Home » Editorials

Discuss.

Submitted by on 1, October 7, 2010 – 5:00 am74 Comments

74 Comments »

  • Dave L. says:

    In my opinion this is no worse than the Whitman/Brown news that’s been on my TV for the past week.The difference for me is that I don’t know anything about the “housekeeper” and Whitman, but I have seen first hand the actions of Gallant.

    What I can’t understand is how so many people can say that they are friends with Lena Tam, but don’t seem to have a problem with Gallant going after their friend in such a vicious way. Now the DA is under attack; How does this have anything to do with SunCal?

    Beyond the few people here on this blog, the residents of Alameda don’t see things getting done in their city, and next month we’ll see what the majority says.

    In my opinion, Gallant’s on her own here, she brought this on.

  • Jack B. says:

    Hmmmm…. looking at the flyer… where have I seen these talking points before? Oh, I know, on certain blogs by a certain author… Repeatedly…. for the last 8 months or so.

  • anotherfrank says:

    What exactly are we looking at?

    Is this a Campaign Flyer a Newspaper ad.

    It would be helpful to understand this in context.

  • Irene says:

    This is not paranoia. SunCal makes good on its threats.

    They said they’d get involved in our election and they have.

    People should not be so gullible and start questioning the results of that poll that came out.

  • Oh, sorry, a.f. This is a mailer from SunCal that hit people’s mailboxes Wednesday.

  • j cloren says:

    Cowardice and corruption .. sun cal style .. they will do anything to rob us of 1/3 of our city!!
    We already voted sun cal off the Island once this year! Time for history to repeat itself at the ballot box in November!

  • Jack B. says:

    I wish to clarify something.

    I am generally allergic to conspiracy theories. I do not believe local bloggers (including the one I refer to) are in the pockets of Suncal. I do not believe that local candidates are in the pockets of Suncal or had anything to do with these mailers. And I do not believe that members of City Council and Ann Marie Gallant have been on a witch hunt to destroy their political enemies (ie Tamgate).

    I believe all (including the ones I strongly oppose) are writing and doing what they think is best for whatever reasons. I do not pretend to to know anyone’s motives and can only guess at what to expect based on what we’ve seen.

    That being said, I believe the flyers above qualify as “Hit Piece” and I believe the blogger I vaguely refer to has been writing “Hit Pieces” for months about AMG and members of CC. I am not saying the blogger is responsible for the flyers OR the other way around. I am saying it’s all Hit to me.

  • Richard Bangert says:

    Discuss–Compare & Contrast:

    This SunCal mailer targeting the character of someone who stood up against them is the same theme as when Chevron went after environmentalists in Ecuador saying they were trying to shake down Chevron for money.

    This video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmLMFJyKfKg shows how Sam Singer works on behalf of clients. Singer has in the past done, and may still be doing, PR for SunCal.

    But it doesn’t matter who created the mailer. What matters is knowing when you’re being manipulated.

    Since the Interim City Manager is “unelected,” that leaves voters with only one way to do anything with this information that has arrived in their mailboxes – vote for candidates X, Y and Z.

    Is SunCal really interested in good government in Alameda? Do they really think Alameda could ever pay them the $100+ million in damages in their lawsuit, or do they have a different goal–namely, coming back?

    Vote for candidates who you believe will not buckle.

  • alameda says:

    anotherfrank, many of us received this in the mail yesterday.

    But the mailer does raise very pertinent points. Even if you discount the “personal vendetta” comment as subjective, the other 3 points are demonstrably true, n’est-ce pas?

  • Irene says:

    Jack B.,

    Speaking of the mailer’s talking points that have been repeated ad nauseam, here’s another PR tactic . . . .

    Paying bloggers:

    “Both Murphy and Abraham have close ties to Sam Singer, a public relations consultant in San Francisco who has been retained by Chevron. Prieto said Singer acts as a “corporate hit man” for Chevron and that his public relations firm might pay bloggers for the company.”

    http://chevrontoxico.com/news-and-multimedia/2009/0331-chevron-pr-director-donald-samson-behind-secret-payments-to-bloggers-to-hide-ecuador-liability.html

  • Dan W. says:

    We received this flyer yesterday. Thanks for scanning it in, Michelle.

    There are so many layers here, and how the perception of this flyer really depends on the eye of the beholder.

    From my point of view, it is a desperate attempt by SunCal [it says “Paid for by SCC Alameda Point LLC”] to strike back at Alameda staff, council, citizens, etc. for their loss.

    Gallant is an easy target. They highlight four problems with Gallant, only one of which has to do with them. Two other points have to do with her past. One other (the personal vendetta) is a hot issue, but unrelated to SunCal.

    Of course, there are other problems that she is embroiled in; they could have picked more issues!

    I’m expecting that the paranoid peanut gallery is going to (or already has) come to the conclusion that anybody who has criticized Gallant or the city staff for these issues (or any other reasons) is automatically on the same “side” as SunCal. And, therefore, by association, obviously being paid off by SunCal.

    You know, the adage that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Except that real life isn’t that simple.

    I think SunCal dug their own grave from early on, by submitting a proposition (Measure B) that was doomed from the start. Then, like a four-year-old child, lashes out to blame others for their failure.

    As somebody who has been concerned about the back-room dealings at City Hall (most notably exemplified by ParadeGate), and the lack of the majority of the council to stand up to this abuse of power, I’ll be happy to see a bit of a spotlight shined on Gallant, along with Mayor Johnson and City Attorney Teresa Highsmith. So maybe this hit-piece will help with this desire a bit. But how SunCal thinks it’s going to help *themselves* is beyond me!

