Kathy McDonald’s blog says she’s running for Fremont City Council

kathy1_sI think this makes it official.


So here are the candidates:
Anu Natarajan
Bill Harrison
Vinnie Bacon
Kathy McDonald
Ishan Shah
Fazlur Khan
Linda Susoev

photo from kathy mcdonald’s blog

Matt Artz


  1. In Democracy everyone has the right to run for elected offices, if they qualify. More the candidates, more the issues raised and people will have the choice to elect the best as they have the best judgement.
    As far as the Fremont Citizens Network is concerned, it has the best informed and learned membership and understand the issues facing Fremont. They propose to put two candidates for Fremont City Council vacancies. It is hoped in order to maiantain its reputation and integrity it may have an open and transparent system of selecting the candiate with secret ballot of the Fremont Citizens Network membership as of March 13,2010. Before the election by the FCN the candidates may be given an opportunity to address the members in an open Candidates Forum.

    Since Vinnie and Kathy hav declared their candidacy, in order to maintain the integrity and transpiracy of the FCN, they should immediately resign from the Steering Committee of the Fremont Citizens Network.
    Let us repower City Council with PEOPLE’S Power!.

  2. When I visit her site, if I try to follow the links to her positions, local issues, why she’s running, or anything other than that first page and her nearly empty blog, the content is all password protected (ie, unavailable). I’d send her mail about this, but I can’t find any contact info anywhere on her site.

    So, you don’t want to tell me about yourself, and don’t want me to be able to contact you? Now there’s a candidate I can safely ignore.

  3. Based on euphxenos’s comments I just took a look at the KM website. I don’t think this is a case of somebody hiding anything (e.g. password protected areas, missing contact info) but rather someone who used a (wordpress) website template to quickly get something up. In doing so, she only filled in some basic content on the home page and named the other pages she planned to fill in later. Matt didn’t mention whether KM contacted him to say her official website was on-line or he found out some other way. Since she’s a first-time candidate, I’d cut her a little slack and give her time to get this kind of thing off the ground before using it to decide in favor or against her.

  4. The elected officials are suppose to have easy access to their constituents personally and with all their communicational channels open to details. Any one running for elected office should have open access and their blogs and web sites should be easily accessable for all details, as they represent the people and they are not some supreme King or Queen. It is all about democracy.

  5. I think Matt Artz must have been desperately looking for a “scoop” when he ran across Kathy McDonald’s website. I suspect what he’s done, however, is to jump the gun and do Ms. McDonald a great disservice. It seems pretty obvious that Matt is wrong and Ms. McDonald has not officially announced yet. Given that, it’s not surprising that her website is not completely finished and is, instead, a work in progress.

    I also don’t understand why Fazlur Khan would comment that Vinnie Bacon and Kathy McDonald should resign their seats on the FCN Steering Committee. Here’s the fact: both Vinnie Bacon and Kathy McDonald did exactly that quite a while ago. That information is readily available on the FCN website and you don’t have to be a member to read that information. Fazlur Khan is a bit off-base with his comment, especially when the information is so easy to get, but since he’s running against them I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

    Again, no one should be knocking Ms. McDonald about a website that’s not even supposed to be ready for public view yet. Matt Artz could have easily checked with her before he wrote this article. Tsk, Tsk, Tsk, Matt!

  6. I am happy that Ms Mcdonald’s Has become a candidate for Fremont City Council. The more quality candidates, the better.
    We all know that the status quo, is not acceptable. We need a change!

  7. Eyesbright, I had coffee with my friend Mr. Vinnie Bacon on March 7th and discussed City Council Elections.
    He confirmed to me that he is a candidate and Ms.Kathy is very seriously considering to run.He confirmed to me he and Kathy are still members of the Steering Committee of FCN,eventhough, she resigned from the Presidency of the FCN. I told him they should step down from Steering Committee of the FCN to maitain transpirency and integrity of the endorsement of the candiates by the Steering Committee and the General Body of the Fremont Citizens Network.

