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Levine Extends Lead Over Allen in Assembly Race

With nearly 26,000 additional ballots tallied late Friday, San Rafael councilman builds on his advantage, leading by more than 3,000 votes.

With each post-election tally in the race to represent the 10th District in the California State Assembly, San Rafael City Councilman Marc Levine has extended his lead over Michael Allen.

That trend continued this week. With another nearly 26,000 votes tallied in Marin and Sonoma counties, Levine distanced himself yet again from his feisty challenger, who outraised and outspent him by nearly a 3-to-1 margin. Levine has garnered  81,680 of the 160,630 total votes cast, good for 51 percent of the vote to Allen's 49 percent.

"Every time they've released a new count, I've increased my lead," Levine said Saturday. "It's just a privilege to be chosen by the voters."

Levine is saying all the right things, acknowledging that there are still some 54,000 ballots yet to be counted in Marin and Sonoma counties. Those counts could extends past Thanksgiving.

"All of the outstanding ballots will and must be counted," Levine said. "But when the count is finished, we're confident that we'll have the votes we need to win."

Levine has already made an appearance before the Marin County Board of Supervisors to be celebrated as Marin's "assemblyman-elect," even though all five supervisors endorsed Allen in the race. He also has already been invited to and attended five days of training in Sacramento for new state Assembly members.

On the heels of a heated battle, the two candidates squared off late into the night on Nov. 6, with Levine garnering 50.6 of the 134,715 votes cast in Marin and portions of Sonoma County. That lead grew to 50.8 percent to 48.2 percent as of Nov. 9.

The results of the latest count, released late Friday afternoon, has Levine with an even more commanding lead in Marin. Levine has received 50,120 votes in Marin to Allen's 46,562, good for a 51.8 percent to 48.2 percent lead.

Allen, who moved to San Rafael after the 7th Assembly District he represented that included Napa County and parts of Sonoma and Solano counties was splintered by redistricting, could not be reached for comment.

In the immediate aftermath of election day, Allen declined to concede the race, saying it was "disrespectful to concede or declare victory at this point. We just need to count the votes."

Levine holds his lead despite being outspent by a considerable margin. Allen received more than $1.4 million in campaign contributions, including $700,000 from independent expenditure committees, while Levine only raised $253,000 in contributions and over $250,000 from independent expenditure committees.

Click here for more on Patch's election coverage.

