Do the Right Thing
Diehard defenders and weak-kneed endorsers of mayoral candidate Hakeem Brown want to argue that now we should just 'let the voters decide.' In spite of the late-breaking revelations of a criminal history of serial domestic violence, the candidate has so far refused to drop out of the race and presumably still thinks he can win. He may in fact end up with the highest vote total - at this point it’s anybody’s guess - but he can’t legitimately win the election and assume the office of Mayor.
The voters have been robbed of the opportunity to decide in the November election because the candidate very deliberately misled the people of Vallejo for years, and persisted in that deception through all but the final weeks of the campaign - until he was exposed. The facts didn’t come out until after people had already started voting and more will be casting their ballots based on false impressions before they hear the truth. The misleading information continues to show up in local mailboxes from the candidate's well-funded campaign as though nothing has changed.
The latest is a mailer from something called the California Senior Advocates League that carries a set of recommendations for the state November ballot measures - apparently from whichever proponents or opponents were willing to pay to be included. The only candidate for a public office to appear is Hakeem Brown for Mayor of Vallejo. The generic promotional political blurb ends with a lie - touting Mr. Brown as the “Sole Choice of the Local Dem Party!” That is simply not true. The United Dems of Southern Solano County - the original local Democratic club - endorsed his opponent Robert McConnell, as did the local Stonewall Democratic club.
We should let the voters decide based on a pack of lies and misrepresentations? That’s your idea of how representative democracy is supposed to work? That argument holds no water. There’s no way this man can assume the office of Mayor and lead our City, no matter what the vote total says on November 3. He owed the voters his mea culpa before running for his council seat two years ago, but instead glossed over his criminal record as merely youthful indiscretions. He was still trying to characterize his behavior as “a domestic scuffle” in the days before the shocking facts were revealed by investigative journalists.
If he had been forced to confront that history and explain himself to voters six months ago, maybe the ‘let the voters decide’ argument would have some legitimacy. It’s much too late for that now, and the sooner the candidate and his rapidly dwindling number of backers realize it the better for the City. You can’t spin this or hunker down and expect it to blow over. It may take a bit to get the attention of voters in Vallejo but they will not forget this, and they will not tolerate this terribly flawed individual representing our city. Do the right thing for the city you profess to care about - withdraw from the Mayor’s race and resign your seat on the Council.