The Thomas-Murphy Report
Temptation's folly overcome
October 14, 2005
Temptation is tempting.
That's why they call it temptation.
An easy three-way-win in politics is an attractive and tempting
proposition to most in elected politics. Even more tempting when
everyone pledges to work well, serve well, and to do their honorable
Such desired eventuality for Treasure Island didn't pan out as
hoped, and Mayor Newsom yesterday acknowledged his mistake.
Early on, we came to the conclusion Newsom's quickness to own
his mistakes plays a large role in his broad popularity.
Most people, we think, can accept disappointment, and still move
on together, when leaders are straight with them and are seen
to work hard at improvement.
Newsom yesterday noted he would be judged as a failure if focus
remained only on his appointment of Tony Hall as Treasure Island
That singular focus neglects recognition of other mayoral appointments
and accomplishments broadly applauded as clearly good for the
"I have always prided myself on learning from my mistakes.
And I have always acknowledged them," Newsom told reporters.
Was it politics as usual in City Hall?
"I think, if the idea is that you're just going to focus
on this mistake, then of course you're going to conclude that,"
"If you're unwilling to focus on Bill Sifferman...
"If you're unwilling to focus on the great work that Dwayne
Jones is doing...
"If you're unwilling to focus on the Phil Ting decision,
as opposed to making a political decision, or the Jose Cisneros
"If you're unwilling to focus on Monique Moyers' work at
If you're not willing to focus on Matt Franklin who comes from
the Clinton Administration and the Davis Administration on housing...
If you're unwilling to focus on - whether you love her or hate
her - the best in the country on children's issues, Margaret Brodkin...
If you're not willing to focus on the head of policy from the
Gore administration on
If you're unwilling to focus on Anne Hinton in Adult and Aging
Services, and if you're unwilling to focus on the good work Dean
Macris is doing, then you'll make that conclusion.
"But that would be a subjective conclusion, and in the final
analysis utterly unfair. I have made hundreds of appointments,
and this one I acknowledge was a mistake," Newsom reflected.
Compare Newsom's approach to the current situation, with that
of Tony Hall who yesterday demanded to be reappointed as District
Hall's emotive demand to be returned to the Board of Supervisors
-- a legal impossibility -- compares foolishly with Newsom's exacting
self-analysis and subsequent improvement benchmarks for Treasure
Island and San Francisco's future.