WatchSonoma Watch

Levine, Allen await final vote count Friday


Even as his opponent prepares to be sworn into office Monday, Michael Allen reiterated that he won’t concede the race for the 10th Assembly District seat until every last vote is counted.

That could happen by Friday, when an estimated 15,000 provisional and absentee ballots in Sonoma County finally are tallied and the results of the Nov. 7 election are certified, according to county elections chief Janice Atkinson.

Odds are the outstanding ballots won’t alter the outcome of the race. At last count, San Rafael City Councilman Marc Levine held a slim but statistically significant lead over Allen of 3,468 votes.

Allen, Levine.

“I have just decided to accept the outcome of the final vote count and then move forward,” Allen said Tuesday.

Anticipating the outcome, Allen’s staffers are circulating their resumes and applying for new jobs.

Allen, meanwhile, said he has been “recuperating” since Election Day from the rigors of working in Sacramento while also campaigning for the 10th District seat.

The Santa Rosa Democrat was elected to the Assembly in 2010, but because of redistricting he had to move from Santa Rosa to Marin County and reintroduce himself to voters. The 10th District spans Marin County, part of Santa Rosa and portions of western and southern Sonoma County.

Allen and Levine, who also is a Democrat, squared off under a new system that sends the top two vote-winners in the primary to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

If the results stand, Allen, a former registered nurse and labor leader, will be out of a job. He said Tuesday it was “too soon to speculate” on his future.

“I do know that my legislative work and leadership is valued in the Capitol,” he said.

Levine, in the meantime, was pressing forward this week with his transition plans.

“It’s clear that we’ve won,” he said. “The math is on our side. From Election Day on, our lead has only grown.”

Levine said he has participated in training sessions for new legislators and was offered a tour of potential offices at the Capitol.

He has hired Michael Miiller to be his chief of staff. Miiller’s tenure in Sacramento includes stints with former legislators Don Perata and Carole Migden.

Levine, who campaigned on an anti-Sacramento theme, defended his choice of Miiller, saying he “shares my political philosophy and vision that local issues must be represented in Sacramento.”

He also struck a conciliatory tone toward Allen despite their bruising campaign battle and Allen’s refusal to concede the race.

“The important thing, of course, is that every vote must and will be counted,” Levine said.

Levine said he expects to be sworn in Monday along with other legislators.

Sonoma County has until Tuesday to certify its election results, but Atkinson said she was pushing to have everything wrapped up before the weekend.

You can reach Staff Writer Derek Moore at 521-5336 or derek.moore@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @deadlinederek.

26 Responses to “Levine, Allen await final vote count Friday”

  1. Rosa Wins! says:

    Rosa Koire is a hero.

    Rosa Koire took on the local political machine and won. Big. Allen getting dumped by the voters was a huge political upset.

    Maybe Lisa Maldonado should take lessons. Rosa documented the Allen corruption and the intimidation techniques employed in local politics and then put it in her book…which by the way has sold 50,000 copies so far. Maybe some of those voters in Marin and Southern Sonoma County read all about Michael Allen in Rosa’s book before they ever got to the voting booth.

    Her work even influenced the San Francisco Chronicle which cited as its reason for endorsing Levine as the ethics violations the FPPC documented on Allen. And again, there are a substantial number of people in Marin and Sonoma who read the Chronicle.

    Right wing? Hardly. Mainstream is more like it. People of both parties reject corrupt politicians. The North Bay Labor Council will now just have to get used to the idea that they do not control everything and everyone in local politics. Some of us think for ourselves.

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  2. @Anthony Coopersmith says:


    Allen lost because Marc Levine got more votes.

    Allen lost because he had a bad reputation, his negative campaigning and his negative supporters turned off voters.

    So “Anthony” fake name “Coopersmith” the North Bay Labor Council will have to develop a better strategy for campaigns now that there is a top two system…just having it’s employee’s here on Watch Sonoma County throw out insults won’t cut it anymore.

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  3. Anthony Coopersmith says:

    That Michael Allen was a real progressive advocate is pretty evident from the right wingers postings against him. His votes for shade and water and fair wages for farm workers and his support for Yes on 37 and against GMO’s are doubtless what lost him the race. Sometimes, though it’s better to lose with principles that win with the backing of agribusiness, Monsanto and corporate anti-union haters like the many on this board. Thanks for your work Michael and like that other progressive firebrand Alan Grayson, I know you will have the last laugh on these right wingers!

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  4. Beef King says:

    The defeat of Michael Allen is a victory for every Californian that values good government and opposes union corruption!

