Blogging Bayport Alameda

December 5, 2016

One last time

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

True to form Tony Daysog is not letting a little thing like losing an election to get in the way of paving the way for his next run for office.  Per usual Tony Daysog is suggesting, through a Council Referral to do one thing but name is something else to make it appear that he actually got something done that is way bigger than it actually is.  Case in point, Tony Daysog’s final Council Referral is for “Local Campaign Finance Reform.”

Now quick, when you think of local campaign finance reform what are you thinking of, I’ll give you a moment to formulate your thought about what it brings to mind.

Good?

So perhaps you thought of a voluntary cap that all candidates would agree to.  Or maybe a publicly financed campaign scheme to reduce the need for candidates to fundraise from potential “special interests.” Or perhaps a voluntary pledge for all candidate to not accept donations over a certain amount.  Something like those above right?

Well, guess what Tony Daysog is proposing?

None of the above.

It’s really quite a stretch to say that what Tony Daysog is proposing is campaign finance reform at all.  Perhaps you could call it a lowering of the barrier to entry to actually run for office, but in no way does it reform the current method of doing business when it comes to campaigning.   From the Referral:

Direct City Clerk to work with City Attorney in crafting an Ordinance with respect to “local campaign finance reform” focusing on these related items:

[A] (1) fully covering the direct and indirect City Clerk administrative electoral costs of eight City Council candidates and; and, (2) if there are more than eight candidates, apportioning the incremental cost above the cost covering the first eight candidates equally among all candidates.1

[B] (1) fully covering the direct and indirect City Clerk administrative electoral costs of four mayoral candidates and ; and, (2) if there are more than four candidates, apportioning the incremental cost above the cost covering the first four candidates equally among all candidates.

[C] (1) fully covering the direct and indirect City Clerk administrative electoral costs of four City Treasurer candidates and ; and, (2) if there are more than four candidates, apportioning the incremental cost above the cost covering the first four candidates equally among all candidates.

[D] (1) fully covering the direct and indirect City Clerk administrative electoral costs of four City Auditor candidates and ; and, (2) if there are more than four candidates, apportioning the incremental cost above the cost covering the first four candidates equally among all candidates.

[E] Referencing the short-name of this ordinance (“local campaign finance reform”) and the Ordinance number, the City Clerk shall include the above information [A through D] in any notices to the public (including the electronic and print media) pertaining to informing residents of filing periods and requirements for City Council, Mayoral, City Treasurer, and City Auditor up-coming elections.

Example: “Per the City of Alameda’s ‘local campaign finance reform’ ordinance (Ordinance No. 1776), the administrative cost for the first eight Council candidates will be fully covered, and, if there are more than eight candidates, the incremental administrative cost above the first set of candidates will be calculated and then apportioned equally amongst all candidates.  Calculation and apportionment of administrative costs for the Mayoral election are similarly conducted, except that in the case of the mayoral election, the triggering threshold is four candidates.”

Background: By “direct and indirect City Clerk administrative electoral costs”, I mean only those costs associated with the Office of the City Clerk, as it relates to administering City Council\Mayoral\City Treasurer\City Auditor elections.  Examples of such costs include the $100 candidate registration filing fee, as well as the election ballot\voter guide printing cost the City Clerk’s office administers on behalf of the Alameda County Voter Registrar’s Office.

_________________

1 If the City Clerk’s administrative cost amounts to $1000 per candidate ($900 printing cost and $100 filing fee) and there are eight candidates, then each candidate is not required to submit payment to the City Clerk’s office.  If there are ten candidates, then the incremental cost associated with the ninth and tenth candidate is $2,000, which is then apportioned equally across all ten candidates, resulting in a bill $200 per candidate.

The TL;dr of this is Tony Daysog wants to have the City float the cost to pay for the administrative cost of the elections up to $1000.  If there are more candidates that would require the cost to go above $1000 then the bill get split equally between all the candidates not just the new candidates over the threshold set.

It seems unnecessarily fussy since we rarely see eight candidates for City Council. And we’ve never seen more than four candidates for Treasurer and Auditor.  I think we may have had a four candidate Mayoral race at some point, but — again — rare circumstances that we are unnecessarily legislating for in order for Tony Daysog to later brag that he enacted campaign finance reform.  Although you all will agree this is NOT what one traditionally thinks of as campaign finance reform.  If the City Council wants to do it, fine, whatever.  But call it what it really is, an easing of administrative costs to encourage a greater number of candidates to run in any given election.  Don’t call it something it isn’t.

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7 Comments »

  1. Breathtaking. A complicated (administratively costly) solution to a problem that doesn’t really exist, AND, at the same time completely fails to address the very issue it purports to solve.

    Comment by Jordan1324 — December 5, 2016 @ 6:40 am

  2. The Alameda school district is the only school district in the county that pays for all of the administrative and filing fees for school board candidates. In addition school board candidates do not even gather signatures for their candidacy papers.

    The estimated cost for placing a candidate statement in the 2016 voter pamphlet was over $2000 by the City Clerk.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — December 5, 2016 @ 7:19 am

  3. If a candidate cannot get enough financial support from their community to run them maybe that’s a sign that perhaps they do not have enough community support to successfully run for office. I prefer caps and other reforms.

    Comment by Angela N Pallatto — December 5, 2016 @ 8:25 am

  4. Now the real News of the weak end:

    1. The vehicle carrying Fidel Castro’s remains during his funeral parade broke down yesterday. Soldiers had to push it through the streets.

    2. Dictator-Sympathizing QB Colin Kaepernick Finishes Game With More Sacks Than Passing Yards

    Comment by jack — December 5, 2016 @ 10:02 am

  5. Jack, #2. you don’t vote, you don’t count.

    Comment by John Piziali — December 5, 2016 @ 11:19 am

  6. Tony needs to take a swan song bow and leave. He has failed the West End, his gay and Philipino communities.

    Comment by joelsf — December 6, 2016 @ 8:19 am

  7. Catching up during a travel week: I hope someone will note at the inevitable all-night council debate on this that having an initial $0 barrier to entry will result in a number of interesting unintended consequences:

    1. We’ll likely always have the maximum candidates per office. If only three treasurer candidates have filed and I’d like a little coverage this election season, why not?

    2. We’ll likely see a gold-rush-like filing of candidates at the beginning, then a game of chicken leading to the maximum cost-covered filings. If someone who intends a serious council candidacy files as #9, expect someone to drop out rather than pay the ~$250.

    3. Watch as some group files four or more candidates to force out a subsidized candidate early. Mike McMahon noted it’s over $2K to place a candidate statement in the election guide, so call it ~$2200 for filing and guide. 9 council candidates = ~$250/candidate. 10 = $440. 11 = $600. 12 = ~$750. Small contests are worse: 5 = $440. 6 = $733. 7 = ~$950. 8 = $1100.

    4. That would likely mean a crowd in the City Clerk’s office on the final day of filing, trying to decide whether or not to withdraw according to who’s left in the field.

    I’ll start the popcorn now. Should be fun to watch.

    Comment by Jim Meyer — December 9, 2016 @ 6:30 am


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