Gonzalez withdraws his endorsement of Olague

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Gonzalez spoke at Olague's April campaign launch, only to now sour on his one-time progressive protege.
Luke Thomas/Fog City Journal

Matt Gonzalez – the attorney and former president of the Board of Supervisors whose 2003 run for mayor galvanized the city's progressive movement – has withdrawn his endorsement of Sup. Christina Olague for his old District 5 supervisorial seat, citing her positions on the 8 Washington project and replacing ranked-choice (RCV) voting with a September mayoral primary election.

It is perhaps the biggest political blow that Olague has suffered since being appointed to her first elective office by Mayor Ed Lee in January, and a sign that she may be siding more solidly with Lee and his pro-development allies than with the progressive political community she has long identified with – and that could complicate her race in one of the city's most progressive districts.

Gonzalez, who helped launch Olague's political career by appointing her to the Planning Commission in 2004, confirmed his decision and the reasons for it, but he told the Guardian that he didn't want to make a formal public statement yet. That could come later in the week, possibly coupled with a new endorsement in the race.

But he did say that he's been frustrated with Olague's actions on both 8 Washington – a housing project for the super-rich on the Embarcadero – and with her recent antics on RCV. In both cases, it wasn't just the votes, but the way they were made that have raised doubts about Olague with Gonzalez and other progressives.

Olague and Sup. Jane Kim (another former Gonzalez protege who has disappointed many of her one-time progressive supporters on several high-profile issues) not only voted for the 8 Washington project, but also for a series of amendments that made the already lucrative project even more profitable for the developers and costly to the city.

On RCV, as I reported on Friday, Olague surprised progressives by giving new life to efforts by the most conservative supervisors to repeal the system, then has made a shifting series of statements and pledges on the issue, in the end supporting a system that will repeal RCV only for the mayor and create a September election.

The fear is that election would be extremely low turnout, and Lee could win it outright with at least 65 percent of the vote and avoid the normal November election, and Olague has been unwilling to fully explain her position or address concerns that she is simply doing Lee's bidding. Olague hasn't returned our calls on that issue or for her reaction to Gonzalez's decision to withdraw his endorsement.

Comments

...regardless as to whether voters swallowed union and City Family propaganda whole. Why hasn't the City released its recent anemic pension fund return?

Ed Lee is piling hundreds of millions more in employee benefit debt on...and he'll be long gone when the bill comes due.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 8:18 am

because he was for working on public employee union contracts, now he's back on the Island because he is against the latest progressive San Francisco Saddam Hussein.

In a few months Olague will be quoted for being against the new Hitler.

Now for the two minutes of hate.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 16, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

Yes, but once you are voted off The Island, you are never fully accepted back into the fold.

You are no longer ideologically pure. You have become a 'compromiser', someone willing to meet The Forces of Evil halfway.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

The Guardian had an article about Gonzalez's support of Jeff Adachi's measure

"Former Supervisor Matt Gonzalez has joined his old friend Jeff Adachi in supporting a pension-reform measure that has organized labor up in arms. He wants to debate the labor council director, Tim Paulson."

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 8:17 am

What? Gonzalez wanted to debate a union leader about pension reform, and he supported the Adachi measure?

Matt is anti-union? Who knew?

The man is too pragmatic to be on the Progressive Island. He lacks ideological purity. Time to vote him off again

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

Gonzalez was buddy buddy with Tony Hall, the Tea Party honcho who spawned the evil Elsbernd.

Olague co-sponsored the acceptance of the new $15-million office building set for the Arboretum....

Posted by Richard on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

Progressives stand for good government. I've come around on this. Adachi's pension reform was the right choice which ought to have been approved.

Anyhow, the fact is that according to the original meaning of the word, progressives did not support unionism, so blanket judgements on this are off base.

His friendship with Tony Hall just shows that he is not shallow. That friendship does not negate the reality of the major political differences between them.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 8:10 pm