Vote for three but not Ed Lee

Your voting slate can keep the machine out of the mayor's office

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OPINION Halloween 2011. Next week San Francisco will choose a new mayor. Is this a masquerade? Who is behind Mayor Ed Lee's mask?

I'll call it exactly how I see it: I am disappointed in Ed Lee. I've known him since before I was first elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2000. I wanted to be hopeful, but I actually can't say that I'm surprised. Ed Lee has always been a go-along-to-get-along bureaucrat who has moved up the feeding chain by doing the bidding of former Mayor Willie Brown and Willie's loyal lieutenant Rose Pak. I had a fantasy that maybe Ed would rise to the occasion, become his own person, and emerge as an independent leader free of those that orchestrated his appointment to "interim" mayor.

But in the first year since appointment (in one of the most masterful political plays since Abe Ruef got Eugene Schmitz installed as mayor in 1902), Ed has consistently sided with the powers and their "City Family" that "made" him. Even I was astounded when Ed moved legislation to displace hundreds of hotel workers at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel. And I was actually shocked when he did the bidding of the right-wing Restaurant Association and vetoed common-sense legislation to stop the exploitation of local restaurant workers.

His list of disappointments grow. He orchestrated the demolition of more than 1,500 units of rent controlled housing at Park Merced. Then he had the audacity to laud Pacific Gas and Electric Co. as a "great local corporation" on the anniversary of the lethal San Bruno pipeline explosion.

Several pols have been credited with the statement that "money is the mother's milk of politics." Well, Willie and Rose and their friends at the Chamber of Commerce got milk! Willie Brown is fundraising for three different committees to get Lee elected, Rose Pak started two different fundraising committees of her own, and right-wing Republican billionaires like Ron Conway and right wing corporations like Pacific Gas and Electric are lining up to throw money into the coffers.

Why? Because Ed is their guy.

The proof is right in front of us. All of Willie's trademark slights of hand are resurfacing in Ed Lee's friends' bag of tricks: money laundering, pay to play politics, allegations of voter fraud. These are all hallmarks of Brown and his cronies, all executed under the visage of the supposedly humble Ed Lee. And voters shouldn't fall for it. Because if we do, we'll go back to the days before Gavin Newsom when backroom deals, self-dealing, cronyism and out-and-out corruption were the rule of the day.

It is no coincidence that in a year gripped by the divide between the 99 and 1 percent, the latter is working feverishly to elect Lee. If you don't believe me, look it up on the Ethics Commission website (sfgov.org/ethics). PG&E alone has contributed at least $50,000 to one such "independent" committee.

I know this is the first race for mayor with ranked choice voting—and it is confusing. That's a concern. But frankly, at this point all I care about is that voters understand not to mark Ed Lee anywhere on their ballot.

The good news? The outcome of the Mayor's race is far from a foregone conclusion. San Franciscans are seeing through the millions of corporate dollars being spent on behalf of Lee.

You have a choice—three, in fact. And you should use them strategically, because you can make a difference by voting not just with your heart, but also with your mind. That means making sure you do your research and vote for three candidates who represent your values—and have a chance to win.

Comments

Chronicle Columnist Andy Ross hanging out and eating risotto with George Gascon the week before the election: wtf?

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=255741631140552&set=a.25574152780...

Posted by Guest on Nov. 01, 2011 @ 8:06 pm

Just as a fact check, Peskin says in this article that he was hopeful about Ed Lee and was disappointed but the truth is that when Lee was appointed Peskin publicly called him a 'lightweight' and that the BOS progressives that allowed his appointment were a 'hot mess'. You can look it up.

I have lived in D3 for awhile and I know that anything that Peskin says should be assumed to be untrue until proven otherwise. One of the reasons for his extreme unpopularity in the streets of D3 is that he feels that he has the right to say whatever he pleases -- adhering to the truth is for those lesser mortals out there.

Peskin was just fine with political machines when he took over the DCCC in a position to practically guarantee BOS seats. At the time the DCCC endorsements were the city's most valued but after 2 years of Peskin they were reduced to slightly 'better than nothing'. Now, smarter and more effective people have built machines that actually work. Must be tough on him.

I usually disagree with the Progressives but I think that Peskin is the best thing that ever happened to people who share my positions. If he were put in charge of Apple it would be bankrupt in 2 years.

Posted by District 3 Vet on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 7:30 am

There's a small but persistent cadre of haters who jump onto these comment sections every time the word "Peskin" shows up. They really have nothing to say, as is evident from the post by "District 3 Vet". Just a bunch of meaningless insults, mostly generated by real estate and construction interests, and totally inconsistent with the reality on the ground.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

Actually, I pointed out that Peskin's statements insulting Ed Lee at the time of his appointment are inconsistent with his opening in this article saying that he 'wanted to be hopeful'.

Also, when Peskin sat atop the group of 6 Progressive DCCC Supes it was common knowledge that he could block any development with his machine and he was just fine with that. People in my neighborhood with ideas would say "Let's run that by Aaron" instead of their elected representative, David Chiu. At one point Peskin told the Chronicle that expected to be 'apponted' as Mayor. So now, when he rails against other political machines he deserves to be called out on it as a hypocrite.

Any yes, I do think the man is not very bright. I'm entitled to an opinion about a public figure who seeks to influence others.

I'm a renter, certainly not a real estate interest. I assume that you are a Progressive and given the environment that is focusing on job creation I can understand your frustration and the need to hurl insults. It's okay. I would be frustrated too if I was a 'Progressive'.

