Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Must Read: Oakland Mayor’s Race to be Decided Today; Cooley Takes Lead Over Harris

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 6:59 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Oakland mayor’s race is expected to be decided today when the Alameda County Registrar of Voters posts an update of its ranked choice voting results. The registrar’s office said late Friday that it hoped to finish counting 15,000 late absentee and provisional ballots from Oakland, Berkeley, and San Leandro over the weekend. As of Friday afternoon, Councilwoman Jean Quan led ex-state senator Don Perata by two percentage points, 51% to 49%. Although the results came as a surprise, Quan probably has been leading since Election Night when including second- and third-place votes. It’s no wonder that Perata tried to block ranked choice voting from going into effect this year.

2. Steve Cooley has moved ahead of Kamala Harris in the California Attorney General’s race, 46.1% to 45.6%, a difference of nearly 37,000 votes. The Democratic District Attorney from San Francisco had been leading her Republican counterpart from Los Angeles. However, there are still more than 1 million late absentee and provisional ballots to count statewide, the Los Angeles Times reports.

3. Democrat Jerry McNerney has widened his lead a bit over Republican David Harmer in the East Bay’s ultra-close Congressional race. McNerney is ahead 47.7% to 47.4%, a difference of 421 votes. If McNerney holds on, Republicans will have failed to pick up any seats in Northern California, despite the GOP wave nationwide.

4. Police arrested 152 protesters Friday night after they began to vandalize an Eastlake neighborhood, following the sentencing of Johannes Mehserle, the Trib reports. The ex-BART cop was sentenced Friday to two years in prison for fatally shooting train rider Oscar Grant, but he likely will be out of custody in about seven months. Demonstrations after the sentencing were mostly peaceful until a group split off and headed for the Fruitvale BART station where Grant was killed, and then began trashing a residential neighborhood.

5. Even though the East Bay remains mired in the economic downturn, residents approved twenty of thirty tax measures in last week’s election, the CoCo Times reports. The 67% approval rate is down a bit from the 81% rate two years ago. Berkeley and Fremont were the only two cities in the state to approve school parcel tax measures.

6. A state plan for the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta will take too much freshwater from it and will harm its delicate ecosystem, the CoCo Times reports, citing a new biological review.

7. And La Nina may bring more wet weather to the Bay Area this winter — or it may not, the CoCo Times reports, citing various meteorological forecasts. La Nina, a cooling of Pacific Ocean currents, typically means more rain for the Pacific Northwest and less precipitation for Southern California. But for the Bay Area, it’s anybody’s guess.

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