Reading Ed Lee's mind


Political reporters love to believe we can read politician's minds; it makes us feel important. (And Lord knows, these days we need something to make us feel important.) So let me go way out on a limb here and tell you what Mayor Lee is thinking right now:

1. Gotta minimize Prop. B. It was an aberration, a bunch of rich Nimbys from Telegraph Hill, nothing more to see here. Certainly not a public referendum on my Rec-Park director, Phil Ginsburg, and his efforts to make money by renting out city parks for private events. No no no, just ignore it and maybe it will go away.

2. We won back the Democratic Party. Good move to take a page from Aaron Peskin's book and run a bunch of elected officials and former elected officials with high name recognition in a low-turnout election. Bevan Dufty, who happens to work for me, would make an excellent chair; should be easy to make that happen.

3. What if we look at the DCCC race in the 17th District as a first-pass primary for the 2014 Assembly seat when Tom Ammiano -- who's just way too independent and won't get with my program -- is termed out? Hmmm ... David Chiu, who I can mostly deal with, is in first place -- but John Avalos and David Campos are more popular than my pal Scott Wiener. And if the progressives get behind Campos, he'll be tough to beat. Hmmm....

4. That oddball Michael Breyer ran for Assembly pretending he was me. He even put out a mailer with my mustache on the front suggesting that he'll be just like I am (except that he's white and has no experience and no credible program and isn't going to win). But he got a lot of votes with the Ed Lee card and I could totally control him. Can't support him over Phil Ting, of course, but maybe I can get him some help behind the scenes.

5. This was an unusual election with radically low turnout. I know I can't read too much into it. If the DCCC were on the ballot in November, or if there were a real presidential primary to bring people out to vote, the results would be very different. But still: All that new housing for rich people that my mentor Willie Brown and my friend Gavin Newsom got started seems to be having an impact. The city's getting more conservative. Let's just keep that one going and I'm home free.

6. What's up with Lincecum? Damn those Padres.

Nah -- the mayor's too nice a guy to be thinking like that. Right?



Corporate events in public places? Seriously, the tower is rented out during closed hours, it makes money for the city, so what is the deal? Why oppose it? Any why just Coit tower- why not make it so no one can rent city property- i.e city hall, etc. What is so special there. I am really not getting the BG opposition to it.

The people have spoken- of course on a non-binding meaningless piece of legislation. Yeah the people.

Posted by D.native on Jun. 05, 2012 @ 10:07 pm

I think the SFBG reasoning was that revenue was being generated through a creative cooperation with business. The city provided a unique service (in essence it created a specialized service for the convention and PR industry) and got paid for it. No good. We must tax businesses, not work with them. One problem with that is that, if the convention is in Chicago instead of San Francisco we don't get a dime.

Also, Peskin lives on Telegraph Hill and the SFBG has always obediently obeyed the Telegraph Hill Dwellers to a fault. The SFBG loves to deride other wealthy people as the 1%, but their masters on Telegraph Hill get a pass, of course.

This Nimbyism was particularly repugnant. They have a beautiful park and monument in their back yard. The city can make some money off of it during closed hours and use the money for playgrounds in Hunter's Point. But the people on Telegraph Hill can't be bothered.

Posted by Troll on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 7:32 am

I don't live on Telegraph Hill, and I voted for it because the increasing use of public spaces for exclusive private functions is really starting to irritate.

I can understand if it's rarely done, only during hours that it wouldn't be open, and the money went toward the renovation and upkeep of the public spaces.

Problem is, it's getting really excessive, it's starting to creep into open hours in many of the public spaces (or else open hours might get subtly reduced to accommodate more of these events), and the money goes hell knows where.

I've seen entire blocks around city hall cordoned off for ritzy private functions. In one particularly egregious case they built a whole friggin amusement park! The guards said it was a convention to "promote tourism" in San Francisco. A private amusement park for executives of corporations in the hospitality industry. Real live tourists NOT INVITED. Probably on the taxpayers' dime too.

Fuck them. They have enough places to hold exclusive private parties without using OUR spaces! When they do, I try to crash them whenever I can... eat their crab canapes and drink their champagne. The sense of entitlement that rich people have is offensive, and I think people are starting to rebel.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 8:23 am

Just so I am clear:
You crash private parties which you are definitely not invited to, drink their wine, eat their food - and claim that the private people holding the party are the ones who have the sense of entitlement?

