Monday, July 16, 2012

Ignacio De La Fuente and Jane Brunner’s Ballot Measures Fizzle

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Jul 16, 2012 at 10:22 AM

A proposal by Oakland City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente to overturn ranked-choice voting appears to have died before it even reached the city council. De La Fuente, with the help of council President Larry Reid, had tried to put his proposal on the council’s July 17 agenda without going through the usual committee process. But the Oakland Tribune reported over the weekend that De La Fuente’s proposed measure for the November ballot was stricken from the agenda because he could not get the support of either Mayor Jean Quan or City Administrator Deanna Santana, as required by city regulations. Quan is a strong supporter of ranked choice voting, also known as instant-runoff voting, or IRV.

De La Fuente
  • De La Fuente
De La Fuente’s failure means that his ballot measure proposal appears to be dead, because tomorrow night’s council meeting is the last one scheduled before the council goes on recess until September. When the council returns, it will be past the deadline for putting a measure on the November ballot.

In addition, Councilwoman Jane Brunner’s proposal for a term-limits ballot measure also looks like it’s dead. Brunner, like De La Fuente, failed to get the necessary support needed to even put her proposal on the council’s agenda before the August recess.

Brunner
  • Brunner
The failures by Brunner and De La Fuente alleviate concerns that they would have used the twin ballot measures to help their respective campaigns for office this fall. Brunner is running against City Attorney Barbara Parker and sources said De La Fuente is considering a run against Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan for her At-Large seat. Brunner and De La Fuente share the same campaign manager — Larry Tramutola — and the ballot measures would have allowed the three of them to raise and spend unlimited funds for the measures and thus effectively circumvent the city’s strict spending caps for candidate campaigns.

Although Brunner is continuing her run for city attorney, it’s unclear whether De La Fuente will take on Kaplan, will run for reelection for his own District Five seat, or will retire from the council. The longtime councilman must make a decision by August 10 — the deadline to be on the November ballot.

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