in any of the races or measures from the initial results posted at 8:15pm. Malia Vella and Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft won the City Council race. Jennifer Williams, Gray Harris and Ardella Dailey won the school board race. Kevin Kearney and Kevin Kennedy were reelected. Measures B1, K1 and L1 all passed with Measure M1 failing. For more detailed look at the results for individual races go here:

    Comment by Mike McMahon — November 9, 2016 @ 1:08 am

  15. To close the loop on the local 2016 election here is a recap of all of the contributions and expenditures for local races in 2016:

    While the cost to run City Council remains around $25,000, the School Board race approached $20,000 per candidate (a few notable candidates do not show year end filings on the City website). From 1994 through 2010, nearly all of the school board candidates spent less than $1,000.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — March 8, 2017 @ 10:24 am

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