Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Must Read: Candidates Gang Up on Perata; Obama Admin Says ‘No’ to Prop 19

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 7:09 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Jean Quan, Rebecca Kaplan, and Joe Tuman say that they will not mark Don Perata on their ballots for Oakland mayor. Quan started the trend several months ago, urging voters to list her first and Kaplan second on their ranked choice ballots. The Chron reports that Kaplan also announced late last week that she’s telling supporters to list her first, Tuman second, and Quan third. And then Tuman told the Chron editorial board that he plans to list himself first, Kaplan second, and businessman Greg Harland third. Under the new voting system, voters get to choose their top three picks for mayor. The Express’ endorsement of Kaplan, Quan, and Tuman is here.

2. Meanwhile, Tribune columnist Tammerlin Drummond, who is also a member of the paper’s editorial board, described how the Trib came to select Kaplan as its first choice for mayor, while leaving Perata off its list of top three candidates. Drummond said Kaplan was their unanimous first pick. But she said the editorial board members “were shocked by Perata's evasiveness, use of faulty facts, and ignorance of some of the major issues facing the city” during their endorsement interview, adding that the ex-senator “didn't offer up a single fresh idea and didn't even make an effort to appear prepared. … We felt that Perata's poor knowledge of the issues, combined with his history of ethically questionable dealings, made him a poor choice for mayor.”

3. The Chron’s editorial board, by contrast, appears to be living in an alternate universe, endorsing the ill-prepared and ethichally challenged candidate today as its lone choice for mayor of Oakland. The paper, which doesn’t do ranked choice endorsements, is enamored with Perata’s long career in politics, calling him a leader who is “well-grounded.” The paper’s editorial board members also appeared to forget that the Chron’s own investigative stories had helped launch the FBI’s five-year corruption probe of the ex-senator and seemed reassured after he “vowed to avoid any future business dealings that could even remotely raise” concerns of impropriety.

4. The Obama Justice Department says it will continue to bust Californians for marijuana even if state voters approve Proposition 19, the November ballot measure that would legalize small amounts of pot for adult recreational use, the Trib reported. Attorney General Eric Holder made the announcement in a letter last week. But Prop 19 proponents say the administration is merely blowing smoke, and doesn’t have the resources to go after California’s three million cannabis users.

5. And a small electric car manufacturer, Coda Automotive, of Southern California, plans to set up an assembly plant in Benicia, the Chron reports. Coda is introducing its all-electric vehicle later this year, joining Nissan, which will start selling its all-electric Leaf, and GM, which is unveiling the Chevy Volt, a plug-in hybrid.

Correction: Joe Tuman told the Express this morning that he has not told his supporters who to vote for.

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