« Measure W Loses 2-1: Congrats to the NO Campaign | Main | Measure N Fails to Reach 2/3 Majority: Congrats to NO Campaign »

November 01, 2016


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Pacifica's new City Council should get to work from Day 1 by officially notifying Caltrans and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority that Pacifica withdraws widening Highway 1 from funding consideration.

Staff may try to block such a move, as they favor the boondoggle despite there being no vote directing them to promote it. (Staff is so used to getting its way, despite what the public wants.)

Elections are supposed to have consequences. Let's get this done before our hard-won, non-real-estate-industry-backed, pro-green City Council majority might be gone.

Gee, I guess the "Nihart Proxy Website" disproves what Ms. Nihart has said at length, in writing: "... Effective immediately, I am withdrawing from consideration as a
candidate for the Pacifica City Council. ..."

Well, I guess the "Nihart Proxy Website" proves what Ms. Nihart has said repeatedly: "Anyone can put up a Website."

City Council candidate Bridget Duffy also spent her own money campaigning. She doesn't owe anyone her vote. Hard to say that about a candidate who took $30,000 in donations or banner ads from the National Association of Realtors

Bridget doesn't owe anyone or any industry, and many of her ideas work -- like protecting teachers from eviction during the school year or making the city manager report all state and federal grant applications once a month.

The only other candidate in this year's City Council race who "gets it" is Bridget Duffy: "I Am Not a Realtor!" (Wednesday, October 19, 2016 -- scroll to see Bridget)

Nihart knew she had a problem in 2012, and wrote letters detailing her problem 44 days before she quit the City Council race. She repeatedly denied having a problem and called newspaper reports "gossip and rumors" while her surrogates claimed any and all facts were "NIMBY lies" in an escalating month-and-a-half orgy of denial.

Her big-city spin doctor concocted a pity party of a resignation letter that failed to address Nihart's own awareness of her problem in 2012, the state California Democratic Party's endorsement of Deirdre Martin, and similar Green Party status of council candidate Bridget Duffy, while Nihart's online Facebook & YouTube social media accounts continue to violate the Hatch Act to this very day.

Here's Mary Ann Nihart denying she had a problem less than a month ago:

The Office of Special Counsel wrote an advisory opinion in 2009 answering the question about when a nonpartisan election becomes partisan:


It's about bloody time the Sanders/Warren wing of the Democrats took back control from the Reagan/Rodham wing of the party. Look what an absolute disaster the revolving doors of Clinton/Bush/Obama have been to the so-called middle classes. This is like the Tea Baggers only on the left. Politicians need to realize the times of siding with big monied real estate interests, banks, and large corporations is coming to end. Nihart should've seen the writing on the wall and stopped being a patsy for San Mateo Realtors, then MAYBE I would have some sympathy. Martin sees that. She gets it. Now I hope the door does kick Nihart on the way out. Good riddance to her. Shill.

The article you posted "Does the Hatch Act Apply" was written in 2006. Many of the statements and scenarios specifically regarding federal employment were modified or eliminated when the Hatch Act was rewritten in 2012. Can someone please update the information to something more current.

Nihart asked the Democratic Party to change its endorsement of another candidate. Speier wants to change the law because of "a fluke in the law"?

As a Democrat, I'd like to point out that it IS the law, not part of a whale's tail, and the law is working as intended.

"People with high incomes are often the ones occupying apartments below market rate, often staying longer than they otherwise would in a market-rate dwelling, which further exacerbates the problem."

Oh what crap. Exacerbate what problem? That people want to live here at a reasonable rent? Rent stabilization would allow SOME, and only some, people to be left alone, as landlords receive a reasonable rent increase yearly.

One of the reasons that economists on both ends of the spectrum tend to agree on the issue of rent control (that it's generally ineffective) is that the unintended consequences are well understood. Even the poster boy for liberal economic policy, Paul Krugman, comes down hard on it:

There's no way to ensure that rent control will benefit low-income renters. The Bay Area has a lot of high-paying jobs. People with high incomes are often the ones occupying apartments below market rate, often staying longer than they otherwise would in a market-rate dwelling, which further exacerbates the problem.

Awwww -- such a shame to have to say good riddance to Nihart, who was vehemently against even looking at the possibility of some sort of rent control in Pacifica.

So "leaks to social media" and "anonymous sources" seem to be the culprits here? Excuse me, but I've got a server in my basement I need to reboot. Oh dear, I've been HACKED! Huma, another glass of tea, please!

Can the Realtors get their money back that they spent to re-elect her?
How sad that they're about to lose their pro-development majority on City Council.

A Pacifica palindrome lover explains to her son that noses can "run" but that a nurse cannot:

"Noses run on; no nurse, son. "

"Were out-of-town real estate organizations listed as endorsers?"

No, they are a PAC with unlimited spending ability, and are not directly affiliated with the candidate. That's a legacy of the "Citizens United" decision of the Supreme Court.

The real estate lobby in this town hardly needs any more help; it has a tight grip on things.

Were out-of-town real estate organizations listed as endorsers?

While we continue to let City Council candidate Mary Ann Nihart's own words speak for her, last night we were alerted that her campaign website was now blank and her Facebook endorsements were gone.



