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Police Say Mayor Stole Newspapers, Mayor Apologizes, Pre-Election Day Theft (Berkeley)
dailycal ^

Posted on 12/06/2002 3:23:15 AM PST by chance33_98



Police Say Mayor Stole Newspapers

Bates Apologizes to Daily Cal for Role in Pre-Election Day Theft

Tom Bates

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By MIKE MEYERS, NATE TABAK, and R. TYLER HILLMAN Daily Cal Staff Writers Friday, December 6, 2002

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates has admitted responsibility for stealing and trashing about 1,000 copies of The Daily Californian that carried the student newspaper's endorsement of his opponent, police said yesterday.

Bates, who earlier denied stealing the newspapers to the Daily Cal, released a statement yesterday apologizing for his involvement in the theft.

"There is no question that tossing newspapers is absolutely inappropriate and unacceptable," Bates stated. "I apologize on behalf of myself and my supporters for our involvement in this activity."

"I think we all agree that campaigns must be about furthering the free exchange of ideas. Any effort to impede this free exchange is a great disservice to The Daily Californian and the people of Berkeley," the mayor stated.

Bates declined to comment further.

The Nov. 4 issue police say Bates stole contained the Daily Cal's endorsement of then-Mayor Shirley Dean. Ninety percent of the newspapers were recovered from trash cans on Sproul Plaza.

Several students told police they saw Bates trash the papers. When asked by a Daily Cal reporter Nov. 4 if he stole the papers, Bates said, "No."

UC police concluded its investigation last week and recommended to the Alameda County District Attorney that Bates be charged with petty theft. No other suspects have been named.

"Bates accepted responsibility for the whole thing," said UC police Capt. Bill Cooper. "(But) we don't specifically have a statement saying, 'I did it.'"

Daily Cal Editor in Chief Rong-Gong Lin, II, condemned Bates for his actions.

"It's especially ironic he would have thrown these Daily Cals away just a few feet away from the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement," Lin said.

Bates admitted his involvement in the thefts to his political allies last week.

"He told me, and he feels terrible about it, and he's embarrassed," said Councilmember Dona Spring.

Spring said she believed Bates was overwhelmed by the stress of the campaign.

"He was very exhausted from the election, getting very little sleep, and he just blew it," Spring said. "He let his emotions take over."

Bates' admission already had some questioning his ability to lead, most notably former Mayor Shirley Dean, the eight-year incumbent who lost the race to Bates.

"If the evidence is that he actually did this, I would be one of those calling for his resignation," Dean said.

Were Bates to resign, the city would have to call a special mayoral election to determine his successor. If there was another election, Dean said she would run again.

"There is no question that I would throw my hat in the ring," Dean said.

Many political observers doubted Bates would resign.

"With one mistake on the books he will probably survive it, but he starts with one strike against him," said UC Berkeley political science professor Bruce Cain.

Cain also said Bates could face a recall election but called that unlikely. Elected officials in Berkeley are protected from recall drives during the first six months of their term in office.

"He starts as damaged goods, if he is going to show this kind of misjudgment in the campaign," Cain said. "The odds are ... unless he makes another misstep, the enthusiasm for a recall will diminish after six months."

Even Bates' political opponents thought he would likely ride out any impending political storm.

"He can say it was like Michael Jackson—it was one moment of weakness, like when he dangled his kid over the balcony," said Councilmember Betty Olds.

Suppression of political material is nothing new in Berkeley, Olds said.

"Back in the rent board days I did the same thing—I never stole newspapers, but I took down some people's signs," Olds said. "We got caught by the police."

Bates' strongest political ally in the run up to the election, Councilmember Kriss Worthington, called the newspapers' destruction "stupid behavior." But Worthington stood by Bates.

"Getting rid of the mayor because of this would basically be the same as capital punishment," Worthington said.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 12/06/2002 3:23:15 AM PST by chance33_98
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To: AppyPappy; hopespringseternal; luckystarmom; Thommas; AdA$tra; cajungirl; Between the Lines; ...