  • David Howard says:

    Nobody is going to dispute that SunCal is behind this, are they?

    http://www.action-alameda-news.com/2010/05/20/suncal-begins-billing-itself-as-scc-alameda-point-llc-in-alameda/

    Nobody is going to dispute now that SunCal is interfering behind the scenes in this year’s election, are they?

    Nobody is going to insist that SunCal has “gone away,” are they?

    Last night, in the City Council/ARRA/CIC meeting, Frank Matarrese admited that SunCal has recently approached him to ask him to change his vote.

    As for the points in the mailer:

    o As CT recently pointed out – there is no current lawsuit for $100 million against the City. There is a $117 million claim that was filed, but so far no evidence of a lawsuit. The “$100 million lawsuit” has nothing to do with SunCal’s public records act request.

    o Gallant denied the charges about not releasing documents under the public records act, and issued a statement that she said illustrated that they’ve provided thousands of documents to SunCal.

    o Gallant has no direct power over the school system in Alameda – it’s governed by the Alameda Unified School District, and Gallant’s counterpart there is Superintendent Kirsten Vital.

    That being said, Gallant, as recently as last night, has been pushing to get Community Development Block Grants to keep the Woodstock child care programs open through the year, for parents in west-end schools, and is pushing for legislation that would free up $3 million of redevelopment money for general operations funds at AUSD schools.

    o As for the “controversy” at previous municipalities where Gallant has worked… it’s been covered in this forum that in at least one case, I think it was Desert Hot Springs, the “controversy” arose when Gallant – like she is doing in Alameda – stood up to a local developer in the best interests of the City. She also reported and exposed corruption, rather than be a party to it.

    It’s not hard to unravel the puzzle folks – Gilmore and Tam keep calling for the Interim City Manager’s resignation, and SunCal follows-up with mailers that paint her as “corrupt.”

    It’s also not hard to figure out – SunCal pays for the Magellan poll, which reports that Alameda voters are most concerned about their schools, and subsequent SunCal literature and websites try to associate the problems with school financing with Gallant.

    • David, I’m glad you brought up the ARRA meeting. As I’m sure you saw, every single member of the council – including Lena Tam, who has had her own very public imbroglio with Ann Marie Gallant – took the opportunity to denounce the mailer. Both Doug deHaan and Lena Tam called the mailer “deplorable,” while Marie Gilmore said it “shows that (SunCal) were not, and are not, partners for Alameda.”

      I’m curious, though – have you been able to uncover who is behind the calls? I’ve gone through three levels of disclosure databases (city, county, state), looking for disclosures from all the folks who have been rumored to be responsible for them, and I haven’t turned up any clues.

  • Mark Irons says:

    Irene,

    Unless I completely misconstrue your intent, I don’t think your last comment is any more responsible than the flier, unless you have direct evidence of local bloggers being paid? I also can’t see Ms. Gallant as being in a parallel position to some Equadorian environmentalist, i.e. a simple victim, crusader of the down trodden etc.

    I agree with Richard about somebody trying to manipulate us, but my reaction is the opposite, don’t let these buggers dissuade you from voting for candidates in whom you believe. This flier doesn’t endear SunCal to ANY of the candidates, and those who people have attempted to tar as SunCal pawns are most vulnerable to negative blow back. Ignore outside interference with the local race and don’t be manipulated.

  • David Howard says:

    Sure, it’s easy for Tam and Gilmore to denounce the mailers. What else would you expect them to do? Admit that they had a hand in it? Thank SunCal for spending the money?

    They still benefit from the mailers nonetheless. And I presume the mailers have a much wider reach and impact than statements made on the dais at a boring City Council meeting on the same night of a candidates forum at Washington School. How many people were watching the council meeting versus how many thousands of mailers were sent out?

    As for who is behind the calls, the whole point is that nobody is supposed to be able to uncover who’s behind them. Maybe whomever is behind them is breaking the law and not reporting the expenditures. The FPPC is pretty toothless really, and even if it eventually comes to light who paid for them, it will be after the damage is already done.

    That being said, I did uncover evidence that a) Ron Mooney took $5,000 from SunCal earlier this year, and b) that he spent that money with EMC Research of Oakland, a firm that specializes in political polling and research. http://www.emcresearch.com/

    Mooney is a Tam supporter, and never spoke out against SunCal’s plan for Alameda Point. Maybe he paid EMC in advance – cash up front – to do the polls. Certainly he paid EMC Research $20,000 for SOMETHING – what was it?

    There’s something for you to investigate – how does a firm like EMC Research work? Do they want payment in full in advance of their campaign? Ask them what Ron Mooney paid them for. Ask Ron Mooney what he paid them for. Look at where the rest of the $20,000 came from – out-of-state companies. Why?

    http://www.action-alameda-news.com/2010/09/08/ronald-mooneys-keep-alameda-schools-excellent-pac-spent-over-20000-in-the-first-half-of-this-year/

    http://www.action-alameda-news.com/2010/06/22/suncal-contribution-to-ausd-board-president-ronald-mooney-brings-his-war-chest-to-over-11000/

  • Paul says:

    Michele,

    Thanks to recent the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, you will never find out who is behind the calls or the hit pieces.

    Voters will have to use circumstantial evidence to come to their own conclusion.

    • Paul,

      Which Supreme Court decision is that?

      And also, curious where you are writing from. When I hit the IP address your comment came from it comes up with about 10 different names. I generally discourage sock puppets but also understand there are some public places where more than one person may be using the Internet. Please advise.

  • Neal_J says:

    I guess fact-checking is incompatable with political hit pieces.

    Psst, Bell’s former City Manager is Robert Rizzo not Richard Rizzo.

