There’s still almost a month before the City Council elections, and I have to admit, I’m already sick of them. I’m tired of writing about them, I’m bored of watching the candidates all say the same things over and over again at forum after forum, and I’m tired of constantly having to watch Nancy Nadel tell voters things that are just not true over and over again. (Last night at the Old Oakland Neighbors forum, BTW, she once again told the audience that Mandela Foods is opening at the end of the month.)
If you look at Nancy Nadel’s campaign website, you’ll see a long list of all sorts of great things that she’s done for District 3. (Well, sort of. The list isn’t actually all that long, particularly for someone who’s been in office nearly 12 years.) Anyway, it frustrates to me to watch her take credit for this improvement or that project, when the people involved will tell you that she never provided any assistance. But being able to claim responsibility for every good thing that happens in your district appears to be just another one of the perks of being the incumbent, so I deal with it. And it’s frustrating to me to watch her make claims that aren’t true, like telling people she’s creating a new teen center in West Oakland, when the reality is that there is no teen center coming. (Nancy Nadel used $850,000 of city money (PDF!) to purchase a building last fall that she wants to turn into a teen center. But there is no actual funding available, so currently, the building is just sitting there, mothballed, and costing taxpayers something like $18,000/year for maintenance and graffiti removal).
Anyway, it’s one thing to claim that you made something happen in your district when you didn’t have anything to do with it, or to say that you’re working on something that isn’t going to happen, but it’s another thing entirely to advertise accomplishments that simply don’t exist. Look at her position paper on the environment (PDF!).
Included on her list of accomplishments is:
Established new dog parks at Mosswood and Lake Merritt.
Okay. There is no dog park at Lake Merritt. None. The Oakland Dog Owners Group has been trying to get a dog park at Lake Merritt for quite some time, but so far, their efforts have failed. Anyway, I find this amazing. Why does Nancy Nadel think it’s okay to lie like that in her campaign literature? Does she think that nobody’s going to notice? What a sad comment on Oakland’s electorate.
Transformed Jefferson Park into a skate park for youth.
This is just not true at all! Jefferson Park isn’t a skate park, nor is it on its way to becoming one. I went there on Saturday and took pictures for you:
You can’t skateboard there!
That doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of fun things to do at Jefferson Park. You can take a nap on the lawn next to the freeway.
Or play basketball.
Or ping pong.
Or bring your kids to enjoy the play structures.
But it is not a skate park, nor is there even any paved section of the park where one could potentially skate.
Now, it’s true that way back in 2005, Nancy Nadel said she was going to make a skate park at Jefferson Square park. But as with most things she promises, that seems to have been dropped. (UPDATE 5/9/08: Nancy Nadel’s policy aide Marisa Arrona called me this morning to tell me that the skate park has not been dropped, and that she has been working on identifying funding sources for the project for over a year now. She says that the first funding source fell through, and that funding sources are confidential, but that they’re looking at three different funding sources and that the project will be very expensive. This, of course, doesn’t change the fact that the campaign literature claims the project has been completed even though it hasn’t, with the line “transformed Jefferson Park into a skate park,” (as illustrated in the screen grab below), which was the entire point of my post. But Arrona requested that it be updated to reflect that she is working on the park, so there you go.) Nadel’s aide Carletta Starks certainly doesn’t seem to know anything about Nadel’s involvement with the Jefferson Skate Park effort, telling Novometro reporter Ellen Mulholland less than three months ago that she thought someone was trying to raise money for a skate park there. Actually, Oakland’s skate park saga and Nancy Nadel’s role in it is pretty interesting (and depressing). I’ll try to write about that soon.
Anyway…WTF? I find it unbelievable that she thinks it’s okay to just fabricate non-existent accomplishments and use them in campaign literature. Her claims that she created a Lake Merritt dog park and turned Jefferson Square Park into a skate park are indefensible and unethical in the extreme. Nancy Nadel is simply not fit for public office. It’s a very sad reflection on Oakland that we have to deal with this level of moral bankruptcy from our “conscience of the Council.”
Oh, and since Nancy Nadel has altered her City Council website in response to things I’ve written about it in the past, I would not be at all surprised if the lies in question are removed soon. Here’s a screen grab of the page, taken this morning:
UPDATE 5/9/08: As predicted, here’s a screen grab of the page now, taken this morning