Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bay Guardian Releases Endorsements

By Chris Thompson
Wed, Oct 8, 2008 at 8:51 AM

The San Francisco Bay Guardian has released its list of endorsements of candidates in the upcoming East Bay races, although we doubt the editors pay enough attention to the East Bay for their thoughts to really matter. Nonetheless, here they are, for what it's worth.

Dennis Hayashi gets the nod for Superior Court Judge. Tom Bates wins the endorsement for another term as Berkeley's mayor, although the Guardian's a little jumpy about his land-use policies. The Guardian likes Jesse Arreguin to replace Dona Spring, Sophie Hahn to unseat Laurie Capitelli, and Phoebe Ann Sorgen against Susan Wengraf in the seat vacated by Betty Olds. In Oakland, Rebecca Kaplan beats Kerry Hamill for the at-large City Council endorsement. Incumbents Chris Peeples and Greg Harper get the pick to return to the AC Transit board, and water district board candidates Doug Linney and Bob Feinbaum pick up endorsements as well.

Now, onto the ballot measures. The Guardian likes Measure FF, Berkeley's library bond, the Measure GG tax for emergency response, and Measure JJ, which would render pot clubs an acceptable use under local zoning laws. The paper doesn't like Measure KK, which would require voter approval for the installation of Bus Rapid Transit lines. (BRT lines, which would reserve lanes of traffic on certain thoroughfares for the exclusive use of cars, have attracted a great deal of opposition over the years.) The Guardian also opposes Measure LL, a plan to limit the powers of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which has occasionally been used to scuttle housing development for spurious reasons.

In Oakland, the paper likes Measure N, the parcel tax to boost teacher salaries. (Oddly, the Guardian doesn't mention that just about everyone, including the Oakland teachers' union, opposes the tax.) The paper also likes Measure OO, the idiotic, micromanaging "Kid's First II" plan to reserve a certain percentage of the city's budget for children's services. Finally, they like the AC Transit parcel tax and extending the Park District bond.

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