Mirkarimi case -- the aftermath

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Olauge: A Profile in Courage

So many things to think about after last night's Board of Supervisors vote on Ross Mirkarimi. It was a dramatic moment in local politics, a clear rejection of the mayor by four supes, including one of his appointees, a show of political courage by some and weakness by others.

But before I get into that, let me say:

I argued against removing Mirkarimi, for a lot of reasons. One of the most important is the precedent here -- the City Charter gives the mayor too much power, the ability to singlehandedly remove an elected official for what the city attorney's office concluded was pretty much any reason at all. There is no definition of "official misconduct" -- and the way this case was presented, it could be interpreted really broadly. That's dangerous, and the supervisors (or four of them, anyway) knew it.

I'm also a believe in restorative justice, in redemption, in the idea that people can do bad things and turn themselves and their lives around.

Still, it's important to remember that what Mirkarimi did on New Year's Eve, 2011, was awful, unacceptable. He was, at the very least, a total asshole and a jerk, treating his wife in a way that was -- again, at the very least -- psychologically abusive. Some of the comments at the board meeting were way off base; some speakers attacked the domestic violence community and made it sound as if Mirkairmi's crime was pretty minimal.

I agree with David Chiu that the city's going to have to come together after this -- and the progressives who supported Mirkarimi are going to have to reach out to, and work with, the DV advocates. Because domestic violence is no joke, is no "private matter," is still a major, serious issue in this city, and the worst possible outcome would be a reversal in San Francisco's progressive policy on handling these cases.

I wish the audience hadn't erupted in cheers when the final votes were cast. I heard Mirkarimi on Forum this morning, and when Michael Krasny asked if he was "elated," he indicated that he was. Wrong answer: Nobody should be happy about what happened here. Mirkarimi's biggest political and personal flaw has always been his ego, which at times bordered on arrogance, and that has to end, today. The sheriff needs to be humble about what happened to him, recognize that nobody "won" this ugly chapter in city history, and get back to work trying to mend fences with his critics. He's facing the very real possibility of a recall election, and if he acts like he's been totally vindicated, it's going to happen.

This is a chance for Mirkarimi to take the notion of restoration and redemption seriously -- by doing what Sup. John Avalos suggested at the hearing. He has to become a changed man. He has to show the world that he really, really gets it. Starting now.

Speaking of change .... the Number One Profile in Courage Award goes to Sup. Christina Olague. Olague was under immense pressure from the mayor, who wanted her vote badly. And because of the rotation of the votes, she had to go early, when it wasn't clear at all which way this was going to turn out. And she came through, 100 percent solid. She made all the right points, and once she said she was going to vote against the mayor's charges, the whole thing was over. At that point, there was no way David Campos or John Avalos could or would go the other way, so Mirkarimi had his three votes. I have been critical of Olague, but in this case, I want to give full credit: She did the right thing, when it wasn't easy. She may have just won the election. (Let me clarify that -- she may have kept herself from losing the election.)

Sup. Jane Kim was brilliant in her questioning of the mayor's representatives and her analysis of the case. She showed real leadership and helped set the stage for what happened by pointing out the flaws in the mayor's case.

And of course, Campos and Avalos, the undeniable, solid left flank of the board, came through.

It wasn't easy for any of these four supervisors, and they all deserve immense credit.

Not so Eric mar, who I realize is in a tough race, but ... when Olague, who has been accused of being too close to the mayor, had the courage to stand up, Mar, who has nearly universal progressive support, did not.

This is a great opportunity for the city to start talking about restorative justice in a serious way. Let's get started.

 

 

Comments

Isn't this funny, Tim? Mild-mannered Jane Kim, whom the Guardian thought wasn't much of a progressive is now way over in the Campos-Avalos camp making courageous, principled decisions! Ha! You'll have to take her more seriously from now on!

Posted by Nazcalito on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 2:40 pm

I was there. I commented. I agree absolutely with everything Tim said in this op ed.

Olague showed immense courage. Jane Kim was brilliant.

Mirkarimi needs to drop his ego, and that's really hard to do.

