EAST BAY CITIZEN. EVERYWHERE SINCE 2009
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THE NEW EBCITIZEN COMING NEXT YEAR

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'GENERATIONAL HAND-OFF' IN OAKLAND

Oakland Mayor-elect Libby Schaaf in her first press conference pledged support for bringing business to East Oakland, keeping sports teams in town.

SPENCER POSTS SUPRISE VICTORY IN ALAMEDA

Eight days after Election Day, Alameda Mayor Marie Gilmore concedes victory Trish Spencer, a member of the school board.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Morgan Stanley postpones social media effort in Oakland following protests

OAKLAND | FERGUSON | Morgan Stanley and the Alameda County Community Food Bank had planned to promote through Twitter the financial institution’s program to help provide children in Oakland with health screenings and better nutrition.

However, scenes of protesters in the downtown Oakland Monday night upset over the shooting of Missouri teen Michael Brown gave Morgan Stanley pause. The program called Healthy Oakland is part of similar efforts in Chicago and Newark, N.J.

The company postponed a series of tweets promoting Healthy Oakland planned for Tuesday because of the protests that included hundreds of people marching through the streets before commandeering a portion of the MacArthur Freeway.

Morgan Stanley says it plans to revisit the promotion possibly next week. Social media users were to be encouraged to retweet posts such as “In 6 months, #HealthyCities served 42k meals in Oakland. We’re working to #Fighthunger. Will you?”

Monday, November 24, 2014

Outrage in Oakland over Michael Brown

OAKLAND | FERGUSON | In the hours since a St. Louis County prosecutor announced there will no be no indictment against the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown this summer in Ferguson, Missouri, hundreds of people protesting the decision have arrived in Downtown Oakland.

Initially reports via Twitter detailed some protesters blocking the off ramp from Interstate 880. A nixle report from the Oakland Police Department said the intersection of 7th Street and Broadway was subsequently closed to traffic.

Later, police blocked protesters from the 580 freeway entrance at Grand Avenue and MacAruthur Boulevard
Eyewitness reports on the scene estimates the crowd growing to over 200 protesters and described as "charged" and "frenetic." Other estimates now show the crowd has grown to over 1,000.

Reporters from Oakland North and the San Francisco Chronicle also report numerous garbage cans being set on fire, including some near Lake Merritt.


The Oakland Tribune building on 20th Street was vandalized.

Oakland Mayor-elect Libby Schaaf offered a five-part tweet shortly after the Ferguson decision urging peace, but also continuing the city's dialogue between its citizens and the OPD.

Mike Honda gives Rand Paul a history lesson on internment camps

CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT | When it comes to Japanese internment camps, Rep. Mike Honda is the beltway's expert. So, when presumptive Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul equated it to President Obama's immigration policy, Honda was ready to correct the record. "At best, he is confused. At worst, he is just wrong," said Honda in a statement Monday morning.

In remarks made last Friday in Lexington, KY, Paul said:
“I care that too much power gets in one place. Why? Because there are instances in our history where we allow power to gravitate toward one person and that one person then makes decisions that really are egregious. Think of what happened in World War II where they made the decision. The president issued an executive order. He said to Japanese people, ‘We’re going to put you in a camp. We’re going to take away all your rights and liberties and we’re going to intern you in a camp.’ We shouldn’t allow that much power to gravitate to one individual.”
As young boy, Honda spent time at a Japanese American internment camp in Colorado. He said, unlike President Roosevelt's notorious executive order, Obama's plan to shield up to five million undocumented immigrants from legal jeopardy "is an appropriate use of executive order because Congress did not do its job."
President Roosevelt’s action was based on racism, fear, hysteria, war, and the lack of real political leadership. He succumbed to political pressure to deny Constitutional protections to 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of who were US-born citizens.

Eric Swalwell named to list of 100 fittest politicians that includes Chris Christie

CONGRESS | 15TH DISTRICT | Whether Rep. Eric Swalwell belongs on any nebulous list of the most attractive politicians in America is highly debatable. However, any list ranking physical fitness is fair game.

Swalwell is young and keeps in shape, whether at the gym or whatever extra-curricular activities a two-term bachelor in Congress might do during the week.

The web site, Health Fitness Revolution, unveiled this week the Top 100 Fittest U.S. Politicians and named Swalwell among the group. The only description given to Swalwell, though, is that he played soccer and hits the gym.

But, the entire list may have some credibility problems. It also includes New Jersey heavyweight Gov. Chris Christie.

The list also includes Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sarah Palin.

Former Alameda County candidate for auditor pleads guilty to election fraud

Kati Knox plead to three misdemeanors.
ALAMEDA COUNTY | Kati Knox pulled out of her race for Alameda County auditor-controller last May just weeks before the June primary after she was accused of falsifying her address on campaign paperwork. Last Friday, Knox plead guilty to three misdemeanors for violating the state's election laws. Knox will serve three years probation, according to the San Francisco Chronicle and pay a $2,281 fine.

Upon filing paperwork for campaign, Knox listed her home address as 1345 Clarke Street in San Leandro. In fact, she lived outside of Alameda County. Investigators found Knox actually lived in Danville, not San Leandro. The address provided, though, was an assisted-living home Knox owned, but did not live. In May, she was charged with six felony counts of voter fraud.

Although Knox, who is the daughter of former Alameda County Supervisor Robert Knox, ended her campaign before the election, her name was already printed on ballots. Nevertheless, she won nearly a quarter of the vote in the race won by then-deputy auditor Steve Manning.

It remains unclear how or why Knox committed such an egregious violation such as being unaware a candidate had to live in the district in which they wished to serve. In addition, she was also a prohibitive underdog to replace retiring auditor-controller Patrick O'Connell.

However, there was more political intrigue involved than just Knox's violations. Long-running acrimony between Knox and some family members have been rumored to be the impetus for the tip to investigators over her residency issue. But, Knox's candidacy also posed a small threat to Manning's election last June.

More than a few East Bay insiders, at the time, noted the political gamesmanship that occurred following the short time frame between O'Connell's announcement to step down after three decades as auditor-controller and the filing window for the June election. To observers, it appeared O'Connell was seeking to sneak his deputy into the seat without a contested race. Knox, though, prevented this when she filed for the seat on the final day.

