Is Peskin plotting a comeback/payback?

Aaron Peskin and David Chiu, in happier times.
Luke Thomas/Fog City Journal

Many progressives have been disappointed in Board President David Chiu, particularly after his pivotal role in putting Ed Lee into the Mayor’s Office and stacking key board committees with moderates, as well as his controversial swing votes on Parkmerced and other projects. But nobody has been more disappointed than Chiu’s predecessor and one-time mentor, Aaron Peskin (as we detailed in a cover story earlier this year).

Now, knowledgable sources tell the Guardian that Peskin is seriously considering running against Chiu next year for his old District 3 seat on the Board of Supervisors -- and that Peskin recently told Chiu that directly -- although neither of them is commenting on the record.

So far, Chiu’s run for mayor doesn’t really appear to be catching fire, with Lee leading and only Dennis Herrera, Leland Yee, or Jeff Adachi exhibiting a credible chance of catching him. With many progressive activists actively searching for someone to run against Chiu next year (as Peskin said about another matter, “payback is a bitch”), Chiu is rumored to be eyeing a run for Tom Ammiano’s Assembly seat (which fellow Sup. David Campos is also said to be looking at, probably with Ammiano’s blessing if it happens), either next year or when Ammiano is termed out in 2014.

But Chiu campaign manager Nicole Derse dismisses such speculation, telling us, "The only thing David Chiu is running for is Mayor of San Francisco.  He is not thinking about the 2012 re-election for Supervisor and he is certainly not thinking for a minute about the Assembly race.  If Aaron Peskin decides to run in District 3 next year, it is a free country.”



Posted by marcos on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 4:41 pm


Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

that Avalos has no chance of winning:

"with Lee leading and only Dennis Herrera, Leland Yee, or Jeff Adachi exhibiting a credible chance of catching him."

So the question is - will the SFBG endorse a candidate whom even they admit has no chance of winning?

A fortiori, the stunningly irrrelevant Terry Baum?

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

I didn't write or mean that Avalos has no chance of winning. What I wrote -- and I chose my words carefully -- was that only Herrera, Yee, and Adachi are currently "exhibiting a credible chance of catching him." There's still almost two months to go in this campaign, which is a long time in politics, and Lee's stock will drop as journalists and the other candidates expose his myriad connections to the corrupt Brown-Pak machine. The trio I mentioned seems most likely to catch him at this point. But Avalos or several other candidates in the race (such as Dufty, Alioto-Pier, Chiu, or even Ting or Rees) could find their voice and some stands that resonate and rapidly gain ground on the front-runners, particularly if the mud starts flying. In fact, I'd say Avalos has a better shot at doing so than anyone given that he's the only true progressive in the race and thus has a solid base from which to build. And as I've said all along, with ranked choice voting and a large field of well-qualified candidates, anything can happen.

Posted by steven on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

and she didn't back the Twitter tax break, the Lennar project nor Ed Lee-backed pension reform

Posted by Lisa on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

I know you guys hate Chiu, and that's fine.

But the guy is very adept and knowing what support to lock down, and what can be dismissed. As far as his district, he's aligned with enough necessary parties to keep him in office.

But I would love for Peskin to give it a try, just to watch the train wreck.

Posted by Longtime-Lurker on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

He can switch allegiances only so many times before he gets thrown out with the trash.

Posted by Sopa on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

A terrible twosome.
Chiu back to the minors.

Posted by Pat Monk.RN. on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 6:43 pm


He's no better. He's the one who got rid or our last gross receipts tax and handed over the yacht harbors and public parks to the rich. Tax breaks out the ying yang for the super wealthy. Tony Gantner is the best that district has to offer.

But, as I said, Peskin can easily win that seat back. Chiu's a loaded diaper lost in the trunk of the car on a hot day at the beach. Everyone will be glad to see that one dumped in the trash.

go Giants!


