Politics Blog

Middle of the Pack

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by Amanda Witherell

The Earth Day Network just released its Urban Environment Report ranking the environmental conditions of the top 72 cities in the US. The study takes into account 200 different factors and ranks for best conditions regarding toxics and waste, air quality, health and human services, parks and recreation, quality of life, drinking water, and global climate change. Oh boy, you're thinking. Read more »

Fake police reform

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By Steven T. Jones
San Francisco officials have finally agreed to create a much-needed Early Intervention System for problem police officers – although the threats and political power of the San Francisco Police Officers Association have led to a system with serious flaws that will allow rogue cops to remain on the streets.

Leno's running against Migden

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By Tim Redmond

It's official: I just spoke with Assemblymember Mark Leno, and he is, indeed, running for state Senate against incumbent Carole Migden. Leno will formally announce at a March 2 campaign kickoff fundraiser at Yerba Buena Gardens. But he's in the race -- and he told me very clearly that he's in the race for good, even if the the voters overturn term limits for state legislators.

"I want to allow the voters of this senate district to have a choice," Leno said. Read more »

SF Weekly's bizarre source

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By Tim Redmond

Whoa.
I just read Ron Russell’s big story in the SF Weekly about former Police Chief Earl Sanders, and I’m a bit dumfounded.
The gist of the story is that Sanders – the city’s first black police chief and the author of a a new book on the Zebra killings – trumped up his record as a civil-rights leader in the department and glossed ov Read more »

Newsom redux

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By Steven T. Jones
Ethics watchdog Joe Lynn today continues his fine wrap-up at Fog City Journal on Newsom's vulnerabilities and shortcomings as he enters a difficult reelection year. Having reported several of the stories that Joe references, I can't help but agree that Newsom isn't the lock for reelection that many make him out to be. There are great narratives just waiting to be told by whoever decides to run against him -- and we plan to tell a few ourselves.

Guess who supports term limits?

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By Tim Redmond

I've never been a big fan of legislative term limits. Sending legislators packing after a few years shifts to much power to the lobbyists and the executive branch. Read more »

Fox reports, Fox decides

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by Amanda Witherell

Last week we ran a story about a comic book called Addicted to War that's been donated to San Francisco high schools. The book was written by a Johns Hopkins professor named Joel Andreas, and illustrates some of the less understood international conflicts the US has perpetrated. It's completely unlike anything I studied in high school. Read more »

Wolf needs a Shield, and so do you

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By Sarah Phelan

With the Chronicle reporters off the hook, what's going to happen to jailed freelancer Josh Wolf? News that a mediator has been brought in is a ray of hope. But people should not forget that Wolf's credentials as a journalist have been repeatedly challenged, and even mocked, by the US Attorney's Office. What's particularly disturbing is that all this is going down against a backdrop of increased media consolidation. How many journalists have full time jobs? How many photographers? How many can even afford to make journalism their full -time job? Read more »

More on Tourk payments

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By Steven T. Jones
New information is still coming in on the breaking news that Ruby Rippey-Tourk got an extended paid leave from the city. I just spoke with Sam Singer, a spokesperson for the Tourks, who said that it was Alex Tourk who asked the city about getting paid compensation for his wife while she was in an alcohol and drug rehab center from May through July. At the time, he didn't know that his wife had been having sexual relations with the mayor. Read more »

Newsom aide got paid

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By Steven T. Jones
The Bay Guardian has learned that Ruby Rippey-Tourk, who left her job as Mayor Gavin Newsom's appointments secretary last year after having a secret affair with the mayor, received $21,755 in paid leave last year for 534 hours of work that she didn't do. That amounts to about 13.5 weeks of paid time off, well more than the 10 days vacation time and 13 days of sick leave to which she was entitled. Read more »