Wasserman’s questionable volunteers

Two things happened Sunday that I didn’t think were possible: My roommate Alex beat me at ping pong, and someone scooped on me on a Fremont politics story not involving Dirk Lorenz.

Here’s a google alert I got Sunday night:

Fremont mayor’s campaign broke law by recruiting students on …
San Jose Mercury News, USA – 3 hours ago
The mayor’s campaign staff recruited students in classrooms at three of Fremont’s five high schools, promising college recommendation letters from the mayor …

When I clicked on it though, the Mercury News web site said the story had been removed.

I contacted Mayor Wasserman, and he emailed me late Sunday night. He said that he knew of the story, but hadn’t read it. He said he didn’t think any recommendation letters were promised, and they certainly weren’t promised by him. He also said his volunteer recruiter had permission from the principals and teachers at the schools, but no one seemed to be aware that they were violating the education code.

The scooper, I think, was Karen Wiese, a Berkeley Journalism student, who I met on Friday at that economic forum shindig. She seemed cool, but I’m starting to like her less and less. Doesn’t she know that competitive journalism ceased in Fremont years ago?

I don’t know what Wasserman’s doing up at this hour. I’m still basking in the Giants’ victory over the Steelers.

Matt Artz


  1. Is this true? Can political campaigns recruit high school students for their campaign duties? I understand that high-school students can get involved in the civic affairs of a government by volunteering, internship etc.

  2. The person in the story seems to be saying that campaigns can recruit students, they just can’t do it on school grounds. I volunteered for a campaign back in the day after the candidate’s rep came to my high school. I got a recommendation letter too, but still ended up going to a New York State public university.

  3. It looks like Wasserman is losing the election and had to rely on students for his campaign. A true supporter of Wasserman will volunteer without any inducements.

  4. A lot of students have volunteered in numerous campaigns in the past. How serious is this “on campus recruitment” law? Will it hurt Wasserman’s election?

  5. Storm Trooper –

    How serious is this ??? You gotta be kiddin’ – aren’t you ?

    I remember when I was pulled over once by a P.D. for not wearing my seatbelt. I attempted to plead my case with the officer who politely reminded me (and rightfully so) that “the law, is the law” – there are no “degrees” of guilt or innocence and I’m betting that any former Chief of PD will recognize this point.

    I doubt that this has any consequence whatsoever on the outcome of this election…

  6. Bbox –my point is that this issue will fade away as quickly as it came up. There is no precedence to bank on. What’s the penalty? Forfeit 100 votes per student volunteer? It’s going to be “Oops we are Sorry” that’s it.

  7. Storm trooper is right of course . . . .

    You’all just move along – there’s nuthin’ to see here. .. . jest keep movin’ along.

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