Mary Hayashi rolls out her state Senate campaign

Former Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi has rolled out her campaign for the 10th State Senate District, presenting a top-shelf team of advisors and poll numbers that claim she’s a serious contender.

Mary HayashiBut that team will have to find a way to convince voters it’s no big deal that Hayashi, 47, of Hayward, was convicted two years ago of shoplifting $2,450 worth of clothes from San Francisco’s Neiman Marcus. That certainly seemed to be an uphill battle when the three-term Democratic assemblywoman ran for an Alameda County supervisorial seat later in 2012, and finished third out of four.

Now Hayashi will be competing the senate seat – from which Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, is term-limited out – against Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont; Democrat Roman Reed, a spinal-injury research advocate and planning commissioner from Fremont; and Republican Peter Kuo, an insurance agent from Santa Clara.

“I am excited about working on improving the lives of people in the 10th Senate District,” Hayashi said in a news release. “Whether it is improving access to healthcare, raising the quality of education or creating better economic opportunities, I want to work hard for the families and individuals in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties.”

Josh Pulliam of JPM&M will serve as Hayashi’s general consultant; Daniel Weitzman will handle fundraising; Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners will handle polling and research; David Gould is the campaign treasurer; and Roger Salazar of Alza Strategies will serve as media advisor.

One thing she has in spades is campaign cash. Campaign finance reports filed at the end of last month show Hayashi finished 2013 with $734,000 in her campaign account and no outstanding debts. Wieckowski had about $125,000 in the bank and owed $32,000; Reed had about $49,000 after lending his campaign $40,000; and Kuo had $24,000 including a $5,000 loan from his own pocket.

What she seems to lack is party support. At a regional caucus meeting last weekend, local Democrats gave Wieckowski 105 votes for pre-endorsement while Reed got eight and Hayashi got none. That means Wieckowski’s name will be placed on the consent calendar at state Democrats’ convention next month in Los Angeles, an almost sure-fire route to the party’s endorsement.

Hayashi’s release touted a poll by Lake which found she got a plurality of votes over her potential rivals, and that after all candidates’ bios were read, her lead expanded to 11 points over her nearest opponent. This poll was conducted Feb. 4-6 among 405 likely primary voters in the district, with a 4.9-percentage-point margin of error, the campaign said, but no copy of the poll script or detailed results were provided.

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.

  • Marga

    You have to wonder what they put on those bios 🙂

    But what’s the story with Wieckowski’s lack of fundraising success? Both Quirk and Bonta got hundreds of thousands and they are not even facing opponents.

  • Willis James

    Josh Pulliam of JPM&M, Daniel Weitzman, Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners, David Gould, and Roger Salazar of Alza Strategies.

    Each of these individuals makes their living from political campaigns.
    They are hired guns.

    Mary has $734,000. They have bills to pay and families to house and feed.
    If Mary didn’t have a huge wad of cash, they wouldn’t have anything to do with her.

    They’ll create and take any poll Mary would like to pay for.
    Especially if the questions arrive at a positive answer.

    Has she given any of the polling questions and results to the Political Blotter? Did anyone get a peek at the bios they used in the polling?

    As to the polling suggesting she is a serious contender…

    Her interview with Josh Richman, July 21, 2012
    “Now, Hayashi, D-Hayward, has filed papers disclosing her intent to run for supervisor. “I’m not coming into this blind,” she said. “I think the research shows I can win this race.”
    (she came in a weak third place)

    And…in the same interview commenting on the $2,450 worth of merchandise she shoplifted from Neiman Marcus,

    “Hayashi said she had been distracted by a phone call when she left with the unpaid items. “Of course, I intended to pay for them,” she said.

    You see, Mary has never actually admitted she intentionally took the items. Had she been able to convince a jury of that, she would have been found innocent.
    Because the law says that “intent” is a essential element of this particular crime.

    But in the police report and videos, which Mary’s lawyers had access to, the evidence clearly shows the element of “intent”.
    Still she persists in the story that it was all unintentional and absentminded.

    One hopes that the Political Blotter will get to interview her again. Asking some of the same questions which she has avoided answering.
    This is NOT old news. The candidate running for office is still on 3 years probation.
    That point is a campaign issue, if not THE campaign issue in her run for office.

    Do the people of the senate district want to elect a candidate who is still on 3 years probation?

    Do they believe that Mary’s is now telling the truth; that she was just distracted on her cell phone?

  • Kalifornia Kafir

    So, how’s her brain tumor? All better?

  • JohnW

    Must be in remission. Hopefully that is also true of her political career.

  • From my July 2012 interview with Hayashi (to which I linked in the above post):

    She said it’s “too bad” her lawyer had mentioned the tumor to reporters because “my health was certainly not a factor in anything that happened.” Her tumor is benign, common and easily treated with medicine, she added: “My health is just fine.”

  • Elwood

    chutz·pa [khoot-spuh, hoot-]

    noun Slang.
    unmitigated effrontery or impudence; gall.
    audacity; nerve.

    See also: brass balls

  • Willis James

    But as you also noted in your interview on July 21st —

    “But a Jan. 8 statement from Hayashi after she entered her no contest plea had said “my medical condition may have complicated the situation.”

    I think by July, seven months after her initial press release, and in light of her new candidacy for supervisor, she concluded it was better to NOT have a serious “brain tumor”, so she decided to drop that excuse.

    She also dropped one of her other excuses given in that January 8th 2012 press release.
    (one of my all time favorites)

    “Losing track of how fast you are driving is no excuse for speeding. And losing track of clothing I was purchasing is no excuse for walking out of a store without paying”

    One can only imagine Mary and her advisers were up all night thinking that one up.
    Saying to themselves….”Yeah, that sounds good”

  • JohnW

    Well said, especially your observation that it was not to her political advantage to leave the impression that she might have a serious medical condition affecting brain function.

  • Rich C

    Apparently, Hayashi missed the recent election where Pete Stark was voted out, as Democrats soundly demonstrated that they won’t just rubber stamp tarnished candidates any longer. Go home, Mary, you gave us 2,450 reasons not to support you.

  • bbox231

    The distinction between “mine” and “yours” is a difficult concept for some.

  • Jim

    Mary Hayashi for State Senator “A Thief you can Trust”

  • The result is what you see in this race; nice people trying to make sense of something that is filled with contradictions. The most exciting candidate in the race is Roman Reed. He is more than a one-issue candidate. The rest will leave us where we are now: wandering in the desert. It’s a three way race with Reed edging out the other two. 2014 is his year. The other two are captives of a political process that
    embrace incremental change in a year of exponential shifting.

  • Pentax Princess

    Since she has been a convicted shoplifter/thief she will be right at home with the other crooks in Sacramento. The Democratic Party in Sacramento is full of them.