Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 10, 2016

Tell him “boy bye”

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

Here are the final-ish numbers from the City Council race, now that I have cycled nearly through all the stages of grief, focusing back on the local stuff is fairly helpful in the process:


A few thoughts based on the outcome of this race.

I think we are starting to see that name recognition may not bring the benefits that it used to bring.  Both Tony Daysog and Lena Tam entered the race with a fair amount of name recognition.  Tony Daysog because he is a current City Council member and Lena Tam because she used to be a City Council member.

I know a few people may attribute Tony Daysog’s loss to the negative campaign mailers that went out against him, but I will point out that both Tony Daysog and Jennifer Roloff were essentially campaigning on the same platform, but both came up short and Jennifer Roloff had no negative campaigning against her.  It’s unclear if the “bullet vote for Jennifer Roloff” strategy was still around when people started to cast votes, if so and there was some percentage of people who would have cast votes for Tony Daysog as well, that strategy may have cost Tony Daysog a number of votes.

I think someone who may have benefitted from the bullet vote strategy was Malia Vella who was the only candidate to show some semblance of support for the renters initiative.  While M1 did not pass I know that a lot of supporters were going for a Malia Vella vote only strategy and the “yes” votes were around 7200 folks.


What will be interesting to watch, moving forward, will be how this City Council functions with Trish Spencer at the helm but with a much less friendly City Council composition.  There’s been a lot of real talk from the City Council about needing “three votes” so this election was pretty important from that aspect. I can imagine that Trish Spencer’s dream would have been to eliminate Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft and retain guaranteed second vote Tony Daysog.  Now her closest ally may be Frank Matarrese on select issues.  We may be seeing Trish Spencer of her School Board days once again, only this time she’ll have the gavel.

I assume we’ll be seeing Tony Daysog again in 2018.



  1. Name recognition? Ashcraft and Vella were everywhere. It was not a “voting strategy.” The winners had the most money behind them and used it to trash Daysog while bombarding the locals with paper. “Boy-bye” to small town campaigns by locals just trying to help their communities. Who will be the next Bonta staffer to win office after Oddie and Vella?

    Comment by Captain Obvious — November 10, 2016 @ 6:32 am

    • Yes, they were everywhere knocking on doors and hosting house parties. As I pointed out above using the logic that negative campaigning did Tony Daysog in neglects the fact that Jennifer Roloff had no negative campaign running against her and she fell very short.

      Comment by Lauren Do — November 10, 2016 @ 6:50 am

      • Roloff was much more “everywhere” in my neighborhood and in the realm of my longish dog walks (west-mid-island around 4th to Grand for those taking notes). By my estimate, her lawn signs numbered at least close to all other lawn signs combined (for council and school board candidates and measures). Without a doubt more signs than both Ashcraft and Vella.

        I also saw her and her mother at the farmers market and walking around to door to door multiple times (although she never came to my door…sniff). I never saw Ashcraft, Vella, Daysog or Tam out and about around here.

        There’s a constant complaint that elections aren’t about substance anymore. It could be possible that the substance of her “preservation” message just doesn’t have a wide appeal anymore.

        It could also be possible that Spencer’s endorsement of Roloff and Daysog was ballot-box poison, especially during a presidential election year when voter turn-out is much higher.

        Comment by brock — November 10, 2016 @ 8:14 am

      • Thank you Lauren. My gosh I’m so tired of hearing about M & M and the “deep pockets”. I worked for both campaigns and I’ve never, ever seen more solid ground games: walking and calling Alameda to earn their votes one voter at a time. Couple that with their message, their steady temperament, willingness and ability to work together, their heart, brains, and guts- the tiller of our little Ship of State: Alameda will be in good hands. Frank is his own man, even handed and in my opinion, with heart as well. I think the results of this election has put Alameda back on track and ready to move productively into the future. I’d be concerned if I were the Mayor.

        Comment by Gabrielle "Gaby" Dolphin — November 10, 2016 @ 9:49 am

  2. If could also be that people recognized the names of Tam and Daysog and said, “Hell, no.”

    Comment by Denise Shelton — November 10, 2016 @ 8:36 am

  3. Vella and Ashcraft’s win signal a political maturity on the part of Alameda’s citizenry that is really satisfying. I was worried that many would vote like Trumpists on Roloff just to lob, in the words of Michael Moore, “a human molotov cocktail” at growth and traffic. They didn’t. They voted for the most prepared, compassionate and open-minded candidates. Despite the unfortunate and successful confusion over M1 and L1, which the council cynically put into motion and then hid their heads in the sand as the real outside money pours in, I am proud of this town.