Posted by h. brown on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

And the best part is how *none* of you seem to realize that the most likely scenario is they essentially split the lefty/progressive/labor voting base that got each of them there in the first place.

And D3 goes to a moderate candidate.. say hello to Alioto or McCarthy.

Posted by Longtime-Lurker on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 8:10 pm

That contention is nonsense.

Under ranked choice voting, different camps no longer split the vote when more than one of them run in the same race.

That's the whole point of ranked choice.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

to unseat Chiu? Because he's such a progressive backstabber, right?

And honestly, as the last round of Ranked Choice Voting showed, you guys aren't exactly killing it with your RCV strategy. See Malia Cohen.

Posted by Longtime-Lurker on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

Beyond my headline counter to your comment, I'll agree with you on your last point.

Our RCV strategy is indeed not clear and needs to become so pronto.




Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

The point of this article was to convey some interesting news. The point of our endorsements is to recommend the candidates with intelligence, integrity, and progressive values. We aren't simply trying to pick the winners, but even so, I think you'd find that San Francisco voters have agreed with the Guardian's position more often than that of the Chronicle or the Examiner over the last decade. As for your other points on the popularity of Peskin vs. Chiu in D3, consider that Peskin won all his supervisorial elections and Chiu narrowly won once by running with the support of the Guardian and other progressive entities, so I don't think there's much support for your certitude.

Posted by steven on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

"I think you'd find that San Francisco voters have agreed with the Guardian's position more often than that of the Chronicle or the Examiner over the last decade..."

WOW. Did you really just try to slip this one past? I can see what you're trying to do here, as your recent endorsements have utterly bombed, so you're trying to stretch it out 10 years. And even then, in this CIty's most intense political battles, you consistently come up short. Let me know when CNC failed and Angela Alioto and then Matt Gonzalez beat Newsom and then Sit Lay was defeated....

I'm sure you're going to tell me about your school board endorsements that passed - swell. Big picture you matter less and less every day. You even admitted you don't even have a horse in our upcoming Mayoral election.

Bring Sarah back, this guy sucks.

Posted by Guesty on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

Steven is still choosing his words very carefully (he has to). Let me translate:

"consider that Peskin won all his supervisorial elections and Chiu narrowly won once"

Peskin ran twice and won twice. Chiu has run once and won once.

The 'narrowly won' election that Steven refers to was actually a victory of 14.5% points. Chiu had 37.5% of the vote in 2008 and his closest competitor (Joe Alioto) had 23%. That qualifies as 'narrowly' for the SFBG because, well, because they choose their words carefully.

When Peskin and Chiu both appeared on the June 2010 DCCC ballot Chiu got 23,600 votes to Peskin's 20,100 despite Peskin being the chairman of the DCCC and having 10 years of name recognition and Chiu being relatively unknown.

But hey, lets just hope that the SFBG continue to live in a wonderland where Peskin is an effective leader. It is one of the best things that the city has going for it. Just ask Mayor Hennessey or Supervisors Mandlemann, Walker, et al.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

not really. Even in the DCCC elections Chiu gets a lot more votes than Peskin does. Plus, an effort by Peskin to return to his old seat would have such a strong stench of loser-ville about it. I think the general public is pretty good at sizing Peskin up and will go by the viscerally unpleasant reaction that they feel any time they see or hear him.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

Where's your proof that the DCCC sides with Chiu over Peskin.

That simply does not jive with the actual reality that the DCCC supported Avalos as its number one mayoral pick (and Peskin's choice), and they did not even rank Chiu.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

I was referring to the public voting for DCCC members that is done every other June. I think Chiu got over 21,000 votes and Peskin about 17,000 but you could look it up if you wish. I was disagreeing with a claim that Peskin would crush Chiu because the only time that they were on the same ballot Chiu got 55% of the votes cast for either man despite lower name recognition.

Then, fundamentally when you look at their relations with Chinatown, the mass resentment against Peskin for all the Telegraph Hill bullying, the concept that Peskin has already had his two terms and did nothing to distinguish himself afterwards...the thought that Peskin could crush anyone is absurd . -Elie

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

Peskin can beat Chiu.