    Good luck to you Mr. Levine, you will need great sums of resolve to resist the attempts of Mr. Allens’ funding sources to sway you to the dark side.

    As you now know from the inglorious exit of Allen, voters are watching….

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  5. Rosa Koire says:

    Michael Allen has paid the piper. We can hope that California has seen the end of him. Reporting him to the FPPC and watching him be found guilty was a bright spot for me in the otherwise dismal political morass of the North Bay. Even now he must be hoping that his cronies can pull off a last minute ballot count switch.

    Michael Allen and Lisa Maldonado are disgraced, and they should be. The only disappointment is that it took so long.
    Rosa Koire

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  6. Clayton Mitchell says:


    Thanks for the anecdote, but it takes a lot of anecdotes to add up to 1000 jobs. Actually, I just took a look at SMART’s website- it actually promises 1200 jobs!

    That is about the same as all Medtronic employees in the County. It’s more than all the Safeway employees in all the Safeway stores in the County, and more than Sutter Hospital. Possible? I guess so. Likely? Not so much.

    So in the interim a did a little research of my own, and found this report from SMART on work made/”jobs” created. This was issued November 7th, and covers the time frame from July 9th to November 7th.

    “1. Local hires and subcontractors account for more than half of the total design/build construction
    hours to date on the project:
     Total hours: 95,276 of which 54,154 are direct local hire or local subcontractor hours =
    57% local;”

    If you divide this number of hours by 4 months, then divide it by 4 weeks per month, then divide it by 40 hours to represent a full-time worker, you get a total of 149 jobs, 85 of which are local. No indication of duration of these “jobs”, beyond the 4 months included here.

    Ironically, SMART’s website claims that they are somehow going to create an ADDITIONAL 1500 jobs… from the same bond revenues that they are using to pay for this first construction contract.

    85 local jobs… that’s almost 1000, right? Add to that the actual SMART employees- puts us just over 100, give or take.

    Ms. Maldonado, SMART promised you 1200 jobs, and gave you 85. Is that really what you would characterize as a victory? I wouldn’t be surprised if you and your compatriots at the Riders Coalition spent more hours than that trying to keep the voters from getting to vote on SMART again… a big investment for a pretty minimal return.

    And 57% local hire? I’m not an expert, but is that impressive? For a construction project, it doesn’t seem like a terribly good ratio.

    I’m glad that at least someone is happy about/benefiting from how things are going with this one… cause the rest of us are getting screwed.

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  7. Vinyl Rules says:

    Michael Allen literally made people’s lives better, and perhaps even saved a few. Scoff at it, but his bill to allow women to breastfeed at work will resonate for decades. His efforts to reform the state mental health system will literally save lives. His votes for farmworker protections were what painted the target on his back. Monsanto didn’t seem very interested in unseating him until he made those votes. Losing because you worked to make people’s lives better is nothing to be ashamed of. We lost a real legislator, who actually got bills passed. Now we’ve gained an empty suit, who turned his back on his constituents the day after the election. On November 7th, Marc Levine was comfortably seated in AT&T’s private box suite at the Kings arena. I’m not surprised he’s cozying up to corporate lobbyists. I’m surprised how fast he did it! If you don’t believe me, read this LA Times story:
    New California legislators get a warm welcome — from lobbyists

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  8. Juvenal says:

    @Clayton Mitchell

    “Just curious how many of the 1000 local jobs that were promised on the SMART project almost a year ago actually materialized… do you have any stats on that?”

    Take a look west of the tracks bear the old train station. There is an entire construction yard which I guarantee you is not running itself.

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  9. Accountable says:

    @Juvenal – you wanted a “single example” of union officials threatening or trying to destroy the livelihoods of people who disagree with them. Well here it is: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20100419/ARTICLES/100419467

    Dario Sattui dared to exercise his 1st amendment rights to criticize public safety pensions in the local newspaper, the St. Helena Star. ”The letter was picked up and forwarded through cyberspace by a Web-savvy Santa Rosa Fire union official, touching off a storm of angry comments by firefighters and their supporters on the Internet…The boycott campaign had attracted more than 2,300 members, including firefighters and police officers stretching from the North Bay to New York City…Another post under the personal Facebook account of Brad Conners — vice president of the Santa Rosa Police Officers’ Association —featured a picture of Sattui along with the caption: ‘Our hero … should anyone get flagged down by him or see him choking in a restaurant.’”

