The Slauson Connection

Assm. Bonta’s Republican rival paid for recall ad

On Tuesday, June 19, an unassuming man visited the Alameda Sun office. He oversaw and then paid a tidy sum for the legal advertisement required for the potential recall of Vice Mayor Malia Vella and Councilmember Jim Oddie. In the midst of the hectic preparation of this technically complicated legal advertisement the man said, “Oh, by the way, I have this letter to the editor.” 

I usually telephone letter writers and verify that they, in fact, submitted their letters. I saw no need for that as the letter writer was sitting in my office. I saw his name, Stephen Slauson; it meant nothing to me. The missive called Assm. Rob Bonta’s American citizenship into question. I hesitated as to whether we should run such a letter, but wanted to adhere to the Alameda Sun’s policy of keeping its opinion page open to everyone. 

After the Sun published the letter, I was dismayed to learn that Slauson was Bonta’s Republican rival for the 18th Assembly District seat. Slauson chose not to reveal this to the Sun when he submitted the letter. Had I been aware of this I would not have considered publishing the letter at all. The Sun does not publish political campaign letters this early in the campaign. 

It was my oversight and lack of proper research that prompted me to allow this letter to be published. I emailed Bonta and apologized and do so again here.

I thought this was information the readers of the Alameda Sun would like to know. Clearly this local candidate has chosen to use a tactic popularized by the current U.S. president in opposition to the previous president.