Knock back a cold one, savor a juicy burger and rest up on this weekend that we celebrate labor by not doing any. You're gonna need your strength.

No, the presidential smack-down won't tax you. Those warring parties are rattling their sabers in battleground states and bypassing the solidly-blue California.

Here in the East Bay, though, the post-Labor Day start of the campaign season is voluminous -- 11 state measures, 568 candidates vying for everything from Congress to the Bethel Island Municipal Improvement District, a 144-page state ballot pamphlet and 38 local ballot questions of which most are pleas for money.

What's hot and what's not?

The yawners include most of the congressional and legislative contests where veteran incumbents like reps. George Miller and Barbara Lee and state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier have poorly-funded and little-known challengers. Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla is unopposed, for heaven's sake.

The only partisan showdown with sizzle is between the cranky Rep. Pete Stark and upstart challenger Eric Swalwell, a prosecutor from Dublin breathing down the incumbent's neck.

But there's plenty of pop, crackle and just plain weird at the local level.

At 11 candidates apiece, Richmond will share with Concord the prize for the largest number of people running for their respective city councils.


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But only Richmond has on its ballot a homeless man who lists a soup kitchen as his mailing address and gained infamy by delivering homophobic rants at city council meetings.

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates' challenger already has the name for the job, Kahlil "Da Mayor" Jacobs-Fantauzzi. Funny, I thought ex-San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown held the patent on that particular title.

Contra Costa veteran prosecutor Barry Grove persuades juries to put away bad guys but can he sweet-talk voters into putting him on the Walnut Creek City Council? We'll see.

Former Antioch Councilman Arne Simonsen is back in the ring, this time as a candidate for city clerk.

And he's not the only retread on the ballot.

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi wants to be an Alameda County supervisor. Yes, this is the same legislator who pleaded no contest to shoplifting leather pants, among other items, from San Francisco's Neiman Marcus, and blamed her behavior on a benign brain tumor.

Oakland Councilwoman Jane Brunner wants to be the city's elected attorney.

Two-time congressional candidate Jeremy Cloward of Pleasant Hill is tasking it down a notch and taking a run for the city council.

Former BART director Erlene DeMarcus is vying for a seat on the Pleasanton City Council. And recalled Pinole councilwoman Maria Alegria is running for BART.

Best of all, Mike Alford is running for office again in Martinez.

Remember him? He's the former mayoral candidate who served time in San Quentin, sports a trendy black beret while he repeatedly berates the council and is affectionately referred to around town as "Pimp Daddy."

You can't make this stuff up.

wanted: Alameda and Contra Costa elections departments need quite a few good men and women willing to work Election Day. If you speak a second language, all the better.

C'mon, it will be fun. Earn $100, get away from that gritchy boss or the whiny kids and support democracy all in one fell swoop.

To apply, call 925-335-7873 in Contra Costa or 510-272-6971 for Alameda County.

AND FINALLY: Folks who received Richmond Councilman Nate Bates' campaign kickoff party email invitation last week got a whole lot more than a time, date and address.

Bates inadvertently sent a 184-page attachment that contained a strange but innocuous compilation of, among other things, family gift lists, a letter to a delinquent renter, poetry, instructions to the housekeeper, jokes and talking points for his campaign manager.

The councilman quickly followed up with a second email and a message in giant red letters, "PLEASE DISREGARD & DELETE PREVIOUS EMAIL. TOO MUCH INFO !!!!"

Wow, if only WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had tried that.

Contact Lisa Vorderbrueggen at 925-945-4773, Twitter /lvorderbrueggen or Facebook/lvorderbrueggen.