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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Election 2014

Re: “In Oakland Hills Race, A Battle of Ideologies

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Posted by Remedios Atkins on 08/28/2016 at 6:33 PM

Re: “The Battle for Richmond's Soul

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Posted by Editor on 07/22/2015 at 8:25 PM

Re: “The Fight for Emeryville's Future

> Under the current system, Emeryville collects only $0.55 for every
> $1,000 of worth of real estate sold in the city.

I thought rich people were against socialism.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by John Grabowski on 11/12/2014 at 3:44 PM

Re: “Vote Campbell Washington, Droste, Maio, Worthington, and Echols

Re: Thurmond vs Echols.

You are really endorsing Echols over Thurmond only because mailers are sent out by Alliance for California's Tomorrow in favor of Thurmond? It is bad enough when people vote with such a superficial view of the candidates. It is irresponsible and reprehensible for you as a widely read publication to announce an endorsement without digging deeper. The are many more REAL reasons to choose Thurmond over Echols, eg: Echols has never held elected office while Thurmond has an excellent record as a city council member and school board member, Echols is leaving the door open for fracking while Thurmond advocates for a full ban on fracking, also Thurmond has stood up to Big Oil when he voted against Chevron expansions, and he was an advocate for solar programs in Richmond.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chana Masala on 11/03/2014 at 11:07 PM

Re: “The Rainy Day Dilemma

Why do California politicians continue to place the fiscal burdens of the state on the backs of our children? Tax payers in California should demand more from their representatives in state office. Pawning our children's future for high speed trains and the next guy's slush fund should not be taken lightly. NO ON 2!!!

Posted by Fernie S. Kennedy on 11/03/2014 at 2:05 PM

Re: “Replacing Courtney Ruby

I wrote an op-ed this week for the Oakland Post: "Why a Public Safety Oversight Commission Saves Dollars and Makes Sense" http://tinyurl.com/mxy9j34

I've written a similar op-ed previously and posted frequently similar opinions.

The police union supports Brenda Roberts with their endorsement and their money because they hate me for publicly advocating for a totally civilian run police review system, aka Police Safety Oversight Commission. Brenda is clueless and silent on this, which is just how OPOA union likes their Auditor to be.

if that sounds negative, so be it. OPOA and the other muni unions play rough and for big stakes.

The OPOA never got around to hating on me for my long time position that we have to tackle our 2.4 billion of retirement obligations now instead of when we're on the verge of insolvency.

But the other unions zeroed in on my pledge to use the Auditor role as independent budget analyst as a platform to push the Council to face those obligations now and not at the last minute. (Or just give the Council political cover so they can do so. As in blame the messenger.)

During one endorsement interview Brenda was asked which of Courtney Ruby's audits she thought were good and which not so good. Brenda stated that the only Oakland audit report she had ever read was the one Ruby did on Council Members Reid and Brooks. Brenda had not even read the recent report by Ruby on the serious insolvency risk from our retirement obligations. At the same interview, Brenda guessed 1 billion too low on the amount of retirement obligations. Auditing 1A requires you to read the prior year audit reports before you audit anything. Brenda has lived here 25 years and never looked at a single audit report until she looked at the one report for which someone at almost every forum had a question about.

The other union leaders endorsed and arranged celebrity politician endorsements for Brenda Roberts because as on every Oakland issue she is clueless and silent on the retirement obligation issues. And she will stay that way as long as possible because she is depending on those political celebrity endorsements to get elected and re-elected.

Brenda doesn't even bother to campaign for more than an hour or so, sporadically.

For an excellent discussion of the political endorsement game see http://sanleandrotalk.voxpublica.org/2012/…

Len Raphael, CPA
for Oakland City Auditor
www.LensForChange...

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Leonard Raphael on 11/03/2014 at 12:06 AM

Re: “The Rainy Day Dilemma

I don't get what the difference is between this: "However, under Prop 2's complex rules, if money goes into the PSSSA, local school districts must drastically shrink the size of their own locally controlled rainy day funds." And this: "Prop 2 also lowers the cap on local school district rainy day funds." Can someone explain to me how those are not the same thing? I really appreciate this article. I was going to vote Yes before I read it. The EB Express, as usual, gets to the heart of things.

