In an open letter to Huffington Post former Sup. Chris Daly lays out why he thinks former Sup. Michela Alioto-Pier, mayoral candidate Joanna Rees and (perhaps not so interim) Mayor Ed Lee aren't the best of choices to blog about San Francisco politics.
“Thank you for asking me to write for Huffington Post San Francisco,” Daly wrote. “However, I feel as if I must register a significant level of disappointment in who you rolled out today as your featured bloggers from the world of SF politics. It seems as if am the only one from San Francisco's significant progressive elected political community.”
“Featuring Michela Alioto-Pier on the pages of Huffington Post only gives additional ammunition to those on the left who have become increasingly critical of Huffington Post since AOL's acquisition,” Daly continued. “Alioto-Pier may seem kind of ‘liberal’ by skewed national standards, but she is decidedly conservative in San Francisco-- opposing just about every progressive initiative in the last decade, from protecting rent control to checking reckless development to mitigating the negative influence of special interest money in elections. As an unabashed progressive, I was embarrassed to serve on the same Board as her and am now embarrassed to appear on the same web page with her bashing progressive homeless policy. Simply put, San Francisco's very own Michele Bachmann now writes for the Huffington Post!”
Next, Daly laid into mayoral candidate Joanna Rees, Sup. Malia Cohen and Mayor Lee. “Rees, Cohen, and Lee may not have quite the same conservative credentials, but Lee and Cohen just green-lighted the largest demolition of rent controlled housing in SF history," Daly observed. "So it probably shouldn't surprise anyone that Ed Lee's initial HuffPo blog is generally based on the Scott Walker political philosophy of blaming unions for current economic/budget woes, when the rest of us know that large corporations, financial institutions, and government deregulators are really to blame. While trying to make public sector workers pay to balance our budget, Lee has left Corporate San Francisco off the hook, with no progressive taxation proposal even on the table for consideration. Meanwhile, Rees can hardly veil her neo-liberal agenda for San Francisco government.”
Daly concluded by suggesting that HuffPo needs to work harder to incorporate more truly progressive political voices. “If not, you'll just become a rehash of SFGate, without their more significant rooting in our City,” he warns.
But he didn’t overtly mention HuffPo’s failure to pay its bloggers—a sore point that got a bunch of unpaid bloggers slapping HuffPo and aol.com with a $105 million class action suit  earlier this year, after Arianna Huffington sold her website to aol.com for $315 million.
Asked if HuffPo was paying him for his posts, Daly replied, “Nope, I can’t recall ever getting paid for my writing.”
He also noted that Board President David Chiu, mayoral candidate and Sup. John Avalos and Rep. Nancy Pelosi have been invited to write for the online publication, though they don’t have any blog posts up yet. So stay tuned.
In an emailed reply to Daly, HuffPo SF editor Carly Schwartz claimed that she “completely understands” the former bad-boy-on-the-Board's concerns.
“But Huffington Post's mission is to go 'beyond left and right,' and as such, we wanted to reflect a wide array of political philosophies in our blogger lineup. (As someone who identifies as a progressive personally, I was quite pleased to feature you second from the top!),” Schwartz wrote. “You'll notice our national bloggers come from across the spectrum as well -- we have everyone from Howard Dean to Andrew Breitbart. Our goal is to bring the voices of the city to life, whether they be progressive, conservative, controversial, or just middle of the road -- we want to get our residents talking. Which we have successfully done, given your response!”
“You'll also notice we have more featured bloggers to roll out from the political community in the coming days, from Dennis Herrera to John Avalos to David Chiu to Nancy Pelosi...we simply didn't have room for everyone on our launch day,” Schwartz continued (potentially upsetting the mayoral candidate applecart with her decision to feature Daly before folks who are currently in office AND running for office this fall).
“As someone who very much identifies with the progressive community, I would be so thrilled if you could suggest some more progressive political personalities for our page,” Schwartz concluded. Oh, and she suggested that Daly fold his concerns into his next blog post...