Libby Schaaf is officially running for re-election as Mayor of Oakland – not new news at all. Let’s take a look at where the 50th Mayor of Oakland, and first white woman to run the City of Oakland, stands in her quest to retain her seat as of this moment in time. Preliminarily, one has to say she looks pretty good, particularly from a fund-raising and competitors standpoint.
In 2014, Schaaf raised $341.503.55, and even though challenger Bryan Parker raised more than she did by just over $11,000, he failed to make that money become votes: Schaaf gained 20,094 votes (when rank-choice voting second and third selections are combined with first picks), versus just 5,546 votes for Parker. (Who has said he has no plans to run again, but people do change their minds.) This year, Schaaf’s on a good pace with respect to that.
Right now, according to City of Oakland campaign files, Schaaf has already raised just over 47 percent of her 2014 campaign total, or $161,557.66 as of July 30th 2017.
That $161,557.66 came from some of the usual suspects: local Oakland entrepreneur John Bliss and his wife Kim Thompson, who’s an Oakland lawyer, Oakland Lawyers Joan Story and Bob Stumpf, long-time friend and legal talent recruiter Becky Taylor, San Francisco-based Political Consultant John Whitehurst, Oakland-based Political Consultant Jason Overman, Yui Hay Lee’s architecture firm, William Rosseti of Oakland apartment owner J and R Associates, and SCN Strategies of San Francisco.
The list was also notable for who didn’t put money into it: one name that sticks out among them is long time Oakland lawyer Zachary Wasserman of Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP (a firm Mayor Schaaf once worked for). Another is Amy Baker, who seems to have timed out from supporting the Mayor this time around.
I know these two were supporters before, because they were at the same initial fund-raiser i attended in 2014, and assembled by Oakland developer John Protopappas – who’s name was not on the City of Oakland record this time around, either.
And missing were the folks in this video from the press conference on the minimum wage law:
That would seem to imply Mayor Schaaf has a problem drawing back the people who initially helped her. Considering it’s still early in the political ball game this time out, that could change.
Still, Mayor Schaaf has crafted for herself an uphill battle – and the hill is formed by two simple facts: she forgot to bring along her real friends, and Libby micro-managed in matters she was better off letting more experienced players work for her.
The friends matter reared its head, first, in 2014, when a mutual friend of ours complained that she wanted to work for Libby (and needed work) but could not get a call back from her. I did reach out to Libby on her behalf, but the then-new Mayor was supposedly too swamped to get back to our friend.
That’s the lesson in politics: friendship is a two-way street: you can’t ask for people to help you, if you’re not willing to help them when you reach the prize. For all of his errors, that’s the one rule Donald Trump did not forget when he became POTUS: keep your friends close – period. Money is the oil that helps friendships run smoothly – the other factor is communication. Libby didn’t get the memo in both cases.
(Mainstream media types might complain about friends and cronies in politics, but then they turn around and act the same way in newsrooms. Go figure.)
The other lesson is to let more experienced people help you and then you sit back and take the credit. Scott McKibben, the current head-boss over at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority (JPA) was completely unappreciated by Mayor Schaaf, and her bad treatment of him is one reason he’s all-but out of the door and headed to run Levi Stadium. If McKibben had been the head of a task force to retain the Raiders (and one ran by the JPA), the Oakland Raiders arguably would not be wasting bucks in Las Vegas as I write this.
But I digress.
So with that, and more from the usual suspects of errors in judgement you and I both know about (like the Police Sex Scandal, the Ghost Ship Fire, and the apparent loss of the Raiders), it would seem Libby has a set of problems that could hamper her quest for the brass ring, once again. But there’s one fact: as of this writing, she’s running for Mayor of Oakland unopposed.
Sure, there are many rumors that this person, or that person, or me, will go against Libby, but none of them has materialized for now. Heck, I was just told there’s a rumor that a former African American female employee of Libby’s thinking of running for Mayor.
Considering there are two who fit that “former” tag, and one of them is Director of Communications for Mozilla, that could only mean Peggy Moore. Yep: the same Peggy Moore who ran for the Oakland City Council At-Large Seat and lost to the incumbent Rebecca Kaplan. The same Peggy Moore who was one of Libby’s major behind-the-scenes campaign workers the first time out.
Yes… THAT Peggy Moore…
Keep your friends close, right?