Countdown to the next election

It’s the day before the big day. That’s right, tonight’s election-eve! So straight to the chase. (I’ve been admonished, no more rambling, unfocused posts….Whoops!)

The Senate race between Hancock and Chan has been odd to say the least. And not that strange, State Senator Don Perata has been at the center of it! For about two months, both Hancock and Chan listed Perata as an endorser. Each campaign claimed to have his endorsement (and the endoresments of Mayor Beverly Johnson and School Board Member Tracey Jensen…Jensen’s endorsement of Chan appeared to be from an earlier election, but Chan’s campaign claimed to have confirmed Johnson’s support and calls to the Mayor from BAPolitix and other East Bay political reporters went unreturned.) About two weeks ago, letters were sent to Chan from Johnson and Oakland School Boardmember Alice Spearman renouncing their endorsements (more on that at the now defunct BAPolitix).

Word is that Spearman almost immediately disavowed the letter and backed her endorsement of Chan claiming that she had not sent the letter. Johnson, according to this report, acknowledged her letter.

So it’s all cleared up…right?

Except that Perata sent a letter out on Wednesday endorsing Chan. And Alameda City Councilmember Lena Tam spoke with him personally in confirming his intent. The letter, sent to Oakland voters said “I want to set the record straight” (the rest of the letter is below). Since dual endorsements aren’t unusual, apparently he was just clarifying his position….until yesterday when I got a robo-call from Don Perata who wanted to “set the record straight” that he was endorsing Hancock.

Something funky is afoot.

The unfortunate thing is that in the end whether Chan or Hancock are elected, we’ll end up with a solid legislator in the Senate represeting our District. Given Chan’s overwhelmingly more successful tenure in the Assembly (Chan pased over 4 times as many bills as Hancock did, not to mention Chan was elected Assembly Majority Leader), I have to think that Chan will be the stronger leader.

On Measure H, I support it wholeheartedly. The schools will be providing less services next year if it doesn’t pass. I’ll let other’s bicker about ADA vs. COLA, the fact of the matter is that costs go up every year and if the schools budget doesn’t adjust, LESS is the result. We’ve had enough “Less” for $120 a year, Alameda property residential owners should support this, as a four year tax, I would hope that a large majority of commercial property owners will support it as well, yes some will be hit harder than others. But I hear that one Park Street landowner will be hit with $25,000 a year and is supporting it. I haven’t been able to personally confirm it, so I’ll leave his name out of it at this point.

Democrats will be voting on the County Council, I’m still doing my homework here, but Jim Oddie, co-president of the Alameda Democratic Club deserves our support for the great work he’s done. (Perhaps members can write in with other suggestions?).

For Judge, I’ve only ever heard good things about Dennis Hiyashi and will be supporting him as well.

The big State Propositions (98 & 99) are difficult. 98 is a sop to big property owners and is so broadly written as to create a lot of potential (intended but hidden) problems down the road. Prop 99 is a poison pill. It addresses a problem that doesn’t exist in California. (Private residences being taken by eminent domain and given to private developers).

It is such an emotional issue that it was placed on the ballot in the hopes it would pass and therefore remove this specific issue from the political weaponry of those trying to block all land-use planning (including issues like Measure A).

I don’t like voting for unnecessary laws, it’s a bit ridiculous and they tend to have unintended consequences, but in this case I’m holding my nose and voting politically. If we can remove this issue by taking it off the table, we can move on to more important things that having to fend of Prop 98’s year after year.

So ignoring the single candidate races here’s the brief rundown:

State Senate: Wilma Chan

County Committee (Democrats only): James H. Oddie

Superior Court Judge: Dennis Hiyashi

County Board of Education: no recommendation….yet

Prop 98: NO

Prop 99: Yes (could go either way)

Measure F: Yes

Measure H: Yes

A friend of mine does a great job writing up California Elections, I highly recommend checking out his site:

Vote early!

Perata’s Endorsement of Chan: