Mayor’s Race Takes Shape

Well, Ron Dellums made the only decision he could have sensibly made Wednesday and announced that he wouldn’t try to win a second term as Oakland’s mayor. As of Wednesday, there were 10 candidates who took nomination papers from the City Clerk’s office with the hope of following Dellums as Oakland’s mayor.

As much as we don’t like to admit it, even at the local level money plays a huge role in elections. Here in Oakland, we’ve limited the amount candidates can raise and spend on elections. Each candidate for mayor can spend up to $370,000, or around $0.70 for every resident. Terence Candell, who just submitted his signatures and became an official candidate Wednesday, said he barely has $10,000 now. He said it takes people to win an election. True, but it also takes money. Here’s the cash on hand for mayoral candidates who’ve reported contributions to the City Clerk.

  • Joe Tuman’s campaign manager said that he hopes to report the size of his war chest by Friday.
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Public Safety Forum Thursday Night

Did we really just lose 80 cops after years of clamoring for a bigger police force? Do we really have to report a burglary online now? Sadly, yes and yes. Unlike San Jose, which at just about the same time talks were collapsing here in Oakland, struck a deal that postponed for a year laying off at least 70 cops in that city, Oakland City Hall and the cops’ union failed to find common ground. Hopes for getting the cashiered cops back in uniform hinge on a parcel tax in November. City Councilwoman Pat Kernighan writes that five separate polls show that such a measure would fail to garner the needed two-thirds to pass.

If this alarming state of affairs is leaving you a bit baffled, then you might want to consider attending a public safety forum for the mayoral candidates at the Lakeshore Baptist Church Thursday evening. You won’t be surprised to learn that all of the candidates are making public safety key planks in their respective platforms. The question is this: If elected, how would they maintain a functioning police department with budget deficits projected to be $48 million next year, $54 million the following, and $60 million the year after that. What else should we be asking the would-be mayors?

One More in the Race

The Oakland mayor race increased by one Wednesday morning, after Trestle Glen resident Joe Tuman announced that he wanted the top job at City Hall.

For those of you that haven’t seen or heard Tuman talking politics on various TV and radio stations, he’s a political and legal communications professor at San Francisco State University. As a candidate, he’ll have an opportunity to apply some of the rhetorical techniques he wrote about in his 2007 book “Political Communications in American Campaigns.”

Tuman is a Cal grad and has lived in Oakland for 25 years. He says he was “pushed off his perch” and into the race by frustration at the lack of leadership in the city for the past eight years. You can read more about his positions here. It has absolutely no bearing on his potential performance as Oakland’s chief executive, but Tuman’s students at SF State give him pretty high marks on the anonymous Rate My Professor website.

We’ll be talking to Tuman and the other candidates in more depth in coming months, meantime you can see Tuman and the other candidates at a public safety forum Thursday night at the Lakeshore Baptist Church