    Despite what happened nationally, we have a chance here to work on keeping everyone in their homes, dealing with traffic, jobs, environmental and social issues not from an us vs. them basis, but from one of true community, the beloved community that Martin Luther King talked about.

    That’s why a few of us from the Alameda Renters Coalition sat at the tunnel yesterday, reminding all commuters that we stand with all Alamedans and all Alamedans are one, no matter their circumstances. We who care about Alameda not as a perfect little picket fence fantasy for the select but as a real, live dynamic place won’t be going away and we hope others will support us.

    Comment by Laura Thomas — November 10, 2016 @ 8:46 am

    • Thank you Laura, I needed to read this. I would love to see more of your writing on our local politics. We need more progressive voices in addition to Lauren’s talking about Alameda’s issues.

      Comment by Angela — November 10, 2016 @ 11:03 am

  4. I think Tony defeated Tony. In his infinite wisdom he came out against seniors,the homeless, veterans, and even his own west end folks, and he also decided the best communication strategy was to not communicate. He stopped being engaged at council meetings, choosing to rely on pre-written “thoughts” on his ipad instead of listening to public comments. Think back to how many times he would pop up on this blog to post one of his strategic thinking pieces, then refuse to stay around and answer any questions. Roloff also defeated Roloff, she is to new and uninformed. In an age when everyone is concerned about “special interests” she chose to cite a desire to get her husband a city contract as her reason for entering the contest.

    Lastly, it is a mistake to think M1 was defeated solely by money. It was defeated because of a few reasons:

    1) It had a lot of flaws that made its potential effectiveness highly questionable and because it was a charter amendment, it would not be easily fixable
    2) The ARC leadership was not politically savvy in their messaging,outreach, and diversifying (in every way) their base.

    If some follow-up polling was done, I think you would be surprised at the number of people that strongly support some form of rent control but voted no on M1.

    Comment by notadave — November 10, 2016 @ 9:27 am

    • L1 carried easily, and is a significant form of rent control, so I doubt that polling would surprise anyone. In my opinion M1 lost because it was an overreach. ARC won a major victory with the city ordinance but wasn’t satisfied unless they got every last sliver of the apple. As I said yesterday, I am surprised it lost, but that is why I think it did.

      Comment by dave — November 10, 2016 @ 10:15 am

  5. The “win” of some candidates is a result of the smearing of other candidates.

    Comment by A Neighbor — November 10, 2016 @ 9:29 am

    • No one smeared Roloff except herself. Like, when she talked. Or wrote.

      Comment by BC — November 10, 2016 @ 10:14 am

      • and the smear campaign against Daysog?

        Comment by A Neighbor — November 10, 2016 @ 10:48 am

        • As hilarious as the negative mailers were against Tony Daysog, was there anything that wasn’t sourced properly or misattributed to Tony Daysog?

          Comment by Lauren Do — November 10, 2016 @ 11:06 am

  6. “Don’t Cry For Me Alameda

    It won’t be easy, you’ll think it so strange
    When I try to explain how must I now feel
    I still need your love after what you have done

    You may not believe me
    But I’m still the man you all once knew
    Though now I’ll not sit at the council for you
    From early at eve to early next day

    Misfortune did happen, they had to make change
    For spending my life not threading the needle
    Eyes wide open when should have been sleeping
    Hearing the drones while thinking of tinikling

    For me you chose freedom
    Now running around, trying things new
    But nothing impresses me as much as the past
    I never expected it to

    Don’t cry for me Alameda
    The truth is I’ll never leave you
    All through my council days
    My glory existence
    I tried to keep promises
    Now I’ll keep my distance

    And as for my fortune, and as for my fame
    Though I always invited them in
    It seemed to the world they were all I desired

    These were your illusions
    I never expected solutions though promises were made
    The answer was inside me all the time
    I tried to love you and hoped you love me

    Don’t cry for me Alameda

    Have I said too much?
    There’s nothing more I can think of to say to you.
    But all you have to do is look at me to know
    That every word is true

