This week, I have to write about the race for Washington Hospital. I just spoke to Ravi Johal, who, it turns out, was born the same day as me: June 24, 1975. At least, he didn’t have to spend his 33rd birthday watching the City Council on TV.
The interesting thing to me about Johal is that he’s basically a Fremont newbie lawyer, who went to high school in Roseville, college in Sacramento, hasn’t been a Democrat very long; yet he’s endorsed by Torrico, Stark, the nurses union, and four out five members of the city council.
Maybe they have an affinity for June Cancers. They also might have real concerns about the manner in which the hospital is run, but, if they do, I don’t recall any of them saying so publicly.
On the other side of the fence seems to be a couple of Fremont Bank executives. Friends of Washington Hospital – a state-registered PAC, which is raising money for the incumbents and sending out nasty letters on their behalf — is the product of two high-ranking bank officials. The group’s president is Fremont Bank Vice Chairman Mike Wallace (also chair of the hospital board) and the group’s treasurer is Fremont Bank Vice President Jamie Vargas.
Vargas’ personal phone is listed as the group’s registered phone number, according to documents filed with the state. And, the address for Friends of Washington Hospital is 39150 Fremont Blvd. — the same address, conveniently, as Fremont Bank.
Nevertheless, Vargas said that Fremont Bank is not affiliated with the group. “This is something we do on the side,” she said.