SD10: Of polls, endorsements and mailers

The war in the 10th State Senate District continues, with a poll by Mary Hayashi’s campaign that claims she’s in the lead; an endorsement for Bob Wieckowski that takes a swipe at Hayashi; and labor unions’ second attack mailer focusing on Hayashi’s shoplifting conviction.

Mary HayashiHayashi’s campaign on Friday issued a poll memo saying that a survey of 400 likely voters in the district found 21 percent support Hayashi, 18 percent support Wieckowski, 7 percent support Republican Peter Kuo, 5 percent support Democrat Roman Reed, 2 percent support independent Audie Bock and a whopping 47 percent are undecided. Hayashi’s lead is within the poll’s 4.9-percentage-point margin of error.

“Hayashi has the clearest path to victory of any candidate,” pollsters Celinda Lake and Liesl Newton wrote in the memo. “Furthermore, despite attacks against her, Mary Hayashi’s favorability ratings remain net positive.”

Lisa Tucker, Wieckowski’s campaign consultant, noted the poll was conducted after Hayashi sent out a series of mailers about herself, but while the first negative mailers went out against her (although Wieckowski did launch an attack website against Hayashi more than a week earlier).

“It seems that her investment in trying to rehabilitate herself after her shoplifting conviction, while still serving probation, is not paying off,” Tucker said. “We feel confident that character does matter to voters and that they will reject Mary Hayashi when they learn she was convicted of shoplifting and is seeking public office while still serving probation.”

Hayashi has insisted she was distracted and inadvertently left San Francisco’s Neiman Marcus store with $2,450 worth of clothes in a store-branded shopping bag she had brought with her that day in October 2011. In a deal with prosecutors, the felony grand theft charge against her was reduced to a misdemeanor, to which she pleaded no contest in early 2012.

Meanwhile, Democracy for America, the progressive group founded a decade ago by former Vermont governor and 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean, announced its endorsement of Wieckowski on Monday.

Bob Wieckowski“Primaries can sometimes present tough decisions, especially since California adopted the top two primary. When looking at a choice between a convicted shoplifter and a strong progressive, however, the choice is clear,” DFA digital programs manager Andy Kelley wrote in a fundraising plea for Wieckowski. “Bob Wieckowski is up against a Republican who wants to return the state legislature to the bad old days of gridlock and cuts to the social safety net, and a former Democratic lawmaker who demonstrated her unfitness for office by stealing thousands of dollars of goods from a San Francisco store.”

“Bob Wieckowski will help push California’s politics in a more ethical direction and will stand on principle,” Kelley wrote. “The State Senate has had enough scandal. Bob Wieckowski will bring ethical, progressive leadership and a strong backbone — two things Sacramento needs right now.”

Also Monday, a group of labor unions supporting Wieckowski issued their second attack mailer against Hayashi within a week’s time.

Click to enlarge:
Second IE Hayashi mailer-page1

Second IE Hayashi mailer-page2

“If Mary Hayashi can’t go within 50 feet of a Neiman Marcus store … shouldn’t it be the same for the State Senate” the mailer asks, over a photo illustration of Hayashi separated from the State Capitol by what looks like police tape reading “MARY HAYASHI DO NOT ENTER.” On the other side, the mailer repeats the same alleged ethical transgressions as last week’s mailer.

The mailer comes from “Californians for Integrity in Government Opposed to Hayashi for Senate 2014, Sponsored by Peace Officers, Nurses and Labor Organizations.” The committee’s mailing address is that of the California Nurses Association, and the mailer discloses the committee receives “major funding by California State Council of Service Employees Political Committee.”

“Clearly this is in response to the polling that shows Mary is in the lead,” Josh Pulliam, Hayashi’s campaign manager, said Monday. “Apparently Bob and his backers think the only way to beat her is to bully her, to beat up on her” about the shoplifting in order to make voters forget about her lengthy, strong legislative record.

“They don’t want the voters to get a full view of all of the candidates because they know if voters do, they’re going to lose,” Pulliam said. “Bob still hasn’t given anybody a reason to vote for him.”

UPDATE @ 2:17 P.M.: Also, here’s the ad that Kuo’s campaign says it has been airing for several days:

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

    Josh, did they release the questions for the poll? One of my FB friends was one of the people called. For what she said, it sounded this was a push poll rather than an opinion poll.

