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Why So Much Outside Money in Alameda Politics This Year?

Dear Editor,

Why are outsiders spending so much money on Alameda politics this year? Why are Bonta and Tam lauded in glossy marketing campaigns coming from high-powered political firms who are on a mission to destroy Gallant, Jonhson, deHaan and Mataresse?

That these outsiders will stop at nothing to influence our local election is plain, but why? Why all this attention, time and money? And it’s a lot of money, I’d estimate it at 1 million dollars so far: multiple full-color mailers, robo-calls, push-pull surveys, TV ads, reporting on CNN – none of those come cheap. Who is so interested in our city’s elections and has that kind of money to spend? Who seems to think we own land that they have a right to develop?

Those outsiders have tried to hide the source of the spending, but it’s not too hard to trace. The Rocklin CA address on the mailers? That belongs not to Taxpayer Network, but to GBWA Sacramento, a high-powered political firm that claims to “build grassroots support in your community.” The Taxpayer Network, although paired with the Rocklin address on the fliers, is actually located in Tustin CA, a mere 8 miles from Irvine where SunCal has its headquarters. Which means that Bonta, Gilmore and Tam, the beneficiaries of all this activity, are being supported by SunCal.

Sure, the connection has been deliberately obfuscated, so it takes some work to trace and is difficult to prove without a subpoena. That gives Tam, Bonta and Gilmore deniability, which means they can lie to your face about not being tied to SunCal. But, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, I’m thinking it probably is a duck, aren’t you? SunCal, Tam, Bonta and Gilmore and hoping you’re not smart enough to figure it out. I’m convinced you are plenty smart enough.

85% of us saw through SunCal’s nasty campaign the last time and we voted them off the island. Let’s not let them in the back door. We’re stuck with Gilmore in the city council for another few years, but let’s keep Lena Tam and Rob Bonta off the council, and Marie Gilmore out of the mayor’s office.

— Liz Williams, Alameda

14 comments to Why So Much Outside Money in Alameda Politics This Year?

  • Fortunately, money doesn’t buy elections, as Meg Whitman is about to find out! One primary reason is the fading power of advertising in America, a field I worked in for 25 years. We began to see an increasing savviness and resistance among viewersand readers, especially among the Millenial Generation. They don’t have land lines, don’t read newspapers, don’t watch much TV.

    And the letter writer here is right — we see right through the dirty tricks of SunCal, and can figure out who might otherwise benefit from their machinations — the candidates they AREN’T attacking. A d why so much more money is being spent on this election in Alameda than ever before…

  • DHL

    the bottom line: just the fact that those who are benefitting by the dirty campaigns financed by outsiders are not speaking out against the outside money, about the vociferous and inaccurate mailers, means: they have no ethics. They have no backbone. Tam, Bonta, and Gilmore do not deserve the privilege of representing us. We’re stuck with Gilmore for 2 more years (when she’s done with her first 4 year term), but we can vote Tam off and definitely not vote Bonta on.

  • Anonymous

    I really liked the glossy mailer that said “WE NEED HOSPITAL BOARD DIRECTOR ROB BONTA TO KEEP VOTING FOR RESPONSIBLE HOSPITAL BUDGETS.” I intend to do just that.

  • Actually, Gilmore is on her second term. She was appointed to Council in 2003 to left the seat vacated by Al DeWitt when he passed. She ran as an appointed incumbent in 2004 and was elected, and re-elected in 2008.

  • Barb

    Let me see, first TAM sends confidential emails from the Alameda City Attorney to SUNCAL, then she intentionally blindcopies GILMORE in an attempt to circumvent the protections given the citizens by the Brown Act, then BONTA exercises his judgment to align himself and his tens of thousands of outside Alameda dollars with GILMORE and TAM. What could possibly be going on between the three of those and SUNCAL’s millions being thrown into this election? Does anyone think they will not be so beholden to SUNCAL, that the first 3 things they do will be to 1. Reinstate SUNCAL as the master developer; 2. Pay off all SUNCAL’s legal and other debts to the extent the Alameda treasury is able to do so; and 3. Re-imburse TAM for her $900 an hour attorney to get her out of being prosecuted for her crimes? Sure TAM promises to cut government waste, but she will undoubtedly say re-imbursing her for defending herself against her criminal activity is not government waste, because it was necessary to enable her to keep on the public dole, at EBMUD and on the Council for SUNCAL, her benefactor. These three stand for the same things as SUNCAL, Profit, greed, self-interest and unmitigated guile.

  • dlm

    The agenda that Tam, Bonta and Gilmore supporters are pursuing is identical to SunCal’s agenda, the attacks on city staff in particular. Getting rid of Ann Marie Gallant has been SunCal’s #1 priority for some time now. The connection between these candidates and SunCal’s dirty campaign tactics are now too obvious (ludicrously so) to be denied.

    Check out this nifty YouTube video of Peter Calthorpe, extolling his plan for Alameda Point:

    And here’s another video (following the one above), posted by the same person, attacking Ann Marie Gallant on behalf of SunCal:

    And here’s the most recent video posted by this person (directly following the one above), on behalf of “Taxpayer Network”, and in support of — wait for it — Lena Tam!

    So let’s see, what do Peter Calthorpe and Lena Tam have in common…?

  • SHOCKING! all the videos have been pulled down already. But “Scoop” Mitchell has his own attack video now, which of course, he didn’t make or himself:!/mitch4council/status/28866919497

  • anon

    its like playing peekaboo with a 2 year old…they think just because they put their hands over thier eyes you cant see them any more

  • This is why I voted for Adam, a ballsy guy who stands up to the local Newbies who keep defending Tam and Gilmore and Bonta, in spite of mounting evidence against them. Whether they passively bask in the “Sun” shining down on them from Orange County, or actively seek it, they are all, as the SunCal Slate, a threat to our way of life!

  • propubliceducation

    That’s what I was thinking too Dennis. What about Adam & Sweeney? What do you think? And who for Mayor? DeHaan?

  • I voted absentee for DeHaan, Jean Sweeney, (a really great person), Adam, and two candidates for school board who have never served before! Those endorsed by AFT. If McMahon loses, AUSD will have to pull waaaay back on their March parcel tax proposal, but I think the cuts they are trying to scare the voters with now are just long overdue!

    In a recession, fer God’sake, we can’t afford tiny classes and under enrolled schools, let alone music and art teachers in elementary schools.


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  • mark

    This will now go to court and I would like to thank Sun Cal, and all involved for the nice information and photos, tomorrow will be the attorney generals office and then on and on.

  • […] Twittersphere tweetmeme_source = 'alamedapost'; Your Uppance Has Come Added Nov 18, 2010, Under: Community,Opinion Mayor Johnson addressed SunCal adviser Jon Spangler at last night’s City Council meeting, reminding him that the community hasn’t forgotten his advocacy for the bankrupt developer and their divisive politics and activities around the Autumn 2010 election. […]