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Decision 2010: The final countdown

Submitted by on 1, November 1, 2010 – 12:05 amNo Comment

With the close of this election season just a day away (can I get an amen?), the flurry of campaign e-mails, robocalls and mailers has hit a critical mass. Here’s a brief guide.

Late-breaking news: Former Alameda Point developer SunCal Companies has spent tens of thousands of dollars to try to defeat four local candidates in Tuesday’s election, filings made with the City Clerk’s office on Thursday show. The company spent nearly $35,000 on a television ad and mailers to oppose Frank Matarrese’s mayoral run, and another $8,300 on mailers to oppose Jean Sweeney’s City Council candidacy. The company also spent about $3,500 apiece on mailers opposing Doug deHaan’s mayoral run and Beverly Johnson’s council candidacy. (The filings were made by Cal Land Ventures LLC, one of the developer’s myriad subsidiaries.)

Sweeney has been a virulent opponent of SunCal’s, appearing at a host of city meetings to oppose their plans for Alameda Point and their tenure as master developer there; deHaan said he began questioning the developer almost immediately after voting to give them the Point job. Matarrese and Johnson, who originally voted for another developer to build on the Point, supported the council majority’s decision to back SunCal until midway through the developer’s disastrous campaign to get voter approval for a development plan and business deal for the Point, and their opposition tot he company has grown more strident since its commanding loss at the polls.

The company also sent $250 campaign contributions to local candidates, and so far everyone who’s received one has said they have returned the money or plan to do so.

Others making late filings include Alameda’s firefighters, who gave $3,300 to mayoral candidate Marie Gilmore; deHaan, who spent about $8,500 on mailers and advertising (and loaned his campaign $5,000); and Rob Bonta, who logged another $1,000 campaign contribution.

E-mail alert: The final weekend of campaign season has brought with it a flurry of political e-mails. In particular, we’ve gotten a number of e-mails and listserve messages (from a parent on our preschool message board, even) regarding James Pruitt and Clay Pollard, who are running for school board. The writers – some of whom are endorsing incumbent Mike McMahon and former AUSD administrator Margie Sherratt – lay out Pollard’s vocal opposition to Lesson 9, the district’s anti-gay bullying curriculum, as reason for their concern. And they also question Pruitt’s decision to “like” the Institute on Religion & Democracy on his personal Facebook page (the conservative, Washington, DC-based group advocates for orthodox Christianity and has opposed homosexuality).

Pruitt said Sunday he started “occasionally reading” some of the institute’s columnists two decades ago because he appreciated the group’s anti-Communist stance and, more recently, its pieces exposing human trafficking. He said the group’s work is on a long list of media outlets he patronizes. Pruitt said that he is for an anti-bullying curriculum that protects all students, “including gay students and the children of gay couples.” And he said he’s not associated with any other candidates.

One other e-mail of note came from Tracy Jensen, who’s looking to move from the school board to the City Council. Jensen touted her endorsements from the Alameda Journal and Alameda Sun – and took potshots at one candidate in particular who claimed to have helped build Ruby Bridges school (apparently before they were in office) and others who didn’t oppose SunCal’s Measure B before its February ballot turn.

Guessing game: School board vice president Mike McMahon has opted to inject a little levity into the November 2 races by constructing a poll that allows to to guess how the candidates will fare at the ballot box and what the voter turnout will be. If you’re interested in checking that out, it’s here.

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