  8. Fazlur Kahn, my apologies for my error in definitions. I knew that Ms. McDonald had resigned as leader of FCN more than month ago. The steering committee is different and I don’t see any need for either Vinnie Bacon or Ms. McDonald to resign membership in that committee. The “transparency” is already readily apparent via the FCN website. I believe the steering committe has 24 members so I don’t see that endorsing 2 of its members would impact FCN’s integrity.

  9. It’s obvious Kathy McDonald web site is under construction and not ready for public view. The fact that her Donations page is password protected pretty well sums it up. Unfortunate that it was put up for view prior to her approval.

  10. Eyesbright, Yesterday the President of the FCN Mr.Jim Hunt, a man of character and ethics confirmed to me that both Mr.Vannie and Ms.Kathy have stepped down as the members of the Steering Committee.

  11. Matt,
    the order you have them listed is probably the order they will finish. I might flip flop Linda a Fazlur and Bill should edge out Anu.
    Will you post your bracket for the NCAA tournament.

  12. Fazlur Khan, you say you knew yesterday that Vinnie Bacon and Kathy McDonald had stepped down from the steering committee. If that is so, it seems nonsensical that you would post today (message #9) a supposed recounting of a conversation on March 7 where you said that you think they should step down from the steering committee. Did you just want it to seem like your idea? I don’t get it.

  13. Let me make this crystal clear:

    Vinnie Bacon and Kathy McDonald BOTH resigned from the FCN steering committee on Wednesday February 10th, in an emergency meeting called to deal with this change in leadership. In the ensuing weeks the FCN Steering committee scrambled to post the announcements of the change in leadership, in a way that would not trigger overt speculation on Kathy McDonald’s future.

    Fazlur Khan: If you understood at your meeting with Vinnie that he was still on the steering committee, then clearly there was a miscommunication. I suggest that perhaps he confirmed he is still a member of FCN, just like you and many others.

    Vinnie Bacon and Kathy McDonald have not been part of the communications, management, or any other part of the FCN Leadership, since February 11th, when we removed them from the aliases and groups used to conduct FCN Steering Committee communications.

    I would appreciate a little more restraint from speculation on your part in the future.

    Thank you,

    Jim Hunt
    FCN President

  14. Jim Hunt, It is not speculative on my part, before jumping to the speculative conclusion, you should have got clarified from Mr.Vinnie Bacon about my statement. I would appreciate in future you will not come to you own conclusions without verification of the facts.

  15. Eyesbright, Your message #14 is very amusing. Please re-read my message #9. I talked about my MEETING OF MARCH 7th with Vinnie Becon. I repeat MEETING OF MARCH 7th.

  16. Fazlur Khan, perhaps you should very carefully re-read what you wrote. Here, I’ll copy and paste your message:

    “Fazlur Khan Says:
    March 14th, 2010 at 10:55 am
    Eyesbright, I had coffee with my friend Mr. Vinnie Bacon on March 7th and discussed City Council Elections.
    He confirmed to me that he is a candidate and Ms.Kathy is very seriously considering to run.He confirmed to me he and Kathy are still members of the Steering Committee of FCN,eventhough, she resigned from the Presidency of the FCN. I told him they should step down from Steering Committee of the FCN to maitain transpirency and integrity of the endorsement of the candiates by the Steering Committee and the General Body of the Fremont Citizens Network.”

    What is it that you meant to say instead? You must have mis-typed something because what you’re saying now seems to contradict what you just said only a few hours ago.

  17. I give up. I can’t teach reading comprehension from here. I am struck, however, by seeing this from someone who thinks people should vote for him to be a Fremont City Council member. It’s kind of an eye-opener.

  18. Did anyone else notice that the clock on this blog didn’t re-set for Daylight Saving Time? My post above was sent at 4:05PM, not 3:05PM.

  19. Fazlur,

    My apologies if there was any confusion over this. I probably mentioned in our conversation that Kathy and I were on the Steering Committee at one point, but I didn’t mean to imply that we still were.

