26 April 2006

Election time

The June election is less than 6 weeks away, and some major things will be decided that could have an impact (direct or indirect) on the A's future in the Bay Area. Among the issues:
  • Oakland's mayoral race could extinguish or revive any hope of retaining the A's within city limits. Frontrunner Ron Dellums appears to be convinced that the A's already have one foot out the door, while Ignacio De La Fuente has said he's willing to fight to keep the team.
  • San Jose's mayoral race is wide open, and that means it's getting ugly. Yesterday, a Merc report linked Vice Mayor/mayoral candidate Cindy Chavez to the 11th hour, backroom deal for the Grand Prix race. Opponents Chuck Reed, Dave Cortese, and Michael Mulcahy seized upon the story, with Mulcahy calling for the Santa Clara County DA to investigate the matter further.
  • Santa Clara County Measure A proposes a 1/2-cent sales tax hike that would fund hospitals, emergency services, and transportation - chiefly BART. At 8.75%, the County would tie Alameda County for the highest sales tax in the Bay Area. This tax is expected to be the deciding factor in the push for BART to San Jose, as its revenue stream is designed to make up for a federal funding component that hasn't materialized. Should BART not come to San Jose, the Warm Springs extension could be delayed indefinitely, even though they are technically "de-coupled."
I haven't been able to attend any Oakland forums/debates so far, but I'm going to try to make May 15th's forum sponsored by Oakland Community Organizations (location TBD). For Oakland residents I have a request: If you have the opportunity to pose A's or ballpark-related questions at any of the house parties or other events, please send me any feedback you get. I'll be happy to devote a new post (and attribute you) on the subject matter. As a San Jose resident, I'll be attending Saturday's Public Policy Forum (at City Hall Council Chambers, no mayoral candidates expected), the Monday and May 13 debates (also at City Hall Council Chambers). Living in downtown SJ makes it quite easy to attend such SJ-related events, Oakland's another story.