  • anotherfrank says:

    “Paul,
    Which Supreme Court decision is that? ”

    I think Paul is referring to

    Citizens United v FEC (Federal Elections Commisions)

    Pretty much eliminates disclosue of just who is doing what to whom.

    I have spent a lot of time looking at it and I just wonder how relevant it is in a small local election.

    There was a discussion on it on PBS over the weekend which to my understanding implied that a PAC could remain ‘invisible’ only if 50% of it revenue was used for other than Political Advertisements.

    However it is a very grey area. The ruling certainly hss changed the Political landscape.

    It was the ruling that Obama referred to during the State of the Union address.

  • Julia S says:

    Why aren’t questions being brought up about her salary????

    Over $285,000 a year!?

    Wow, I had no clue that she made that much. Is the job she’s doing worth $285,000 a year?????

  • Kevin Kennedy says:

    This mailer is sickening. Alameda politics has hit a new low.

    First Measure B. Now this. If SunCal wants to sue someone, they should sue their political consultants who keep giving them crappy advice. SunCal is showing their true colors loud and clear, disspelling any thoughts that Measure B was “just a mistake”.

    Yes, we need to develop Alameda Point, but clearly these clowns are not the group we want to tie ourselves to.

  • Denise Shelton says:

    This is outrageous. Ann Marie Gallant is an outstanding City Manager. She has great ideas for the city and does the right thing even if it means stepping on toes. No, she wasn’t elected. We don’t elect the City Manager. It doesn’t make sense to criticize her for that. She isn’t a politician, she’s a worker and she gets things done. She has exposed corruption in other cities, in one case helping to send corrupt officials to jail. If that’s leaving under a cloud, it’s a cloud I can live with. If SunCal wants her out it’s because she’s a threat to them. She’s too smart and competent to buy what they’re selling and she can’t be manipulated. We need strong people like Gallant on our side. If SunCal really cared about Alameda, they wouldn’t try to sue us. The suit is just leverage to get the City back to the bargaining table. I don’t believe the “SunCal Slate” is in league with SunCal but SunCal is backing them because it believes they can be bullied into making a deal down the road. The really sad thing is that voters have our schools as a major concern, but nobody seems to be paying much attention to the school board candidates. Hello? City Hall doesn’t run the schools, people. It seems a lot of folks think it does, so SunCal uses their ignorance against them in the hit piece too. They really are deplorable.

  • Paul says:

    Michele, Yes I am writing from a public place, and I didn’t know it shows different names.

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/us/politics/22scotus.html

    This makes undercover campaign hit pieces impossible to trace. This kinid of campaign spending in Alameda is unprecedented.

  • David Howard says:

    They would have to pay me a lot more than $285,000 a year to put up with SunCal’s hit pieces.

    Note that figure is not her salary, but total comp package with benefits.

    It was reported in the SFGate recently, along with other california city manager salaries.

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-09-23/bay-area/24085213_1_bell-scandal-city-manager-charter-city

    I have not done the work yet to compare all cities on the list, but a more appropriate way to measure and compare salary and benefits is not by the absolute number, but in terms of $ / 10,000 residents. Residents represent the tax base to pay the City’s salaries and bills.

    For example, Gallant’s total benefits – $285,698 divided by 75000 residents:

    $285,698 / (75,000/10,000) = $38,093 per 10,000 residents.

    The City Manager for Redwood City – a City that our host deemed comparable to Alameda for studies in the past – looks like this:

    $255,228 / (76,000/10,000) = $33,582 per 10,000 residents.

    You can do the math on the rest of the cities based on the data in the SF Gate article.

    SunCal partisans will no doubt seek out and publish the worst-case comparison to further their cause.

  • Paul,

    To be clear, I believe the Citizens United case allowed corporations the unfettered ability to spend. The court said this about disclosures, per the Times article you site:

    Eight of the justices did agree that Congress can require corporations to disclose their spending and to run disclaimers with their advertisements, at least in the absence of proof of threats or reprisals. “Disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way,” Justice Kennedy wrote. Justice Clarence Thomas dissented on this point.

  • anotherfrank says:

    I wonder if this was a target mailing.

    My mail came today and still nothing.

  • david burton says:

    Suncal injecting itself into the election is unhelpful and unwelcome. Any sympathy or support they may have had in town is certain to evaporate with crass tactics like this.

    The ICM’s tenure certainly deserves scrutiny and an open, vigorous debate about whether it should conitnue, but Alamedans are more than capable of framing and holding that debate ourselves without Suncal’s “help”.

  • Dan W. says:

    Well, as I predicted, the PPG (Paranoid Peanut Gallery) has come out in full force, trying to connect dots that aren’t part of the same picture.

    The funny thing is that the PPG people find themselves on the side of defending the ICM and Mayor Johnson. It wasn’t long ago that Mayor Johnson was on their bad side. How quickly the political winds shift…

    I guess everybody needs a boogey-man, even if their threat isn’t real. I would be hard-pressed to find *anybody* in the 94501/94502 zip codes who have any respect or affinity to SunCal any more. But the PPG acts as if half the town is in bed with them. Jeez.

  • Denise Shelton says:

    It could be targeted. I didn’t get one even though I got two of the Magellan survey calls. Possibly my answers to the calls “disqualified” me from getting the mailer.

  • Annette says:

    You guys do realize that Suncal’s minions are reading these comments in order to attain information. Has anyone been following their blog/twitter/website/hit list?

  • David Howard says:

    When people are out to get you, paranoia is just common sense. And isn’t it funny… it wasn’t that long ago that a bunch of local bloggers were on Mayor Johnson’s side… and now they slam her. How the winds change indeed. One most wonder where their loyalties lie.

