Nov 062016
 
Incumbent Mayor Bill Harrison

Incumbent Mayor Bill Harrison

Incumbent Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison is a darling of housing developers.  He has never seen a development worth questioning, much less voting against.  And developers are repaying his generosity with their own, not only directing tens of thousands of dollars directly into his campaign but contributing tens of thousands more to a local Democratic Party organ, money used to produce and send mailers asking Democratic voters to vote for Harrison.

According to campaign finance disclosure forms filed with the California Department of State, the Ohlone Area United Democratic Campaign (OAUDC)  has received $60,000 from housing developers in the last two months.  It received $5,000 from Summerhill Construction, $10,000 from Sanjeev Acharya, $20,000 from Robson Homes and $25,000 from Ron Zeff, CEO of Carmel Properties.  Records show that the OAUDC has spent around $58,000 (including a partly unpaid bill to a printer)  on mailers supporting Bill Harrison.  Though the Democratic Party has endorsed fifteen candidates in the Ohlone Area, the mailers only feature Bill Harrison.

By going through the Democratic Party, developers supporting Harrison are able to skirt Fremont’s campaign contribution regulations, which cap all contributions to $600 per donor.  There are no limits on how much money any single contributor can donate to a political party, however, or on how much said political party can spend on supporting a candidate.  The law does prohibit earmarking of contributions to political parties, but as long as winks and nudges substitute subpoenable e-mails, it’s too difficult to prove to deter political money launderers.

In addition to developers, the OAUDC received a $10,000 contribution from the Fremont Police Association and another $10,000 contribution from the Scott Haggerty for Supervisor campaign.  Bill Harrison is the Haggerty campaign’s treasurer. As Haggerty is not currently running for office, his campaign does not need to file its own campaign finance reports until the end of the year.  Therefore it’s impossible to know if Haggerty’s donation to the OAUDC followed a similar donation to his own campaign from developer interests.

shawnwilsonThe OAUDC contracted with Shawn Wilson, of Trident Consulting, to do the mailers for Harrison.  Wilson happens to be Scott Haggerty’s chief of staff; last year the Grand Jury found that Wilson was pressuring county staff to do “favors” for large contributors to Haggerty’s campaign.  On October 28th, Wilson contributed $7500 to the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee (ACDCC).  As the ACDCC has yet to disclose any expenditures on behalf of candidates, we don’t yet know what that many is being used for.

If you receive a mailer for Harrison claiming to come from the Democratic Party, beware of who really paid for it.

 

Oct 292016
 
Alameda County Progressive Voter Guide to the November 2016 Election: The Candidates

Every election, I publish a Voter Guide trying to identify the most progressive candidates running for office in Alameda County.  I do as much research as I can on the candidates, send out questionnaires and meet with them when possible.  And yet, often times I get it wrong.  I recommend a candidate who then turns out to be less than progressive while in office. This time, I’m being more cautious.  I’m only recommending candidates who are bona fide progressives, who supported Bernie Sanders in the primary, and have a record of standing up for social justice and civil liberties.  In [Continue Reading]

Oct 272016
 
SLT's Guide to Voter Guides and Endorsements

Every year, I publish a Progressive Voters’ Guide to elections in Alameda County.  But SLT’s guide is just one of several voters guide and endorsement lists you can use. Here is a little guide to the other voter guides and endorsement lists, with my thoughts about them.  Please let me know of other local guides you know. Green Voter Guide This is a publication of the Green Party of Alameda County.  Very few Greens run for office, so most of the candidates the Greens recommend are progressive Democrats.  I like that they do their homework on them, sending comprehensive questionnaires [Continue Reading]

Oct 182016
 
Alameda County Progressive Voter Guide to the November 2016 Election: The Propositions

These are my recommendations on how to vote on State and Local Propositions in Alameda County. Italics signify that I’m less sure about that recommendation. Comments are welcomed.  Please also check out my Progressive Voter Guide to Candidates running in Alameda County. STATE & COUNTY PROPOSITIONS Quick Guide 51 = No 52 = Yes 53 = No 54 = Yes 55 =Yes 56 = No 57 = Yes 58 = No 59 = Yes 60 = No 61 = Yes 62 = Yes 63 = No 64 = Yes 65 = No 66 = No 67 = Yes A1 = [Continue Reading]