  20. Okay Matt,

    I guess you found me out. I will be running. Part of that homework I affirmed I would be doing involved developing an informative website. It is still under construction, but final edits should be ready within the week. I welcome everyone to view it (and join our effort) Friday, March 19.

    As I told you a couple of weeks ago, I have been doing my due diligence. I have been meeting with advisors, figuring out the logistics of campaigning, crunching numbers, and learning about issues. I have been preparing to make a serious run for City Council.

    Look out for me. I’ll be tying on my walking shoes and knocking on your door. I look forward to meeting everyone on the campaign trail.

  21. Ishan –

    I’ve read the link you’ve supplied in post #2.

    How is it that candidates “running in tandem” (whatever *that* means) “..completely destroys the “nonpartisan” aspect of this race ?”

    What does it mean to be “running in tandem” ???

    Isn’t Ishan (and Fazlur and everyone else ) running “in tandem” with McDonald or Vinnie ??

    MAYBE you mean to take exception with the “tandem” ENDORSEMENT by FCN (?) That could make more sense – – – so I’ll comment further on THIS premise cuz at the end of the day – to my way of thinking – – – EVERYONE is “running in tandem” with everyone else – aren’t they ???? – – –

    Re the notion of “partisanship” –
    The race for the city council positions (or any other political postion) is influenced by partisan politics – at the very least the political dispositions of individual candidates and as reinforced by the factions that choose to endorse them.

    Any expectation that an election remains “nonpartisan” is in and of itself flawed. Our country was founded on a two-party system . .. . . both of whom are in a constant state of dynamic disagreement. . . .

    Re “running (or endorsed) in tandem” a couple of thoughts –

    In the previous City Council election – Thamasbi and Weickowski ran on the same ballot – – – were they “running in tandem” ?

    In the previous City Council election – Thamasbi and Weickowski were endorsed by Wasserman – – did that endorsement represent a breakdown of the nonpartisanship of that particular race ????

    If they were both endorsed by Wasserman or the P.D. Union or the CentervilleDevCorp (fictitious company) – are they “running in tandem” ?? Are they “endorsed” in tandem ?? Is this a “breakdown” of ANY kind ???????

    Loads of institutions offer endorsements in every election. Hopefully – you will be endorsed someday – – – when and if (hypothetically) the Sierra Club choosed to endorse Ishan Shah for Governor of California – – – – will that be a “breakdown” of partisanship ?

    Certainly history will confirm that institutions also offer endorsements for individuals who have been active members within their ranks (think NRA or Chambers of Commerce or . . . .the list goes on and on) – – – these are NOT, in no way, a compromise of our political process.

    The notion of “nonpartisanship” is a wonderful objective and very important when it comes to the actions by our various political factions, particularly in regard to the work they accomplish on behalf of constituency on the floor of the Senate, or City Council floor(s) for example. . . but to expect “nonpartisanship” in an election – – – seems counter to the fundamentals of our two-party (plus)political system does it not ???

    In closing – endorsements are a very common part of our polticial process. Whichever of your advisors has planted the notion of “disappointment” in your head about FCN’s endorsement of Bacon/McDonald (if such endorsement proves true) – – – you might wish to terminate that individual right now.

    At the very least – stop listening to the source of this kind of reasoning – it is fundamentally flawed on multiple fronts.

  22. Mr.Vinnie Bacon, About 2 weeks before our meeting of March 7th, you requested to meet me. I gave you 2 dates and to confirm.you never confirmed.
    On March 3rd, when Kathy’s possible run was announced in Tri-City Beat, you got panicked and requested a meeting with me. I was not sure about your commitment, therefore I posted our meeting on FCN Yahoo Groups.
    In the March 7 meeting you gave me the impression that you have total controll over the FCN and you will get me its endorsement and we can both be great candidtes than a PTA MOM.

  23. bbox, thanks for allowing me to clarify. Think about this:

    “FCN sent out a press release at 4:38 a.m. announcing that in light of the city romancing he A’s again, it will run two “highly organized and well-funded candidates” in the November City Council race.”

