Deborah Stark endorses Nadia Lockyer

Alameda County Board of Supervisors District 2 candidate Nadia Lockyer today announced she has the endorsement of Deborah Roderick Stark, whom she described as “a nationally recognized expert in child and family policy” and a First Five Alameda County Commission member.

“As a mother, former adult caregiver, and someone who deals with families everyday as the Executive Director of the Alameda County Family Justice Center, Nadia understands the needs of families and what it takes to keep communities healthy. Nadia Lockyer will be a voice for the children and families of Alameda County when she will serve on the Board of Supervisors, representing the people of District 2,” Stark said in the news release.

The news release delves deeper into both women’s professional bona fides, but doesn’t mention that Lockyer, 38, is the wife of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, 68, or that Stark, 43, is the wife of Rep. Pete Stark, 78.

The question is: should it?

On one hand, Lockyer might be trying to campaign only on her own qualifications, which seems admirable; on the other hand, her husband’s long political career indisputably enhances her name recognition and political connections. Ditto Stark, to some extent; though she’s certainly a respected child and family policy expert, I find it hard to believe she’s not better known around here as Pete Stark’s wife.

Or is that just because hacks like me keep pointing it out? Does a candidate omit the information with the knowledge (and/or tacit consent) that journalists most likely will report it anyway? And, should we?

I’d argue for it, as I think a person’s marriage is a part of who they are, and newsworthy for those seeking office especially when that marriage has political dimensions; I’d say the same for a famed politician’s husband seeking his own office. Others might argue against it, saying it’s a demeaning implication that the candidate is riding his/her spouse’s coattails. What do you think?

The Board of Supervisors District 2 seat represents parts of Hayward, Newark, Union City, Fremont, and Sunol; incumbent Gail Steele isn’t seeking re-election. Others in the race include former state Sen. Liz Figueroa, D-Sunol; Hayward City Councilman Kevin Dowling; and Union City Mayor Mark Green. The election will be held June 8.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • daddy’s girl

    are they sisters?

  • Elwood

    Be still, my heart!

  • Nadia Lockyer is by far the most qualified candidate to become the next county supervisor.

    Deborah Roderick Stark endorsed Ms. Lockyer on her merits and nothing else. The notion that she endorsed Nadia Lockyer because they are both married to elected officials is sexist.

  • Josh Richman

    I think you misunderstand me, Frieda. I wasn’t saying that Deborah Stark’s endorsement of Nadia Lockyer was dependent on who their spouses; both women are accomplished, intelligent people quite capable of making decisions for themselves. My question was whether it’s their role, or my role, or nobody’s role, to note when they’re making news – not just with endorsements, but in any political context – that they’re married to influential elected officials, with all of the connectedness that entails. As I said, I’d wonder the same if we were talking about a male candidate whose wife is an influential elected official.

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    Freida has a point. Rielle Hunter said the other day: “There is way too much sexism in the mainstream media today. And John Edwards and Tiger Woods agree with me.”

  • John Handal

    Dear Nadia: Thank you for your brochure.
    Three specific points for openers:
    1. I liked what I read. In the past and in the present I have received many other brochures from candidates to different positions … all of them are impressive … a lot of people really know how to get elected, that is the reason the winning a race is tough. However, in the past, I, like most citizens have been very disappointed with most politicians by many very well know reasons such as lying, been caught in misconducts of all kind, from stealing to cheating in their personal lives and lying on top of that and most of them have shown little or no concern for the citizenry, not even listen to their constituents or if they do is just a show or a fake, all this is based in their incompetence and personal agendas contraries to the financial, social, political health of this country … as the matter of fact I sincerely believe that the worst enemies of our agonizing USA are in Washington DC. I could elaborate in this for many pages and for a long time.
    2. The pressing problems in Alameda County are many, so we have to give priority to some and less priority to others, after all there are not unlimited resources specially in this poor economy. The number one priority in the entire Alameda County is resolve Crime, this is very pervasive, not so much based in poverty as in permissiveness, I live in a good sector of Hayward, expensive houses and expensive cars in the area, however Houses and parked cars have been burglarized more times that I care to remember, I have noticed with the arrival of good weather groups of “innocent Kids” “play in the street” which undoubtedly will lead to Gangs, which will lead to corruption of kids that otherwise could have grown up to be exemplary citizens. Today I see that most kids in the area are good and very promising, however they are fragile, they can be influenced and infected with negative values and criminal behavior, specially true when their parents don’t supervise them enough or even encourage misconducts. Even the UPS and the FEDEX agents told me that are not leaving any package in at the door as they use in the past … I have lived in this house since 1979, in the situation was impaired in the last 4 years. I could elaborate for a long time.
    3. Accountability of the government employees that are suppose to help the public, many don’t, hopefully the majority do, however I have observed many times their performance is just plain shameful … for instance … I call the police on my cellular to report crime … 10 youngster beating up 1 man on the floor at Castro Valley Bart Station. A “lady” call me back and treated me like I was the criminal, they don’t want to be bother. I have reported dangerously parked vehicles in second street going down hill, I told them three times the name of the street while I was reading the sign “Second and Patricia”, they kept on saying there is no such street … they don’t want to be bothered. I call someone at the police to have a meeting in the neighborhood to deal with crime prevention, that is a must, my understanding according to a prominent Real Estate Office the person that I talked with more than once is been payed just for this kind of work, she didn’t even care about the issues facing Hayward. My impression … this was just a political job, a fraud, a crime in itself! … We need accountability, without it there is nothing, the good public employees have to carrie the burden of the slackers and very soon they end up burned out too. I can elaborate so much more …
    I can bring up other issues, all backed up with facts, however I should leave for some other occasion.
    I would like to keep this information confidential, otherwise reprisals will be taken against myself from the very same people that are suppose to protect the taxpayer. Sincerely, John Handal. johnhandal@sbcglobal.net

