Chiu rejects DA job and defends his support for Lee


Amid speculation that he was angling to be appointed district attorney – and questions about whether that goal influenced his support for Ed Lee to be named interim mayor – Board of Supervisors President David Chiu has issued a press release announcing that he's withdrawing from consideration for the DA's job.

“Right now my strong belief is that I can best serve San Francisco from City Hall. The challenges ahead of us will require a new level of collaboration between our elected leaders—many of them new to office—and all San Franciscans who care about the future of our incredibly diverse and inclusive City,” Chiu said in the prepared statement, thanking Mayor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Kamala Harris for their consideration and for recent meetings with Chiu on the appointment.

When I spoke with Chiu yesterday afternoon, he said that he was leaning against taking the job, partly out of concern that Newsom would replace him with a fiscal conservative like Joe Alioto Jr. “I would not want to leave my seat to someone whose perspective on issues is drastically different than mine,” Chiu told me.

He also strongly emphasized that there was no connection at all between his discussion with Newsom over the DA appointment and with Chiu's pivotal support for Lee, and Chiu said Newsom did not raise the issue during their conversations. On Tuesday, Chiu broke with his progressive colleagues to be the sixth vote in favor of Lee.

Chiu said that he has long been supportive of Lee and Chiu disagrees with the assertion that Lee is a less progressive pick than Sheriff Michael Hennessey, who had the support of five progressive supervisors. “He's someone who has tremendous progressive roots,” Chiu said of Lee, noting that Chinese-American progressives have long considered him one of their own. “We have been working with Ed Lee for years and we know where his heart is.”

Chiu argued that Lee is experienced in a broad range of city functions and issues while Hennessey's knowledge of city government issues is limited mainly to law enforcement. While the strong and sudden support for Lee among fiscal conservatives has been worrisome to many progressives, Chiu noted that “unfortunately, the moderates are far more disciplined than we are on the progressive side.”

“We have many competing and diverse constituencies that led us to be unable to get to consensus around one candidate,” Chiu said.

The current Board of Supervisors will convene for a final time at 3 p.m. tomorrow to vote on Lee after progressive supervisors successfully pushed for a delay in the vote on Tuesday. In addition to Chiu and the five supervisors to his ideological right, Sup. Eric Mar has announced that he will also support Lee, and Sups. John Avalos and David Campos said they are open to backing Lee after they get the chance to speak with him.


Avalos and Campos are disgusting sellouts!

Posted by George on Jan. 06, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

No leadership, no President of the BOS for you.

Chiu failed to create a transparent process for the public on selecting our next Mayor-- he was too busy making his own career plans.

Posted by D3 voter on Jan. 06, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

David's handler Rose Pak says he never wanted that job, he is running for Mayor.
Watch the new board with his old roommate Jane Kim and fellow Rose follower insert
him into interim mayor on Saturday.

Its a wrap folks, it was all for your entertainment.
Brought to you by the United Supervisor Wrestlers Association

Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

The Key difference is that Hennessey would be far more independent of Downtown influence than Lee. Lee would be a kept bride.

Whereas Hennessey would have the political freedom to take -real- action on the budget crisis and on imminent threats to the Sanctuary City policy.

That key difference, is vitally important to this decision.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Jan. 06, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

Independence is agreeing with progressives and doing there bidding.

Now I get it.

Posted by buck on Jan. 06, 2011 @ 4:35 pm

Guess you don't get it.

Posted by Matty on Jan. 06, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

Totally incorrect 'buck'. Hennessey supported Mark Farrel for D-2 supervisor. Someone who would do that, cannot possibly be described as someone who will do progressives 'bidding'.

Hennessey is a compromise, and is better for the city -because- he is far more independent from the Newsom camp; not because he is some progressive panacea.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Jan. 06, 2011 @ 9:45 pm

How do you know all about this concerning Lee? You know is "downtown" politics how exactly?

Posted by matlock on Jan. 07, 2011 @ 6:22 am

Some are complaining that clever machinations by Mayor Newsom are responsible for the progressive debacle in appointing an interim mayor. But ineptitude on the part of The Six Guys Club, the all-male progressive clique that runs the supes, is the cause.

They have outdone themselves in making themselves look ridiculous to the media and in knifing each other in the back. After coming across like characters in a Monty Python move, they have the nerve to claim that such antics represent progressive values.

The voters are sick of their sorry displays of bad theater.

When the new board takes office on Saturday, the Six Guys will no longer have a lock on board politics. The entire city will breathe a sigh of relief.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jan. 06, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

If it is not because he wants to be DA, then the only other reason is that Chiu will betray progressives and support Lee is because he is the Chinese candidate.

We should ask Lee his position on Taiwan, Falun Gong, Tibet, and pin him down on any connection with the CCP because going forward the government sponsored corporations in China will be slowly taking over the economy in California, perhaps starting with light rail...


Read this!!!!