We've been telling users for about a month that council member Nihart had written to county, state, and national Democrats, stating:
"..I have three choices as I see it: Drop out of the race all together, ...Stay in and potentially suffer the disciplinary judgement of the Merit System Protection Board for public employees going through a disciplinary hearing...Look for new employment... "

Nihart carefully avoided mentioning that she was a federal employee in her self-promoting background info.

Aside from not participating in a "partisan campaign," there are other aspects of the Hatch Act that need to be adhered to by federal employees.

The Hatch Act (5 U.S.C. §§ 7321-7326) — Employees, however, are prohibited from: using their official authority or influence for the purpose of affecting the result of an election; knowingly soliciting, accepting or receiving political contributions from any person...."

Hmmm -- just wondering out loud and not sure if it applies, but if someone solicited donations on, say, their website, would that be a Hatch Act violation?


Monday's City Council meeting where Mary Ann Nihart speaks about possible federal Hatch Act violation, retaining an attorney:


"I just wanted to make a clarification to the public because I feel like you deserve this because there's been so much.

I can't say much, but I can tell you the Hatch Act was designed to protect public employees. It was to protect them from undue influence by superiors, by Congress, by other people and one piece of that is the issue of employees of the federal government not running in partisan races.

As many of you know there have been people who have run and have been federal employees.

I can't talk about this particular situation because I have only one -- I haven't done anything in any way shape or form that is wrong, and in fact I have a confirmation email to that extent from the people that can make this decision.

It's not in the State of California, it has nothing to do with the election, and there is a set of things that I needed to take care of to manage this.

I've engaged an attorney to represent me and that attorney at the appropriate time will speak for me." (Mary Ann Nihart)

Upon further review:

The Hatch Act was amended in 2012 (see 5 USC 1502).

Previously, the Hatch Act restricted the political activity of individuals employed by state or local executive agencies and who worked in connection with programs financed IN WHOLE OR IN PART by federal loans or grants. Now that has been changed to say that employees whose salary is COMPLETELY paid for by federal funds may not be candidates for public office in a partisan election. An election is considered partisan if any candidate is to be nominated or elected as representing a political party, for example, the Democratic or Republican Party.

One other section may be of interest:

Subsection (a)(3) of this section does not apply to—

(1) the Governor or Lieutenant Governor of a State or an individual authorized by law to act as Governor;
(2) the mayor of a city;
(3) a duly elected head of an executive department of a State, municipality, or the District of Columbia who is not classified under a State, municipal, or the District of Columbia merit or civil-service system; or
(4) an individual holding elective office.

From the U.S. Office of Special Counsel website:

"Further restricted federal employees are prohibited from taking an active part in partisan political management or partisan political campaigns. Specifically, these employees may not campaign for or against candidates or otherwise engage in political activity in concert with a political party, a candidate for partisan political office, or a partisan political group. Such employees:

May not be a candidate for nomination or election to public office in a partisan election.
May not take an active part in partisan political campaigns. For example:
May not campaign for or against a candidate or slate of candidates.
May not make campaign speeches or engage in other campaign activities to elect partisan candidates.
May not distribute campaign material in partisan elections.
May not circulate nominating petitions."


I'm not a lawyer, but it seems that the definition of "partisan election" is the core of the matter.

I agree with Lionel. Is it certain that the Hatch Act would prevent Nihart from running? Could it be that Nihart just wants to generate some buzz but privately is confident she can vie for office?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Red Rocks, Colorado and Utah

  • IMG_0955
    By John Maybury riding Amtrak

Southeast France

  • 30-Sainte Agnes
    Photos by John Elk

Viva Mexico

  • Mexico 01 Mexico City Cathedral
    Photos by John Elk

Snow Train

  • IMG_0830
    Photos by John Maybury, onboard Amtrak's California Zephyr


  • 7-Samakand
    Photos by John Elk


  • 12-Chateau de Commarque sunset
    Photos by John Elk


  • 5-Cado
    Photos by John Elk

Canyons, Cliffs & Clouds

  • IMG_0714
    Photos by John Maybury


  • 44-Ravello
    Photos by John Elk

Australian Rainforest

  • 2016_0529reunionfamily0032_opt
    Photos by Joel Maybury

Pacifica Shorebirds

  • 20110819_7165.2
    Photos by Paul Donahue


  • 20-San Agustin painted statue
    Photos by John Elk


  • 27-Okavango elephant
    Photos by John Elk


  • 16-Etosha rhinoceros
    Photos by John Elk

Scary Pumpkins

  • Unknown-16
    Photos by Ray Villafane

Big Sur

  • P1030837
    Photos by Dave Yuhas

Joshua Tree Natl. Park

  • Img_0815
    Photos by John Maybury

Gray Lodge

  • IMG_0985
    Photos by John Maybury

Yachats, Oregon

  • IMG_1044
    Photos by John Maybury

Bagpipes on the Beach

  • Img_0258
    Photos by John Maybury

Tucson Botanical Gardens

  • Img_0794
    Photos by John Maybury

Pima Air/Space Museum

  • Img_0758
    Photos by John Maybury

Desert Springtime

  • Img_0839
    Photos by John Maybury