Election mailer starts East Bay campaign controversy

May 30, 2010 6:39:03 PM PDT
A controversial campaign mailer is shaking up a county supervisor's race in the East Bay.

Literature sent out to voters for candidate Nadia Lockyer say that she is a deputy district attorney at the Alameda County district attorney's office, but one of her opponents claims that it is not accurate. Lockyer says the campaign mailer is a dead issue. She says the only reason her opponent is bringing it up so close to the election is because he hopes to help his campaign by attacking her.

Kevin Dowling, a Hayward city councilmember who is opposing Lockyer in the race for Alameda County supervisor says she misrepresented her experience and position.

"I saw her business card about two months ago, which says executive director of family justice center," Dowling says. "I started thinking about why is she claiming she does attorney work at the district attorney's office."

Lockyer is married to State Treasurer Bill Lockyer and is an attorney who works for the county district attorney.

"I am a lawyer and I do work for the district attorney's office. That was mistakenly determined to mean that I was a deputy DA," she says. "I immediately directed my staff to clear all references to that."

Dowling claims the mailer went out in December and was only retracted this April. He says it had plenty of time to mislead voters. Gail Steele, who presently occupies the county supervisor's seat Dowling and Lockyer are seeking, says Lockyer and her people should have been more vigilant.

"I think it's unfortunate that she didn't clear this up earlier and that she didn't clear it up totally," Steele says. "This is not very difficult."

Lockyer says she retracted the claim once it came to her attention in April. She says Dowling is trailing in the race and that his concern about the mailer this close to the election is questionable.

"That now, coming forward, does have some political strategy, angle, that that person thinks may work," she says.

"I don't control the San Francisco Chronicle. I don't control Channel 7. I don't control the blogs," Dowling says.

He also has issue with Lockyer calling herself a "county manager," an issue the registrar resolved by allowing Lockyer the designation on the June ballot. Dowling also questions the $640,000 war chest Lockyer has, 75 percent of which came from her husband State Treasurer Bill Lockyer. Dowling only has $90,000 for his campaign.

Former State Senator Liz Figueroa and Union City Mayor Mark Green are also in the running for the county supervisor seat.


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