Vacuum in Oakland
Ron Dellums never really wanted to be mayor of Oakland. He expressed doubts when civic leaders recruited him to run in 2006, and ever since then,...
Ron Dellums never really wanted to be mayor of Oakland. He expressed doubts when civic leaders recruited him to run in 2006, and ever since then, the 73-year-old former congressman has frequently been accused of phoning it in--too often remaining absent from City Hall and leaving key positions unfilled.
It's a leadership void the city can't afford. Oakland is suffering from high foreclosure rates, nearly 15 percent unemployment and a spike in violent crime. After four police officers were killed in March, Dellums was not invited to speak at the memorial service.
That last debacle led Don Perata to enter the race. Perata, a former state Senate president, possesses enough name recognition and fundraising ability to already have deterred potential rivals from running. A huge cloud lifted for him in May, when the FBI decided not to indict him after a five-year probe into charges that he took bribes for legislation he backed in Sacramento.
With the election a year away, it's too early to declare Perata the city's mayor-in-waiting. But at this point, the job seems his to lose. Dellums appears to be out of the picture altogether. "The chances of him running are slim," says political consultant Larry Tramutola, "and the chances of him getting reelected are even slimmer."
Join the Discussion
LATEST POLITICS HEADLINES
The 3 States Not Backing Down Against Gay Marriage4 hours ago
South Carolina House Speaker Resigns After Admitting Misconduct in Office21 hours ago
North Dakota Fights over How to Spend Huge Oil Revenues1 day ago
In Rare Decision, Justice Ginsberg Corrects Her Texas Voter ID Dissent1 day ago
Colorado Can't Meet Demand for Driver's Licenses for Immigrants1 day ago
Maine Gov. Paul LePage Hopes to Make History in November1 day ago