Meet the Dude: Ron Dudum outside City Hall, following Newsom's Jew-Chu coup
Dude, Ron Dudum is polite. Maybe a little too polite, given that he just got passed over by Mayor Gavin Newsom for the job of temporarily replacing suspended Sup. Ed Jew.
Dudum is the dude who lost to Jew by 53 votes in an instant runoff race for District 4 last fall. Since then, questions about Jew’s residency have been raised, large piles of cash have been found in Ed Jew’s City Hall safe, the transcripts of some very incriminatory FBI tapes have been made public in which Jew appears to be demanding money for help getting permits for a chain of tapioca bubble drink stores, and charges have been filed against him at the state and federal level.
Ron Dudum and longtime supporter Madeleine Chang
But throughout this whole sage, second placed Dudum has remained patient about Jew.
And it’s fair to say that at the Ron Dudum rally on City Hall steps today, it was Dudum’s fans, and not Dudum, who seemed mad about today’s rapidly unfolding drama.
Early this morning, Jew was suspended for alleged official misconduct, served with the charges at his flower shop on Waverly Place in Chinatown. Meanwhile, Newsom named a political novice, his 29-year-old deputy budget director, Carmen Chu, to temporarily fill Jew's seat, swearing her in during a private ceremony later that same morning--events Dudum didn’t hear about until after the Jew-out-Chu-in shuffle was already a done deal.
In fact, all this went down, including the removal of Ed Jew’s lettering from the glass pane of the District 4 office, and his photo from the sfgov.org website, before Ron Dudum even arrived at the steps of City Hall today.
Jew's name was gone, and Chu was already in his seat and voting, before Dudum had wrapped up his rally
“It’s not fair,” said Sunset district resident Philip Dancel, who attended the Dudum rally. “Ron Dudum spent a lot of time and money campaigning. Half the Sunset district is Asian, but the other is not. Half of the voters in the Sunset, voted for Ron. I’m pretty upset. Ron was the people’s choice. Ed Jew should resign, and it made San Francisco look stupid that the Mayor didn’t ask for Jew’s resignation earlier.
Dudum supporter Marty Kirkwood railed against the Mayor’s appointment.
“It would behove the Mayor to consult with the residents of District 4, instead of making decisions on the basis of racial pandering,” Kirkwoood said.
Dudum supporter Pat Barsetti gives the media a piece of her mind about Newsom's treatment of Dudum.
But Dudum was careful to repeat his belief that Ed Jew is innocent until proven guilty.
“I don’t know Jew he can govern when federal prosecutors want to put him in prison, so out of respect for the district, Ed Jew, his beautiful wife and family, I think he should concern himself with clearing his name.”
Dudum who had planned the rally before the Jew-out, Chu-in move went down, said he had intended to ask Jew to step aside and the Mayor to respect the vote that placed him second, but now he looks forward to meeting Chu and introducing her to the people in his neighborhood.
“I’ve never met her,” he said.
“Nor have we!” said his supporters
Dudum trying to keep his cool outside City Hall, as inside, Jew is replaced by Newsom loyalist Carmen Chu
Dudum noted that if there is a vacancy on the Board, voters will be able to pick a new supervisor next February, but that he wasn’t sure that there was a vacancy, yet.
Asked if he was upset, Dudum said, “I expected this. I expected politics to be more important, but I am disappointed. If there is an election on four months, on Feb. 5, which happens to be my birthday, I’ll be in it. But I’m not sure, there may be an election in June. The Mayor has never called me, but it would have been an honor if he had. I’m sure he evaluated me and made the best decision he could, but do you think this is representative of instant runoff voting?"
Pat Barsetti really wasn't pleased at Newsom's apparent disregard for instant runoff voting and District 4
Meanwhile, Chu was already seated in the District 4 supervisor's chair and voting. Known as a hardworking, intelligent policy wonk, her votes are expected to be in lockstep with those of Sup. Sean Elsbernd and Sup. Michela Alioto-Pier, who are Newsom's two top field marshalls on the board.
But perhaps, she'll surprise everyone.
One thing's for sure, Chu is not likely to be the maverick Jew was when it came to oddball voting. During his brief but colorful tenure as D4 supe, Jew infamously voted for feeding the wild parrots of Telegraph Hill, but against preserving the trees where they like to roost. He voted against establishing police foot patrols, against SFPUC rate hikes, staffing additions and infrastructure improvements, and against establishing a $5 million HOPE SF fund.
In short, his vote was always in the minority.
On the day, Newsom swore Jew in, back in December 2006, Jew declared that he was looking forward to "rolling up his sleeves and getting down to work."
Nine months later, and those words sound a whole lot less wholesome, in the light of all the charges that are currently hanging around Jew's neck.
Maybe he'll successfully appeal the whole kit and caboodle. In the meantime, here's hoping Carmen Chu keeps her eyes on the ball and listens to the residents of District 4. They sure could use her help.