In bid for Raiders, looks like San Antonio sees the writing on the wall

RAIDERS | It's not like anybody anywhere believes San Antonio is a legitimate option for the Oakland Raiders, but the likelihood the entire story was a ruse received some sunshine Sunday in the San Antonio Express-News.

An NFL consultant told the paper what we already know: the bid is a serious long-shot. However, the city, which Raiders owner Mark Davis has recently visited twice, should keep itself in the running, just in case.
“Now, that doesn’t mean I’d pour lots of resources into it, or raise people’s hopes dramatically, said Marc Ganis. "But I certainly wouldn’t walk away, because you never know what happens in these things. These things can turn in odd ways.”
The article isn't all pie-in-the-sky. Ganis later offered a more likely scenario for the Raiders
“My best guess is they stay in Oakland or somewhere in the Bay Area,” he said. “Option two is they’re the second team in an L.A. stadium. Option three is relocating to a different market, and if that’s the case, I’d put San Antonio very high on that list, if not first.”
While rumors over a return of the NFL to Los Angeles have percolated recently, the scene in Oakland is also showing signs of promise. A new investor is on board for Coliseum City and Mayor-elect Libby Schaaf's stewardship of the stadium conversation starting in January has many in the East Bay hopeful the team will stay in Oakland.

Bonta shows support for Michael Brown

ASSEMBLY | 18TH DISTRICT | The shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri is a subject most politicians would rather avoid. Assemblymember Rob Bonta thought differently. The largest part of his district is Oakland, a city well accustomed to protests whether they be self-contained to the Bay Area or in other parts of the country.

A grand jury in Missouri will decide Monday evening whether the police officer involved in the controversial shooting will be indicted. Protests are likely in Oakland, as well as Ferguson, tonight, but Bonta, in a tweet this morning, called for justice, along with a quote from Mahatma Ghandi.
Bonta's sentiment today is not new. In fact, when word spread the grand jury in Ferguson was ready to announce its decision last Friday, Bonta posted an identical tweet.

He also has not been shy to speak out during other protests. In July 2013, after a jury in Florida acquitted George Zimmerman, the killer of Trayvon Martin, Bonta urged protesters to focus peacefully on the injustice of the decision.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

OAKLAND ELECTION NOTES: Schaaf Jockeyed Into Position For A Dominating Win; Kaplan For Council President?

OAKLAND | Once Oakland Mayor-elect Libby Schaaf finally got it going, there was really no stopping her campaign. In terms of sports analogies, campaigns are often labeled horse races, but in this case, it is apt. Her team huddled away Schaaf in a crowded field and jockeyed her to the front down around the final stretch. In the end, the rest of the field was either severely unqualified to run in such a stakes or simply spent.

Schaaf’s dominating victory also overshadowed the fact that the lead horse, Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, simply ran out of gas. Over the last six weeks or so of the campaign, it appeared to many Kaplan was hoping to run out the clock on what numerous polls suggested was impending victory. The campaign did little to attract attention to solidify those polls.

In the meantime, Schaaf did the opposite. Her campaign was easily the most aggressive down the stretch. Did Gov. Jerry Brown’s endorsement in early October really turn the tide? I doubt it was solely Brown’s imprimatur, but the attention it shined on Schaaf at precisely the moment people were actually starting to pay close attention to the race.

Noticeably, while Schaaf moved forward with another endorsement from Sen. Barbara Boxer, Kaplan was turning up aging B-list pop stars from early 1990s and Mayor Jean Quan was offering members of the Black Hole from Raiders home games. The latter, in fact, was the moment when it became clear Quan was toast.
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THE HILLS Schaaf also did an excellent job of showing Oakland voters she was more than Libby from the Hills. Jason Anderson, who finished eighth in the voting (he notes he finished first among candidates with no money), praised Schaaf this week for making an attempt during the campaign to reach out to voters in the flatlands. Furthermore, said Anderson, she didn’t even need to in order to win the election. “I knew she had the hills locked up,” he said. The Schaaf campaign’s decision to roll out commercials like the one declaring “Oakland hella needs new leadership,” is a positive sign she intends to unite the city from top to bottom, he added. Anderson’s analysis turns out to be correct. Schaaf cleaned up in the hills, according to election maps from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters. Despite Schaaf’s intentions, the perception she represents a return of the city’s old white elite will persist and watch for it to be an easy target for opponents to lob her way.

PERATA STILL DOESN’T UNDERSTAND RCV Why Don Perata bothered to endorse Bryan Parker so late in the game, or at all, still seems bizarre. In the end, Parker finished sixth place with less than eight percent of the vote. Was Perata not privy to polling that showed Parker running about the same position as the results on Nov. 4? Perata’s endorsement did nothing for Parker and even one member of his campaign admitted the former state senator’s reputation in Oakland was filled with negatives. In addition, the coalition of Parker, Joe Tuman and Courtney Ruby also did little to change the overall campaign calculus. The triumvirate together won over 23 percent of the first place votes. That’s six percent less than Schaaf gained, all by herself. Like Perata’s endorsement, this meeting of the minds came far too late in the game to have any impact. In hindsight, the campaign’s should have banded together by the end of September at the earliest.

Jean Quan
QUAN’S DEMISE Back in early 2012, the amount and frequency of vitriol I heard against East Bay Rep. Pete Stark was quite noticeable. That angst played out in November 2012 and led to his demise. Over the past year, the consistent level of discontent I heard when it came to Quan reminded me of Stark two years earlier. For different reasons, voters in Oakland had grown to dislike her to the point there was no going back. Furthermore, people in outlying cities who couldn’t even vote for Quan, loathed her, too, but that could also reveal how complicit the local media was in knocking her down at every opportunity. Frankly, Quan’s could have done and actually did a job as mayor and still would have faced the music last week. In fact, history will likely view Quan’s administration as the lead-in to an even greater renaissance in Oakland. Good thing Quan really loves Oakland because, electorally, she took one for the team. She also seems to be taking the loss exceptionally well. In fact, I have never seen a politician look more at ease with a high stakes loss like this one in my five years covering the East Bay.

