Dellums Watch: Keeping Tabs on Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums

Because we care deeply about Oakland, we want Mayor Dellums to succeed. However, we strongly opposed his election because he never held a municipal position in Oakland and has lived in Washington for the last thirty-five years. We are wary of some of his supporters, and wish to keep a close eye on local political machinations. This blog will be focused on politics and people, not policy perscriptions (unlike FutureOakland).

January 03, 2007

Local media down on Dellums

Not a good start for Mayor Dellums.

SFist, whose Oakland correspondent considered, but rejected, joining a task force, calls him "last-minute mayor" for his "slapdash inauguration."

Carla Marinucci of the Chronicle unflatteringly compares Attorney General Jerry Brown's low-key inauguration, and Schwarzennegger's lavish but two-day fete, to Dellums' inaugural week.

Chip Johnson gratuitously criticizes Dellums' early request for a raise. It seems to me that City Councilmembers, whose attendance at public hearings and votes are critical to running the city, deserve a raise before the mayor (who makes about twice as much as they do).

Will Harper, of the Express, warns his readers not to expect "radical changes" from the (likely one-term) Dellums mayoralty, calling the man "a bold orator but a cautious politician."

UPDATE: CBS 5 ran a story this evening entitled "Oakland's Inaugural Bash Draws Big Corporate Bucks," and their political analyst says, "ethically, it's questionable." Ethics are not the problem; the real issue is bad taste at a time of record-setting murders, as well as the hypocrisy of the old socialist soliciting corporate contributions.



More of the tone for Mayor Dellums' administration will be set next week, with the gala events of inauguration week. Already, it's off to a bad start, with the actual inauguration a week too early, and rumors that the Paramount ceremony has been oversold. The Tribune's Brenda Payton will likely cover the events. As some of you may recall, she wrote a ridiculous column accusing retail consultants and Mayor Brown of being racist by favoring The Beach Chalet over Everett & Jones for a lakeside restaurant concession. By assigning perhaps the only pro-Dellums Trib reporter, the newspaper seems to be cutting the new mayor some slack. It is doubtful that the Chronicle or Express will be so kind.

53 Comments:

At January 11, 2007 1:15 AM, Anonymous MJH said...

First off, wasnt the innauguration open to the public... meaning Free?
And second, Heather MacDonald covered the event for the trib. She sat two rows ahead of me with a notepad. She is the City Hall beat Reporter. Brenda Payton is a columnist who runs pieces about twice a week or so.

 
At January 11, 2007 5:23 PM, Blogger Oakland Native said...

Yes, I was wrong about that. The number of reserved seats, however, were overbooked by both Dellums' inaugural staff and Desley Brooks' 32 guests. In the end, the theater wasn't full; press reports call the orchestra level standing-room only, but the balcony was less than half full.

Also, the black-tie soiree ran out of gift bags and engraved flutes before half the guests had left the party.

I was wrong about the Trib, too. Ms. Payton is in fact covering the inauguration for KQED radio. For more on the press covering Dellus, read Robert Gammon's blog in which he reveals that security officials at the Paramount attempted to physically restrain him from attending a press conference where the participants were allowed only one question.

 
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