A community news source for residents of the HarriOak neighborhood in Oakland, CA.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Greg Hodge Back in District 3 Race

(edited March 30, 2008)
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch ruled Friday that Greg Hodge can run for District 3. We've posted a bunch of different versions of this because it was a bit confusing what happened. The Oakland Trib has the best account of how Hodge waited until the very last day to turn in his signatures and then only turned in 49 that were valid.This is a joke. Fifty signatures is an unbelievably low barrier to entry.

Hodge originally got certified by assistant city clerk Marjo Keller. His signatures were challenged by two Nancy Nadel supporters, James Vann and Stuart Flashman. Nadel told the Trib she played no role in trying to keep Hodge off the ballot.

In the end, Hodge got back on the ballot because one of the signatures that was ruled invalid belonged to a neighbor of his whose residence has two addresses on it. (Similar to a duplex.) The neighbor used one address when he registered to vote and another when he signed Hodge's petition. At the court hearing it came up that Hodge could have fixed this problem before submitting his signatures, as well as taken other steps that would have kept him on the ballot and the city and taxpayers out of court.

Ultimately, Judge Roesch determined that those were "what ifs." He said he was basing his ruling on "what is."

"The question is if the 'what is' is good enough," Roesch said.


Critical Chris said...

You sound like the Deputy City Attorney arguing the case:

"This isn't a 'what if' proposition," Judge Frank Roesch responded. "It's a 'what is.' The question is if the 'what is' is good enough." Salem-Boyd persisted: Perhaps if Hodge hadn't waited to the very last day to turn in his signatures, the problem would have been avoided. Roesch came back: "It's not a 'what if' situation. If it was a 'what if' situation, we all could have bought Microsoft stock."

Don't like the low threshold? Get it changed. But before you jump to jump to your harsh indictments, take a look at the backroom political engineering that went on with this "huge distraction."

Why don't you give Hodge a chance to prove himself on his record of community work and policy platforms. Don't forget Salmore and Salmore's writing about how an incumbent has TIME, money, and name recognition on her side. Other challengers may have more campaign contributions. Are you next going to say Hodge doesn't have his act together because he can't raise as much glossy mailer money as Sean Sullivan?

Anonymous said...

District 3 needs a representative who is competent and who will listen to residents. The incumbent has a mixed record on this. Her volunteers called people in the district this weekend and out and out lied about her support for the police. One went as far to say that she had shut down problem liquor stores. Actually, Nancy has worked with violators to ensure that they stay open!!! She has done NOTHING to clean up the violence in poor neighborhoods. I know because I live in one, and we're cleaning it up thug by thug and slumlord by slumlord. This is dangerous work that Nancy won't touch with a ten foot pole. I know nothing about Greg Hodge, but at this point he is going to have to convince me that he is competent. The problem isn't that the barrier to entry is too low. The problem is he didn't make a minimum effort to meet it. Then he sued to make up for his lack of attention. He hit the taxpayers with a legal bill even before he got into office. I can only imagine the havoc a guy like that could wreck if he had some authority. Why run for office if you aren't going to take it seriously? Being a city council member in Oakland isn't a joke, regardless of the performance of the current bunch of comedians.
That said, I'll listen to what Hodge has to say at the All Candidates Forum and give him a chance to change my mind.