Fresno Bee - China Eyes California's light rail system

“China is cash-flush, and its highly subsidized industries are bankrolled with surplus government funds,” said Usha Haley, a professor of international business at Massey University in New Zealand and an expert on China’s worldwide business strategies. “They’re investing in infrastructure around the world … and if they’re bidding in an open-bid process, China will get that bid.”

Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

ummm...isn't Ed Lee vacationing IN TAIWAN (and Hong Kong) right now?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 07, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

"Board of Supervisors President David Chiu will run for Mayor of San Francisco in November 2011, according to Pak, the influential head of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce.

Pak should know: the highly-connected power broker -- Pak is a close friend of former mayor Willie Brown, and helped secure the Chinatown vote for Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2003 -- is widely seen as chief engineer of City Administrator Ed Lee's selection as the city's interim mayor, and Pak was the organizer of a press conference/luncheon Thursday in which a statement from Lee -- still on vacation in Taiwan, where he was when Pak "convinced" him to take the interim position -- was read to a banquet hall of Chinatown luminaries and local media."

Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

Investigative Report: The United Front Comes to Flushing
October 23, 2008

The United Front

The first leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Mao Zedong, defined three weapons to be used in communist revolution: the United Front, armed struggle, and party building. Mao stated in the first issue of The Communist, published in 1939 that these are, “the three magic weapons of the Chinese Communist Party to defeat enemies in the Chinese revolution.”

Today, the CCP’s United Front operations focus on espionage, organized crime, the manipulation of politics in other nations in the favor of the CCP, and the suppression of Chinese dissident groups. A specific department was created for the operations of the United Front under the Chinese communist regime: the Department of United Front Work of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.

On Dec. 4, 2000, Jiang Zemin, the former leader of the CCP, said at the 19th National Conference on United Front Work, “The fundamental task of the United Front Work is to fight to win people’s hearts and gather the forces.”

The CCP’s tactics of the United Front work by infiltrating foreign politics, establishing Chinese associations and business groups in foreign countries which can act at its orders, and by planting or transforming political and community leaders so as to act in the favor of the CCP.

A document that was sent out by the CCP on July 14, 1990 illustrates its purpose. The document was sent to all levels of United Front personnel throughout China, demanding that they, “vigorously carry out the United Front Work overseas.” and, “to actively strengthen and develop connections with influential representative personnel and groups.”

- Epoch Times --

Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

Anything less than 100% compliance with the progressive agenda will result in severe consequences to the apostate!

I appreciate you keeping Chiu in line Steven. We can never allow dissent from our shared agenda.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 06, 2011 @ 9:08 pm

David Chiu echoes a meme that we'll continue to see and hear in the run up to the vote to pick Lee and for months afterward to rationalize this body blow to the progressive community: "“He's someone who has tremendous progressive roots.” Narrowly that is largely correct up through 1995 maybe, but Lee's "roots" were not the factor that placed him at the top of the outgoing Newsom administration’s wish list.

No, it's because Lee is and will remain a reliable "steward" of political and economic interests that put Brown and Newsom in office in the first place. That is what made Lee the preferred candidate. Whether it’s making sure MBWE certification runs according to plan at HRC for city contracts, or managing the Purchasing and Department of Public Works departments during the Brown administration, Lee is a reliable and known quantity, especially when the critical financial issues of city contracting and capital projects are at stake. Hennessey's portfolio does not match that critical skill set. It would not be as useful in a Mayoral election year.

Hennessey would have owed a win to 5 progressive supervisors the Newsom administration has repeatedly tangled with, whereas the 6 decisive votes Lee is set to receive will come from the 5 moderates (economic conservatives who support government activism to the extent it means more expensive police and fire compensation) and David Chiu. Mar announced his support, Lee's 7th, only once it became clear the necessary 6 votes had been locked up.

This defeat and other recent election setbacks are "facts on the ground" that merit introspection by the progressive community if it wants to bounce back and govern. Putting it bluntly a full decade of work, sacrifice and effort were scuttled because six progressive supervisors failed to coalesce around a single candidate. They did so even after compromising on Hennessey over more activist, progressive options like Art Agnos, Aaron Peskin or Matt Gonzalez. Marketing Lee as a leftist will not obscure this reality. 5 progressive supervisors took their work and responsibility seriously, the lone defection was David Chiu and going forward his decision will define him.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

I think your observation is incorrect. The other five supervisors did not coalesce around Agnos, Peskin or Gonzalez. They were supporting Hennessey, who arguably has less overall government experience than Ed Lee. But regardless of the respective qualifications of Hennessey and Lee, they likely would govern in a similar manner, keeping the main Newsom players in place until a new mayor is elected in November.

Instead of supporting caretaker mayor Hennessey - who has an outstanding record as Sheriff, no question about that - Supervisors Mar and Chiu are able to support the first Asian mayor in San Francisco's history, a city that may be more Asian than any other nationality. Nothing wrong with that, other than apparently David Chiu and Eric Mar are supposed to review their upcoming votes with Chris, Ross, John and David C. before casting them. That sure has a nice smell to it.

