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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Endorsements

Re: “Kaplan, Quan, and Tuman for Oakland Mayor

Fraser,

I actually used to think Tom was a bad apple. After all he made a lot of money developing frog town into a tech center. Since then, however he has embraced the community is such a positive way. I love everything he has done in Richmond. He and Andrew have really benefited Richmond in so many ways.

Posted by RdwithCypress on 10/27/2010 at 8:45 PM

Re: “A Recap of East Bay Express Endorsements

Prime blight abatement contractor for CEDA pays piddling permit fees for personal residence
October 27, 2010
CEDA Building Services staff gave preferential treatment in permit fees for an addition to his personal residence to Arthur Young, owner of Arthur Young Debris Removal Service, the number one contractor used by CEDA to abate blight. Building Services records show that in 2008, Young paid only $353.66 for permits to build a 2,361 square foot addition to his home at 13811 Campus Drive. By contrast, permit fees for a comparable project — a 2,700-foot home at 556 Fairbanks, in 2006 – cost over $17,000, or roughly 5% of the estimated cost of the project. Had Young been charged this more-customary percentage, his permit fees would have totaled in the thousands.

To see the rest of the story got to:

http://www.auditoaklandceda.com/index.php?…


Auditor Candidate Kilian Files Nepotism Complaint Against CEDA Top-Dog Antoinette Renwick
October 22, 2010

Michael Kilian, candidate for city auditor, reported to the Oakland Public Ethics Commission that Building Services Inspection Services Manager Antoinette Holloway-Renwick failed to report a close familial relationship with Arthur Young, who owns Arthur Young Debris Removal Service, the City's number one blight abatement contractor.

CLICK TO READ COMPLETE ARTICLE...
Michael Kilian, candidate for city auditor, reported to the Oakland Public Ethics Commission that Building Services Inspection Services Manager Antoinette Holloway-Renwick failed to report a close familial relationship with Arthur Young, who owns Arthur Young Debris Removal Service, the City's number one blight abatement contractor.
Kilian's complaint alleges that this relationship costs the City millions of dollars a year because of the preferential treatment Young receives from Holloway-Renwick. Building Services records, as well as a deposition of Holloway-Renwick in an unrelated lawsuit, reveal that Holloway-Renwick was directly responsible for both contract and invoice approval for Arthur Young Debris Removal Service. The amount of those contracts exceeds $4 million since 2007.

A 2007 audit of Public Works contract bidding process showed that Arthur Young Debris Removal Service was the number one Public Works contractor at that time.

Courtney Ruby's hiring-practices audit, dated October 21, 2009, does not include Holloway-Renwick's relationship with Arthur Young.

Holloway-Renwick retired several days after Kilian filed his complaint.

Posted by RdwithCypress on 10/27/2010 at 8:14 PM

Re: “25 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Vote for Don Perata

Prime blight abatement contractor for CEDA pays piddling permit fees for personal residence
October 27, 2010
CEDA Building Services staff gave preferential treatment in permit fees for an addition to his personal residence to Arthur Young, owner of Arthur Young Debris Removal Service, the number one contractor used by CEDA to abate blight. Building Services records show that in 2008, Young paid only $353.66 for permits to build a 2,361 square foot addition to his home at 13811 Campus Drive. By contrast, permit fees for a comparable project — a 2,700-foot home at 556 Fairbanks, in 2006 – cost over $17,000, or roughly 5% of the estimated cost of the project. Had Young been charged this more-customary percentage, his permit fees would have totaled in the thousands.

