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East Bay Insiders

East Bay political discourse will never be the same! Political reporter Steve Tavares and Alameda County insider Shawn Wilson provide insights, dish the scoop, while also detailing the lighter side of Alameda County, state, and national political scene.
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May 26, 2020

East Bay Insiders Steve Tavares and Shawn Wilson, wearing masks and social distancing, are together for the first in-person episode since the pandemic started. Two candidates in San Leandro might be showing how campaign outreach will be done this year. Should 16- and 17-year-olds be able to vote? Plus, A's rent strike.

May 5, 2020

After Steve talked smack about his girlfriend during the shelter in place, she surprises him and talks smack back. Steve and Shawn add perspective to the shooting of a 33-year-old black man at Walmart by San Leandro Police. Meanwhile, how will Alameda County balance its $72 million deficit? And by popular demand, the results for the first quarter of the first-ever Fantasy City Council League are in!

Apr 19, 2020

Alameda Councilmember Jim Oddie joins Steve Tavares and Shawn Wilson discuss his profanity-laced comments against delaying the minimum wage in Alameda, and the island city's potentially grim budget outlook. And what about the time a constituent invited Jim to discuss city matters in her hot tub? Also, coronavirus conspiracy (Putin did it), and VP, local campaign talk.

Apr 12, 2020

The shelter in place continues. Steve Tavares and Shawn Wilson, however, sort of like the new routine presented by the covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, they discuss the potential for delays in raising the minimum wage spreading across the East Bay. Happy Easter!

Apr 4, 2020

After a nearly month-long hiatus as Steve Tavares and Shawn Wilson help save Alameda County from the coronavirus, "We're baaaaaaaack!" Shawn moved in with his better half right in the smack of the shelter in place. Meanwhile, our lives, like yours, surrounds solely around stories about going to the grocery store. Then there's the question of how will campaigns be run this fall in the era of covid-19?

Mar 7, 2020

The votes are in, but Alameda County voters and candidates eagerly awaiting all of the ballots to be counted. We look at the returns in all the March primary races in Alameda County. But things also got steamy and Shawn Wilson explained his battle back from backside surgery.

Mar 4, 2020

Eighteenth District Assemblymember Rob Bonta is upset about insults hurled against him recently by East Bay Insiders co-host Shawn Wilson. "I thought he was my friend," a downtrodden Bonta said. In this Election Day special podcast, Bonta discusses his California Green New Deal legislation, pedestrian safety in Alameda, and the recent firing of Oakland's police chief.

Mar 1, 2020

Co-host Shawn Wilson busted out of his hospital room to record the March Primary Election Preview. Despite hand and buttocks injuries, Shawn persisted (with help from pain killers). It's the loopiest episode yet. We look at the big Alameda County supervisors race in District 1, critique some mailers, and give our predictions.

Feb 20, 2020

An enlightened conversation with water district official Olivia Sanwong is interrupted by retiring Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty. "I've got news for you, nobody likes you guys," Haggerty said, in response to the show's tagline. But he also offers unvarnished takes on a number of issues. He even falls off his chair. (We thought he was having a heart attack.)

Feb 14, 2020

Zone 7 Water District Boardmember Olivia Sanwong joins the East Bay Insiders podcast as the first official to appear on the show who has not lost their last election. She chats about her district, espionage, the presidential race, Thai food, Pete Stark and Kobe Bryant's passing, and the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee. Then, like a photobombing, the show was "podcastbombed" by a surprise guest. Find out who in Part 2, coming next week.

Jan 28, 2020

Former Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison loves gangster rap, but dislikes Bacon. The Big Man joins the podcast to dish about Fremont, why he gave to John McCain, and brandishes some tough words for his former colleague who is running for the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. Plus, lots of singing.

Jan 21, 2020

Kevin Dowling, a former Hayward councilmember and Pete Buttigieg supporter, has seen a whopping 19 Democratic presidential candidates in the flesh. He gives his thought on the race, along with analysis of the big Alameda County Board of Supervisors primary contest.

