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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Full Disclosure

Re: “Ranked-Choice Voting Attacked in Oakland

@Mr. Pine: "All of Jean Quan's votes, from those who listed her first to those who simply filled out their list of three with her name, added up to 44 percent of the voters." Actually, that's not true. If you examine the raw ballot file, you'll discover that 74,860 voters listed her as a first, second, or third choice (even if they listed Don Perata above her), whereas only 65,652 voters listed Perata as a first, second, or third choice (even if they listed Quan above him). Using this as an indication of approval (not that I'm a fan of approval voting, but that seems to be the metric you prefer), and using (as you seem to do) 122,268 total votes cast as the denominator (this includes 2,306 voters who skipped the Mayor's race entirely), Quan was approved by 61.2% of the voters, whereas Perata was approved by only 53.7% of them.

That seems like a majority mandate to me.

11 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Steve Chessin on 04/11/2012 at 8:30 PM

Re: “Ranked-Choice Voting Attacked in Oakland

@Mr. Walker: RCV would not have caused Ralph Nader to be elected, even if he were everyone's second choice, and even if we used national RCV to elect the President. With only 2.74% of the vote (see…), he would have been eliminated along with the rest of the minor party and independent candidates. The race would still have come down to Gore or Bush.

6 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Steve Chessin on 04/11/2012 at 8:08 PM

Re: “Ranked-Choice Voting Attacked in Oakland

@JimL: There was no head to head race between Perata and Quan nor any other pair of candidates. RCV calculations are not a race. Only people who think every voter has a time machine believes they are.

No one questions that Quan won fair and square under the RCV rules. The problem is that she never got the legitimacy of a majority vote. That might be okay for someone who performs well in office, but most people see that Mayor Quan has been a disaster.

RCV is pseudo-reform championed by machine pols. Instead, take a look at the current presidential election in France. The country has plenty of parties - unlike the de facto one-party regime in Oakland. France has a free-for-all vote vaguely like our primary, then a runoff a week later. That system here would probably get you the turnout that a June primary does not produce.

3 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Charlie Pine on 04/11/2012 at 7:48 PM

Re: “Ranked-Choice Voting Attacked in Oakland

@Mr. Pine: Even if your numbers are correct, it doesn't mean much. Since Perata instructed his voters to bullet vote, it artificially reduced Quan's #2 and #3 votes. Your statistic is meaningless. The fact is that in the head to head race, Quan vs. Perata, Oakland voters preferred Jean Quan to Don Perata. RCV is a series of runoffs, done with one ballot. In the final runoff round, the last round, where it was just Quan vs. Perata, Quan beat Perata. That is 100% democratic.

10 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Jim Lindsay on 04/11/2012 at 6:13 PM

Re: “Ranked-Choice Voting Attacked in Oakland

I saw this on the Internet, so I am not sure if it is a story or an op-ed piece. It certainly reads like an op-ed. But if so, it is poorly researched. Ranked choice voting has been tried in many other countries and several municipalities in the United States, some of which have kept it and some of which have dropped the system. Both the advantages and disadvantages are well known. The advantages are that you have to campaign to all voters and build coalitions. The disadvantages are not the one's you list here about voters being disenfranchised, but the exact opposite. Most voters think that they have to vote for every office on the ballot which is why the vast majority cast ballots for races like library boards that they know nothing about. What happens with ranked choice is that the candidates who are well known don't get a vote from their opponent and the risk is that a crazy person can be elected with second and third votes. To use an oversimplified example, in the Bush/Gore Presidential race, there would have been a reasonable chance of Ralph Nader becoming President because he would have been both sides second choice. In New York City they tried ranked choice back in the 30's and elected two open communist's and one open fascist to their city council over two elections. There are always some crazies that make it, but ranked choice leads to more. The question is if forcing politicians to not be nasty and to campaign for everyone is worth the tradeoff. No one thinks Jean Quan could have won under the regular elections and many think she won because Perata was left off the most ballots as the frontrunner. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? The city needs to decide.

4 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by George Walker on 04/11/2012 at 9:29 AM

Re: “Ranked-Choice Voting Attacked in Oakland

Tramutola's "academy" is a scam to avoid paying its workers a decent wage. Just another way Larry and his side-kick Dan make sure that, win or lose, they walk away with their own pockets stuffed with money.

16 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Gerry Divens on 04/11/2012 at 8:43 AM

Re: “Ranked-Choice Voting Attacked in Oakland

If you are interested in become a "Tramutola Disciple," please visit

6 likes, 22 dislikes
Posted by Daniel Weinzveg on 04/10/2012 at 9:50 PM

Re: “Ranked-Choice Voting Attacked in Oakland

Quan and Perata each had their strengths, weaknesses, and blindspots. That's what they were ready to take to the mayor's office. Having more votes wouldn't have made either one a better mayor or solved any of Oakland's problems. Trying to get rid of RCV is just another distraction. Time and effort is better spent dealing with real problems and real solutions.

22 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ron Goom on 04/10/2012 at 9:48 PM

Re: “Ranked-Choice Voting Attacked in Oakland

So Perata and his boy Tramatola want to go back to the old way? Of course! Tramatola makes less money with fewer elections, and Perata is still crying because he lost. Rank Choice Voting is much better than the old way -- a primary in June and a possible runoff in November. In the old days it led to endless electioneering, huge pressure to raise a ton of money, and viciously negative campaigning. That is NOT more democratic! We do need to let people rank more than three choices, though. Mend it don't end it!

