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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Davis & Brinkman: No Friends Of Democracy They

The queen and her consort
Nora Davis & Kurt Brinkman vs The People Of Emeryville

In the end, the last defiant holdouts against democracy in Emeryville were the vainglorious duo of Mayor Nora Davis and her sidekick councilman Kurt Brinkman.  What started as a four vote council majority against council member Ken Bukowski's City Attorney ballot measure and the people's right to vote, ended after mounting citizen outrage, with only this duo: the most anti-democratic two council members.
Nora Davis:
(20 year old photo)
The people cannot
be trusted to make the
right decision
Over the months since Mr Bukowski's April petition to replace City Attorney Mike Biddle began, the other four council members declared their solid support of the City Attorney, some using the council dais to ridicule the citizen petition drive.  Council members Jennifer West and Ruth Atkin however correctly surmised any personal dislike of Mr Bukowski or support of the City Attorney pales against their moral duty to not stand in the way of the will of the people.  That these two could put aside petty and personal politics speaks highly of their fortitude and their love of democracy.  The other two however have shown no such fortitude.

Tax Cap Recalcitrance
Ms Davis and Mr Brinkman's lonely last stand in the City Attorney case with it's anti-democratic priggishness is mirrored in the other controversial issue of the day in Emeryville; the infamous business tax cap. The tax cap, ushered in years ago by council member Davis, ensures the largest corporations in town pay much less than the smaller businesses and Ms Davis and Mr Brinkman are also the same two that recently killed the citizen's right to vote on removing the regressive tax cap.  In that case, the the council first voted unanimously to grant Emeryville citizens the right to vote on the issue but Ms Davis and Mr Brinkman ultimately reversed themselves after private meetings with Pixar and other large corporations.  The two delivered the death blow to the citizens right to vote on the business tax cap removal with a shameful city council procedural motion from Mr Brinkman and a second by Ms Davis.
Kurt Brinkman:
Emeryville citizens voting is scary

The anti-democratic demeanor, with it's whiff of didactic and paternal imperiousness from these two is reminiscent of an earlier era of corrupt machine politics that earned Emeryville the moniker "the rottenest little city on the west coast".  This is helped along by the 24 year tenure of council member Davis and the culture of fear that she has cultivated in this town.

We call out Nora Davis and Kurt Brinkman and admonish them both for the shameful blocking of the people's right to vote.  We ask that they change course and stop this lowly behavior; the people did not elect them to take away thier right to vote.


  1. Oh, the hypocrisy of this blog! You only want direct democracy when the voters agree with you. Otherwise, you would support Redevelopment since the voters supported it with Proposition 22. Instead, you argue that sometimes the voters should be overruled. Why is Redevelopment one of those times, but the City Attorney issue is not?

    Even though I believe in representative democracy and not direct democracy, in this state we have an initiative process. If enough people signed the petition, then pursuant to that process, it should absolutely go on the ballot. However, the process also contains deadlines, and in this case, the petition sponsors knew the deadlines. Why should we make exceptions for them? They new there was no meeting scheduled on Aug 2. If you submit the petition late it doesn't go on the ballot and you have to try again. That's the way the process works. It's the same for everyone.

  2. Oh, I know what you mean- I'm such a hypocrite! I love democracy except when the voters disagree with me. For instance I think people who voted against interracial marriage in the 1960's should have had their votes nullified by activist judges as they were. More recently, I think any ballot initiative that would forbid people from marrying the person they love should be thrown out by activist judges. If black people want to swim in a public pool with white people, I think that should be legal, even though there were many ballot initiatives against it. Again, any of those ballot initiatives should be thrown out by activist judges...just because I don't like them! I'm such a hypocrite!

    Regarding the anti-democracy city council majority and their stubborn denial to meet to assuage the people's will: No one said the council was required by law to meet to certify the petition, the lovers of democracy only said the council SHOULD meet to do that. Luckily for Emeryville residents, the council majority is able to use proportionality in their judgment unlike you. They disagreed with you and if you don't like it you can sue the city....that's the way the process works as they say.

  3. The examples you list of instances when the courts should overrule voters are a red herring. Those examples are clearly different since they deal with fundamental human rights. The courts decided that those laws violated the Constitution. That is an entirely separate matter. You did not answer my question. Why is Redevelopment an instance when the voters should be overruled, but the City Attorney issue is not? Neither situation deals with fundamental human rights or a violation of the U.S. Constitution. The only difference is that you support one cause and not the other. Hopefully democracy will prevail in both instances.

    As I said, think this matter should appear on the ballot because the signatures were gathered. However it also isn't prudent to blame anyone for not wanting to grant a exception to this particular petition by convening a Special Meeting. If a quorum was not available because all the Council members had made vacation plans, you would probably be whining for them to return early to schedule a Special Meeting.

  4. I cant believe you fools voted Brinkman in.
    He is such an obvious wolf in sheeps clothing.

  5. Your redevelopment argument is a red herring. I have reported the myriad problems associated with redevelopment and about how the Power Elite in Emeryville have been disingenuous in its arguments in support of it. I have taken no position on Proposition 22. Your argument is unsupported.

    Your conjecture about whining is unwarranted. I have reported that the law permits the council voting by telephone.

    There is no law against the council from meeting to allow the people will to be assuaged so if the council had decided to not allow the ballot initiative to happen in November, that would have been their choice...a legal choice. I think they should do this since they are legally entitled to and because democracy should always be deferred to. You obviously take a hard line. Thankfully, you're not on the city council.