Journalist surrogate, launches smear campaign against challenger. Bullshit.

>> Saturday, October 9, 2010

To my regular readers, Excuse me for subjecting you to such drama, but this was the most appropriate forum of expression.

Photo by Reginald James. Laney College Trustees candidates forum.

I've been covering the Peralta Colleges Board of Trustees election for a The Black Hour and other websites, including a blog I started dedicated to the Peralta Board of Trustees called, "The Peralta Report."

I knew that a recent story I wrote would upset some people. Maybe even make them want to attack me. Also published on, the story asks, "Does Monica Tell live in Oakland or Castro Valley?"

I'm sure you're wondering, "What made me think of that question?" I'm glad you asked.

In September, an anonymous comment was left on The Black Hour website, stating "Monica Tell lives in Castro Valley. Her parents live in the Fruitvale area."

I did what any journalist worth his salt would do: Google.

Monica Tell poses with Laney College student government members and staff at Laney College speak out. Photo: A Better Laney

I Googled, "Monica Tell, Castro Valley." After seeing the results, I decided to investigate.

I went to the Alameda County Assessor's Office with an address I found. Records indicated that she bought a property in Castro Valley in 2007, and that she claimed a homeowner's exemption. According to staff, that meant she lived there. I also looked up the address she listed on her Candidate's Statement. I looked up the other candidates as well, just to keep it solid.

I held the story for a week four days just to hear her side of the story. Mind you, I had been calling Ms. Tell to no avail since August to arrange an interview. By time I finally got to speak with her, the focus of my story had changed, understandably. Story published.

Days pass at school. Some folks tell me "good job"; Some because they follow journalism and others for whatever personal reason they may have.

And other folks giving the same phony ass smiles they always gave me.

Today, Ms. Tell posts this onto her Facebook:

"Masquerading as an impartial journalist, former Peralta student Trustee Reginald James recently launched a smear campaign against Monica Tell...James' maliciously suggests that Monica doesn't reside in the Trustee area she seeks to represent, and is trying to undermine her candidacy by widely disseminating a phony charge that he, alone, concocted."


"The smear campaign by incumbent Trustee Linda Handy and her surrogate is a desperate attempt to draw attention from the Peralta Trustees' record of failure," writes Tell.

I had a feeling that someone would suggest that I was in cahoots with Linda Handy. I mean, after all, we're both Black, right? But more critical, I was a student trustee for two years while Handy was on the board. So, of course I'd be her "surrogate," right?


In 2008, I blasted Linda Handy in the Laney Tower for disrespecting student representatives on the board of trustees and saying "their votes don't count." In fact, I predicted that someone would challenger her.

"2010 is not so far away that it would be difficult for one of you students to transfer, get their degree, and run for election in Area 3," I wrote. "Apparently, the same arrogance ousted (Brenda) Knight" in 2002.

And this year, I blasted Linda Handy again for co-orchestrating an extension of student trustee term limits.

And on top of all that, my closest ally while I was on the board was probably her nemesis.

Los siento, Ms. Tell. I'm no surrogate for Linda Handy. But if your handlers need to come at the messenger, here's a photo where I'm standing next to Linda Handy at Laney College. I'm sure it can be manipulated to prove that point.

Photo by Chi Au. 2006 Ribbon Cutting at Laney College Art Center.

And to think, I was about to add Ms. Tell as a friend on Facebook.

Disclosure: I did accept Linda Handy's friend request on Facebook.



S.Ma'at October 10, 2010 at 7:20 AM  

Well Written and straight to the point! I long for the day when I'll have Journalism Beef!

Nice Job Brother Reggie!

Reginald James October 10, 2010 at 8:38 PM  

Sista Ma'at,
I've been vegetarian for two weeks. There's no beef. At least not REAL beef.

And if you've ever had real beef, you know you don't want it.

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Insight into my daily regimen. Obviously of a different specimen. Me, myself & I. So fly. Welcome to the Daily Regiment.

This blog is an outlet for me to write about my life experiences. While there will be consistent themes in my writing -- because I am what I project in written form -- the topics will vary from day to day, and post to post.

If you are interested in my formal news reporting, you can visit The Reginald James Report or The Black Hour.

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