Ricky Gill’s mom pushed patients for votes

Lodi Memorial Hospital’s CEO had to tell Republican congressional candidate Ricky Gill’s mother to lay off soliciting votes or campaign donations from patients.

Gill’s mother, Dr. Parampal Gill, is a prominent obstetrician in San Joaquin County; Gill is challenging Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, in the 9th Congressional District.

A former hospital employee, speaking on condition of anonymity, said she was one of those who complained to hospital administrators.

“She handed out her son’s cards at Lodi Memorial Hospital, and she even would go as far as to say things to them like, ‘I delivered you a beautiful baby and in return I want four votes,’” the former staffer said. “The hospital has a no-soliciting policy which I assume extends to physicians… I was offended for and on behalf of patients.”

“Our CEO did have a conversation with Dr. Gill about this and it came about because we had a staffer bring to our attention that she heard Dr. Gill saying something like this to a patient,” hospital spokeswoman Carol Farron confirmed this week. “We have had no complaints from patients themselves, however a staffer did bring it to our attention and it’s our policy and our practice if a staffer brings a concern like this to our attention that we would speak to any of the parties involved and just caution them that it’s not appropriate behavior. Because we didn’t have any direct patient complaints, that’s as far as we took it.”

The hospital’s vice president of nursing also spoke with Dr. Gill about the verbal solicitations, Farron said.

“Dr. Gill has a right to advocate for her son, just like any mother would,” Gill campaign spokesman Colin Hunter said today.

Jennifer Simoes, chief of legislation at the Medical Board of California, said things like handing out campaign literature or soliciting votes wouldn’t be actionable by the board, which deals with Medical Practice Act and quality-of-care violations.

“However, absent permission of the patient, using information from patient’s medical records for anything other than the care and treatment of the patient, is something that the Board would look into if we were to receive a complaint,” she said. “The Board would look at the facts of each individual case to determine if there was a violation.”

Molly Weedn, spokeswoman for the California Medical Association, said a physician who provided patient information to a campaign most likely would be violating privacy rules in the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. But “if the physician was using the information to reach out to a patient on his/her own, then it wouldn’t be considered a violation,” she said.


Eric Swalwell courts GOP voters against Pete Stark

Eric Swalwell, the insurgent Democratic challenger to Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, is courting Republican votes in the final days of the campaign.

Voters have been receiving a recorded call former Republican Assemblyman Guy Houston. Here’s a transcript of the call:

There is no Republican on the ballot for Congress against Pete Stark, and I believe our best and only choice for Congress is Eric Swalwell on Nov. 6. I’ve known Eric for 12 years – he is an Alameda County prosecutor, a Dublin city councilman. Eric is a moderate and his top priority is to stabilize our economy, fight for great jobs here locally in the growing alternative energy sector, and reduce our national debt. Pete Stark has one of the worst voting attendance records in Congress. He lives in Maryland and is one of the most liberal members of Congress. Eric Swalwell will live in our community and has the energy and new ideas to work with people of any political party to solve our problems. Please vote for Eric Swalwell for Congress on Nov. 6.

This message is paid for by Swalwell for Congress, 925-924-0084.

Color me unsurprised – I’ve been saying for months that Swalwell would actively court the anybody-but-Pete-Stark vote, and the district’s GOP minority – 23.2 percent, as of early September – is a significant part of that. From a campaign standpoint, he’d be a fool not to seek those votes.

Sure, some diehard Dems might find this offensive, but if they’re completely toeing the party line, they probably weren’t voting for Swalwell anyway.


MC Hammer to get out vote for Jerry McNerney

Hammer pantsCapping our day of entertainment-themed weirdness (East Coast looks like “The Day After Tomorrow!” Disney buys Lucasfilm, will make “Star Wars Ep. VII!” ABC to make Oakland “City Hall” drama!) comes this tidbit: singer and artist MC Hammer (nee Stanley Burrell) will help lead a canvass on Monday in Stockton in support of Rep. Jerry McNerney and Stockton City Council candidate Michael Tubbs.

Hammer, 50, lives in Tracy, which actually is just outside the 9th Congressional District in which McNerney, D-Stockton, is seeking re-election.

As when Hammer lent his skills to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s campaign, this raises some questions: Is McNerney actually too legit to quit? Can Ricky Gill not touch this? Which candidate needs to pray just to make it Tuesday?

We’ll know soon enough.


‘St. Elmo’s Fire’ + ‘The West Wing’ in Oakland

Just start cringing now.

