SF's newest political pole gets a new name: Moderate progressives

Image from Sick Puppies album (Virgin Records)

A Daily Kos blogger known as Kurykh has posted an interesting and insightful “crash course in San Francisco politics,” in which he correctly identifies the tri-polar dynamic of local politics. Everyone knows the progressives (Ammiano, Avalos, the Guardian) and the so-called moderates (Wiener, Ma, the Chronicle), and so Kurykh dubs the rising third pole (Chiu, Kim, Mayor Lee) “moderate progressives.”

He calls them “the new kids on the block,” noting that they sided with progressives in 2008 but ushered in a new political reality by siding with the moderates in 2010, now serving essentially as the swing votes on major issues and projects.

“Like other progressives, they are pro-tenant and advocate for more social services to the poor. However, they have pro-business and pro-development tendencies and tend to focus on streamlining bureaucracy and effective government,” he wrote of the moderate progressives.

Personally, I think a more accurate label for this rising new power center is “neoliberal” (I just called them “liberals” in my own San Francisco political primer that I wrote a year ago), a political term describing the belief that any reforms or progress needs to be negotiated with capitalists and corporations instead of coming directly through taxes or regulations.

And I think it underestimates the influence that so-called “moderates” who are actually quite conservative when it come to finances and land use – people like Lee fundraiser Ron Conway and Planning Commissioner Michael Antonini – have in influencing Lee and shaping politics in the city.

But I welcome this contribution to helping San Franciscans understand the political dynamics that are governing this city.


Not all politicians position themselves as swing votes who can swing whichever way the wind blows.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 7:44 am

I see it as independence. Some Supes always vote left and some always vote right. It's the ones in the middle, like Kim, who take each issue on its own merits and then vote accordingly, without being in anyone's pocket. That's what we need more of, not kneekerk ideology.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 8:05 am

How do you know that the way that the swing voters swing has anything to do with the merits of the issue on the table rather than with the politicians sense of self preservation at the expense of their constituents?

Posted by marcos on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 8:16 am

So Kim, for instance, gave very good reasons both for voting for the Twitter tax break and for voting to exonerate Ross.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 8:51 am

...it doesn't?

Posted by Hortencia on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 9:02 am
Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

...to be a reply to marcos's question about swing voters' motivation. I must've hit the wrong reply link.

Posted by Hortencia on Nov. 22, 2012 @ 9:16 am

"The lines between them are sometimes fuzzy, and people and politicians shift between the groups, but they are roughly coherent and it's just easier to understand things this way."

Brother, you said a mouthful. "Just easier," of course, often doesn't add up to "accurate." This need to force into predictable categories that which is usually pretty chaotic...

Posted by Hortencia on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 7:42 am

is a little like agnostic with a big dose of opportunism thrown in.

Posted by Mark on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 8:25 am

Progressives like to think themselves to the left of ordinary liberals. So this new more moderate and centrist group of "progressives" aren't really progressive at all. they are old-fashioned moderate, centrist, liberals whose sense of balance and pragmatism places them much more aligned with most SF'ers.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 8:56 am

I'm not sure how people on that list, and the priorities the writer cites they have in common, can't really be considered progressive in the usual sense of the word. And I'd argue that in the case of the Mirkarimi matter, "progressives" who think domestic violence is a private matter are the least progressive of all.

Posted by Hortencia on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 10:35 am

If an argument that escalates into arm grabbing and turning around a minivan are now considered domestic violence, then we're going to need to expand our jail and prison capacity by several fold.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 10:50 am

threats and even spitting at your partner. You really need to read up on how DV is enforced - I was stunned how little progressives understood this while RossGate was going on.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 11:04 am

The problem is that Gascon and Harris allowed 6000 DV cases involving much more than an arm grab or turning a car around to lapse while somehow they found the resources to try to nail Ross to the wall while ignoring the alleged "victim" of the "crime," doing their best to split up the family.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 11:29 am

arm grab. Bruising and restraining your spouse is easily a DV misdemeanor and, if serious, a felony.

