Wasserman sick, will miss tonight’s debate

Mayor Wasserman is suffering from a bout of phnemonia. It’s not nearly as serious as the one that kept him away from City Council meetings two years ago, but it’s enough to keep him out of tonight’s candidate forum and away from Trisha Tahmasbi’s big party/fundraiser on Thursday.

I’m planning to do a live blog of the council debate at 7 p.m. and the mayoral debate at 8 p.m.


Lincoln, Douglas — Morrison, Wasserman, Cho?

Gus Morrison’s campaign is pitching the idea of a mayoral forum/debate in the band area at Lake Elizabeth. The candidates already have a forum scheduled for City Hall, but a Morrison representative said that the big outdoor setting would be a welcomed addition that could draw lots of interest.

Trouble is they would need a sponsor to help pay for the event. So far the League of Women Voters and the Chamber don’t seem to be interested.

Anyone who’s been to candidate forums knows they’re pretty tame affairs. The questions are OK, but there are never follow-up questions and candidates never get to challenge each other. If the mayoral candidates could have a real debate at Lake Elizabeth, that would be something worth sponsoring. Maybe Mr. Dutra or an Indian gaming or horse racing interest could foot the bill.


Fremont Chamber picky with endorsements

You’ve got to hand it to the Fremont Chamber, they’ve got some stones. Ten people are running for two city council seats, they represent just about any constituency you can imagine, and the chamber’s political action committee endorses just one person, and it’s not even the incumbent.

The chamber’s PAC, Business for Better Government, endorsed Trisha Tahmasbi and only Trisha Tahmasbi for city council.

They also endorsed Tahmasbi’s boss, Alberto Torrico for Assembly; Bob Wasserman for mayor; Desrie Campbell, Bryan Gebhardt and Ivy Wu for school board; Bob Brunton and Greg Bonaccorsi for Ohlone College Board and Pat Danielson and Bill Nicholson for Washington Hospital Board.

I know what a couple of people are thinking: “Wait a minute, they didn’t endorse Sue Chan? But John Dutra is supporting her, and John Dutra owns Fremont. He owns the Chamber. They could only make endorsements because he let them out of his back pocket.”

I don’t know what to tell you two. Maybe Mr. Dutra has already scaled Mission Peak in a single leap and is preparing to rain down thunderbolts on Chamber CEO Cindy Bonior.

The two mild surprises for me was picking Brunton over Lam Research’s Teresa Cox, and selecting only Tahmasbi for council. You figure if they’re going to endorse Torrico and his top assistant, they may as well also endorse his law parter, Councilmember Bob Wieckowski. Maybe Bob is a little too into banning Styrofoam cups and plastic shopping bags — two initiatives that the chamber opposed. But there are plenty of pro business challengers. How about Fazlur Khan or Larry Montgomery? I just met Larry tonight. Cool guy, cooler bike. He rides a Harley and wears Pittsburgh Steelers crocs. I wish I could be that cool.


Mr. Cho, take down that sign

It’s hard to know who’s ahead in the mayor’s race, but over the past couple of weeks Steve Cho’s name has surged to the top of poles around Fremont. The Cho campaign must have the longest ladder in town, because his people have gotten his campaign signs way up high on lots of light poles on lots of street corners.

Problem is some of those poles are on private property and not everyone is happy to have Cho’s blue and green signs overhead. Take for example John Oxford. He said he asked Cho last week to remove a sign from the light pole on the grounds of the Big O Tires he manages at the corner of Blacow and Fremont Boulevard. Oxford said the Cho campaign promised to take down the sign within 24 hours, but never followed through. In fact, a few days later, campaign signs for two other candidates appeared below Cho’s, Oxford said.

That was all Oxford could take. He got himself an extension ladder and had the signs taken down.

“It’s not just that he didn’t ask permission,” Oxford said of Cho. “(It’s that) I’m not supporting him anyway.”

P.S. I’ll be at Cho’s campaign headquarters grand opening this evening.


Fremont Election Update

Deadline to file nominating papers is 5 p.m. We’ll have a full list then as long as our internet doesn’t crash We’ve been having some major technical difficulties here.

Here’s the people who have filed:
Gus Morrison
Bob Wasserman

Bob Wieckowski
Vinnie Bacon
Hou Leong
Linda Susoev
Larry Montgomery

Four people have appointments today to file at the city clerk’s office: They are Suzanne Chan, Charles Bartlett, Paul Reeder and Fazlur Khan.

Hey Tahmasbi and Cho. Tick Tock, Tick Tock.


Deadline reminder

It should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following our coverage of local elections that the candidate filing period is tomorrow.

Just a reminder that while the deadline is 5 p.m. Friday for most candidates, the deadline is 4 p.m. for those planning to run for the Union City City Council.

Union City’s City Hall is closed every other Friday, including this week. But because of the filing deadline, the city clerk’s office will stay open tomorrow for special hours.

A reader called me yesterday to ask where people need to go to pull papers. Basically, if you want to run for a school board, Washington Hospital board or pretty much any race other than city council, you can file through the Alameda County Registrar of Voters office in Oakland.

Fremont and Union City City Council candidates can file through their city halls.

image from Joseph Dath's site at flickr.com

Fremont Campaign fundraising (Mayor)

I’ve been looking at campaign finance filings for the first half of this year. Here are the leaders for Mayor in terms of how much money they have on hand.

Bob Wasserman  $78,396
Steve Cho           $50,302
Gus Morrison     $15,108

Some quick observations: It pays to have the support of Fremont’s biggest sugardaddy, Former Assemblyman John Dutra. Wasserman has Dutra’s endorsement and received a total of $3,000 from people named Dutra.

Wasserman received the most donations (208) of which exactly 50 percent came from Fremont people or businesses. A lot of people with Indian surnames gave him money. No sign of anyone with direct ties to the A’s contributing.

Among those giving to Wasserman were:
Suzanne Chan, who Wasserman is endorsing for Council
Richard Frisbie, who is the planner behind Patterson Ranch project
Ray Tong, a developer who wants to build a Berkeley Bowl-style supermarket (He gave money to Cho too)
Kaenyama Sushi – The sushi restaurant/night club that has had some trouble with the cops.

Cho received donations from 174 people, of whom 126 were based in Fremont. A lot of his financial support seems to be coming from Asians.  His list of contributors included three Changs, Lees and Lins. He also received money from four Lius and six Shihs, two whom live at the same address.

As for Morrison, all 32 of his donors are based in Fremont, and 24 of them are retired.

More to come in the print edition



Rich guy hosts fundraiser for mayor

Dale Sobek, the same guy whose giving Meals on Wheels proceeds from the sale of his art collection, is stepping up to the plate for Mayor Bob Wasserman tonight. Sobek, who lives in Milpitas, is hosting a fundraiser for the mayor at the Nova Gallery of Fine Art, which Sobek will be closing soon. Donation suggestions start at $75 and go up to $500.

Sobek is active in Fremont real estate and politics. A few years back he commissioned an artist to draw portraits of all the council members, with their faces effectively super-imposed in settings that matched their interests. Wieckowski had an environmental scene, Wasserman had police headquarters, Natarajan had an architectural backdrop. Sobek said Steve Cho didn’t know what he wanted, so they super-imposed him over the gallery. See them for yourselves.