Then his tone changed. This is someone who doesn't get that upset a lot; not this time. He said "You know me. I generally don't pay attention to politics, but whoa! This shit out here is nothing compared to what I was told. You're politically in the know, so I call on you. Is it true, we're going to have Jean Quan as our Mayor!? If that's the case, I'm outta Oakland, and I'm taking as many people as I can with me." (He didn't mean that the way you might think.)
"This shit's ridiculous," he said."What was the count?" (I explained it was 51.9 for Quan to 48.9 for Perata.) "Man. It was that voting system (referring to Ranked Choice Voting). That shit. That. The people I talked to were so confused by that. They didn't know who they were voting for."
So we continued to talk about the ballot design and how a person may be tripped up by it, then he said "That's shit's wrong. Someone can't. We can't have her as our Mayor." So I asked him what he had against Councilmember Quan. Boy, I got an ear full: "Well, of course there's the issue of the 80 police officers. But she's been hostile to police and our needs....And when she was at (Oakland City) Council, she was reading The New York Times while the discussion around the 80 or 85 cops was going on. She was indifferent. I hope this doesn't happen."
My friends view doesn't reflect my own, and I can't confirm or deny the New York Times claim, but it's really important to record what's being said out there in public, and a call from an Oakland Police Officer is a valuable look into how Oakland's rank-and-file feel about what happens in Oakland politics. One thing is clear, the Oakland Police don't like Quan.
Moreover, they totally hated what they saw as a "political grandstanding effort" by Quan and Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan when the pair got in a line with the Oakland Police in an effort to clear the streets of people after the last Oscar Grant / Mehserle protest. As one cop told me at Perata's event "I'm almost 300 pounds. Do you think I need protection and help from Quan."
Like this blog post or not, it's an honest view of the road ahead for Mayor-Elect Jean Quan, should the numbers hold up.
For it's part, the Perata Campaign had this to say via email:
It appears that there might be a reversal of fortune.Stay tuned.
We're unclear about Alameda County’s processes and await a final and accurate count.
The mystery of Ranked Choice Voting continues.