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Richmond: Unions launch anti-McLaughlin campaign

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 at 3:20 pm in 2010 election, Contra Costa County, Richmond.

The Richmond police and firefighters unions unveiled The Real Gayle McLaughlin campaign today, releasing a mailer, Web site and television ad that reveals the one-term mayor’s struggle with mental illness and financial woes.

See both below.

We’re working on a full story, which includes McLaughlin’s response to her critics. (We met with her this morning.)

I’ll post the story link here as soon as it is available. In the meantime, see the TV ad and the mailer below.

UPDATE: Read McLaughlin’s response and reaction from the Richmond Progressive Alliance here.

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  • Karen Franklin

    This desperate attack will not succeed. Richmond voters know Mayor McLaughlin has demonstrated outstanding leadership over the past six years, and we will continue to support her re-election. She has proven her mettle through her unwavering commitment to the citizens of Richmond and her thoughtful approach to solving our city’s challenging problems. Indeed, the fact that she has overcome great adversities undoubtedly makes her a better, more compassionate leader, and someone with a deep appreciation for the plight of the less fortunate. Mayor McLaughlin’s values, vision, accomplishments and wide community support are what her opponents really fear. Targeting the mayor’s past personal problems rather than squarely addressing the substance of their policy differences shows just who here is bankrupt.
    – Karen Franklin, Richmond resident
    (President, Richmond Panhandle Annex Neighborhood Council — affiliation provided for identification purposes only)

  • Taxpayer

    It’s interesting that the public unions feel that the filing of bankruptcy is an indicator of some kind of character flaw.

    These public unions would like you to believe that somehow, those of us who have had to seek protection under bankruptcy law are unfit to do a job.

    I can’t help but wonder how many Richmond residents have had to file Ch 11 and agree with this position.

    This is just another indication that the public employees are woefully out of touch with the economic realities the rest of us are facing on a daily basis.

  • George

    Will some enterprising reporter interested in winning a Pulitzer please do a series on the RPOA (Richmond Police Officers Association) and the IAFF Local 188 and their long history of trying to run Richmond with the use of intimidation and hit pieces? I wonder who will play, Darrell Reese, former firefighter president, “political consultant,” and admitted felon, in the movie version.

  • Elwood

    The truth is a terrible thing.

  • http://www.cityofprideandpurpose.com Pride And Purpose

    I don’t endorse any candidate. I’ve got my own gripes about McLaughlin.

    But how quickly Nat Bates’ FPPC violations are forgotten:

    http://www.fppc.ca.gov/agenda.php?id=368 (item 4)

    Or, the bingo hall he endorsed that was going to be run by a convicted felon:

    http://www.standupca.org/news/criminal-history-of-leader-dogs-new-richmond-bingo-hall-politicians/

    Or, how he endorsed and praised Veolia Water’s performance while Richmond was in the middle of suing the company:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bcqilpynjY

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    Surviving mental illness and bankrupcy is an indication of strength, not weakness. I have much more respect for Mayor McLaughlin than ever before.

  • Elwood

    Ralph, you may be right, but what this story is about is that she concealed this info from the voters.

    Had they known the facts about McLaughlin, there might have been a different outcome.

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    Elwood, most persons conceal personal mental health information from voters because of the horrible stigma they face. This happened to US Senator Thomas Eagleton
    two weeks after he was nominated for Vice President in 1972, and was forced to withdraw.

  • John W

    The medical history business wins the Lee Atwater Gutter Politics award.

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    I’d like to see more use of electro-shock therapy for local officials.

  • Elwood

    Re: #10

    PG&E would have to add extra generating capacity.

    Renewable of course.

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    Just a reminder if you don’t consider all politics is dirty. The word politics is composed of two four letter words; poli and tics. Poli means many. Tics are blood-sucking parasitic insects that transmit diseases.

  • John W

    Yeah, let’s blame the evil politicians, not us voters who are too stupid and lazy to inform ourselves.

  • Rick K.

    Let’s focus on what’s really at issue in this Richmond race – the police and firefighter unions are out of control. Their fat, unjustifiable 3%@50 pensions are destroying the fiscal soundness of county and city governments across California (fueled in part by the stupid state law passed by the Democratic legislature in conjunction with Gov. Gray Davis in 1999 and by the Board of Supervisors ill-advised vote championed by Sup. Mark DeSaulnier and his fellow travelers in 2002). Now these union thugs have sunk so low that they’re prying into the personal health of public officials who deign to disagree with them. If the greedy police and firefighter unions had their way in Richmond (like they did in Vallejo a few years ago), the city would be even more bankrupt than it already is. Yet one Democratic party official and officeholder after another kisses the union bosses’ ring fingers. For example, see the recent endorsement by the Democratic County committee of a union-sponsored puppet candidate for Pinole city council.

