About That ‘Strange Mailer,’ It Wasn’t From Me, Says Schaaf

Quite a few Oakland voters received this hit piece from a unknown group calling themselves Citizen for Oakland. Its backers are made up of some pro-business residents and a few Libby Schaaf donors.

OAKLAND | MAYOR | Two things are clear from the recent Citizens for Oakland mailer. Mayoral candidate Libby Schaaf was not behind the ploy to get supporters of strong second-tier campaign to back her and, second, it’s god-awful piece of political advertisement.

Schaaf’s campaign was succinct last Friday when it tweeted, “The @libbyformayor campaign had NOTHING to do w[ith] that strange mailer.” The tweet was in response to Dan Siegel’s campaign hinting Schaaf’s and others were behind it. “Polls show us leading @bryanparker2014 in all polls and @joe4mayor in some but @libbyformayor mailer says we have no chance. #deception,” they tweeted.

Another reason Schaaf is not involved in the mailer is that it serves her no purpose and potentially harms what has been the most effective few weeks of her campaign. Recent polls continue to show her within striking distance of winning the Nov. 4 election and Gov. Jerry Brown’s endorsement Oct. 6 may have been the impetus for additional voters to start looking at her potential to unseat Mayor Jean Quan.

However, some of the people behind Citizens for Oakland are Schaaf supporters and donors. Which, if anything, suggests to Schaaf, sometimes you need to worry more about your friends than your enemies.

As for the mailer, it is unwieldy and underhanded in many cases. What pushes credulity is the assertion Quan and another mayoral candidate, Rebecca Kaplan, are City Hall insiders, but Schaaf, who has served the last four years with the pair on the City Council, is not.

Furthermore, this insider/outsider line of attack has been used often during the campaign, especially by candidates Joe Tuman and Bryan Parker. But, the comments always link together Quan, Kaplan and Schaaf, as they should. Last Wednesday, Parker’s campaign even sent a press release labeling the trio as “insiders.”

In this mailer, however, which features a good bit of clunky grammar, the group says if you desire change at City Hall, you should vote–in no particular order–Schaaf, Tuman and Parker.

Most likely, this direct-mail piece sent to over 50,000 Oakland voters, according to reports, is a response to polling released last week that not only showed Kaplan, Quan and Schaaf leading the pack, but more importantly, that the Kaplan-Quan connection could put either one in the mayor’s office.