21 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Jim Lindsay on 04/10/2012 at 8:46 PM

Re: “Ranked-Choice Voting Attacked in Oakland

All of Jean Quan's votes, from those who listed her first to those who simply filled out their list of three with her name, added up to 44 percent of the voters. When someone winds up with less than a majority, she lacks a mandate to govern - and when she demonstrates in her first year that she is incapable of governing, city government is left with no legitimacy.

7 likes, 22 dislikes
Posted by Charlie Pine on 04/10/2012 at 8:15 PM

Re: “Can Corporations B Beneficial?

It’s wonderful to see the East Bay Express spread the word about B Corporations and Benefit Corporations. As a co-founder and Executive Vice President of Scientific Certification Systems (, a B Corp based in Emeryville, I’m proud to be part of the growing Bay Area B Corp community. Some other Bay Area B Corps include Bison Brewery, Fearless Chocolate, Method, and Alter Eco.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Linda Brown on 04/06/2012 at 4:40 PM

Re: “Can Corporations B Beneficial?


B Labs ( is a 3rd party certifier of Benefit Corporations. A few others exist and we can probably expect a couple more to pop up now that Benefit Corporations are the law in Cali.

To be clear though a "B Corp." is different from a "Benefit Corporation." Benefit Corporations are now legal entities under CA state law. B Corporations on the other hand are the brand of certified companies that B Labs monitors and approves to help companies meet the Benefit Corporation law's requirements.

A company can be a Benefit Corporation and not be a B Corporation.

Wendel Rosen helps set up Benefit Corporations and I'm sure they have a lot of resources on how it's done, how much it costs, etc.

Posted by Darwin BondGraham on 03/28/2012 at 9:53 AM

Re: “Can Corporations B Beneficial?

This is the first I have herd of B Corporations. Thank you for the article and thanks to Oakland's Wendel Rosen law firm for spearheading the law. I wonder what the costs of transforming an existing corporate structure into a B-Corp might add up to, maybe Patagonia can share their experience. Seems to me there is an opportunity to create a "third-party" evaluation company that would hopefully develop a respectable reputation among the B-corp community.

Posted by Whitney Lawrence on 03/28/2012 at 9:39 AM

Re: “Why Not a Gas Tax?

In 2010, Alameda County voters passed a $10 vehicle registration fee, akin to a gas tax, and which voters will start seeing fund repaving projects this year. MTC has had the authority to move forward with a 10 cent gas tax for the Bay Area for years, they just don't have the courage. All the while we fall billions behind in fixing the system.

Alameda County is taking the lead to fund better transit, fix our potholes, and make our streets safer for walking and bicycling with this November's transportation sales tax. This is a great opportunity to fund needed transportation projects at a time when both the State and the Federal Gov't are significantly decreasing funding for transportation.

Everyone agrees we need to find more $$$ to fix our aging and crumbling roads and improve transit. A good education campaign this Fall has a shot at convincing 2/3's of voters to help themselves when no one else will.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Dave Campbell 1 on 02/29/2012 at 11:29 PM

Re: “Why Not a Gas Tax?

Here in Vancouver BC, gas costs about $5.29/gal. A substantial portion of the price is a tax that benefits public transportation. And nobody is panicking over gas prices like they do in the States.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Bud Verde on 02/29/2012 at 11:09 PM

Re: “The Incompetent Recall

Look for the red white and blue signs Sunday Feb 12th:

Sign the recall petition at Temescal; JLS, and Montclair Farmers' Markets Sunday 9 to 1130am

for more info or follow @recallquan

Posted by Leonard Raphael on 02/11/2012 at 4:17 PM

Re: “What's Left of BRT?

We know what Berkeley Telegraph retailers and San Leandro retailers say about BRT.

We know what BRT supporters say.

What do Oakland Telegraph and International small business people say?

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Leonard Raphael on 02/11/2012 at 10:13 AM

Re: “The Incompetent Recall

Recall Mayor Quan by signing the Recall Mayor Quan Now petition at these locations:

Grand Lake Farmers Market - Sat 2/11 9:30am-11:30am

Jack London Farmers Market - Sun 2/12 10am-12pm

Temescal Farmers Market - Sun 2/12 9am-11:30am

Montclair Farmers Market - Sun 2/12 9am-12pm

Grand Lake Theater - Mon 2/13 to Thur 2/16 6pm-8pm

-Len Raphael, Temescal
(for more info
follow @recallquan)

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Leonard Raphael on 02/11/2012 at 1:03 AM

Re: “Jerry Brown Targets the 99 Percent

Since the buzz is that more than one initiative to raise taxes may doom all of them, I would like to know whether CTA and Governor Brown and the supporters of other competing initiatives have attempted to negotiate their cooperation on a single initiative which would be more likely to pass. Does Mr. Gammon or anyone else know about such efforts and/or what can be done to encourage them? Thanks!

Posted by Ruby MacDonald on 02/10/2012 at 9:12 AM

Re: “Jerry Brown Targets the 99 Percent

The other thing, of course, is that the citizenry had already worked out a perfectly good fix for the regressive sales tax. They bought from Amazon. But nooooooo.....

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mary Eisenhart on 02/10/2012 at 9:09 AM

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