Posted by Jessie West on 11/02/2014 at 3:53 PM

Re: “The Fight to Regulate Health Insurers

In 1982, renowned WSJ financial writer Andrew Tobias wrote an expose of the insurance industry titled "The Invisible Bankers". The title, far from a conspiracy theory, reflected the well-documented fact that the insurance industry at the time controlled a portion of our wealth equal to that of the financial industry, but unlike the (formerly) regulated financiers, insurance companies were pretty much free to do whatever they liked with our money including taking large sums as premiums and then gambling it away, refusing to pay claims when they didn't want to or raising premiums to cover their losses. There was no federal regulation, and the existing state-by-state insurance commissioners were a good-ole-boy network of former insurance industry execs. This is still the case today.

As evidenced by the rise of the shadow banking system and the 2008 global financial crisis, Tobias correctly predicted that insurance and finance would become more intertwined and continue to grow as a share of GDP, with bad consequences for the American public (although I'm sure he had no clue that all of the financial safeguards erected in the New Deal would be torn down). Too bad nobody in power was listening then, when the cancer could have been nipped in the bud.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by David Lubertozzi on 11/01/2014 at 8:10 PM

Re: “Big Changes Coming to San Leandro

not Steve's best-I have a counter to his comments, but will refrain from making my own views public--Tony Santos, former mayor

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Tony Santos on 10/31/2014 at 6:31 PM

Re: “The Fight to Regulate Health Insurers

With the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) "regulating" our energy rates, California winds up with electricity rates almost 40 percent higher than the average in all other states, and almost 57 percent higher than our neighboring states, Oregon and Arizona. It sure looks like the state of CA has been remarkably useless in keeping our energy rates in check and protecting our public. Why should yet another feckless commissioner be empowered to add bureaucracy to the healthcare segment? More government power is not the solution - it is the problem.

0 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by William H. Thompson on 10/29/2014 at 10:55 PM

Re: “Vote Libby Schaaf for Mayor of Oakland

I'll have trouble voting for anyone who doesn't put education among the first three priorities for Oakland. Bewilderingly, there are only two candidates who do: Siegel and Quan. Siegel's call for universal pre-school is right on. Educated youngsters are less likely to become criminals later -- the solution to crime requires long-term thinking in addition to the band-aid of more police.
See http://www.oakmayor2014.com/candidate-question-1-2/

1 like, 5 dislikes
Posted by Amy X Neuburg on 10/29/2014 at 7:45 PM

Re: “The Rainy Day Dilemma

I agree! Prop 2 is more "creative accounting" from Sacramento politicians who want leeway to play with schools' funding. It's upsetting and appalling to learn that once again K-12 public education is what they think is dispensable. Thank you to the Express for caring to clarify the issue for voters. I'm voting No on 2 too!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by reva aimes on 10/29/2014 at 3:21 PM

Re: “The Fight to Regulate Health Insurers

Single Payer Now!

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ory Plotkin on 10/29/2014 at 1:42 PM

Re: “The Rainy Day Dilemma

Bravo to the East Bay Express for really digging into this issue. And finding how, once again, schools have been dragged into the toxic mix of state funding. Now, instead of draining school property taxes, the Gov & Legislature are going after school reserve funding. (Probably because at least two counties' schools have been drained completely dry.) No on 2.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jennifer Bestor on 10/29/2014 at 1:05 PM

Re: “Replacing Courtney Ruby

To attribute a candidate to special interests without saying how/why is a bit of hubris. Oakland needs more objective professionals, who can do that job more respecting the political realities. If the auditor could veto certain expenditures and practices that might be a great thing. It's about professionalism and developing transparency. Can someone with a lot of passion see the overall job to be performed? That'll remain to be seen.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rob Sorensen on 10/27/2014 at 2:43 PM

Re: “Vote Yes on Oakland’s Measure Z and No on Berkeley’s Measure R

For why you should vote NO on Measure Z, check out http://noonmeasurez.blogspot,.com. As for Ceasefire - there is no logic to any of the arguments being made. The homicide rate in 2013 was exactly the same as it was in 2005 - with and without Ceasefire. Oakland's overall serious crime rate in 2013 was WAY higher than in 2005, when we had no Ceasefire. There is no actual proof that Ceasefire is making a bit of difference in Oakland's overall crime rate.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by MarleenLee on 10/26/2014 at 10:35 PM

Re: “The Myth of the Unbiased Media

"During her Mayoral tenure, violent crime dropped significantly."

