Berkeley Briefs

Friday October 17, 2003


City Vote Totals Reported 

Preliminary city results released by the Alameda County Registrars Office show a predictable Berkeley vote in last week’s recall election. Berkeley voters overwhelmingly opposed the recall, 40,490 to 5,005. 

In addition, Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante garnered by far the top Berkeley vote to replace Gov. Gray Davis, netting 31,720 votes out of a total 45,495 votes cast. Tied for a distant second and third were Green Party candidate Peter Camejo and the now-Governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger with 3,744 and 3,720 respectively. Republican Congressmember Tom McClintock got 1,288 Berkeley votes and political commentator Arianna Huffington, who dropped out at the last moment to throw her support to Bustamante, got 578 votes in the city. 

The two ballot propositions also lost heavily in Berkeley. Proposition 53, the infrastructure setaside, was defeated 30,196 to 10,855 while Proposition 54, UC Regent Ward Connerly’s color consciousness measure, was defeated 38,935 to 5,485. 

A spokesperson for the Registrar’s office said the results have not yet been certified, and do not include some absentee and challenged ballots, some of which have not yet been counted. 


—J. Douglas Allen-Taylor 



PAL to Hold Annual Dinner 

The Berkeley Boosters/Police Activities League will hold an Annual Dinner Gala Wednesday night, Oct. 22, to celebrate 20 years of working with low-income Berkeley youth. The dinner, which includes a silent auction of various items, will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel in the Berkeley Marina. 

The Boosters/PAL was formed in 1983 at the request of the chief of the Berkeley Police, and came at a low point in relations between the city’s police department and many of its low-income young citizens. Volunteers consist of Berkeley police officers as well as other community residents. The organization now operates a number of youth-oriented programs; from a wilderness experience component that includes whitewater rafting and sea kayaking, sponsorship of several sports teams, and Adventure Camp summer programs. 

Individual tickets to the 20th Annual Dinner are $65, with VIP eight-table seating for a $500 donation. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the Boosters/PAL office at (510) 843-6542. 


—J. Douglas Allen-Taylor 




Panel Judges UC Students 

Three UC Berkeley students from the Berkeley Stop the War Coalition walked away from their own hearing Monday shortly before a panel ruled they had violated two parts of the student code and acquitted them of two other allegations. 

Rachel Odes, Snehal Shingavi and Michael Smith were arrested March 20 along with 119 others from a crowd of 400 who were staging a sit-in at Sproul Hall as part of a large anti-war protest. 

According to UC spokesperson Marie Felde, the panel for the hearing—made up of representatives from UC Berkeley faculty, staff and students—found the three responsible for one count each of disturbing the peace and a second count of non-compliance with the directives of a university officer. 

Smith was also separately found responsible for resisting officers. 

The three were found not responsible for allegations of unlawful entry and disruption of the university. 

A sentencing hearing has been set for Oct. 28. Students say that along with their appeal they plan to protest the current charges at the hearing. 

The university will not comment on the range of penalties that the students might face. 


—Jakob Schiller 



Print Media Pumped Up Schwarenegger’s Campaign 

The print media pumped up Arnold Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial campaign, spotting the bodybuilder-turned-governor considerably more coverage than his top democratic recall rival, according to a report released this week by a UC Berkeley professor. 

“Californians were bombarded with mostly positive messages of Schwarzenegger for the first few weeks of the campaign,” said Bruce Fuller, a UC Berkeley Professor of education and public policy who headed the study. “Soon thereafter, Schwarzenegger’s support rose from 20 percent to over 40 percent of those polled.” 

Fuller’s team at the Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), a think tank at UC Berkeley, examined more than 1,500 news stories written during the nine-week campaign by staff writers from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News. Just under 75 percent of the stories focused on Schwarzenegger. 

The paper most under Arnold’s spell? By far, The New York Times.  

“I was surprised that the Times could be so star-struck with a new political celebrity,” Fuller said, noting that of 35 headlines the paper printed about the recall, 34 included Schwarzenegger’s name, and that the movie star appeared in 87 percent of the Times’ recall articles—compared to 44 percent for Bustamante. 

Serious candidates even had trouble getting out from the shadow of Schwarzenegger’s famous wife on the pages of the Times. Maria Shriver’s name appeared three times more often in campaign coverage than Green Party candidate Peter Camejo. 


—Matthew Artz