In this Oakland News, Courtney Ruby let the deadline for filing to run for re-election as Oakland City Auditor pass (thinking few would notice), meaning Oaklanders will get a new auditor in 2015, so for all practical purposes, she’s quit. Chris Dobbins (who is the featured image) was the victim of a signature validation problem, and so his bid to run for Oakland School Board in District Six was jettisoned by the Oakland City Clerk’s Office. And I finally look at the Oakland City Council District Four monies raised, where Jill Broadhurst’s early start seems to have worked to her advantage, so far.

UPDATE: Final Candidate List Released – Click Here

And there’s more, Oakland news too, and this side note:

First, I spend a lot of time in Georgia to keep my Mom company as she turns 80 October 1st. Thanks to all of you for taking the time to ask how she’s doing (she’s fine) and for just calling or texting to check in and keep me informed. I’ll be back.

Some have said I should take time for myself, but my simple response that by being here, that’s exactly what I’m doing. Look, as an only child, one has a lot of time for themselves – that’s automatic! But family is both beyond ones self and part of themselves, too. I think perspective comes from reconnecting: in this case, with a woman I dated 27 years ago.

I know my purpose.

Second, Robin Williams passing puts things in a ton of perspective. I’m reminded of the death of Oakland media guy Sanjiv Handa, who had a massive heart attack, but, like Williams, was a genius in his own way. The San Francisco Bay Area, and Oakland within it, is rich with people who fit the genius tag and have altered American and local culture. But remember, that with genius comes a kind of “tick” and the best way to not have that “tick” negatively impact that person is to never assume that they’re OK just because they’re smart. If you think a person needs a pat on the back, regardless of your relationship with them, be big enough to give them one.

Third, I have a lot of quotes surrounding the Oakland A’s Lease issue, and I’m going to wrap them in one blog bow once I get a few more. There’s a story here beyond the deal and it’s how the parties got to the deal.

Oh, and pay attention to Ferguson, MO:

OK, onward…

First, Courtney Ruby can’t deny this and it’s not an early April Fools joke: she’s not running for re-election as Oakland Auditor. Ruby, who tossed her hat into the Oakland Mayor’s Race, after first quitting the race after the 2013 release of her Auditor’s report who’s racist bent in singling out two black councilmembers riled many, is now backed into a corner: she has to win the Oakland Mayor’s Race, or she’s out of politics for a while.

Since Ruby’s got a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the Oakland Mayor’s Race, the question is what will she do after she leaves the Oakland City Auditor’s Office, January of 2015? It’s wild to see someone allow simple pride to back them into a corner they can’t get out of, but that’s what’s happened with Courtney. The constant word around town is either about how she’s not raising enough money, or not generating excitement about her campaign, which would help bring in more money.

Unlike her competitors, Ruby had reached a critical fork in the road. She could have, er, elected, to jump over to run for re-election as Oakland City Auditor the moment it was clear her run for Mayor was not going well, but she spent so much time batting down my April Fools joke that she was going to quit the Mayor’s Race, she let pride take over, dug-in her heels, and now she’s out of a job come 2015.

Not smart.

Now, Oakland will have a new Auditor and has a choice between Len Raphael (who I’ve known for years via social media, but not yet met in person) and Brenda Roberts, who entered the competition just over a month before he did. Will Ruby issue an endorsement of either candidate? Will either candidate seek one from her? Will it matter to Oaklanders? Let’s see how this plays out.

Bryan Parker and Libby Schaaf Team Up At Montclair Event

Ok, on August 7th, Oakland Mayor’s Race Candidates Bryan Parker and District Four Councilmember Libby Schaaf teamed up for a meet-and-greet. I don’t care how Bryan Parker tries to spin it, I don’t care what any novice Oakland observer says or tweets, the bottom-line is their pairing marks the first candidates to team up of the Oakland Mayor’s Race.

The last time that happened, Oakland Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan and Jean Quan did in 2019 and Quan became our mayor.

And while I’m at it, here’s a prediction: the higher garbage rates will cost Jean a re-election bid that has been beset with so much negative news, Mayor Quan make Vladimir Putin look like Taylor Swift.

Saied Kamarooz Oakland Mayor’s Race Interview

This is long, epic, and fun. It’s also a cool look at a Oakland entrepreneurs at work:

Abel Guillen Gets Pat Kernighan’s Backing In District Two Race; Sokhom Mao Quits, Backs Dana King

On Monday of this week, Abel Guillen got the backing of current District Two Councilmember Pat Kernighan in the District Two City Council Race. She wrote “Abel Guillen is the right person to tackle the challenges we face in Oakland. As a municipal finance advisor and community college trustee, he knows what it means to balance a budget while protecting essential services for residents. I enthusiastically support Abel to continue my work on behalf of District 2.”

While it’s great news for Abel, it’s a hell-of-a position Pat’s put herself in, because if Guillen loses, it will mean, to some degree, Pat has no coattails. And that could happen. The fact is, between Abel, Andrew Park, Dana King, and Kevin Blackburn (and the amazing influx of new Oaklanders who don’t know who Pat is) this is a razor-thin-close race, if you look at monies raised.