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

Of course it is much easier to claim the existence of such prosecutions than it is to prove their existence.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

convictions for merely threatening to cause harm, and for spitting at a partner.

You may think the law should be different, but you cannot credibly argue that it is different.

An arm grab is far from the most trivial DV conviction that has been successfully prosecuted. And false imprisonment can even be prosecuted as a terror crime.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

I asked you not about spitting or threatening to cause harm. Those are both acts which demonstrate an intent to cause injury.

False imprisonment might be prosecutable as a terror crime for all I know, but of course turning the van around is no such crime; that you should attempt to suggest so demonstrates the depths of your mendacious intent.

I asked you to cite a case where a momentary arm grab is prosecuted in the absence of a complaint by the victim.

And, of course, the fact that you keep on weaseling out from citing such a case further establishes the fact that none such exists.

Since you don't understand what stfu means, I'll wish you happy Thanksgiving instead.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

formal DV charge but that was tactical - to avoid a firearms ban.

To many observors, imprisoning someone and inducing a high degree of fear is actually much more serious than a brief but bruising physical assault.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 22, 2012 @ 9:08 am

is prosecuted in the absence of a complaint by the victim, but you said "[blah][blah][blah][blah][blah]."

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 8:58 am

Turning a vehicle around against the will of an occupant of that vehicle is an act of terror, and can be deemed kidnapping or abduction in some circumstances.

So, yes, while an arm grab that causes a bruise is clearly an act of domestic violence and intended to cause harm, the false imprisonment is actually more scary. But Ross copped to the more serious crime both to avoid a formal DV rap sheet and to duck the even more serious count of witness tampering.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 9:27 am

communicated with Olague about the case -- or at least it was felony perjury and an act of official misconduct in lying about it.

The witness tampering story came about because of the nagging doubt which Lee's team had about the validity of their case to remove the sheriff under the charter since the actual event took place before he was in office.

Abe Mertens said he heard a man's voice in the background when Eliana called begging Ivory to not disclose information which she had been led to believe was privileged communication between her and Madison, her attorney.

When police asked if it sounded like the man was in the background coaching Eliana in what to say, he replied "no, it sounded like 'No, it sounded like he was on another phone call together." That completely bogus item is emblematic of the total of this horseshit case carried out for political opportunism.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 9:52 am

allegation gainst Lee, and it is significant that all witnesses to the alleged conversation have refuted Walker's scandalous claim. since Walker hates Lee she would not have hesitated to have gone to the DA had she known in her ehart her claims were not lies.

And I never suggested that Ross directly tampered with witnesses. He got others to do his dirty work for him, as politicans so often do.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 10:14 am

You obviously have more energy for promoting the anti-Mirkarimi line than you have proper guidance for.

You did get the cant right on "witness tampering" though, but the problem is that Eliana was not "doing anybody's dirtywork" and she was no tampering with any witness: she was simply insisting that her attorney do the ethical thing and respect her attorney-client privilege.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 11:57 am

else could she do once she had uttered the lie other than do that? And that carried zero risk of a chrge because she could always later claim that she "misheard" or "misunderstood" or "misintrepreted" what was said (which is in fact the most charitable explanation for her odious "mistake".

The privilege argument didn't wash with the judge who allowed the video into testimony. So why should it wash with anyone else who doesn't have a self-serving motive?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 12:25 pm


It's easy to see that Eliana had good reason to believe that her communication with Madison was protected; Madison's recent graduation from law school, her self-promoted history of working in law-related fields and her possessing a law degree. That one local judge didn't see it that way doesn't prove it was not so.

Actually, I see that your post is so infantile and thick that I needn't have bothered to respond.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

lawyer, other than her own self-serving testimony.

Where is the signed engagement letter, without which there is no presumption of privilege? Nor of course was there any retainer.