To see the rest of the story got to:

http://www.auditoaklandceda.com/index.php?…

Posted by RdwithCypress on 10/27/2010 at 8:12 PM

Re: “Kaplan, Quan, and Tuman for Oakland Mayor

Prime blight abatement contractor for CEDA pays piddling permit fees for personal residence
October 27, 2010
CEDA Building Services staff gave preferential treatment in permit fees for an addition to his personal residence to Arthur Young, owner of Arthur Young Debris Removal Service, the number one contractor used by CEDA to abate blight. Building Services records show that in 2008, Young paid only $353.66 for permits to build a 2,361 square foot addition to his home at 13811 Campus Drive. By contrast, permit fees for a comparable project — a 2,700-foot home at 556 Fairbanks, in 2006 – cost over $17,000, or roughly 5% of the estimated cost of the project. Had Young been charged this more-customary percentage, his permit fees would have totaled in the thousands.

To see the rest of the story got to:

http://www.auditoaklandceda.com/index.php?…

Posted by RdwithCypress on 10/27/2010 at 8:06 PM

Re: “End Prohibition; Vote Yes on Prop 19

It is fantasy to believe that any modern society can exist without at least one inebriant commonly used by adults.
Shouldn't it be the parents family and friends who decide the right and wrong behavior, what is safe and what is adult, proper, immodest, or degenerate? And we teach this by example to our kids?
Pot is the LEAST of California's problems (for health, happiness, reason, children, crime or anything), so why is the NANNY state so viciously enforcing morality laws upon otherwise law abiding taxpayers for Hemp flower gardening, use or sale? Can California taxpayers afford this unconstitutional punishment of "imoral behavior"? What with overpriced and overcrowded prisons, drug task forces with paramilitary swat police helicopters, jails and overflowing courts, all costs helping to break state county and municipal budgets (and that we for pay so dearly, and who should serve society by catching, trying, and imprisoning murderers, rapists, polluters, poachers and thieves).
Is it a wise policy that so monetarily and morally bankrupts our government, without any possible "victory" without end?

Posted by nobodyslaw on 10/26/2010 at 8:35 PM

Re: “25 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Vote for Don Perata

Courtney Ruby fails to report preferential treatment given to a supporter and misses nepotism within CEDA


Building Services records obtained yesterday show that in 2008 Ruby supporter Carlos Plazola, former Chief of Staff of Ignacio Delafuente, president of Terra Linda Development, and founder of the Oakland Builders' Alliance, had a $10,000 fence erected at the City's expense and paid for by Building Services from Fund 2415. The fence was erected by Arthur Young Debris Removal Service, the City's #1 blight abatement contractor and, according to a complaint filed by Michael Kilian, a relation of former Buiding Services Inspection Services Manager Antoinette Holloway-Renwick.
Building Services records reveal that Holloway-Renwick was directly responsible for both contract and invoice approval for Arthur Young Debris Removal Service.
A 2007 audit of Public Works contract bidding process also showed that Arthur Young was the #1 Public Works contractor at that time.


Courtney Ruby's nepotism audit does not appear to have either detected or corrected the Renwick/Young nepotism.
Renwick held the title of Inspection Services Manager from 2002 until October 15, when she appears to have retired five days after Kilian's complaint was received by City staff.

http://www.auditoaklandceda.com/index.php?…

Posted by RdwithCypress on 10/26/2010 at 5:45 PM

Re: “25 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Vote for Don Perata

These guys support and donate to the Don!

Michael Kilian Files Nepotism Complaint Against CEDA Top-Dog Antoinette Holloway-Renwick
Michael Kilian, candidate for city auditor, reported to the Oakland Public Ethics Commission that Building Services Inspection Services Manager Antoinette Holloway-Renwick failed to report a close familial relationship with Arthur Young, who owns Arthur Young Debris Removal Service, the City's number one blight abatement contractor.

Kilian's complaint alleges that this relationship costs the City millions of dollars a year because of the preferential treatment Young receives from Holloway-Renwick. Building Services records, as well as a deposition of Holloway-Renwick in an unrelated lawsuit, reveal that Holloway-Renwick was directly responsible for both contract and invoice approval for Arthur Young Debris Removal Service. The amount of those contracts exceeds $4 million since 2007.