    So, Lisa M., this incident has encouraged people to use “nom de plumes”, especially when they have contracts with local government agencies, or their livelihoods rely on the cities or counties to approve projects.

    I have been a lifelong Democrat and had been a staunch Union supporter. But the entitlement attitude, along with the Chicago style antics, of the Unions has soured me to supporting any Union causes. I am not the only Blue-dog Democrat or Independent voter who is turning against Union support. And, I have to tell you, if we started getting more moderate Republicans up for election, most of us would vote for them.

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  10. Clayton Mitchell says:


    I’ll share one recent experience that I had.

    Last year, and into January of this year, we were collecting petition signatures in Sonoma and Marin County to put the SMART Train back on the ballot. The project had changed substantially, and we felt that the right thing to do would be to have the people vote on whether they still supported the project after finding out the new details and reality of the project.

    Our volunteers were out collecting signatures- the last two weeks of our 6 month run, we hired a few paid signature gatherers as well.

    On multiple occasions, we had union members come up and verbally assault our mostly elderly volunteers- screaming profanities at them in public places. It was a clear intimidation tactic, and as dirty as it was, it worked. By causing a ruckus, our respectful volunteers were asked to leave several locations simply because of the disruption intentionally caused by these union members.

    Ms. Maldonado and others will undoubtedly claim (and have already) that it was just random passers-by who disagreed with our efforts.

    Yet the coalition on the other side of the issue sent out an email asking their supporters to call in and report where our signature gatherers were, so they could come disrupt them. The phone number given was the head of the Sierra Club, but the people that showed up were usually union members.

    Except for one specific instance at the Marin Farmer’s Market, where one of our nicest volunteers (a 55 year old lady who is battling cancer) set up her ironing board to collect signatures, and was brought to tears by the head of the Living Wage Coalition.

    So while many of these instances were in Novato and other parts of Marin, the leadership and coordination of the efforts was principally up here in Sonoma County.

    It’s an absolute travesty that this kind of suppression of free speech is tolerated, and even encouraged. It was not accidental- there was an organized effort to suppress and intimidate. No doubt Ms. Maldonado and others will deny any involvement or knowledge of this happening.. that’s okay. The truth is the truth- it happened. I’ve talked to the elderly volunteers who were accosted, and have their first hand accounts. What happened is unacceptable.

    I don’t know how pervasive these tactics and an attitude of acceptance is toward these things…. it’s clearly not every union member.

    I just hope that eventually the corporate culture in the unions (and their political allies) in the North Bay gets to thepoint where it completely shuns scorched earth “win at all costs” and “the ends justify the means” attitudes. I look forward to the day that these groups can stand on the strength of their ideas, and not even think about using strong-arm tactics.

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  11. Robert Shannon says:

    Wow. Levine hasn’t even been sworn in and he has already shown himself for a hypocrite. After yelling about Sacramento “insiders” he goes and hires one of the biggest insiders who has worked for the oldest hacks in Sacramento politics, Migden and Perata. Then he goes to a lobbyist junket at the Sacramento Kings game. That’s gotta be a world record for politicians breaking promises:

    “Levine has hired Michael Miller to be his chief of staff. Miller’s tenure in Sacramento includes stints with former legislators Don Perata and Carole Migden.”

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  12. Juvenal says:


    “As long as labor union thugs are still encouraged to threaten, vandalize and destroy the lives of all who dare to disagree with them…”

    I defy you to give a single example of a union member or official in California, let alone Sonoma County, engaging in any of the above behavior, or encouraging any of the above behavior.

    Please note the PD routinely is full of accounts of others doing all of the above.

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  13. @Lisa says:

    But when we publish our names, you do a lot of cyber bulling toward anyone with whom you disagree. So many people have pointed that out, yet you continue…

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  14. Uh... says:

    Michael Allen: This is what happens when you push bills that let ILLEGAL immigrants who drive ILLEGALLY without a license and ILLEGALLY without insurance keep their cars to repeat offenses.

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  15. Clayton Mitchell says:


    Just curious how many of the 1000 local jobs that were promised on the SMART project almost a year ago actually materialized… do you have any stats on that?

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  16. Skippy says:

    @ Lisa,
    As long as labor union thugs are still encouraged to threaten, vandalize and destroy the lives of all who dare to disagree with them, good luck with the “post using your real name” baloney.
    The Tea Party doesn’t have any bullies, thugs and enforcers.
    We are warming up to it, though!

