Monday, October 27, 2008

The Eye: Palin has a new scarf

According to a news release from Payton, Houston's endorsement stated, "Payton will hire more police and reduce the violent crime in Antioch. He understands business and will bring good jobs to town. I fully support him and ask you to write-in Allen Payton for Mayor on your ballot. Thank you."

By the way, Houston's District 15 includes Oakley, San Ramon and Livermore, among other cities. But not Antioch.

LIBERAL SCARVES, OUTHOUSE CRITTERS: On the same day, reports began flying about Sarah Palin's $150,000 wardrobe, the Eye was in Reno at a rally where the vice presidential contender donned something she got for free: a Democratic scarf given to her by Linda Williams, a former Californian.

Williams said she gave up her prized vintage 1970s scarf — blue and red and ringed with donkeys — to send a message that she was supporting Palin after Hillary Rodham Clinton left the race. And she said Palin was happy to wear it as she autographed signs at the rally Tuesday.

It's not clear if the gesture will make Williams the next stock campaign character. But "Linda the ex-Democrat from Carmel Valley" is a tongue-teaser.

On Monday, Bill Clinton staged his own AdvertisementObama-Biden rally in Reno.

He listened carefully as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shared his regret about a childhood habit of throwing rocks at the outhouse back in Searchlight, Nev., while his mother was inside. That prompted Clinton to reflect that the two men were some of the last American politicians to have grown up without indoor plumbing.

"My outhouse problem was it was the favorite gathering place for the snakes on our little farm," Clinton said. "If it was a kingsnake down there, it was all right. If it wasn't, you just had to take a deep breath and come back later.

"I can't believe," he added, "I told you that story."

LAID-BACK CANDIDATES: What if they held a debate and no one came — not even the candidates?

Four candidates for the Knightsen school board did just that earlier this month, passing on the chance to present their views on cable television.

Their decisions came to light when Gwen Watson from the League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley called a candidate to tell her when she was scheduled to show up for a televised forum. "She said there are no issues — there's no need for debate," Watson recalled. "I said, 'Well, you know this is conversation between you and your constituents.' "

But the que sera sera attitude seemed to prevail among the other candidates, too.

Incumbent Franklin Dell said if he's not re-elected, no biggie. Fellow board member Barbara Cecchini declined to come to the East County Times to have her photo taken, saying she didn't go to Antioch all that often.

And even challenger Seth Cockrell isn't bothered. There aren't any issues to debate concerning Knightsen schools, he said, so it was a mutual decision to skip the TV appearance. And, in a tiny burg like Knightsen, voters already are aware of his extensive community service, Cockrell said.

But what if some aren't? Cockrell shrugs. "They either know me or they don't know me," he said.

Folks in his neck of the woods have longer commutes and bigger yards to care for than others, so they're generally too tired and busy to watch televised debates, he said.

GOING TOO FAR: Local candidates in West County are connecting themselves to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama with the hope of wooing more votes.

Richmond Councilman Nat Bates, who is running for re-election, has made campaign signs in which his name and photo appear side by side with Obama above the banner "Yes We Can." The signs are plastered on the windows and the interior of Bates' campaign headquarters in downtown Richmond. And Bates-Obama buttons and T-shirts also are available.

Pinole council candidate Maria Alegria is pointing out her connection to Obama. Her pamphlets remind voters that she was an Obama delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

While some residents think it's creative and politically savvy, others are less amused. In Richmond's North and East neighborhoods, some homeowners who support Obama but not Bates have placed a large black X over Bates' name on the Bates-Obama sign.

DEEP THROAT LIVES IN MORAGA? When The Eye looked more than a week ago for the source of an anonymous political e-mail circulated in Moraga, the Internet address it came from — — was registered to David Clement of Burbank.

When The Eye called Clement for a story, he said he would have someone return the phone call. No one did.

This week, the registration of the Internet address had changed to Mark Felt of Moraga, with a phone number of 123-4567. There is no Mark Felt with an address listed in the town.

But Deep Throat, of Watergate fame, was named Mark Felt.

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