Councilman assails five candidates, but they say his critique is riddled with inaccuracies

On his blog, Palo Alto Councilman Tom DuBois features a picture of the mailer promoting three of the candidate’s he’s criticizing, from left, Steven Lee, Raven Malone and Cari Templeton.

Daily Post Staff Writer

Palo Alto Councilman and Vice Mayor Tom DuBois has published a blog post denouncing five pro-growth city council candidates.

The candidates say his blog is riddled with inaccuracies and residents have complained that he blocked comments he disagreed with on social media.

The blog opens with a complaint about a mailer from Cari Templeton, Steven Lee and Raven Malone touting their endorsement from the Santa Clara County Democratic Party. The mailer says those three are “the only candidates who embody Palo Alto values.”

DuBois said the mailer is an offensive “hit-piece.” He said it is ironic for “these people” to run a piece that proclaims their “own enlightenment and leadership.”

He then went on to attack the character of the three candidates.

“One has made leaders of local nonprofits actually cry when they appeared before him seeking their annual funding,” he said. “One is new to town but doesn’t like what she sees. One was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who’s positions include eliminating capitalism and 50% police defunding.”

Speaking to the Post, Templeton said she doesn’t fit any of the three descriptions because she has lived in Palo Alto for years, hasn’t made nonprofit leaders cry at meetings and is not a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.

“(The blog post) shows tremendously poor judgment on the part of our vice mayor,” she said.

Malone, who moved to town in March, said voters are fed up with negative political discourse and want leaders they can trust.

Lee took a positive approach, saying that if elected, he will work with DuBois on behalf of the entire community. DuBois has two years left on council.

None of the council candidates have included eliminating capitalism in their platforms.

DuBois then goes on to criticize Councilman Greg Tanaka and candidate Rebecca Eisenberg in his blog.

Templeton said she wonders how DuBois picked those five candidates who she pointed out are all women or minorities.

DuBois told the Post he thinks the five candidates have equated residential single-family zoning with exclusionary zoning. He doesn’t believe the two concepts are the same, and he wants to keep single-family zoning.

Some political leaders in the Bay Area have said that single-family zoning should be eliminated so that homes can be replaced with multi-family duplexes, triplexes or quadplexes in order to squeeze more people on to the land.

DuBois criticized Eisenberg for calling Palo Alto police officers racist and said Tanaka is “disingenuous” because he falsely claimed to be endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters.

Speaking with the Post, Tanaka pointed out that his name is listed under the endorsements on the website of the SCC League of Conservation Voters.

“Why does he have to lie like that?” Tanaka asked. “It’s a little bit like Trump actually, it’s such an outright lie.”

DuBois told the Post that he was wrong about that endorsement. He updated his blog post to instead say Tanaka falsely claimed that he was endorsed by the South Bay Labor Council and SEIU Local 521. The labor council also lists Tanaka as an endorsement on its website.

Blocked comments on Facebook, Twitter

Resident Xander Koo complained to the Post that DuBois was blocking comments he didn’t like after he posted the blog on Facebook and Twitter.

“I think it’s disgraceful of Mr. DuBois to release such a hateful article, and moreover it is ominously telling of his ideological tendencies that his immediate response to criticism is censorship of his constituents,” said Koo.

DuBois said he blocked the comments because he didn’t agree with them.


  1. While I would have not posted this, it’s a little rich to mount the high-horse about this while glossing over Lee’s, Malone’s and Templeton’s big claim that started it – “the only candidates who embody Palo Alto values”. Wow! Malone has soaked-up these values after living here only 7 months – she’s like a speed reader!

    Their claim reminds me of people who say only they have a monopoly on the truth, or only they worship “the one true god”. Not my idea of inclusive, tolerant Palo Alto values. Yet this slate of candidates so love to talk the talk of inclusivity and diversity, but sure don’t walk the walk.

  2. The NIMBY crowd doesn’t have any argument for fighting new housing, so they have to resort to personal attacks like DuBois has done here. And the NIMBYs can’t even keep their lies straight. First they say that the push to build more housing is supported by developers and then they say the pro-housing people are socialists. Which is it?

  3. While I wouldn’t have posted this piece, the catalyst for it is glossed over. An outrageous claim is made by a slate of 3 council candidates being “The only candidates who embody Palo Alto Values”. Wow! Who knew? And to think Malone did this embodying in only 7-months that she’s lived here – kind of like speed reading. Go Raven!

    The candidates reminded me of people who claim they have a monopoly on truth or worship the only true god.

    These 3 talk the talk of how inclusive they are of diversity, but they sure don’t walk that walk. They declare by default that all other council candidates don’t have Palo Alto values. So what do they have – Fremont values? Peoria values? Los Vegas values?

    You 3 seem to know little of our diverse, ever evolving community values that we all inherit, add to and benefit from, generation to generation.

    Here, let me get a mirror so you can see yourselves. Who you see doesn’t understand our community or you wouldn’t claim to own our values for your campaign.

  4. While I hope that any inaccuracies in the article will be double checked and adjusted if necessary, I too was extremely offended by the mailer. As a 45 year Palo Alto resident with friends of all ages throughout the community I found the claim to the the “only” candidates who embody Palo Alto values to be inaccurate and the height of arrogance.

  5. As a native Palo Alton I found the mailer by Templeton, Malone and Lee to be weak and ineffectual. Who are these folks to say that they alone represent Palo Alto values? Just what are these Palo Alto values according to the three candidates? This claim is absurd and fatuous. As I listened to forums with all of the candidates I have found Kou, Burt, Stone and Lauing to be the most seasoned and able, as already proven public servants, to serve on Palo Alto’s city council.

  6. Fascinating that the Daily Post endorsed only one candidate with Palo Alto Values, and the Weekly endorsed no candidate at all with Palo Alto Values.

    Apparently neither the Daily Post nor the Weekly has Palo Alto Values either.

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