“Did you hear the first words out of her mouth?” Oakland mayoral candidate Joe Tuman said incredulously of Mayor Jean Quan. “‘I’m sorry I misspoke.’ How many times have you heard that?”

Although, many candidates for mayor voiced specific displeasure with Quan’s first term in office at week’s public safety forum, there was only one brief, if not a passive, confrontation between the candidates. Quan versus Tuman.

Near the end of the forum, candidates were allowed to pose a single question to one other opponent. Quan chose Tuman. It was not clear whether the pick indicated she views Tuman as a threat or merely hastily chosen. Quan appeared momentarily like a kid having trouble picking an ice cream among many choices at Baskin & Robbins.

Some internal polls have shown Tuman’s campaign has strong support. One poll last December, which included Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan and extrapolated with ranked choice voting, showed Tuman, not Quan, in the final two with the undeclared candidate.

However, Quan’s question was simple last Thursday night. She asked Tuman, who ran for mayor four years ago, how many community meetings and ride-alongs with law enforcement did he attend before 2010? Tuman answered: two and zero.

When asked what he thought Quan was getting at, Tuman said he was wise to her. “She was trying to imply that I’m a Johnny-come-lately.” Tuman says there’s a simple reason why he wasn’t involved in Oakland politics before 2010. He was working as a political analyst for KPIX-TV. Crossing the line between media and advocacy would have been poor form. “The implication, somehow, that she has a longer history and, therefore, I’m not entitled to be mayor is typical of her logic,” Tuman added. “I’ve lived in Oakland 30 years. I’ve raised my children here, too,” said Tuman. “It’s ok, it’s politics. She can take her dig.”

Later in the forum, though, Tuman took the opportunity to return favor. Despite technically not a public safety-related question, Tuman asked Quan to address an assertion she made during last month’s State of the City that a budget surplus now exists. “What I think I said,” Quan responded, “and I misspoke if I said that…” Quan added a city staff report said Oakland had higher revenues than previously projected.

Afterwards, Tuman said the response was unacceptable. “I think if you tracked down Deanna Santana or Fred Blackwell, they would give you an earful about the budget. There is no deficit. In fact, we may be facing a sizable deficit. To say otherwise during the State of the City speech is just election year politics.”

Tuman paused and said, “I was disappointed with her answer, to tell you the truth.”

Cross-posted from EB Citizen.



12 Responses

  1. r2

    The Quan-style mind: “She asked Tuman, who ran for mayor four years ago, how many community meetings and ride-alongs with law enforcement did he attend before 2010?”

    “Tuman answered: two and zero.”

    The question asked whether some action was made. The question was answered honestly by Tuman.

    A functional mind asks this sort of question: Mayor Quan how have you improved public safety in Oakland?

    Quan-style answer: I started the 100 Block Program. I’ve been working to hire more police.

    This question wants to know whether an action produced some result. The question was not answered honestly by Quan–she said what she did but did not say what the result was of her action.

    Hopefully some Oakland voters can distinguish between the Quan-mind and the functional mind.

  2. RichW

    Mayor Quan lacks any executive ability whatsoever – she’s a complete bumbler. The mere mention of her her name causes people to laugh, she has become a symbol of ineptitude in Oakland. When people do something stupid at our office – like erasing important documents on the computer they will say, “Oops, I just did a Mayor Quan.”. I’m not kidding about this, she is butt of jokes around the office. This candidate Joe Tuman , I think, is the right candidate to lead Oakland forward. Tuman’s not a politician, not in the pocket of special interest groups (see Mayor Quan, or other candidates), he’s considered an expert on public Budgets (Tuman longtime SF State University professor), and he has workable plans to deal with Oakland’s pressing problems, such as the public safety mess. Tuman is the right candidate, he will get Oakland back on track. Let’s elect the best Mayor we can – Joe Tuman just rocks

  3. Len Raphael

    Steve, did Joe Tuman say “There is no deficit. In fact, we may be facing a sizable deficit.” or “There is no surplus, …

  4. Pablo

    there’s no reason why Tuman couldn’t have attended more than two community meetings before 2012. Being a media political analyst does not preclude him from being involved in the community. Tavares us wrong to assert that somehow Tuman should be above politics while working for the corporate media. How do we know Tuman wasn’t planning to run for office all along and using the TV exposure to build name recognition? That being said, he makes a good point about Mayor Quan. It’s odd that more candidates don’t point out her mis-statements and attack her weak record.