    Perhaps the beneficiaries of SunCal’s hit pieces – Tam/Bonta/Gilmore – are not acting in league with SunCal, but they benefit nonetheless.

    It’s clear that SunCal is angling to get three votes on Council that are pliable and amenable to their cause. As someone else noted, they may be trying to boost the fortunes of those they figure they can most likely bully or otherwise coerce into obeisance. Even without active collusion, voters should take care not to elect a slate of candidates likely to honor suncal’s wishes.

    To that end, I remind everyone of Marie Gilmore’s ties, through her husband, Rodney, to the real estate development world: http://www.cbcproperties.com/management.htm

  • Jon Spangler says:

    SunCal is acting completely on its own in sending out this hit piece mailer.

    Typical of SunCal (and I ought to know), it is entirely ineffective and contrary to their own best interests, but they are apparently seeking revenge, not success.

    They will never do business in Alameda again, as promised by every candidate running for City Council and Mayor this fall – not to mention guaranteed by an overwhelming majority of the voters on February 2. (And one of us – yours truly -\ who voted YES on B, too.)

    It is really sad that SunCal’s top brass never learned anything from their time in Alameda. I hope we can just ignore their self-defeating attempt to interfere and pick the best people on November 2.

    I’m voting for Marie Gilmore, Lena Tam, and Rob Bonta: any one of them alone is smarter than all of SunCal’s top brass combined. And they have plenty of “spine,”
    I assure you.

  • David Howard says:

    Here you go – tables and graphs and everything. A normalized plot of data of city manager salaries for a sample of Bay area charter cities.

    http://www.action-alameda-news.com/city-manager-salaries-for-bay-area-cities/

  • ct says:

    How this unquestionably ugly anti-Gallant mailer helps SunCal in their lawsuit against Alameda and the interim city manager is anyone’s guess. This only throws fuel to those already fired up by claims that SunCal has been bankrolling polls, videos, campaigns, etc, to determine the local outcome of this election. Even if this were true, I believe SunCal would fail because if this incredibly stupid move is any indication, they have no idea what they’re doing.

    Nine out of 10 local organizations endorse Marie Gilmore for mayor and Lena Tam for City Council; their campaigns are doing well. This despite Gilmore and Tam being singled out by the anti-SunCal faction and accused of being SunCal sympathizers because their opinion of the developer isn’t rabidly negative enough. But now we have these regrettable mailers, which targets officials I’m no fan of but unfortunately could cause collateral damage as well.

  • Barbara Kahn says:

    The letter from the district attorney that surfaced today, while it does not mitigate the crass intrusion into our local politics by suncal, it certainly gives a certain validity to what they had to say.

  • Jack B. says:

    I just now got a robocall:

    “Hi, this is Mayor Beverly Johnson…” then it devolves into an audio mashup of her saying ah/and/ah/ah/and/and/ah/uh…. and so forth. Then says goodbye.

  • Steve says:

    This is simply an extension of the hateful drumbeat aimed at Ann Marie Gallant by at least one local blogger over the past months. The only things different are the unflattering photo and the postage stamp. The only question in my mind is, is this the end of the demonization or will it escalate even further?

  • dlm says:

    Dan, if you’re such a progressive, then why do you fall back on these sleazy PR tactics? That’s what the Tea Party does, not what a progressive would do. Blogging Bayport has given us our own local contingent of ditto-heads, and for some reason, everyone involved thinks it’s really clever, including you.

    That’s the problem with everyone on the former pro-SunCal, now pro-Tam side. You all follow the same tactics ad nauseum — cook up a list of talking points, focus solely on personal attacks, and never ever give anybody an honest answer.

    Like the non-stop campaign of personal attacks against Ann Marie Gallant that’s been going on for months now — complete w/ what are clearly written lists of issues that everyone takes turns repeating. Apart from anything else, this is __precisely the same strategy__ that Suncal has been pursuing just as relentlessly (and as clumsily). Rather than respond to legitimate objections raised by the city, SunCal chose to kill the messenger. So you’re not allied w/ SunCal? Then why are you promoting their agenda?

    And that’s not at all the only overlap between the Blogging Bayport ditto-heads and SunCal — there’s also the matter of the “polls” that meticulously recite all the grievances of the “pro-Sunshine” folks.

    Let’s be honest — if SunCal were designing a poll independently, does it really seem plausible that they’d come up with “email retention policy” as a hard hitting issue? I got one of these polls, and on the list of “city’s top priorities”, email retention policy came first(!). This same poll made a reference to Lena Tam being “exonerated”. I remember this distinctly because the young lady taking the poll couldn’t pronounce exonerated (“ex-uh, ex-uh”), and luckily for me, I’d read the blogs and knew right off what she meant.

    Lena Tam is the only councilmember whose name and face appeared on SunCal’s Measure B mailers. She’s also the person who continued to work on SunCal’s behalf long after Measure B failed, so why do we believe that she’s now seen the light? Calling me hysterical doesn’t answer this question.

    And then note too that Jon Spangler was quoting some of the classic pro-SunCal lines very recently, within the last week or so. (That the city failed to negotiate fairly — with rip-off artists?) Just recently, too, all the (formerly) pro-SunCal and now pro-Tam people were claiming up, down and sideways that SunCal had no role in this race — until SunCal stuck their foot in it, so to speak.

    SunCal has been running push-polls via the (very Republican, Dan) Magellan Strategies, which clearly benefit Lena Tam, and it’s been doing that for some time now. Why didn’t Tam tell them to stop? So long as she had plausible deniability, it was okay. Then SunCal showed themselves, once again, to be a lousy ally, and now, hey, we never heard-uh that outfit.

