Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Candidates for Oakland City Attorney Dig into Debate, Brunner and Parker Discuss the Issues

Live Blogging the #OakDebates
6:35pm -- The two final candidates for Oakland’s City Attorney race began their debate tonight in an open forum at the Waterfront Hotel, located in Jack London Square.  The debate, co-produced by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Committee and the League of Women Voters started promptly at 6:30pm to a full house of nearly 80 people. OMCC representative Paul Junge introduced the candidates on behalf of the Chamber Public Policy Council, and Oakland Tribune City Hall Reporter Matthew Artz and Helen Hutchison of the League of Women Voters of Oakland moderated. Questions will be solicited from the audience, candidate responses will be chronicled in our next post.
To review, the Oakland Office of the City Attorney (OCA) provides legal counsel to the City of Oakland, its employees, officers, agencies, boards and commissions. The City Attorney role has been an elected position in Oakland since 2000.
The job of an elected city attorney was most recently (and only!) held by John Russo, for almost 11 full years. Russo departed to become the City Manager of nearby Alameda in June of 2011. The measure to eliminate the elected position was put to voters in November 2011 and defeated, making the November 2012 election the start of the city’s second elected city attorney in its 160 year history. 
Program Starts
Mr. Russo is in the audience tonight, wearing a smile and a summery white linen blazer. It is presumed that Russo will show his support for Barbara Parker, his former second-in-command. Candidate Barbara Parker, a long time staffer and Chief Assistant in the City Attorney’s Office (and current city attorney) appeared in a smart plum colored suit, and fashionable black high heels. Council member Jane Brunner looked sharp in her trademark blue collared shirt.  After a short concern over the amount of notes the candidates could have (decision: unlimited) the opening statements are underway!

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