Ping of Pings!

Typical democrat strategy.
2 posted on 12/06/2002 3:24:24 AM PST by chance33_98
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To: chance33_98
Sounds like another Brown case to me.
3 posted on 12/06/2002 3:33:45 AM PST by OBone
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To: chance33_98
Rule #1 from the liberal manifesto:  Dissent must be silenced.
 
"It's especially ironic he would have thrown these Daily Cals away just a few feet away from the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement," Lin said.
 
Funny.  I always thought that the right to Free Speech was in the Constitution...
 
Article the third Amendment I
Congress shall make no law
respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Guess I need to get me one of them fancy Berkley edumacations...

 

Owl_Eagle

”Guns Before Butter.”

4 posted on 12/06/2002 3:37:55 AM PST by South Hawthorne
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To: chance33_98
Yep, that's Berzerkley, all right. Always screaming about free speech, until that freedom may be to their disadvantage.
5 posted on 12/06/2002 3:49:23 AM PST by jimtorr
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To: chance33_98
"..."Getting rid of the mayor because of this would basically be the same as capital punishment," Worthington said..."

Huh?

What a moron... Did he say this between deep drags on a funny looking cigarette?

6 posted on 12/06/2002 3:54:57 AM PST by DWSUWF
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To: Howlin; Ed_NYC; MonroeDNA; widgysoft; Springman; FreedomPoster; Timesink; AntiGuv; ...
"Hold muh beer 'n watch this!" PING....

If you want on or off this list, please let me know!

7 posted on 12/06/2002 4:00:22 AM PST by mhking
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To: chance33_98
Too strange. I realize you can expect just about anything from Dems, but stealing copies of a student newspaper is just so juvenile it's hard to imagine even a Dem trying to do it. But then, they're not grown ups, we all knew that.
8 posted on 12/06/2002 4:11:40 AM PST by livius
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To: livius
What a stupid poo poo head!
9 posted on 12/06/2002 4:18:37 AM PST by battlegearboat
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To: livius
When asked by a Daily Cal reporter Nov. 4 if he stole the papers, Bates said, "No."

Ala Clinton.

10 posted on 12/06/2002 4:19:37 AM PST by chance33_98
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To: Owl_Eagle
Ha ha ha! Right on!
11 posted on 12/06/2002 4:39:56 AM PST by modhom
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To: chance33_98
Many political observers doubted Bates would resign.

Of course not. That would imply some degree of honor.

12 posted on 12/06/2002 4:47:16 AM PST by AppyPappy
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To: chance33_98
It's Bezerkly after all.
13 posted on 12/06/2002 5:06:51 AM PST by OldFriend
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To: AppyPappy
Professional politicians of the Dem stripe never resign. Bates was Cal State assemblyman for twenty years, and his wife, Loni Hancock, also a former mayor of Berkeley, was a Clinton appointee to the DOE.
14 posted on 12/06/2002 5:13:09 AM PST by gaspar
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To: chance33_98
"He was very exhausted from the election, getting very little sleep, and he just blew it," Spring said. "He let his emotions take over."

Undoubtedly Bates was tired at the end of the campaign, but that sort of thing doesn't change one's character, merely reveals it. More damning than the act itself is the fact that he is prepared to hold an office he cheated to get. Bates is unfit, period.

15 posted on 12/06/2002 5:52:31 AM PST by laredo44
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To: Jonathon Spectre
"He was very exhausted from the election, getting very little sleep, and he just blew it," Spring said. "He let his emotions take over."

oh....in that case....

16 posted on 12/06/2002 6:00:31 AM PST by FLdeputy
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To: chance33_98
The rats in charge of Berkley continue to violate the first amendment rights of those who dare to oppose them.