As a domestic violence survivor-thriver, I know occult emotional violence is worse on victims than physical violence. Hidden emotional violence is often a precursor to physical attack. From there, these abusers generally escalate; this is the norm.

Recovery is immensely difficult; many years of intensive therapy is required.

Without understanding fully the abusers' deep psychology and behavior patterns, the wife/girlfriend/significant other forgives too easily, and can be so locked into her/his fear, they are paralyzed. This happens especially if there are children who the abuser may threaten.

Not enough time has gone by with this couple for healing to occur or realizations made.

Still I supported re-instating Ross because clearly this couple was being used in a loathsome political game.

The fact that I personally like Ross means nothing here.

Ross must show humility and true healing, or he will lose everything in the end.

Posted by Guest carol harvey on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

You almost got to make the closing public comment but were pipped at the post!! I have of course commented elsewhere but just want to second your comments about Ross. Publicly, and I imagine privately, he needs to do some serious soul searching, especially if he hopes to continue as the effective 'politician for the people' that he has always been. I wish him well in this urbane renewal project, he's a smart dude and we need him.

Posted by Patrick Monk.RN. on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 10:57 am

Olague for Mayor.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

I so agree with Poster Harvey. Healing is a life-long process that never ends. True healing and humility takes times, even decades.

We all have emotional wounds thata need healing.

Ross? Eliana? Please begin your healing.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

I so agree with Poster Harvey. Healing is a life-long process that never ends. True healing and humility takes times, even decades.

We all have emotional wounds thata need healing.

Ross? Eliana? Please begin your healing.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

guys,
penny wise and pound foolish regarding your view on mar's vote. you are lucky you have a progressive in d1. it is a moderate district. you should understand this and not ask so much of him or you're gonna wind up with david lee, fool!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 7:02 pm

The progressive community is darn lucky to have Eric Mar in D1. He's a class act - thoughtful and restrained - even if his votes don't always follow the progressive pablum. The smartest progressives will be spending whatever time and money they have over teh next 4 weeks to try to get him re-elected.

It's a safe bet that D5 supervisor votes on particular issues would be fairly similar regardless if it's Olague, Davis or Breed casting the vote over the next 4 years, whereas the vote of the D1 supervisor would often be quite different between Mar and his main challenger.

The current board has a tenuous hold on 6-5 outcomes, especially when Ms. Olague votes to support massive gentrification projects like 8 Washington. And 8-3 mayor override votes have been rare. Without Mar in D-1, forget about winning many 6-5 votes over the next 4 years, much less many 8-3 votes.

The smart progressives will be spending their time and money helping Mar win in D1, even if most of the "cool campaigns" with all the hip, connected hangers-on are currently centered in D5.

Posted by Guest1 on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 7:47 pm

Agree with you, Guest1.

Posted by Daniele E. on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 9:46 am

Regarding this:

"I wish the audience hadn't erupted in cheers when the final votes were cast. I heard Mirkarimi on Forum this morning, and when Michael Krasny asked if he was "elated," he indicated that he was. Wrong answer: Nobody should be happy about what happened here."

People worked really hard and made way too many sacrifices to keep the mayor from seizing this much arbitrary power and to keep Ross in office. It is unreasonable to expect them not to celebrate this victory.

And no one, absolutely no one who spoke against sustaining the charges minimized or trivialized domestic violence. So many who spoke out for Ross said that they were dv survivors themselves that it was hard not to conclude that households suffering domestic violence are the rule rather than the exception.

The two things I agree with are that:

1) the audience should not have boo'ed anti-domestic violence advocates.

2) Ross should take John Avalos's words to heart and make a real effort to be transformed by this.

Posted by Guest Ann Garrison on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 7:41 pm

While no one trivialized domestic violence, I disagree with Tim about the city policy. I wouldn't use Tim's term "reverse," but perhaps it's time to "rethink" it. I've never been a fan of so-called "zero-tolerance" policies on *anything*, whether it's DV, drugs, whatever. Zero-tolerance is a one-size-fits-all approach that doesn't deal with the nuances of real life. We should all re-read that brilliant and heartfelt letter that Eliana's friend Myrna Melgar wrote a few months back, because it was the most sane approach to the issue that I've heard in a long time.

