Don Perata will not be the only one running for mayor

31 Mar

As no doubt you’ve heard by now, Don Perata officially announced today that he will be running for Mayor of Oakland. My thoughts of Perata aside, his entry into the race was well timed and reminded me how well he knows how to play the game of politics:

Former state Sen. Don Perata said the events of last week have persuaded him to run for mayor in 2010.

“I wasn’t trying to be coy (on a mayoral run), but this just galvanized it for me because you just can’t stand there and do nothing,” Perata said. “People know what I’ve done to ban assault weapons and other things I’ve done, so they ought to know that I’m running for mayor.”

Perata, who attended the Friday memorial, said he was stunned by the decision to leave the mayor without a role in the service.

Many people I know thought Perata would wait longer to announce, but Dellums being asked not to speak at the memorial service for the slain Oakland police officers was just too perfect of an opportunity to pass up. I’m not entirely cynical about his candidacy though. I think Perata probably does care a lot about Oakland and is very upset by the way things have been going here. And I’m not sure that anyone could argue that Perata will do a worse job than Dellums.

It’s been bothering me for many months now that Perata might not have any competition. And now that he’s declared so early, I’m even more concerned that his announcement may have cleared the field. I really can’t blame any potential candidates for shying away from going up against Perata. He has huge name recognition, limitless sources of campaign funds, and a fair amount of support from the Democratic establishment. Anyone running against him would clearly face an uphill battle.

So all day today I was a bit down, especially when a friend of mine said he thinks Oakland is doomed to always have mayors who swoops in from state or national office to “save” Oakland.

But tonight, while I was watching the City Council meeting, I was reminded that Perata will not have the field all to himself. Paulette Hogan, a District 6 resident who comments on almost every item at almost every Council and committee meeting and who V Smoothe introduced many of us to back in December, is also running for mayor.

Now if you haven’t seen Paulette in action, you should really check out V’s post with some footage of her or check out any upcoming meeting to hear her speak out. Tonight she was in top form. During public comment on the consent calendar, she went off on the Council, asking how they could just sit there when so many African Americans in Oakland were dying from HIV/AIDS. She also revealed that she recently got a recommendation for medical marijuana and thinks Oakland should legalize marijuana. And of course, she explained that when she is elected mayor, things will be different.

And you know, for a minute there, she really had me going, and she got the audience pretty riled up too, leading them to cheer for her when she had finished.

After the awesomeness of her preaching wore off, I had a beautiful thought. I imagined a debate between Don Perata and Paulette Hogan, and honestly, I can’t think of any other political match that would be as entertaining.

But then I brought myself back to political reality and started to think – who would I want to be mayor? And who, if anyone, could beat Don Perata? Unfortunately, I don’t have any easy answers so I wanted to see what you think. Stay in reality or fantasize a bit and share below who you want to see run for mayor, and why.

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15 Responses to “Don Perata will not be the only one running for mayor”

  1. Ralph March 31, 2009 at 10:49 pm #

    Paulette is a great source of free entertainment. That her sole appeal is to a bunch of uninformed youth is greatly disbursing. Hopefully they will grow out of their stupidity. But I digress, I actually like IDLF, when it came to Measure OO he had balls. I like people who actually demonstrate some leadership which is why RK is so far such a disappointment.

    • Becks April 1, 2009 at 7:37 am #

      I too was very pleased that IDLF stood strong last night and his words about the upcoming budget debate will surely come back to haunt his colleagues. But I’m just curious, besides her vote on OO, why has RK been a disappointment?

      • Ralph April 1, 2009 at 2:44 pm #

        Basically because of her vote on OO. Out of the right side of her mouth she talked about accountability and responsibility and out of the left she signalled she was willing to compromise. At the end of the day she and the takeover robbers are still stealing $2MM from Oakland citizens. Really why go thru the charade of applying a pct to revenue when Kids First can whip out their artillery and demand that Oakland capitulate to their demands.

  2. len raphael March 31, 2009 at 11:08 pm #

    does a mayor only have to serve one full term to get a full pension? of how much?

    dellums is collecting his congressional pension plus whatever he’ll get from his 4 years as mayor.

    perata, would be collecting, i’m guessing here, one from his time in the school system, one from the state legislature, plus one after he becomes mayor. maybe not as good as jerry brown, but not bad compared to most of us residents who will never get a pension.

    • V Smoothe April 1, 2009 at 1:46 am #

      Len, what is your problem with pensions? The reason you don’t get one is because you don’t pay into one.

  3. Chris Kidd April 1, 2009 at 9:11 am #

    I’m still hoping John Russo throws his hat into the ring, though it may be because I like righteous indignation from my elected oficials. Are there any cons for him other than his habit of settling most OPD civil cases?

    • Becks April 1, 2009 at 9:41 am #

      I like John Russo a lot too, and you can’t really blame him for settling OPD civil cases. After all, he’s just the attorney and OPD and the city are his clients. He has to listen to what they want.

      But I have to admit that I know next to nothing about his time on the City Council, except that he introduced a resolution supporting domestic partnerships. Anybody care to enlighten me on Russo’s City Council years?

      • V Smoothe April 1, 2009 at 11:13 am #

        I wonder how much any of the people so eager for John Russo to run for Mayor know about his decisions while on the Council, or his positions on any of the controversial issues facing Oakland. My informal polling suggests the answer is very little.

        Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy. But I can’t help wonder where all the adoration comes from. Perhaps it’s because his job doesn’t require him to make unpopular decisions all the time. It’s easy to preach about the difficult choices we have to make when you know you’re not going to be the one taking the heat for any of them.

      • dto510 April 1, 2009 at 12:09 pm #

        I believe he voted against the Essex. But we can all find one stupid vote from any Councilmember.

  4. Dingbat the font April 1, 2009 at 8:38 pm #

    Voting for the 3 percent version of Measure OO, Kaplan enthused, if I may paraphrase, that the resulting unity with the poverty pimps will make it easier to address revenue issues, that is, pass a parcel tax.

    • Ralph April 1, 2009 at 10:37 pm #

      i’m pretty certain i am against any parcel tax

  5. Jake April 2, 2009 at 6:59 am #

    me too Ralph, you got my words…

  6. Dingbat the font April 2, 2009 at 8:55 am #

    Actually, Kaplan’s revenue talk was vague enough to encompass support of Quan’s proposal for a new City sales tax, too.

  7. Colin April 2, 2009 at 10:29 am #

    I’ve often heard Perata knocked as a Willie-Brown-esque wheeler and dealer, but I don’t know enough about him. I’m not opposed to someone because their politically savvy, but I would like to see someone with some managerial skills and, the ability to run a small city government efficiently (how dark is it that the most basic skills of governance would be a step up).

    Does Perata have these? Can anyone point me to links that discuss his issues in the past? Or highlight why he’s so disliked?

    I know a bit about the federal investigation, but it comes across as more of a witch hunt based on the way it’s dragged out and seems calculated for maximum embarrassment/inconvenience. There might be something to the investigation, but I don’t know.

    Any insight anyone can provide into Perata and why he’s disliked would be greatly appreciated.

  8. Paulette Hogan April 3, 2009 at 7:25 am #

    Good Day!

    What’s up with this City. Grass roots running has been a Bay Area legacy. Ralph, you convinced me to take a second look at measure OO. However, I stood my ground with the Youth of Oakland.

    A City in NEED needs a MAYOR who CARES. It may be an uphill battle, but I am up for the challenge.

    The Lady Hogan

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