19th & Kaplan

Only two endorsements this (U.S.) election, mostly because I haven’t been paying very close attention. Most importantly, for , the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010. Stop throwing people in prison over this. Full stop.

Unfortunately recent polls indicate fading support for the initiative. Presumably this is mainly what is reflected by traders, among whom the consensus seems to discount a “Broadus Effect”:

Sadly no contracts are conditioned on the outcome.

Choices in the Oakland (where I’ve lived for almost exactly two years) mayoral race are underwhelming. “V Smoothe” of the excellent A Better Oakland blog (recommended for residents; the only Oakland-centric blog I’ve followed for any length of time … for that matter, the only Oakland-centric news source, not counting a neighborhood mailing list and the only somewhat Oakland-centric East Bay Express) has posted take-downs of leading candidates Rebecca Kaplan (ineffective), Jean Quan (I’d bet on increased probability of bankruptcy), Joe Tuman (ignorant), and is supporting the frontrunner, Don Perata, a leading symbol of corruption in the Bay Area, and a lobbyist for California prison guards, roughly on the grounds that only he can get stuff done and his faults can be explained away.

I don’t have much confidence that Perata would “get stuff done” and even lower confidence that whatever he got done would have good outcomes. Given lack of anyone with an obviously stellar, or even realistic, policy portfolio, I’m discounting projected ability (or lack thereof) to “get stuff done” and rationally indulging in an expressive vote, for — simultaneously the most unusual, and most stereotypically Oakland, of the leading candidates — lesbian, green (formerly Green), and for marijuana legalization.

Oakland has more lesbian couples per capita than any other big city in the U.S. (though Oakland isn’t exactly big) and if Kaplan were elected would as far as I know one of a very few lesbian mayors of significant cities in the U.S. (though way behind the actual big city of ), and is known for being a center of environmental activism of both the political and urban homesteading sorts and as .

I have a weak preference for a jurisdiction to accentuate whatever distinguishing characteristics it has, excepting wholly negative ones (e.g., crime, and gross corruption and incompetence). Kaplan will best accentuate (or rather signal; remember this is an expressive vote) the relatively neutral to good qualities of Oakland (yes, the whether is fantastic, and out of mayoral control) and doesn’t seem likely to cause exacerbation its wholly negative qualities.

(I haven’t investigated closely, but at a glance there doesn’t seem to be a worthy protest vote among those with almost no support in polls — to the contrary, they seem to be a rouge’s gallery of idiots, liars, and stooges — worse than most of the leading candidates. 19th & Kaplan doesn’t seem to exist anywhere, but it’s a intersection in a fictional Oakland.)

4 Responses

  1. […] ranked Rebecca Kaplan ahead of you, but in truth my expressive rationale for doing so could just as well have favored you: a progressive Asian American woman represents a […]

  2. […] a good narrative as to why a recall will lead to long-term superior outcomes for Oakland? Note I didn’t vote for her (not as my 1st, 2nd, or 3rd choice) and have low expectations for the remainder of her term. […]

  3. […] Rebecca Kaplan, the incumbent, has an OK issues page and I rank her first for the same reason I ranked her first for mayor: the other candidates are […]

  4. […] 2010 I ranked Kaplan first among a very weak field. Jean Quan won; my recommendations/predictions for her tenure still […]

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