During any campaign, it is typical for candidates to disclose their opponent’s record to constituents. However, my opponent has felt it is necessary to make up complete lies about me. Part of the reason that I have been a successful city council member and highest vote-getter in Fremont Council history is because I’ve never been afraid to be transparent and tell the truth.
Allow me to correct the record:
Vinnie has never voted against funding
Backstory: It has become clear that my opponent is going to use the large amount of developer money that he has received to create misleading attack mailers against me.
In his first attack mailer, he uses a quote from 2010 where I had applied for a City Council appointment. Of course, he doesn’t mention that this is a 10 year old quote and it isn’t even from my time on the City Council.
In 2010, we were in hard economic times as we were still recovering from the Great Recession. Many different ideas were proposed as a way to deal with the budget shortfall. The idea of ‘rolling closures’ of fire stations was not my idea, it was something that staff had proposed as a possibility. Given that most of the City’s budget is related to police and fire services, it’s not surprising that staff looked into cuts in these areas.
This attack is a direct misrepresentation of my record. During my time on Fremont City Council, I have never suggested nor voted for defunding the fire department.
Vinnie has never voted against funding centers for victims of violence or assault.
Backstory: In his third attack mailer against me, my opponent claims I was the sole vote against funding Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments (SAVE) & Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR). This is a blatant lie.
Our Human Relations Commission suggested that we increase our CDBG funding by $70,000. Most of this would have gone to SAVE and Abode Services. I spoke highly of both groups and argued that we should give them all $70,000. Someone suggested that we only give them $35,000 more. I voted no in protest because I wanted to continue to make my case for the entire funding, but my councilmembers all voted yes for the decreased amount instead.
The public record will show, as I made it clear in my comments, that it was a vote against UNDER FUNDING these centers
“Absent from Meetings”
Voted for a 63% Raise
Backstory: My opponent is now airing an attack ad that claims I gave myself a 63% raise.
The Sikh Community
Stands with Vinnie
Backstory: My opponent in the Alameda County Board of Supervisors race has been spreading lies about me because of an interaction I had with an officer of the Ohlone Area United Democratic Committee (OAUDC) and he is claiming that I am “power-hungry and a bully.”
Here are the facts:
- I was endorsed by the Alameda County Democratic Party (ACDP).
- The OAUDC is a group whose stated purpose is to help get ACDP endorsed candidates elected.
- TJ Dhami was the Vice Chair of the OAUDC.
- I was alerted by members of the OAUDC that Mr. Dhami might be supporting my opponent. They said he would be removed from his position if this were confirmed.
- I called Mr. Dhami and left a voicemail letting him know that there would be consequences for his position in the local Democratic party because he was supporting my opponent.
- An online news web site called EB Citizen published a one-sided story about what happened without getting a statement from the OAUDC.
- The OAUDC issued a statement stating that Mr. Dhami’s version of events in the article was inaccurate and confirming that Mr. Dhami had been “notified that he would not be allowed to remain as vice chair, since he had broken bylaws rules and the trust of the leadership team.” The OAUDC statement concluded “We still find no pleasure in embarrassing Mr. Dhami but his version of events in a recent article were inaccurate and we felt it was important to set the record straight.”
My interaction with Mr. Dhami was based on his violation of the OAUDC rules and had nothing to do with his religion or ethnicity. Many leaders of the Sikh community in Fremont support me and have stated that the Sikh Community Democrats wholeheartedly support Vinnie Bacon. (Additional Post for further context)
By sharing this inaccurate EB Citizen article, my opponent only wants to distract from his own record as someone who is hostile to immigrants. He was the headline speaker at a meeting of the Oath Keepers in Dublin. They are a far-right, militant group with Trump-like views on immigration. At the meeting, he recited his own Trump-like views on immigration saying that Dreamers should be deported and that Dublin would never be a sanctuary city.
My past endorsements of Mr. Dhami in his own elections and my voting for his appointments to the Fremont Human Relations Commission make it clear that I have always been supportive and friendly to Mr. Dhami, which is why I was so shocked and disappointed to learn that he was working against me in this election.
Backstory: To discredit my popular stand on refusing special interest money, my opponent has made several attempts to distort the nature of my FPPC fines.
