Tag Archives: Bernt Wahl

Real-estate interests spend $92K to help elect candidates

Mayoral candidates Laurie Capitelli and Jesse Arreguín butted heads Tuesday night over the minimum wage proposal. Photos: Mark Coplan
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The political action committee of the National Association of Realtors has poured $92,486 into the Berkeley election in recent weeks, with almost two-thirds of that going to support Laurie Capitelli in his race for mayor.

The realtors spent $60,382 to send out flyers in support of Capitelli, whose main challengers are fellow City Councilmen Jesse Arreguin and Kriss Worthington. Those two are running in tandem and are encouraging voters to rank them first and second on Berkeley’s rank-choice ballot in a bid to defeat Capitelli.

See all local 2016 coverage on Berkeleyside.

(Berkeleyside reported on Oct. 12 that the realtors had spent $36,342 in support of Capitelli’s campaign, but the group has since filed additional documentation.)

The National Association of Realtors Fund is considered an independent expenditure, which means the organization does not coordinate with the candidates’ campaigns. These groups are not restrained by Berkeley’s $250 limit for individuals.

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Election 2016 Berkeley: Spotlight on the mayor’s race

Berkeley mayoral candidates. Photos: Courtesy
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Berkeleyside wants to help you get to know your 2016 candidates for Berkeley mayor, City Council, School Board and Rent Board. This week, we are publishing questionnaires with the candidates daily at 11 a.m.

We’ll also have stories on all the key Berkeley races and initiatives on the ballot, and hope to help readers make informed decisions about the potential leaders and policies that could help shape Berkeley’s future.

See all local 2016 coverage on Berkeleyside.

Q&As with five of the eight candidates vying for the mayor’s seat follow (three others did not submit responses). We asked candidates why they were running, what sets them apart, what the city’s biggest challenges are and how they hope to solve them. Learn what each candidate thinks is his most inspired idea, and how each candidate plans to be accountable and accessible to constituents. Each questionnaire includes complete campaign info, including social media pages, to help readers connect.

There’s also a PDF grid to help readers compare responses side by side. The deadline to register to vote in Alameda County for the Nov. 8 election is Monday, Oct. 24. … Continue reading »

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With 28 days to the election, fundraising gap between mayoral candidates widens

Five of the eight people running for mayor wait before the start of the CENA/Bateman Neighborhood Association Forum. From left to right: Jesse Arreguin, Ben Gould, Kriss Worthington,  Laurie Capitelli, and Mike Lee. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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See update at bottom.

With 28 days until the Nov. 8 election, Berkeley mayoral candidate, and city councilman, Laurie Capitelli has more than twice the amount of cash to spend on the race than his fellow candidate, City Councilman Jesse Arreguín. And he has 15 times as much to spend as City Councilman Kriss Worthington, who is also running to replace outgoing Mayor Tom Bates.

From July 1 to Sept. 24, the reporting period of the most recent campaign finance filings, Capitelli reported that he raised $31,288, bringing the total amount he has raised since 2015 to around $104,000. He still has $76,700 on hand for the rest of the race.

Arreguín raised $19,461 in that same period, for a total raised of about $69,000. Arreguín has $30,375 on hand.

Worthington has raised $5,804 in that period and has spent $810, leaving him with $4,994.

Ben Gould, a graduate student running for mayor, raised $2,585 from July 1 to Sept. 24, bringing his total to $8,885.

Naomi D. Pete reported she had raised $85, but she did not write down who gave the donation. … Continue reading »

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The mayor’s race is off and running: Where do campaign coffers stand?

Laurie Capitelli talks to prospective voters at a house party in July. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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In the last six months, mayoral candidate Laurie Capitelli has raised $67,135 in donations, according to recently filed campaign finance statements. That’s almost 35% more than one of his strongest rivals and fellow city council member, Jesse Arreguín, who raised $24,858 in that same period for a total raised of $47,326. (Prior to Jan. 1, Arreguín had raised $25,007.)

Many of Capitelli’s donations have come from his fellow real estate agents, architects, developers, and engineers. He has gotten $250 donations from Mayor Tom Bates, and City Council members Linda Maio, Lori Droste, Susan Wengraf, and Darryl Moore. Some of his other contributors include Patrick Kennedy, whose development company Panoramic Interests was once busy in Berkeley but is now focused on San Francisco; William Schrader Jr., head of The Austin Group, which just constructed Varsity Berkeley; Jim Novosel, an architect for L’Argent, a 12-story apartment complex planned for Shattuck Avenue and Berkeley Way, and Melinda Haag, the former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, among others. Capitelli has spent $14,132 and has $59,157 on hand. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley mayoral hopefuls weigh in on homelessness

Old City Hall. Photo by Melati Citrawireja
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With longtime Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates completing what he says will be his last term, six people have expressed interest in running for his seat come November 2016. Berkeleyside asked each of them to share their views, in 200 words, about what they see as potential solutions to ending homelessness. Read their ideas below.