And while it may not be the best optics to boo a domestic violence advocate, optics aside, on the merits I don't think a DV advocate should enjoy special privileges any more than any other member of the public. To the extent that booing *anyone* is rude, Tim may have a point. But it was an emotional issue. Give people a break.

What I do think was off-base, was how the Supervisors (particularly Carmen Chu) berated the voters who felt passionate enough to comment on this issue and took time out of their day to come to city hall and speak at public comment. That was *totally* inappropriate. The Supervisors tend to forget that they work for us, not the other way around.

PS... it was great to finally meet you in person.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 9:44 pm

They are a huge waste of time. The Supes often have to sit through hours of self-serving, sometimes demented monologs, before they can get to the actual business before them. And when, as in this case, the crowd behaves badly, she is right to complain.

Also bear in mind that it's often the same "usual suspects" who come to every meeting, just to have their 60 seconds of mediocrity, again. Those who show up are rarely representative of the city - it's the activists who show up.

So the Supes should ignore them; I certainly would. Public comments are a total waste of time, and I've seen no evidence that any Supe has ever had their mind changed by some buffoon in a beard wearing sandals, or a screechy activist chick like some of the women we heard from yestreday

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 1:30 am

then you are probably against sunshine laws, campaign finance disclosure and any number of other progressive advances; even democracy.

The people who call and write their representatives in democracy, being a minority, aren't average citizens either; but they absolutely represent the opinions of the larger population.

While I've long believed that public comment periods -- like war protests -- are not effective, I maintain they are worthwhile as an expression of democratic sentiment. And just maybe, when the numbers are as lopsided as in this case, such displays might actually have effect; if not on the voting itself, at least on the explanations made by the supervisors.

As for speakers diminishing the importance of DV, several people observed that Ross' arm grab did not demonstrate an intent to cause an injury to his wife. I see no reason to ignore such comments or characterize them as the DV advocates seemed wont to do: as diminishing the importance of DV awareness.

An arm grab, while clearly wrong, does not make Ross Mirkarimi a "wife beater;" it only demonstrates that he is fallible and perhaps at risk for such behavior.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 2:27 am

There is little questyion to my mind that the public comments heard on this and other issues and well to the elft of the voter population as a whole. The simple fact is that it is only activists who show up at these meetings - the average person has a job and family and can't spend 4 hours waiting for his or her turn to speak.

so the idea that these gaggles are representative is off the mark, and I think the Supes know this. I encourage you to watch the Supes closely during the public comments section - most are clearly not listening, doodling, working on something else, and generally just waiting for it to be over.

As for DV, I think the issue was the booing of the DV activists, and that was wholely inappropriate and uncivil regardless of whether you think Ross ducked a DV rap or not.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 5:52 am

Protests too for that matter.

They let the politicians know that people do care, and they're watching. No, it's not the "average" citizen who engages in public comment. Hell, the average citizen is totally disengaged from the democratic process altogether. But these are the people who will make up the volunteer base of any politician. They're the people who care, and that's important.

The amount of speakers at public comment may or may not measure the percentages of people on each side (though I do think it provides some rough measure of that as well). But it most certainly measures intensity of opinion. And that's huge.

Look, the people on both sides of this issue have jobs, and kids, and pay taxes. I personally came after work and skipped dinner. I hope you're not insinuating that one side is disproportionately composed of people who don't work and don't have family responsibilities, because that would be insulting. So given that both groups have these same time issues, it's very instructive to see which side *cares* enough to bring hundreds of people out there. The side that wants Ross removed is not only not as numerous (as evidenced by the weak results they got in even the push poll), but they don't *care* as much. They're less likely to base their votes on it. That's important.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 7:29 am

And yes, in theory anyway, I'd like to think the pols listen to those who bother to show up, perhaps over those who do not.

That said, it's my experience that those who do show up are well to the left of those who do not. Now, if those who do not show up are so apathetic that they don't even bother to vote, then the issue is moot. But I don't believe that is true.

In this case, we have polls showing 60%-70% wanting Ross gone, we have Lee ebating Avalos last year by 60-40, and you have the supes voting 7-4 that Ross should go. Those figures are remarkably consistent, and tell you something.

