Steven T. Jones

The path to President Chiu

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By Steven T. Jones

How did David Chiu, the supervisor with the least experience in government, end up as president of the Board of Supervisors? And what does it say about the role that ideology and alliances will play in a city that’s wrestling with a dire economic situation?

I have some thoughts on both of those questions, but first, let’s run through how today’s voting went down because it illustrates the political dynamics now at work in City Hall. Read more »

David Chiu wins

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On the seventh vote, Dist. 3 Sup. David Chiu has been elected president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Live from City Hall

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By Steven T. Jones

City Hall is packed with people here to watch the election of the new Board of Supervisors president, both in board chambers and the overflow area of the North Light Court. The nominees (in order of nomination) are Chris Daly (who nominated himself), Sophie Maxwell (nominated by Bevan Dufty), Ross Mirkarimi (nominated by David Campos), John Avalos, and David Chiu (those last two nominated one another).
Public comment is now underway and should take awhile. Stay tuned because I'll announce the winner as soon as there is one.

MTA tries to help cyclists by removing bike lanes

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Photo of Market and Octavia intersection by Kate.

By Steven T. Read more »

Will Bay Area Dems block CIA reform?

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Leon Panetta was a longtime congressman
from Monterey, widely respected for his intelligence
and integrity, before joining the Clinton Administration.

By Steven T. Read more »

Reinventing journalism

The traditional media is in a tailspin, but can a new generation of visionaries revive the watchdog press?
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news@sfbg.com

Journalism, the critics say, is dying. The model of news reporting that has dominated the United States for most of the past century — big, well-funded outfits paying reporters and editors to choose and produce what the public reads or views — is crumbling. The main culprits are media consolidation and corporate cutbacks, but the downward spiral is also being fed by declining readership, competition from the Internet, investor expectations, demographic shifts, self-inflicted wounds, and myriad other factors.Read more »

Politically courageous act of the year

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By Steven T. Jones

As the year winds down, I’d like to note what I consider to be the most politically courageous act of 2008: Attorney General Jerry Brown’s decision to reverse his position and urge the California Supreme Court to overturn Prop. Read more »

Republicans are stupid

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By Steven T. Jones

Forgive the blunt headline, but it seems to me an inescapable conclusion based on the ridiculousness going on right now in Sacramento. Since writing about Republican legislators' illogically doctrinaire opposition to taxes in this week's paper, I've now watched the Democrats come up with a dishonest yet effective way around the blockade.

Even Gov. Read more »

HuffPo: The future of journalism, or its death?

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By Steven T. Jones

I've always had mixed feelings about the Huffington Post, and not just because of media-savvy founder Arianna Huffington's convenient conversion from neocon darling to progressive populist. No, for me, as a struggling newspaper journalist of 17 years (and with the debt to prove it), I'm bothered by a business model that relies on free content. Call me old-fashioned, but I believe writers -- even that subspecies known as bloggers -- should be paid for their work. Read more »

Conservatism's last stand?

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As Tom Ammiano moved from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to the California Assembly at the start of the month, he went from the budgetary frying pan right into fiscal fire, a place where the Republican Party's "no new taxes" pledge has finally turned the political heat up to an unbearable level.

"I think the state's road is very, very difficult, and the city's road is very difficult," Ammiano told the Guardian. "There is a failure of leadership on [Gov.] Arnold [Schwarzenegger's] part. Read more »