When freshman Oakland Assemblyman Sandre Swanson introduced legislation earlier this year to return local control of Oakland schools, it looked like a ballsy move. His bill would have mandated the state give up complete power over the district by January 1, 2008. But in recent days, Swanson backed down from his tough stance. He watered down his bill to say that school district cannot return to local control until auditors from the state's Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team agree to do so first. Today's Oakland Tribune, calls FCMAT "independent," but a 2003 Trib story showed the agency is anything but. In fact, there's evidence that FCMAT helped orchestrate the takeover of Oakland schools in the first place. To view that story (fee required), click here to get to the Trib's archive search page. Then scroll down to the "fee based" search, type "FCMAT" into the search terms box, and specify August 2003. Then scroll down and click on the story "Phone logs link 'politics' to school takeover."