"The Results Proved That The 'Anybody But Don' Campaign 'Had Teeth'"
For eight months in the spring, summer, and fall of 2010, J. Douglas Allen-Taylor managed a website called Anybody But Perata For Mayor Of Oakland. The purpose of the website was explained online as being "very simple: to present reasons why former State Senator Don Perata should not be elected mayor of the City of Oakland, California."
When the campaign began, most experienced political analysts listed Don Perata—the recently-retired president of the California State Senate—as the heavy favorite in the Oakland mayoral race.
But Perata eventually lost the Oakland mayoral race to Oakland City Councilmember Jean Quan, 53,897 votes to 51,872, after 10 rounds of ranked-choice voting vote counts. Some newspapers and political observors credited the Anybody But Perata website or the "Anbybody But Perata" or "Anybody But Don" strategy with playing a major role in educating Oakland voters about the Perata political record, and with helping in his defeat. The "Anybody But Perata" slogan was coined and the strategy popularized by the Anybody But Perata website.
Following the election, Jean Quan was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle as saying that "the 'Anybody But Don' campaign had teeth."
With the 2010 Oakland mayoral campaign over, the Anybody But Perata website has ceased new postings. It still exists in archive form.
By Matthai Kuruvila
In an abrupt and stunning turnaround in the race for Oakland mayor, Councilwoman Jean Quan vaulted into the lead - ahead of former state Sen. Don Perata who, until Friday, held a comfortable advantage and had been expected to win, unofficial election results showed.
The latest tally of votes put Quan on top with 51 percent compared with Perata's 48.9 percent in a race that tested Oakland's first election using ranked-choice voting.
Quan had been actively campaigning for months for people to put "Anybody but Don" on the ballot. She had told supporters and announced at several mayoral forums that she wanted supporters to put Kaplan second.
Quan said the results proved that the "Anybody but Don" campaign "had teeth."
By Joe Eskenazi
Completing a mathematical miracle, Councilwoman Jean Quan upset longtime Bay Area power player Don Perata to become mayor of Oakland.
While Perata heavily outpolled Quan on election day, the councilwoman received far more second- and third-place votes to catch and pass the favorite as ranked-choice voting progressed. In what is being called the "Anybody But Perata" turnout, Quan received 75 percent of Rebecca Kaplan's second-place votes.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Oakland mayoral candidate Don Perata appeared numb Thursday, a day after his stunning loss that made city councilwoman Jean Quan the city's first female mayor and the first Asian-American mayor of a major U.S. city.
Perata, 65, conceded to Quan, 61, saying he has "no quarrel" and won't contest his narrow upset defeat by slightly more than 2,000 votes, even after holding a double-digit lead last week.
Despite having the highest number of first-choice votes, Perata lost the election after votes for the third-place finisher, city councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, were reapportioned.
Quan arguably benefited from having enough second- and third-place votes as she and Kaplan urged supporters to vote for the other as their second choice during their respective campaigns, using what many dubbed the "Anybody But Perata" strategy.
By Robert Gammon
Most of [Jean Quan's political] mailers ... instructed residents to visit the web site, NotDon.org, also known as "Anybody But Perata for Mayor of Oakland." Founded and operated by longtime East Bay journalist J. Douglas Allen-Taylor, the site featured news stories about the campaign along with an exhaustive compilation of investigative reports about Perata by the Express, the Oakland Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, and the Sacramento Bee. The site obviously struck a popular chord with readers. If you did a Google search on "Don Perata" in the weeks before the election, NotDon.org usually came up as the second or third result.
Although Quan's campaign eventually became synonymous with the Anybody But Perata movement, Allen-Taylor said he decided to launch the site after a suggestion by Geoffrey Pete, a supporter of Mayor Ron Dellums and Rebecca Kaplan. The site purposely did not endorse any of the candidates running against Perata. Allen-Taylor was determined to ensure that readers knew his site was independent and not a partisan political attack on the ex-senator by one of the campaigns. "If the web site had supported any of the alternative candidates, it wouldn't have worked," he said. "I can't overstress that."
By Post Staff
Jean Quan’s victory in the mayor’s race against Don Perata may have surprised campaign analysts who expected that by traditional measures – money and big name support – the former powerful state senator would simply walk into the office.
But to observers closer to the ground, it was never a foregone conclusion that the election would go to Perata and his backers, who had a war chest of over $1 million and key endorsements by the S.F. Chronicle, Oakland police, prison guards, Jerry Brown and Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Among the many factors that contributed Quan’s victory, two should not be underestimated: the support of Assemblyman Sandré Swanson, who helped Quan’s campaign gain the backing of Black voters; and a website, Anybody But Don Perata for Mayor of Oakland, designed and executed by local journalist J. Douglas Allen-Taylor.
By Post Staff
Jesse Allen-Taylor was honored for his role in the election of Mayor-elect Jean Quan. His website, www.notdon.org, focused the city’s voters’ attention on reasons why they should cast their votes for any candidate except former State Senator Don Perata. His website was effective because it did not endorse any candidate, and, because the election was Oakland’s maiden voyage into rank-choice voting.
The www.notdon.org website was compared to a stealth aircraft and a military drone plane that was able to drop information bombshells while flying undetected by the antennae of campaign consultants. Jesse Allen Taylor, because he endorsed no one, flew below the political radar.
One of the main reasons that Jean Quan was elected was Taylor’s website raised public awareness of an extensive FBI investigation of Perata and media exposés over the years. The Internet site, www.notdon.org, reached many people, becoming at times the third site listed by Google in searches for Perata’s name. Precinct walkers for Quan and Kaplan reported that information from the website was often mentioned as they went door-to-door.