Friday, November 12, 2010

READER CONTEST: Help Robert Gammon Find a New Life's Mission

by Stephen Buel
Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Astute readers of this blog and web site know that staff writer Robert Gammon has had a slight obsession with former state senator Don Perata. But now that the Don has lost the mayor's race and promised to retire his life-size Tony Soprano cut-out, Bob confronts a potential identity crisis of vast proportions. Who is Robert Gammon without his long-time foil? What will his life's mission be without shady financial dealings to expose? Where should he redirect his considerable energies, now that Perata is likely to stalk the earth only as a lobbyist for an assortment of unsavory enterprises? That's where you come in.

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Oakland Coliseum Named One of USA's Veg-Friendliest

by Anneli Rufus
Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 7:26 AM

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has just released its third annual list of the most vegetarian-friendly NFL stadiums, and Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum ranked second.

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Friday Must Read: Perata Consultant Says They Should Have Attacked Quan and Kaplan More; Gas-Taking Alameda Fire Chief Quits

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 6:58 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. John Whitehurst, a political consultant for ex-state Senator Don Perata, told the Trib’s Josh Richman that the campaign’s only mistake was not attacking Jean Quan and Rebecca Kaplan. Perata had depended on a Sacramento group with close ties to him to finance hit-pieces against Quan during the fall, but his own campaign didn’t go negative on her. And he and his supporters laid off Kaplan after attacking her in June. Whitehurst, however, apparently didn’t acknowledge the numerous mistakes the Perata campaign made with ranked choice voting.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Perata Slips Silently Into the Night

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 12:20 PM

Former state senator Don Perata said Thursday morning he will step back into the role of citizen and do whatever he can for the City of Oakland and its new Mayor-Elect, Jean Quan.

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Breaking News: Report: Perata Concedes Defeat

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Ex-state Senator Don Perata conceded defeat this morning in the Oakland mayor's race to Councilwoman Jean Quan and will not request a recount, Oakland North is reporting.

Update 10:48 a.m.: KCBS just tweeted the same thing.

Update 11:17 a.m.: The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, which backed Perata in the mayor's race, just announced official congratulations to Quan for winning. From the chamber's press release: "Jean Quan will be Oakland’s next Mayor! The two-term Councilmember and former School Board member defeated former State Senator Don Perata by capturing more second and third-choice votes in Oakland’s first ranked-choice election. "

Update 11:25 a.m.: Here's the story from KCBS on Perata's decision not to challenge the results of the election. It's a Bay City News report.

Thursday Must Read: Oakland to Allow Eight Pot Clubs; Brown Faces $25 Billion Deficit

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 7:11 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. In other example of be careful what you wish for, Governor-elect Jerry Brown will face a $25 billion state budget deficit when he takes office in January, the Chron reports, citing a new report from the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office. The report recommends putting all issues on the table, including raising taxes and deep budget cuts.

2. The Oakland City Council voted to increase the number of authorized medical cannabis dispensaries in the city from four to eight, the Chron reports. The council also established regulatory guidelines for permitting four large medical marijuana grows in the city.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010


by Robert Gammon
Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 6:05 PM

Oakland City Councilwoman Jean Quan has won the Oakland mayor's race, defeating ex-state Senator Don Perata, 50.98% to 49.02%.

Update 6:08 p.m.: The results aren't up yet on the registrar's office website. But our reporter Ellen Cushing is at the registrar's office with the results. Quan 53,778 votes to Perata 51,720.

Update 6:19 p.m.: Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan also fell just short of catching Quan. Kaplan had 32,645 votes compared to Quan's 34,958 votes before Kaplan is eliminated in the next-to-last round of ranked choice tabulations. But then when Kaplan is out, Quan slingshots past Perata, picking up 18,820 second- and third-place votes from Kaplan supporters, while Perata only gets 6,390.

Update 6:25 p.m.: From Quan: "David has beaten Goliath: we have shown that old-fashioned grass roots organizing and hard, honest campaigning can overcome big money, machine politics.”

Update 6:29 p.m.: From Kaplan: “I congratulate Mayor-elect Jean Quan on her victory. She ran a tremendous grass roots campaign and reached thousands of voters block-by-block. I look forward to working with Jean to create jobs and make our streets safer by working to restore community policing."

Update 6:34 p.m.: Perata still got the most first-place votes, but his inability to pick up second- and third-choices allowed Quan to sweep by him. Perata received 40,224 first-place votes (33.72%), followed by Quan with 29,206 (24.48%), Kaplan with 25,751 (21.59%), and Joe Tuman with 14,318 (12.00%).

Update 6:38 p.m.: Quan becomes the first woman mayor in Oakland history. She also is the first Asian-American woman mayor of a major US city.