    Comment by jack — November 10, 2016 @ 10:41 am

  7. Bought and paid for. Alameda is for sale. Just do the math on what was spent by Ashcraft and Vella directly and indirectly by those IE’s and divide by the votes they each obtained. Their dollar per vote far exceeded any combination of the other three and it wasn’t even close. Name recognition is critical but having a bankroll can and did buy a lot of votes. In looking at much of the polling data thus far, Ashcraft lost bad in her own prescient neighborhood to Roloff and lost a lot of her former supporters as well. And Vella won with the renters votes which put her over the top. Tam likely won’t ever run again, Daysog likely won’t either but Roloff now has a base that will only increase. As many votes as she got for being a true new comer can’t be overlooked. Without the L1/M1 issue on the ballot we likely could be looking at a different outcome. Now we get to see how things work moving forward for the council, will be interesting. Also, was it just me or did anyone else notice how many fire related rigs were out and about all day on Election Day?

    Comment by FranklinB — November 10, 2016 @ 10:48 am

    • Eh. Not so sure about Roloff. There are a couple of potential factors that hurt her: there are fewer old, angry white conservatives than there used to be (consistent with your observation about the Gold Coast); and she was a truly awful candidate, ill prepared for (and perhaps simply not up to) the role the old guard bestowed on her. Did every one of her backers have a lawn sign? When the wonderfully entertaining Pat Bail failed, she also had lawn-sign hegemony, which thankfully didn’t translate to power. Lack of name recognition was certainly not Roloff’s principal weakness.

      Comment by BC — November 10, 2016 @ 10:55 am

    • Roloff now has a base that will only increase

      Given that Roloff pulled in similar numbers to Jane Sullwold in 2012 with a similar message, although Jane Sullwold was a vastly superior candidate with actual knowledge of issues in the City. Unless Jennifer Roloff is going to extricate herself from the current political universe she currently resides in and actually figures out how the City of Alameda works and basics of the topics that she spoke about disastrously, as to her base increasing there’s one response to that:

      [Insert Sure, Jan meme here]

      Comment by Lauren Do — November 10, 2016 @ 11:12 am

      • Maybe Jennifer Roloff’s husband will score a City contract before the next election and she won’t need to run.

        Comment by dc — November 10, 2016 @ 8:07 pm

    • Where do you get precinct by precinct vote data?

      Comment by dave — November 10, 2016 @ 11:41 am

      • Usually precinct level data is not available to the public until all votes are counted. Unless you’re part of someone’s campaign that has paid for the data…

        Comment by Lauren Do — November 10, 2016 @ 11:52 am

      • Lauren is correct. Statement of Vote is published 30 days after the election. I will be doing an analysis of 2016 election similar to the 2014 Mayor race.

        Comment by Mike McMahon — November 10, 2016 @ 5:36 pm

        • Do you have a read at this point on turnout in Alameda as compared to 2012?

          Comment by MP — November 10, 2016 @ 9:36 pm

    • 7. I don’t make the connection about L1 and M1 having effected the Council outcome. Can you explain your thinking ?

      Comment by MI — November 10, 2016 @ 12:58 pm

      • He’s saying that if M1 was not on the ballot, Malia Vella would not have won because I guess renters would have sat at home instead of voted.

        Comment by Lauren Do — November 10, 2016 @ 1:01 pm

        • In 2012, there were approx 29,000 votes (yes and no) cast on Measure D. So far (and BMac mentioned that there are some ballots that remain uncounted) it looks like there were 21,000 votes (yes and no) approx cast on B1. Does anyone know what the total number of Alameda voters this year is going to look like compared with 2012?

          Comment by MP — November 10, 2016 @ 1:41 pm

        • BMac’s post yesterday gives an estimate of about 25K voters this year.

          Comment by MP — November 10, 2016 @ 1:48 pm

        • LD, was that immediately obvious to you or did you have to think about it ? To me it is faulty logic and I’ve even been wondering how Vella was front runner but L1 also passed by such a large number.

          Comment by MI — November 10, 2016 @ 1:54 pm

        • Given that FranklinB doesn’t really know much about Alameda politics before Jennifer Roloff entered into this campaign, I’m pretty sure his reasoning was as simple as if not for renters voting for M1 therefore Malia Vella would not be joining the City Council.

