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Councilmember Asks For Review of November 2010 Election

Alameda City Councilmember Doug deHaan has put a referral item on the May 1st City Council meeting agenda that would have city staff perform an analysis of campaign financial activities during the November 2010 election, based on the proposed Campaign Financial Reform Ordinance proposed by the Sunshine Task Force.

Councilmember deHaan is also requesting that the city council consider bringing back the proposed financial reform ordinance for review and a final vote of the council. In January of last year, Alameda City Council reviewed a proposed local campaign financial reform ordinance, but never pushed it forward to be enacted.

Mr. deHaan ran for Mayor of Alameda in November, 2010 but was defeated by Mayor Marie Gilmore; Alameda firefighters made tens of thousands of dollars of campaign contributions to Marie Gilmore, Lena Tam and Rob Bonta before and after the election, and spent thousands more on campaign mailers against Doug deHaan.

Roughly one year ago, Action Alameda News ran a series that published photos taken on election night 2010, showing Alameda firefighters union officials at a part with Gilmore, Tam and Bonta.

Alameda firefighters union president Domenick Weaver threatened to sue Action Alameda News over publication of the photos.

3 comments to Councilmember Asks For Review of November 2010 Election

  • Doug deHaan

    Mr. Howard, regarding my upcoming council referral (Campaign Financial Reform Ordinance), my sole intent is to have the city council revisit and hopefully approve campaign finance reform for the City of Alameda.

    I have always advocated that the City of Alameda have complete transparency in the election process, which includes limiting campaign contributions to a set amount.

    This type of transparency and campaign financial reform is being practiced at the State level and in most cities throughout California. Alameda’s Campaign Financial Reform Ordinance was proposed by the Sunshine Task Force back in January of 2011.

    I recommend that the city council follow-up and take action on this issue. I am asking for no more or no less than revisiting this issue and bringing it to a conclusion. Respectfully, Mr. Howard, I think maybe you are reading way too much into my referral.

    Doug deHaan

  • Victoria Ashley

    Doug deHaan,

    Thank you for posting a response.

    I have to say, however, that the issue of the firefighters being as involved as they are, en mass, is disturbing. I saw them in a parking lot preparing to head out and push their candidates, this army of model-looking muscled men, the last people you’d expect to be handing out campaign literature. And there were so many of them. I felt like the deck was totally stacked in terms of whomever they were going to be advocating. Average people view firefighters like warriors in a way, heroes, and so they bring an automatic bias to any election where they are advocating candidates to the public directly like that. I don’t know what the laws are around this, but I can say as someone with a degree in psychology, it is a real problem for anyone else running for an office if they don’t have the firefighters on their side. Seems inappropriate.

    — Victoria

  • Adam Gillitt

    You’re absolutely right Victoria. As a 10 year resident of Alameda, and one-time candidate for office, I have witnessed that the IAFF Local 689’s influence on Alameda policy and office holders can be politely called a stranglehold.

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