So I don’t think I’m going to be getting to those school board debates after all, and I am sorry for that. I will be putting up an endorsements blog on Monday, so I’ll have a shorter overview of those races then. Right now, I’m completely spent on election stuff and exhausted and just wish Tuesday would be here already.

When you’re stressed and tired, humor becomes especially important for maintaining sanity. So I’d like to share with my readers the three things that made me laugh the most yesterday.

  • On ABC7′s story about the District 1 Council race, Brunner mocked Patrick McCullough for being no Barack Obama. McCullough responded that she’s no Hillary Clinton. She certainly isn’t.
  • I didn’t get to watch the budget meeting yesterday, but apparently Nancy Nadel asked at it if she could have the 12 extra unpaid days off, too.
  • And the best comment I’ve heard yet on the mid-cycle budget, from a reader:

    It looks like the Mayor wants to de-fund the School for the Arts. And increase the non-sworn vacancy rates in OPD and OFD…I thought Republicans were supposed to be the ones who balanced the budget on the backs of children and public safety.

15 thoughts on “Ha!

  1. oakie

    V.Smoothe: Did you have a chance to see Brunner’s hit piece put out yesterday? It’s amazing. A complete violation of the California Code of Fair Campaign Practices. She states a number of unsupported claims (that are, in fact, false) and calls Patrick a “vigilante.” The Pledge specifically say “I SHALL NOT USE OR PERMIT the use of character defamation, whispering campaigns, libel, slander, or scurrilous attacks on any candidate or his or her personal or family life.”

    Of course her failure to denounce Uhuru House’s falsehoods and smears of Patrick is also a violation of her pledge. The Pledge says ““I SHALL IMMEDIATELY AND PUBLICLY REPUDIATE support deriving from any individual or group that resorts, on behalf of my candidacy or in opposition to that of my opponent, to the methods and tactics that I condemn.” The ALL CAPS is in the pledge itself, I am not adding them.

    Brunner makes a complete mockery of the letter and the intent of the Pledge.

    She puts the piece out 3 days before the election to ensure Patrick can do nothing to respond.

    Mark Twain said ““A LIE can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Boy, was he speaking about Brunner a mere 100 years early.

  2. V Smoothe Post author

    I have heard plenty about this mailer, but can’t seem to get my hands on one. I want to see it! Brunner won in 96 by sending out a last minute hit piece on Peter Smith, so the tactic is hardly surprising. But I’d have to look at it before judging if it’s as bad as people are saying.

  3. scottpark

    I got the mailer and it wasn’t so bad. I have learned from this blog that the term “vigilante” is actually quite nuanced, and she could clearly have gotten the point across without using the word, whatever it may mean. I don’t really see anything else in the mailer that’s offensive.

    What she does do is refer to a mailer McCullough sent out, but I never saw that one. Considering the ton of mail I just got yesterday–literally 9 pieces–his mailing must not have been particularly wide.

    Compared to the Chan/Hancock stuff, the mailer was nothing. I fear folks doth protest too much.

    I also don’t believe she has any responsibility to do anything about statements made by people with no connection to her campaign. Does that mean that she has some responsibility to seek me out because I criticize McCullough? I don’t see that. I also haven’t seen any effort on behalf of the McCullough campaign to renounce criticism of Brunner that I’ve seen, and I cannot imagine that he should. I don’t think that’s the intent of the law at all.

    Thank goodness neither of them are either of the Democratic candidates.

  4. V Smoothe Post author

    I’ve now had an opportunity to see the mailer, and I agree, it really isn’t as bad as people are making it out to be.

    I don’t really understand what the second sentence in the comment means.

  5. Max Allstadt

    The mailer isn’t what was horrendous. (I finally saw it)

    What’s horrendous is the fact that Brunner let the Uhuru people sit next to her at the farmers market and repeatedly commit libel. And don’t tell me it’s not libel. If somebody wasn’t convicted in a court of attempting to murder a minor, calling them an attempted child murderer is libel.

    scottpark –

    1. it’s not a law, it is a pledge. Oakie’s right, Brunner has a responsibility to denounce Uhuru. Particularly because she’s already going to win. They’re committing libel for her benefit. She’s going to win anyway, so why not take the high road?

    2. Brunner has no responsibility to denounce you for shilling for her, because you aren’t committing libel. The words in the pledge that Oakie posted are pretty clear. The definition of libel is pretty clear. You and Uhuru are in distinctly different categories. You are keeping your identity secret while quietly shilling for Brunner on the blogosphere. Uhuru is letting us know who they are and what their agenda is, and they’re committing libel to get it done.

  6. Ethan

    This is not the first time Uruhu house has been used for the convenience of a local politico, won’t be the last.

  7. scottpark


    I wouldn’t say writing notes on this blog is doing anything in the “blogosphere.” It’s just writing comments in a blog.

    I guess what Brunner was supposed to do was approach every person the Uhuru weirdos talked to and spend her time clarifying her thoughts about what they were saying. Or, she could campaign, hoping voters will listen to her and vote for her. I have no idea what she did, and perhaps you don’t either? But in any case, I would encourage any politician to talk about themselves and the issues, not what other people are saying about their opponents.