A 2007 audit of Public Works contract bidding process showed that Arthur Young Debris Removal Service was the number one Public Works contractor at that time.

Courtney Ruby's hiring-practices audit, dated October 21, 2009, does not include Holloway-Renwick's relationship with Arthur Young.

Holloway-Renwick retired several days after Kilian filed his complaint.
http://www.auditoaklandceda.com/index.php?…


Posted by RdwithCypress on 10/26/2010 at 5:44 PM

Re: “Kaplan, Quan, and Tuman for Oakland Mayor

Michael Kilian Files Nepotism Complaint Against CEDA Top-Dog Antoinette Holloway-Renwick
Michael Kilian, candidate for city auditor, reported to the Oakland Public Ethics Commission that Building Services Inspection Services Manager Antoinette Holloway-Renwick failed to report a close familial relationship with Arthur Young, who owns Arthur Young Debris Removal Service, the City's number one blight abatement contractor.

Kilian's complaint alleges that this relationship costs the City millions of dollars a year because of the preferential treatment Young receives from Holloway-Renwick. Building Services records, as well as a deposition of Holloway-Renwick in an unrelated lawsuit, reveal that Holloway-Renwick was directly responsible for both contract and invoice approval for Arthur Young Debris Removal Service. The amount of those contracts exceeds $4 million since 2007.

A 2007 audit of Public Works contract bidding process showed that Arthur Young Debris Removal Service was the number one Public Works contractor at that time.

Courtney Ruby's hiring-practices audit, dated October 21, 2009, does not include Holloway-Renwick's relationship with Arthur Young.

Holloway-Renwick retired several days after Kilian filed his complaint.


http://www.auditoaklandceda.com/index.php?…

Posted by RdwithCypress on 10/26/2010 at 5:35 PM

Re: “Kaplan, Quan, and Tuman for Oakland Mayor

Courtney Ruby fails to report preferential treatment given to a supporter and misses nepotism within CEDA


Building Services records obtained yesterday show that in 2008 Ruby supporter Carlos Plazola, former Chief of Staff of Ignacio Delafuente, president of Terra Linda Development, and founder of the Oakland Builders' Alliance, had a $10,000 fence erected at the City's expense and paid for by Building Services from Fund 2415. The fence was erected by Arthur Young Debris Removal Service, the City's #1 blight abatement contractor and, according to a complaint filed by Michael Kilian, a relation of former Buiding Services Inspection Services Manager Antoinette Holloway-Renwick.
Building Services records reveal that Holloway-Renwick was directly responsible for both contract and invoice approval for Arthur Young Debris Removal Service.
A 2007 audit of Public Works contract bidding process also showed that Arthur Young was the #1 Public Works contractor at that time.


Courtney Ruby's nepotism audit does not appear to have either detected or corrected the Renwick/Young nepotism.
Renwick held the title of Inspection Services Manager from 2002 until October 15, when she appears to have retired five days after Kilian's complaint was received by City staff.

http://www.auditoaklandceda.com/index.php?…

Posted by RdwithCypress on 10/26/2010 at 5:34 PM

Re: “25 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Vote for Don Perata

Worth remembering is Perata's role in doing a hit piece on Barbara Lee when she first ran for Congress. One of the saddest aspects of the Don's reign in East Bay politics is the effect he has had on some others who I could name, having convinced some people who came to politics with sound principles to cut corners and join with him in hopes this would give them a leg up in gaining power. The result has been an embarassment for their friends.

Posted by Jack Radey on 10/26/2010 at 1:03 PM

Re: “Kaplan, Quan, and Tuman for Oakland Mayor

You forgot to list Jean Quan's biggest strength: her ability to blame all of her policy mistakes on other people and her uncanny sense of timing of when to jump to a new elected position just before her prior organization goes belly up.

Ask her about her years leading OUSD and why she approved both Ebonics and approving raises and hiring with money they never had. Depending on the day and how competent the questioner, Quan will say she was intimidated by the then Superintendent, hoodwinked by OUSD accountants, mislead by bad accounting software, or simply not present at the moment of formal state takeover.