But then listen to the crowd and you get a very different story. So the question, if you are a Supe, is who do you listen to?

As for being able to show up, a lot of City Hall meetings are during the day, and then inevitably the crowd will be skewed towards those who don't have to work all day, every day. And few would say that is representative.

While even for evening meetings, those with family commitments are less likely to show up. There's a "look and feel" those who show up and, from what I've seen, there is a core constituency that show up for every meeting. I'm not sure we should over-weight them.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 7:54 am

elderly people, disabled people, poor people, the very people Ross helps. makes sense.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 10:36 am

Just one angle I'll add, and it relates to something that I heard library user Peter Warfield remark on:

Internet forums *seem* like equivalent alternatives to speaking at public meetings, but that can be highly illusory.

SFBG seems to be pretty free, but many forums are heavily controlled by the site owners. Depending on the specific policies of these privately-controlled sites, one's comment may be editted or disappear.

On SFGate, they ban commenters regularly, and they do so in a way which may not be obvious to those so banned. When such users are logged-in, there comments appear on their screens as they might expect, but every other user seems some generic phrase such as "This comment was left by a user who has been banned."

Speaking during the public comment period not only allows us to know whether our representatives are listening to us and how our comments are being received, but it allows us to communicate with *each* *other.*

And yes, the supes may not be listening, but it leaves them open for becoming the butt of amusing zingers, as when one commenter prefaced his pro-Mirkarimi-reinstatement comment with a (perhaps wholly facetious) observation of how it was great that he could comment and have all the supervisors hear... except for the one who was playing with her iphone; Malia Cohen.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 8:02 am

(usuallu hopelessly biased) stories. By and large, other stuff doesn't get censored here, and Tim deserves a certain amount of credit for that.

I doubt that the Supes are in the fog over what most Sf'ers think. They have people out there taking feelers, there are private polls, and they get letters which are probably more indicative than being able to rouse a mob, or whoever has the time to spend all day posting online.

Public comment appeals to the left because it is usually the elft who show up. That doesn't make it relevant, however, and generally such public comments are ignored, rightfully so IMO.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 8:19 am

It's just like claiming the media has a "left wing bias."

And as for your snipe regarding the ability to "spend all day posting online," it would be nice if you had the honesty to admit you are a paid flack posting under the name Guest in order to conceal you own remunerated prolificity.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 8:36 am

1) I'm not paid to post here. In fact, I'm fairly sure that nobody is, because SFBG just isn't that important, powerful or influential. And "Guest" is no more anon than "Lilli".

2) There can be little question that those who endlessly picket City Hall meetings are not the silent majority.

3) I don't think the media in general does have a lwft-wing bias. I just think that SFBg does, and the average "activist" is.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 9:27 am

I have no doubt you much prefer the staid dignity of suited lobbyists passing quietly through portals of power at City Hall.

How many other screen names do you use?

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 9:53 am

But i will never reach the dizzy heights of ChrisCraft's sock puppetry.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 10:09 am

he was offered a plea deal(ask why) from the DA. He didn't duck anything and has been tortured enough and has come out stronger.Leave this young family alone...enough already.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 10:34 am

I disagree. The supes represent the people. No matter where you stand on an issue, you have the freedom to "show up", to be engaged. No "side" has a monopoly on that.
I think it is very important for anyone who feels they have something to contribute to go and be heard. If only for the reason that someone watching on TV might be inspired to do the same in the future...
We have a woeful lack of civic engagement in this country. The more bits and pieces of an argument you can hear, the better the chances of true "justice"—whatever that ultimately is—to prevail.

We can all learn from each other. And if I were a supe, you better believe I'd be listening. They are just people, too. They can learn something new, just like you and me.

...and I will always remember the commentator whose words gave me an "aha" moment, and inspired me to eventually speak out on an important issue of our day.

And even Carmen Chu's remark, think what you will of it, gives us (me anyway) pause to consider the basic premise behind it--which is respect for all sides, emotions notwithstanding.

I do wish somehow/somewhere that we could all get together—both "sides" to discuss further our values, fears, commonalities for better understanding and resolution. Around some round table.

