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Tuesday, 10 December 2002

Channel 5 news just called me to do a phone survey. Tom Bates, the mayor-elect of Berkeley, on the last day before the election, threw away 1000 copies of the Daily Cal that endorsed his oponent, Shirley Dean. He's admitted to this. So the question was, "what should happen to him?" Should he be removed from office? Should he stay in office but face some other punishment? Should he stay in office and face no punishment? I picked "don't know." the way that question comes acorss, I'm guessing option two will be the big winner. but the issue is more complicated than what they said over the phone. First of all, there's the political aspect. We'd have to have a new election and maybe Shirley Dean would be mayor again. She practicaly encouraged the right to boycott Berkeley because the counsil passed a resolution against the Patriot Act. Then, there's the question of the severity of the crime and the commonness of the crime. Just because a crime is highly common, doesn't lessen it's seriousness, of course. But one of the counsil members told the paper that he stole thousands of copies of the Daly Cal once too, but it turned out that it endorsed him, so he put them back. someone else said that while he was runing against Dean, thousands of his signs were torn down. It seems like it's common in Berkeley to interfere with other people's campaigns. which means that almost all of the city cousil might have to step down.

Christi saw Bates on the morning of the election and said he looked so tired that he resembled a cheerful zombie. Should actions that occur when people are exhausted and stressed be more easily forgiven? Most of us would say yes, for minor infractions. So it all comes down to the question, "how serious is it to throw away 1000 copies of the Daily Cal?" I don't know. But I do remeber a very short appointment for a police cheif in San Francisco. The Bay Times ran a cover of the new chief holding a baton in a "suggestive manner," so the chief ordered officers to remove the newspaper. And then, very shortly, he was himself removed. does a smiliar fate await Bates? Who knows? but since this is Berkeley, one of the questions that ought to be publically addressed is, "Did he recycle the newspapers?"

The Daly Cal is a UC student-run daily paper. The Bay Times is the alternative gay newspaper that covers the whole Bay Area. Presumably, only copies in SF were removed. Tom Bates was nominated by a coalition of progressives from many parties as a candidate who could beat Dean. Previously, he served in the state assembly

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