Voters should use a critical eye and read between the lines of resumes trumpeting a candidate's experience on a board or city council. While the candidate hopes that when you read they've participated in a prestigious body you'll be favorably impressed and believe they will continue that fine quality of work in the new office, the voter should question if their performance truly was laudable or indicative of what's wrong in Oakland.  

For instance:

WHAT THEY SELL                                WHAT YOU GOT


REALLY? The school system is not marvelous,

it's been failing for many years.


Screw ups forced the return of $800,000 in badly needed funds; Poor return on our investment.


Perpetually Pitiful Performance;

Posturing, Pandering, Perplexity.

Publicly scrutinized and Verified to be true.

​ asked the mayoral candidates this:

"What candidates besides yourself do you urge Oakland voters to support with their 2nd and 3rd choice votes for mayor? Please explain your choices." Here's the original version of my answer that I edited to fit the space:

​   Going along to get along is not my model for leadership. Without asking other candidates about their opinions of me or soliciting input for the remaining choices, I’ve decided to honestly share with you how I will vote for mayor. 

​ I respect and to varying degree like all the candidates vying to be Mayor. Since making friends was never high on my list, and robust, truthful, exposition is essential to a free election, I’m going to speak the truth – tell it like it is – by explaining why I won’t vote for certain candidates. I’ve been aware of most of the candidates for many years and have investigated the others to know more. I am an informed voter. See my website,, Considering the Candidates tab, for more.

Although some candidates and their backers have been gaming the system – just look at the media blackout and speak-no-evil, hear-no-eviI, see-no-evil collaboration of the so-called “top” contenders, I am running on principle, so I don’t give a darn if some ridiculous politician ultimately wins the election. Oakland will get the government it deserves and will suffer if it must. Perhaps, in time, more voters will pay attention to the facts and timely seek information so they will elect a trustworthy leader. Time will tell.

I had hoped that a person would step forward that I could trust to lead Oakland and who would use the authority of the Mayor’s office to achieve a better life for its residents. But just as what happened when, in 1994, I first asked people for help to make my city safer, the politicians let me down even after I lowered my expectations.

First, the true top candidates:

Liu                        Peter is a little young and rough around the edges, but if you get past the objectionable language you’ll have a very thoughtful candidate with sound ideas that if implemented would make for a better society.

Anderson            Shake is a community organizer who has dedicated a lot of energy to improving life in Oakland. We disagree on many things but he is amenable to new information and could be a great mayor someday, but not today.

Washington        Sam is ready now, but Oakland isn’t ready to write-in a mayor. It’s too bad the media blackout and write-in bias can’t be overcome by pure merit; he has what it takes.

Houston              Certainly no man is handsomer or more enthusiastic, but I envision him excelling in the private sector.

Karamooz           He seems earnest, but I strongly disagree with some of his positions, notably those regarding public safety.

Sidebotham        Six electoral losses and she’s stilltrying. And lucky for us, because she knows Oakland’s political history and what to do next. She’s nobody’s fool or tool.

Williams               To a great degree, the Chief is the serene, better dressed version of me. He has some plans that should be implemented and some that people may not like. But he’d get the job done.

McCullough        Intelligent, integrity, born for this. Oh, yeah, that’s me!

  The moneyed candidates:

Quan                   She seems oblivious to way too much. Her performance on the school board, the council, and as Mayor was atrocious. She counts as performance those things purely beyond her control: good luck and economic trends.

Siegel                  His stance on police and society bothers me; his school board tenure was as lousy as Quan’s and led to me paying for many years of private school and self-defense.

Kaplan                 I've never much liked or trusted Kaplan. Chameleon-like pandering, glad-handing, and fence-straddling may make one popular but also very untrustworthy. Watch out.

Schaff                 Oakland needs a leader, not a hella princess.

Tuman                 Microphone tough Mr. Reluctant. A smart, detailed, paper tiger, reluctant to defend residents like me, reluctant to announce candidacy, reluctant to give Measure Z support, …

Parker                  After challenging his concept of top priority (see our separately written Oak Tribune “My Word” opinion pieces where he picked civil rights and I picked public safety) I still don’t know who/what he stands for or if he really can.

Ruby                    I used to like her a lot, but the hi-tech lynching of Council members Reid & Brooks for benignly doing what all the councilmembers wrongly have done seems like dirty politics unbefitting an auditor or mayor. Too bad.

If Ruby had shown more tough un-biased independence and hadn’t harped on denouncing Reid and Brooks (who, by the way, haven’t spoken to or endorsed me) she would have earned my support. If Tuman didn’t seem like a paper tiger I would have supported him. Parker hasn’t convinced me he stands for the things I believe in.

So, among the moneyed contenders, there is no one I can recommend, despite oft-heard fears that someone awful like Quan or Kaplan will otherwise win.

​​ Whether they vote for me or not, Charles Williams and Nancy Sidebotham will get my other two votes.