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  17. Lisa Maldonado says:

    PS. I am also “thankful” for those who have the courage and integrity to stand behind their public statements and believe strongly enough in themselves to post using their real names and not lob insults and attacks from behind anonymous screens…

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  18. Hoctuey says:

    Victory is so very sweet, now we can get to work undoing the damage inflicted on the community. And move on with our lives. Never forgetting the lives lost. Unlicensed drivers are 4.8 times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision. We should not allow the carnage to continue.

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  19. Lisa Maldonado says:

    @Thankful The North Bay Labor Council is thrilled with the many victories we achieved for working people in the last election. We increased our phoning and walking capacity and had over 400 union volunteers working in all of our priority races. We resoundingly defeated the anti-union Prop 32 and passed TWO tax increases on the wealthy and corporations not to mention the decisive trouncing of anti union candidates such as Mitt Romney. We have regained a 2/3 Democratic State legislature and look forward to being able to actually solve problems in Sacramento instead of dealing with repeated Republican recalcitrance and pledges to Grover Norquist. While we of course will be unhappy if Assemblymember Allen is not re-elected, we have SO MUCH to celebrate this year, including an active SMART Construction Project and a resort casino project bringing thousands of jobs and economic development to Sonoma County. We are very excited to have been major participants in these efforts that will increase local hire and put working people back to work at good middle class jobs.
    In addition, as long as I am employed to speak up on behalf of working people in the North Bay I will continue to advocate and activate with no regrets. Needless to say, I don’t plan to be “quieted down” at all. Sorry to disappoint you in that regard but perhaps you can find something else to be “Thankful” for during this holiday season. I am thankful for the many dedicated hardworking men and women who go out every day to keep our community going and support their families and to all who are desperately looking for work to feed their families. They are what feeds the labor movement and I am lucky to be working for them!

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  20. Sonoma Coma says:


    Michael Allen would be perfect to lead the NBLC.

    Someone with his experience and skills could really help build an amazing organization.

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  21. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Michael did not have to move from Santa Rosa. I worked for him in his first election and he was in my district. Last election he was still in my district and I was able to vote for him. He didn’t have to leave Santa Rosa. He left here because the people know him here and he felt confident of our votes. He wanted to introduce himself to Marin and much of his efforts were to that effect. I have friends who drove down there and walked precincts for him.

    I really don’t seem to understand the problem. He would still be representing much of Sonoma County if he were elected, and instead of Napa and Solano, he’d now be representing Marin. I think it’s just his politics and anti union sentiment and not his moving that angers people on this blog.

    It’s unfortunate that the PD bashed him so much that that’s what voters find on the internet when they do a search. In fact, it really makes me mad. The Marinites are going to sorry. They knew what Levine was all about and still voted for him. He’s a republican in Democrat clothing.

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  22. @Clayton Mitchell says:

    Good point.
    Allen was simply an opportunist who wanted the easiest path to reelection. The house he owns is in Oakmont so he could have run againt Wes Chesbro. Instead he chose to pretend to move to San Rafael.

    Gee I wonder if he’s already moved back to Oakmont?

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  23. Clayton Mitchell says:

    Derek Moore-

    PLEASE stop saying that Michael Allen “HAD” to move to San Rafael. You and the editorial staff and just about everyone there keep repeating that line as if it were accurate.

    Mr. Allen CHOSE to move down to try to pick off a seat that had no incumbent due to Jared Huffman being termed out.

    He could have stayed and fought for HIS constituents- most of the people that HE had been representing. Yes, he would have gone head to head with another sitting legislator, and the Sacramento power structure probably would not have liked to have two well-funded incumbent Democrats duking it out.

    He took a gamble for a perceived political advantage, and it looks like he lost.

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  24. Thankful says:

    Thankful Marc Levine won the race. The old saying, what goes around comes around I believe is true. Millions of dollars spent in negative hit pieces, Lisa Maldonado bullying Levine. I am content now. This should keep Lisa quiet until the next election. My next desire is to have someone at the helm of NBLC that treats people with respect, whether you agree or disagree with their politics or values.

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  25. Juan Lock says:

    Levine sure didn’t waste any time jumping into the Sacramento culture he campaigned so hard against. The LA times reported that he attended a lobbyist meet-and-greet hosted in a luxury box during a Kings game, not two weeks after election day…

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  26. Over Easy says:

    Lets wish Mr. Levine the best of luck and hope he sticks to the promises of his campaign.

    As for Mr. Allen and his staffers I wish them luck finding employment, their reputations proceed them and their legacy is now in the history books. “permanent record stuff”

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