The crime of the "core" progressive politicians of Daly, Avalos, Campos and Mirkirimi was their over-reaction to a mostly meaningless difference in outcome, and failing to understand that the difference between the two candidates was huge from an Asian-American perspective.

As many others have stated, Daly and the other three progressive supervisors did not come off well in this whole affair. At the same time I think they made David Chiu appear to be one politician who has his eye on the ball and an appreciaton of larger issues. I think many D1, D3 and D4 voters will adore their respective supervisors for their (largely symbolic) vote for an Asian as interim mayor. It's no wonder the progressive label is often viewed as a liability to so many voters.

The mayor's race is now on. I keep waiting for the progressive candidates to enter the race so I can add another name or three to my ballot along with David Chiu's name. Peskin? Gonzalez? Mirkirimi? A self-delusional campaign by Daly to provide comic and drama distractions from some of the real budgetary issues the city needs to discuss and face?

Maybe I'll have to wait until August before a "great white hope" will emerge to save San Francisco from itself. In the meantime, David Chui has other people he can work to get things done on the BOS, even if the progressive team has cast him aside.

It's been ten years folks. Other than some excellent initiatives when Gonzalez was on the board re: formula retail, a citywide minimum wage, and healthcare benefits for lower income workers in the private sector (this last one may be more Tom A. than Matt), I don't see a lot of progress for 10 years of a progressive majority on the BOS. It seems Ammiano got a hell of a lot more done before 2000 than the post-2000 group has been able to accomplish, and he didn't have a progressive majority to work with.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 07, 2011 @ 2:48 am

I don't buy this for a second. If Ed Lee and Mike Hennessey are so similar, why the hell are Newsom, Brown and Pak expending huge amounts of political capital to shove Lee down our throats? Newsom is leaving Republican Abel Maldonado as Lt. Governor to pull this jack ass maneuver. That is serious business.

Get real man.

Hennessey's future, political or otherwise, does not depend on those pathetic slimeballs, and hence he would clearly be -far- more independent and more likely to properly serve the needs of the City than Lee.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Jan. 07, 2011 @ 5:17 am

I shudder to think what SF would look like had the 'moderates' (ie: donors to Republican campaigns) been in charge the last 10 years.

The progressives were a check on unrestrained real estate speculation.

If you think things are bad now, imagine 50 percent of the population of SF driven out because of real estate prices too high, then another 50 percent mass migration out of SF because of foreclosure.

Literally, honestly, most of the people I knew over the last 10 years moved out of SF because of real estate prices. Many bought houses in places like Los Vegas and are now totally financially ruined.

Rent control saved me from losing my life savings to a corrupt attorney trying to sell me a TIC.

Rent control works.

I used to post that real estate was too high, and property owners would respond listing their military service record and the number of guns they owned.

I don't get that now.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 07, 2011 @ 10:15 am

And they're still approving residential projects while San Francisco homeowners who have purchased over the past five years slip under water.


Posted by marcos on Jan. 07, 2011 @ 11:28 am

"We've been played!!!"

Ha ha ha. Everybody saw it coming but you?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2011 @ 10:36 pm

Elected Police Chief,

Hennessey would give us that. Which would be huge. It would mean real community policing with real Foot Patrols. The Board can't give it to us anymore because it takes 6 votes to put a Charter amendment on the ballot but the Mayor can place measures out there unilaterally. Daly proposed putting the PD under the Sheriff's Office in 2001 but the blowback from Willie and the POA scared off the majority of the newbie Prog supes.

Baby steps. One key issue tied to another as Gonzalez and Hall did successfully.

Go Warriors!


Posted by Guest h. brown on Jan. 07, 2011 @ 10:01 am

Lee was chosen Mayor because six putatively progressive supervisors could not work out their conflicts and settle on an Interim Mayor. This fact is why Willie Brown and Rose Pak were able to exploit a situation to such dramatic effect. It has been known for years that a vacancy could occur in the Mayor's office. Five progressive supervisors did coalesce around a choice, and in good faith backed Sheriff Hennessey. Live and on television, Dufty went back on his word.

Dufty has now broken with a long history of civic excellence from gay elected officials that dates to Harvey Milk. Rather than being known as a man of principle and his word, Dufty must wear the appendage liar. It’s a high price he must to pay regardless of what the compensation proves to be down the line.

However, if supervisors who campaigned as progressives, solicited progressive support, donations and volunteers were able to act as a bloc there would never have been the need to rely on Dufty. Talented, progressive legislators should be able to reconcile "competing and diverse constituencies" rather than be stymied with indecision to keep the status-quo in power. The opportunity Newsom’s vacancy gave to San Francisco has been lost.

Progressive politics by necessity has to carry massive freight. Our society is not working well. San Francisco is not immune from this as any ride on the 54 Felton shows. Progressive politics has to be conscious of multiple forms of inequality and work to remedy them. An insincere and potentially self-serving form of politics will focus on one form of social inequality in order to perpetuate and rationalize others. The Brown administration was a textbook example of this, so it's with regret to see the opportunity of a generation squandered.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 08, 2011 @ 6:28 pm