The "oh, she's Eliana's lawyer" line only materialized post facto when the judge was about to introduce the damning video into evidence.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 2:10 pm


Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 4:22 pm

...against the state, not the individual. Since around 75% of domestic violence victims recant anyway, a strong case doesn't always rely on their testimony. Of course, Lopez gave strong testimony against her husband on video, in email, and in text messages before she changed her story.

I just rewatched the video, by the way, after a long time. Lopez was clearly terrified.

Posted by Hortencia on Nov. 24, 2012 @ 9:48 am

It's just a little bit creepy how victim's rights can morph into big brotherism. Hortencia, I'm very sorry for any abuse you or people you know have suffered in this life, but realize that there needs to be balance to everything; even criminal justice.

One place to start in regard to balance is to stop making up facts which arent' applicable anyhow. The "75% recant" line? Please provide a citation as I've never seen it done. But even if it is true, we (1) don't roll the dice to determine guilt in this society so no trend ought determine the outcome of a specific case, and (2) Eliana Lopez never recounted *anything*.

Here, watch this video:

I believe Eliana.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 24, 2012 @ 10:18 am

republican, then we all know you would be accusing her of being a shallow showboat wife who has been coached.

Hortencia is correct about the frequency of which DV victims recent. They are scared, so it's hardly surprising.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 24, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

There's never been a case which would demonstrate your point *precisely* because Progressives wouldn't cast a family into living hell over some political squabble.

*five times? Now *that's* conservative!

Posted by *That's* a fact. on Nov. 24, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

more than conservatives. It's well known so I don't need to justify the figure.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 24, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

True that it is strictly speaking an act of violence -- and Ross famously took ownership of that rather than shirking it like a false moderate shirks civic responsibility -- but an arm grab does not represent an intent to cause injury; it's not analogous to threats or spitting. (And oh, so typical of the AMH to try to slip in some false equivalency; parroting the cant of some slick and no doubt highly paid PR flacks.)

Please, oh please, AMHs: stfu unless you can provide an example of a simple arm grab in the absence of a police complaint on the part of the victim being prosecuted as DV. Even a case where the victim did complain would be helpful. Thanks, but remember the stfu part. Okay?

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 11:32 am

No, he tries to hush up Madision and said it was "a private family matter"

Only when the video was released and his guilt became obvious did he man up.

An arm grab is a form of assault, hence DV.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 22, 2012 @ 9:06 am

Ross famously took ownership of the fact that technically speaking grabbing someone's arm is an act of violence.

It is not an act of violence which establishes an intent to cause injury; such as the multiple close-fisted blows to the face and torso as DA Gascon evidently thought equivalent since he settled with Mason Mayer for an equivalent charge and sentence for. Mayer also made threats of murder, beat his girlfriend's head against a marble floor and did not stop when the victim drew away and said "no!"

So while Ross did acknowledge that grabbing his wife's arm was wrong, the fact that he did not at any time try to "hush up" Ivory Madison was established in the Ethics Commission hearings. (Hint for better understanding: forget whatever you think you learned about this case by reading John Cote, Rachel Gordon, Paul Matier, and Chuck Nevious.)

Eliana was never afraid, terrorized, beaten or abused, except -- for the latter -- by her erstwhile "friend" Ivory Madison who inflicted herself on Lopez's family matters, pretending to be an attorney and acting out on her own personal issues.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 7:34 am

"I committed an act of violence against my wife".

The court agreed and the people agreed. The fact that you give him a pass just because Ross's politics are similar to your is hardly credible.

One effect of this is now a zero-tolerance approach to politicians who abuse women or stand up for those who do, as Davis and Olague both recently discovered to their cost.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 8:28 am

I don't give Ross any such pass. What he did was wrong and just about everybody knows it. Did it rise the level of a prosecutable offense? Anybody with a credible degree of balance would say no. Mayor Lee and DA Gascon failed that test.