Posted by District 3 Vet on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 5:45 pm
Posted by matlock on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 6:04 pm

...it is true that I dislike Peskin as a person but I do love what he has done with the Progressive Movement in this city.

I mean...he had all the time in the world to pick a successor and he chose David Chiu??? How did that work out?

Posted by District 3 Vet on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

you're a dog that barks at the mention of Peskin.
And you are not a D3 resident.
You're the same ConservaTroll that posts here all day, every day.

Posted by matlock on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

Your statement about "extreme unpopularity in the streets of D3" illustrates the fact that you don't live here.
Your brand of conservatism is extremely unpopular in the streets.

If Peskin is so unimportant and ineffective, why did you need to write so much about him?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 7:50 am

Ed Lee is just carrying on an old 'family' tradition. Pay to Play.
Feinstein>Brown>Newsom>.....
http://www.fogcityjournal.com/news_in_brief/kirshenbaum_061029.shtml

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 11:37 am

Thank goodness the Anyone But Lee movement is gaining some traction. I don't know why it had to wait for not one, but two money laundering investigations. I cannot think of a more unprogressive vote than a vote for Ed Lee. Let's kick him out while we still have the chance. Herrera, Avalos, and Yee. In any order.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

declined? Every poll I'm seeing shows him 20% ahead of anyone else.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 2:11 pm
Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

http://www.sfbg.com/2011/08/30/real-leland-yee

"He's a politician who once represented a deeply conservative district, opposed tenant protections, voted against transgender health benefits and sided with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on key environmental issues"

"He's taken large sums of campaign money from some of the worst polluters in California, "

"Or he's become an expert at political pandering, telling every group exactly what it wants to hear."

"or he's a chameleon who will be a nightmare for progressive San Francisco."

Dr. Yee was my state rep. He was the chair of the children's mental health committee. I told him that it was difficult for kids with private insurance to get mental health care and that perhaps his committee could do something about it like do an audit or make a rule of fining insurance companies that don't provide accurate lists of psychiatrists that take new patients.

He asked me what I was going to do about the problem! Uh, I just brought attention to the problem to the CHAIR of the committee (You, Dr. Yee) and gave you a couple of solutions.

I don't like people to take positions and don't do the work. If you don't care about mental health, don't be on the committee and certainly, don't be the chair.

I have heard others who have had similar negative experiences with Dr. Yee.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 05, 2011 @ 1:18 am

I live in the Sunset and know Dr. Yee very well. When Leland was President of the Board of Education he was able to steer his colleagues away from axing the program known as the Balboa Teen integrated Primary Care clinic including mental health. As a nurse with CNA, Leland stood up to the health insurance lobbyists, the Govenator and Nunez to defeat what amounted too a mandated system of health insurance that would have had a hefty fine in 2005. He held a press conference and with Shiela Kuehl's help defeated this attempt to destroy any more attempts a single payer health care. That took guts because most politicians ran the other way and wouldn't defy Arnold or Speaker Nunez. In 2005, Arnold was still a powerful politician. That is why CNA endorsed Leland back in May without hesitation. He has consistently been there with us when others weren't. Most politicians pander but he stuck his neck out on more than one occasion risking his relationship with his own party and his constituents when he acted. That fact that he has taken on Mr. Ed so openly, risking votes, demonstrates a real fighter not just another politician. Many on this list will say, by going negative on Lee he has lost but in my mind it shows someone getting into the ring and not pulling punches when it comes to election fraud.
As a child psychologist, he introduced a bill to not try teens as adults when accused of serious crimes that scared most of his colleagues away. Leland was my supervisor and state representative, too. I could go on and on about his record on mental health issues and his positive work on behalf of kids but that would take several pages.

No nurse would have safe staff ratios, whistle blower protection and a hefty fine leveled at hospitals if they broke the ratios had it not been for Leland. He introduced and fought for the inclusion of mental health and getting cheaper prescription drug benefits for California seniors at the state level. He fought for Kuehls and now Leno's single payer universal health care bills through out the year.

He was rated 100% by equality California for his support of gay marriage. He represents the type of transformational public servant who has been influenced time and time again to change his views by the LGBT movement that some politicians never make. Obama still has not moved in his opinion of Gay marriage but may. Leland has. I wouldn't be married to my partner without his support and evolution.
Some people continue to live in the past as far as Leland's record goes but he, unlike some public servants has been in the public's eye for over 23 years and has changed his views on many issues. Sadly, some commentators haven't moved beyond their own biases against Leland. Of course, it will just be said cynically that he just a panderer. But knowing Leland as I have as a nurse, nothing could be farther from the truth.
But that's a person's right to be stuck in the past. Many in the transgender community welcome Leland's support and evolution. i think our biggest fault as progressives or liberals is we find a politician and once that politicians loses an election we discard the politician and move on to someone new. Instead of sticking by them and consistently working with them especially when they make a vote we don't like, we discard them for some one new until they disappoint us and we move on again. I think that is why the right in this city moves forward and we don't.
Some politicians devolve and others move forward. Leland has moved forward. But that is just my personal positive view of Leland and the more I talk with voters they see his attributes too.

Posted by Guest lucretiamott on Nov. 05, 2011 @ 4:46 am

Stop Ed Lee!

Posted by stopedlee.com on Nov. 08, 2011 @ 2:28 am

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