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Friday, October 22, 2010

Measure J: Emeryville's Meg Whitman Campaign

$48,000 And Counting
Lopsided Emeryville Election Invokes Governor's Race

Well, at least we don't have to worry about Measure J outsourcing jobs.

As the election looms in Emeryville, a repellent similarity has emerged between the campaign for the budget-busting Measure J and that of well heeled Republican hopeful Meg Whitman. While Whitman has been dumping $140 million of her own personal fortune into a blizzard of misleading attack ads, far outpacing Democrat Jerry Brown, supporters hoping to tear down Emeryville's schools and build a new mega-campus with Measure J are infinitely outspending proponents of fiscal sanity. According to recent campaign filings, the committee behind Measure J, with its focus-group tested moniker "Building Emeryville Schools Together (BEST)," collected close to $50,000, versus zero for the residents opposing the measure. If $50,000 doesn't sound like much, consider that just 1,599 Emeryville residents cast a ballot in last year's election, meaning that Measure J has amassed a war chest capable of spending $31.27 to convince each likely voter in town. This may be the most lopsided election in Emeryville history in terms of campaign spending.

Worse Than Whitman
The Measure J campaign as it turns out is actually spending more per voter than Meg Whitman. The Whitman campaign has spent about $140,000,000 on 17,000,000 likely California voters, or $8.23 per likely voter. But all the disinformation and cheesy tactics aren't resonating with California voters. A Public Policy Institute of California Poll released this week found Brown suddenly eight percentage points ahead of "Meg-A-Bucks" Whitman. It's unclear if even Billionaire Whitman will pump enough cash into the race to reach the per-voter spending level of the Measure J campaign.
Two weeks ago the Emeryville Chamber of Commerce reported that political operative John Gooding told their Board of Directors that some $48,000 had been already streamed in. Mr Gooding told the Chamber BEST planned to put the money to good use; a barrage of mailings to compliment push poll phone calls and door-to-door work was already under way.

As the Tattler reported on October 15, the vast majority already collected has poured in mainly from corporate and construction interests hoping to win contracts to build the new school, which Measure J supporters are suddenly ashamed to call the Emeryville Center of Community Life.

Tattler readers will have to wait until after October 31, the date of the next BEST State mandated filing requirement to learn how much other money has been donated and by whom. If BEST shirks the filing requirements as they did after the first deadline passed and earning the slap on the wrist of a $10 a day fine, residents will have to wait longer.


  1. Please, not Meg Whitless.

  2. What is the cost of the Emeryville Center for Community Life per student or per Emeryville taxpayer? If the contractors financing this boondoggle are willing to spend $31 per voter, I'm sure they are expecting profits in grand multiples of that.

  3. There are currently approximately 400 Emeryville students in the District. At a total cost of almost $400 million (per the Oakland Tribune which recommends a "NO" vote on Measure J, we are looking at almost $1 million per student - OUTRAGEOUS. What is the Council and School Board smoking???