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Ryan Fernandez (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)

HAYWARD -- SEIU Local 1021, which is locked in a labor dispute with the city, has poured more than $80,000 into a political action committee supporting two council candidates in the upcoming June election, more than any other race in the state.

The next closest amount is $50,000 the union has donated to support Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti in the Assembly District 16 race.

The political action committee has mailed several fliers supporting Sara Lamnin and Ryan "Rocky" Fernandez, two of seven candidates running for two City Council positions. It also has paid for billboards, and volunteers have gone door to door throughout Hayward campaigning for Lamnin and Fernandez.

Both candidates said they weren't aware of how much money the union has spent, though they had seen the fliers. Political action committees are prohibited by law from directly interacting with candidates.

"I have no control over that campaign. I'm not part of it. I have no input, no coordination with them in any way," Lamnin said. "Of course, I'm very honored they believe in me. Apparently they have looked at my record and decided I'm the right choice to heal Hayward, as they say."

Some of the fliers claim that Lamnin voted against the one-way traffic loop in downtown as a member of the city Planning Commission, to which she was appointed in 2010. The road construction project was approved in 2007.

Lamnin said she was surprised when she saw the fliers.

"It was not accurate. I wasn't on the Planning Commission when that was considered. I have no idea where that information came from. It's an unfortunate misunderstanding," she said.

She said she did not bring the error to the political action committee's attention because she wants to maintain her distance. Council incumbent Marvin Peixoto, seeking re-election in the race, scoffed at that explanation. He said if a committee made a misstatement about his record, "I would call them right away and tell them to take it off, it's wrong."

Union representative Gil Hesia said while on the Planning Commission, Lamnin has voted against anything relating to the loop, though he did not provide specifics.

"She has a record of supporting walkability in the downtown and transit-oriented development and has raised concerns about the loop's impact on traffic. She has advocated better signage and directions to increase safety," he said.

Mayor Michael Sweeney actually did vote against the road project that included the loop.

"It's disappointing that the SEIU folks don't care very much for the facts," he said. "They're obviously hoping they can buy an election. If they've already spent over $80,000, it probably means they will spend more than $100,000 to elect candidates they feel will roll over for them. We need City Council members who will do what's right for Hayward regardless of how much campaign cash is spent on their behalf."

Sweeney has endorsed Peixoto and Planning Commissioner Rodney Loche.

"To be honest, I don't think Sara or Rocky would do particularly well without the huge influx of cash SEIU is spending on their behalf," he said.

Loche would not comment on SEIU's spending. Peixoto said the union is upset with everyone on the council. "That's an awful lot of money. It's clear that SEIU does not want me re-elected," he said.

Like Lamnin, Fernandez said he has not had contact with the union's political action committee.

"I appreciate the support from Hayward workers, but I'm running my own campaign, with support from a variety of organizations, including the Sierra Club, the Hayward Chamber of Commerce and the Rental Housing Association," he said.

Julie McKillop, another candidate, said she was disappointed with SEIU's actions.

"The goal of any election is to allow a full exchange of ideas on a level playing field and then to let the voters decide," she said. "However, the decision of SEIU to round up two candidates on the last day of qualification, shepherd them through the application process and fund them with obscene amounts of money seemingly circumvents our local electoral process."

SEIU Local 1021 Candidate PAC contributed the money to the Healing the Heart of Hayward PAC, which paid for the fliers and billboards. The fliers don't directly address the labor dispute, instead saying things such as, "It is time to heal the heart of Hayward. We need leaders who will put aside politics to solve the problems our community faces."

Hesia said the union is spending the money supporting Lamnin and Fernandez because it invests in candidates who reflect values such as honesty, accountability and experience.

"Working people are looking for real change in Hayward," he said.

The City Council imposed terms earlier this year on its almost 300 employees represented by SEIU Local 1021, mostly maintenance and clerical workers. The city demanded a 17 percent cut in overall benefits from all its employees to help address its increasing deficit, but the union said its workers could not afford the reduction.

Over loud objections of union members, the City Council unanimously imposed the 17 percent cut on Feb. 18. The two sides began new negotiations in April.

Contact Rebecca Parr at 510-293-2473. Follow her at Twitter.com/rdparr1.