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Muddy waters

Dave Blake
Saturday November 17, 2001


I had good fun at the redistricting petition–turning-in rally at City Hall Wednesday. 

Probably the most surreal moment was hearing Mayor Shirley Dean’s latest disinformation officer David Tabb call the council minority and his audience of Dean supporters “Berkeley progressives” (they normally call themselves moderates), and call the majority (the progressives) “far-left reactionaries.” Dean knows most Berkeley voters consider themselves progressive, so she’s determined to keep the waters murky. (Her slogan in her last campaign was “For Real Progress.”) Sad to say, even in Berkeley most voters don’t pay all that much attention to local politics. So disinformation and double-speak will undoubtedly again play a central role in the Mayor’s campaign. Eight years ago she sent out a three-days-before-the-election flyer, just to predominantly African American neighborhoods in south Berkeley, falsely claiming that her opponent Don Jelinek had invented his history in the civil rights movement. Whatever works! 

Meanwhile, the real progressives will be spending their time trying to get real information to the public, with scant financial resources, but with one significant advantage: they don’t have to force it through a filter first. 

Dave Blake