    (For once I agree w/ Jon: Tam, Gilmore and Bonta are definitely smarter than all of the SunCal top brass put together, and so is Ann Marie Gallant. That’s why we need her.)

  • Kate Quick says:

    I think the people of Alameda are smart enough to disregard hit pieces from entities outside of its electorate. Shame on all those who have concocted political “hits”, including candidates working against other candidates, SunCal, other business interests, and the ICM and City Attorney. If we support a candidate, let us say what we like about them. What is their vision for Alameda? How will they govern? Do they surround themselves with positive, forward-looking people? Are they smart, principled and do their homework? What have they done to better our community through public service and contribution of time, talent and treasure? Away with negativity! Up with common sense!

  • James says:

    This is ugly, but facts are facts: she gets paid $285,000. That is a fact that no one disputes, and that is simply not appropriate. Any way you cut it — before benefits, after benefits, per 10,000 people, or even on the moon — it cannot be justified. In two years she’ll make over $500K. The only side she’s on is her own. Anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves.

  • ct says:

    Steve,

    Much as I abhor anyone’s resorting to negative campaigning tactics, and as dismayed as I am about SunCal’s thoughtless timing of this mailer, I cannot feel the least bit sorry for an interim city manager who (along with other ethical transgressions) continues to hound a council member who, in the interests of a more open government, dares to question the ICM’s City contracting practices.

    As Ms Kahn mentions in her comment, the district attorney responded last week to Michael Colantuono’s latest arguments (www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/inalameda/detail?entry_id=74086). The D.A.’s letter states, “Upon reviewing your allegations, I find them based on false facts, inaccurate assumptions and exaggerations.” Regarding Colantuono’s claim that the D.A. is biased because she gave Lena Tam a car ride, the D.A. says, “To set the record straight, the incident that you describe never took place. … It appears exceedingly odd that you base such a serious allegation on unnamed sources and rumor.” Gallant is authorizing the ongoing expenditure of limited taxpayer money for Colantuono to continue pursuing this baseless investigation. Like the SunCal mailer, Gallant’s decision on this (as well as many other City matters) is indefensible.

  • dlm says:

    Kate: I guess CT didn’t get the memo. He’s still working off the “trash the city manager” script. You folks need to coordinate better.

  • Dave L. says:

    Dim, for the record, Mayor Johnson also supported SunCal and I saw her picture on a mailer. And for the record her quote said something like “read Measure B carefully.” So, I’m guessing she didin’t read it too carefully.

  • Mike says:

    I’m concerned too. The ad rings true. She gets paid why too much. Remember she approved to spend $125,000 to rebrand Alameda.

  • Miss Information says:

    Mike, You say the ICM gets paid way too much? Look at your base salary, then add in ALL your employer pays (worker’s comp, taxes, social security, etc) and see what that total is. Ms. Gallant is NOT receiving the amount stated — the number stated is all inclusive. She is the BEST manager this city has seen for many years. Alamedans should be thankful to have her!!!!
    No one — let me repeat that: NO ONE deserves the horrible smear tactics SunCal has now resorted to. Wake up Alameda!

  • dlm says:

    See the comment below, posted on a Desert Hot Springs blog, in support of Ann Marie Gallant:

    Slime Balls Alert

    SunCal Running Full Pages Ads in Local Newspapers In What Appears To Be A Hunt For Dirt On Former Desert Hot Springs City Manager Ann Marie Gallant

    Ann Marie Gallant is city manager in Alameda, California now and SunCal has filed suit against the city saying Gallant prevented it from going ahead with what would have been a very bad deal for Alameda, leaving the city with a giant financial load to carry in support of the development (well, SunCal did not exactly put it that way).

    We have to think that if SunCal thinks they are going to find someone in this city that did not like Gallant they are wasting their money on the ads. Full page ad appeared in the Desert Sun. Seems slimy to us but who knows, there might still be some lingering slime balls in this city from those days of a city that never saw a developer deal it did not love – and that have since cost our city millions to correct (that is no exaggeration).

  • Kate Quick says:

    I am amused by the comment that somehow those not in favor of the slate who appear to have as their sole goal in life the demonization of an entity now out of Alameda (I would prefer to hear concrete plans for what they plan to do than hear the incessant drumbeat of SunCal is evil, SunCal is evil, Suncal is evil. . .)are closely coordinating their comments. My comments are this: grow up, act like adults, be civil in your discourse, stop mud-slinging. All hit pieces are not only not illuminating, they are often cruel and toss around untruths or semi-truths, and that goes for whomever generates them. My only beef with the ICM is the orchestration of her hit on Lena, and no one is denying that she was in the lead on that. I believe it was a giant, unforgivable waste of City staff time and money. And, that it was meant to damage a person’s reputation, cost her money, and drive her unfairly from office. Even though Anne Marie did that, I don’t think it was right for SunCal to interfere in Alameda politics and send a hit piece on her. Lena and Marie and Rob think the same, and have clearly said so.

  • dlm says:

    Kate: I did about five minutes’ worth of searching for your comments on Blogging Bayport, and didn’t have to look farther than a posting dated 9/24/10. Here’s what you said:

    ***
    “Her [AMG’s] wrongful termination claims in the past that she won huge settlements on were that she didn’t do anything wrong; she was fired because she blew the whistle on someone. I think I see a repetition of a pattern here.”
    ***

    See the comment I posted from Desert Hot Springs below. What you’re saying above, re Ann Marie Gallant, is a completely misleading statement, if not a deliberate lie. Just for starters, it’s clear that you had NO IDEA of what happened w/ Desert Hot Springs, and you didn’t care. At best, you couldn’t be bothered to find out.

