Credit to the supervisors. Seriously.

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Politicians get a lot of shit, and they generally deserve it. But I have to say: After listening to almost all of the debate over the removal of Ross Mirkarimi -- and watching the 4-7 vote to keep him in office -- I was impressed by the supervisors who got it right, took it seriously and provided thoughful and credible debate.

Profiles in Courage Awards to John Avalos, David Campos, Jane Kim and Christina Olague. I haven't always agreed with all of them, and Randy Shaw said that Olague would never vote with Mirkarimi because his supporters were dissing her, but she stood up to immense pressure and did the right thing. Jane Kim was very lawyerly, but came to the right conclusion. Avalos and Campos were articulate and pointed out the problems with giving the mayor this much power.

David Chiu was a disappointment, Eric Mar even more so. I expected more of both of them. But Chiu handled a tough meeting very well, giving all sides a chance and showing immense patience. Credit for running the show well, even if he voted the wrong way.

But overall, an intelligent discussion with the right outcome. More tomorrow.

Comments

All true, Tim, but a big heaping amount of credit to Ethics Commission Chair Ben Hur who set the table with all the right implements needed to carve this turkey. He was what was needed in this process. If only he weren't a lone voice at Ethics.

Posted by CitiReport on Oct. 09, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

Agreed, Ben Hur is probably the only one who distinguished himself in this whole sorry farce.

Posted by Patrick Monk.RN. on Oct. 09, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

Big BIG respect to Ben Hur from the get-go.

Posted by Daniele E. on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 12:58 am

That's the way it is. The same charter they savaged gives them this victory. They should enjoy it while it lasts. Olague is so stupid it's really hard to hold this against her and everyone knew Campos and Avalos were going to stand by Ross no matter what. However there will be consequences for those, especially Jane Kim, who envision themselves as future Senators, Assembly members, Congressmen/women and in the case of Kim - Board president or mayor.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 09, 2012 @ 10:33 pm

In a convoluted sort of way it makes sense.

Two of the four are mindless unthinking doctrinaire robots. Avalos and Campos are amoral progressive monkeys.

The make believe world of progressives. Tim said Avalos was gaining momentum because on polling day he had some higher number's than the mail in ballots. Everyone who follows politics for two seconds knows that mail in ballots trend more non-progressive. No reason to take Tim's ravings seriously.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

voted their ideology, just like SFBG. If the DV perp had been a moderate, they'd have gone the other way, and that's hypocrisy.

So great, a lame duck sheriff and a one year long recall election campaign. Gotta love this town.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2012 @ 10:58 pm

Every time he puts a foot wrong - even a toe wrong - his staff are going to leak it, because he doesn't not have their respect. He'll struggle to get anything donw, and may face serious conflicts of interest.

While Eliana has him over a barrel -she can swan off to Caracas any damn time she likes, and Ross ain't got nothing to say about it. He's neutered.

While the slightest misdeameanor - a drop of litter, a flash of rage, and he's in his own can as a violation of probation.

Oh, and then there's a few hundred thousand in legal bills to pay.

Sometimes, even when you win, you lose. Lee's goal was to weaken Ross and the left, and it's worked.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2012 @ 11:10 pm

He overplayed his hand and revealed his true nature: a man willing to cut apart a family to enhance his power.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 09, 2012 @ 11:40 pm

before Lee acted. he's in debt, for one thing. We know much more dirt about him than we previously did. And of course in any ordinary vote, a 7-4 vote to fire him would be a landslide, so Mirk really has no credibility or mandate at this point, and will struggle to get anything done.

Even when Lee loses, he wins. Ross is a broken shell.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 8:37 am

I hope I'm wrong. There's really no other candidate in that race remotely worthy of support. But he could have had hundreds of people in his office tomorrow. But now? Who's he going to call on for shoe leather? Plan C? The trolls on the internet? If he felt he was really voting his conscience, then god bless him. But he did himself no favors.

