Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums made a rare visit to the Oakland City Council tonight, Tuesday, and for the purpose of breaking a tie vote on an alternative created by Councilmember Jean Quan to a resolution that if passed would have taken money from the Oakland public campaign financing program and put it into a plan for educating voters on the new Instant Run-Off Voting system.
Quan's alternative split money $100,000 for campaigns, and $100,000 for IRV education. The current City of Oakland program provides just over $200,000 for public campaign financing. In other words, the city helps you by providing matching funds.
The Mayor stepped forward after a lively but brutally nasty two-minute statement by Oakland's number one gadfly Sanjiv Handa. Sanjiv accused the City of Oakland and its City Council of being "greedy" because incumbent councilmembers running for reelection didn't want to have competition. While this space agrees with Sanjiv in principle, Handa's anger, with him almost shaking at the podium, was unnecessary.
After saying that he was a proponent of public financing "going way back to the 60s," and giving the signal that he was going to cast a vote against the amendment, he voted for it, making no one happy, as such votes tend to do.
Dellums tie-breaker decreased public campaign financing assistance by $100,000. After Mayor Dellums pointed out that the City of Oakland did not have to get into the business of edcuating voters because non-profit organizations were doing it, Dellums essentially voted against his own principles and logic.
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