Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 23, 2012

Do you have an opinion

So remember a couple of years ago when some non-incumbent candidates running for political office were barred from participating in the Mayor’s 4th of July Parade if they didn’t censor their entries?

For those new to the site or have short memories, let me refresh it for you.   This was during a hot election year with a lot at stake.   The sitting Mayor at that time, Beverly Johnson, was terming out and so there was an open Mayor’s seat and since another City Councilmember was also termed out there was at least two — if one of the sitting City Councilmembers won the Mayors race — open City Council seats.  Suffice it to say, the stakes were pretty high in 2010.

The City Attorney, at that time, Teresa Highsmith, released an opinion that declared that since the City was providing funding to the 4th of July Parade that the Parade Committee could restrict the entries:

The Parade Committee of the Mayor’s 4th of July Parade may restrict entries which advocate the election or reelection of a particular candidate or advocate for or against a local ballot measure, on the basis that such political advocacy is not consistent with the purpose of the traditional home-town, family celebration purpose of the Parade.

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July 29, 2010

Whatever you do don’t put the blame on you

The attention on both Alameda Point and, what I guess is now being called “Tamgate” has pushed Parade-Gate into the sidelines, but it’s still an interesting issue in light of the fact that no one wants to take responsibility for who asked for the legal opinion to be issued by the City Attorney.   Councilmember Marie Gilmore has asked that the issue of the parade and contributions from the City to the parade be agendized so that the City Council can talk about the…um…conflicts that arose for this last 4th of July Parade.

I posted this in the comments section a while back, but for those that don’t read the comments after a certain number of posts would have missed the link to the KPIX coverage of Parade-Gate.

According to the piece, Mayor Beverly Johnson told the reporter this:

The Parade Committee asked for an opinion from the City Attorney and the City Attorney’s opinion was that it was certainly appropriate to not allow candidates campaigning in the parade.  And I agree with that because we want to keep it a community event, not a campaigning event.

Which is in stark contrast to Councilmember Marie Gilmore’s position on the issue — as well as the two average Alamedans interviewed for the piece.  Including one woman who said,

I would be spurred to do something like obviously cover up the word so it was obvious what it was covering up and kind of thumb my nose at it.

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