Update 6:40 p.m.: More from Quan: “My family has lived in Oakland for over 100 years. My parents were poor immigrants. My mother was illiterate and my dad died when I was five. My parents worked in Oakland hotels, restaurants and garment factories. I attended public schools and went to UC Berkeley on a scholarship. As a college student I was founder of Asian American studies and helped organize tutoring programs for students West Oakland and Chinatown, and helped fight redevelopment removal of local residents there, too."

Update 6:42 p.m. From Quan's press release: "Quan has launched a nationwide search for a professional City Administrator to serve as the City’s chief operations officer to the Mayor’s Chief Executive Officer role. She has asked well-respected former Oakland city manager Henry Gardener, recently retired Executive Director of the Association of Bay Area Governments, and former Berkeley City Manager Dan Boggan to help recruit an experienced, professional city administrator with strong progressive roots."

Update 6:45 p.m.: More from Quan: “Come January when I take the oath as Oakland’s first woman mayor, I’ll take office in City Hall 8 blocks from where my great-grandfather took refuge in Oakland after the 1906 Earthquake, 6 blocks from where my mother-in-law and sister worked as garment workers, and 4 blocks from where my father was a hotel cook. I am grateful and humbled by the trust the voters have placed on me as their new Mayor.”

Update 6:46 p.m.: More From Kaplan: "I am proud — not only of the campaign we ran — but of the city we’re a part of. Throughout this journey, I was honored to work towards helping form a new coalition in an effort to create a stronger, safer and more prosperous city. Oakland has its share of challenges, but together our community’s leadership on critical issues will bring people together in a profound and powerful way. I will continue to represent all Oaklanders on the City Council, and I will launch new initiatives to promote job creation, public safety and governmental reform. My campaign has shown that we can introduce innovative ideas to a debate on the future of our city in a positive and uplifting way."

Update 6:49 p.m.: Registrar spokesman Guy Ashley says the office is still having trouble loading the data on the website. But that it should be up soon.

Update 7:04 p.m.: Results show that the registrar counted about 23,000 late absentee and provisional ballots in the Oakland mayor's race between Friday afternoon and today. But all of those ballots were not enough for either Perata or Kaplan to catch up to Quan. In fact, today's percentages closely mirror the results released on Friday. That means those 23,000 voters voted very much like the 96,000 or so whose ballots were counted last week.

Update 7:10 p.m.: Perata campaign consultant John Whitehurst told the Chronicle that ranked choice voting "is an injustice, and Oakland will pay the price. It's a travesty that a candidate that wins 78 percent of the precincts and leads by more than 11,000 votes (after first-choice votes are counted), with a margin of nearly 10 percent, loses the election. In any other contest it would be a landslide win, not an election loss."

BREAKING NEWS: Oakland Mayor's Results To Be Released Today

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 4:52 PM

The Jean Quan campaign is reporting that the Alameda County Registrar of Voters plans to release results this afternoon at 6 for the Oakland mayor's race.

Update 4:56 p.m.: Quan campaign spokeswoman Sue Piper said Registrar Dave MacDonald told her that his office is done counting the remaining provisional ballots and will post the results at 6 p.m. The results will include the ranked choice voting tabulations.

Update 4:58 p.m.: From Dave MacDonald: “We believe we have completed our ballot count for Oakland and San Leandro, though it is possible that a very small number of ballots in those races remain to be counted. If there are any remaining ballots, I don’t believe there are enough to alter the outcome of the races in Oakland and San Leandro.’’

Update 5:02 p.m.: The registrar is not done counting provisional ballots from Berkeley, but has decided to go ahead and post the Oakland and San Leandro results, because the Berkeley races have all been decided.

Update 5:08 p.m.: Last night, the registrar posted results from all races in Alameda County — except for those that involved ranked choice voting in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Leandro. MacDonald said earlier this week that he did not plan to post the results from those contests until his office was done counting all the ballots.

Harris Closes on Cooley Because of Alameda County

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Democrat Kamala Harris has gained significant ground on Republican Steve Cooley in the attorney general's race thanks to Alameda County voters. The latest numbers show Harris trails Cooley by 9,555 votes, down from about 43,000 votes yesterday. And it appears that Alameda County is the reason.

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McNerney Surges Thanks to Alameda County Returns

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 1:04 PM

East Bay Democratic Congressman Jerry McNerney has surged ahead of Republican David Harmer thanks to thousands of ballots recently tabulated in Alameda County. McNerney now leads Harmer by 2,226 votes, a gain of about 1,600 since Tuesday. And it appears that nearly all of it is due to Alameda County. During the past several days, as the county registrar has counted about 85,000 late absentee and provisional ballots, McNerney picked up 2,480 more votes than Harmer — 5,777 to 3,297.

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