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Candidate Declines Invitation to Speak at Alameda Democratic Club Endorsement Meeting

Action Alameda News received a copy of this message sent to the City of Alameda Democratic Club…

My response to an invitation to speak at the endorsement meeting of the City of Alameda “Democratic” Club

Your club has chosen to support Rob Bonta, a candidate who was elected because Republican developers, using the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking his opponents, most of whom were honest Democrats. You support him although he tried to circumvent the City Charter and give away part of the golf course to another developer. You support him although he said he would support an ordinance approving no more than 200 new housing units per year and then made the motion for 2,400 new housing units. You support him when he claims he has not changed a word of Measure A, which he does not have the power to do, but, in fact, voted to ignore it. You support him despite the fact that his current campaign is quite obviously based, in large part, on homophobia. Mr. Bonta never fails to mention he is married and has children in every piece of campaign literature including your club’s mailer, as if heterosexual marriage is a qualification for office. Coupled with reports that his poll questioned if being married or “single” (a time honored code word for gay) was important to the voters, there can be no doubt that his campaign is playing on homophobic sympathies.

Your club has supported a school board member, heretofore, a lifelong Republican who, despite his change of party, continues to follow Republican ideology, votes for Republicans and who has a conflict of interest because several of his family members are employed by the school district. He has made racist remarks in public and diligently worked to support the anti-gay religious fanatics when they opposed the anti-bullying curriculum. Yet, your club supports him.

Your club continues to support hospital board candidates who tolerate even worse conflict of interest as one of their fellow board members rents office space in the hospital. If you truly cared about Alameda hospital you could not support the incumbents (as you surely will) who took no action to get appropriate certification for stroke patients until the county forced the issue and did not address earthquake retrofitting until the state threatened to close the hospital. It also appears you do not support hospital board candidates who care about the hospital but only those who will use it as a stepping stone to run for higher office, three so far.

Finally, your club, in a proud tradition which would please both Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann, continues to support regressive taxation making small businesses and home owners pay 32 times the rate of the largest, wealthiest corporations in town. Such taxation compounds the problems of Proposition 13, not, as you falsely claim, alleviate it.

If you were a Republican club then the above would be a proud list of accomplishments. As a lifelong progressive Democrat, I have helped devise progressive solutions to our problems: domestic partnership to move toward equality and square footage taxation used in a PROGRESSIVE manner so that big business pays more. But your club, calling itself “Democratic,” has advanced candidates and ballot measures antithetical to the Democratic Party.

Do I think I can get a fair hearing from those who are not honest with themselves nor the public? No sane person would say yes. I respectfully decline your invitation.

— Leland Blandón Traiman, Alameda, Candidate for Alameda Health Care District Board

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