Posted by Daniele E. on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 10:47 am

I said that I understand it when I see the supes looking bored, rolling their eyes, and generally looking impatient while the gallery of usual suspects pontificate.

In my experience, the average city hall meeting is 4 hours long, with public comments lasting 3 and 3/4 hours, and then the Supes voting the way they would have done anyway.

There remains no evidence that those who show up are representative. If they were, we wouldn't need elections which routinely give a different emphasis than the usual suspects.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 11:08 am

Frankly, it annoys me when I see supes not listening to public comment. This is their job, and it's kind of disrespectful to choose to get up and leave or talk with their neighbor while it's going on. They are paid to be there and their jobs are to represent the public. If you have no tolerance for "the riff-raff" you shouldn't be there.

That's the nature of the beast: you'll get a few folks who are more "on the edge". Newsflash: that's life.

When you say that Carmen was right about her public comment comment "...I think the issue was the booing of the DV activists, and that was wholely inappropriate and uncivil regardless of whether you think Ross ducked a DV rap or not." I think it's interesting that one the one hand, you agree with her plea to be respectful, and then on the other hand, you call some of the people who participate in PC to be: "buffoons", "screechy activist chicks"...and downgrading some to merely be "activists", "the usual suspects"..."a total waste of time".
If you agree with Carmen, then I think you have no choice but to re-think your mindset and just plain cultivate more acceptance of the whole of our population. It is a reflection on *you* (or whomever) that you cannot/won't have the wherewithall to listen respectfully to all...hey, at least most of the time. Sorry, but that is this thing called "democracy". Love it, or go get an office job or something else.

And I will stand by it, warts and all. Because it is a dying thing, this "power to the people". I applaud anyone who has the courage to do public speaking (isn't it one of the top "scariest things to do"?) with your allotted 2 minutes (not easy).

If it's long, then maybe the powers that be could break it down--have more breaks. Don't know. But I don't share your "understanding" of bored looking electeds. Just as I would not condone a teacher who really doesn't want to be there for the kids...Then don't go into the field.

As far as the "representative" part, I can only speak for myself. I spoke the other night, but I don't consider myself to be your typical "activist". I will especially follow an issue if it is one I feel I *can* speak to, because of familiarity or expertise with the particular issue at hand. And that is all. I don't have time to be abreast of everything...but it is the caring and willingness to give one's perspective that is the point and should never be taken for granted, especially not by our elected officials.

Posted by Daniele E. on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

didn't go after Ross because they were shocked and appalled at a simple arm grab. They were given a deal to gain more political power, by being lliteral lynchpins of an attempted coup. They had no problem trying their hardest to destroy this family. They smiled and chuckled when Eliana spoke, because they knew better than any woman could ever know..what was in that woman's mind.

They deserved to be booed and outed. Their lack of proportionality and willingness to screw over a strong woman, a contrite sheriff, and a three year old boy is and was disgusting.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 10:33 am

I don't agree with you very often, but I like this blog post. You really make your point without excusing Mirk's behavior. My respect for you has significantly increased. Please keep it up!

Posted by Snoozers on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 11:06 pm

Who knows how effective he might have been over all these years if only he'd ignored Steven's advice that objectivity is dishonest.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 11:04 am

"Sup. Jane Kim was brilliant in her questioning of the mayor's representatives and her analysis of the case. She showed real leadership and helped set the stage for what happened by pointing out the flaws in the mayor's case."

...and Jane Kim has now stated that she supports recalling Mirk.

Guess she isn't going to get any more adoring statements in the Guardian.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 5:25 am

been. Kim actually thinks about the issue and then votes independently. So she supports the Twitter tax break one minute, and then votes for Ross the next. That's what we should really want from Supes, and not the kneejerk predictable voting pattern of Avalos who really doesn't need to listen to any of the evidence because he is always going to vote the hard-left party line, whatever.

Olague is good like that too.One minutes she votes like a Lee clone and hack - the next minute she's giving Lee a slapdown.