Simply not true. What happened were variations in a couple of violent crime rates which are entirely consistent with the variations over 40 years of violent crime numbers in Oakland. If you don't understand statistics ask someone who does. Or Google Frank Zimring's recent comments on the topic.

"Any sitting Mayor can and usually will take credit for all the good things which happened on their watch."

Of course, but the problem in Oakland is much, much deeper and goes to the well-institutionalized political culture in city hall. For this culture any truth-telling or "transparency" is anathema. They love to use the word "transparency" by the way, without the slightest deference to its meaning.

It's not just the Mayor, but all the long-serving elected officials who began their work careers as staffers or appointed board members who have never had to face up to the truth about anything. In the city hall culture, which is the only culture they know, truth is anathema. The very atmosphere breathed in that building is false, bogus, totally hot air. Oakland pols, sad to say, don't think that political life is possible unless it is fundamentally deceptive and self-serving. Illusion and self-serving are part of all politics, but when they exclude other forces and values, progress stops still.

Political observers in Oakland don't as a whole seem to understand the nature of city hall inbred culture. This is why, for example, the EBX which considers its politics "progressive" endorses someone like Libby Schaaf for mayor. Schaaf is by far the most conservative and change-averse candidate running for office. The EBX was unable to get beyond Schaaf's rhetoric and look at her actual performance over a decade in city hall.

Changes in Richmond are largely due to getting new people in and allowing in some fresh air and some honesty. That's what's made the difference there and that is what, hopefully, will make the difference in Oakland. Some day.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Hobart Johnson on 10/26/2014 at 12:27 PM

Re: “The Myth of the Unbiased Media

"One point he makes, regarding Jean Quan and any decrease in crime due to her efforts, is not credible. Yes, Quan makes this claim often and does so in her latest mailer."

as is her right. look, i'm not saying Quan single-handedly reduced crime a la Wonder Woman. but during her Mayoral tenure, violent crime dropped significantly. Any reduction in crime is due to a number of causal factors, just as any increase in crime is usually the result of multiple factors. And any sitting Mayor can and usually will take credit for all the good things which happened on their watch. It should also come as no surprise that political mailers make all kinds of claims, some of which may be slightly exaggerated.

As for the Richmond comparisons, Bob makes, they're apples and oranges, to some degree. RPD is not under federal consent decree stemming from misconduct, as OPD is. Such being the reality, there needs to be a higher emphasis placed on accountability and outside review at this point, 11 years in to the NSA. I'm sure there were many Southern Democrats who thought the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would never happen. But it did.

Posted by Eric Arnold on 10/25/2014 at 9:27 PM

Re: “The Myth of the Unbiased Media

The unfortunate part in this report is that not all the candidates were covered which is a First Amendment Rights issue....The raising of money was brought into question and some of the candidates chose not to ask for any. I chose not to ask for any because everyone I know is just trying to make ends meet. As to who was telling the truth...You have to know Oakland and the players to answer that question.

As a mayoral candidate I was purposely blocked because I told the facts and truth. I forced the discussion from self grandstanding rhetoric to facts in this campaign....There were so many blatant lies being dished out along with credits that were never theirs, but did the papers question this? It is funny to hear my own words coming out of one particular candidates mouth.

The various papers chose to pick who they believed to be the candidates to choose from. They skewed information that could help inform their readers by not being honest and informative. Just like most of the survey's which were biased and misleading!

The other reality that is not being spoken about is who will actually run the Mayors office because the leadership is not really demonstrated by a few of the "front runners". The Chronicle should not be the only paper singled out. All the newspapers are guilty of poor journalism when it comes to informing in an open unbiased setting. To make the assumption that the readers of the various papers can't make up their own minds on who to vote for makes one ask "and who made you the sage on choosing which candidates where viable or not?"

Money and endorsements only means that you have a task master(s) to answer to. It is not the residents or voters who's vote you are asking for on November 4th and then forget about till election time rolls around again in two, four years or a special run-off election.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Nancy Sidebotham on 10/24/2014 at 11:53 PM

Re: “Vote Libby Schaaf for Mayor of Oakland

Dan Siegel supports a $15.00 minimum wage, and his campaign helped gather a large portion of the signatures to get the Lift Up Oakland Measure on the ballot. I feel like this article ignores the fact that all the candidates BUT Dan waited until it was politically safe to support it, as they jumped on board fairly quickly together.

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Ricky Score on 10/24/2014 at 11:00 AM

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