    Gallant was forced to resign because she objected to a development deal that city councilmembers were pushing for. As it happened, she was right to object, and the city wound up paying over $1.5 million in damages in a lawsuit brought by environmental groups because of what were really the developer’s actions. The city was liable nonetheless.

    If this isn’t part of a smear campaign on your part, then what is it?

    And another one, from the same posting:

    ***
    “My point is that the City isn’t being very transparent about taking big money from SunCal for salaries while in negotiations with them.”
    ***

    What are you suggesting here, Kate, that the city was being “unfair” to SunCal? Since they paid city salaries (to carry out their project), we owed them something? That’s either disingenous or inane. In this case, it’s a bit of both, since it’s probably one of SunCal’s bogus arguments that you were given to spread around — so you were disingenuous and they were inane.

    And here’s another one:

    ***
    “About half of our City staff were being partially paid from SunCal, including part of the ICM’s salary I believe, for many, many months. I did not see the ICM doing disclosure on the City web site so we could track all that.”
    ***

    Okay, so you’re suggesting that a city staff member is supposed to “disclose” the portion of her salary paid by a developer? Given that a staff member is NOT a candidate for office, then this is yet another disingenous comment on your part (and also a bit inane).

    You were more than happy to spout SunCal’s BS, including repeated calls for “the facts” during the Measure B campaign. You have been part of this coordinated (and third-rate) PR campaign from the outset, so spare me the whole “Ms. Good Government” routine.

  • dlm says:

    And while we’re on the subject, Kate: You’re a big supporter of the Sunshine Task Force, right? There’s a group that has been really strident about the Sunshine-related issues — including Jeff Mitchell, Jon Spangler and John Knox White. So (without sarcasm), maybe you can explain how all the very vocal complaints of this group wound up on an anonymous poll?

    That’s a mystery to me. Like the city’s “email retention policy” an issue which has been beaten to death by these folks — why would an anonymous pollster list “email retention” among the city’s top priorities, right up there with jobs and finances? Who gave them that idea?

    This same poll had a question regarding Lena Tam, to paraphrase: “Now that Lena Tam has been exonerated, would you vote for her?” Also something about a “witchhunt” being conducted by city staff, another favorite buzzword among Tam supporters, the same people who latched onto the Sunshine Task Force issues.

    In fact, it sounded ot me like the poll had been written by this group, since it was largely a rehash of all their issues. Odd.

  • DaveL. says:

    While we’re discussing Gallant and SunCal’s beef with her it’s essential that we not forget what she did to Tam.

    Gallant, and probably Mayor Johnson, DO NOT WANT TAM ELECTED!

    Now, while we’re discussing how dirty all of the other politics are, let’s not forget that the move against Lena Tam was POLITICAL.

    No mailer against Gallant or anything else that I have seen in this election so far has forced someone to spend tens of thousands of dollars to defend themselves against false charges.

    This was the ultimate smear and Gallant together with Bev Johnson are to blame.

  • j cloren says:

    When I consider what lena tried to do to this city, and HER deliberate actions and involvement at the core of the investigation?? How can anybody trust her. lena tam violated the entire community and she is not an innocent victim, she would do it again!! Quit feeling sorry for lena she did it to herself!!

    Live by the sword, die by the sword

  • dlm says:

    Dave L: Let’s turn this around. Suppose that Beverly Johnson or Ann Marie Gallant had been caught leaking confidential information to SunCal — are you saying that they shouldn’t be investigated? That’s not what I would say, but then I don’t have a double standard. I think anyone who violates the public trust should be investigated, and if the disclosures involve a multi-billion dollar development, then the cost of the investigation pales in comparison to the potential harm to the city’s interests.

    Lena Tam was not singled out for unprovoked persecution. She was caught leaking confidential information and consequently, her actions were investigated, as they should have been.

  • dlm, she was “caught” doing no such thing.

    The DA called Gallant/Highsmith’s allegations “wild and completely unsupported.”

    That you continue to state things that are untrue does not make them so.

  • dlm says:

    John: I know you can read this letter as well as I can, so why do you try to misrepresent what it says? If there’s anybody who routinely falls back on misrepresentation and dishonesty, it isn’t me.

    The letter states that Colantuono made a comment regarding the DA (NOT Tam) that is “wild and completely unsupported”. It does NOT state that Gallant/Highsmith’s allegations were “wild and completely unsupported.”

    Tam was in fact caught sending confidential material to SunCal, via bcc’s. If she felt that it was entirely acceptable to do that, then she should have openly cc’d them — but she didn’t. It’s on paper, in black and white, and it can’t be denied. As I said below, anyone who does what she did should be investigated.

  • Adam Gillitt says:

    John White:

    How is Lena Tam’s getting caught sending emails marked “Confidential” to parties that were not allowed to have access to those emails “wild and completely unsupported?”

    As one of the recipients of her emails, along with SunCal, John, and in your position as a blogger and as an official of a “club” like the CADC, your repetitions of dismissals of Lena Tam’s misdeeds ring hollow.

    It is up to someone impartial, not a personal friend of Lena Tam’s like DA Nancy O’Malley, to conduct a thorough investigation of the actual evidence, not rubber stamp a judgment without any checking into of the details whatsoever.

    ICM Gallant was entirely correct to investigate the unethical activities of Lena Tam. This mailer put out by SunCal making it seem otherwise is just an attempt to make an end run around the Democratic process for their own gain.

  • Miss Information says:

    JKW, Your comment is quite interesting – especially the second sentence with the quote: “Wild and completely unsupported”…….where did you get this information? Are we missing something?