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    What we’re seeing is blame for the state of the economy placed on incumbents. Whether by government employees, or by the public, this anger is natural, although often misplaced. Employees are angry at their bosses, whether in the public or private sector, whether locally or nation-wide, or world-wide.

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    I’m not angry at work; I’d be angry out of work.

  • Elwood

    Gee, I would love to live in a city where the mayor says in a court filing that she can’t pay her debts because she’s nuts!

    I’d vote for her several times!

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    Lisa probably doesn’t know that today is the last day of National Mental Illness Awareness Week. She has a story on Mayor McLaughlin on http://www.ContraCostaTimes.com
    which will probably appear in her column in the print edition tommorrow. She hung up on me on her cell phone when I called to compliment her on the story!!
    Wait ’til Tuesday at the BOS Meeting.

  • Jason

    <<>> WHAT business is if of anyone’s about a person’s halth history? Do you see Senator Boxer launching attacks on her opponent for overcoming breast cancer? No! It’s tasteless! Get to the issues and leave the personal out of the politics, please! This is a local race for crying out loud.

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    If you visit Richmond you can see for yourself what “progressive” leaders have done to the city. Sale si puede, amigos.

  • http://www.pointrichmondvoice.com Jean Womack

    The police and fire are probably against her because they want a casino, as do the building trades. They can’t find any political fault so they resort to character assasination. A plainclothes officer does not have a chance in this city. If you speak out against illegal drugs, as I did several nights at city council, I get harassed half to death, with people talking about Lil Wayne and Elvis at my job. The drug pushers are aggressive, open and shameless, with a propaganda line a mile long. It’s not a secretive business. It’s not your imagination. It’s real. Maybe the police and fire think McLaughlin doesnt have the strength to stand up to the drug pushers.

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    Ralph, I hung up on you because you called me Saturday night and when I asked you to call my office on Monday, you kept on talking. It was my mistake for answering my cell phone.

  • John W

    What? Reporters get days off? Gotta be kidding me! What’s this world coming to? Or to avoid the ending prep, to what is this world coming?

  • John W

    Re: #18 Tues BOS meeting

    I noticed in today’s paper (10/11) that the BOS will be voting on eliminating “longevity pay” (???) for elected officials. Also noticed that DA candidate O’Malley is whining about it, noting the pay cut he would take from private practice if elected. I feel his pain and will not hold it against him if he chooses to withdraw from the race.

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    Lisa, somehow, if it had been anyone else calling you 30 minutes after you had submitted this story for the Sunday print edition, you would have listened to my compliments about your article, and my tip that August 9 was the last day of National Mental Illness Awareness Week. As you may know, at the BOS Meeting tomorrow, Donna Wigand, myself, and many others will be accepting the Board’s proclaimation.

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    Not true. I would not have talked to anyone other than my boss about a work-related matter while I was spending the evening with my 2-year-old grandson. As I said, I usually don’t answer my cell when I am not working.

  • John W

    Oh, and now she plays the grandchild card! Reporters should be on call 24/7 and keep all cell phones, crackberries etc. under their pillows when sleeping, so as to take calls from admirers and detractors at any time. Could Lisa please publish her cell number here, so that we can all call her when the spirit moves us?

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    Lisa, I called you on your cell phone for your privacy, rather than respond on your blog, or e-mail you (where people can use pcc;’s. I have destroyed my record of your cell phone number, as well. You’re free to use or not use the info I emailed to you and Sandy as you wish.

  • RF

    Lisa’s “integrity” is as strong as an egg shell.

  • Suzanne

    As others have said facetiously,
    “With all due respect….”
    We don’t suspend judgment of prior experience, of prior behavior and especially not of contemporary behavior and performance when we hire people for entry-level job, why should we overlook someone’s fitness for a job because they are running for mayor (an undeniably stressful position that requires financial honesty and acumen and emotional stability in the face of competing interests)? This is not a semantic argument. Maybe she would make an excellent teacher or childcare worker, but why must we defend her job as mayor when she amasses more than $100,.00 in debt and tries to pawn it off on taxpayers. She champions her anti-casino (in Richmond)stance and says she won’t take corporate money and then bankrolls her campaign with money from card rooms casinos. Are they not incorporated? This is the tip of the iceberg my friends. Please do not be snowed by her sweet demeanor. Balanced budget? The city was $12 million in the red. Since it is legally required to submit a “balanced budget,” the mayor had to raid the reserve fund to blaance it. I hope that the quickly diminishing reserve funded isn’t needed in a real emergency.