  5. John

    If you ask me, I think this article is a little irrelevant because neither Tuman nor Quan should be Oakland’s next mayor.

    Quan has been terrible for the city. It shouldn’t be a surprise. Oakland’s voters elected Quan based on her experience running Oakland’s schools yet forgot that Quan did such a poor job there that she took the school district into receivership.

    The best thing going for Tuman is that he’s not Jean Quan. However, he’s not really qualified to be mayor either. Tuman may be very interested in politics but he doesn’t have any management experience–unless you count being a college department chair. Managing the courses selected by a handful of college professors has little to do with running a city. He would have the same problems that Quan has had: lack of management experience.

    Oakland is a big city with big needs. Oakland needs a mayor that knows how to run a complex organization and manage a budget. The only candidate that fits that description is Bryan Parker. He managed a division of a company with a budget that’s similar in size to Oakland’s. He may dress like a banker, but he’s certainly got his Oakland roots. If anyone wants to talk crime and has a right to, it’s Parker. I was watching the video of last week’s mayoral candidate debate and was blown away by Parker. I was also touched by Parker’s passion and saddened when I learned that Bryan Parker’s sister was murdered at age 16.

    Bryan Parker has suffered the cost of crime personally. Not only is he the only candidate that has endured violent crime; he’s also the only candidate with the experience needed to confront Oakland’s crime and fix it.

    I didn’t know much about Bryan Parker before a few weeks ago, but the more I learn about him the more I realize he’s the no brainer candidate for Oakland’s mayor.

    I know some people are big on Courtney Ruby and Libby Schaaf. I don’t know much about either other than neither of them should be mayor. Courtney Ruby is running on her experience as auditor, which is idiotic seeing how poorly Oakland has spent its money under her watch. Libby Schaaf is a former big wig lawyer that worked for sketchy companies that preyed on young poor people that needed money. We need a candidate who has spent his life overcoming Oakland’s crime and not a candidate who spent her 20s getting rich while making others poor.

  6. Jason Mundstuk

    I totally agree. I was at the forum at Temple Sinai and came away thinking that Joe Tuman should be mayor of Oakland. Quan actually does what she does pretty well which is doing grass roots activities working on a small scale but she has not grown in this job that I can see. She tries to micromanage, does not provide a “leadership” impression, and is obviously very hard to work for.

  7. michelle t

    Ceasefire started approximately 1.5 years ago, I have been doing the night walks, contributing to the community part of Oakland’s official anti-violence strategy. In the first six months, I go several times a month, now I go around once a month.

    Here’s my general observations on the major mayoral candidates and other noted figures.

    Mayor Quan 5-6 times, finish the whole walk with everyone
    Kaplan 0 times
    Schaaf 0 times
    Tuman 0 times
    Ruby 0 times
    Chief Whent 1 times, at least.

    PS. Night walk is a weekly Friday activity.General volunteers walk in the parts of Oakland where historically the most violence has occurred. Measure Y people walks on different days on the block where violence like homicides or assault have happened the week before.

  8. OaklandNative

    Michelle T,
    You don’t consider Bryan Parker or Patrick McCullough to be major mayoral candidates? You didn’t list them.

  9. Michelle t


    Bryan Parker 0 times,

    I don’t know about him until after he announced his candidacy which is after Ceasefire started.

    Who’s Patrick McCullough?
    Daniel Siegle

  10. Michelle t

    Misspelled Siegel and accidentally send in unfinished message.

    To be fair, I probably won’t recognize Parker and Siegel in person, only know them thru. reputation and photos.

    To me, Siegal is pretty notorious, because of his support for Occupy Oakland even after OO staged the monthly “F*** the police” rally.

  11. OaklandNative

    Patrick McCullough was one of the participants at the mayoral debate. From what little I know about him, he has piqued my curiousity. Unfortunately, he seems to be getting little attention in the circus.

  12. Oakie

    Does anyone know when the next mayoral debate/forum is? According to Oakland Wiki there is one 4/30 at Noon at Laney College. But I can’t find any info about that.


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