    DLM and J Cloren are correct in their comments. If the Mayor, City Manager or another staff person were caught leaking information wouldn’t you want to see them investigated? We cannot have double standards!

  • Dave L. says:

    Dim: a process exists to deal with the charges that were alleged against Lena Tam, and when the DA found nothing to investigate the matter is closed.

    I would accept that decision. It’s a shame you can’t.

  • ct says:

    dlm,

    You don’t know or care about the district attorney’s latest letter to Colantuono/Gallant, it seems.

    Re your reference to a Desert Hot Springs blog: It’s not surprising that an erroneous Gallant supporter would say a single quarter-page ad in “The Desert Sun” (confirmed by Michele Ellson last week) is “full page ads in local newspapers.”

  • ct says:

    To those concerned about leakage,

    Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant endeavors to work in a closed government which excludes us citizens from involvement in the governmental process. Through closed-session City Council meetings, public records request denials, labeling many public documents as “private,” “confidential,” and “draft,” Gallant and City Attorney Teresa Highsmith withhold public information and keep the inner workings of City Hall private. In this closed government, any official who believes in and follows open-government principles becomes a target.

    When Gallant and Highsmith say that a good amount of what is said, written, and emailed at City Hall is “private,” “confidential,” and a draft (even when they aren’t), that gives them ammunition to nail an official who works openly and transparently. Is this the kind of government you’re supporting?

  • dlm,

    What the letter says is:

    “Frankly, having reviewed your investigation personally, I am not surprised you would make wild and completely unsupported allegations like these.”

    The statement is clearly referring to both Colantuono’s letter about the DA herself, but also the initial investigation.

    The letter goes on to describe the effort that went into looking at Colantuono’s (based on Gallant and Highsmith’s affadavits) investigation, which was thorough and found no wrong-doing.

    What you continue to say, over and over, is not true.

  • Miss Information says:

    Anyone see this in today’s Chronicle? Were you aware SUNCAL is working on ANOTHER PLAN FOR ALAMEDA POINT?????
    Read on:
    Back with a vengeance: SunCal, the Irvine developer whose bid to build out the old Alameda Naval Air Station site was rejected by the City Council, has fired back by sending out thousands of mailers accusing the town’s acting city manager, Ann Marie Gallant, of corruption and comparing her to the crooks down in Bell.
    The mailer – which features the mug of disgraced Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo and the headline, “City Hall Corruption” – notes Gallant’s $285,000-a-year salary and the fact that she has had six jobs in the past 10 years. And it accuses her of wasting tens of thousands of tax dollars on an undisclosed “personal vendetta.”
    The mailer urges voters to call Alameda Mayor Beverly Johnson – who is up for re-election next month – and ask her why she’s continuing to back Gallant.
    SunCal spokesman Sam Singer said the company believes that Gallant “single-handedly killed the first project, harming the city and SunCal as well.”
    The mailer is hitting voters just as SunCal is floating a new plan for the base. But it’s not winning the company a lot of friends at City Hall.
    “It’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen,” said Councilwoman Marie Gilmore, who is running for mayor against Johnson. “No one deserves to be treated this way.”
    As for Gallant’s reaction: “What can I say? They’re going to do what they are going to do. I’m just glad they put their name on it.”

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/10/11/BALM1FQEJ2.DTL#ixzz125hzOrYd

  • Miss Information says:

    Anyone see Matier and Ross in the Chron today? I’ve tried to post it, but The Island won’t accept the copy — perhaps it’s too long. Here’s the link: http://www.sfgate.com/columnists/matierandross/
    scroll down to the paragraph that begins: “Back with a vengance”

    Were you aware SunCal is working on ANOTHER plan to develop Alameda Point?! I thought they were voted off the island.

  • dlm says:

    John: Let’s have an honest discussion about this letter (dated 9/28/10 I believe — this format is a pain to read).

    In sum, Colantuono accused the DA of catering to Asian voters by letting Tam off the hook (which is offensive). The DA makes several outraged comments about that statement, and then says: “This sort of racially charged accusation has no place in professional dialog. [followed by your quote] Frankly, having reviewed your investigation personally, I am not surprised you would make wild and completely unsupported allegations like these [the racial allegations].”

    This is not at all a categorical statement that the allegations against Tam were “wild and completely unsupported”.

    The reality here is simple: The DA originally responded by saying that the allegations did not support an effort to remove Tam from office — which seems reasonable. She did NOT say that Tam was “exonerated” which you folks have been falsely claiming ever since.

    If I have to look thru the packet of material again, I will, but in the meantime: Tam had a simple option to avoid all of these allegations — to openly cc SunCal, and to notify city staff that she was planning to forward this material. As I said earlier, it’s the same standard for everybody, including her.

    As for saying over and over: I asked you and the Blogging Bayport folks to stop trashing Ann Marie Gallant early on, and yet you continued for months thereafter. So far we’ve been on this topic only a few days, so it’s your turn to put up with it.

  • dlm,

    The DA cleared Tam, full stop.

    You and others continue to claim that proof has been offered to support the allegations against Lena Tam.

    The DA’s office looked at the “proof” and said it proved nothing, that the allegations were wild and completely unsupported.

    The city, which spent $12K on software to read Lean Tam’s email, and continues to do so, has been unable to provide any further proof for the allegations.

    The DA has Closed the Case. Exonerated her. By your definition of exonerated, no one would ever qualify. everyone ever accused of something would be under suspicion.

    By the way, Colantuono didn’t say that Lena caters to Asians, he said that the fact that some Asian people were supporters of Nancy O’Malley, He claimed that this was proof that O’Malley is biased in favor of Lena Tam.

    It is this wild and specious claim that the DA called disturbingly biased.