    It will run two candidates? Doesn’t that sound like something a party would do? If two people decide to stand up by themselves, and they happen to have the same ideals, that’s fine. But this sort of top-down processing is a little weird! We saw that they banded together, and essentially won in pairs. But the solution to that isn’t going to be starting another “team” and going at it 2 vs 2. That isn’t how Fremont’s elections were intended to be. I think this could addressed by the advent of a city charter, allowing candidates to run for a single district. In a city large enough to merit the creation of 2 distinct ideologies it seems appropriate, wouldn’t you agree? But, I suppose that’s another discussion.

    At any rate, I’m not bashing on endorsements at all. Nor am I going after the FCN, Ms. McDonald, or Mr. Bacon. For that matter, I’m not even targeting the incumbency. The post was a general thought as to how partisanship has seemed to rear its head on Fremont as well as our nation.

    “Our country was founded on a two-party system . .. . .”

    On this one, I’ll have to call you out, simply because my AP US History instructor would have my head if I didn’t. =] Nobody argues the fact that the Constitution of the United States was created through compromise of two different factions (Federalists, and anti-Federalists). However, the founding fathers were CLEAR in their wish that parties did not take over our political system. In George Washington’s farewell address, he indicated that an America who fell to parties wouldn’t be as successful or as productive as an America that allowed for any average joe to run for office. His thoughts were, if somebody had to please a party to run for office, they wouldn’t be loyal to the constituency of the United States in its entirety. Looking back, we realize Washington had it right (See deadlock on healthcare). But, the Federalists took control, and became a machine that hand selected and groomed candidates for the presidency. Jefferson and the Anti-Federalists decided that they couldn’t fight the Federalists 1 vs 2 (back then vice president went to the second place finisher in the electoral college, the AF’s one candidate would always try to weasel into the Federalist’s 2 who kept finishing in 1st and second). They created the second “team” and began running tickets…that system still exists today. Except, now, a vote for the presidential candidate in the electoral college entails a vote for the vice presidential candidate as well (constitutional amendment XII). Representing groups is a great thing in some regards, but when you’re running for public office (& this is just a personal opinion) I feel that you should present yourself as the best solution for the people. All of them! While I know its nobodies goal to alienate a demographic, its inevitable when one centers their platform around what an organization says. Like I said earlier, if the person has certain ideas, and the organization shares those beliefs, that’s all well and good.Endorsements are for that very purpose. However, it shouldn’t be the other way around. When I see the frustration at the national level, it saddens me. I wonder if Jefferson would have made the same decision now as he did back then if he knew what the creation of the second party would do. The whigs came along and got it right, the 3rd party offered a median between the two; sadly, the party died with the death of President Taylor in office. So now the evolution of our local, and federal governments will continue. We’ve developed for far too long; we’re really accustomed to there being only 2 major schools of thought. When in reality, there are many more. The Coffee and Tea movements provide for interesting fodder on this subject as people become more and more exasperated with the 2 huuuuuge, and tons of tiny, party system.

    I just don’t want to see Fremont fall into the sort of deadlock congress does every time we need to get something done. We have too much potential. Giving it up so we can run as teams doesn’t seem like the best idea to me.

  24. Fazlur,

    I told you repeatedly that I thought Kathy would make a good candidate. I don’t know what I said that would’ve given you the impression that I wanted FCN to reject her as a candidate.

    I’m sorry that there seems to have been a misunderstanding about this.


  25. I am not a political expert, but here is my common man’s perspective….

    Regarding running in Tandem comments by Ishan, I see no issue. I believe there are 2 seats to fill in the upcoming election, are there not? If so, there is no problem if 2 candidates from the same “group” are running to fill those positions. However, if there is only 1 seat to fill, then I understand some of Ishan’s comments.

