The real politics of the federal raid on Oakland's mayor

A large house on Skyline Boulevard was raided by the U.S. Postal Inspector at the same time Oakland's Mayor Sheng Thao’s home and office were raided by FBI agents.

Using the U.S. Mail to promote, participate or assist in illegal activities, raises the specter of federal prosecution. 

"She was elected by a very slim margin. She's already facing a recall. This does not help that status at all," said Justin Burton.

Before Burton set up his communications firm serving private firms and non-profit organizations, he was communications director for former Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf

"I think the people who are most affected today are the Oakland residents because they need to know that their mayor is not embroiled in a corruption scandal. And if she is, they need to know that she won't be distracted by it so she can lead the city," said Burton.

"All of these places that they have searched, indicate that they have been working on an investigation for quite some time and were able to convince a judge that they needed to go into all these places," said political analyst Brian Sobel.

Sobel has previously held public office and his expertise lies in governmental relations.

He says resignation is possible, but it's up to her. 

"The recall will get steam from this, and it really places her in a position where she's gonna have to make some tough decisions very, very soon," said Sobel. 

"If she does decide to resign, that would give her 120 days to call a special election. Conceivably, Oakland could be voting for a new mayor in November," said Burton.

CSU East Bay Professor Jennifer Tran, who also serves as the Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce's president, said this raid serves as another big blow and expense to the city. 

"We are wasting public dollars and resources on what looks like corruption and failed leadership. Our attention continues to go to politicians that are sucking up all the oxygen in the room for self-aggrandizement and are nowhere to be found when we need someone to be accountable," said Tran.

The presumption is innocent until proven guilty. But, that's in a court of law, not the court of public opinion.