2013 YEAR-IN-REVIEW | Two thousand and thirteen was destined to fail as an eventful year. Following the tumult and sheer craziness of 2012, East Bay politicians stayed out of trouble, but the slowly improving local economy may have offered an opportunity for some to bring a bit more levity to the public meetings and their off-the-cuff comments. A greater emphasis on Oakland starting in January also brought its raucous city council meetings into greater focus. However, be it the growing struggle between increased greater safety and public privacy or the political battle lines being drawn for races next year across the East Bay, the conversations created many great quotes. Here’s the 2013 edition of the annual East Bay Citizen best political quotes:
“The sheriff is saying trust us and we’re saying we don’t trust you.”
–Michael Siegel, Oakland civil rights attorney, Feb. 14, at a hearing detailing the Alameda County sheriff’s plan to purchase two domestic drones.
“He’s the wrong guy for Oakland. It’s a bad idea to ask for his advice, but worse to give him $250,000.”
-Oakland civil rights attorney Dan Siegel, Jan. 14, in opposition to a $250,000 police consulting contract for super cop Bill Bratton.
“Alright, sounds good to me.”
-Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb, in July, during the initial discussion of the Domain Awareness Center at a Public Safety Committee meeting that featured no opposition on the topic.
“The OPD is in need of a fixin’”
-Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney, Jan. 15, during an Oakland City Council speaking to then-Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan.
“J.Quan told me she realizes I have a chip on my shoulder. Insulting, more like a broken skull and brain trauma.”
–Scott Olsen, the Iraq War veteran who was struck in the head with projectiles fired by police during a Occupy Oakland protest in 2011, tweets, Mar. 6, about a private discussion with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.
“We were screaming and shouting and not moving and clapping and we were basically telling Lew Wolff, ‘Now, tell Major League Baseball that this city and these fans don’t care. The A’s belong in Oakland.’”
“What you realize when you get up there is how little you know.”
-Assemblymember Bill Quirk, in January, candidly describing his initial difficulties getting acquainted with the inner-workings of politics in the State Assembly.
“Bob Wieckowski? He’s 0-for-3.”
–Roman Reed, a candidate for the State Senate’s 10th District who is paralyzed, says he is running because his opponent Assembly Bob Wieckowski, who is also running for the seat, failed to pass stem cell legislation on three occasions.
“I am now pleading on behalf of the victims, myself as one, family members and I ask that you do the right thing and make this correction.”
–Nancy Skinner, during a stunning and emotional speech on the Assembly floor she reveals being sexually abused as a child while urging colleagues to extend the timeframe for adults abused as children to sue non-profit groups.
“Are we going to start raising the Cuba flag, too? As far as I know when an entity raises a flag over a country it means they conquered it.”
-San Leandro theater owner Dan Dillman, in September, argues the City Council’s plan to fly the Chinese flag over City Hall to celebrate its national day amounts to a loss of sovereignty.
“How can I say I’m for green technology and vote against a wind turbine?”
-San Leandro Councilmember Jim Prola, a noted progressive, on how he voted for a contentious single-use private wind turbine on the San Leandro shoreline over the cries of nearby homeowners.
“Don’t you want to develop our point?”
-Alameda Councilmember Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, in November, kindly asking Oakland developer Phil Tagami if his intention at Alameda Point is actually for development, not leasing and management.
“We’re at the bottom. We’re the lowest performing school in Alameda County. Take a long look at that. This is a big problem.”
“We will lean on him to do progressive stuff and make him declare to be on our side.”
Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison tells East Bay Citizen during a March fundraising stop in Oakland, when asked about the iffy progressive credentials of Rep. Eric Swalwell.
“Hopefully Eric will lose, and I am doing everything I can to see that Ellen Corbett wins that primary election.”
–Pete Stark issues a challenge to Rep. Eric Swalwell, in November. Swalwell later uses the comments to rally support against State Sen. Ellen Corbett.
“Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Dang Ding Ow,”
-KTVU anchor Tori Campbell says the words that will live in Bay Area media infamy during a July 12 newscast when she erroneously reports the names of pilots involved in the tragic Asiana Airlines plane crash at SFO.
2012 – Pete Stark. “If I we’re a lawyer–I would call that bribery, but I’m not a lawyer, so I’ll let Mr. Swalwell define what he thinks taking all this money from people he gave special zoning privileges is. Maybe, this is how he sees his role in government.”
2011 – Ken Pratt. “I nominate her [Jean Quan] the queen of residential blight.”
2010 – Bill Lockyer. “I’m just a volunteer.”
2009 – Pete Stark. “Well, I wouldn’t dignify you by peeing on your leg. It wouldn’t be worth wasting the urine.”