A Summer of Discontent in Oakland

Haggerty Slams Quan | Another Schaaf, Parker Connection | Talking Sh*t at Oro Loma | Siegel Sings

When A’s co-owner Lew Wolff arrived at the Aug. 6 Coliseum Joint Powers Authority meeting approving the team’s lease extension, one of the first people he saw was Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan. Wolff then offered a hearty congratulatory embrace. His affinity for Kaplan recently has been noticeable and others have begrudgingly given her plaudits for moving along the A’s lease deal over the past few months. Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who teamed with Kaplan in negotiations, greeted Wolff with an enthusiastic pat on the shoulder. Wolff, however, offered Oakland Mayor Jean Quan no such pleasantries that day. In fact, if the description of Quan’s first term at Oakland as dysfunctional  needed visual proof, this day may have been it.

Approval of the A’s new lease Aug. 6 at 
Oracle Arena in Oakland.

Decked out in A’s green and gold, Quan appeared notably uncomfortable among her colleagues. I didn’t see one public officials greet her when she arrived and, in fact, one Oakland council member openly trashed Quan while within earshot of the mayor.

But, the level of loathing hit its peak when after the press conference featuring Wolff and the JPA concluded, television cameras encircled Quan for comment. Off to the side, a few officials watched with astonishment as Quan literally basked in the limelight. When I walked toward Haggerty and fellow Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley for an interview, they both flashed incredulous grins along with disappointed head shaking as Quan spoke to reporters. For the tough-talking Haggerty it was apparently too much.

“You know what is most amazing to me? How someone can go around and publicly say they support the deal, then privately be calling their council and telling them not to support the deal and then stand up and take credit for the deal,” said Haggerty. “That’s make my job so much harder. It’s sleazy. I feel bad for Rebecca. From the city side, Rebecca did it,” before adding, “but now she’s getting her due.”

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Willie Brown

SCHAAF, PARKER AND BROWN Much was made over the appearance of Oakland mayoral candidates Libby Schaaf and Bryan Parker at a recent political event. They say there is no connection between their campaigns this fall, but forming coalitions is the theoretical basis for success in ranked choice voting. But, there is another connection between Schaaf and Parker. Both sought the wisdom and fundraising expertise of San Francisco’s Willie Brown. One may have succeeded, while the other definitely struck out. When Parker met with Brown a few months ago, the legendary kingmaker bluntly questioned him about his loyalty. The line of questioning went like this: You’re on the Port of Oakland Commission, who appointed you? Jean Quan, Parker answered. Brown then wondered how could he trust Parker after witnessing how he repaid Quan’s for the plum political post by almost immediately campaigning to run her out of office. Brown, however, was impressed by Schaaf and found it favorable she had worked in former Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown’s office. Weeks later, after Schaaf met with Brown, it was not surprising to see her name mentioned as a strong contender in his Sunday column for the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Formed in 1911, almost all of its board 
members are nearly as old.

TALKING SH*T We tend to think Republicans are absent from public office in Alameda County, they are just not visible. Maybe they can’t win elections for higher office or even local city councils, but Republicans—and old ones, at that—reside on small elected boards all over the county. One such board is at the Oro Loma Sanitary District which oversees waste and recycling for 135,700 customers in San Leandro, Hayward and unincorporated Alameda County. Four of the five board members are in their 80s and white. Laython Landis, the nephew of former baseball commissioner Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, has sit on the Oro Loma board for 36 years. In addition, the good old boys club of generations ago still lives on. A woman has reportedly never sat on the Oro Loma board in its 103-year history. Former San Leandro Mayor Shelia Young has tried to break through on two prior occasions and says her third attempt will be her last. But, this campaign could be her best chance following the retirement of long-time board member Frank Sidari. In the past, this board has favored replacing members through appointments, but not this cycle. Five candidates, including two incumbents, are vying for three seats this November. Young is trying to play up the fact that she is the only woman in the race. In campaign literature, she’s using the tagline: “The only woman for the job.”

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Singing Dan Siegel

HERE AND THERE Oakland mayoral candidate Dan Siegel held a fundraiser Thursday featuring karaoke. No word if Siegel sang Englebert Humperdinck’s hit “Quando, Quando, Quando.”…Oakland school board member Chris Dobbins, also a member of the Coliseum JPA, failed to qualify for the ballot following a snafu with a number of his nominating signatures…Ro Khanna’s congressional campaign in the 17th District is again relying on a largely unsuccessful line of attack used during the primary by attacking Rep. Mike Honda for not debating him. A number of editorial boards have latched on to the meme, but it’s one that maybe falls flat with voters in the Bay Area who don’t differentiate much between a debate and a candidate’s forum…San Leandro businessman Dan Dillman qualified for the ballot as a candidate for mayor, but it came just days after serving jail time following an altercation with Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies outside his San Leandro theater…Former 15th Congressional District candidate Chris Pareja is a candidate for the Livermore City Council. Two years ago, his underfunded campaign garnered a strong 22 percent of the June Primary vote against Pete Stark and Eric Swalwell…According to the November ballot, some East Bay cities are having trouble finding candidates to run for office. Alameda, for one, has a bad case of candidate apathy, but not Fremont where nine are vying for two seats on the City Council.

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