    The City Council elections are unlike other elections. Sometimes I hardly can tell who belongs to what party (Democrat/Republican/Independent/etc.). People seem to vote by name recognition and incumbents always get voted in as the known devils. If it was like state/national elections, then I can see a point in consolidating the new candidate efforts into one solid campaign and becoming a two-party system at the city level as well. But with an election system like this, the field is wide open, and therefore the incumbents have 2 advantages: 1. They are better known (for good or bad) 2. The new candidates split the votes and therefore the better known incumbent always tends to win.

    A case needs to be made (or is being made) that these current incumbents must not be re-elected. And I look forward to hear these arguments from all new candidates in the coming months.

    In any case, there will always be partisanship, whether we like it or not. We just have to work around it in good faith and find common ground.

    My 2c.

  26. Ishan –

    “It will run two candidates . . . ” – FCN doesn’t “run” anything – – – poor choice of words – – they can “endorse” they can “recommend” – but only an individual decides to “run”.

    I feel you’re objection here is based on a poor choice of wording by FCN first and not a result – e.g., in the final analysis, FCN will “endorse” and all candidates will effectively be running in “Tandem” – – thus the notion that FCN’s endorsement is somehow a reflection of increasing “partisanship” is just dead wrong – and undeserving of any concern (at least for the present).

    The *two parties* that I see in this city are – the status quo and those who seek a change from that status quo.

    You make an intersting intellectual argument but one which is removed from the real problems facing our city (IMHO). TODAY – the significant problems facing our city relate to a paradigm of polite platitudes masquerading as thoughtful or critical examination of our city’s future directions. The insular management style of our current city council members contributes much to this demise.

    Ishan, Fazlur, Vinnie, McDonald and others – *may* represent hope by Fremont citzenry for a change – – – OR, perhaps not – – time will ultimately reveal if these prospective candidates are truly running *against* encumbancy OR if they choose to run against each other (which is a vote in favor of status quo) . . .

    Take aim at the current problems at City Hall, first, Ishan. Those challenges exist NOW – and are deserving of critical thinking and decision making if we are to secure that which we are truly capable of.

  27. Ishan. If I recall correctly reading local papers, weren’t you illegally recruited to help with Wasserman campaign? Sounds to me many of your views align with current status quo. Our current political status quo can be summed up as routine false campaign promises simply to get votes, irregards of financial constraint or reality. After the elections, back to same old same old. That how we get to where we are in the first place. Please convince me and state (without political jardon) what you will do differently?

  28. You mean she has ONLY lived here less than 5 years? No wonder she opposes the A’s.. she does not even know who they are or the history..

  29. A new resident to the city can bring new perspectives and experiences with other cities which is not a bad thing.

  30. Tonyg-34:

    I can’t speak for Ms. McDonald (I’ve never met or spoken to her) but I disagree with characterizing her position (assuming it’s similar to most of FCN’s) as “opposing the A’s.” Most people I’m aware of can better said to be “anti-stadium” in that they don’t think that a *stadium* should be built in Fremont but don’t have any any issue with the A’s (or Giants or Red Sox or Dodgers–well, maybe the Dodgers) themselves.

  31. We’ve had a good number of long-time residents on the Council for quite some time now and where has that left us? Having been here so long myself, I could easily choose to see short-term residence as a bar to local office, but I do believe that would be a shaky basis for the elimination of some quality candidates.

    Bottom line – being here a long time does not make you smart about what needs to be done to steer Fremont in the right direction. There are just as many dopes among fourth- and fifth-generation residents as there are among those who just got here.

    Evaluate each candidate as an individual, find out what their positions are on issues that are important to you, and make an informed choice.

    If we to get really real, the truth is that Fremont is run by King Freddy from Tracy – you know he hasn’t been here very long, and I doubt if he’ll stay very long after a new Council terminates his contract. He has no dog in this fight other than his own personal gain, and nobody elected him.

  32. “Ishan. If I recall correctly reading local papers, weren’t you illegally recruited to help with Wasserman campaign?”

    Yes, I was. Its something that contributed to my decision to run. Students were lured and duped into being foot soldiers for a cause they knew nothing about. I didn’t appreciate it at all.

