07 June 2006

Primary returns

So far, we're seeing resounding defeats for initiatives and candidates for the pro-San Jose and pro-Fremont groups, while Oakland appears to have a definitive winner (which may or may not portend well for future ballpark efforts):
  • Oakland mayoral race (99% of precincts reporting): Dellums - 50.2%, De La Fuente - 33%, Nadel - 13%.
    This race has been changing overnight. Dellums started out in the lead, but had 44% of the vote - well below the simple majority needed to avoid a runoff. Now, with virtually all but the absentee vote counted, Dellums may avoid the runoff after all. Rumors have swirled around a group close to Dellums working up a proposal for the A's to consider should Dellums win the primary in this manner. How far is Dellums willing to go to keep the A's? On the flipside, does he believe the A's want to stay?
  • San Jose mayoral race (100% of precincts reporting): Reed - 28.3%, Chavez - 23.5%, Pandori - 17.9%, Cortese - 16.4%, Mulcahy - 10.8%.
    Reed is known as the fiscally responsible Democrat and should not be expected to support any kind of major subsidy to a sports franchise. He has supported the ballpark study and the Diridon South site acquisition, but he won't blindly support a bad ballpark deal. Chavez is considered more friendly towards the prospects of the A's and Quakes, though with "sunshine" reform being proposed, she shouldn't be expected to rubber stamp a bad deal either, mystery of the Quakes subsidy in December notwithstanding.
  • Santa Clara County Measure A [1/2-cent general sales tax increase for health care facilities, transportation including BART] (99% of precincts reporting): Yes - 42.3%, No - 57.7%.
    Without the sales tax hike, BART extensions to both Warm Springs/South Fremont and San Jose would be doomed for the forseeable future, especially since the projects did not previously qualify for federal matching funds. Without BART to either Warm Springs or San Jose, arguments in favor of ballpark proposals in those areas would become significantly weaker.
The upshot: Oakland, which only a month ago appeared to be almost resigned to losing the A's, finds itself in a much better position because it has a clear winner. This is especially true if Dellums and his team can get a ballpark-based urban renewal proposal going and if Wolff is willing to talk. Even more interesting is what approach Dellums will take becoming mayor, especially because he's not known as a "small details" kind of pol that being a mayor usually calls for. How will he work with City Council Pres De La Fuente (who'll maintain his old job) and the rest of the ever-present Perata machine? What staff changes will he make when he takes office? Will he look to exert pressure on joint-powers groups such as the Coliseum Authority?