Stark asks constituents: Impeach Bush or no?

Congressman Pete Stark (D-Fremont), who is up for re-election this year, has put a survey up on his Web site asking 13th district constituents (and, presumably, everybody else on the Internet) a variety of questions, such as, “Should Congress impeach President Bush?”

Incidentally, The Daily Review just received a fax from the president expressing his condolences over the death of across-the-Bay Congressman Tom Lantos.



Last night I stopped by the library at Bret Harte Middle School in Hayward, where residents were pouring over big maps showing many acres of property in the Hayward Highlands area owned by the state Department of Transportation. As many of you know, Caltrans bought the property to build an elevated extension of Interstate 238 through the Hayward foothills, but that plan went kerplunk and now the agency is going to sell it all — apartments, houses, open space and everything else.

Sara Buizer, a senior city planning manager, asked people to mark the maps with whatever they’d like to see there. Some people made sure to leave room for green space. Others expressed concern about Carlos Bee traffic and more high-density housing. Others promoted high-density housing, particularly the Quarry Village project.

If anyone reading this went to that meeting or the other one on Tuesday, we’d like to hear your thoughts.

The Bret Harte meeting was the second of three, each focusing on a different part of the Caltrans land. The third is to be held next week with an emphasis on the southern stretch of Caltranslandia, from Harder Road to Industrial Parkway.

Next meeting: takes place 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 13 (next Wednesday) at the UFCW Local 870 Union Hall at 28870 Mission Blvd.


A super-duper voting experience

Did everything run smoothly at your polling place yesterday? Any interesting or unusual stories? Were you at one of the spots that ran out of ballots?

Let us know here or at 510-293-2473.

4 p.m. update: Contrary to earlier reports, only one polling site in our part of the county temporarily ran out of some ballots yesterday: the Marina Community Center in San Leandro. And afternoon voting there still took “under 10 minutes,” according to a voter who later contributed his photo of the site to the New York Times. Of the 14 spots in Alameda County that, because of unexpectedly high turnout, ran out of Democratic or provisional ballots in the afternoon, most were resupplied rapidly and all by the evening rush, said Guy Ashley, spokesman for the Registrar.


For what it’s worth

I don’t know how much this matters now, but the Review ran a story about who our elected officials in the Hayward area voted for in the presidential primary.

The San Leandro City Council members’ responses were not included in that story, but only three responded to our request anyway.

So, here they are their responses:

tsantos.jpgMayor Tony Santos said he voted for Sen. Hillary Clinton because “I believe she is best qualified to be President and further I truly feel it is time for a woman president.”

jprola.jpgCouncilman Jim Prola was the only other official to respond. He said he was voting for Sen. Barack Obama because he had a better overall approval rating, and he felt Obama could get the troops out of Iraq sooner.

mgregory.jpgCouncilman Michael Gregory said he would rather not comment. But he did have these words:

I am planning to attend Rep. Stark’s celebration Tuesday night (Feb. 5) in Hayward. I am optimistic beyond words!


How the politicos voted

The Daily Review asked local elected officials late last week about which candidate they are voting for in the primary. All chose Democrats. Hayward Councilman Bill Ward did not respond to the inquiry. San Leandrans were not included in the original request (no offense!) but some have since responded (see below).

It will be interesting to see how the presidential preferences of area officials compare with their constituencies, but the Registrar’s office points out we might not have detailed city-by-city breakdowns of voting results for up to 28 days.

Hayward Mayor Mike Sweeney:

“I’ll vote for Senator Obama. He opposed the war from the start. He inspires young people in a way that no other candidate in recent memory has inspired young people to get involved. And I like that he comes from a background as a community organizer. Good community organizers learn to listen well and problem solve.”

Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley:

“I’m leaning to Hillary Clinton, because of her experience. I considered (Joe) Biden and (John) Edwards, but wanted to wait until things shook out. Well, now they’ve shaken out.”

Alameda County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker:

“Senator Obama. I read his book when I was on Continue Reading


Pete Stark endorses …

… no one, yet.

The Democratic congressman from Fremont already voted by absentee ballot but is keeping his presidential primary pick secret until after Californians finish voting tonight, according to Capitol Weekly.

Will he reveal his pick at his election night party at Hayward’s Centennial Hall? We might have to wait until tomorrow to find out. The event was listed on the calendar of this month’s member newsletter for the Hayward Demos Democratic Club, but a staffer at Stark’s offices in DC today said it was “private.”

The convention center is a public facility on City Center Drive but regularly hosts private events for a fee (although it still loses about $300,000 a year, according to city finance staff). Amy Johnston, an administrative finance clerk at Hayward City Hall, wouldn’t disclose anything about how much Stark’s party tonight will cost.

“It’s a contract. I can’t disclose any information we have on the contract,” Johnston said. She added, “we are not allowed to host free events here.” But nonprofits, she said, can get discounts.