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BLOG: A  BILLION DOLLAR OAKLAND A’s BALLPARK

 

The Oakland A’s Baseball Team Want $855 Million Dollars From Oakland Taxpayers To ‘Shoe Horn’ A Baseball Stadium Into The Port Of Oakland. While The Project Will Gut The Downtown Area, Destroy The Third Largest Port On The West Coast And Eliminate Thousands Of Jobs, Oakland’s Politicians Want To Move On It.

 

Eugene Stovall

Oakland, California May, 2021

 

Since the team arrived in 1967, Oakland residents have always supported the A’s baseball team. Every year, fans pack the coliseum, line up for stadium giveaways and display their Oakland A’s shirts, player jerseys and jackets. While swapping Oakland A’s pins, fans share fond memories of no-hitters, base stealing records and World Series championships. Some fans still remember the slow pitch that Dennis Eckersley threw over the middle of the plate to a crippled Kirk Gibson to lose the first game of the 1988 World Series. In 1990, when Nolan Ryan threw his Oakland Coliseum no-hitter, some fans were pulling for the A’s to get a hit even in the ninth inning. But their attempt to bilk the city of valuable Port of Oakland property and the tax payers of $855 Million of public funds makes keeping the Oakland A’s baseball team impractical.

 

The departure of the Golden State Warriors and the Oakland Raiders left ample room on the current site of the Oakland A’s for a new baseball stadium. On the other hand, the Oakland coliseum current ball park straddles an eight-lane freeway, accesses a convenient and robust rapid transit system and is five minutes from the Oakland International Airport. Nearby the coliseum sits a five-star hotel as well as a number of economy lodgings. There is plenty of parking at the existing site, whereas at the proposed site there is only enough land for a stadium with little room for parking. In addition, the proposed Howard Terminal site sits at the nexus of four freeways and on ramps to the Oakland-San Francisco bay bridge where a new baseball stadium would create traffic nightmares for Bay Area commuters. Neither is the proposed site within walking distance of any existing rapid transit district station. Greed and the influence that gambling interests have on Major League Baseball is driving the demand that the Port of Oakland provide land and the tax payers provide $855 Million in public funds to build the Oakland A’s new ballpark.

 

Land Developers, Politicians and Criminal Corruption

 

Trained by the Jesuits in Machiavellian politics, Nate Miley carpetbagged his way into Oakland from Suitland, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC. With his dirty finger nails and watermelon grin, Miley convinced a land developer to finance his bid for a seat on the Oakland city council where he single-mindedly worked to re-zone acres of open space land in the Oakland hills that his sponsor purchased on the cheap. When Miley finally convinced other council members to betray Oakland’s commitment to open space and got the property re-zoned for commercial development, Miley’s backer-built homes that cost under a hundred thousand and sold them each for over a million dollars.

 

The alliance between Nate Miley and the land development did not escape notice of other politicians who quickly formed their own alliances to push development projects. Then Eli Broad, the billionaire owner of housing development giant, Kaufmann and Broad, decided to Oakland with a major land grab, privatization scheme. Assembling a coalition of powerful corporate billionaires, Broad funded a political machine that both elected Jerry Brown, mayor of Oakland and revised Oakland’s city charter to give the mayor dictatorial powers over the both the city and the schools. Under Boss Brown, the former governor of California, Broad’s cabal of billionaires swept into Oakland like a swarm of locusts to systematically plunder Oakland of its tax dollars and land.

 

With Boss Brown’s corrupt political machine enabling his land development cronies, property values in Oakland skyrocketed, rents, quadrupled and property taxes escalated each year on working families struggling at the margins. Over the eight-year period of the Brown administration, thousands of working families lost their residences and their jobs. Some were forced to leave the city, altogether; others had no alternative other than to take up residence in their cars, in tents under freeways, in vacant lots or on the streets. Churches in Oakland were forced to open their parking lots to women and children, sleeping in tents, because they were so vulnerable to the surge in street crime. Today the legacy of Boss Brown’s corrupt administration is found in the thousands of homeless people on Oakland’s streets and its hundreds of vacant buildings. After leaving Oakland, Boss Brown, a former Jesuit seminarian, became California’s Attorney General. The Jesuit loyalist, Nate Miley was rewarded with a seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, where he now spearheads the Oakland A’s drive for a new stadium in the port of Oakland.