The core progressive community is so outraged by what Chiu has done, that he is -very- likely to lose his re-election bid, due to the intensity and magnitude of opposition that we intend to launch against him.

We will see to it.

And if a Mayor gets elected who will replace him with a progressive, we will see to it with a recall election.

Chiu fucked up badly, and he's on his way out.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

You mean the SF Green Party?

If you were so powerful, why does every politician with a shred of ambition leave the Greens? Why have we had a series of conservative Mayors if you have so much power? Why did the so-called "Progressives" lose so badly last November? Why did Twitter run rings around you?

And what power the left does have is squandered in in-fighting, as we saw with the January "fumble". Blaming Chiu for that misses the real point - that those on the left hate each other more than they hate the moderates.

I don't really thinks it makes much difference whether Peskin replaces Chiu in the grand scheme of things. Either way, it will be a moderate Mayor with a moderate BofS, which is what the silent majority of this city wants.

Your delusional if you think you have any real power. SF would look very different if you actually did. But you don't, and the rest is all bluster, fluff and vacuous rhetoric.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

is revealed by the fact that you think I am talking about the Green Party.

Tell you what. You stick to being a naive right wing neo-conservative (the remotest thing from power in San Francisco next to garden snails) and the rest of us will rightfully ignore you and get on with the business of getting things done in this city, all while the pitiful three representatives that -you- have on the Board, truly, accomplish almost nothing...

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

I kinda figured you would duck.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

To repeat:

You are ridiculing others for supposedly having no power in San Francisco, when the party that you represent hasn't even elected one candidate in this City in how many decades?

To clarify:

I was referring to the progressive base in this city, which still prevails on most votes in City Hall. The Green Party is simply one of many effective parts of that base, which together has enough unity to thankfully keep neo-con jokes like you from having any real say in city policy at all.

Inside of what glass house are you throwing stones Mr Tea?

and I should be listening to your profound wisdom because you have.....

Well, you have.... uh

what exactly?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

Yeah, we know. You will haunt him. It's on like donkey kong. We heard you the first time.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

He needs to return to sucking on the taxpayer's tit - clearly his other gigs aren't paying the bills. He can't win a citywide office and no one else will hire him (his wife's NIMBY organization can't even pay its own bills) so this is clearly the best option.

Posted by Right on Sister Snapples on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

After he left office he did make an addition to his resume. He ran the DCCC into the ground. Yeah...we want to elect a loser, so go ahead and run, Peskin.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 7:06 am

And that's on top of all the cock you had stuffed in there!

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

Thanks for noticing :-)

Posted by Right on Sister Snapples on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

Run AARON Run!!

Posted by Rick H on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 11:46 pm

If peskin wins maybe we can just get SF covered in amber once and for all. Nothing new anywhere ever!

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 4:31 am

Wait...did I miss something? Has Chinatown been taken out of District 3? Here is the way the district plays out:

Chinatown: Despises Peskin
Financial District, Polk, etc...: Despises Peskin
Telegraph Hill: Despises Peskin but knows that he can help block projects that threaten their view.

For some reason, Peskin thinks that his positions matter (like on the central subway) and the people would welcome his comeback. The truth is that the vast majority of the district feels sorry for his pathetic condition.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 6:57 am
Posted by Greg on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

people who's only qualification is running for office and parasiting off the tax payers are setting themselves up for more of the same.

Campos should insist that his name in the papers should read

David Campos D - Uranus

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 7:22 am

Peskin runs against the sell-out Chiu.

Daly runs against the sell-out Kim.

It could be 2002 all over again!

Like Donkey Kong! Fuck said at every meeting.

(Board meetings were much more clownishly entertaining back then)

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

Your photo caption should read "Pete and Repeat"

Posted by Hope Johnson on Sep. 16, 2011 @ 8:33 am