I suspect both would vote tor ecall Mirk. Just not in this way. Fair enough.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 5:56 am

the way to remove an elected official,like Mr.Mirkarimi, or Miss Kim, is through a recall, not through an unconstituionally vague city charter passage which would be found such by an appellate court, then costing the city even more millions than the 1.3 mill of tax dollars that Lee spent to try to destroy a foe who won't kiss his puppet rear.that's what Ms. Kim means by the appropriateness of recall as a remedy.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 10:38 am

http://www.theiacp.org/tabid/299/Default.aspx?id=814&v=1

The International Association of Chiefs of Police and their collective wisdom/experience would not agree with you that "redemption" in the form of handing a gun and authority to a convicted DV offender is a good idea. Usually violence from rage is not a once in a lifetime act -- and the model policy would preclude Mirkarimi from serving as sheriff. It is long overdue for San Francisco and the entire prison industrial complex to adopt this important model policy. The reason the entire domestic violence support network and the National Organization for Women (sfnow.org) has worked so hard to demand freedom from a DV offending sheriff is simple: we support the IACP Model Policy.

Posted by National Organization for Women, SF Chapter on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 8:37 am

I am a Ross supporter (to a point). However, I agree that he should relinquish his gun. And I think he needs to do more to work on transforming himself, and reach out to the dv community in the process. But there are limits to how far he should go in humbling himself by groveling and taking direction from the likes of political grandstanders like Gascon.

Wendy Witt, a commenter at KQED News said it best, "Gascon is still trying to score points in a game of political football. In his statement he anoints himself as the the "chief law enforcement official" in the City. In reality he is the top prosecutor in S.F. (which in and of itself is laughable given that he has NEVER actually tried a case!) but no where in the city charter or state constitution does it say that the local district attorney is the "chief law enforcement official." In fact, historically that designation goes to the locally elected sheriff. Gascon's call for recusal reeks of political gamesmanship and over reaching."

Posted by l on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

Are you telling us that SF N.O.W. actually supported the politically opportunist, and very woman dis-empowering circus show that we all just went through over the past year.

I find that hard to believe. Can you direct us to the minutes of the board meeting where this alleged decision was made?

(And by the way, I don't believe the Sheriff has access to guns during his probation.)

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 11:14 pm

who do a lot more than arm bruise each other.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 10:40 am

it's not only doesn't make sense, but i can't figure out who it's directed to. please clarify

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

the members or leadership of NOW had any sense of proportionality. If a NOW member had grabbed her girlfriend's arm thusly, the NOWettes wouldn't be making a peep...and you all know it.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

None of your actions and positions are consistent with people who oppose domestic violence, or any other feminist issue, in such a way that you would have evaluated the consequences of having your guy in there running the domestic violence offenders programs and supervising the incarceration of people who've committed those offenses. It honestly just never comes up. Nor does what might be another sort of argument... we'll get these specific policy changes by keeping this guy in there that did this shitty stuff. You get two motivations governing most progressives, in the end, explicit anti-feminism, and an inability to distance yourself from whatever particular horse you picked in some race. You might actually win occasionally as an anti-feminist party, if that's where you want to go, but no one really cares about your horses.

Posted by Greg Shaw on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

The opinions of those who make time to show up and participate in public dialog, as limited as it may be, are far more important than those of nameless nincompoops who are afeared to be identified with their usually inane opinions.

Posted by Patrick Monk.RN. on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

If you like being imped, by all means carry on. But if you think you're going to force everyone to march in lockstep just because you and your fellow apparatchiks say so, you got another think coming, Ms. Manners. Some of us have minds of our own and don't need to be told how to comport ourselves.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

So, Jane Kim voted with Ross yesterday on legal grounds but would support a recall of the sheriff.

Move on people!

Get over it! These anti-domestic violence people need to understand that the Ross won the fight yesterday.

Didn't you hear all the cheering in the courtroom yesterday after all was said and done?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

""I wish the audience hadn't erupted in cheers when the final votes were cast. I heard Mirkarimi on Forum this morning, and when Michael Krasny asked if he was "elated," he indicated that he was. Wrong answer""

No way. It was the RIGHT answer.

After putting up with a witch hunt hill for 9 months, a little juvilation should be approved.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

Good write up. My main quibble is that you didn't take Ed Lee and George Gascon to task, for extreme overreaching, even abuse, regarding elective and prosecutorial powers.

