Monday, June 2, 2008

Oakland's Election 2008: Who cares?

It's election-endorsement time. Time for this humble blogger to lobby for the votes of my devoted readers.

I say “you” because, as a matter of policy, I do not vote in California. I changed my voter registration to my eastern headquarters in Nevada some time ago. I maintain this other HQ to permit a quick move of residence should California's taxation climate turn as nasty as I think it might.

Like most election cycles, this year we must decide whether to vote based on principle or on what will provide us the most political theater.

It would seem my fellow bloggers have the principled-voting bases covered. So, I'll leave that to them.


What could be better theater than watching our local liberals struggle with the end of rent control? Anyone with a reasonable understanding of economics knows it's a failed policy that randomly redistributes wealth.

You might not realize, however, how much local pain is a direct consequence of rent control. Ever wonder how Oakland's killing fields manage to remain so static and ungentrified?

Ending rent control will not end poverty, but it will permit Oakland to export some of its antisocial element to the surrounding communities. This is not only good for Oakland, but it will provide great theater.

So, I urge a vote for Proposition 98 and against Proposition 99.

Oakland City Council

Every candidate with any chance of winning is a union-loving liberal, so far as I can tell. So, the question comes down to whether to support the incumbent Leftists, or bring in a new set of Leftists.

After thinking about this matter long and hard, I've concluded the right approach is to vote for the most popular non-incumbent candidate in each race. In particular, I urge a vote for Sean Sullivan and Patrick McCullough against Nancy Nadel and Jane Brunner.

I am mindful that it was Nadel who put this blog on the map by engineering the Mandela Foods fiasco. Still, I think she and Brunner have run their course as public self-humiliators, and it's time to let someone else take their places.

I do not actually think Sullivan and McCullough will be able to make any meaningful change in Oakland. Their philosophies are both too rooted in failed Leftist theology. McCullough is a lawyer (we know what that means), and Sullivan works at some sort of non-profit. Not exactly impressive stuff.

But, both are new faces. Both will bring their own set of scandals and foibles for us to enjoy. Neither will make much of a difference, but hopefully neither can stop Oakland's gradual gentrification.

Oakland School Board

Here, your vote is irrelevant. No candidate is willing to do what it takes to improve the situation.

While I'm a big fan of political theater, I would rather not impose it on children.

So, lacking a better candidate, I suggest you vote for me, The Boss.

If elected, I promise to push singlemindedly and singlehandedly for my magnet schools proposal. It will fail, naturally, but at least we can get it some more publicity.


  1. Sean Sullivan is the director of Covenant House, which provides job training to youth in Oakland, and shelter and transitional housing to homeless youth in Oakland. He built a multi-million dollar youth shelter without a penny of City money, and has made public safety, increased police staffing, and the incorporation of new technologies that have proven successful in other cities the main points of his campaign. His platform is data-driven and based on providing real, measurable results, rather than endless excuses. Considering most of what you've written previously, I find it very odd indeed that you would suggest that he's basically a newer version of Nadel. His business attraction plan is based on tax holidays, for goodness sake!

  2. It's all a matter of frame of reference. I realize that to many Sullivan and Nadel seem very different. This is because, frankly, Sullivan offers a coherent liberal plan, while Nadel's plan is just bizarre nonsense.

    Realize, however, that to a conservative, the differences appear far smaller, owing to both candidates' strong left tilt.

    As for the youth shelter, that's very nice. But it probably won't surprise you that I question the value and efficacy of such efforts.

    I have actually said people should vote for Sullivan. The endorsement is necessarily tepid. This is because I do not believe government can solve many of Oakland's ills.

    What government needs to do is get out of the way and let Oakland gentrify.

  3. Thank You for this column. I have been telling my husband for a couple years that we need to exit California because someone is going to have to pay the higher taxes coming our way and as usual it will be us, the shrinking middle class.

  4. Poor Boss, I don't think you're ever going to find someone you really want to vote for in this town!

  5. Well, as you know, I don't vote in Oakland. But my wife and I are both smitten by Frank Rose.

    I find it interesting that you worked so hard on Sullivan's campaign. I hadn't realized that. It would be interesting sometime to discuss the various issues. I'm amazed you think the sorts of things he's proposing will do much to help.