Monday, November 3, 2014

Monday Must Reads: OPD Monitor Praises Mayor Quan; Big Soda and Big Oil Spend Tens of Millions in Local Elections

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 6:44 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

Jean Quan.
  • Jean Quan.
1. Robert Warshaw, the court-appointed monitor of Oakland police, heaped praise on Mayor Jean Quan, who is facing a tough reelection campaign, saying she was “essential” to OPD meeting its highest-ever level of compliance with federally mandated reforms, the Trib$ and Chron report. Warshaw also praised Police Chief Sean Whent and said that he would have given OPD an even higher score if it were not for the fact that an arbitrator ordered the department this summer to reinstate Officer Robert Roche — the cop who hurled a tear-gas grenade at people who were trying to help injured war veteran Scott Olsen during a 2011 Occupy Oakland protest. Warshaw has launched an investigation into that ruling.

2. Big Oil and Big Soda are breaking local campaign spending records by pumping tens of millions of dollars into this year’s election. The LA Times$ reports that soda companies have spent at least $9.2 million to defeat a soda tax in San Francisco, and another $2.4 million to kill one in Berkeley. Oil companies have spent $7.7 million, meanwhile, to defeat proposed bans on fracking in Santa Barbara and San Benito counties. And Chevron has spent $3 million in an effort to take control of Richmond City Hall.

3. Proposition 47, which would reduce sentences for certain felony drug crimes, has a comfortable lead in the polls, with 56 percent of likely voters saying they support it, the LA Times$ reports, citing a new poll it commissioned with USC. But Props 45 and 46, which are designed to reform the state’s healthcare industry and have been met by fierce opposition, appear headed for defeat.

4. Governor Jerry Brown’s measures, Props 1 and 2, also look like they’ll win easily in tomorrow’s election, the LA Times$ reports.

5. And transportation officials revealed that new eastern span of the Bay Bridge will overspend its budget and its reserve fund by about $35 million, the Chron reports.

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