DESLEY'S NEW SPARRING PARTNER? The changeover on the Oakland City Council continued this election cycle. The council swapped out Oakland-style moderates in Council President Pat Kernighan and Schaaf with progressives Abel Guillen in District 2 and Anne Campbell Washington in District 4. Coupled those two with progressive stalwarts Councilmembers Dan Kalb and Desley Brooks, who won re-election last week, and this council now has an even more leftist lean than before. But, this begs the question, who on the council will the irascible Brooks fight with now? The council’s reputation for raucous meetings is often cited by voters as a huge negative. However, with three new members in 2012 coming on board, this year has been noticeably quiet in terms of fireworks. Its most moderate member is now Councilmember Noel Gallo, but she and Brooks seem to get along, but its hard to guess how certain personalities react to each other regardless of ideology. When I interviewed Brooks as she drove around her East Oakland district, she seemed unsure about my opinion her and Guillen would work well together. If all else fails, Brooks can just return to hammering the new mayor. In addition, Brooks’ election results left a lot to be desired especially for a 12-year incumbent who took a beating over her behavior at council meetings. When the initial returns showed Brooks sitting in the low-40 percent range, she had to be sweating bullets over the potential for ranked choice voting to aid one of her opponents. It didn’t, but Brooks only defeated Shereda Nosakhare by less than five points after RCV tabulations.

Kaplan's Plan B could be council president.
NEW PRESIDENT Councilmember Larry Reid told me last month that he doesn’t ever want to be council president again. “I’d rather be fishing,” he said while roaming the halls of City Hall. Now that Kernighan is retiring next month, who might lead the next council? Similar to rumors you hear about some mayoral candidates having backups for employment if they’re out of government after the election—we all heard the one about Schaaf having a job lined up with Jerry Brown, if she lost—there was also one going around about Kaplan becoming council president if she lost the mayoral election. Well, she lost, and lost badly. But, Kaplan’s election to lead the council seems plausible and probably the best choice for this relatively young group. Five of the seven members will have only served since 2012 or later. Then there’s Reid, who this summer, raised the possibility of retirement. It was also notable that he publicly floated the name of his daughter, Treva Reid, as a potential appointee to his seat, which isn’t up for re-election until 2016. Reid often makes these types of declaration, but this last one was taken more seriously since the state of health was clearly evident. But Reid looks a lot better and there appears to be a sense around City Hall that Reid won’t be going anywhere in the new year.

EAST BAY ELECTION NOTES: The Reckoning For Khanna, Sbranti; A Budding Political Rival For Bonta?

Ro Khanna should be praying Rep. Ami Bera
pulls it out in CA-9.
STATE LEGISLATURE | In politics, like other arenas of life, there’s losing and then there’s royally screwing up and losing. This happen in two races that include Alameda County and bracketed by neighbors to the north and south.

Not only did Ro Khanna lose to Rep. Mike Honda in the 17th Congressional District, but the significant amount of money the Democratic Party was forced to spend to keep the incumbent’s seat safe from a fellow Democrat quickly turned some local activists further against the upstart. That’s because Sacramento Rep. Ami Bera found himself in a very close race with Republican Doug Ose. Bera has since closed the gap and took the lead in the race, as of today, but Democrats are already blaming Khanna for the need to spend money in the South Bay rather than in a district in danger of being flipped to red.

Similarly, keeping a district some shade of blue is something Tim Sbranti did not do in the Assembly 16th District. A union-friendly Tri Valley official always seemed like a dubious expenditure for labor to be lavishing so much money upon. It simply did not work even with millions coming from the California Teachers Association and Sbranti lost the race to Republican political newbie Catharine Baker.

Since February, I had been raising concerns about Sbranti’s uncertain demeanor and odd lack of passion for his own arguments. It’s almost as if Sbranti was feeling some sort of internal conflict throughout the year. Oakland mayoral candidate Courtney Ruby exhibited the same sense that she was always thinking, “I don’t want to be here and just let me get through this so I can just go home!”

Conversely, it appeared like Baker sensed Sbranti’s fear and fed off it. It gave her confidence and it showed. This would all make perfect sense, however, if you had never seen Sbranti at the helm as Dublin mayor. In this settin, he’s confident, humorous and vaguely paternal. I don’t know where that guy went, but neither is going the State Legislature next month.
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In other local state and federal races, there was little doubt over their outcomes. Tony Thurmond again showed in the 15th Assembly District when all things are equal, including political affiliations, the cult of personality will always prevail. Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee again won re-election and did it with the highest percentage of voters in any race in the East Bay. Over 88 percent of voters chose Lee over the Republican Dakin Sundeen.

Over the past three elections, Lee and Assemblymember Rob Bonta have traded the mantle of top vote-getter and this also shows how quickly Bonta has become a popular fixture in the area. In fact, his star has risen so high and the field of potential roadblocks to higher office have diminished that he virtually stands at the top of the list for any potential opening like, say, if Lee decides to retire in the next few years. Keep in mind, Bonta can bide his time in the Legislature for another 10 years. General consensus is he will choose to stay in the Assembly and build toward a top leadership position instead of moving to the State Senate.

But, a potential challenger to Bonta’s hegemony might one day emerge in Oakland Mayor-elect Libby Schaaf. She is young, 49, and Oakland’s current status suggests Schaaf’s administration could do great things for the city. If Schaaf has designs on higher office in the distant future, it’s easy to foresee her and Bonta becoming rivals.

SAN LEANDRO ELECTION NOTES: RCV Isn't Going Away; Mayor-Elect Cutter Won't Be Like Cassidy

Mayor-elect Pauline Cutter will definitely
be a change of pace from her predecessor.
SAN LEANDRO | There were no surprises in San Leandro’s moribund races last week. Mayor-elect Pauline Cutter came within two points of gaining a majority without the use of ranked choice voting tabulations over Diana Souza. Corina Lopez, Lee Thomas and Deborah Cox also cruised to easy victories. Like Oakland and Berkeley, San Leandro has used ranked choice voting since 2010. However, its utility has been vastly underused here.

