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Exclusive: Notable Donor Helped Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao Win 2022 Campaign Amid Controversy, Former Rival Loren Taylor Plans Comeback

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EXCLUSIVE: First-hand Account of Notable Donor Aiding Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao in her 2022 Campaign Against Loren Taylor


— The 2022 electoral race for the Oakland mayoral seat was a fierce competition that resulted in Sheng Thao securing victory by a narrow margin of just 677 votes. However, amid recent FBI raids on Mayor Thao’s residence, notable reports have been uncovered that Loren Taylor, the individual who fell second in the race, is strategizing his campaign team’s comeback for another shot at the top office.

The Controversy Surrounding a Flier

A contentious flier circulated amongst Oakland voters shortly before the vote has been traced back to Mayor Sheng Thao and Andy Duong, who also had his home raided by federal agents. Loren Taylor, the former councilmember who enjoyed considerable endorsement by the mayors of the San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose regions during his campaign, identified this flier as a significant deciding factor in the election outcome. “When you have a margin of 677 votes in an election, every small input, change, etc. can have a huge impact on the outcome.”

Taylor has asserted that a series of negative fliers, 168,000 of which were sent to homes shortly before the vote, was responsible for swaying the election against him. He has drawn comparisons between the negative campaign caricaturing him and the infamous television ad that greatly affected the 1988 presidential race between George H.W. Bush and Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.

Behind the Funding of the Fliers

Publicly, real-estate agent and political activist Mario Juarez has claimed responsibility for the funding of the fliers and an anti-Loren Taylor website. However, an exclusive first-hand account from Mayor Sheng Thao’s former Chief of Staff reveals a different perspective. She confesses to having witnessed Juarez approaching Thao and Andy Duong at a campaign event in October 2022, requesting additional funds for the flier distribution. “And he straight up said he needed $25,000 to finish that mail piece…”

According to her testimony, Andy Duong, whose family manages California Waste Solutions, agreed to fund the project and had already committed $50,000 towards it. It is worth noting that Duong has been under investigation by the Oakland Public Ethics Commission since 2019, accused of manipulating straw donors to divert contributions to Mayor Thao and other political players.

Implications of the Scandal and Future Projections

Various stakeholders implicated in these revelations now face significant repercussions. Juarez is contending with a felony charge for bouncing three checks that were meant to cover the postage for the fliers. While his lawyer claims no fraud and mismanagement, butterfly Direct Marketing, the firm that printed the controversial fliers, has expressed disappointment over the $60,000 loss incurred from the bounced cheques.

As for Loren Taylor, he articulated his frustration over the scandal: “But it’s also disheartening to know that there is this much built up in order to keep my supporters, in order to keep Oakland from getting better leadership.”

Looking forward, these developments highlight the need to buckle in for a long investigation process, given the extent of the corruption and impropriety within the Oakland political space. Amid this, Loren Taylor’s reinvigorated preparation for the campaign is poised to lend an even more fascinating dimension to Oakland’s political landscape.

Exclusive: Notable Donor Helped Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao Win 2022 Campaign Amid Controversy, Former Rival Loren Taylor Plans Comeback

HERE Knoxville
Author: HERE Knoxville

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