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De La Fuente On The Oakland A's: "I'm Too Busy" - It's In The East Bay Express


If you're wondering what place the issue of the possible move of the Oakland A's out of Oakland has in the mind of Oakland Council President and Mayoral Candidate Ignacio De La Fuente, it's bottom-of-the-barrel:

"For a politician, De La Fuente, president of the Oakland City Council, is remarkably punctual. Driving like a lunatic from one meeting to the next probably has a lot to do with that. Right now he's returning to City Hall after an hour-long jaw session at the Coliseum with A's owner Lew Wolff, who has been threatening to move the club to Fremont. The 57-year-old politician admits he hasn't spent a lot of time recently thinking about the A's. "I'm busy right now," he says.

It's in the just released East Bay Express.

Now let's think about this for a moment. Ignacio is not that stupid where he would make a statement like that if he thought it would not hurt him. Well, let me take that back. He can make such a miscalculation. But I know exactly what prompted him to say that statement to The Express' Will Harper.

It's a little known poll conducted last year which asks a wide range of questions of interest to anyone running for office in Oakland. I've seen the poll and its results.

One of the questions concerns the A's indirectly and it asks if you the Oaklander would support the expenditure of public money for a stadium. The obvious overwhelming answer given was no.

But it was the wrong question, and the right one has not been asked via poll. It's this: "Would you support keeping the A's in Oakland?"

Regardless, the results to the ask of the wrong question in the poll have caused some Oakland politicians to act with a degree of hubris that may seem suprising, but is actually typical in the history of Oakland sports executives and Oakland's elected officials -- research the politics behind Raiders move to LA. A brief look will show how Oakland and Alameda County elected officials -- except the late Oakland Mayor Lionel Wilson -- didn't take Raiders Owner Al Davis' threat to move the team seriously.

I think such positions are stupid and born of egos larger than mine -- and that's huge.

In the case of Ignacio, Will Harper got it wrong in his article / column on De La Fuente -- he's not blunt, so much as he's mean sprited. Ignacio's one flaw is his constant need to tell you, or me, or the A's , that we're not important to him.

That's bad.

Regardless of the outcome of the election, Ignacio's got to stop doing that. It's terrible, mean-sprited, insulting, and insensitive. I know he does not mean to be -- well, mean. But he does this far too often, and it creates problems for him in relationships; difficulties that need not occur.

My fear is that should Ignacio win election as Mayor, he will not change, and Oakland will not be the better city with him at the helm.

If Ignacio does work on this aspect of his personality and really change, I'll tell you this, I'll back him the next time he comes to bat for the position of Mayor of Oakland.
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