Aside from the 2010 upset of Mayor Tony Santos by Stephen Cassidy that brought a 200 vote win through rounds of ranked choice voting and one tight race for council two years ago, very few races have either featured enough candidates to have the system make much of difference or the winners have blazed through a simple majority on their own by way of first place votes. In fact, two of three council races last week, did not need ranked choice at all. Lopez and Thomas quickly topped majority and Cox only padded her lead over three similarly strength opponents.

Ranked choice voting was instituted four years ago to save cities money during a time when the Great Recession had hit the hardest. Initially, the system is more expensive in the short term, but considerably less going forward. Theoretically, San Leandro can opt-out of ranked choice after its third use. This election was its third use, but also the point when the price of elections will drop significantly. Nothing odd happened during this cycle to ratchet up the concern some have for its usefulness. Something like Dan Dillman winning the mayor’s race with its help. And that means only one thing: it’s not going away anytime soon.
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COLLABORATION San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy alienated just about everyone in town who could have helped him over the past four years. His reign of boorishness is nearly over. Mayor-elect Cutter takes over in January and there is hope for the City Council to quickly heal its wounds. Cassidy did not wreck the city. In fact, he built upon some of its early building blocks like the new Kaiser Permanente completed this year and OSIsoft’s downtown fiber optic loop. San Leandro is on a definite upward trajectory, but it could have been steeper with better leadership.

Cassidy made enemies even before his election with the police department, city employees and with regular people who couldn’t stand his misplaced arrogance. Every conversation quickly became a competition for Cassidy to assert he was always the smartest person in the room at the same time suggesting you were the dumbest. Soon, his council colleagues often privately grumbled Cassidy's behavior was even worse behind closed doors. Cutter, though, is completely different in style.

She may not be qualified to be mayor based on her accomplishments and her vision, but neither were the other two in the race, but her council colleagues will be able to work with her. For one, Cutter needs to limit her association to Cassidy from the outset. He is controlling and some at City Hall will be watching whether Cassidy won't be controlling her behind the scenes. There was already that impression when he was mayor and she was the council member who routinely voted with him.

But, it’s very conceivable that Cutter makes the city work in a better fashion by acting as a mayor among equals on the City Council. However, the comity that results could be wasted if it resorts to a common problem in San Leandro when all the council returns is a conga line of 7-0 decision. Sheer group think won’t help move San Leandro forward, either.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Alameda Mayor Concedes Race To An Improbable Winner

Alameda Mayor Marie Gilmore concedes her race to school board member Trish Spencer during a press conference Wednesday morning in front of Alameda City Hall. PHOTO/Steven Tavares
ALAMEDA | MAYOR | Alameda Mayor Marie Gilmore conceded her close race to school board member Trish Spencer Wednesday morning. With only few thousand provisional ballots yet to be counted in Alameda County, Spencer currently holds a 129-vote lead over the incumbent most believed was heading toward sure re-election.

During a press conference at the steps leading to Alameda City Hall, Gilmore congratulated Spencer and the two new members of the City Council for their victories. She also ruled out a recount of the slim tally. Gilmore, however, has not spoken with the mayor-elect to offer her congratulations, she said. “I haven’t had the opportunity. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this and what is going to be in the best interests of the city. That’s why I didn’t ask for recount to end the process and move on.” In an interview, earlier this week, Spencer said she wasn’t expecting a call from Gilmore.

Alamedans have waited eight anxious days for a result to last week’s election. The outcome is likely the most improbable result of any race in the East Bay. Very few political observers saw this upset coming, although, concern over the city’s speed toward development, including Alameda Point, has been simmering for years. The issue may have also cost Councilmember Stewart Chen his seat last week. Former Councilmember Frank Matarrese, whose stance toward development closely mirrored Spencer’s, finished first in the council race for two seats. Jim Oddie, also the district director for Assemblymember Rob Bonta, won the other seat. He plans to maintain both positions.

During the somber press conference, Gilmore thanked supporters and volunteers, in addition, to members of the police and fire department in attendance, along with City Manager John Russo and Councilmembers Lena Tam and Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft. “Even though we came up short, I continue to be gratified by all the love and support shown by all of us. I have truly appreciated my opportunity to serve this community that I really love and I will continue to work with all of you to move Alameda forward as our new council tackles important issues like moving forward with Alameda Point and the issue of rising rents for many in our community.”

Gilmore, the city’s first African American mayor, told reporters her messaging could have been better during the campaign, but in an interview, she appeared flummoxed by the election’s result ending her time in the mayor’s office after just one term. “I can’t explain it, but it was an odd election not just in Alameda, but throughout the county,” Gilmore said of her defeat. “It was just a very weird election.” Low turnout may have also skewed the results, she added.qq

When asked if she had underestimated her opponent who spent under $10,000 during the campaign and hired no political consultants to win the race, Gilmore said she did not, but her supporters may have. “An early warning sign,” Gilmore said, was a prevalence of supporters who questioned why she was campaigning at their doorstep. “What are you doing here? You have it in the bag,” some voters told Gilmore. “I told them, ‘You can’t say that,’ but that seemed to be the feeling out there, but I never bought into it.”

EAST BAY ELECTION RESULTS (Certified Final)

REGISTRATION/TURNOUT
Alameda County............................VOTES....PCT
PRECINCTS REPORTING 100%
Total Registration......................814,009
Vote-By-Mail Ballots Cast...............227,583  27.96%
Election Day Ballots Cast...............139,016  17.08%
Total Ballots Cast......................366,599  45.04%

CONGRESS
13th District.............................VOTES....PCT
PRECINCTS REPORTING 100%
Barbara Lee (I).........................168,491  88.48%
Dakin Sundeen............................21,940  11.52%

15th District.............................VOTES....PCT
PRECINCTS REPORTING 100%*
Eric Swalwell (I)........................99,172  69.90%
Hugh Bussell.............................42,778  30.10%
*including Contra Costa County

17th District.............................VOTES....PCT
PRECINCTS REPORTING 100%
Mike Honda (I)...........................68,502  51.80%
Ro Khanna................................63,720  48.20%
*including Santa Clara County

CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE
10th District.............................VOTES....PCT
PRECINCTS REPORTING 100%*
Bob Wieckowski..........................110,423  68.00%
Peter Kuo................................51,924  32.00%
*including Santa Clara County

CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY
15th District.............................VOTES....PCT
PRECINCTS REPORTING 100%
Tony Thurmond............................63,725  53.90%
Elizabeth Echols.........................54,446  46.10%

16th District.............................VOTES....PCT
PRECINCTS REPORTING 100%*
Catharine Baker..........................68,598  51.50%
Tim Sbranti..............................64,484  48.50%
*including Contra Costa County

18th District.............................VOTES....PCT
PRECINCTS REPORTING 100%
Rob Bonta (I)............................88,243  86.70%
David Erlich.............................13,537  13.30%

20th District.............................VOTES....PCT
PRECINCTS REPORTING 100%
Bill Quirk (I)...........................56,144  71.84%
Jaime Patino.............................22,007  28.16%

25th District.............................VOTES....PCT
PRECINCTS REPORTING 100%*
Kansen Chu...............................56,371  69.40%
Bob Brunton..............................24,894  30.60%
*including Santa Clara County

ALAMEDA COUNTY
Superintendent of Schools.................VOTES....PCT
PRECINCTS REPORTING 100%
Karen Monroe............................152,442  56.33%
Helen Foster............................116,004  42.87%

BART Board of Directors - District 4......VOTES....PCT
PRECINCTS REPORTING 100%
Robert Raburn (I)........................39,538  54.58%
Lena Tam.................................25,520  35.23%
Larry Lionel Young, Jr................... 6,928   9.56%

AC Transit Board of Directors - At-Large..VOTES....PCT
PRECINCTS REPORTING 100%
Joel Young (I)..........................115,981  52.80%
Dollene Jones............................76,283  34.73%
Andrienne Andrews........................25,632  11.67%
Write-In................................. 1,764   0.80%

Oro Loma Sanitary District - Pick 3.......VOTES....PCT
PRECINCTS REPORTING 100%
Howard Kerr (I).......................... 9,894  25.83%
Tim Becker (I)........................... 9,863  25.75%
Shelia Young............................. 9,555  24.95%
Dan Walters.............................. 5,480  14.31%
Chike Udemezue........................... 3,301   8.62%
Write-In.................................   206   0.54%

ALAMEDA
Mayor.....................................VOTES....PCT
Precincts reporting 100%
Trish Spencer............................10,488  50.13%
Marie Gilmore (I)........................10,368  49.55%
Write-In.................................    67   0.32%

City Council - Pick 2.....................VOTES....PCT
Precincts reporting 100%
Frank Matarrese..........................11,103  36.30%
Jim Oddie................................10,231  33.45%
Stewart Chen (I)......................... 9,133  29.79%
Write-In.................................   141   0.46%

BERKELEY
City Council - District 1.................VOTES....PCT
Precincts reporting 100%
Linda Maio (I)........................... 3,035  54.54%
Alejandro Soto-Vigil..................... 2,261  40.63%
Merrilie Mitchell........................   250   4.49%

City Council - District 4.................VOTES....PCT
Precincts reporting 100%
Jesse Arreguin (I)....................... 2,301  95.40%
Write-In.................................   111   4.60%

City Council - District 7.................VOTES....PCT
Precincts reporting 100%
Kriss Worthington (I)....................   832  55.50%
Sean Barry...............................   662  44.16%

City Council - District 8.................VOTES....PCT
Precincts reporting 100%
Lori Droste.............................. 1,314  29.15%
George Beier............................. 1,193  26.46%
Mike Alvarez Cohen....................... 1,163  25.80%
Jacquelyn McCormick......................   830  18.41%
Write-In.................................     8   0.18%
Ranked Choice Final Round.................VOTES....PCT
Lori Droste...............................2,072  50.19%
George Beier..............................2,056  49.81%

FREMONT
City Council - Pick 2.....................VOTES....PCT
Precincts reporting 100%
Lily Mei.................................13,490  19.96%
Rick Jones...............................12,296  18.20%
Raj Salwan (I)...........................11,428  16.91%
Dirk Lorenz.............................. 9,905  14.66%
David Bonaccorsi......................... 7,024  10.39%
Rakesh Sharma............................ 5,778   8.55%
Nancy Liu................................ 4,681   6.93%
Marty Froomin............................ 1,719   2.54%
Syed Iqbal Ahmed......................... 1,147   1.70%
Write-In.................................   106   0.16%

HAYWARD
School Board - Pick 2.....................VOTES....PCT
Precincts reporting 100%
Lisa Brunner (I).........................13,462  41.90%
William McGee (I)........................ 9,990  31.09%
Marita Cheng............................. 8,414  26.19%
Write-In.................................   266   0.83%

OAKLAND
Mayor.....................................VOTES....PCT
Precincts reporting 100%
Libby Schaaf.............................29,983  29.43%
Jean Quan (I)............................15,724  15.43%
Rebecca Kaplan...........................14,608  14.34%
Dan Siegel...............................13,045  12.80%
Joe Tuman................................12,214  11.99%
Bryan Parker............................. 7,919   7.77%
Courtney Ruby............................ 3,095   3.04%
Jason Anderson........................... 1,543   1.51%
Charles Williams......................... 1,041   1.02%
Ken Houston..............................   514   0.50%
Peter Liu................................   453   0.44%
Write-In.................................   436   0.43%
Eric Wilson..............................   385   0.38%
Patrick McCullough.......................   360   0.35%
Nancy Sidebotham.........................   265   0.26%
Saied Karamooz...........................   261   0.26%
Sam Washington (Write-In)................    33   0.03%
Ranked Choice Final Round.................VOTES....PCT
Libby Schaaf.............................48,806  63.20%
Rebecca Kaplan...........................28,421  36.80%

City Council - District 2.................VOTES....PCT
Precincts reporting 100%
Abel Guillen............................. 4,868  35.93%
Dana King................................ 4,448  32.83%
Andrew Park.............................. 2,590  19.12%
Kevin Blackburn.......................... 1,294   9.55%
Ken Maxey................................   310   2.29%
Ranked Choice Final Round.................VOTES....PCT
Abel Guillen............................. 6,547  53.03%
Dana King................................ 5,800  46.97%

