So you all know by know that Measure I was defeated by a landslide. Seriously, it was a drubbing of major proportions. Over 62% of voters rejected the measure. That’s almost the opposite of what the City needed to approve it (66%). Wow. So thanks, people, for sending such a strong message. (Come celebrate with us at our victory party tomorrow - Friday - at Ozumo, 6:00 p.m.).
Now, of course it is disappointing that the voter turnout was so abysmal (less than 25%). But I also think that this speaks volumes about residents’ overall disenchantment with our leadership, as well as the ridiculousness of this completely unnecessary mail-in election in the first place. The fact that the other two measures, H and J, were also soundly defeated, pretty much puts the exclamation point on the statement: “You guys are idiots and your idea of solutions for our problems are ridiculous!”
Quan, of course, is already making excuses and threats, as predicted. She’s claiming that the Occupy situation took her focus off of campaigning. This statement is dishonest and absurd. Even prior to Batts’ resignation, a poll indicated that Measure I’s approval was at around 54%, nowhere near what was needed to pass. Then Batts resigned, and its chances of passing fell further. But to top it all off, the City’s handling of the Occupation was incomprehensible. All those people out there who hadn’t seen for themselves exactly how inept and wasteful our government really was with our money, suddenly had a front row seat. First, weeks went by with City leaders doing nothing while the downtown area was taken over by the homeless, bored college students, drug dealers, drug users, anarchists, left-over hippies and whatnot. Then Quan leaves town for some trip to D.C., and her City Administrator and interim police chief are put in charge of the raid on the encampment, which was a P.R. disaster, and cost a fortune, not including all the lawsuits and settlements that may result. But even worse, they let everybody come back to set up an even bigger and messier camp than before, meaning that the original raid was a complete and total waste of money. There is absolutely no disputing the fact that this was the biggest, fastest and most obvious waste of $1,000,000 most taxpayers had ever seen. It was staring them right in the face. So anybody who may have been on the fence about Measure I before, regardless of whether they loved or hated Occupy, would likely have voted no at that stage. If Quan doesn’t realize this, well, I don’t know what to say. Oh, and by the way, she apparently also doesn’t realize she’s not legally allowed to “campaign” anyway, at least not on City time.
Now she’s going around claiming that our police force is going to shrink even more, potholes won’t get filled, libraries will have to be closed, blah, blah blah. Like she’s going to get revenge on the voters that rejected her stupid tax. Of course, she could be talking about how now pensions will have to be reformed, salaries and benefits will have to be trimmed, non-essential social services like Kids First will have to go etc. But no, she’s not saying any of that.
Well, Jean better be careful with all of that doom and gloom revenge talk. Why? Because a recall petition has been filed! Her approval rating is at 15%! Not to mention that after Occupy, she has lost her credibility entirely.
In any event, we need to celebrate the small victories, because those of us that want true reform, accountability and a safer Oakland still have a lot of work ahead of us. See you tomorrow!