If they could get away with it, they would send their SS Walfen shock troops into the Cal's printing room and destroy any dissent before it hit the racks. Then those writing the dissent articles/editorials would be never be heard from again.
17 posted on 12/06/2002 6:17:10 AM PST by Grampa Dave
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To: battlegearboat
What a stupid poo poo head!

LOL!

18 posted on 12/06/2002 7:48:53 AM PST by livius
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To: chance33_98
"Bates accepted responsibility for the whole thing,"

As an elected official he should have the 'book' thrown at him as an example. But we all know the system doesn't work that way especially for RATS.

19 posted on 12/06/2002 8:31:44 AM PST by fella
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To: chance33_98
This is public goods property, the guy should be in jail right now.
20 posted on 12/06/2002 8:33:13 AM PST by lavaroise
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To: chance33_98
Over a month ago, the UC Berkeley conservative magazine, The California Patriot, broke this story. Of course, it was dismissed as lies.

Vindication is sweet, though.
21 posted on 12/06/2002 10:01:47 AM PST by TheAngryClam
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To: livius
The thing about Berkeley is that there are two camps in city politics, refered to as the Moderates and the Progressives. Now, the Moderates are vaguely between Clinton and Ted Kennedy, and the Progressives are your assorted collection of Green Party members, unreconstructed Stalinists, and other far-left types.

Bates, needless to say, is from the second camp.
22 posted on 12/06/2002 10:03:47 AM PST by TheAngryClam
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To: lavaroise
Actually, the Daily Californian isn't. In 1971, it purchased itself from the University, and has been a private organization ever since, leasing only the name from the school. It's about to go bankrupt, though.
23 posted on 12/06/2002 10:05:34 AM PST by TheAngryClam
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To: chance33_98
Imagine, for a moment, the uproar if . . . heck, why do I even bother? You folks know what I was about to write.
24 posted on 12/06/2002 10:09:11 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: chance33_98
Shaking head bump.
25 posted on 12/06/2002 10:17:38 AM PST by TroutStalker
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To: FLdeputy
"He was very exhausted from the election, getting very little sleep, and he just blew it," Spring said. "He let his emotions take over."

It's a blessing to have a calm, cool chief executive.

26 posted on 12/06/2002 3:24:39 PM PST by Jonathon Spectre
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To: fella
As an elected official he should have the 'book' thrown at him as an example.

In my world, any official running for public office who was caught in such a blatant offense would be off the ballot!--but that is apparently just my fantasy!

27 posted on 12/06/2002 5:29:02 PM PST by scholar
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To: TheAngryClam
I think the Daily Cal ought to bring charges against him. He should have to pay a heavy fine + reimburse the newspaper for the cost of the issue, and perform 200 hours of community service (which doesn't count any time he spends in the duties of his office.) He should also have to apologize to the University and the Community.
28 posted on 12/06/2002 5:53:11 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic
The Daily Cal can do the following:

1) bring a civil suit against him, for the cost of the papers, plus any other damages (including punitive) that they can prove/convince a jury of.

AND

2) the UCPD has referred the matter to the Alameda County district attorney, suggesting that a petty theft charge is in order. Petty theft is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, up to six months in county jail, or both.

I'm not sure if the city of Berkeley has any elected official conduct codes; my guess is that, as long as that conduct is not "conservative," they do not.
29 posted on 12/06/2002 10:01:20 PM PST by TheAngryClam
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To: TheAngryClam
IMO, both actions should be taken. This worm should be stopped in his tracks. Of course in my day, the only people who stole the entire production of the Daily Cal were Stanford pranksters who substituted their own issue. It was Big Game Week, of course.
30 posted on 12/07/2002 10:35:55 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: chance33_98
"He can say it was like Michael Jackson-it was one moment of weakness, like when he dangled his kid over the balcony," said Councilmember Betty Olds.

Throwing away a bunch of stupid newspapers is equivalent to dangling a child over a balcony?

31 posted on 12/08/2002 5:43:23 PM PST by altair
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