City Council - District 4.................VOTES....PCT
Precincts reporting 100%
Annie Campbell Washington................11,321  63.95%
Jill Broadhurst...........................5,322  30.06%
Paul Lim..................................1,005   5.68%

City Council - District 6.................VOTES....PCT
Precincts reporting 100%
Desley Brooks (I).........................4,759  42.60%
Shereda Nosakhare.........................3,345  29.94%
Michael Johnson...........................1,928  17.26%
James Moore...............................1,002   8.97%
Vicente Cruz (Write-In)...................   82   0.73
Write-In..................................   56   0.50%
Ranked Choice Final Round.................VOTES....PCT
Desley Brooks.............................5,430  52.33%
Shereda Nosakhare.........................4,946  47.67%

SAN LEANDRO
Mayor.....................................VOTES....PCT
Precincts reporting 100%
Pauline Cutter............................7,864  48.46%
Diana Souza...............................5,931  36.55%
Dan Dillman...............................2,224  13.70%
Gregg Daly (write-in).....................  124   0.76%
Write-In..................................   85   0.52%
Ranked Choice Final Round.................VOTES....PCT
Pauline Cutter............................8,801  57.27%
Diana Souza...............................6,566  42.73%

City Council - District 1.................VOTES....PCT
Precincts reporting 100%
Deborah Cox...............................6,534  42.23%
Mike Katz-Lacabe..........................3,470  22.42%
Ken Pon...................................3,347  21.63%
David Anderson, Sr........................2,040  13.18%
Write-In..................................   83   0.54%
Ranked Choice Final Round.................VOTES....PCT
Deborah Cox...............................8,989  64.96%
Mike Katz-Lacabe..........................4,799  35.04%

City Council - District 3.................VOTES....PCT
Precincts reporting 100%
Lee Thomas................................7,649  53.67%
Victor Aguilar............................4,561  32.00%
Allen Schoenfeld..........................1,923  13.49%
Write-In..................................  120   0.84%

City Council - District 5.................VOTES....PCT
Precincts reporting 100%
Corina Lopez..............................7,887  53.54%
Leah Hall.................................3,475  23.59%
Mia Ousley................................3,273  22.22%
Write-In..................................   97   0.66%

NOTABLE LOCAL TAX MEASURES
Measure BB - Alameda County
30-year, half-cent sales transportation tax
(2/3 MAJORITY NEEDED)
Precincts reporting 100%....VOTES....PCT
YES.......................240,557  70.76%
NO........................ 99,417  29.24%

Measure FF - Oakland
Citywide min. wage increase to $12.25/hr
(50%+1)
Precincts reporting 100%....VOTES....PCT
YES....................... 77,183  81.77%
NO........................ 17,204  18.23%

Measure Z - Oakland
Public safety parcel tax
(2/3 majority) 
Precincts reporting 100%....VOTES....PCT
YES....................... 75,556  77.49%
NO........................ 21,964  22.51%

Measure D - Berkeley
Soda tax
(50%+1)
Precincts reporting 100%....VOTES....PCT
YES....................... 29,540  76.17%
NO........................  9,243  23.83%

Measure HH - San Leandro

half-cent sales tax
(50%+1)
Precincts reporting 100%....VOTES....PCT
Yes....................... 10,452  64.45%
No........................  5,764  35.55%

Measure L - Hayward
School improvement bond
(55% majority)
Precincts reporting 100%....VOTES....PCT
Yes....................... 17,976  77.35%
No........................  5,263  22.65%

Friday, November 7, 2014

Brunner, McGee Win Re-Election To Hayward School Board; School Bond Measure Easily Passes

HAYWARD | SCHOOL BOARD | Incumbents Lisa Brunner and William McGee won re-election to the Hayward school board Tuesday night. Two seats were open to just three candidates.

Brunner, who along with McGee, were both elected four years ago, won 42 percent of the vote. McGee, who served as board president last year, garnered 31 percent. Hayward business owner Marita Cheng finished with 26 percent.

"The campaign was a tough one...the misnomers were rampant, but people reassured me on the campaign trail that they knew the truth. The voters showed it," McGee told his supporters. "With another four years comes continued growth and strengthening our education system."

Hayward voters also overwhelming approved Measure L, which allows the school district to issue $229 million in bonds to rebuild its school infrastructure. Hayward voters passed the measure with 77 percent approval. The measure needed 55 percent for passage.

HONDA DECLARES VICTORY IN COSTLY CONGRESSIONAL RACE

CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT | Sounding triumphant, Rep. Mike Honda declared victory in the hard-fought and costly race in the 17th Congressional District. Although ballots in both Santa Clara and Alameda Counties remain to be counted, Honda’s roughly four percentage point lead over fellow Democrat Ro Khanna has remained virtually constant since Tuesday night’s election.

Calling the 4,000 vote margin “insurmountable,” Honda thanked supporters Friday morning at his a campaign office in Newark. However, over a year jostling with his well-funded opponent appeared to come to a head as Honda slammed Khanna and the wealthy donors who supported him.

“Together, we sent a message that this election could not be bought by Super PACs and right-wing millionaires and billionaires,” said Honda. “My opponent’s donors wasted more than $5 million, through his campaign and Super PAC, to try to replace my progressive voice with someone who would do their bidding. And although we were outspent 2:1, they were no match for the more than 10,000 people who funded my campaign.”

Today I have a message for those right-wing millionaires and billionaires: You cannot buy grassroots. You could not buy it this year, and you will not be able to buy it next year either. This District, and our democracy, are not for sale.”

Khanna, a former Obama appointee to the U.S. Department of Commerce, received over $4.8 million in fundraising, according to finance reports ending in Oct. 15, from some of the most powerful interests in Silicon Valley. By contrast, even with the power of the incumbency on his side, Honda attracted less than half the amount.

Khanna is expected to concede the race Friday evening at a press conference in Fremont scheduled for 5:45 p.m.