Tina McMillan November 18, 2012 at 04:53 AM
Allen won't concede, not after those horrendously ugly last minute propaganda attacks. Perez's need to go to such drastic lengths to keep Allen in the assembly shows no respect for our district or our right to choose. The fact that Levine was able to run such a strong race against a man that had the support of the Sacramento political machine and local county Supervisors, shows the lack of connection between residents and representatives.
Bob Ratto November 18, 2012 at 01:23 PM
This is simply one of the most stunning political upsets in decades. Given the fact that "feisty" Allen was Perez' lieutenant in the Assembly, and the whole Democratic party lavished insane amounts of money on Allen, Levine has prevailed...
Al Dugan November 18, 2012 at 04:35 PM
This is the proverbial canary in the coal mine for entrenched and embedded politicians. This win proves now that given new information sources and networking like the Novato Patch good candidates can overcome the political machine in place for the entrenched and embedded politicians. Marc Levine, with ths support of many everyday folks beat a 4 to 1 spending spree, with people looking at past records as the driver. Well done Marc, you show great courage and will inspire more good people to follow your lead.
valeri hood November 18, 2012 at 07:30 PM
This is really the saddest outcome- to have someone with so little experience end up with this job, representing us, with corporate backing is a travesty. Shame on the Democratic party for using the tactics they did and wasting their money. A door to door campaign of paid volunteers and phone bankers who could actually talk to Allen's great record would have won it for him I believe. If you look at the incredible list of local endorsers for Allen, it tells you the story- local people do not give their endorsements lightly, and then look at the dearth of support that Levine got- I don't think Levine wants to explain that-- people will see the mistake they've made once Levine starts voting- if indeed they pay attention. Another BAM Marin!
Pat November 18, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Congratulations to Marc. I think he will well represent all of us in Sacramento.
Tom James November 18, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Valeri, What great record did Allen have? Acting as a political hack for the political establishment and the public employee unions? Not only did I vote for Levine, I donated money to his campaign. Anyone other than a hack like Allen who would stoop to the depths he did with his direct mail campaign. I believe the direct mail campaign back fired on Allen. Levine's win speaks to the intelligence of Marin voters.
Tina McMillan November 18, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Valeri In 2011, Allen passed a bill that prevents the impounding of unregistered cars driven by unlicensed drivers when discovered at DUI checkpoints. It also requires a 24 hour warning of an impending DUI checkpoint. Those against the law were MADD, Sherrif and Police. The only way to get experience is to get the job. If Levine represents our district by making laws that make sense then he is already light years ahead of Allen. There have been too may alcohol related deaths in Novato. I will not support any candidate that is willing to risk my life and the lives of the people around me by allowing unlicensed drivers to remain on the roads. I will not support any candidate that protects potentially intoxicated drivers by warning them of DUI checkpoints. There is no excuse. We all must follow the same laws with respect to driving motor vehicles on public roadways and any use of any substance that could impair drivers. Allen's law was meant to protect people without a license and with an unregistered vehicle from getting their cars towed. This is a bad law. If you are unlicensed and unregistered then you also don't have a reason to purchase insurance on your vehicle. Yet another law that is not respected. Allen only cares about the group he represents. He has gotten so deep into the pockets of the Sacramento elite that he didn't believe anyone could successfully run against him. Levine had every right to run. Now he has a chance to prove himself.
janna nikkola November 19, 2012 at 02:14 AM
When Allen says "it'd be disrespectful to concede" -- disrespectful to whom? I did not vote for Allen because I see him as a carpet bagger who would not represent Marin County voters. He's not from here -- he's from Sonoma and Napa counties, and voters in Marin County do not have the same issues. I see him as representing public employee unions and CALPERS, which handles the pensions for most public employee unions in California is so corrupt, no one's been willing to go up against it. The pension fund lost $68 BILLION in 2008-2009 alone and those losses were simply passed on to California taxpayers. California ciites were forced to increase contributions to employees' pensions "to cover stock market losses". In the city of Novato alone, pension fund contributions were budgeted to increase by 71% during the 5-year period from 2010-2015. What other pension plan on the planet requires the employer (in this case, California taxpayers) to make up for pension fund losses when they have no part in investment decisions, which are made solely by the CALPERS Investment Committee? I think we all want our public employees to earn a fair wage and have a fair pension, especially our first responders like fire fighters and police officers, but it's the pension fund that's being mismanaged and corrupted and must be corrected. It's completely unsustainable as it now stands. Allen would not work on correcting it. Will it take a taxpayer revolt to correct it? How many cities must go bankrupt?
Al Dugan November 19, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Well said Janna. The Marin Supervisors recently mentioned unfunded $320M in pensions but depending on returns, and I certainly use a much more conservative number for my retirement calculation. The Marin County pension unfunded amount could be $750M to $1B.
tony masi November 19, 2012 at 04:48 AM
Tina, although I commend your concerns about drunk driving, DUI checkpoints walk a very fine line with regards to violating our Fourth Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable government intrusion through unwarranted police stops, searches, and seizures. I believe the conditions required for sobriety checkpoints in this state were actually defined by several previous California Supreme Court rulings. Allen's bill simply codified those court rulings for standardized use throughout the state. Our Fourth Amendment rights weigh in the balance here and even the U.S. Supreme Court has exhibited mixed feelings about sobriety checkpoints. Nationally, police stops are such a constitutionally contentious idea that even ten or eleven other states have decided to make them outright illegal. I do not wish to debate the merits of Allen vs Levine, but I feel this is a poor example to use as a criticism of Allen.
Tina McMillan November 19, 2012 at 05:07 AM
Tony If you feel DUI checkpoints represent unreasonable search and seizure then you haven't ever lost a loved one to a drunk driver.
tony masi November 19, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Tina, I simply agree with the Supreme Court rulings that require police to meet certain conditions for conducting sobriety checkpoints. I have never lost a loved one to a drunk driver and I feel sorry for those that have. I feel sorry for innocent victims of gun violence as well, but I would never advocate random police stops and frisks to deal with that problem either.