Christina, OTOH, generated a lot of good will tonight. Is it enough? Who knows. I think she senses her campaign is in big trouble, and Ed Lee simply isn't enough to win it for her in D5. The progressives have all but abandoned her, so this is a Hail Mary pass to win back their support. I don't know if this will be a case of too little, too late at this point. But I do know that most progressives I've talked to weren't even putting her down anywhere in their top 3. This will certainly earn her a place on many of their ballots again.

Jane is smart. Lawyerly is a very charitable understatement. She really tried to have her cake and eat it too. But in the end there was no way to sit on the fence. Either she did the right thing, or she didn't. And she did. And she'll probably be untouchable for re-election.

Campos is positively brilliant. He's been underrated, but the guy has the mind of a steel trap. I didn't like everything he said, but to the extent that any speech could've moved votes, that was the one.

There was a lot of high-minded rhetoric and legalese, but in the end these are all politicians. As such, (almost) all of them remembered the axiom, "ignore your base at your peril." With 2 exceptions, all of them voted with their respective bases. The two exceptions are Eric Mar and David Chiu. We'll find out what this does for their political futures.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 09, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

Its absolutely crazy that (some) progressives would hold Mar's vote against him. This isn't even a core progressive issue. This is a personal issue, a distraction. I supported reinstatement, but lets get serious here.

Its a tight race, it was always going to be a tight race and there is no doubt that voting to reinstate would have killed his re-election prospects in that district.

The progressive movement is about a heck of a lot more than Ross Mirkirami and I would hope that we can all see that and support Eric.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2012 @ 11:41 pm

Corruption, democracy, due process... these are core progressive issues. If you support the kind of abuse of power whereby people's votes can be just cancelled by the machinations of a corrupt elite establishment hell bent on a political witch hunt of any opponent who dares climb too high... well then you and I have very different definitions of what it means to be a progressive.

You say you supported reinstatement. Well you need to think very deeply about *why* you supported reinstatement. Speaking for myself, I didn't support reinstatement because I voted for Ross over the other guys. I supported reinstatement because the whole process stank to high heaven from the very beginning. You don't just let that slide. This is what made hundreds of people go to City Hall and spend all day there. This is why thousands of Ross's supporters came out of the woodwork for this. It's not just because they support Ross. It's because the process stinks of a political coup, and they are PISSED.

Eric Mar ignored all that last night. The word I heard from multiple people, to describe his vote, was "heartbreaking." We all knew how Farrell-Chu-Elsbernd-Weiner would vote. Their base is not in the streets, but in the corporate suites. They can't be moved. But Mar should've known better. It was heartbreaking not just because it was the *wrong* thing to do, but because it was heartbreakingly stupid. No progressive can win without a good field operation. Progressives will always be outspent, and Mar is being *massively* ou

Posted by Greg on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 7:31 am

Accidentally hit the send key. Anyway, my point was that if a progressive candidate doesn't have the field campaign to counteract the usual conservative money adavantage, then they're doomed. Field campaign doesn't come from the middle. It comes from the base. And this will make field much more difficult.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 7:58 am

Because you have done so much to help eric mar this year right? I'm sure you and Patrick monk would have walked 100 precincts if only he had done this one thing. Give me a fucking break and go back to your arm chair.

Posted by What? on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 8:05 am

I have before and I would again. But at this point... I don't know. I still hope he wins; he's way better than the other guy. But between this... 8 Washington... Golden Gate Park astroturf... he's pissed off a lot of folks in the Richmond and he's made himself very vulnerable. If he loses, I'm sorry to say but he really has no one else to blame but himself.

And I will also add the following... all you people who wanted him to vote this way... I doubt that a single one of you will support him because of it.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

also a progressive issue?

Posted by matlock on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

Corruption, democracy, due process... these are core progressive issues. If you support the kind of abuse of power whereby people's votes can be just cancelled by the machinations of a corrupt elite establishment hell bent on a political witch hunt of any opponent who dares climb too high... well then you and I have very different definitions of what it means to be a progressive.

You say you supported reinstatement. Well you need to think very deeply about *why* you supported reinstatement. Speaking for myself, I didn't support reinstatement because I voted for Ross over the other guys. I supported reinstatement because the whole process stank to high heaven from the very beginning. You don't just let that slide. This is what made hundreds of people go to City Hall and spend all day there. This is why thousands of Ross's supporters came out of the woodwork for this. It's not just because they support Ross. It's because the process stinks of a political coup, and they are PISSED.