If You Win Re-Election with 87 Percent of the Vote, I Guess it's Okay to Shoot Silly String with Stephen Colbert

Comedian Stephen Colbert shooting silly string with Rep. Barbara Lee during an episode Wednesday of The Colbert Report.
CONGRESS | 13TH DISTRICT | Rep. Barbara Lee won re-election Tuesday in another romp. The long time congressmember from Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro won over 87 percent of the vote against Republican Dakin Sundeen. On Wednesday, the congressional district was featured for comic releif on The Colbert Report.

The segment with fake newsman Stephen Colbert featured an exhaustive trading-off of a one-person wave and the pair shooting silly string at each other in the hallway of Lee's Washington office.

Later, Colbert feigned coming on to the 68-year-old representative. "I'm practicing abstinence right now, as we speak, but that could change if you play your cards right. I'm just saying. Am I the only one? I can't only be the only one feeling this right now. Turn the camera off I want to give her some privacy."

In addition, some in the media are raising eyebrows over a not particularly funny exchange when Colbert's conservative character asked Lee if she was a life-time member of the Urban Caucus.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Schaaf, Quan Vow A Seamless Transition

Oakland Mayor-elect Libby Schaaf at press conference Thursday morning at City Hall with Mayor Jean Quan in the background. PHOTOS/Steven Tavares
OAKLAND | MAYOR | Oakland's current and future mayor addressed the media two days after Libby Schaaf's surprisingly easy victory in the city's mayoral election.

Mayor Jean Quan and Mayor-elect Schaaf ended months of hard-fought campaigning with conciliatory tones during a press conference Thursday morning inside the City Council chambers.

"I stand on my record," Quan told reporters
Thursday morning at City Hall.
"We both love the city and I know we will work together to make sure the city continues to rise," said
Quan, who finished a disappointing third in her bid for re-election. Quan added, the result amounts to a "generational-handoff" in Oakland.

The gathering was Schaaf's first press conference since her dominating performance Tuesday night with nearly 63 percent of the electorate after ranked choice votes were tabulated. Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan finished second, followed by Quan.

"I'm deeply honored and incredibly humbled by Mayor Quan's reaching out and pledge to usher in a smooth, positive transition," said Schaaf.

"It is so exciting to be entrusted with the leadership of this city at this particular moment in time. You all know how crazily proud I am to be a Oakland native, born and raised--made in Oakland," said Schaaf. She plans to strengthen Oakland's brand not only locally, but nationally, and to communicate the city "tasty secret sauce" of a vibrant culinary and art community. A push to connect residents with City Hall through technology, in addition, to streamlining government, will occur under her administration, she said.

Schaaf said she will build upon Quan's efforts in increasing public safety and bolstering the police force. A focus on enticing investment and jobs to East Oakland is high on her early agenda, she said. The area has long been an underperforming segment of the city.

The new mayor will likely be thrown into the fire of city politics quickly. A slate of union contracts are up for negotiations and divisions between rich and poor and natives and newcomers accused of gentrifying neighborhoods still persist. A new city administrator will also need to be hired to replace the interim Henry Gardner, who is not seeking the job permanently.

The future of the city's professional sports teams and finding new stadiums for each is also a pressing concern. "How can we have a city without our sports teams?" said Schaaf. She will also continue down the path for the potential Coliseum City project and a vow to use "everything within my power to keep our sports teams in Oakland." Quan, though, later suggested she will use her last month in office to continue work on keeping the A's, Raiders and Warriors in the city.

"The honeymoon is probably already over," joked Quan to Schaaf, while referencing the recall that briefly beset her administration within its first six months in 2011, among other unforeseen early flashpoints.

Meanwhile, Quan also used the 30-minute press conference to bolster her legacy as mayor over the past four years. Citing reductions in the city deficits and violent crime, in addition, to near compliance with federally-mandated reforms at the Oakland Police Department, Quan said, "This is not the city it was four years ago."

Quan added she is  most proud about new affordable housing stock added in Oakland and intends to spend last few weeks furthering . "I feel proud about my record. I stand on my record."

As for the future, Quan says she and her family may take a vacation for the first time in six years, but plans to keep engaged in city politics. "We're never going to leave Oakland and we're all going to continue to be involved in some way."Some role at the state or federal level is also a possibility, she added.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bonta, Quirk Win Easy Re-Election To State Assembly

Assemblymembers Rob Bonta and Bill Quirk
won easy re-election Tuesday night.
ASSEMBLY | DISTRICT 18/20 | What a difference two years makes. Rob Bonta and Bill Quirk each won election to the State Assembly in 2012 following two of the closest races in the region. This time around was far easier.

Democratic Oakland Assemblymember Rob Bonta coasted to another sizable victory over Republican David Erlich. During the June Primary, Bonta beat Erlich by 70 points, five months later he matched the margin of victory. Bonta earned 85 percent of the vote in the 18th Assembly District Tuesday night to Erlich's 15 percent.

For Erlich, closing the gap just a bit was not in the cards after he was admitted to the hospital Oct. 9 for emergency surgery for a perforated ulcer. Last Friday, Erlich said he would remain at San Leandro Hospital past Election Day.

Two years ago, Bonta narrowly edged out Abel Guillen in the 18th District by just one percent of the vote. During the same election, Quirk also faced a tougher-than-expected race against Jennifer Ong. The former Hayward council member won by just 917 votes.

The margin of victory Tuesday night was much different. Quirk, a Democrat, won re-election to the Hayward-Tri Cities Assembly seat over Republican Jaime Patino. Quirk won 71 percent of the vote, followed by Patino's 29 percent.

Raburn, Three Other Incumbents Sweep East Bay Transit Races

BART | AC TRANSIT | Incumbents in all four East Bay transportation races cruised to victory Tuesday night.

BART District 4 board director Robert Raburn staved off a well-funded bid by Alameda Councilmember Lena Tam for the seat representing the island and parts of Oakland and San Leandro.

Raburn's role in the BART strike riled many in the district's labor movement, but Tam's pro-union credentials fell short on Election Day and may have even been undercut by the third member in the race, Larry Lionel Young, Jr.

Raburn earned 53.7 percent of the vote over Tam's 35.3 percent and Young who garnered 10.4 percent.

