I was writing a story about the long-term damage that Prop. H -- which will entitle every land owner to build new parking lots, regardless of their traffic-inducing impacts or the desires of certain neighborhoods to limit parking -- could do to San Francisco when Mayor Gavin Newsom called me. Actually, it was just Newsom's voice in a robo-call urging me and others to vote against Prop. E, the mayoral question time measure, arguing that it won't fill any potholes or put more cops on the street. Although Newsom is on record supporting the muni reform measure Prop. A and against Prop. H, the campaigns are frustrated that Newsom has done nothing to fundraise or campaign for them. "I think he's focused on his own race and also question time. That's where he's spending his resources," Newsom spokesperson Nathan Ballard told me when I asked about it.
So, there are two important measures on the ballot which will have a long term impact on quality of life in San Francisco. And there's a measure that only affects Newsom personally, and perhaps his long term political ambitious if question time shows he can't handle real unscripted debate. And Newsom ignores the big measures to focus on the small. If there was ever a telling testament to Newsom's priorities -- placing his own interests above San Francisco's -- this is it.
P.S. The Examiner had an interesting interview with London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who has a monthly question time with that city's legislators that it tough but ultimately good for him and for democracy. "It keeps me in touch with the people." One more reason Newsom should embrace it instead of fighting it.
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