  • Willis James

    “Hayashi has insisted she was distracted and inadvertently left San Francisco’s Neiman Marcus store with $2,450 worth of clothes in a store-branded shopping bag she had brought with her that day in October 2011.”

    Before November rolls around, will some news organization please ask Mary Hayashi to explain WHY she brought a Neiman Marcus shopping bag with her from Hayward.

    – She was not returning any items to Neiman Marcus that day.
    – She had not made any purchases from Neiman Marcus earlier that day.
    – There was no California shopping bag law in effect in 2011

    Surely Mary Hayashi has some explanation why she brought that store branded Neiman Marcus shopping bag with her that day.
    Why doesn’t some reporter ask her why she brought it with her?

    From the San Jose Mercury News, November 5, 2011 quoting Doug Rappaport, Mary’s lawyer. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_19273012
    “Sometimes when somebody brings an empty bag into a store, that shows the intent to steal, but that’s not the case here,” Rappaport told a reporter. “You don’t know the facts of this case. But I can’t litigate the case in the press.”

  • I saw the script; the rather “pushy” questions were asked only AFTER the “who are you supporting” question.

  • Marga


    I’m not surprised at the poll resorts. I think Hayashi got the numbers on name recognition alone (plus, maybe, some gender bias). I was surprised that this FB friend of mine did not actually know who Bob Wieckowski is, despite the fact that I’ve posted about him many, many times. But this probably indicates he has low name recognition, probably particularly in those areas he does not currently represent in the Assembly.

  • Elwood

    My, doesn’t Mary look chic?

    I wonder if she paid for that outfit.

  • Willis James

    Mary has six mailers out.

    Some residents would have gotten 4 mailers prior to that poll.

    At the same time, near zero negative press that the average Joe is reading.

    Average folks when questioned, only remember the Hayashi shoplifting issue when reminded of her name and the connection.
    With $690K, Mary makes the top two.

  • Marga

    or the rest of them

  • Willis James

    Sadly, others in the legislature have to live within their meager salary and dress accordingly

  • Willis James
  • Marga

    Actually, it seems she was returning items to Neiman Marcus that day. So that particular part of the mystery has been solved.

  • Marga

    BTW, you may find my newest blog post interesting:


  • Willis James

    Marga, the blog post you mention is very interesting and extremely detailed.
    I suppose you have some source or source material from which you draw that information, that as far as I know, has not been published anywhere else?

    I realize you worked hard to obtain and make public the police report. That was very beneficial, however this latest report suggests you or someone you interviewed ‘currently’ has a copy of the video in their possession.

    Without some indication of that, what is a person in the public suppose to think about what is in that blog post? Have I missed something in the blog that explains the source?

  • Marga

    I have the video.

  • Willis James

    “I hope that the release of the video of her shoplifting incident will lead to a public discussion on the needs of surveillance versus privacy.”

    I’ll be awaiting that release, hopefully in the near future. Then all the issues surrounding it can be debated.
    We can also all judge for ourselves the plausibilty of the “I was distracted on my cell phone” excuse that has been offered.

    BTW, regarding the idea that a brain tumor might make one shoplift, that was addressed by a expert who was quoted in the Sac Bee at the time
    “Dr. Paul Muizelaar, professor and chair of neurological surgery at UC Davis Cancer Center, said a large tumor pressing on the frontal lobe could affect a person’s behavior. But that type of growth would require surgery and – unlike the tumor described by Hayashi’s attorney – cannot be treated with medication, he said.”

    “Muizelaar said there is a “very rare” type of tumor that can cause seizures or some form of epilepsy that influences behavior, such as causing the individual to laugh uncontrollably or experience smells or scents that no one else around them can detect. He said he felt it “very unlikely” that such seizures would spark a shoplifting incident.”
    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/10/4175432/assemblywoman-mary-hayashis-shoplifting.html#storylink=cpy

  • Marga

    That’s one of the reasons why I will publish the video as soon as I can. The other is that I think we do need to talk seriously about surveillance, as I mentioned in my article.

  • Marga

    Oh, and until I manage to publish it, if you (or anyone else) would like info on how to access the video, just e-mail me.