2014 YEAR-IN-REVIEW | Over the past five years, the annual East Bay Citizen collection of the best political quotes have shown a distinct pattern in odd years–notably, non-election years. The most unique utterance often leans toward the absurd. Last year, for instance, the top quote was not blatantly political, but revealed, in stark relief, just how bad the local corporate media has become. However, in election years, like 2014, the best political quote has always highlighted the few sentences that encompass the biggest news story of the year. After a few interested East Bay races were unfortunately snuffed out in the June Primary, Oakland’s mayoral race ultimately took top billing for much of the year and, unsurprisingly, so did its most poignant quip. Before you learn the Best Political Quote of 2014 below, here are a list of some of the best from the year’s past, starting with Oakland:

Mayor Jean Quan compared herself to
President Obama in 2014.

“You’ll know when you’re safe when you don’t have to have public forums dedicated to public
-Joe Tuman, April 3, at an Oakland mayoral candidates forum dedicated to public safety.

“I see myself a lot like Barack Obama.”

-Jean Quan, Oakland’s mayor, at a candidates forum at Merritt College in October highlighting issues in the black community.

“The fact is these coin-operated politicians don’t run on promises of mediocrity or abysmal results. Yet, election after election it’s all we get.”
-Saied Karamooz at a candidates forum at City Hall in August, with the best of his many zingers lodged toward the city’s leadership.

“He hit a dog in his neighborhood. I mean, really? 
-Jean Quan responds afterwards to a swipe over her driving made by mayoral opponent, Joe Tuman.

Peter Liu was one of the few East Bay
politicians who became nationally known.

“I’ll intellectually bitch slap them until they go home crying. Even a grown man will have thousand tears drip like piss.” 
-Peter Liu, a long-shot Oakland mayoral candidate, in a questionnaire asking how he would work the Oakland City Council.

“I like to run. A lot! I mean A LOT!” 
-Einstein the Dog, after declaring a run for Oakland mayor. Unfortunately, canines are barred from running for office in Oakland.

“Why am I running? Because I am seeking, after 12 long years, to replace the chaos, the conflict and the confusion that has existed on the City Council and replace it with collaboration, coordination and communication.”
-Michael Johnson, the alliterative District 6 Oakland City Council  candidate at a forum in early August.

Assemblymember Bill Quirk and Jaime Patino
kept their AD20 race positive, but not without a
few biting one-liners.

“It’s out there and if people want to make a big thing, let them.” 
-Jaime Patino, during a forum Arpril 25 in Fremont, when he does something most Republicans were not dare do, he strongly supports same-sex marriage.

“He might be a rocket scientist, but when it comes to public policy, his ideas are way out of this orbit.”
-Jaime Patino, skewering his Democratic opponent, Assemblymember Bill Quirk, at the California State Republican Convention in Burlingame last March.

“Well, they have perhaps found a theme.”
-Bill Quirk, in late March after his primary opponents repeatedly battered him over his support for the Calpine energy plant. At the same event, Quirk called the natural gas-fired power plant, “quite healthy.”

“My chances of winning? Go buy a lottery ticket, you’ll have better chances.” 
-David Erlich, the only candidate to face Assemblymember Rob Bonta, at an October forum in Alameda.

“Well, I think it’s just Leland Yee. I don’t know of any others.” 
-Bob Wieckowski coyly responds when asked about the spate of political scandals involving Asian American legislators (i.e. Leland Yee and Mary Hayashi—Wieckowski’s opponent in the June primary.)

“You all know my positives. I’ve done a lot of great work for the district. You also know my negative, which I am very sorry. I also want you to know Bob Wieckowski is not the person that you think he is.” 
-Mary Hayashi, the irascible former assembly member, asking Alameda County Democrats for their pre-endorsement, Feb. 8, in Hayward.

Rep. Mike Honda

“@RepMikeHonda You[‘re] going down Tuesday. The trash you sent on me was shameful…& against this retired Member! Go to political hell! Go Ro!” 
-Ernie Konnyu, the former Republican South Bay representative from the 1980s, comes out of political purgatory on the side of Ro Khanna and becomes a prolific tweeter.

“Sometimes you have be a leader, sometimes you have to be a shadow warrior,” 
-Mike Honda describing his work ethic in Congress during a radio interview in June.

“Does Washington really need more lawyers?”
-Hugh Bussell, the lone Republican in the 15th Congressional District primary, makes a distinction between himself and Rep. Eric Swalwell and Ellen Corbett–both attorneys–at an April forum.


“Our city has been torn up by angry, young white people, but that’s not the perception that goes out.”
-Desley Brooks, in a lengthy screed in December against violent protesters in Oakland and the corporate media’s coverage.

Rep. Barbara Lee
“Let’s be clear, when Mr. Ryan says ‘inner city,’ when he says, ‘culture,’ these are simply code words for what he really means: ‘black.’” 
-Barbara Lee, in March, firing back at comments made by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan.

“I’m not trying to spy on anyone. If we were, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.”
-Paul Rolleri, Alameda’s police chief, speaking at discussion in February over the city’s proposed use of license place readers on patrol cars.

“They didn’t have anything on me.”
-Stewart Chen, an Alameda council member, responding to a joint East Bay Citizen/The Alamedan investigation finding that he was convicted of insurance fraud 20 years ago and failed to disclose it.

Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb

“The State Senate did a dumb thing on smartphones today,”
-Dan Kalb, Oakland council member, declared special interests in Sacramento torpedoed a bill calling for cellphones to have a kill-switch to discourage rampant theft. Later, the Legislature passed the bill.

“Ahhhhhhhh! She got in the car like she was hustling!”
-Noel Gallo, making fun of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan after she stepped into a stranger’s car on International Boulevard after an event intended to fight criminal activity, including prostitution, on the plagued street.


“We can’t even get a grocery store in our city, but if you sell tobacco–100 percent–come on down.”
-Mark Salinas, Hayward council member in January, lamenting the city’s food desert amid a proliferation of liquor stores.

Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday

“Let’s face it, we probably never will, in our lifetimes, be a very wealthy city like, I don’t know, Piedmont, Palo Alto. We’re Hayward. I’m proud that we’re Hayward.” 

-Barbara Halliday, Hayward council member and future mayor, showing a less than optimistic tone about the city at an April candidates forums,

“Each of them, now, is on my personal shit list,”
-Chris Daly, the former San Francisco supervisor and current member of SEIU Local 1021’s leadership team, issuing a threat against the Hayward City Council after it imposed a five percent wage cuts on its members.


“It’s hella time for leadership in Oakland.”
-Libby Schaaf, Oakland’s future mayor, merges her “Made in Oakland” pedigree with a sense she can bring more effective leadership to the city, with a jarring one-liner to end the political commercial below:


2013 – Tori Campbell. “Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Dang Ding Ow.”
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.
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.”