Did the arm grab and van turning rise the level of an offense which ought result in the overturning of an election? It was not a felony demonstrating moral turpitude and it was not an act committed employing official status, so for anybody with the least credibility the answer is profoundly no.

As for your blithe and incompetent election analysis, it seems less deficient if you ignore the fact that the winner in D5, London Breed, clearly stated her position that the attack on Ross was political and he should not be removed from office.

No doubt you'll reply with some more of your deficient inanities.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 8:57 am

Well, gee, let's see. It was an offense for which he was prosecuted and convicted, and by his own admission too.

So I'm going with the answer "yes".

Breed won D5 because Olague voted to retain Ross and Davis also was exposed as disrespecting women.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 9:23 am

-- billboards proclaiming his guilt at the very least, but based on the profile of the prosecution, who knows what else he might have faced if charges had gone to trial? He was denied a venue change despite the fact that potential jurors had been contaminated by media sensationalism and outright lies.

We know that the charge of witness tampering for which the DA's office claimed to hold proof was *completely* *bogus*; misconduct by DA Gascon is what actually took place.

And, once again -- because somehow I'd like to believe that the cement surrounding your brain is only three inches thick and not four -- London Breed unequivocally stated that Mayor Lee's attempt to remove Sheriff Mirkarimi was poltical, that it should not stand, and that if had been sitting on the board for she would have voted against.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

after Ivory saw the bruise and heard (and recorded, thank God) Eliana's original and spontaneous account of how the bruise was caused, i.e. before Ross's handlers coached her..

The tampering charge did not stick because Ross didn't personally do it - he's too smart for that. But his wife and his advisor did, and that's hardly a coincidence.

There is zero evidence for Walker's self-serving assertion except for her own "word", whatever that is worth. Zero. Lee's hands are clean, which is why every poll has shown majority support for his actions re Ross.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

comprehension. You are a troll. I will not refute each and every one of your explicit and implicit fabrications except to point out that your suggestion that Linnette Peralta Haynes contacted Madison is a flat-out libel.

AMH are a reprehensible lot, thank goodness they aren't a majority.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

would not shock me if Haynes got others to do so.

Ivory related that there were at least two attempts to hush her up. Why would she lie about that?

I've no idea what AMH is so it would aid comprehension of your incomprehensible drivel if you used English and not obtuse acronyms.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

A real piece of work that one. Why does anybody lie?

Again, there was ample reason for Eliana to have thought her communication with Madison was protected attorney-client communication, and in view of that she did nothing wrong in attempting to keep Madison on an ethical course. (I should say *more* ethical, since passing yourself off as an attorney is a serious offense which anyone would properly seek means to be exonerated for.)

AMH = anti Mirkarimi hater. That you don't know that and yet can parrot the same rubbish that others such as yourself have parroted here so well as to be indistinguishable from them serves as a powerful testament to the efficacy of the AMH central dispatch of SFGate. Why not pick yourself up and head back there; maybe report some pro-Mirkarimi comments as offensive and so on.


Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

believing that she had formally engaged a licensed lawyer, because she had paid no retained and signed no engagement letter.

But it's the best excuse you've got and so you are sticking to it.

Got it. Next time my bruised neighbor's wife comes crying into my house seeking protection from her abusive husband, remind me to make it clear to her that I am not her lawyer.


Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

was a product of your own -- err.. Ivory Madison's own -- thoughts. Eliana went to her for legal advice and Ivory cast herself in a heroic light to both trick Eliana and subvert her.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

You seem to have no life other than posting the same repetitive crap on these threads.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 5:24 pm

Lilli is devoting his life to educating us, and you should be appropriately grateful.

Either that, or he is a bot, written as part of a performance art piece.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly, Persistent on Nov. 24, 2012 @ 10:57 pm

Sounds like your better, highly motivated politician to me.

Posted by Hortencia on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 10:41 am

No one cares.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 9:09 pm