    “Sounds to me many of your views align with current status quo. Our current political status quo can be summed up as routine false campaign promises simply to get votes, irregards of financial constraint or reality. After the elections, back to same old same old. That how we get to where we are in the first place. Please convince me and state (without political jardon) what you will do differently?”

    First off, allow me to thank you for concisely asking for something other than a generalized load of garbled political lingo. I’m a straight shooter; here are some specifics:

    I want to keep local money within the City of Fremont. There exists such a large population that sees Fremont
    as only a sort of “base of operations”. My goal is to make this city a destination, while keeping its ability to be a safe, nurturing, homely environment.

    I want to ensure that our school system remains on par with the nonstop residential development. We can’t continue to allow this one sided attempt at moving forward. If we’re going to build houses, its in our best interests to ensure we know what to do with the children who will eventually reside there.

    I want to cement Fremont’s place as a hub for job creation. We can accomplish this by taking a proactive approach to convincing businesses to come to our city. Local government needs to be more aggressive, and adopt a “let’s go get it” sort of approach.

    Feel free to read an expanded platform either on my blog

    or website

  33. post 31,Deepak Alur,
    What really makes it confusing is when they change from Republicans to Democrata to win elections. I can think of at least three local politicians that have done this.
    Republicans win, when calling themselves Democrats. It it true that Fazlur Khan and Linda Susoev are running as a team, tandem?

  34. Fazlur and Linda may as well be. The protest vote tandem. This is the most aggressive FCNers have been towards Shah in a while. Speaking of, he better thank his lucky stars that Fazlur and Linda are in there or else he’d be bringing up the absolute end of the pack.

    What really makes it confusing is when they change from Republicans to Democrata to win elections. I can think of at least three local politicians that have done this.

    Who are the 3? Cho never denied he was a repo did he?

  35. You know for all the crap Shah has taken I’m shocked he still comes back on here for more. Its like he’s asking to be repeatedly punched. We say that he’s going to finish last. What could possibly keep somebody going in the face of the cynicism that exists in our city? And we wonder why more youth aren’t involved…… we’re jumping down the throat of those who are!

    Steve Cho never hid the fact that he’s conservative. Or at least, it never appeared that way to me. So what if he was/is? It was about time that Fremont’s conservatives had a voice amongst the crazy spending council of 5. I’m very disappointed that Wasserman came out victorious. Steve Cho is a good politician and I hope to see his name on a ballot again very soon.

  36. Jason Shen is out of touch with the realities of the political arena. If Ishan is incapable of dealing with the “crap” that *this* kind of venue dishes out, neither he nor anyone else is suited for the challenges of public office.

    While he has certainly been dished his share of the usual nonsesense and many more very fair challenges – – he has also been served up some excellent advice by a few who are sincerely interested in seeing this young man evolve into that to which he claims to aspire. This kind of public “coaching” would most definately not be afforded anyone twice his age. Cynicism ??? Perhaps – but there’s considerably more buried herein – – IF you’ve been paying attention.

    Saddle up kids, it’s a long ride and your rear-end will hurt at the end of the day. . . . but make no mistake – if you decide to stay with the ride, the rewards you earn come not from the laurels and kudos of random aliases in some lame blog !

  37. Steve Cho is history and let’s keep it that way. Now, Khan has officially launched his negative campaign, looks like. It’s ironic that someone couldn’t even get the fact straight is expecting to be elected? Oh, I forgot, there are predecessors who had already done it more than once, why couldn’t he? Now we know we were being fooled and it won’t happen again.

  38. Fazlur has been negative for sometime. Anyone who crosses him will end up on the receiving end of one of his senseless, childish tirades. Vinnie Bacon played him. That lead to him exposing the “PTA mom” blast. Its just politics. Kathy, Vinnie and the FCN are getting to taste the venom that this idiot gives to anyone not names Fazlur.
    He uses tired Obama rhetoric to convince people that he is about change. Yet he can’t change his stinking attitude toward women.

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