 

“Then Let Them Eat Cake!”

 

Broad’s cabal of billionaire cronies who plundered Oakland, included the Jesuit-trained scions of the Walmart fortune, Greg Walton-Penner and Carrie Walton Penner. Their powerful machine not only included Oakland’s strong mayor, Boss Brown, but also the State Superintendent of Public Education, Jack O’Connell, the State Attorney General, Bill Lockyer, and the State Senator for Alameda County, Don Perata. The machine concocted an artificial budget crisis for the school district and orchestrated the takeover of the schools by Randolph Ward, the state administrator, appointed to displace the Oakland school board as well as the Oakland superintendent of schools. Ward and subsequent state administrators, all graduates of the Eli Broad academy, systematically sold off school property to a cabal of billionaire privatizers associated with Eli Broad who like a pack of ravenous wolves grabbed valuable public property in prime real estate areas at fire sale prices.

Twenty years later, though Boss Brown has departed, his political machine still controls Oakland. The current strong mayor, Libby Schaaf, Boss Brown’s chief of staff, is familiar with the role of serving billionaire oligarchs. And despite the pandemic and the need for smaller schools and more school space, the current Oakland school superintendent, Kyla Johnson-Trammell, with the backing of school board president, Shanthi Gonzales, and board members, Gary Yee, Clifford Thompson and Aimee Eng, is closing even more schools and selling off the school property despite the fact that school closures and sale of schools are disruptive to students already victimized by homelessness, hunger, inadequate heath care and violence. But Johnson-Trammell and her board supporters are backed by GO Oakland, a non-profit organization funded by Eli Broad, Walmart heirs, Carrie and Greg Walton-Penner and Bill Gates, the same billionaires who financed Boss Brown’s political machine. That Oakland politicians now contemplate expanding land grabbing in Oakland by giving the Oakland A’s $855 Million dollars to build a baseball stadium on the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal property is like Queen Marie Antoinette’s remark upon being told that the people of Paris had no bread: “Then let them eat cake!”

Opposition To The Howard Terminal Ball Park

To build a ball park in the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal location, the Oakland A's and their political cronies must maneuver past determined opposition. Representatives of the maritime industry, the International Longshoremen Workers Union, the International Association of Masters, Mates and Pilots as well as a coalition of Oakland residents and businesses all oppose the proposed Howard Terminal site for the new baseball stadium.

 “The future of Oakland, the economic engine of Northern California, the jewel of the Bay Area, is in operating the Port of Oakland according to sound business principles,” one business representative said. “Millions of dollars in trade are being jeopardized by this proposal.”

Melvin McKay, ILWU Union Vice President, said, “The Oakland Athletics had not even tried to convince my union members that constructing a billion-dollar ballpark in the port with public funds would benefit them. The A’s know that this project will cost jobs.”

Oakland residents, themselves, have expressed their opposition to the Howard Terminal stadium. An East Oakland Stadium Alliance said that the proposed downtown stadium would cripple existing operations and lose jobs. The alliance claims that an impact study shows that, if the stadium were built, thousands of living wage jobs at the port would be lost. “With the myriad of social issues facing our community, why should the needs of professional gamblers take precedence over the needs of homeless children?” they ask. “The port supports businesses and jobs, gamblers support vice and crime.”

The International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots also opposes the proposed ballpark. Don Marcus, president of that maritime group, said, "We think the decision, to build a stadium on irreplaceable maritime industrial property is short-sighted and absolutely irresponsible."

 

Mayor Libby Schaaf, heir to Boss Brown’s political machine, who claims that the Howard Terminal site is a good fit for Oakland, is deflecting the growing opposition by supporting the right of everyone to voice their concerns. “We can be a city that respects and protects our maritime industry, our labor force, but also develops an exciting new ballpark that is privately financed and is responsible to the community," she says. But like the other Machiavellians, who have the city in their grip, Libby Schaaf skirts the truth by claiming that, although the A’s want almost a billion dollars from the tax payers, but will not share any of the profits from the operation with the city, means the stadium is being privately financed.

