Politics Blog

What's with the pot bill?

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By Tim Redmond

Sup. Tom Ammiano has a real simple measure coming to the board that ought to pass unanimously. It's worked fine in Berkeley for many, many years. It works fine in Seattle, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara. And yet, it faces what could be a tight board vote and a mayoral veto. Crazy.

What Ammiano wants to do is make enforcing the marijuana laws the city's lowest police priority. We're just talking about possession laws, not sales. The city's narcotics cops say it won't be a problem. Read more »

Newsom fights veto override

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By Sarah Phelan

With the Board of Supervisors set to vote Tuesday on the mayor veto of Sup. Ross Mirkarimi's foot-patrol legislation, the mayor 's office has reportedly gone into overdrive to try to ensure his veto will hold .

The math is tough for Mayor Gavin Newsom: Supes Mirkarimi, Chris Daly, Tom Ammiano and Gerardo Sandoval are solidly behind the legislation. That’s four votes. Read more »

Uncommon Knowledge at the Roxie, Thursday

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What’s up with UC Berkeley Extension in SF?
By sarah Phelan

It’s not common knowledge that the UC Regents are proposing to close UC Berkeley Extension’s historic San Francisco campus and convert it into condos and a retail shopping center.

Thankfully, along comes Eliza Hemenway and her documentary, Uncommon Knowledge: Closing the Books at UC Berkeley Extension, just in time to get you up to speed before public comment closes in December.

So, get yourself down to the The Roxie Film Center for a special preview screening Thursday, Nov. Read more »

Ed Jew Takes District 4, Daly in 6

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by Amanda Witherell

The city's Elections department just released the ranked choice results for district 4 and Ed Jew is the unofficial winner with 52 percent of the vote. Ron Dudum was the last to drop, but the results show enough of the voters selected Jew as their preferred second choice.

The ranked choice votes also showed Chris Daly still has a firm grip on his seat in District 6. Read more »

Ranked choice spreads

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By Laura Beth McCaul
While the Democrats’ congressional takeover and Donald Rumsfeld's resignation are making headlines, election day set off another trend that may not be on the tip of voters' tongues, but could change the way democracy works in the United States.
Instant runoff voting (IRV), or ranked choice voting – which has been in place in San Francisco for two years -- was on the ballot in four jurisdictions and all won with significant approval. Read more »

San Francisco Values

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By Steven T. Jones

Our colleagues at the San Francisco Chronicle flogged the phrase “San Francisco values” in the runup to this election, exploring its meaning in two front page stories and an editorial. Read more »

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Josh Wolf at 81 days

By Sarah Phelan

Spoke to jailed freelance videographer/blogger Josh Wolf by phone on his 81st day at Dublin Federal Correctional Institute. (Wolf clocked 31 days during his first stint, was released on bail, only to get sent back inside when the 9th Court rejected his appeal.)
“This is like the world’s worst summer camp,” joked Wolf, who keeps busy with lots of reading, writing and Scrabble-playing. Read more »

Josh Wolf: 81 days inside, Scrabble Master

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By Sarah Phelan

Spoke to jailed freelance videographer/blogger Josh Wolf by phone on his 81st day at Dublin Federal Correctional Institute. (Wolf clocked 31 days during his first stint, was released on bail, only to get sent back inside when the 9th Court rejected his appeal.)
“This is like the world’s worst summer camp,” joked Wolf, who keeps busy with lots of reading, writing and Scrabble-playing. Read more »

Virginia Falls

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By the Velvet Hammer

Virginia falls, or better yet, rises. And now there will be no excuses for not asking questions, chairing investigations and getting answers about the past. Right? (I mean, left.)

"This is a progressive town"

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By Steven T. Jones

Pollster David Binder was about to begin his regular election post-mortem in the SPUR offices this afternoon when I ran into Mayor Gavin Newsom’s press secretary, Peter Ragone. “Not a very good night for the mayor, huh?” I noted.
But rather than admitting the obvious, Ragone began to spin and dissemble like crazy, shrugging off the defeats of supervisorial candidates Rob Black and Doug Chan – who Newson endorsed and campaigned heavily for – and the approval of a slate of progressive ballot measures that the centrist mayor opposed. Read more »