District 2 race divides Alioto clan

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Angela Alioto, Joe Alioto-Veronese, Joseph Michael Alioto, and Michela Alioto-Pier have all run for local office.
Luke Thomas/Fog City Journal

The Janet Reilly for District 2 Supervisor campaign today announced its endorsement by Angela Alioto, the former supervisor, mayoral candidate, and aunt of the current incumbent, Michela Alioto-Pier, who endorsed Reilly rival Mark Farrell in the race. Hmm, I wonder how this will go over at the next family gathering.

“As a former supervisor and a District 2 resident, I am backing Janet Reilly 100 percent,” Alioto said, according to the Reilly campaign press release. “At such a crucial moment in this city we need leaders like Janet who combine strong business credentials with a proven track record of public service.”

Contrast that with her niece's recent praise of Farrell as “someone with common sense values who will stand up to the special interests and lead with honor and integrity.”

What's the back story on this? Well, neither Alioto returned my calls yet, but it's well-known that Michela is bitter about how the courts and City Attorney's Office wouldn't let her run for a third term and with the fact that Reilly didn't defer to her desires to do so, instead securing an early endorsement from Mayor Gavin Newsom, who appointed Michela to succeed him in the D2 seat.

But this thicket of family conflicts is even more tangled than that. Michela's husband, Tom Pier, used to work for Janet's husband, Clint Reilly. And when Clint sued the San Francisco Chronicle, twice, over the company's improper and anticompetitive collusion first with the Examiner and then with MediaNews, his attorney was Joe Alioto Jr., son of former Mayor Joe Alioto, sister of Angela, and father of Michela. Perhaps politics is thicker than blood.

Yet for the Guardian, it's really simpler than all that: We thought Angela was a far better supervisor than Michela, who has been little more than a Newsom proxy and call-up vote for the Chamber of Commerce, so this is one more vote in Janet Reilly's favor as we consider who to endorse for the seat.