Tina McMillan November 19, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Tony Allen was not defending 4th amendment rights with this legislation. He was protecting his Napa constituency by creating a law that allows unlicensed individuals with unregistered and uninsured cars to have friends and family come pick up the car rather than having it impounded at DUI stops. Allen was not focused on getting dangerous drivers off the road. He found a loophole that protected people who were breaking the law and that made it more difficult for police and sheriff to create DUI checkpoints. I am more than willing to submit to DUI checkpoints because they provide additional safety protections for everyone. If the original law violated reasonable search and seizure then let it to go before the CA Supreme Court. That is there role. Allen's law pandered to his voting block at that time. We have teens for whom driving restrictions in the past eight years have been made more severe in order protect the public. Once licensed they must wait 6 months before carrying passengers that are minors. These laws are intended to protect public safety. DUI checkpoints are necessary when deaths due to drunk driving repeatedly occur. Novato has had its share of drunk drivers killing and maiming people. Taking measures to make certain that drivers are sober, licensed, registered and insured seems like common sense. Do you believe it is appropriate for unlicensed drivers of unregistered cars to keep their cars at DUI stops?
tony masi November 20, 2012 at 12:33 AM
OK Tina, based on your initial comment that started our conversation, there are two main points you take issue with regarding Allen's bill. You object to giving advance warning of impending DUI checkpoints and disagree with preventing the police from immediately impounding vehicles that are either unregistered or driven by unlicensed drivers. Advance notice of checkpoints is a CA Supreme Court ruling believed to aid in the prevention of drunk driving by inspiring fear of being caught at a stop while driving under the influence. In the case of impoundment, we will probably just have to agree to disagree, but I will present my viewpoint just the same.
tony masi November 20, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Sobriety checkpoints should remain true to their definition and stay focused on the prevention and apprehension of drunk driving. The Supreme Court has a flexible ruling on unwarranted police stops only because of the potentially imminent danger presented by drunk drivers. Unlicensed drivers and/or unregistered vehicles do not pose an immediate safety threat and should not be subject to the same waiving of their constitutional rights as potentially drunk drivers. Allen's bill was in part a response to the substantiated claim that some police departments were using sobriety checkpoints to primarily impound the vehicles of unlicensed drivers. In some areas, the ratio of vehicle impounds to DUI arrests was as high as 60 to 1. Some police departments were grossly exceeding the original intent and purpose for conducting sobriety checkpoints to further their own departmental motives instead of the exclusive apprehension of drunk drivers. So in answer to your question, Yes! I do believe it is appropriate for individuals to not have their cars immediately impounded at sobriety checkpoints if they fail to show a license or valid registration. The clause in the 14th Amendment that guarantees due process of law before depriving individuals of property in conjunction with our 4th Amendment protections from unlawful search and seizures makes impounding vehicles at sobriety checkpoints a very dubious and pre-emptively punitive practise.
Tina McMillan November 20, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Tony Allen's law doesn't allow them to announce where the checkpoints will be held. The warning of checkpoints may deter drunk drivers but it is the enforcement of the law that protects everyone from the danger they represent. If more vehicles are impounded then fewer law breakers are on the road. Some drivers have multiple arrests for DUI's and continue to drive even while on probation. Think of Melody Osheroff. Allen's law says you can only have checkpoints on roads where a significant number of drunk drivers have been previously arrested. It precludes you from having checkpoints throughout an area which would then allow sophisticated drunk drivers to avoid check points all together. Unless the checkpoints are random they serve no purpose in protecting the public. I have no problem with police impounding and charging fees to people driving illegally. Breaking the law should have a significant consequence. How can you say it is safe to have people drive who by virtue of being unlicensed, unregistered and uninsured don't know the rules of the road and have no way of being financially accountable should they cause an accident. Your issue isn't with search and seizure, you have an issue with the police who are trying to keep us safe. Announcing a DUI checkpoint is not the same as controlling where they are set up. Allen's law makes it harder for police to do their job while protecting law breakers. The law says no license, no insurance, no driving.
Tina McMillan November 20, 2012 at 02:51 AM
Tony Are you an attorney or in some way associated with the ACLU?
tony masi November 20, 2012 at 04:17 AM
Tina, thank you for engaging me in such an interesting conversation. Your last question gave me a good chuckle. Each of us will remain adamant in our own opinions. Any response I make to your last post would involve repeating what I have already said. I will now graciously bow out of this discussion and allow this thread to return to its original subject matter. I look forward to possibly trading words with you elsewhere on the Patch.
Al Dugan November 20, 2012 at 05:03 AM
Tina and Toni, I had a wise woman that worked for me and we had a a situation where two people intelligently argued their points. I asked her what she thought and she gave a great response. "That is why they make chocolate and vanilla ice cream." You have had an excellent discourse. For the record I voted for Levine. The conflict of interest issue for Mr. Allen was key to my decision.
Kevin Moore November 20, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Allen won't conceded, you'll just see an apartment for sublet on Craigslist. I am warming up to the idea that politicians should be professionals, like doctors, policemen, auto mechanics, etc. But we need to reduce them to a single income and get rid of this legalized bribery system called "Campaign contributions".
mirrormicky0 November 23, 2012 at 01:53 AM
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Betty Pancakes November 28, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I don't think that Allen should concede.
Betty Pancakes November 28, 2012 at 07:44 PM
I think Allen was spot on in wanting to announce DUI checkpoints ahead of time. There is no doubt in my mind that by doing so, people wouldn't get behind the wheel of a car drunk. Good thinking, Allen!
Betty Pancakes November 28, 2012 at 07:49 PM
I have serious questions about Levine's ability to represent this area. He is such a newbie. How can he possibly navigate Sacramento?
Betty Pancakes November 28, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I commend Allen for "care(ing) about the group he represents." Isn't that what an elected official is supposed to do. Long live Allen!

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