Not unreasonable explanations if you don't know the details and didn't know that for decades OUSD couldn't afford raises. Why should Quan as school board president believe OUSD staff when they announce they have pulled a fiscal rabbit out of a hat?

Answer: she wanted to help the teachers and the kids but is innumerate.

But give her her due, she sails out of OUSD before the state takeover and becomes head of the CIty Council Finance Committee.

While on the city council, she joins her fellow members and approves 33% RETROACTIVE pension increases for herself and ALL city employees. Hundreds of millions of additional future Calpers city contributions committed in one fell swoop.

Every time union contracts came up, she and her colleagues approved granting retirement medical benefits that are now pegged at upwards of $600Million in the city's financial statement footnotes.

Ask her about those decisions and not a hint of regret. No, to paraphraseh re stock replies "the state made us do it"; "we had to compete with SF"; "lots of other cities' officials did the same thing"; "how can you expect us to know the stock market might drop and real estate transfer taxes plummet".

Not once does she concede that just maybe during those dot com and real estate boom times, it would have prudent to put some money aside to fund those retiree medical benefits or fix some of the deferred sidewalk,road and building repairs.

Last week Quan spoke before a supportive group at the Humanist Hall. You can watch the video and fast forward toward the ending Q&A.

She declares with a straight face that the city isn't in terrible shape because it will be at least 6 years before it goes bankrupt.

So Jean has already planned her timely exit from what she hopes is her next job as Mayor.

Anyone but Jean.

-len raphael, temescal
Perata for Mayor
Kilian for Auditor

Posted by len raphael on 10/25/2010 at 10:10 PM

Re: “Brown, Boxer, McLaughlin, and Santos

Once again, we are told to hold our noses and vote for Jerry Brown.
Speaking as a former Oakland resident, I have never seen a public figure whose record of betrayal and deceit are just beyond comprehension. Having seen this man in person on a number of occasions, his insincerity and self-centeredness were almost palpable. I found him to be absolutely oblivious to those around him, and would just arrogantly ignore any critical questions that were asked of him.

My impression was of a man with no loyalties, no morals, no causes, and who believes in absolutely nothing save his bottomless ambition.

Indeed, I find Mr. Edmund Gerald Brown Junior to be amorality personified.

There is an old Italian saying-
Better the enemy I know then the friend who will betray me.

I love you California!

Posted by JFD on 10/25/2010 at 4:34 PM

Re: “Kaplan, Quan, and Tuman for Oakland Mayor

If you believe as I do that Oakland citizens need to make more of a stand for good and ethical government, like Tom Butt in Richmond has brought to the table in that nearby city for many years, then join us! You can learn more about this nascent movement to put a glaring spotlight on issues of ethical conduct and misconduct by our candidates for office and current officeholders by contacting:
ethicsforoakland@gmail.com

MFraser

Posted by Modestexpert on 10/24/2010 at 2:35 PM

Re: “Brown, Boxer, McLaughlin, and Santos

Oakland citizens need to make more of a stand for good and ethical government, like Tom Butt in Richmond has brought to the table in that nearby city for many years. Join us in this nascent movement to make issues of ethical conduct by our candidates for office and office holders by contacting:
ethicsforoakland@gmail.com

MFraser

Posted by Modestexpert on 10/24/2010 at 2:31 PM

Re: “25 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Vote for Don Perata

For those interested in issues of 'good government' and trying to hold our candidates for office and officeholders in Oakland to a higher standard of conduct, please email:
ethicsforoakland@gmail.com

