Wolff gave $1000 to one-time Kaplan campaign fund

BANG is reporting that in May A’s owner Lew Wolff gave $1,000 to Oakland City Council member and mayoral candidate Rebecca Kaplan. You may recall that after lease extension talks died earlier in the spring, Kaplan, who is also a JPA Board Commissioner, spearheaded the effort to revive the talks. Kaplan later caught a lot of heat from some of her colleagues on the Council, Mayor Quan, and numerous Raiders fans, all for different reasons. That caused Kaplan to actually vote against the extension she helped craft during a JPA session, though it passed anyway. When the lease got to the City Council, Kaplan became a Yes vote. The lease prevailed 5-2, then went to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, where it passed unanimously.

The campaign fund Kaplan ran was called “Safe Streets Local Jobs.” It was set up to support a 1/2-cent sales tax increase that would fund up to $8 billion in infrastructure improvements all over Alameda County. A similar measure in 2012, also sponsored by Kaplan, fell to defeat by the narrowest of margins. Because Kaplan entered the mayoral race, there was concern that money from the initiative campaign would go to her mayoral campaign, so the funds were distributed and SSLJ was shut down. Was it a quid pro quo moment, or something Kaplan saw as a way to differentiate herself from the rest of her rivals?

Undoubtedly, Kaplan will use the lease extension as a feather in her campaign cap. The deal keeps the A’s in Oakland through at least 2018 and commits them to talk to Oakland about a new ballpark at the Coliseum complex. Kaplan still believes that the A’s and Raiders can be accommodated via the Coliseum City project, though Wolff wants nothing to do with it. The worst-kept secret of all this is that there have been discussions about a scenario in which the Raiders leave and the A’s are the only team remaining in Oakland (once the Warriors leave for their SF arena). The November election will arrive too early for Raiders owner Mark Davis to declare that he’s leaving Oakland, but if the Raiders are to have their own Coliseum extension he and the NFL can drive their own hard bargain the same way Wolff and MLB did.

It’s unknown what if any blowback Kaplan will face from Raiders fans threatened by the new agreement. Fans highly opposed to the lease showed up en masse at early public meetings over the extension, but receded somewhat over time. The hubbub over whether the lease was fiscally responsible and a giveaway to the A’s largely collapsed as JPA negotiator Jon Streeter explained the net positive impact for the City and County when the lease is compared to previous A’s and Raiders leases. The next big question has to be whether the ongoing stadium operating subsidy for the Raiders of $7 million will be an issue for the JPA/City/County. If they’re going to be consistent, the subsidy should be an important point of debate.

21 thoughts on “Wolff gave $1000 to one-time Kaplan campaign fund

  1. Only one thousand, Rebecca if you would have thrown up the white flag like go old Don did when he was running for mayor, you may have gotten twenty five thousand as well.

  2. The Raiders will bully their way to a really favorable lease extension

  3. Totally unrelated, but what do you make of this imminent River Cats mystery announcement?

  4. Or wait, do you think it’s just about the Raley Field addition?

    • @ SMG

      I believe they can’t announce a future affiliation until after the season, if that’s what you’re wondering.

  5. @ SMG

    Well, it’s something to wonder about.

  6. The Rivercats are announcing Daric Barton as a Rivercats HoF (yes, I am joking)

  7. As for the on topic comment- poli- many, tics- blood sucking leeches. Though, I supported the measure that Kaplan was pushing and I’d support it again. Infrastructure throughout the region needs help and mass transit systems need expansion. That’s what my tax money SHOULD be used for… Not the fucking Raiders.

    • @jefferyaugust
      O shut up hater. My tax dollars and a Oakland resident. I would off for any new Raider stadium. .let Lew wolff go to San jose…Oakland is the Raiders…

    • @ Jeffrey

      You are correct, as you know ML covered this the last time a similar offering was voted on. I was really surprised it almost passed then. This looks like nothing more then a underhanded way to tax citizen’s, for certain spots and internment venue costs, hidden in a transportation tax. If the bulk of the tax dollars are going to be used for that, then it should clearly say so.
      I don’t have a problem using tax money for sports or entertainment venues (to a certain extent), but it should be spelled out, so every voter knows, that being said I’m not a tax paying citizen of Oakland or Alameda County (any longer), so it would have direct effects on you, harry and perhaps others that commitment here.

      • I definitely believe that the infrastructure work in and around the coliseum complex is up to the local governments. They need to finance that however they can (bonds, developer fees, etc). But the development of sports stadiums are up to the teams. The Raiders can’t make it happen? Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out. The A’s can’t make it happen, move to somewhere you can.

        In the Raiders case, it isn’t happening anywhere in the Bay Area without them paying for the thing. One thing on this, yesterday Will Kane had a piece about the gap between Oakland and the construction of two stadiums— it’s $1.7B! And that is assuming the Raiders will get $200M in a loan from the NFL, which is not a guarantee and folks really need to stop reporting like it is. In the G4 guidelines there are two blockers between that $200M and the Raiders bank account: 1. The league specifically called out not loaning money for two stadiums in the same market and they already used $$$$ for the 49ers. 2. There are only so many slots and there is just one left, and there are at least 3 teams vying for that money.

        What I loved about the failed measure, I think it was measure B1 but I forget, was that it was a real stab at a regional funding mechanism for everything. It included the coliseum complex improvements, but it would extend BART out to Livermore (just one example) and that is something the entire region can really use.

  8. Levi’s stadium is awesome- traffic plan not so good- and in no scenario could I see the raiders playing there- it’s branded totally ‘9ers-

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