Well, I leave the city for one glorious working trip to New York for the NFL Draft and then to Atlanta for Mom, only to find the San Francisco Chronicle up to its own common, and not-well-disguised crack-smoking habits (read, "We don't want a black mayor"...Puff..."Pass that bong!") that wandered their way into an endorsement taken seriously only because of the size of the newspaper.
The Chronicle, in the form of John Diaz as editorial page editor and Chip Johnson, who I easily best at Madden NFL 2000-whatever, backed the wrong horse for the wrong set of reasons.
For Chip, the reason is simple: he doesn't want to lose his meal-ticket source of news and fodder for his columns. He knows this and knows I know this. Chip's not blind to the fact that Ron Dellums was drafted to run for mayor by 8,000 totally pissed off Oaklanders, mostly black. Chip's black, but -- as one who's seen this side of him in action -- seems to delight more in the kind of "crab-barrel" activity such that he uses his column not to defend or praise Oakland's African American leadership, but more often to slam it, or at best ignore it. I never expected Chip to back Dellums, so this is par for the course from one who consistently gives Mayor Jerry Brown and the Oakland Council President a pass when they least deserve it.
For John Diaz, he's good at giving an endorsement in an editorial, then changing it when the mood suits him -- which means his actions are based on the angels and devils siting on his shoulders. I know this first hand from my experience with him and the Super Bowl: Oakland effort. I seldom take the Chron's editorial page commentary seriously anymore. It's too filled with (to a large degree) his agenda, and not with common sense.
In their misguided focus on the Mayor's race, the Chronicle writers seemed to forget that we're electing the next mayor, not the next Councilmember. The reasons they give for not backing Dellums are the same reasons they gave for backing Jerry Brown. They gave Jerry Brown a pass for not "having details" in place. But they slam Dellums for the same reason.
Look, Oaklanders are looking for a leader, not a policy wonk or a social engineer. In fact, that activity is left to the Oakland Councilmembers, bureaucrats, and certain private developers. It's not the role of the Mayor. The Mayor leads, not writes math equations.
All of the crime problems Dellums' attackers point to forget that they're happening under the watch of the two Oakland Councilmembers running for Mayor. You think things will get better with either one at the helm? No. Having one or the other as mayor provides nothing -- and I mean nothing -- more than a platform for that person to use their new power against their enemies, and produce even more policy gridlock and inaction that before. Or at least maintain the problem.
No, the SF Chronicle people are either smoking something, just plain don't want another black mayor of Oakland, or both.
I'll bet it's both.
I'm voting for Ron Dellumns for Mayor of Oakland.
....As to their correct endorsement of John Russo for Assembly, they obviously enjoyed a brief moment of clarity!