According to the blog Oakland North, who's Berkeley J-school students do a great job of covering the part of Oakland that's north of Lake Merritt, Perata said he would not seek a recount, and stood ready to help Oakland's new Mayor-Elect Quan, and any other elected official.
From the distance of 2,600 miles, where I am to visit my Mom, the announcement of Perata's decision not to legally challenge the Ranked Choice Voting count was a bit of a surprise, but given the hours that passed between last night and now, it's apparent cooler heads prevailed. That's a good thing. Jean should be allowed to enjoy her win, and Don should call her ASAP, rather than at some point in time.
The bottom line is that Jean Quan won fair and square. Moreover, Don should be excited that he at least is a part of a turning of the page in Oakland's storied history. Quan's Oakland's first elected female and Asian mayor. That's huge and points to Oakland's proud tradition of diversity.
What's not huge is the level of nastiness expressed toward Perata on Twitter. The reactions to Perata's decision, particularly on the part of SFWeekly, which hasn't covered the Oakland Mayor's Race, are totally awful. It's one thing to have an informed view of a candidate you cover, but to toss hard nasty insults about a candidate you don't know, in a race you know nothing about, is something else. Heck, I don't even do that to Republican candidates on the national stage.
For example, one of the milder ones:
SFWeekly SF Weekly
Don Perata deserved to lose the race for Oakland mayor. Why? Because he acted like he deserved to win. http://bit.ly/b5BssX
23 minutes ago
Actually that's not true: every candidate acted like they deserved to win, not just Don. Terrance Candell also skipped several mayoral forums, but with the exception of this blogger, no one, and especially not SFWeekly, mentioned him.
And if it wasn't SFWeekly chiming in with blog from the cheap seats, it was twitterers like focalintent tossing hard insults:
And really, Perata, if you claim you don't comprehend how RCV works, either you're lying to make a political statement, or an idiot.
58 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply
Or this one by some random person on Twitter:
DummieBear510 The Dummie Bear
YEAH JEAN QUAN IS #OAKLANDS NEW MAYOR!!! FUCK YOU DON PERATA!!!! HAHAHA
1 hour ago Favorite Retweet Reply
With all those, and other tweets, one would think Don actually did something to the people issuing them. But when you really think about it, he didn't do anything at all.
Frankly, I'm happy for Jean, but I'm really not happy with the classless way a number of Oaklanders, from mainstream media types, to Twitter participants today, have conducted themselves. Shameful.
The collection's more like classless workers in a garbage skow on a prison planet than civilized people. In fact, I may have just insulted the classless workers in a garbage skow on a prison planet.
It's apparent the era of class politics is out of the window. Don Perata, to his credit, never once said anything negative about his opponents to me either on or off the record. That's not true for his opponents, however, and that includes Quan and Kaplan.
Now, Mayor Elect Jean Quan, by the grace of God, becomes the person in the position Perata planned to get two years ago. Jean, by the grace of God, now has the position that, if she handles it incorrectly, could cast her in the role of the new Don Perata.