When Schaaf was Boss Brown’s assistant, she learned the art of burdening taxpayers with unprecedent debt through budget manipulations and bond measures. If Schaaf cannot fund the new stadium by diverting existing public funds for from some other budget, Schaaf intends to give the Oakland A’s nearly the billion dollars with yet another bond measure further escalating local property taxes. In the last election, Boss Schaaf funneled funds from her billionaire cronies to elect council members who would support her power moves, but she failed to get all her cronies on the council. Now she and her minion, Nate Miley, must redouble their efforts on behalf of the gamblers in whose interests a new A’s stadium is being built.

The commissioner of Major League Baseball expressed his displeasure over the lack of progress on the A’s new downtown ballpark to Mayor Schaaf. Major League Baseball executives even publicly instructed the A’s management to explore relocating to another city. If the team should leave Oakland, insiders believe professional gambling wants the A’s to move to Las Vegas. The A’s president even made a well-publicized visit to Nevada, after the MLB commissioner informed him that, “The current coliseum site of the Oakland Athletics is not a viable option for Major League Baseball’s future vision of baseball.”


A Democratic “Ringer” Might Hold The Key

The issue of where the Athletics will build their new stadium could be determined by Barbara Lee or the next incumbent of Oakland’s 13th Congressional District. The corporate billionaires who control Nate Miley, Libby Schaaf and Oakland’s politicians intend to extend their influence by taking control over Oakland’s congressional seat. Like her political ally, Elihu Harris, Barbara Lee’s career is on the wane with the political organizations such as the Niagara Movement Democratic Club, the Black Young Democrats of the East Bay and BWOPA becoming increasingly enfeebled. The big money that controls Oakland politicians now seeks to control her seat.

 

Nate Miley, the Jesuit Machiavellian turned County Supervisor who is now stewading the new A’s stadium, wants to return to his hometown, Washington, DC, as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus with his embossed “For Sale” sign ready to hang on the 13th Congressional office door. On the other hand, Libby Schaaf’s control of the Democratic Party and its political machine makes her Barbara Lee’s likely replacement. But should Schaaf falter, a sleeper, Oakland’s 15th Assembly District representative, Buffy Wicks, is waiting in the wings to grab Barbara Lee’s seat.

Buffy Wicks, a former aide to Barack Obama, had barely visited Oakland before running for the city’s 15th Assembly District seat in 2018. She had no ties to the community nor interest in Oakland’s problems. But, in winning the seat, Wicks raised five times as much money as all her other Democratic primary opponents combined. And all but 10 percent of Buffy Wicks’ campaign monies came from Govern for California, a political action committee. formed by the same billionaire charter school activists and right-wing ideologues who funded Boss Brown’s political machine to seize control of Oakland. Govern for California and its members spent a million dollars to elect Buffy Wicks Oakland’s the representative in the California State Legislature.  

Walmart Chairman Greg Penner, tied to the Jesuit Georgetown University, is the co-founder of Govern for California. Penner’s wife, Carrie Walton Penner, also a Georgetown graduate, provides the Penner Family Chair in Asian Studies at Georgetown University with a $10 million endowment. The Penner Chair is occupied by Evan Medeiros, a former special assistant to President Barack Obama and the senior director for Asian Affairs at the White House National Security Council. Carrie Penner sits on the board of EdVoice, the Charter School Growth Fund and Betsy Devos’ Alliance for School Choice. Ron Conway, a right-wing Republican billionaire, is another co-founder of Govern for California. David Crane, an opponent of the California Teachers Association and the teachers’ retirement system is president of Govern for California. Warren Spieker, a Republican mega-donor, earmarked thousands of Govern for California funds for the Buffy Wicks campaign while contributing to Wicks directly. John Fisher, heir to the GAP fortune, who previously sat on the board of Betsy DeVos’ Alliance for School Choice and currently sits on the Charter School Growth Fund board, contributed to both Govern for California as well as directly to the Wicks campaign. Govern For California, the right wing, pro-charter school political action committee that elected Jerry Brown, mayor of Oakland, and set in motion the plundering of Oakland’s resources, plopped Buffy Wicks, an Obama staffer without any ties to Oakland, into the state legislature in much the same way that right wing Republicans plopped Barack Obama, himself, into the Illinois State Legislature and then into the US Senate. As Govern For California prepares Buffy Wicks for Barbara Lee’s congressional seat, she may be tasked with fast tracking the bills necessary for the Oakland A’s to get their ballpark through the state legislature. If she is successful, she would receive a big boost for her congressional campaign.