    You continue to get very easily verified facts wrong in your attempts to paint Lena Tam as some kind of criminal mastermind.

  • Adam Gillitt says:

    John White:

    Exonerated. Lovely word. Used by people to cover for their friends, especially when they didn’t do any research into the case and just rubber stamped it.

    FACT: Lena Tam shared CONFIDENTIAL city emails against city interest, with parties she was not allowed to. No discussion necessary, because that is a fact that will not change, no matter how much you wish it would.

    Ethics are an important part of leadership. If you really think the lapse in Lena’s judgment is easily overlooked, especially when it relates to a matter as serious as a 8,000 lb. gorilla like SunCal as well as smaller fare like you and Lauren Do, by all means, carry flags for corrupt, unethical government and SunCal, and watch our city go down in flames.

    I think there are Citizens in Alameda other than myself who would like to see other results.

  • ct says:

    Mr Gillitt,

    When/If the attorney general informs Colantuono/Gallant that their dogged attempts to ruin the good reputation of a council member who is now up for re-election are malicious and untenable, it will be interesting to see what you and your ilk accuse Jerry Brown, Steve Cooley, or Kamala Harris of.

  • dlm says:

    John:

    From the DA’s letter dated 9/2/10 and posted on this site:
    http://www.theislandofalameda.com/2010/09/document-letter-from-da-nancy-omalley-to-michael-colantuono/

    Page 1: “Two primary issues raised by you were reviewed: the allegation that Lena Tam … engaged in serial meetings in violation of [the Brown Act]; and the allegation that Lena Tam released confidential information learned by her in closed session of the City Council…”

    Page 2: “Upon review, we conclude that an insufficient factual and legal basis exists to justify opening a CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION into your allegations that the Brown has been violated.”

    “You have also requested that this office present evidence to the Grand Jury…”

    “Turning to the facts presented to us … we find insufficient evidence of either criminal violations or purposeful failure to carry out the mandatory duties of office to justify initiating proceedings that would result in presentation of evidence to the grand jury that seeks to REMOVE Councilmember Tam from office.”

    ***
    So what this says, in sum, is that the DA found insufficient evidence to justify a criminal investigation into Lena Tam’s actions or to justify actions to remove her from office, which is arguably reasonable. HOWEVER, it does not EXONERATE her from having done something wrong. (Exonerated: absolved: freed from any question of guilt; “is absolved from all blame”)

    She sent confidential information to SunCal which put the city’s negotiating position at risk, without question. It is flat out dishonest to claim that she is “exonerated” from those actions.

    She’s no less likely to continue leaking confidential information when it benefits her to do so, without regard to the city’s best interests. If Ann Marie Gallant had been caught doing something like this, you’d be the first one leading the charge, John.

  • dlm says:

    John: A cute rat? Strange how your views seem to coincide with SunCal’s.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/inalameda/detail?entry_id=73205

  • DLM,

    Thanks for posting a link to my post about how the City’s filings against Tam continue to present non-factual info and trumped up information. Kinda makes my point.

  • Adam Gillitt says:

    Re CT:

    By “[my] ilk” I can only assume you mean honest people with ethics who stick to the facts and want the same sort of people in government. I like that company.

    Lena Tam has ruined her own reputation by sharing confidential emails with anyone who wanted copies like John White, Lauren Do and SunCal, against the interests of the City of Alameda.

  • ct says:

    Mr Gillitt,

    You and those of your ilk appear to favor Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant’s closed government which excludes citizens from involvement in the governmental process: You accept without question Gallant and City Attorney Teresa Highsmith’s closed-session City Council meetings, public records request denials, and labeling public documents as “private,” “confidential,” and “draft” as they withhold public information and keep the inner workings of City Hall private. In this closed government, any official who believes in and follows open-government principles becomes a target.

    When Gallant and Highsmith say that a good amount of what is said, written, and emailed at City Hall is “private,” “confidential,” and a draft (even when they aren’t), that gives them ammunition to nail an official who works openly and transparently. Why do you support this closed kind of government?

  • Adam Gillitt says:

    CT:

    Clearly you have not familiarized yourself with my campaign or why I am running to serve the Citizens of Alameda.

    Please take some time to visit my site at http://www.adamforalameda.com and learn about what I believe in and how the foundation of my candidacy is open Government, plain and simple.

    City government transparency is a major concern, but one that I believe can be overcome with little cost and an experienced understanding of the options we have readily available.

    One issue that has been raised recently is the issue of City emails being deleted after only 30 days. That is an untenable document management strategy in an era when a 1 TB hard drive costs less than $100. Installing such a simple upgrade would store many millions of documents for instant retrieval, and constitute a huge step towards enhancing the City’s technological infrastructure for a tiny investment.

    Social networking technologies now allow easy communication between people: previous barriers to access have been removed. Even the President uses YouTube and Twitter to communicate; why can’t our City operate at a similar level to allow our Citizens to get involved and stay informed about essential issues and meetings?

    My business is high tech – I design websites and provide social networking services. I know how to create information systems that will bring people together to share documents, opinions and ideas. Once elected, I will put together a plan to upgrade the essential technological foundations of City government to bring more transparency to its processes and involve Citizens more than any other candidate is able.

    But, what I will never do as a City Councilmember is to share information illegally or unethically, much less against the interests of the City. Nor will I ever be beholden to any interests other than the Citizens of Alameda.

  • ct says:

    Mr Gillitt,

    But what do you think of our interim city manager and city attorney’s over-reliance on closed-session City Council meetings, public records request denials, and stamping public documents as “privileged,” “confidential,” and “draft” when they are none of those things?

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

*