Gonzalez Being Considered for Interim Mayoral Post?

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in News, Opinion, Politics

Published on May 31, 2010 with 25 Comments

Former Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez. Photo by Luke Thomas.

By Luke Thomas

May 31, 2010

Hold on to your nellies, foggers.  Rumor has it former Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez is the latest name to be added to a distinguished list of names being considered to occupy Room 200 on an interim basis should Mayor Gavin Newsom win the race for the Office of Lt. Governor in November.

Assuming he wins the race for Lt. Governor, Newsom is expected to be sworn into office Monday, January 3, effectively vacating the office of mayor.  Board Prez Chiu would automatically assume the role of acting mayor “until a successor is appointed by the Board of Supervisors,” according to the City charter (Sec. 13.101.5).

Six votes is all that is needed from the Board of Supervisors to appoint an interim mayor (supervisors cannot vote for themselves), a vote that could be put before the Board as early as Tuesday, January 4, one day after Newsom is sworn into office and several days before a new Board is sworn into office.

Progressives currently hold a six-vote majority on the eleven-member Board.

The lefty shortlist includes such Progressive notables as current Board President David Chiu, Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, former Board President Aaron Peskin, Supervisors John Avalos, Eric Mar, Ross Mirkarimi, and David Campos, who has an outsider’s chance of gaining acting mayor approval from longtime centrist compadre, Supervisor Bevan Dufty.

There’s good reason Gonzalez is also being considered for the interim post: Gonzalez has the highest vote totals in a race for San Francisco mayor without winning, narrowly losing to Newsom in 2003 with 119,329 votes to Newsom’s 133,546 votes.

Gonzalez declined to comment on the current rumor.

It will be a next to impossible to predict how the Board will ultimately vote come January.  There’s just too many ifs, ands, and buts.  But one thing is for sure, Newsom is likely to garner more votes from Progressive San Francisco voters in November than he’s ever received before.

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the SanFranciscoSentinel.com, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched FogCityJournal.com. The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7x7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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Comments for Gonzalez Being Considered for Interim Mayoral Post? are now closed.

  1. Confucius also say….. “They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom”

  2. In a post above, David asks:

    “do you have anything positive to say?”

    Yes, a reform movement is building that will challenge the arrogance and dysfunctionality of the supes, just as the supes challenged the arrogance and dysfunctionality of the mayor in 2001.

    When old reform ossifies above, new reform emerges below. The flow cannot be stopped, not even by the rigidity of ideology.

    Standing by a stream, Confucius remarked:

    “It passes on like this, never ceasing day or night.”

  3. To Ruth R. Snave, you are articulate with your wording, but do you have anything positive to say?

  4. The position of appointed mayor, imposed by the Six Guys Club on the voters, will be a poisoned apple for the person who gets it. Regardless of who that person may be, a cry will immediately go about across the city: Undo the Coup!

    Power is not legitimacy.

    A power grab by a clique that claims to be the vanguard of democracy will corrode its halo even more than the behavior of Chris Daly during the past ten years.

    Not all the contorted rationalizations by marc salomon will be able to restore the halo’s shine.

    Not that any of this matters to the Guys. Each of them is now thinking: This is all about me. I would be a great mayor!

    It’s all a familiar story, repeated over and over again in human history. It’s known as The March of Folly.

  5. i’m feeling pretty good… 🙂

  6. @Daniele E

    Are you high? I’m seriously asking.

  7. The members of the Six Guys Club at the supes are all getting erections over the thought of being able to impose a new mayor on the voters.

    However, a slight problem has emerged. They can’t agree on who the imposition should be (oops!).

    You don’t have to be a political scientist to see what’s going to happen, folks:

    After Newsom is elected Lt. Governor, the board of supes will not be able to appoint a new mayor. No one will be able to muster the necessary six votes.

    The members of the Six Guys Club will be scheming against each other. Although they have six votes, they won’t be able to line up all six votes for one person.

    At the same time, they will successfully pressure each other not to give support to anyone who is not one of the Guys.

    Result: paralysis at the board.

    The board of supes will be exposed for what it has become: a gaggle of arrogant, dysfunctional poseurs.

    Which is too bad. The new board started out in 2001 with the goal of providing an alternative to an arrogant, dysfunctional poseur, Willie Brown. For a while, they did provide such an alternative, to the benefit of the city.

    But in recent years, they have turned into a collective Willie Brown.

    It’s time for another big shake-up at City Hall.

  8. Arthur Evans actually read the last post at face value, as if I could care less about Arthur Evans’ best interests!


  9. In a post above, marc says this –

    “I’ve temporarily changed parties not to advance my own interests, rather to advance YOUR best interests, Arthur Evans.”

    I love watching SF progressives wag their fingers in everybody else’s faces, saying they know what’s in their interests.

    Marc has a history along these lines. When ten men and one woman took over the board of supes in 2001, claiming to inaugurate a new era in government, critics pointed out that previous boards had a majority of women. Marc responded by saying that progressive men know what’s best for women.

    Marc was being modest, of course. Progressive men know what’s best for everyone.

    Are we all blessed, or what?

  10. I’ve temporarily changed parties not to advance my own interests, rather to advance YOUR best interests, Arthur Evans.

  11. generic–if you let go of your expectations—maybe you’d appreciate folks more for what they do have to offer. maybe politics should be more like the arts: no rules…be creative…follow your deepest values and aspirations and be guided by that.
    oh, and another thing: life (and people) aren’t perfect. they never were, and they never will be.
    now, don’t you feel better?