What planet are you from? Newsflash: the world is not an inherently equal place. You dont get invited to every party, and you dont get to just crash something because you feel entitled to be there.

Would you feel so enabled to crash a party of middle class people who have rented out some area of our public parks infrastructure?

Posted by Greg on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 10:07 am

then it would mean something. Do you think most San Franciscans give a shit who is head of the Parks and Recreation Department or consider a non-binding ballot measure a statement on your little tiff with him?

Low turnout elections count whether your side wins or not. The fact is that previous DCCC elections were also low turnout and progressives won those. Why not this time? Low turnout should benefit the true believers who care about shit like non-binding policy statements or DCCC elections.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 05, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

You're up way too late worrying about Prop. B. Unless you're as crazy as I am.

Posted by tim on Jun. 05, 2012 @ 10:40 pm

If the progressives win the DCCC... "The DCCC is irrelevant. No one listens to them anyway."

If the progressives lose the DCCC... "See, the Guardian is so out of touch."

Ah, but what if the progressives win a majority of the directly elected seats, but lose control because the DCCC is weighed down with automatic members who rarely show up but happily send proxies to vote against the progressives every time?

I'm sure there's a good spin for that too.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 7:55 am

When Lee beats Avalos over 60-40, SFBG claims Lee has no real mandate.

When Mirk wins the sherriff race, it's a great victory for progressive causes.

I agree - blinkered, one-sided, bias in the press is a problem.

Oh, and which one of those self-destructed in his first week of office? And now 76% want him gone? I guess that's not a mandate either huh?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 8:43 am

The DCCC was NOT irrelevant by any means before the Peskin progressive takeover. Their endorsement for the BOS basically guaranteed electoral victory. It only became irrelevant (with their endorsements dropping into the 'meaningless' category) after a few years of Peskin.

If it moves to the right and starts articulating the goals of the majority of democrats in the city then yes, it might once again become a powerful force.

Peskin leaving is not an insignificant event in terms of restoring the natural authority of the DCCC.

It will be interesting to watch. In a Presidential election many voters are not familiar with city politics and think of the DCCC as representing mainstream democratic party ideals.

Posted by Troll on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 8:54 am

RCV is absolutely anti democratic, and must be repealed. Taking a playbook from my American Conservative enemies, I am engaging in cognitive dissonance:

Ed Lee only won ---

31% of the vote, and if you want to be kind, he won a plurality of votes but not without 11 fucking rounds of the anti democratic RCV.

Ed Lee has about as much as a "mandate" to govern as do the Teabaggers, aka the Tea Party caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. Yes, they're in power but the electoral success can be traced to low turnout, and the innate anti-intellectualism of the U.S. citizenry.

gratis ::: The case against Ross Mirkarimi is a complete joke, and for this most anti SF behavior and the EXECUTIVE branch of this city government (city attorney's office, mayor's office, etc.) will be replaced in 2015 with a people's mayor, come hell on the steps of city hall or expertly engineered election malfeasance!


Posted by Guest001 on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

they suddenly claim that RCV doesn't give the winner a "mandate".


Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

Nobody is talking about the fact that the Telegraph hill dwellers were successful in getting a ballot measure passed which was basically entirely based on free parking for themselves. When there is an evening event at Coit, the parking at the base of coit is taken up and unavailable for the THD.

You want to talk about buying elections?

Posted by Coitthroat on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

I don't live there, and I had no idea that parking was even one of the issues. That would probably make me even more likely to vote yes, because I understand that parking is difficult in that area and that just adds to the hassle. But like I said, I never even thought about that, and I suspect that most voters didn't either.

As I stated above, my reasons for voting for it went like this:
" I voted for it because the increasing use of public spaces for exclusive private functions is really starting to irritate.

I can understand if it's rarely done, only during hours that it wouldn't be open, and the money went toward the renovation and upkeep of the public spaces.

Problem is, it's getting really excessive, it's starting to creep into open hours in many of the public spaces (or else open hours might get subtly reduced to accommodate more of these events), and the money goes hell knows where."

My guess is that most city voters were thinking along much the same lines.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

Like all good progressobots, I do and vote as i am told. If the telegraph hill dwellers want to enact legislation citywide that is solely to allow them to have private parking at a city owned park - so be it!

Posted by Greg on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 10:04 am

It is pretty much why he got 60% of the vote. What's not nice about it? He is a politician, not a Sunday school teacher.

Posted by Troll on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 8:57 pm