  • Clara

    I will not vote in favor of Nadia Lockyer. It is my belief she is a liberal. She may have done alot with women’s shelters etc. However she still thinks big government works it does not.

  • Steve White

    I don’t know if you know this, but Nadia Lockyer’s hiring as Executive Director was engineered by Nancy O’Malley, now the Alameda County DA, in probable violation of state and federal law.

    The story is kind of complex. The ACFJC is part of a system of FJCs set up by the Federal govt, the US DOJ Office on Violence Against Women, the OVW.

    Since this federal agency funds it, the ACFJC is subject to Federal Grant laws, which require arm’s length distance between those decide how federal money is spent, and those who receive the money. I believe those laws were violated.

    As for the state law violated, the Govt. Code forbids public officials, including the Attorney General, which Bill Lockyer was at the time, from using his position for financial gain, and his wife’s salary of over $90K, in a community property state, comes back to benefit Lockyer himself. There may be other state laws violated as well.

    The violation would be Lockyer using his influence to get his wife the job.

    I believe this is what happened. Although Nancy O’Malley engineered the hiring, I believe she did so because the Lockyer’s wanted it.

    I investigated this on my own and found out the following:

    1. There were 28 applicants for the job when the former Director quit. Since Nadia Lockyer had no domestic violence experience, it’s almost certain she was not the best qualified.

    2. The selection process was set up so that Nadia Lockyer was sure to get the job. What O’Malley did was set up two committees of four each to choose the new Exec. Direc, but she stacked each committee with two staffers subordinate to her, Harold Boscovich, Lisa Foster, Karen Meredith, and I think the last one was O’Malley herself. With tie votes one whether Lockyer was rejected, and to keep other applicants from being accepted, all they had to do was wear the other committee members down.

    I am not just guessing on this, I was told by one of the committee members that O’Malley ran the whole show.

    Since the position is ultimately a DA staff position, and the DA can hire whoever he wants, (the DA at the time was Tom Orloff, but O’Malley ran all of this for him) why have any selection committees at all? Under Section 35 of the Alameda County Charter, the DA can simply hire at will.

    The clear reason for the selection process was to give the APPEARANCE, but not REALITY, of an objective process, because otherwise there would be questions of both state and US law being broken.

    Finally, to cinch it, I spoke to the head of OVW at the time, Mary Beth Buchanan, and she expressed great surprise the wife of the CA AG was being hired. Nancy O’Malley tried to tell me the Feds were fully informed of what was going on, but this was clearly a lie, else why would Buchanan have been surprised?

    By the way, Buchanan was going to investigate, at least she said so, and I think would have but she herself got caught up in the Alberto Gonzalez controversy.

    3. Finally, though the job had paid $65,000 before and the vacancy was advertised at that price, as soon as they knew Nadia had the job, they “found” another 25,000 to increase her salary to $90K. I believe they kept the advertised salary low to discourage other applicants.

    Another thing might be of interest to you. About a year after Lockyer got the job, I won’t say “took over” because I believe O’Malley and the “site manager” Harold Boscovich really run the place, they put out a press release claiming the ACFJC had helped “20,000 domestic violence victims and their families”.

    But this was untrue, the true number, which I got from the Feds, from reports the ACFJC has to file as a grantee, was actually a little over 3,000 people, including family members. In other words, Lockyer lied by a factor of at least six.

    I hope you will bring all this to the attention of the electorate.

    If you need any more information, please let me know.

    Thank You,

    Steve White

  • Facts_on_Sacramento

    Bill Lockyer is married? I would not have guessed he was even straight!

  • Elwood

    @ #11

    Au contraire, in his single days Little Billy had a bad reputation for his unwanted attentions hitting on the ladies.

  • SMH

    “Nadia understands the needs of families and what it takes to keep communities healthy…”

    Like making sex tapes with her lover, which get sent to her husband.