From Deadline.com:

ABC has put in development City Hall, a political drama executive produced by Bob Sertner. Written by Gideon Yago (HBO’s Newsroom), the project is being described as St Elmo’s Fire meets The West Wing set in the East Bay of San Francisco. It follows the mayor of Oakland and her irreverent City Hall staff of twenty- and thirtysomethings who take on the political and social establishment of a city in crisis while trying to maintain their own personal and social lives. Sertner will executive produce with former MTV host Yago for for ABC Studios.

What they don’t realize about Oakland is that it is – ALWAYS – stranger than fiction.

UPDATE @ 2:30 P.M.: My favorite responses so far to my tweet of this blog item:

Sprinkle in some “Mad Max” and you’re probably closer to the real thing.

“Dumb and Dumber” meets “Lord of the Flies” would be more realistic

UPDATE @ 2:38 P.M.: I’m sure I’m not the only one who recalls that the commonality between “St. Elmo’s Fire” and “The West Wing” is Rob Lowe; clearly he needs to be cast in “City Hall.” He’s a little old for the part, but perhaps he could play Sean Maher.


California sends aid to states ravaged by Sandy

Californians are hard at work helping the East Coast start to put itself back together after Hurricane Sandy’s fury.

Gov. Jerry Brown yesterday directed the California Emergency Management Agency and California National Guard to send specialized assistance to the east coast to help in responding to Hurricane Sandy. A total of 83 personnel – trained in medical aid, search and rescue and other emergency response skills – will soon be positioned close to the affected areas for quick deployment.

The California National Guard on Monday sent military transport aircraft carrying two helicopters and two highly trained Pararescue teams with their equipment to Charlotte, N.C. Also being deployed are a Boeing C17, two C130 aircraft and two HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters.

On Saturday, ten members of California’s Urban Search & Rescue Incident Support Teams had been sent to Virginia and other East Coast areas in support of Federal Emergency Management Agency requests. This team included first responders from Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento City, Sacramento Metro, Los Angeles City and County and Orange County fire departments.

The California Emergency Management Agency also is working with the California Utilities Emergency Association to deploy utility crews and equipment to the East Coast as power outages are expected to be widespread.


SF Giants owners give big for political causes

They might be united behind their World Champion San Francisco Giants, but the team’s principal partners don’t always see eye-to-eye on politics – some of them give big to Republican candidates and causes, and some to Democratic candidates and causes.

Here’s the rundown of state and federal contributions for 2011-2012, with spouses’ contributions in italics:

Laurence Baer, president & CEO
$2,000, MLB Commissioner’s Office PAC

Tori Burns
$10,000, MLB Commissioner’s Office PAC

Allan Byer
$16,000, Republican National Committee
$5,000, Mitt Romney for President

William Chang
$500, Jeff Merkley (D) for Senate
$500, Mark Warner (D) for Senate

Trina Dean
$5,000, MLB Commissioner’s Office PAC
$2,000, Barack Obama for President
husband, Rob Dean
$5,000, MLB Commissioner’s Office PAC
$2,500, Greg Conlon (R) for Senate

George Drysdale
$10,000, Republican National Committee
$5,000, Mitt Romney for President

Philip Halperin
$5,000, Democratic National Committee
$5,000, Barack Obama for President

David Jenkins
$15,000, Republican National Committee
$10,000, MLB Commissioner’s Office PAC
$5,000, Publix Super Markets PAC
$2,500, John Quinones (R) for Congress
$2,500, Jeff Flake (R) for Congress
$5,000, Adam Hasner (R) for Congress

Charles B. Johnson
$200,000, American Crossroads (conservative 527 group)
$200,000, No on 30 – Californians for Reforms & Jobs, Not Taxes
$100,000, Yes on 32 – Stop Special Interest Money Now
$50,000, Restore Our Future PAC (pro-Romney super PAC)
$15,800, Republican National Committee
$5,000, John Boehner (R) for Congress
$2,500, Sarah Steelman (R) for Senate
$2,500, Denny Rehberg (R) for Senate
$2,500, Richard Lugar (R) for Senate
$2,500, Linda Lingle (R) for Senate
$2,500, Rick Berg (R) for Congress
$2,500, Ben Quayle (R) for Congress
$2,500, Craig Huey (R) for Congress
Wife, Ann
$61,600, Republican National Committee
$5,000 Mitt Romney for President
$5,000, Ed Royce (R) for Congress
$2,500, George Allen (R) for Senate
$2,500, Sarah Steelman (R) for Senate
$2,500, Linda Lingle (R) for Senate
$2,500, Richard Lugar (R) for Senate
$2,500, Denny Rehberg (R) for Senate
$2,500, Scott Brown (R) for Senate
$2,500, Ben Quayle (R) for Congress
$2,500, Vernon Robinson (R) for Congress
$2,500, Rick Berg (R) for Congress

LOTS more, after the jump…
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