Mirkarimi and his wife had a fight; it was heated. NONE of us know what transpired during that fight - i.e. what he said, what she said; whether or not she slapped him and he grabbed her arm reflexively; whether he forcefully tried to restrain her and warned her that she was going to get beat up, etc. etc. WE DON'T KNOW. The only ones who know are Lopez and Mirkarimi.

For me, the test for prosecuting or charging someone for DV is whether there has been an elongated pattern of such behavior - with the exception for someone who batters their partner, even the first time. This was, from the best description we'll probably ever have - an arm grab that caused a bruise. Unless Mirkarimi was defending himself against physical aggression from Lopez, that arm grab is NOT appropriate. But - - BUT, does something like an arm grab rise to a level where one is charged with domestic battery, separated for months from family, and caused to lose one's job? My answer that question is "no".

This is a case that should not have resulted in a charge; it should have been a case where Mirkarimi was brought in, along with his wife, to hear their story. They should have been referred immediately to compulsory counseling, with a stern warning that if any further physical aggression is seen from either spouse, there will be more serious consequences.

Instead, we have Lopez' panicked emoting in from of a camera held by a neighbor that would betray her confidences in the worst imaginable way - a real Judas. How unfortunate for Lopez, and Mirkarimi. Ivory Madison's betrayal of a confidence unleashed a series of events that made people like Ed Lee, George Gascon, and every other conservative toady in this city drool. The prospect of firing up charges that could cause a political opponent to lose his job, and at the same time smear the Progressives in San Francisco (of which I am not one).

So, being opportunistic, Ed Lee took the leap. He should have looked more carefully. In fact, if weak-kneed Lee was on his own, he probably wouldn't have tried to take Mirkarimi out, but simply made some self-congratulatory statements about how he supports causes against DV. But Lee wasn't alone; he was being advised by people in the background, who thought they didn't have anything to lose. Big Mistake!

the thing that really bothers me about this- aside form egregious abuse of power - is all the posturing around the DV issue. Methinks people brag about their position, too much. INcluding you, Tim. DV is ALWAYS wrong, but there are DEGREES of DV, just as there are degrees of most other crimes. Mirkarimi and his wife were betrayed in the most fundamental way, by a neighbor who is reported (by an ex-boyfriend, if he is to be believed) as an arch-feminist who loves the limelight and is hair-trigger sensitive about violence and men. It's reported (by that same boyfriend) that she also has a way of "creating" the truth. Imagine someone like that, with all her built in bias, advising Lopez to make that tape, and then letting her bias cloud judgment in a way that led to FAR more pain for Mirkarimi and his wife, and this city, than ever shuld have been possible.

What REALLY gets me is how Madison is off, scott-free, in all this. Why are people afraid to say that Madison overreacted, and why are they afraid to say that if Madison thought that Mirkarimi's actions were so egregious and that Lopez was in danger, why did she wait FOUR DAYS to report this faux-crime, AFTER consulting with city insiders. Really, really fishy - so fishy that the whole thing stinks to high heaven.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 8:27 pm

Without understanding fully the abusers' deep psychology and behavior patterns, the wife/girlfriend/significant other forgives too easily, and can be so locked into her/his fear, they are paralyzed. This happens especially if there are children who the abuser may threaten.

Not enough time has gone by with this couple for healing to occur or realizations made.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 13, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

that it has been given a name - Stockholm Syndrome.

This is why DV prosecutions do not require a spouse to testify, and can even proceed if the spouse denies the abuse.

Note: Eliana did not deny the abuse until AFTER Ross was convicted. Her earlier testimony might have saved him, but instead she "lovingly" ran away to South America, and only later contradicted her earlier video "testimony", when it was too late.

She wanted some leverage over Ross, but also wanted his paycheck.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 13, 2012 @ 11:43 pm

She has always said that Ross grabbed her arm. She shows it in the video, produced and directed by Ivory Madison. She testified to it ,under oath, at the ethics commission, as did he.
As for her "wanting his paycheck".. Who do you think makes more moolah, an international film star or a local sheriff?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 1:26 pm