Overheard in Fog City:
Chiu/Peskin Rift Rumor Persists

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in News, Politics

Published on September 13, 2010 with No Comments

By Luke Thomas

September 13, 2010

Despite official denials of a rift between Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and former Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, rumors to the contrary persist.

The rift appears, as previously reported, to be centered around the interim mayoral post that will come into play if Mayor Gavin Newsom defeats appointed Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado in November.

According to a reliable source who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Chiu has made it abundantly clear he will not vote for Peskin for the interim mayoral post under any circumstances.

Kim to announce second and third place endorsements

With just three weeks to go before absentee ballots are sent to voters, word has it School Board President Jane Kim will officially announce this week her second and third place endorsements in the race for District 6 Supervisor.

The smart money is on Kim endorsing James Keys and Glendon “Anna Conda” Hyde, but not necessarily in that order.

Hyde tells FCJ he has officially endorsed Jane Kim (#2) and Debra Walker (#3).

Entertainment Commissioner Jim Meko has officially endorsed Community Organizer James Keys (#2) and Building Inspections Commissioner Debra Walker (#3).

Walker, who previously told FCJ she would announce her second or third place candidate endorsement on Election Day, has not returned requests seeking comment as of the time of publishing.

Attorney Elaine Zamora has also not returned calls seeking comment as of the time of publishing.

The presumed “downtown” candidate, Human Rights Commission Executive Director Theresa Sparks, told FCJ today she has not decided whom she will endorse.

James Keys, who recently added Supervisor John Avalos to his list of his endorsers, released the following statement to FCJ:

“Given the number of progressive candidates in the race for District 6 Supervisor, the Keys campaign is very concerned about the possibility of progressive ballots exhausting. This is the main reason I signed up to participate in the Progressive Primary. I don’t blame any of the other candidates for not participating as each of us faced unique risks with our participation, but there’s no question that it would have very much improved the lot for progressives generally.”

“While my main focus has been to build our campaign and continue bringing our message of social and economic justice to District 6 voters, I have also begun a discussion with other top-tier candidates to deal with the issue of exhausted ballots. Last Friday I met with Jane Kim and tomorrow I will meet with Debra Walker to propose that the 3 strongest progressive candidates develop a progressive RCV program to limit exhausted ballots. At this time, I feel like it is less important for candidates to rank their second and third votes than it is for progressives to develop a smart RCV strategy.”

“In recent weeks, it has become more clear that the 3 strongest progressive candidates are Jane Kim, Debra Walker, and me. This analysis is based on number of volunteers, number of supporters within the district, endorsements, fundraising, signatures-in-lieu, etc. While it probably would make more sense for our campaign to concretize our relationship with Jim Meko, who has already recommended me as his 2nd choice, I think that progressives need to unite on a message of our 3 strongest progressive candidates. I say this even though I have an enormous amount of respect for Jim Meko and all of his contributions to our district over the years.”

Hall mulling run for mayor

Former District 7 Supervisor Tony Hall is mulling a possible run for mayor, FCJ can affirm, but don’t expect him to officially announce his intentions until after the November election.

A self-described independent with no official party affiliation, Hall, should he officially declare his candidacy, is expected to run to the right of City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Supervisor Bevan Dufty.

Mirkarimi endorses Smith in D10

Candidate Eric Smith is the proud owner of Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi’s sole endorsement in the race for District 10 Supervisor, which begs the question, why hasn’t Mirkarimi endorsed a second and third candidate in the ranked choice race?

Reached by phone, Mirkarimi told FCJ he has “enthusiastically” endorsed Smith but has not ruled out an endorsement for a second and third candidate in the race.

“I enthusiastically support Eric Smith for District 10 Supervisor and will keep you apprised if I endorse other candidates in the race,” Mirkarimi said, adding ranked choice voting provides “opportunities that shouldn’t be squandered.”

Dudum challenge to San Francisco RCV system fails

Speaking of ranked choice voting, just received news that a legal challenge by Ron Dudum et al. to San Francisco’s RCV system has failed.

Dudum, you’ll recall, ran for District 4 Supervisor in 2006, a race that employed ranked choice voting. Though Dudum led with more votes in the first round, Ed Jew squeaked by Dudum in the final round to win the race.

“While a limitation to no more than three preferences in a large field of candidates does exert some burden on voting rights, it is not severe,” concluded U.S. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg.  “Defendants, for their part, have adequately identified important government interests that are well-served by the limitation.  Accordingly, plaintiffs’ request for either a permanent injunction or declaratory relief must be denied and defendants’ motion for summary judgment must be granted.”

Daly embraces idea of salary indexing

Economies expand and economies contract.  When economies expand, revenues to the City increase and when economies contract, those revenues decrease.

When City revenues decrease, employees face layoffs and terminations, and important city services face cuts.

So the idea to index employee salaries, which comprises almost 50 percent of the City’s annual $6 billion budget, to revenue, is a solution that would protect all city services from unnecessary cuts and protect all employees from indeterminate months of unemployment.

The catch?  Employee unions would all have to agree to salary indexing and formulas would need to be devised to make salary indexing equitable.  On the bright side, those employees on the high-end of the salary scale who would give back more when revenues decrease, will get back more when City revenues increase.

“It’s one of your better ideas that I’ve heard,” Daly told Fog City Journal.

Luke Thomas

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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