    As no law was broken, I suppose voters could derive from this that Brunner is completely untrustworthy and cannot be relied upon to stand by any commitment she makes. But I don’t think anyone will. I think she rightly assumes that most people think Uhuru is a irrelevant cult, if they think about them at all.

    Again, you’re all protesting too much. And this comes from a Hillary Clinton supporter…you know how we can grasp at straws!

    By the way, what was in the McCullough mailing that the Brunner mailer referred to? Again, the distribution, or McCullough’s funds, must be severely limited, as I’m getting so much mail I could build a house with it but haven’t gotten a thing from Pat. I would love to see a scan of the mailer.


  8. V Smoothe Post author

    A couple of things.

    First, as I said before, after looking at Brunner’s mailer, I don’t think it was all that bad. I think that it was not classy of Brunner to imply that McCullough is a “vigilante.” The mailer was in poor taste, but I don’t think it crosses any ethical lines.

    Second, I do find it deplorable that Brunner has not publicly denounced Uhuru’s aggressive libel. When they show up at public forums and disrupt events with their slanderous banners and shouting about Pat, the appropriate thing for her to do would be to make it clear to everyone that she doesn’t endorse those tactics. Instead, she remains silent, and even sets up her table at the farmer’s market right next to them, clearly suggesting an alliance. I have other reasons, which I have explained before, for not supporting Brunner in this race, so this particular behavior doesn’t make any difference in my opinion as to who I prefer. But it has made her lose much of the respect I had left for her.

    In any case, a very helpful reader has provided scans of the Uhuru flyer, Brunner’s mailer, and Pat’s mailer, so readers are invited to look at them (PDF!) and judge for themselves.

    Finally, scottpark – I have repeatedly defended my commenters’ choice to post pseudonymously, and you’re as welcome to do so as anyone else (side note to Max: give it a rest!). But I do request that when people leave comments, they please use a functional e-mail address when doing so. I’m not going to pass on anyone’s e-mails, I just want to be able to respond to people privately on occasion.

  9. Max Allstadt

    SP -

    Did you read the pledge? Did you read what it says?

    “I SHALL IMMEDIATELY AND PUBLICLY REPUDIATE support deriving from any individual or group that resorts, on behalf of my candidacy or in opposition to that of my opponent, to the methods and tactics that I condemn.”

    Reconcile the language above with the fact that Brunner set her table up next to Uhuru at the Rockridge Farmers’ market. You can’t do it without resorting to the sort of hairsplitting that Hillary Clinton is using to embarrass herself on her way to being a footnote.

  10. scottpark

    Look, you can only set up political tables in one location at the Farmers’ Market. Brian Rogers was close to Uhuru on Sunday, too. Again, grasping at straws.

    The McCullough mailer was actually not that bad, strategically. I think you can and should expose correlations between a sitting member’s terms and greater trends in the city. I am not sure every bullet is accurate (for example, i infer, as a potential voter, from the second bullet that the crimes listed have gone up each and every year of the past 12 years Brunner was on the Council. I don’t think that’s true). But she has voted for public employee contracts and did, along with the rest of the City Council, vote for a police hiring freeze.

    The Uhuru piece is just plain weird.

    The Brunner piece is good, but the use of vigilante is not appropriate. I think the NRA comment, if accurate, gets the point accross better politically, too. Lots of people have no problems with people defending themselves.

  11. V Smoothe Post author

    I thought the NRA comment was out of line, personally. I seriously doubt that there is anyone running for any office in this town who hasn’t received donations from NRA members. People in Oakland are gun nuts.

  12. Max Allstadt


    C’mon Scott. “Grasping at straws”? She made a pledge. Somebody committed slander and libel which benefited her. When that happened, she didn’t act according to the pledge. Again, you dodged a direct question. The table location wasn’t the main point. The pledge was.

    The Uhuru movement is just plain weird. Overeducated white people who live in Bushrod, and complain about the white gentrification of… Bushrod. They’re a politicult, like LaRouche, or 9/11truth.

  13. Max Allstadt

    Just to clarify one thing SP, I’m totally on the fence in district 1. I’m not endorsing anybody at this point, and I’m telling my friends who live there to make up their own damn minds. I just think Brunner should call Uhuru what they are: a libelous, unhelpful fringe group.

  14. scottpark

    2 a: a written or oral defamatory statement or representation that conveys an unjustly unfavorable impression b (1): a statement or representation published without just cause and tending to expose another to public contempt (2): defamation of a person by written or representational means (3): the publication of blasphemous, treasonable, seditious, or obscene writings or pictures (4): the act, tort, or crime of publishing such a libel.

    If this is the Webster definition of libel, then Brunner should do something and so should Pat McCullough. Under the first definition, the comment I heard from the McCullough tabler–”Brunner did nothing about crime until Pat made it an issue”–is also libel. Since it is an untrue statement, it is “unjustly unfavorable.” The same may be true of any reasonable inference from the second bullet of Pat’s mailer, which I mention above.

    I say most things are fair, only because it is nearly impossible to enforce/police this stuff. Both Brunner and McCullough were tough on each other, but I think McCullough was far FAR tougher. I also think that’s appropriate–there’s no other way to dislodge an incumbent.