Berkeley's mayor pushes anti-PG&E protester

Luke Thomas photo of Tom Bates pushing TURN director Mark Toney

At least, that's what Luke Thomas is reporting in Fog City Journal. He's got photos, too.

The way the story goes, Bates was speaking at a PG&E-sponored forum, and Mark Toney, director of The Utility Refrom Network (TURN) came up uninvited to speak out against Prop. 16.  So the mayor of Berkeley physically pushed him out of the way.

Now, why Tom Bates was speaking at a PG&E-sponored forum (and saying nice things about the company) at a time like this is beyond me. And typically mayors don't take it upon themselves to eject protesters from meetings.

I've got a call into Bates for comment, but his staff hasn't gotten back to me.



Assault is more like it. That protester is well within his right to sue. It might be a good starting point for a PR blitz against Prop. 16.

Posted by Matt Stewart on Feb. 20, 2010 @ 11:28 am

Find out what the forum was about before you making judgements about whether or not the Mayor should have been there - the sponsor is irrelevant.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

As a long time Berkeley citizen, I cannot honestly say I'm surprised or shocked by Mayor Bates behavior. He has a well known reputation here in Berkeley as a hothead.

During his election run for his first term as Mayor, he got so angry at The Daily Californian (a Berkeley newspaper) over a unflattering and critical article they wrote about him, he broke into newspaper boxes and stole several hundred copies of The Daily Californian. He plead guilty and was fined.

He is halfway through his last term as Mayor, and most of us are glad.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 23, 2010 @ 2:35 pm