          As to Malia’s high numbers I think it was a combo of a (1) subset of renters bullet voting for Malia Vella only which would have robbed another candidate of those votes, (2) high quality outreach on her part, and (3) I think her performance at the Alameda Peeps election forum was huge and she received a very positive response. Alameda Peeps is a group of about 5500 members strong but it’s a fairly active group of motivated people, that might have helped push up her numbers if even 10% of that group voted en masse for Malia Vella.

          Comment by Lauren Do — November 10, 2016 @ 2:11 pm

      • The thinking is MI, that Vella benefited the most from the renters movement. Not just those that voted for M1 but even those that may have voted against L1 or for it. Just as Bmac stated the other day, he voted no on both L1 and M1. But voted for cadidates he thought would best work in favor or the renters moving forward. Many followed that path is the thinking. And M1 blew it for being too extreme. And although L1 wasn’t M1 it could be adjusted moving forward. So pick those (Vella) that were for M1 even if they said they were “netural”. And LD, we should save the debate on what I do/don’t know for another time as it may surprise you.

        Comment by FranklinB — November 10, 2016 @ 2:45 pm

    • While this maybe true for City Council, the School Board race showed that the smallest amount raised by a candidate (Ardella Dailey) won a seat.

      Comment by Mike McMahon — November 10, 2016 @ 5:39 pm

  8. Dave, Register of Voters once final. Actual polling locations day of. LD total votes close to that Jane 2012 number but overall % much higher, and true new entry. Also LD, can you briefly explain that Spencer comment above about her history on the school board, don’t know it thus curious.

    Comment by FranklinB — November 10, 2016 @ 12:05 pm

    • I just can’t let this slide. You come out of the gate strong with opinions like “Bought and paid for. Alameda is for sale” and “Roloff now has a base that will only increase”.

      Yet you don’t even know extremely basic facts about RECENT Alameda politics like the Mayor’s history on the school board?

      Comment by brock — November 10, 2016 @ 1:25 pm

      • You can’t let it slide? Sorry to know that, talk to your therapist. It was just a question as I thought she was speaking about something real specific. I know what I’ve heard, both ways, over the years but also know that Spencer always had a lot of votes and was generally liked on the school board. Thus was curious on the specifics to the comment, nothing more or less.

        Comment by FranklinB — November 10, 2016 @ 2:26 pm

  9. Does it bother anybody that the two front runners total votes are less than the sum of the others? I had assumed Lena Tam’s votes would come from Vella supporters so I’m curious if people didn’t bullet vote for Lena who their second choice was Ashcraft, Vella or what ? I’m a terrible statistician so I won’t speculate further, but I just want to say unlimited candidates vying for two spots is even more stupid than Electoral College.

    Comment by MI — November 10, 2016 @ 2:01 pm

    • yes. some places have instant run-offs (ranked choice?) to create majorities. I don’t know if it is used for multiple seat, at-large elections.

      Comment by MP — November 10, 2016 @ 2:58 pm

      • MP, I came up w/ a ranked choice/instant runoff voting system at UCSB circa 2000, including for multiple seat races. It was complicated, and a bitch to count, but worked pretty well.

        Comment by BMac — November 11, 2016 @ 11:44 am

    • I’ve been wondering where Tam’s votes would have gone if she were not in this thing too. I have to think there were a lot of Ashcraft/Tam voters and a little less of Daysog Tam voters. I doubt there were too many Roloff/Tam voters, but maybe some Vella/Tam voters. That would make me think that Vella would have gotten the most, then Roloff and so on. If that is correct (I’m obviously guessing wildly), it would have extended Vella’s lead and bunched up 2-3-4.

      Comment by BMac — November 10, 2016 @ 5:03 pm

  10. There over 4 million votes to be counted in California. That means Hillary Clinton will likely get an additional 2.4 million votes versus 1.3 million votes for Donald Trump. With those votes counted the national polls will be within the polling error for predicting the total vote count. In Alameda County there are over 250,000 votes to be processed. Once processed voter turnout will be 72% county wide.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — November 10, 2016 @ 6:50 pm

  11. At least on this blog, mr. Foreman had to continually tell us what Ms. Roloff ment to say, which meant she didn’t know what she was saying. Tony didn’t want us to know what he was saying, Marylyn Ashcraft is very easy to understand. Hospital board, new library, planning board, Malia professor at mills. College, labor Attorney, I’m content my candidate’s won, see you in two years. On to my golf game.

    Comment by John P. F-trump — November 10, 2016 @ 6:50 pm

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