The latest news in the Occupy Oakland constellation of information is the effort to recall Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. According to an email from a source, Sanjiv Handa, East Bay News Service reports that $100,000 has been pledged toward the effort to recall the Mayor.

Also, the latest Occupy Oakland news is that Oakland Police and law enforcement will move in to clear the encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza at 4 AM, Monday, November 14th.

Here’s the text from the email sent to

FYI from Sanjiv Handa, East Bay News Service:

The Oakland Bulletin SM
The Authoritative Source About Every Nuance of Oakland Politics and Process Since 1994 SM

$100,000 Pledged to Qualify Quan Recall
A petition to force an election to recall Mayor Jean Quan has been certified for the signature-gathering phase. Proponents have a maximum of 160 days to turn in about 19,800 signatures from registered Oakland voters on petitions that are now available.

Special interest groups and political activists have been monitoring the process with great interest. In just the past few days, they obtained pledges of $100,000 to pay experienced petition circulators — at the prevailing rate of $5 for each signature. More money is being sought.

By contrast, when rumors circulated about a recall of former mayor Ron Dellums — which did not ever get started — barely $30,000 had been pledged, leading unnamed proponents to drop the idea. Because no recall committee was ever formed, nor checks ever written, there was no legal requirement for any disclosures.

The California Fair Political Practices Act says a committee must register and disclose its key officers within thirty days of receiving checks or pledges in excess of $1,000. The Fair Political Practices Commission, a five-member panel with paid staff in Sacramento, administers that law.

Multiple sources say the Latino Political Action Committee has pledged $20,000. In part, their members are angry that Quan bypassed an in-house candidate for fire chief, opting instead to conduct a national search.

The target is to obtain 26,000 signatures — a thirty percent margin of error to allow for signatories who turn out not to be registered to vote. Any United States citizen who has lived in Oakland for more than thirty days can register as a voter and sign a recall petition after that.

A coalition of 71 Oakland residents launched the first step in the process, but only 56 of them turned out to be registered voters. The required number is a minimum of fifty.

The coalition published a notice of intent in the Montclarion newspaper on Nov. 4, the same day that the city clerk published a mandated notice in the Oakland Tribune. Both notices have a minor defect, stating that Gene Hazzard, who signed on behalf of the coalition, executed his signature on Oct. 24, 2021 — instead of 2011.

The Montclarion has cheaper advertising rates than its sister paper, the Tribune. However, it only publishes once a week, so insertion of the intent did not appear in print for eight days after the ad was placed. The seven-days-a-week Tribune’s lead-time for such ads is usually two business days.

City offices were closed Thursday and Friday, so the city attorney or city clerk will decide next week if that typographical error constitutes a material defect that would require republication of either or both notices. If the process needs repeating, the issuance of actual petitions could be delayed up to two weeks.

Recall is a First in Modern Oakland Politics
City records are sketchy, so there is no proof that Oakland has ever had an election to recall a mayor, council member, or other officeholder.

East Bay News Service archives date back to 1966, and show no record of any recall drive in that 45-year period. More than a dozen local politicians and activists also cannot remember any recall effort being launched in that span.

Any County Voter Can Circulate Petitions

Anyone registered to vote in Alameda County can circulate the recall petitions, which have room for just five signatures on each sheet. Allegations against Quan, her response, and an affidavit to be signed by the person who obtained the signatures fill up each page.

However, only voters residing in Oakland can sign them and vote in the recall election, if held.

Contradictory Views on Election Laws
Community activists have been issuing their own opinions and interpretations of how a recall works. As a result, considerable confusion and misinformation has been burning up cyberspace.

Oakland does not have any local procedures for a recall election. Consequently, provisions of the state Elections Code govern the process.

From the initial release date of petitions, a maximum of 160 calendar days is allowed for a jurisdiction with more than 50,000 registered voters. [Elections Code § 11220(a)(5)]

Petitions can be submitted at any time within that period. However, all signatures must be turned in at the same time, or they will not be counted. [Elections Code § 11220(a)]

The city clerk will perform a preliminary count to ensure that more than 19,800 signatures were submitted. [Elections Code § 11220(b)]

Standard practice is for the city clerk to send the petitions to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters to perform the actual verification. The county charges the city a fee for this service.

The clerk is allowed thirty days, not counting Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, to determine if enough signatures are valid to proceed with a recall election. [Elections Code § 11224(a)]

The registrar is allowed to use a random sampling of five percent of the signatures submitted. [Elections Code § 11225(a)]

If, for example, 26,000 signatures are turned in, a minimum of 1,300 are checked in the county voter registration database. If that examination shows that the validity rate exceeds 110 percent, the petition for recall will be certified. [Elections Code § 11225(b)]

The required 19,800 signatures are 76.2 percent of the 26,000 submitted. A 110 ratio would require an 83.8 percent validity rate.

If the validity rate for the sample falls between 90 and 110 percent, every one of the signatures must be matched to the voter database [Elections Code § 11225(c)]

If the validity rate for the sample is below 90 percent, the petition is denied without further testing [Elections Code § 11225(d)]

Choosing Successor is on the Same Ballot
The recall election will ask: “Shall Jean Quan be recalled?” — with a yes or no option. On the same ballot will be the names of every person who has qualified for mayor by submitting a minimum of fifty valid voter signatures and a $300 filing fee no later than 75 days before the election. [Elections Code § 11381]

Each voter has the right to a “yes” or “no” — but is not obligated to mark either option in order to vote for a successor candidate.

If one-half or more of those casting ballots vote “no”, Quan remains the mayor. [Elections Code § 11383]

If one-half or more of those casting ballots vote “yes”, Quan will be removed from office. [Elections Code § 11384]

The candidate receiving the highest number of votes cast for a successor would replace Quan and serve until Jan. 2015 [Elections Code § 11385]

Stay tuned.

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