Eric Mar ignored all that last night. The word I heard from multiple people, to describe his vote, was "heartbreaking." We all knew how Farrell-Chu-Elsbernd-Weiner would vote. Their base is not in the streets, but in the corporate suites. They can't be moved. But Mar should've known better. It was heartbreaking not just because it was the *wrong* thing to do, but because it was heartbreakingly stupid. No progressive can win without a good field operation. Progressives will always be outspent, and Mar is being *massively* ou

Posted by Greg on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 7:31 am

You make good points and I supported reinstatement for the same reason, the process. However, I am surprised that activists were surprised by Mar's vote. I mean didn't we know all along this was coming. It seems to be Politics 101 to me.

Let's say I'm with you that this is a core progressive vote/litmus test, etc. It would be one thing if Mirkarimi lost and only got 2 votes, but he got 4, without Eric. We didn't need him. If he truly believed in reinstating Ross for the admirable reasons you've stated above and he had the courage to be that 3rd vote that would have meant something to me and told me something about Eric and his principle. To be the 5th and completely unnecessary vote would have been politically stupid.

The people in my life are progressive, they vote, but don't follow local politics. They are exactly the type of people that will vote for Mar when I tell them about rent control, downtown money, etc. But had he supported Ross all they would have ever heard about would be that Mar is the guy who voted to keep the wife abuser sheriff, because that's the way they thought about this Mirkarimi case from the get go. Nobody outside the SF politics bubble I ever spoke to talked about process, witchhunts, etc.

I really hope that you are not right and that the ground troops continue to help Eric. If you (progressives in general) were planning on working for Eric over the next month but are now going to be helping Christina (when the alternative in her race is Julian Davis) then God help us.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 8:04 am

Yes, you make good points. Maybe we're cutting off our noses to spite our faces. In fact, I know we are. All the same, it's kinda hard to get excited about this race right about now.

And it's not just this. It's some of the other stuff too. When I first heard that Mar was actually leading the charge to pave over Golden Gate Park and install massive floodlights, I couldn't believe it. I *literally* didn't believe it, until I heard it confirmed and reconfirmed.

And it doesn't help when every shitty little right-wing corporatist mocks us, saying things like "how can you oppose 8 Washington when *even* Eric Mar supported it."

Plus, I just don't think that he gained anything politically by doing this. Even the push poll commissioned by Willie Brown's socialite friends was only able to muster 50-40 in favor of removal in District 1, and that poll was total crap. Which make his choice all the more maddening.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

Beware The Mighty SF Progressive Political Machine!

That's why progressives control all the important political positions in San Francisco!

Cross the Bay Guardian at your peril!

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 6:53 am

This may not seem such a clear example for the lesson that pols need to hear -- i.e., that it won't *ever* pay to suck up to your opponent's base; after all, the whole point of this Lee/Brown power play was to split progressives from themselves.

Let's hope for Mar that the DV talkers who exhibited at least as much snidery as righteousness in this matter are thankful enough for his vote to fill his campaign ranks to the needed level for him to prevail.

That doesn't change the fact that his vote may have been the biggest mistake he's made.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 7:12 am

Did it ever occur to anyone that Mar voted the way he did because he thought it was the right thing to do, regardless of the political fallout?

Posted by Hortencia on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 7:33 am

You do realize that this is the Bay Guardian readership we are talking about, don't you? Given this, the answer to your question is obvious: OF COURSE NOT!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 8:55 am

I disagree. D1 apparently polled in support of reinstatement. Ross got reinstated and they got what they wanted. Eric was not the deciding vote on anything and by his actions got to intercept the inevitable incoming banshee attack by David Lee. In a tight race, clearly knowing that his vote would not be instrumental, I'm okay with Eric taking a pass and, as Ammiano would say, "walking down both sides of the street."

Posted by marcos on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 8:51 am
Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 9:14 am

Already covered. The absolute worst, most blatant push poll I have ever seen in my life. I expected they would've gotten 80% given the questions they asked.