Three AC Transit contests sent incumbents back to their board of directors seats led by notorious At-Large Director Joel Young, who, despite his lengthy list of negative beat two challengers.

Young, with 53.5 percent of the vote, topped former AC Transit bus driver Dollene Jones, who finished a distant second at 33.7 percent. Adrienne Andrews followed with 12.1 percent.

AC Transit Ward 4 Director Mark Williams won re-election with 58.2 percent over Murphy McCalley's 40.8 percent. In addition, Ward 5 Director Jeff Davis beat Kewal Singh by a 56-44 percent margin.

Kaplan Concedes Mayor's Race; Congratulates Schaaf

Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan
OAKLAND | MAYOR | Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan has conceded victory Wednesday evening to Oakland Mayor-elect Libby Schaaf.

In a statement that followed Mayor Jean Quan's concession earlier in the day, Kaplan vowed to collaborate in the future with her soon-to-be former council colleague.

“This afternoon, I’m proud to congratulate Mayor-elect Libby Schaaf on her incredibly well-fought campaign to move Oakland forward," said Kaplan. "Mayor-elect Schaaf and I share a deep and profound commitment to making Oakland stronger, safer and more prosperous. We’ll together represent the entire city, and I’m excited to partner with her on a wide variety of ways to improve the city that she and I both love.

I ran for mayor because Oakland needs strong leadership, and because Oakland needs a fresh start. Today, we unite around our next mayor and dedicate ourselves to supporting her and our city in every way that we can.

Finally, I’m incredibly proud of the positive campaign we ran. My commitment to serving Oakland has never been stronger, and as City Council President Pro Tem, I’ll continue to put Oakland first every single day."

Schaaf bested Kaplan in the final round of ranked choice voting by a large margin Tuesday night, 63 percent to 37 percent.

A Seismic Political Shift Rattles Alameda

ALAMEDA | MAYOR | CITY COUNCIL | Alameda voters may have handed the city's status quo a series of humbling defeats Tuesday night. Opponents of the city's development plans loudly registered their voice at the ballot box during an election that could upend first-term Mayor Marie Gilmore's shot at re-election. Other members of the city's pro-development slate could face the wrath of voters.

In potentially one of the biggest upsets in the East Bay, Alameda school board member Trish Spencer leads Gilmore by two percentage points with all precincts reporting. Uncounted ballots, however, still remain, making this race too close to call. Spencer leads by a thin 287 margin with 50.9 percent of the vote, followed by Gilmore at 48.7 percent.

Few observers gave Spencer much chance against the well-funded Gilmore, but the challenger's anti-development message for Alameda Point apparently energized voters. The issue also colored the City Council race where three candidates were vying for two open seats.

Another anti-development candidate, former Councilmember Frank Matarrese, appears headed to a third term on the City Council. Returns show Matarrese leading the pack with 36.9 percent. The race for the second seat is still up in the air, though. Councilmember Stewart Chen trails Jim Oddie by 656 votes with some ballots uncounted. Oddie, who serves as Assemblymember Rob Bonta's district director, won 33.0 percent of the vote, followed by Chen's 29.6 percent.

Like Gilmore, Chen runs the risk of being swept over by the tide of upset Alameda voters. Others within the city's status quo were not safe Tuesday night. School board member Mike McMahon's re-election is headed to defeat. He remains four percentage points from one of two open seats on the Alameda school board.

In addition, but somewhat tangential, another supporter of development, Alameda Councilmember Lena Tam, also met defeat in her race for the District 4 BART Board of Directors race. Tam is termed out this year.

Not related to the anti-development rancor in Alameda, but notable, is likely the closest race in the East Bay. Newcomer Jim Meyers holds a razor-thin 30 vote lead for the last of three open seat on the Alameda Healthcare District Board of Directors over incumbent Lynn Mark Bratchett.

CUTTER ELECTED SAN LEANDRO MAYOR; THREE NEWCOMERS ADDED TO NEXT CITY COUNCIL

San Leandro Mayor-elect Pauline Cutter.
SAN LEANDRO | MAYOR | CITY COUNCIL | Councilmember Pauline Cutter will be the next mayor of San Leandro after ranked choice voting Wednesday morning built upon an 11-point lead over Councilmember Diana Souza.

Cutter won 57 percent of the vote, followed by Souza's 43 percent after ranked choice voting tabulations. Early returns showed Cutter taking a commanding lead with 48 percent of the first place vote. Souza garnered 37 percent, while theater owner Dan Dillman registered 14 percent support.

The presence of two evenly matched council members in a three-person race left the potential for Dillman's supporters to potentially sway the election, but that did not happen. Of Dillman's 1,394 votes, 487 second-places were allocated to Cutter, as opposed to, 371 for Souza. However, 533 voters only pledged support for Dillman. These ballots were deemed exhausted before the final round of tabulations.

In a city, historically dominated by male political leaders, Cutter now becomes the third woman in the last 20 years to hold the mayor's office, following Ellen Corbett and Shelia Young.

Councilmember-elect Corina Lopez
In addition to Cutter's elevation to mayor, San Leandro also welcomes three new council members. By next January, four of the the seven-person City Council will be sworn-in to office representing one of the biggest changeovers in San Leandro history.

In District 1, Deborah Cox easily topped the four-person field with 65.1 percent of the vote following four rounds of ranked choice tabulations. School board member Mike Katz-Lacabe finished second with 34.9 percent. Cox's also gained a large percentage of first-place votes which was furthered by support from the third and fourth-place finishers. Cox won 42.3 percent of first-place votes, followed by Katz-Lacabe at 22.3 percent; Ken Pon with 21.5 percent and David Anderson, Sr. with 13.9 percent.

Two other council races eshewed the ranked choice algorithm by gaining an early majority of the vote. In District 3, Lee Thomas scored 53.7 percent of the vote, followed by Victor Aguilar at 33.0 percent and Allen Schoenfeld with 13.3 percent.

School board member Corina Lopez avenged her 2010 defeat to easily win the District 5 race. Lopez won 54.9 percent of the vote Wednesday. Community activists Leah Hall, 24.0 percent, and Mia Ousley, 21.1 percent, followed.