Jan 11, 2020

An ability to see the big picture may be hindering the judgment of progressives in the East Bay during the first two weeks of 2020. For instance in Alameda County's District 1 supervisorial race in moderate Fremont and Tri-Valley. Same for the growing Moms 4 Housing controversy. 

Dec 31, 2019

As we head toward 2020, Steve Tavares and Shawn Wilson look back at the past decade, from changes in attitudes in Alameda County toward cannabis to the growing housing crisis. Plus, some predictions for the next year. Happy New Year!

Dec 31, 2019

Ding Dong nuts is the Christmas stocking stuffer that keeps giving. The holiday season is almost over and Steve Tavares and Shawn Wilson break down the annual end of the year weirdness that often happens in East Bay politics. Plus, what if Libby Schaaf faced off against Rob Bonta for congress? Who would win? **Note** A decade-ending special podcast is coming New Year's Eve.

Dec 20, 2019

The heavens opened up, resulting in podcast history's first rain delay. Shawn Wilson handles the hosting duties and we talk about Developer Phil Tagami and Oakland's cancel culture, and nightmare dates. Also, why in the world would somebody want to run for office in Alameda?

Dec 11, 2019

And we're back! Rep. Eric Swalwell's #fartgate (#shartgate) still lingers. We break it all down, along with a post-mortem on why Sen. Kamala Harris' presidential campaign faltered. Also, a first look on the candidate's performance in the big Alameda County Supervisors race, and a Thanksgiving update.

Nov 27, 2019

Steve Tavares is cooking the turkey this year and Shawn Wilson has no place to go for Thanksgiving. In the meantime, the East Bay Insiders take another look at the Alameda County Board of Supervisors race next year, and shopping at union grocery stores, among many other topics on this expanded Thanksgiving edition.

Nov 15, 2019

The first of its kind East Bay Fantasy City Council League Draft commences. Who is drafted as the first-overall pick? How will you know who wins the fantasy league? Who knows? Plus, reminiscing about the old Castro Valley Flea Market, and karaoke. 

Nov 8, 2019

A transcript of Alameda's secret audio recording will be released to the public. How should the two Alameda councilmembers recorded in the conversation react to the fallout? Also a bonus appreciation for Alameda builder Ron Cowan and how Willie Brown once met with us and declared way before the 2014 Oakland mayoral election that Libby Schaaf would win. 

Oct 25, 2019

Maybe they should call him John McPardon?  East Bay Insiders Steve Tavares and Shawn Wilson chat about BART Board Director John McPartland's embarrassing gaffe. Why Hayward is always late to the party, and the future of its rising star, Hayward Councilmember Aisha Wahab. In the news: Cherryland is being eyed for annexation and a look at how the A's may not be in Oakland's future. Plus, much joking around about condos for squirrels, free Swedish manure helmets, and impromptu open forums in Oakland.

Oct 18, 2019

The District 1 Alameda County Supervisors campaign is the East Bay's top March 2020 primary race. But why are the candidate's keeping their campaigns a secret? Steve Tavares and Shawn Wilson provide an introduction of the candidates with the Tale of the Tape. 

Oct 10, 2019

The pilot episode of the East Bay Insiders provides a tasting menu for what's to come. From the up-for-grabs Alameda County supervisor's race to one of the candidate's choice of tight jeans and the lack of a traditional guiding political figure in Alameda County. Why can't Fremont's Indo-American political infrastructure get itself together and actually win elections? And isn't Kohl's Cash a scam?

Jun 20, 2019

GOP consultant Jason Scalese joins the program (perhaps only for the craft beers) on this episode of the podcast. The killing by Hayward Police of a 29-year-old man with a history of mental illness last November, and the release last month of an Alameda County District Attorney report finding insufficient evidence to prosecute the case, has highlighted the fact that police officers are shielded by powerful state and federal laws.

May 29, 2019

Dublin typically stays out of the political limelight, but last week it's decision against flying the LGBT Pride flag brought the moderate to conservative Tri-Valley's ideology in full relief for all to see. What happens next? Castro Valley, meanwhile, is changing and some want to shed the oversight of Alameda County and become a city. Michael Kusiak of CV Matters talks about the long road toward incorporation. Plus, crying at an oath of citizenship ceremony.

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