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City Council Candidate Gillitt Says Alameda Democratic Club Process Flawed

Correction: 11:02 a.m., September 15th, Adam Gillitt wrote to say that the CADC HQ opened August 22nd, not the 29th, as originally reported.

Tonight, the City of Alameda Democratic Club is expected to endorse candidates for Alameda City Council and Mayoral elections. Registered Democrat and Alameda City Council Candidate Adam Gillitt says that he plans to attend “under protest,” because, “the outcome is predetermined. I just want the chance to introduce myself to the voters and give people a chance to choose someone who represents the citizens’ interests, not the highest bidders’.”

Mr. Gillitt figures that Alameda Councilmember Lena Tam, and candidate Rob Bonta are preordained to be endorsed for City Council seats by the local Democratic Club. The club meets tonight at 7:00 p.m. at Alameda Hospital.

In a statement released over the weekend, Gillitt said that he was “not provided equal time to prepare” for tonight’s endorsement meeting, as his invitation “was sent to a non-existent e-mail [address] not associated with his campaign,” and not his e-mail address on record with his campaign filings. In a subsequent letter to the editor, he wrote, “The City of Alameda Democratic Club has completely dispensed with Democracy. How they keep their affiliation with the Democratic Party is beyond me,” and that:

I have documented their attempt to exclude my candidacy for City Council from their endorsement forum. They sent an invitation to an [e-mail] address that was neither functional nor the address of record for my campaign, and subsequently I was not given equal time to prepare my answers nor equal exposure in front of their membership and voters for consideration.

I have documented their display of City Council candidate endorsements inside their headquarters on Webster Street at the Jam, on Saturday September 11, BEFORE the invitations to their endorsement meeting were even sent out. This, despite an interdiction against candidate literature in the CADC [City of Alameda Democratic Club] headquarters before issuing their endorsement. Campaign workers were also seen distributing literature and lawn signs for candidates of the CADC’s choice from the CADC offices, which seem to be doubling as campaign headquarters for at least two candidates.

I have documented the removal of my materials from the CADC’s voter registration table, at the [Webster Street] Jam on Sunday, while materials for candidates of their favor were left in place on the table, violating my First Amendment rights.

City of Alameda Democratic Club Webster Street Office (Courtesy Adam Gillitt)

Last Saturday, the Alameda County Democratic Party Central Committee endorsed Lena Tam and Rob Bonta for City Council, and Marie Gilmore for Mayor. However, Mr. Gillitt told Action Alameda News that prior to that, on Sunday, August 29th, Jim Oddie, of the City of Alameda Democratic Club, prevented him from setting out campaign literature at the opening of the Club’s Webster Street campaign headquarters. “When I went there, Lena Tam was there. I can’t say for sure that he didn’t prevent Lena Tam from setting out literature, but he certainly used all his diligence to make sure I didn’t put my stuff out,” said Gillitt.

Mr. Oddie has not yet responded to a request for comment e-mailed to him over the weekend.

Separately, Action Alameda News has learned through an examination of campaign filing statements that Lena Tam and Rob Bonta share the same treasurer for their campaigns, one Benjamin T. Reyes of Alameda. Lena Tam’s campaign filings also show that Alliance Campaign Strategies is a consultant for her campaign.

Shawn Wilson and Royce Kelley work for Alliance Campaign Strategies Royce Kelley of Alliance Campaigns is the Vice-Chair of the Alameda County Democratic Party Central Committee, and Shawn Wilson of Alliance Campaigns is also on Alameda County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker’s staff.

In August, Mr. Wilson responded to a request for comment from Ms. Lai-Bitker on the planned estuary bridge changes, and this month, Mr. Wilson responded to an inquiry directed to Lena Tam by e-mail with “I cannot respond to this on a County e-mail. I can take a break later this afternoon to answer it from my personal e-mail.” Action Alameda News contacted Mr. Wilson because he was named last week as the point of contact on Lena Tam’s press release regarding the District Attorney’s decision not to open an investigation into the allegations against her over confidential City of Alameda information she provided to SunCal. (Wilson told Action Alameda News that no taxpayer money was used to pay for issuing Tam’s press release on Businesswire.com)

In a letter to the editor distributed to local media, Gillitt wrote, “the CADC prefers candidates who do not respect Alameda’s citizens and those who are beholden to interests outside Alameda.” By telephone, he told Action Alameda News that he is the target of blistering attacks by local Democratic club-affiliated bloggers, and that, “I’m astonished by the acrimony I’ve received by trying to bring a citizen’s voice to local politics. I’m a lifelong registered Democrat, this is my own party, and they’re making me out to be an ogre.”

1 comment to City Council Candidate Gillitt Says Alameda Democratic Club Process Flawed

  • Barb

    TAM/BONTA BONTAM are attacking a fellow Democratic candidate utilizing the democratic process. Could they possibly be biased against an Interim City Manager and City Attorney who caught TAM sending confidential emails to SUNCAL? Too bad Mr. Gillitt is deemed to be lower in priorities than SUNCAL, League of Women Voters when it comes to email notifications by BONTAM and her supporters.

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