Does Ed Lee's recent flip-flop signal a return to the bad old days of City Hall?
Board President David Chiu, the swing vote for putting Lee in the Mayor's Office in December (based on Lee's pledge to be a "caretaker mayor" who wouldn't run for a full term) was also a prime enabler of this coup, so there is some poetic justice in the fact that it turned on him and sabotaged his chances of becoming mayor.
It shows bad political judgment that Chiu and the other supervisors-turned-mayoral-candidates — Bevan Dufty and Michela Alioto-Pier — put Lee into office and naively ignored warnings from the Guardian, then-Sup. Chris Daly, and many others that the feel-good move was actually a corrupt power play.
Politics can be a blood sport, and we're under no illusions that politicians are noble creatures. But the simple fact is that Lee broke trust with San Francisco, gained a huge political advantage in doing so, and he now faces an uphill battle in restoring his credibility. Because the new politics he brought to City Hall look a whole lot like the old politics that the progressive movement spent the last decade trying to counter.
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