As a narrative-setting device, it was brilliant propaganda. I'll grant you that. Especially if you have willing media repeating the meme at every turn, backed by an army of internet trolls.

But don't mistake brilliant propaganda for a real gauge of public opinion. When you do a poll like that, the properties that make it such great propaganda are precisely the same ones that nullify its usefullness as a poll.

Note, however, that even under those conditions, the best they could muster in both D5 *AND* D1, was 50-40 in favor of removal. Yes, the numbers were about the same for both districts. I too was surprised that D1 came out to be one of the weakest districts for the mayor's position. Those numbers suggest that a strong majority actually favors reinstatement.

As it happens, I talked to both Eric and Christina in the aftermath of that poll. I think that Christina did the intelligent thing and came out on the right side of both the issue and her district.

Sadly, Eric did not.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 10:16 pm

You always know Campos is going to vote after the first few seconds of his comments. Because he always starts by energetically kissing the butt of the side that he is about to piss off.

Posted by Troll on Oct. 09, 2012 @ 11:40 pm

he is whatever is "progressive."

Doesn't matter what has gone on in the past, he is a party man, that is all he is capable of.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

Well said. Agree on every point.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 09, 2012 @ 11:47 pm

I love San Franciscans and San Francisco more tonight. Although at times we make up our own rules, our own culture and our own moral values, there are still people in San Francisco that believe in the Constitution, the Fifth Amendment (14th), due process and basing verdicts on the law and not feelings, special interests and cronyism. My heart goes out to domestic violence victims. Supervisor Mark Farrell you will not get my vote in 2014. Congratulations Ross Mirkarimi on your reinstatement.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2012 @ 11:52 pm

If only I could still walk more than a couple of blocks!! I hope Eric wins as the alternatives are frightening, though I am disappointed in his vote. This has never been about the fate of one individual, it has always been about the latest egregious abuse of political power. This result will require revisiting the laws as written and clarifying them so we are not subjected to another such farce, that is a win for all of us. I think Eric's vote was more a calculated political risk than a principled stand, he was in a no-win situation, given the dark money being raised by his opposition it is a gamble that may not pay off. The voting was a little surprising, there was never much doubt as to how the machine would vote, but Christina's opening statement was powerful and 'gave cover' to others who realised the dangerous precedent that could be set, especially Jane who gave probably the most reasoned presentation; David Chiu simply reclarified which side his bread is buttered; and Malia Cohen... how did she ever win election!!.
I expect to see "Recall Ross" door hangers any day, they will have a substantial war chest, but at least now the decision will be back where it belongs, in the hands of the voters. The struggle continues.
To all those who voted in favor of removing an elected official on the grounds of 'official misconduct', I hope they will demonstrate that they cast their vote on ethical grounds by requiring an investigation into possible perjury by the Mayor, and documented violations of election law during his campaign, among the many other issues that are never exposed to sunshine.
Once again, many thanks to Ben Hur, probably the only one who emerged smelling like a rose in this bed of corruption.

Posted by Patrick Monk.RN. on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 10:27 am

So I'd hold the champagne because you fuckers will NEVER win a citywide vote on this issue. Please tell me again why this was worth wasting so much time and energy on rather than throw this asshole on the fire and get someone in office you can actually TRUST - who can perpetuate a legacy of something other than bitterness?

The short-sightedness of progressives is incredible. You actually believe that the city shares your joy over this Pyrrhic victory when it really contains the seeds of your total destruction.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 9:27 pm

you're getting a little too excited and irrationally spiteful there tiny man, time to get back on the medication

Posted by anonymous on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 9:44 pm

I believe we can all only heal when the people have their say. We must allow the voters to speak on this issue - it's truly the only way forward to accomplish total and complete healing of our city family.

Shanti brothers and sisters - shanti.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 10:05 pm

You may have won the battle, Progressives! But I, Troll II, will have my revenge yet! Your victory was Pyrrhic and you have Sown the Seeds of Your Total Destruction! You have not heard the last of Troll II! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!

Posted by Greg on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 10:48 pm