MFraser

Posted by Modestexpert on 10/24/2010 at 2:21 PM

Re: “25 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Vote for Don Perata

Here's some interesting info on the state prison guard union, which apparently has a budget of about $30M annually. $6M is for political campaigning, and obviously having received about $1M or more from them in the last year both in campaign support and in direct payments of about $5M for 'consulting,' Perata seems to be one of their very top priorities:

http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_16…

Posted by Modestexpert on 10/24/2010 at 10:58 AM

Re: “Kaplan, Quan, and Tuman for Oakland Mayor

Jean Quan is extremely strong on education. Education is the key to our kids moving up and forward in life. I trust Jean Quan. Is she perfect? No. Has she made mistakes? Probably. But, I know that with Jean Quan I won't be constantly worried about where the city money is going. I will also be voting for Kaplan and Tuman with Oakland’s new voting system. I like candidates who haven’t had the FBI investigating them a number of times like they have with Perata.

Posted by Rach&Roll on 10/24/2010 at 9:33 AM

Re: “25 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Vote for Don Perata

"Listen, Jeff--you--you don't understand these things-
-you mustn't condemn me for my part in this without-
-you've had no experience-
-you see things as black or white-
-and a man as angel or devil.
That's the young idealist in you.
And that isn't how the world runs, Jeff-
-certainly not Government and politics.
It's a question of give and take--you have to play the rules--compromise-
-you have to leave your ideals outside the door, with your rubbers.
I feel I'm the right man for the Senate.
And there are certain powers--influence.
To stay there, I must respect them.
And now and then--for the sake of that power--a dam has to be built--and one must shut his eyes. It's--it's a small compromise.
The *best* men have had to make them.
Do you understand?I know how you feel, Jeff.
Thirty years ago--I had those ideals, too. I was *you*.
I had to make the decision you were asked to make today.
And I compromised--yes! So that all these years I could stay in that
Senate--and serve the people in a thousand honest ways! You've got to
face facts, Jeff. I've served our State well, haven't I? We have the
lowest unemployment and the highest Federal grants.
But, well, I've had to compromise, had to play ball. You can't count on people voting, half the time they don't vote, anyway. That's how states and empires have been built since time began. Don't you understand?
Well, Jeff, you can take my word for it, that's how things are.
Mr Smith Goes to Washington , 1939

Having come recently from Richmond and observed this Oakland election cycle for just a few months, and the random walk of public opinion which is the status quo right now, I don't personally believe Oakland is ready for the basic principles of good government just yet. Maybe it won't ever be, but I'm optimistic that real efforts can be made to get a group together to begin to make a real stand if some lessons from this election can be reflected upon and learned.

When you have someone like Perata, who probably rightly so thinks he can ignore all the electorate that is reading and thinking about the issues as too small a minority to really even be of concern, and BELIEVES he can win on election day mainly by running $1 million of commercials with just a slogan and his name and some nice pictures of a variety of faces and conclude by saying "I'd be proud to be your mayor, and honored to have your vote," and that probably will by and large be enough, especially when combined with a few other tricks like having his union patrons pump the boards full of nonsense posts and contrived defenses and red herrings, what hope is there for this election right now? The funny thing is that the vast majority of voters don't even live in the areas that most of the small numbers of commentators on boards like this one do, and I just don't think a lot of the people in Oakland are having any kind of meaningful dialogue about the election with what's going on in their lives and the challenges they are facing, not when with the elections days away many people I talk to can't name more than 2 or 3 of the candidates, if that.

The audience here who reads and thinks and knows Perata is corrupt to the bone, with all the evidence out there and $500k in personal payments from the prison guards for past favors given and hundreds of thousands more in ads from those same kinds of groups for the same past favors (which just has to be since he can't really do much for them going forward), and still even many of these people say "I don't care, he's our man," well I just don't know what you do about that, not right now, today, 10 days before the election.

