Election update

Here’s the latest on who’s pulled/filed papers to run for local office this November (in alphabetical order). Names in blue are those who have “filed,” meaning they’ve submitted completed paperwork as opposed to just picking up papers to run. Also, names with asterisks at the end are incumbents. The filing period ends Aug. 6.

* Alameda County Water District (2 open seats): 1) Judy Huang*; 2) Paul Sethy

* BART, District 6 (1 seat): 1) Tom Blalock*

* Fremont City Council (2 seats): 1) Vinnie Bacon; 2) Kristen Briggs; 3) Bill Harrison*; 4) John T. Herndon; 5) Fazlur Khan; 6) Kathryn Rhyn McDonald; 7) Anu Natarajan*; 8)) Vladimir Rodriguez; 9) Linda Susoev

* Fremont Unified School District (2 seats): 1) Lara York*

* New Haven Unified School District (2 seats): 1) Jerico Abanico; 2) Rosalinda Canlas; 3) Sarabjit Cheema; 4) Gwen Estes*

* Newark Unified School District (2 seats): 1) Charlie Mensinger*; 2) Gary Stadler; 3) Nancy Thomas*

* Ohlone Community College District, Area 1 (2 seats): 1) Bill McMillin*; 2) Richard Watters*

* Ohlone Community College District, Area 2 (2 seats): 1) Bob Brunton; 2) Ishan Shah

* Union City City Council (3 seats): 1) Subru Bhat; 2) Emily Duncan; 3) James Robert Greaney; 4) Venkataraman Iyer; 5) Forrest Patterson; 6) Gary Singh; 7) Bill Stone

* Washington Township Healthcare District (3 seats): 1) Michael Wallace*


Washington Hospital CEO made nearly double next highest paid Bay Area public employee

Washington Hospital CEO Nacy Farber took home $876,831 last year. The next highest paid employee was Marin Healthcare CEO Lee Domanico at $498,000.Three of her subordinates were also in the top ten among Bay Area public employees, even though they make less than half what she made.

How is that possible. Read this story, which was in the Contra Costa Times and hopefully was also in Sunday’s Argus. For real, read it. Click here and read it.


Late Notice

Washington Hospital mailed out a notice yesterday informing us that the quarterly meeting of its Development Corporation would be held today. Unfortunately the meeting was scheduled for 7:30 a.m. and the notice didn’t come in the mail until this afternoon.

I’d feel a little better about it if the hospital had posted the correct meeting information on its web site. But that didn’t happen either.


Friends of Washington Hospital

Friends of Washington Hospital, the PAC formed by Fremont Bank exec Mike Wallace, which sent out that negative campaign flier reported $14,895 in contributions.

Wallace, who is also chairman of the hospital board was the biggest contributor, donating $2,500 to the committee. Other well-known contributors are as follows:

Fremont Council Candidate Sue Chan – $250
Her husband Steve Chan – $250
Hospital Board Member Bernard Stuart – $1,000
Former Hospital Board Member Don Amsbaugh – $250
John and Bernadine Dutra – $500
The wife of fomer Union City Mayor Tom Kitayama, Heidi Kitayama – $100
Washington Hospital CEO Nany Farber and her Husband Peter Szekrenyi – $250
Kristi Yamaguchi’s parents Jim & Carol Yamaguchi – $250
Developer Jack Balch – $400
Several doctors at the hospitals also donated.


Washington Hospital campaign mailer

For context regarding some of the recent comments about Washington Hospital, here is the  mailer that the political action committee, Friends of Washington Hospital, sent out about the two challengers running for the hospital board. Click on it to enlarge it.

As mentioned here previously, the PAC was set up by Mike Wallace who is both the chairman of the hospital board of directors and the vice-chairman of Fremont Bank.

Wallace, who isn’t up for re-election to the hospital board, said he decided to look into Johal’s background after Hospital CEO Nancy Farber showed pictures of Johal at a rally that she and Wallace think was intended to promote Li’s movie “Life for Sale,” but was organized by a member of the California Nurses Association.

There is zero evidence that Johal has anything to do with Li or her movie. Nevertheless, some hospital board members have speculated that the two challengers are actually aligned.

“If (Johal) was an independent person, why does he want to take the same side as Evelyn Li,” Wallace said. “Every point where he has been asked to give his opinion about the movie, he’s been reluctant to disclaim it even through the physicians who were in it said they were duped.”

Fremont Bank does do business with Washington Hospital. The hospital’s spokesman didn’t know how much money it has there. I’ll ask again.

I haven’t had a chance yet to review the PACs contribution disclosure forms, which became available to the  public today. Wallace said the group has raised between $17,000 and $20,000, and that most of the contributions haven’t come from Fremont Bank employees.

Wallace sees nothing wrong with using the bank’s address as the official address of Friends of Washington Hospital. I asked Hattie Hughes, the daughter of the bank’s founder, Morris Hyman, what she thought about a partisan group using the same address as her dad’s bank. She said her dad loved the hospital and that the person to speak to was Wallace.