See full coverage on Berkeleyside of the Berkeley Homeless Project.

Click the candidate’s name or photograph to reach the campaign website to learn more. Berkeleyside will provide in-depth coverage about the election later in the year. Responses appear below in the order they were received. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s influence on Assembly race takes a twist

California State Capital. Photo by Thomas W. Toolan, Wikimedia Commons
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By Kate Darby

Regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s primary election for the District 15 Assembly seat, history is in the making in Berkeley. For the first time in several decades, this assembly race doesn’t include a candidate with direct ties to Berkeley City Hall, though one has garnered a slate of endorsements from familiar faces there.

Current District 15 Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner of Berkeley is termed out of office at the end of the year, opening the door to an energized contingent of candidates interested in her seat. The 64% majority Democrat district covers a swatch of the East Bay from north Oakland to Hercules, including the cities of Berkeley, Emeryville, and Richmond. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s election night live blogging: latest results

Mayor Tom Bates, comfortably re-elected. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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9:10 a.m. That isn’t quite it. As several commenters have pointed out, there are plenty of Berkeley votes still to be counted: most of the absentees, provisional ballots, many vote-by-mail ballots. If turnout is around 2008 levels, it might be another 20,000 votes. Some of the close races — particularly Measure T and rent board seats — could well change. Measure S, with a 1,000 vote margin for the opponents, is less likely to change, but it’s not impossible.

1:30 a.m. That’s it. We’re wrapping up our live blogging of the Berkeley election, long after the rest of the nation went to sleep. Thanks for sticking with us. Here are the main stories: Bates re-elected comfortably, Capitelli defeats Hahn, Measures S and T both fail in close contests.

1:28 a.m. And the measures:

Measure M, Streets and Watershed
Yes 24,000 (73.28%)
No 8,751 (26.72%)

Measure N, Pools Bond (requires two-thirds)
Yes 19,901 (62.12%)
No 12,134 (37.88%) … Continue reading »

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5 Berkeley mayoral candidates face off at local forum

Mayoral candidates1-001
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Five of Berkeley’s six mayoral candidates faced off on Monday night in a bid to persuade a slice of the Berkeley populace that they were best suited to lead the city for the next four years.

No one issue dominated the discussions, but some of those being debated included the proposed sidewalk sitting ordinance, the city’s unfunded liabilities and how it spends its money, how to boost business locally, the town-gown relationship, and the achievement gap in the school system.

An estimated 150 people turned out to St John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley on an unusually warm evening to hear incumbent Mayor Tom Bates and challengers Councilman Kriss Worthington, local businesswoman Jacquelyn McCormick, Cal adjunct professor Bernt Wahl, and activist Zachary RunningWolf, share their vision and address questions from a panel of journalists as well as from the audience. (The sixth registered candidate, Kahlil Jacobs-Fantauzzi, did not attend.) … Continue reading »

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Mayoral candidate wants a more business-friendly city

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Bernt Wahl is running for mayor.

He’s been all but invisible on the campaign trail, having just returned from a trip abroad, and doesn’t plan to spend time raising campaign funds or opening a campaign office.

But then the adjunct UC Berkeley professor’s primary goal isn’t to snag the mayor’s seat. Rather, Wahl, 52, hopes to use the race to talk about improving Berkeley’s business climate.

“I have a lot of ideas of how to make Berkeley a better city, mostly dealing with technology or efficiencies,” he said, arguing that city bureaucracy gets in the way of entrepreneurs trying to start new businesses.

Wahl knows the challenges first hand. He works with faculty, researchers and students at UC Berkeley, mostly in the engineering department, helping to start new businesses.

Wahl believes the permit process for new businesses needs streamlining. “I’ve had to register [a new business] a couple of times,” he said. “For these start-ups, there’s always something that gets in the way. If we had a center, small businesses could come and say, you know, ‘I’d like to do this,’ or just come for advice.” … Continue reading »

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Election groundwork: Who’s running in November?

Old City Hall, where the school board meets
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Four Berkeley council seats and a variety of other Berkeley posts are being contested at the general election on Tuesday, November 2. Berkeleyside will have full coverage of all the races but, first, here is your quick summary guide to who is running for what.

We’ve provided links to the candidates’ profile pages at the City Clerk’s site, as well as to their own websites when we could find it (if we’ve missed some sites, let us know).

The November election … Continue reading »

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