I started getting all the usual calls last week, from all of the usual national media outlets, with all the usual questions that a local political reporter gets when a local politician makes good. "Who is Nancy Pelosi, really? What do her constituents think of her? Is she going to bring Burning Man and gay marriage to Washington?"
My answer to everyone, from the liberals to the conservatives, was exactly the same:
Relax. There's nothing to get excited about. Pelosi is by no means a San Francisco liberal. Read more »
Sup. Tom Ammiano has a real simple measure coming to the board that ought to pass unanimously. It's worked fine in Berkeley for many, many years. It works fine in Seattle, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara. And yet, it faces what could be a tight board vote and a mayoral veto. Crazy.
The evening started out as a resounding victory for the national Democrats, a train wreck for California Democrats, and a defining night for San Francisco progressives. But the state results are getting a little tigher, and it now appears that Arnold Schwarzenegger's huge victory won't drag down every Democrat running for statewide office. John Garamandi may survive to be lieutenant governor (keeping far-right loon Tom McClintock out of that office). Jerry Brown will be the next attorney general, and Bill Lockyer the next treasurer.
I tell this story to politicians a lot, and I'm telling it again because there's an awful lot of angst at City Hall over the demands of a few (admittedly madly aggressive) sunshine advocates who are coming close to paralyzing some departments.
The tale goes back, way back, to about 1986, when a reporter named Jim Balderston and I got onto a story about the horrible, potentially deadly problem of asbestos contamination in the public schools. Read more »
Nobody's talking much about D-21 and D-10, and for good reason; They were foregone conclusions. Michela Alioto-Pier and Sophie Maxwell have cruised easily to re-election. So the new board will have four of five incumbents returning: Daly, Maxwell, Alioto-Pier and Dufty. Only the open seat, D-4, will send a new representative to City Hall.
The big news of the night is that Mayor Gavin Newsom is taking a serious beating. The two candidates he invested the most time and political capital in -- Rob Black and Doug Chan -- are both going down to a clear defeat. In District 4, Chan has pretty much dropped off the map, with Ed Jew, Ron Dudum and Jaynry Mak locked in a close struggle for first place. Read more »
The results are starting to roll in, and it's a night for local progressives to remember. Chris Daly is well ahead in District 6, with 46 percent of the vote (to 41 percent for Rob Black). The School Board race is shaping up as a progressive victory, too, with Jane Kim in first followed by Hydra Mendoza and Kim-Shree Maufas. Dan Kelly has dropped to fifth place, and it appears his career on the School Board is over.
With the exception of the Parking Tax, all the progressive measures are passing, even Prop. Read more »