The rally outside Washington Hospital

I’ve written a lot about Washington Hospital CEO Nancy Farber showing pictures of board candidates Ravi Johal and Evelyn Li at an Aug. 25 rally outside the hospital. Farber told the hospital board that the rally was to support Li’s movie, “Life for Sale,” even though it was organized by a member of the California Nurses Association to protest nurse staffing levels.

I was at the rally for about an hour. Here’s what I wrote about it then, and what follows is a bit of a chronology of events from my end.

I was informed of the rally the previous week by CNA State Board Director Robert Marth. On the morning of the rally, at about 7 a.m., Evelyn Li left me a voicemail telling me about it as well. I was busy getting ready to interview City Council Candidate Linda Susoev at a Jack in the Box on Fremont Boulevard.

I spoke to two CNA representatives at the rally, Marth and Tim Jenkins.

There were no full-time Washington nurses at the rally when I was there. I spoke to a part-timer and a former Washington Hospital nurse.

The two CNA representatives clearly had concerns about the hospital. Jenkins compared the administration to the mafia. Marth, in a later phone interview, likened it to the Nazis.

I did see Li there, along with several people holding up signs for her movie. I didn’t see Johal there.

Johal said he stopped by for about 15 minutes, and that he wanted to show support for the nurses.

Marth said that Johal came to the rally to see him, not Li, who, he said, showed up unannounced. “I organized it for the nurses,” Marth said.


Cleaning out my closet

Ravi Johal and I have more in common than the same date of birth. We both worked as sate Assembly interns during our undergraduate years for politicians who have had some recent PR problems. Johal ended up with the future Minuteman Bill Morrow, he said, because most of the other internship openings in Sacramento had been filled.

I was assigned to Hon. Anthony Seminerio, a former corrections officer from Queens. Tony will always have a special place in my heart as the man who signed an Assembly proclamation honoring my childhood cat, Tika, on her 12th birthday.

May 1, 1996 was Tika Artz Day in New York State. They told me it was official, just like the proclamation Tony signed for his favorite Italian restaurant. I framed Tika’s proclamation and brought it with me to California. It’s still on my wall.

Tony is still in the Assembly, but things aren’t going his way. Last month, he was indicted in an alleged fraud scheme. I guess Johal would face more negatve mailers if he had ended up working for him.


Washington Hospital race getting testy

The race for Washington Hospital Board of Trustees has gotten a little testy. Evelyn Li, who made a movie critical of the hospital and Ravi Johal, a lawyer not affiliated with Li, are challenging incumbents Pat Danielson and Bill Nicholson.

First, Hospital CEO Nancy Farber stepped into district politics during a September board meeting. She showed photographstaken by hospital security cameras of Johal talking with protesters outside the hospital during a rally staged by a CNA representative. She said the rally was really Li’s, insinuating that  the two challengers are somehow allied.

Then, Board Chair Mike Wallace has sent out a fundraising letter for the two incumbents, in which he says that Johal has indirect Minutemen ties and notes that he defends “sex offenders, drug violators and white collar criminals.”

Johal isn’t pleased. He thinks Farber crossed the line in showing the photographs during the board meeting which he attended. He also wonders why Wallace, who happens to be vice chairman of Fremont Bank, is getting so active in the race.

“Makes you wonder, is there something they’re trying to hide?” Johal said. “It seems they use the full weight of everything they have to stifle a candidacy.” He also said that he has received the nurses’ union endorsement, even though the letter says otherwise.

As for the Minuteman reference, Johal was an intern for Assemblyman Bill Morrow, R-Carlsbad, who years later joined the Minutemen. Johal, who comes from an immigrant family, said Morrow was one of the few state legislators who had an opening back when he was an undergraduate.

To read the entire letter from Mike Wallace, click where it says to click

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Washington Hospital lawyers pressure theater not to show Life for Sale

I hope this doesn’t use too much memory. Lawyers for Washington Hospital sent this letter to Cinemark Theatres in San Jose advising them not to show the movie Life for Sale, which accuses Washington of several misdeeds.

An employee for The Orb, which produced the film told me Cinemark backed out of showing the film after receiving the letter. Washington is a public hospital, which, I think means, taxpayers pay for its legal bills. I didn’t include the second page of the letter. There wasn’t much there to justify the technical complexities.


The return of Dr. Evelyn Li

Dr. Evelyn Li is having a busy year. The Fremont cardiologist is running for the Washington Hospital Board of Directors and promoting a movie released earlier this year that accuses Washington Hospital (and others) of releasing patients who are too sick to go home and retaliating against doctors who stand up to hospital administration.

The hospital says the movie is bunch of bunk.

The Argus was was the only local mainstream paper to write about her movie, and the aftermath, but today Li held a press conference in Oakland with eight patients (not all from Washington) who say they received poor treatment from hospitals.

Li said that Channel 2, CNN and a major Bay Area paper were all there. The Argus was not, nor were our sister papers. I’ll be tuning in tonight and reading tomorrow to see if anything came of it.