Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Two Faces of Tom Butt and Nat Bates: 58 combined years of Medals, Flaccidity, and Bra Ads


Regardless of the outcome of the 2014 Richmond elections, two faces will remain sitting on the council: Tom Butt and Nat Bates.

The two are in the middle of a four-year term as councilmembers and Richmond doesn’t require a council seat to be forfeited if a member decides to run for mayor.  

Just like in the self-esteem movement where everyone gets a medal for participating, even if Butt and Bates lose the mayoral race they still keep their council seat.

*FUN FACT: Kids who entered their freshman year of college this fall and who can vote for the first time this election weren’t even born when Butt and Bates started on the council together in 1995.


If you rely solely on the media for your information, chances are you don’t know that there are actually three candidates running for Richmond mayor in 2014.  

The third being Uche Justin Uwahemu.    


The press only seems to mention Uche Uwahemu out of obligation because they would be derelict in “objectively” covering the Richmond mayoral race if they left out the third candidate.  There has been no effort to offer in-depth coverage of him.  

Chip Johnson wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle:
“Uche Uwahemu , a local business owner, is also running for the seat.”
Very thorough, Chip.  Thanks for the insight.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Richmond Flyers: A Race is on for the Toilet Seat!

I just received the latest barrage of Richmond political flyers in today's mail.  I asked the mail carrier to not put them in my mailbox but he said he was obligated to do so since they were addressed to me.  

Then, while I stood there holding the mail, I realized I can turn a negative into a positive.  Since I'm watching college football but I'm low on toilet paper, I don't have to miss any action to leave the house to purchase Scott Tissue for a while.

(As a side note, the amount of Moving Forward flyers accumulated so far will allow me to never be "caught with my pants down" all the way to the Rose Bowl.)

In the pile was the latest flyer from Tom Butt.

It claims to have "an objective journalistic comparison of the Mayoral candidates" with a reprint of a September 24, 2014, East Bay Express op-ed, "The Battle for Richmond's Soul" by John Geluardi.

Veolia LOVES Chevron in Richmond, CA

Bad press is good press

Chevron gets a lot of bad press every time an election is held in Richmond, CA and this year it made national news.  The talk is always regarding the amount of money the company floods into the campaigns of its “Chevron-friendly” candidates and the PACs it contributes to.  Billboards and mailboxes are inundated with messages supporting “their” candidates as well as negative (messages) about the candidates who are critical of the company.  But everybody already knows this.  It’s not really news.

However, the corporate political player that is so glaringly missing when it comes to talk about money shelled out in Richmond elections is Veolia.

Scratch my back

Veolia is a French multi-billion dollar company with its origin dating back to 1853

Saturday, October 4, 2014

"The Casino Five" Minus Tom Butt Equals "The Casino Four": Tom Butt's Sleight of Hand

2014 mayoral candidate, Councilmember Tom Butt

 As the 2014 Richmond, CA mayoral race starts revving up and political volleys are tossed at candidates from their respective opposition I would like to zoom the lens in on mayoral candidate Richmond Councilmember Tom Butt.

Although he likes to fashion himself as a "straight shooter", Tom Butt's decisions and "the calling out of his opponents and critics" at times make him appear more like "the man behind the curtain" in his own political Oz.

Butt has been on the council since 1995 (?!!!) and over the years

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

TBF - Acronym vs. Initialism

As my friend, John, will be quick to note, "TBF" is not an acronym but an initialism.  However, I’m not writing to describe the difference between the two language forms but rather to define TBF, a term that I somewhat proudly coined.

Coming to the realization that the City of Richmond had absolutely no intention of fixing the neighborhood flooding problem and Bank of America had absolutely no intention of working with us in finding a more equitable agreement to finance a house that was assessed for an unprecedented amount of $4,000 as the result of Richmond’s lack of proper infrastructure, our house was foreclosed upon.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Picking Butt: When Not To Do It

Richmond Councilmember
So, based on the March 2004 letter from Richmond City Engineer, Rich Davidson, the owner of the commercial property at 5221 Central Avenue was responsible for the maintenance and the proper operation of the stormwater system in the neighborhood.  

In August 2004, five months after my visit to Rich Davidson, there still hadn’t been anything done to the drainage ditch. Vegetation over six feet tall prevailed as well as trash and detritus strewn everywhere.  It was at this time that we decided to contact a representative on the city council who could help us expedite action.  Easier said than done.

Bungled Bureaucracy: Act I, Scene I

In March 2004, after experiencing the first winter of flooding and when the water seemed to be “at bay”, so to speak, it was time to try to figure out the cause of the problem or at least find someone who could.  It was time to take a trip to the City of Richmond’s engineering department and visit with Rich Davidson, Richmond City Engineer.