Prior to a wide-ranging video interview, where the Oakland Mayor's Race candidate talks emotionally about the East Bay Express coverage in addition to her run, Hodge explained and later confirmed for the record that her sister, a lawyer, filed a lawsuit in Alameda County specifically targeting the East Bay Express.
What triggered the lawsuit was "the last straw:" last week's entry by East Bay Express writer Robert Gammom asserting that Hodge had been violating campaign laws; Hodge told this blogger her campaign finance report would be filed this week. This is what Robert wrote:
Finally, it should be noted that mayoral candidate Marcie Hodge has yet to file a campaign finance report as required by law during the election. Hodge has spent significant sums on billboards, mailers, radio spots, and now TV ads. Several black leaders in Oakland believe that Perata supporters are bankrolling her campaign in an effort to siphon votes from Kaplan and Quan. Hodge has denied getting help from the ex-senator and said she loaned herself a large donation, but it’s unclear where she got the money, because she reported having no job, no income, and no investments on her official financial disclosures in August.
Records show that Hodge also has a history of not filing campaign finance reports disclosing her donors until several months after the election is over — a blatant violation of state and local law.
Marcie says that Robert has "never once" called her to confirm what he wrote, Gammon just wrote it. Moreover, Marcie angrily holds that Gammom's overall coverage of her has been sexist and racist, from asserting that her campaign was "baffling," to claiming that "black leaders" were questioning her campaign without naming a single "black leader" by name or providing Internet link evidence in the form of another article or blog post.
And before last week, on September 29th, Gammon ran a blog post that used a so-called quote by Oakland City Councilmember Desley Brooks (District 6 - Central East Oakland) saying Hodge was "dumb as dirt," but without a link to the interview or a video presenting the quote.
Indeed, in the overall review of Gammon's work on Marcie Hodge, it seems he's taken a line against her that walks on the edge of acceptability. If Brooks went on the record with Robert, that's different my miles. But she did not go on the record with him and Gammon presents no video or audio evidence, yet uses Councilmember Brooks to write a smear against Hodge. It's that kind of work that sent Marcie and her sister to court against the East Bay Express.
In our interview, which, to restate, will be out on video later today, Hodge says she does not know Don Perata well at all and has no ties to him, and resents the notion that she's a "plant for Perata."
Hodge said to me, almost tearfully, that it's as if Gammon's saying that she as an African American woman from an educated family can't be taken seriously in running for Mayor of Oakland.
Gammom's problem, in looking at this, is a really cavalier and brazen and unfortunate line he's taken that does not include actual quotes from people he actually got to go on the record.
Gammon places himself and the East Bay Express in the position of possibly losing in court - and big. In the case of the "dumb as dirt" statement Gammon claims Brooks made, there's no Internet record of such a statement other than what he wrote and the angry reactions of Express readers. Gammon should hope that Brooks comes to his defense. Indeed, this blogger already called Councilmember Brooks office to confirm that statement.
Not a good situation at all.