Tuman and Quan Call Each Other Out at Public Safety Debate

Oakland mayoral challenger Joe Tuman
PHOTO/Steven Tavares

OAKLAND | MAYOR | “Did you hear the first words out of her mouth?” Oakland mayoral candidate Joe Tuman said incredulously of Mayor Jean Quan. “‘I’m sorry I misspoke.’ How many times have you heard that?”

Although, many candidates for mayor voiced specific displeasure with Quan’s first term in office at week’s public safety forum, there was only one brief, if not a passive, confrontation between the candidates. Quan versus Tuman.

Near the end of the forum, candidates were allowed to pose a single question to one other opponent. Quan chose Tuman. It was not clear whether the pick indicated she views Tuman as a threat or merely hastily chosen. Quan appeared momentarily like a kid having trouble picking an ice cream among many choices at Baskin & Robbins.

Some internal polls have shown Tuman’s campaign has strong support. One poll last December, which included Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan and extrapolated with ranked choice voting, showed Tuman, not Quan, in the final two with the undeclared candidate.

However, Quan’s question was simple last Thursday night. She asked Tuman, who ran for mayor four years ago, how many community meetings and ride-alongs with law enforcement did he attend before 2010? Tuman answered: two and zero.

When asked what he thought Quan was getting at, Tuman said he was wise to her. “She was trying to imply that I’m a Johnny-come-lately.” Tuman says there’s a simple reason why he wasn’t involved in Oakland politics before 2010. He was working as a political analyst for KPIX-TV. Crossing the line between media and advocacy would have been poor form. “The implication, somehow, that she has a longer history and, therefore, I’m not entitled to be mayor is typical of her logic,” Tuman added. “I’ve lived in Oakland 30 years. I’ve raised my children here, too,” said Tuman. “It’s ok, it’s politics. She can take her dig.”

Later in the forum, though, Tuman took the opportunity to return favor. Despite technically not a public safety-related question, Tuman asked Quan to address an assertion she made during last month’s State of the City that a budget surplus now exists. “What I think I said,” Quan responded, “and I misspoke if I said that…” Quan added a city staff report said Oakland had higher revenues than previously projected.

Afterwards, Tuman said the response was unacceptable. “I think if you tracked down Deanna Santana or Fred Blackwell, they would give you an earful about the budget. There is no deficit. In fact, we may be facing a sizable deficit. To say otherwise during the State of the City speech is just election year politics.”

Tuman paused and said, “I was disappointed with her answer, to tell you the truth.”

Categories: 2014 Election, budget, candidate forum, Deanna Santana, Fred Blackwell, Jean Quan, Joe Tuman, mayor, Oakland, public safety

15 replies

  1. Quan gets personally nasty all the time. I've seen her approached at public events by people she's got beef with. They reach out a hand to shake, she leaves them hanging. Blatantly.


  2. Quan simply cannot accept that the things she says off the top of her head might be, at best, inaccurate or misleading. We don't have to bother to ask whether she is simply lying for political purposes. She also cannot accept responsibility for any sort of mistake or failure in what she has done over a long public career. This says to me that she is essentially an immature personality way over her head in public office.


  3. Tumam has zero chance


  4. No, it's Quan who has zero chance.


  5. How about this question for Mayor Quan.
    (she came to my door about 4 Sundays ago)
    She was telling about her budget being balanced this year and how well Oakland is doing.
    So I said ” how are you counting the rapid and pervasive deterioration in the roads in your “balanced” budget….
    My local roads ( Skyline and Golf Links) are now so bad it is difficult to ride my bike safely. They change for the worse from week to week as more chunks disappear”

    Mayor Quan had NO answer, and said as revenues improve they would try to patch the holes.

    In other words, her “balanced” budget is only so if you don't count the huge lack of spending needed to maintain very basic infrastructure. She is giving out sweet raises to city workers to curry favor, while I can't safely ride my bike on city streets. Note the 3.4 million dollar settlement they paid for just one bike crash injury.

    Quan is, even by the most minimal standards, a subpar mayor. Even her best supporters couldn't give her more than a C- grade. Most would grade her a D or F.

    Simply put, the woman is not that smart. A second rate mind, devoid of imaginative solutions.


  6. wish kaplan would jump into the race


  7. 12:54, yes, Kaplan, just what we need. The other half of the arm in arm team that marched in solidarity with the Occupy Oakland rioters.

    Electing Kaplan would really show the police department we appreciate their efforts.


  8. By MW:

    For various reasons I would not be impressed by Jean Quan even if she did one hundred, one thousand, or even ten thousand ride alongs, and including since she is famous for falling asleep at such things as public meetings (I remember the comment that it is not an official public meeting until Jean Quan falls asleep), and even when she is supposedly awake she still lacks the mental capacity to comprehend and figure out anything.

    I have known people who in a quick glance of a few seconds or less can figure out the key and important points of what they are looking at, and I have also known people who could study the same information for eight hours a day for an entire lifetime and still not even slightly figure out the important and relevant points of what they studied or examined.

    Anybody want to take a guess which category describes Jean Quan.


  9. I too like Kaplan and she beats Quan in the poll.


  10. “I too like Kaplan and she beats Quan in the poll.”

    Maybe you can write her name in because she doesn't appear to be running for mayor.


  11. Why wish for something that will not happen?If Kaplan had. an interest in running, she would have made a move by now.


  12. The election isn't till November and she can raise money fast if she wants too. She is very smart, will sit back for awhile and let others tear each other up, then jump into the race as the front runner.


  13. It wouldn't be very smart for Kaplan to enter so late, it's not that easy to raise $400k with $700 contribution limits, and it takes awhile to build a real city-wide campaign.


  14. Y'all are sounding pretty sexist right now, if not racist.

    Claiming that Quan is “not that smart” and “lacks mental capacity” only shows how arrogant and hateful her opponents are.

    She was smart enough to win every one of her elections against better-funded candidates.

    She was smart enough to establish the first Asian American studies programs in the country, and to launch the first Justice for Janitors campaigns.

    She was smart enough to lead the country in banning styrofoam and composting residentally.

    She was smart enough to balance the budget through the economic recession, with reserves, when other cities were going broke, and to get the police to finally pay into their pensions.

    She was smart enough to close the deals on the Army Base and Brooklyn Basin after years of waiting.

    If you underestimate her mind and her knowledge built over 24 years in city government, you're the one who is not so smart. She knows more about the city than anyone in the city, including all her challengers.


  15. Steven, your article is inaccurate, Tuman did not come in 2nd to Kaplan in the December poll, not sure where you got that, maybe Tuman since he likes to spread misinformation:



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