A friend called me up yesterday, laughing, saying, “Well, I’m sure this is the first and last time I’ll see a lawn sign for a Democrat in your front yard.”
She may be right, unless I continue to live in Oakland where no GOP candidates even bother to file for the mayor’s race (or my assembly district!).
Normally, I’ll just cast a vote and ignore the rest of the campaign (in 2002, I voted for the more conservative candidate in the race for mayor—Jerry Brown).
This time, I’m a little more invested in the race. Not so much on behalf of the candidate I’m supporting—City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente—but because I cannot sit back and allow the wackos in this city install Ron Dellums in the mayor’s office. I do not want to foot his travel bill to Cuba or his self-esteem meetings for the poor kids kicked out of school because they are bringing drugs and/or guns to school or his universal health care plan or any of the feel-good, big government, pie-in-the-sky socialist programs he’s talking about in his campaign.
But I can hear my GOP friends saying, Ignacio De La Fuente? Really? Isn’t he a labor thug with a son on trial for multiple rape charges?
Yes and no. Yes to the son, which is unfortunate, but I’m betting that he’ll either go to jail or De La Fuente will have the brains to make the guy take a low profile. And yes, he is a product of the union machine.
But here’s why I have a De La Fuente sign in my law:
The left says he’s in the pocket of big business and developers. That’ good enough for me!
The guy rides a Harley, not an oversized tricycle like his fellow city councilmember and mayoral opponent, Nancy Nadel (who is a female Ron Dellums). He openly says that city workers don’t work hard enough and he intends to change that. You can imagine the union’s response to that. De La Fuente wants to remove all of the parking meters in the city, saying that there is no proof from city bureaucrats that the program makes enough money to cover the costs. Plus, broken meters are a pain in the neck for residents.
Also, Danny Glover and Delores Huerta support Dellums in the race. Need I say more? Probably not, but I will.
Dellums opposes the Oakland Unified School District’s policy of zero tolerance of drugs and guns, saying that the policy pushes “young men of color out of school right into prison.” (It’s the "guns kill" mentality–we not support to actually hold people accountable for their actions.) De La Fuente supports the policy, saying that the schools need to be safe places for all of the kids.
Dellums does not support standardized testing in our public schools. De La Fuente has come out strong in support of standards, saying on the Ronn Owens show a couple of weeks ago:
“I am not of favor of reducing standards. I’m not in favor to modify everything just to accommodate a problem. Our job is to provide the resources to make sure that the system works, to provide the tools for them to learn so that they can pass any test and they can go anywhere they want to go. Because once they get out of the public school system, they will go to the real world. Nobody’s going to modify and nobody’s going to accommodate when they go into the real world.”
The whole education debate as part of the mayor’s race annoys me because the mayor has no control over the schools. But that’s all they talk about in debates and public appearance. Just talk about education to a city of liberals and they’ll think you’re a really nice person.
Anyway, the last time De La Fuente ran for mayor, he apparently ignored the Oakland hills, where people own homes, pay taxes and vote. He’s not making that mistake this time and there are many more De La Fuente signs than Dellums signs in the Hills. I would love to see De La Fuente win this outright in June, but I’m sure that it’ll be a runoff between De La Fuente and Dellums next November. So my sign’s is here to stay.
(Given Jerry Brown’s lack of attention to the Oakland Hills, I may not be the only Hills residents with a De La Fuente for Mayor and Poochigian for AG sign in my front yard!)