First, I have it from several sources that Oakland City Councilmember Libby Schaaf (District Four) is considering a run for Mayor of Oakland. This is a fresh rumor that come up on Tuesday while this blogger was at two different events.
It flies in the face of her original claim that she wasn’t ready to do so. In fact, Schaaf is set to run for re-election to her current District 4 Council Seat, so the rumor that she would run for Mayor comes as a bit of a surprise to this blogger. Plus, she’s a mother of two wonderful children and her husband Sal has held down the fort while Libby has worked in service to Oakland, so I would think he’s the ultimate decider in this case.
Personally, I told Libby she should run for Mayor five years ago, so I think she could be very effective if she were elected. But she’s got two major road blocks in the form of current fiscal front-runner and my favorite Bryan Parker, Joe Tuman , who’s an equally formidable candidate, and the incumbent, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, who’s star is rising with every photo op she can get next to a construction crane.
And then there’s Anne Gust Brown, the first lady of California and wife of Governor Jerry Brown. Still rumored to run for Mayor of Oakland, still not denying the rumor. Finally, Patrick Mccullough, who ran against Oakland’s new District One Councilmember Dan Kalb, has put his hat in the ring, and still with his focus on fighting crime.
But one thing Libby has going for her: she’s the only white candidate who can effectively build a coalition of black female support (Joe Tuman is not white). And yes, I said that even with her battles with Oakland District Six Councilmember Desley Brooks. Anyone who underestimates Libby in that area is just plain stupid.
As to Libby running, my sources stand by it, and it’s out there until Ms. Schaaf officially bats it down. I did reach out to Libby regarding the “You’re running for Mayor!” news at 5:14 PM Tuesday, and didn’t get a response back. That was ample time to say “no.” Fun stuff.
One of my sources thinks that Schaaf and Oakland At Large Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan may be planning a duel run for the office. But that was because my source ran into and talked to the pair as they were at the Tribune Tavern at Franklin and 13th St. – they reportedly went “way in the back” to meet.
Another one of my sources thinks that Schaaf and Kaplan would team up to run for Mayor, much as Kaplan and Quan did in 2010, and to “game” Rank Choice Voting. So, the idea is to vote for Kaplan as first choice, and then Libby as second choice, and vice-versa.
Second, as for Kaplan, she’s got large name recognition, but as to the idea that Rebecca can break the glass ceiling and win the job, that’s another question. The idea that Councilmember Kaplan can ride on her lesbian leanings in historically lesbian-friendly Oakland is old. Political races don’t turn on sexual orientation anymore, if they ever really did in Oakland – they turn on personality. And its personality that Rebecca has a ton of.
Rebecca’s got to prove she’s conventional and corporate enough in her way to convince voters who didn’t warm to her in the past that she’s the one to be Mayor of Oakland. To the extent Rebecca elects to do that, she could win. There’s also the more thorny issue of Kaplan’s appearance of being all things to all people – something that’s come back to haunter her in the past, and can still do so in the future, or, if she works it correctly instead of backing away from her convictions, it may work for her.
But what Rebecca’s got to watch along the way is her temper. During the Oakland City Council meeting where the City Council was considering the censure of Councilmember Brooks, Kaplan got into an argument with long-time Oakland black community insider Toni Cook.
After the meeting, some media types were calling around to learn if anyone had a video of the pair in what one person described as a “heated argument” that could have went nuclear – in fact, the word “fight” was used to describe it – I didn’t see it. As the action happened behind me, and I was sitting at the press desk with eyes forward, the commotion behind me went without being videoed.
Fortunately for Rebecca that didn’t happen, but the news that people are talking about that, and watching her, should serve notice for her.
Phil Tagami Wants To Buy The Oakland Tribune
Phil Tagami, the President of California Capital Group and developer of the Oakland Global Oakland Base Reuse Project, has contacted the Oakland Tribune about purchasing the storied newspaper, or what’s left of it. This comes not from Tagami, but from a source who said “Phil showed me the email he sent to the Tribune.” My source then asked me what I thought the Oakland Tribune was worth. I said “about six or seven million.”
I’m serious – that’s all the Oakland Tribune’s worth, and that’s less than a number of blogs. My source seemed to think that it was more, but I said that’s where Phil’s inexperience in media will show. IF they pitch a price like $10 million or more to him, he’s nuts to even try and pay it.
Look, Bob Maynard bought the Tribune for $10 million in 1992, and that was when it was the true paper of record in this town, and before the Internet and blogs and Twitter. There’s no way in hell it’s worth that today, and even six or seven million is the absolute most anyone should think of spending on the Oakland Tribune – $5 million’s the mark.
In closing, take care of your heart. I’m struggling with mine.