The question is, will Councilmember Kernighan come out and walk the beat for Abel? She’s notoriously famous for hating campaigning for herself, and loving the work of policy formation. This is the first time Pat’s been in the position of picking a successor to a public office she currently holds.

The other question is, does it matter when compared to the giant list of endorsements that Andrew Park has racked up. I’m sorry, and this is no slap at Abel, but for Andrew to get as many people behind him, and to have raised as much as he has to date, is something to note for someone who’s previously not ran for office at this level. Look, people respond to Andrew upon meeting him, just as they do Abel. This is fun to watch, which is exactly what it looks like Sokhom Mao’s going to be doing.

This decision saddens me: Sokhom Mao was the first to run for the D2 seat back in December, but his efforts never caught real traction. Mr. Mao’s background is that of a foster child, and at 26 years of age (27 now), is a perfect example of the kind of young leaders we want involved in the formation of Oakland’s future. I don’t know if it was his work load, or what, but he didn’t even come close to his money raising potential, and so, on August 12th, decided to bow out of the race, and endorse Dana King.

On his website, Mao, currently a commissioner on the Oakland Citizen’s Police Review Board, wrote: “Today, I announced that I will terminate my campaign to the City of Oakland Council race. As one of my strongest supporters, and as a dear friend, I want to thank you for your help, trust, and friendship over the course of this election. We will support Dana King for Oakland City Council, she has the compassion to help bring all voices of our community to city hall. Dana king has my full support to be our next councilwoman of this great city!”

UPDATE: My epic interview with Mr. Mao:

On her website, King wrote: “I have grown to know and deeply respect Sokhom. He ran to help make Oakland a better place for every resident and built a coalition of dedicated people from all walks of life and ages. They believed in his vision, and so do I.”

Chris Dobbins, a good man who is currently on the Oakland School Board and on the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority, is out of the race to run for Oakland School Board District 6. I first got the news from a friend, so called Chris the other night to confirm what I was told. He did confirm it, saying that “something happened” to the signatures that were turned in, such that four of them didn’t clear.

Given that there was an effort to get Dobbins off the Oakland School Board back in 2007, and after an findings that he did enough to make anyone think he was dating a 17-year-old student while he was on the school board, and that Dobbins refused to leave the School Board and survived re-election, not to mention a recall threat to the entire board that was nixed in 2014, I can’t help but wonder if the fix was in and someone engineered a way to get him out of the way.

I say that because one of Dobbins’ biggest critics back in 2007 was Noel Gallo, who is now Oakland’s District Five Councilmember.

Just saying.

Thus, the Oakland School Board District Six race is down to, as of this writing, two people: Renato Almanzor and Shanthi Gonzales. That said, Chris could go on a campaign and ask that voters write his name in when they go to the polls in November.

Oakland City Council District Four Race Numbers

The race is between Jill Broadhurst, Annie Campbell Washington, and Peter Lim, who does not have a committee, and thus is not bound to fiscal reporting requirements as of today. Thus, it’s Broadhurst versus Washington, and Jill leads $64,301 to $62,987 – neither reports a loan like the $100,000 one Dan Siegel took out for his run for the Mayor’s Office, or any self-contribution as large as the $60,000 reported by Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan in the Oakland Mayor’s Race. Someone tried to make an issue out of Annie’s using over $2,314 in ‘food contributions’ to add to her total, but all I can say is, first, at least she reported it, and second, without it, she’s still in striking distance of Jill. Moreover, Annie’s nailed $1,400 from the Oakland Police Officers Association.

Jill can claim a larger base of grassroots support, but not by much… and a partridge in a pear tree. It’s that close.


Getting feedback from both sides, so a clarification: it’s not an either or, as both Jill and Annie have “grassroots support” but Annie has, by Jill’s own admission, the backing of more government and non-profit groups, like the Oakland Police Officers Association. Thus, my “grassroots support” line, but it’s not to imply that Annie has none, by any means.

Also, Annie sent this statement regarding her 460 fiscal report document:

I am grateful for the broad support in Oakland for my campaign. I’m also grateful for the in-kind donations people have provided. Often individuals can give to causes they care about in other ways besides providing money.

I am required to report any food and drink donations provided by anyone other than the host of a party. I am also required to report any food, drink or other in-kind donations received in excess of $500 at a party. That is why you find those donations reported on my 460 form.

Golden State Warriors Make Moves To San Francisco, But Oakland Lawsuit May Come

The Golden State Warriors continue to make moves as if they’re going to leave for San Francisco, but even as they’re dropping word they’ll pay the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum the remainder of “base rental payments” due, my friends tell me it’s not going to be that easy. Finally, it looks like the JPA’s waking up. I say, ‘looks like.’

By Zennie Abraham

Zennie Abraham | Zennie Abraham or "Zennie62" is the founder of Zennie62Media which consists of and a multimedia blog news aggregator and video network, and 78-blog network, with social media and content development services and consulting. Zennie is a pioneer video blogger, YouTube Partner, social media practitioner, game developer, and pundit. Note: news aggregator content does not reflect the personal views of Mr. Abraham.