Oakland Showcases Neo-Fascism

Behind the maneuvering for the Oakland A’s billion-dollar baseball stadium emerges a prototypical neo-fascist society, a society dominated by self-interested oligarchs tied to a fascist religious ideology with the excessive amount of capital required to corrupt politicians in both traditional parties and at all political levels. The Oakland’s experience demonstrates that rumors of the demise of the Republican Party and the vitality of the Democratic Party are greatly exaggerated. Though the social issues facing Oakland residents are many and varied with homelessness at an epidemic proportion, political solutions in this era of corruption, greed and criminality seem impossible. Meanwhile, as Oakland’s children sleep in cars, tents, shelters, and on the streets, acres of land and numerous vacant buildings are being sold off to greedy developers.

Neo-fascism has not prospered as well in other communities as it has in Oakland. Some communities use their public resources to provide housing for their homeless as well as their working poor and seniors. One school district in Southern California converted its school campuses into boarding schools for foster children. San Francisco is partnering with homeless support agencies to use school buildings as shelters and child care facilities. Underpaid school staff in need of housing have been included in other school district’s property divestiture plans. But in Oakland where the school district is one of the city’s largest landowner and where the school district has the highest inventory of underutilized space, the political leadership flaunts its corruption by paying downtown developers $300,000 a month to lease administrative office space.

Neither Barbara Lee nor Buffy Wicks responded to my inquiry about their position on the Oakland A’s new ball park, but with Oakland’s machine politics paving the way for the Oakland A’s ball park, the impact will go far beyond the destruction of the port of Oakland and the theft of $855 Million in tax dollars. At the national level, while Democrats mull over initiatives to stop weapons sales and aid to Israel, they are unaware that their members include the type of closet Republicans and right-wing ideologues that puts Oakland’s congressional seat in play. AIPAC would eagerly embrace either Libby Schaaf or Buffy Wicks in Congress. The politician who can deliver the $855 million in tax dollars and the Howard Terminal to the Oakland A’s will be the ideal candidate to replace Barbara Lee should she decide to retire ___ or if a right-wing PAC, like Govern For California, decides to retire her. With neo-fascists with unlimited capital shaping Oakland’s public policies \, no political scenario is too far-fetched.

 

BLOG: THE ASIAN HOLOCAUST 1826-1946

 

“Hello Bob! Still killing Chinamen for the railroads?” Little Bill Daggett [Gene Hackman] to English Bob [Richard Harris] in1992 film, Unforgiven

 

Eugene Stovall

Oakland, California April. 2021

 

Like all Clint Eastwood films, Unforgiven glorifies ‘frontier justice’ and vigilantism while scorning the ‘rule of law.’ Extoling violence as the fundamental principle of white supremacy, Unforgiven reminds us that America omotoated

an Asian holocaust.

 

Invading China For Profit & Population Control

 

During frigid winters and blazing summers, 20,000 Chinese laid the railroad track that connected the east and west coasts. With many losing their lives in explosions, landslides, accidents and disease, Chinese immigrants earned their citizenship. Yet, once the tracks were laid, the railroad barons hired gunmen, like English Bob, to shoot Chinese seeking work on railroads they helped build.

But Chinese came to America to escape white supremacy’s Asian holocaust.

 

In 1826, Thomas Perkins informed his nephew and business partner, John Pershing Cushing, that seventy-five tons of Turkish opium, was on its way to China. Perkins instructed his nephew to smuggle only small quantities into China at a time. In 1827, their first year of dealing opium, Perkins & Co reported earnings to their investors of $25 million.


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