Having lived there for 5 years, I do know that in Richmond they have a cranky old fellow named Tom Butt who is their Jefferson Smith, and he's been able to cobble together enough voters through his reputation for honesty and integrity and his clean hands approach to politics to stay elected (although amazingly, just barely sometimes, and not b/c Chevron and others don't keep trying). He's parlayed that spot on the Council into several other seats, along with a few other good government advocates and the network of loyal followers he's built, but as I mentioned sometimes he gets the slight majority, and sometimes they get it back. There's a real lesson out there in Richmond for us here in Oakland, though, that just one person even, or a few, can begin to make a difference in changing the basic nature of a city. It's true though that Richmond is only 100,000 people, and we are 4x the size, so maybe that changes the equation; but I believe that nonetheless the time has come to prioritize 'good government principals,' that we have to try find the right people to carry this torch, and I think it can be done.

Politics here are seriously broken, and that's fairly obvious if one makes even the most modest effort to peel back the covers from what's going on, with graft deals like those that have been highlighted by people like Joe Tuman and Robert Gammon and the Chronicle, but no one even really seems to care! Perata and Co almost don't even try to hide it, it's so brazen and their confidence that they control the system and determine the outcomes is so high. Specific, detailed examples are out there and even well know, and even those few people paying attention bumble on to ask instead "what's their funding plank for this or that" or other such minutiae, rather than "are these honest people who will make decisions for the common good, and have decent ethics and principles." Even Kaplan and Quan aren't riding with any effort against the special interests, because they just have their own set, and Quan's even overlaps with Perata's in many ways. He's got the law enforcement unions, and she's got the rank and file service workers - he just happens to have sold out to the groups with the greatest resources. In local politics the winners keep winning most of the time, and Perata has been aligned all along with those who've now dominated the agenda for many years.

The people who do care and know that all these claims that all this corruption is just what we have to accept to get functional government is of course a bunch of bunk, these people need to seek each other out and band together, and find our Jefferson Smith and Tom Butt characters to begin to push back the tide on this sea of corruption that's drowning Oakland. Until then, we are going to keep getting wave after wave of back room deals, and pension payoffs, and 'consulting fees,' and no bid contracts, and on and on, and guess what, there won't be enough left to run the city properly, not this year or next, not this election cycle or next. Not until we make a sea change in our fundamental priorities and insist on ethics and good government first, last and always.

It seems to me Perata's wash of money is going to probably carry the day for the forces of evil given how little focus there is on the rampant corruption and self dealing by rank and file voters, and what little priority that issue even gets by almost anyone in this community at this moment, and while I hope I'm wrong, this dismal outlook actually nonetheless spurs me on all the more to hold the line with my own ballot and vote for people with any ounce of integrity in the election and vote on principle alone right now, principal over everything. Then, when this run is over, I think the plan has to be to begin to look beyond this election to figure out how to find some stronger candidates - good government folks, people of principal - who can rise to fill the need that is just so painfully obvious.

Posted by Modestexpert on 10/23/2010 at 6:30 PM

Re: “Brown, Boxer, McLaughlin, and Santos

Karen Hemphill continues to support IMP math at Berkeley High when it's a proven failure, with math proficiency rates close to zero for kids in IMP math. She also came up with one lame excuse after another for why science labs at Berkeley High should be dismantled. Berkeley High once had the strongest science program in the nation. She's also a strong supporter of small schools, again a position not supported by student achievement data or recent findings from the Gates Foundation, an initial supporter of small schools.

Posted by numbersgal on 10/23/2010 at 10:12 AM

Re: “Brown, Boxer, McLaughlin, and Santos

Barbara Boxer is a bad choice. As a Marin Co. Supervisor she led the fight to prevent Hamilton AFB from becoming a civilian airport. This impacts Oakland, by putting more pressure on Oakland International Airport to expand, because the North Bay does not have an adequate airport. Let's not talk about the additional traffic that comes to Alameda and Contra Costa Co from North Bay.

Also, the result of no Hamilton could be more bay fill will be required to add another runway to OAK or SFO. That is way more expensive than keeping Hamilton open plus far more environmentally invasive.

Posted by Disappointed Democrat on 10/22/2010 at 1:19 PM

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