  12. I don’t have any time for a dilettante quitter. Wish I could make a less reductive criticism of Gonzalez, but I can’t.

  13. If Arlen Specter, Ross Mirkarimi, and marc salomon can all change parties for the sake of their own self-interest, why can’t Matt Gonzalez?

  14. Hey h., we finally agree on something!

  15. Y’all are acting as if Newsom’s already been elected Lt. Governor. For shame if we impose him on the citizens of Ca, or give him a leg up in his political (un)career just to get rid of him a year early. I believe that Janice Hahn will be a refreshing change in Sacramento!

  16. No dice. I think one of the biggest impediments for Matt Gonzalez is that he’s not a Democrat. This being the case, the DCCC can’t officially support him and put him on their slate cards, literature, etc.

  17. The Six Guys Club runs the board of supes. This is the all-male clique at the top of the progressive pyramid in SF.

    The Guys are sweating testosterone over how to get the board to appoint “one of own own” (a progressive) as mayor. They are sweating in the same way they did when they worried about stopping Sophie Maxwell from becoming prez of the board of supes.

    In the end, they held ranks and locked out Maxwell, uniting behind David Chiu, who had never held elective office before. Afterwards, David Campos boasted that the Guys had saved the position of board prez “for one of our own.”

    They’re in a similar fix today. But notice that none of the progressive possibilities for Mayor being banded about is the obvious choice – David Chiu, prez of the board, who will become Acting Mayor until the board appoints a Mayor.

    Why are none of the Guys mentioning Chiu, the obvious choice?

    Because Chris Daly doesn’t trust him. And rightly so.

    I love watching the Guys have testosterone panics.

  18. Ruthy: if you wanna say “Both Ammiano and Gonzalez share something in common. They were both rejected by the voters as mayor”, feel free to frame it that way. i didn’t/don’t see Gonzalez’s narrow defeat, with so much less money spent, as a rejection…in many ways, it was quite a feat indeed…
    so, Gonzalez would get my vote. and…(expletive deleted) “Progressive”, “Moderate”, and “Conservative”. He would get it on humanitarian grounds. Period.

  19. I am surprised that there are some who still imagine how different things would be in the city had Gonzalez become mayor.

    As for Gonzalez being selected, nothing short of his becoming a Democrat and kissing Obama’s ass would help his odds.

    Could anyone imagine that?

  20. Rigid Sect Rigid
    Sect Rigid Sect Rigid Sect
    Rigid Sect Rigid

  21. Good Arthur,

    An article is different than a post. To most people. You’re a good writer but you are mercilessly redundant.


  22. Thanks for your suggestion, h, on writing.

    I notice, though, that you have written a number of articles recently for FCJ, each far in excess of 200 words.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, then consistency is the soul of integrity.

  23. Arthur,

    How good to see you have the time to post. How about we agree to post up to 200 words and then we pay $1 a word after that? You too Marc Salomon. It would speed things up and as an old English teacher, it will improve your writing.

    that’s 55 words,


  24. The New York Times just reported that Chris Daly is trying to get Tom Ammiano appointed as the unelected mayor. Now the push is to have Matt Gonzalez appointed as the unelected mayor.

    Both Ammiano and Gonzalez share something in common. They were both rejected by the voters as mayor.

    But maybe the Six Guys Club at the supes can pull off a coup, appointing one of these losers as mayor, contrary to previous decisions of the voters, right? And all in the name of progressive politics, right?

    Is this what it means to be a progressive today in SF?

    I have a prediction. If Gavin Newsom is elected Lt. Governor, David Chiu will end up as Mayor after serving briefly as Acting Mayor.

    Chiu is one of the most crafty, ambitious, and scheming operatives at City Hall. It was amazing to watch how cleverly and ruthlessly he destroyed Ross Mirkarimi’s expectation of becoming board prez, even though Chiu had never held elective office before.

    So far, Chiu has mostly voted along with the other members of the Six Guys Club, who control the supes, because it has been in his current political interest to do so. But if his political interests change, so will his pattern of votes.

    When Chiu ran for supe, he told every group what they wanted to hear. Then he voted solely according to the principle that would promote the interests of No. 1 – David Chiu.

    So it will be in November. Once Chiu gets a taste of Room 200 as Acting Mayor, he won’t be able to let go. He’ll cut down anyone who gets in his path toward becoming Mayor, whether Aaron Peskin, Tom Ammiano, or Matt Gonzalez.

    And then as mayor, Chiu will continue to do what is politically expedient for him to do from moment to moment. Which is bad news for our local progressive sect.

    The voters are growing tired of the progressives’ arrogance and dysfunctionality today, just as they grew tired of Willie Brown’s arrogance and dysfunctionality in 2000.

    Chiu will throw his lot in with the disaffected voters, who want to move the city to the center, and the Six Guys Club will be marginalized at the supes.

    David Chiu – the hope and destroyer of progressive clout in SF.

  25. forget Gonzalez,

    Newsom broke his will to fight in 2003. Matt’s been an impediment to other Prog candidates since then. First he will, then he won’t , then maybe he will and then maybe he won’t. If he’d gotten his spirit back he’d have given you a straight up or down. He’s still on the fence? He’s been there for 7 years. Ignore him and go on.