Let me first clarify that the FPPC does not consider anything I have done to be an “ethics” nor “criminal” violation. That is a phrase my opponent is using to try to attack my integrity because I have always been a clean money candidate who doesn’t get bankrolled by special interests. It is true that I have been fined for late filings.
As many full-time workers who also participate in their community know, there are times when it is just challenging to meet deadlines when you also have a day job and family. One rarely discussed difficulty of being a grassroots candidate is how expensive professional campaign treasurers can be, and a lot of us end up doing our own disclosure forms, which are complicated and take a long time to do.
Anyone who looks at the FPPC records will see that that when they investigated what I did, they “Found no evidence of intent to conceal” contributions or disbursements, which was cropped out of the document being distributed by my opponent. Furthermore, I am not sure why my opponent would want to ignite this type of tit-for-tat political attack when the public records clearly show he has received his own warning letters from the FPPC. Additionally, in this election, he has already failed to file multiple Form 497’s. These are forms that you must file to disclose a contribution of $1,000.00 or more within 24 hours of receiving it. This form has been required to be filed since August 5th, but as his own forms (which you can find at the Alameda County Netfile site) from September 24 show, there are 38 qualifying contributions between August 11 and September 11. Yet there are no Form 497’s completed for ANY of these. What was he trying to hide?
Many in Fremont already know the story of the FPPC investigation launched against myself, Lily Mei, and Cullen Tiernan in 2016, but I will re-cap for those who do not. The three of us were on a slate mailer which I intended to pay for as part of my mailer budget. The other campaigns wanted to have their FPPC disclosure on it as well to show they were approving this mailer. When I contacted the FPPC advice line, they said any campaign that pays towards a mailer has to have a disclosure on the mailing. Someone who was working with my opponent reported the mailer to the FPPC and it turned out that because the mailer stated that it had been paid equally for by all three campaigns this constituted a technical violation of the rules because I had paid for most of the cost of the mailer. Once I was alerted to this issue, I made sure that the other two campaigns paid for their portion of the mailer cost and we filed amended forms. Ironically, this violation came as a result of trying to be more transparent.
My opponent claims to be the “independent” who is above petty political bickering, but he has created an entire website to do just that. It is not a coincidence that he is working with the same people and is using the exact same attack that they tried to use against my wife Jenny in 2018 when she ran for City Council. Despite those dirty tactics, she won by 16 points. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now. Don’t let my opponent fool you with his slick ads and dishonest tactics.
What my opponent doesn’t want you know…
Backstory: My opponent has decided to use his large campaign contributions to send negative attack mailers, so let’s set the record straight. He not only takes money from developers, construction companies and real estate investors.
He is a developer himself!
The many land owners, developers, construction companies, and real estate investors that have funded his campaign are not only his donors, they are his business associates!
There is an enormous amount of land under County jurisdiction that developers would love to get their hands on. One General Plan amendment made by the Board of Supervisors could allow the developers to come in and build seas of sprawling housing projects. That is why they are investing so heavily in my opponent’s campaign.
The choice is clear. I have a proven track record of pushing back against overdevelopment in my time on the Fremont City Council and I have never taken a contribution from a developer. My opponent has a proven track record of approving the excessive development in the City of Dublin, the fastest growing city in California two years in a row.
In 2019, my opponent voted against flying the Pride flag at Dublin City Hall. In Fremont, we have never even had to have this discussion because we have always put the PRIDE flag up, without question, in support of our LGBTQIA community. I am also proud to have attended PRIDE and marched with our Fremont Human Relations Commission in the parade for the last several years.
In the primary earlier this year, my opponent wrote that he would limit county programs related to abortion. I have always trusted women to make their own medical decisions and have marched for their right to do so my entire adult life. Women deserve someone who will fight to EXPAND and ENHANCE their rights, not destroy and restrict them.
In his campaign, he has spent $140,000 on the Republican Party consulting firm Axiom Strategies. This firm was founded by Ted Cruz’ campaign manager.
After holding office as a Republican for many terms and being the current preferred candidate of the Republican Party, why did my opponent suddenly try to change his stripes? As other Republicans running in Alameda County have done, they switched their registration understanding that it’s hard for Republicans to get elected to higher office in California. One can easily check a different box on their voter registration form. One can’t easily change their true political nature.