Thanks Gavin, Willie and Rose
For Saving Us From Democracy

Written by FCJ Editor. Posted in Opinion, Politics

Published on January 08, 2011 with 10 Comments

Former Mayor Willie Brown and Rose Pak are the biggest winners in San Francisco politics after successfully out-maneuvering the Board of Supervisors' left flank with the nomination of City Administrator Ed Lee as San Francisco's interim mayor. Photos by Luke Thomas.

By Tommi Avicolli Mecca

January 8, 2011

Not pleased with who the San Francisco Board of Supervisors was about to appoint as interim mayor, Gavin Newsom, Willie Brown and Rose Pak donned tights and capes and flew in at the eleventh hour to save the good citizens of Gotham City by convincing our elected representatives that City Administrator Ed Lee was the better man for the job.

Newsom is the reason there’s an interim mayor. He got himself elected lieutenant governor in November. Then he decided he’d postpone his swearing-in so he could appoint his own replacement. Brown is the former mayor who used to call the Board of Supervisors his “mistresses.” And Pak is Chinatown’s longtime wheeler and dealer.

“There were no deals, no backroom deals,” Lt. Governor-elect Gavin Newsom insisted.

These three know what’s best for all of us.

Silly faggot that I am, I thought David Campos, out queer Latino supervisor, would make a good interim mayor. I penned an op ed in my blog and in the Bay Area Reporter, set up a Facebook page and even dragged my tired butt to City Hall for public testimony to talk to our eleven elected representatives on the Board. I wasn’t the only one.

Though we had disagreements about who should be in room 200, those of us who went to those meetings were in agreement that the Board needed to talk about it all openly and not engage in secret back room deals and discussions.

It was to no avail. Supervisor Bevan Dufty was no doubt reading Machiavelli (in preparation for his last-minute deceptions), and Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier preparing the wine list for that new restaurant in Pacific Whites. If they heard at all, the supervisors didn’t comment on our testimony. They postponed discussing the matter week after week, ignoring the nagging voice on the extreme left side of the room that kept pushing for an “open community process.”

Supervsior Bevan Dufty and Newsom Chief of Staff Steve Kawa embrace at last eve's banquet honorong Supervisor-elect Jane Kim.

Sorry, Supervisor Chris Daly, I’m not sure we’re capable of an “open community process,” even here in San Francisco.

Ours is a broken system where money can often buy any office you want, where elected officials are more accountable to those who fill their election coffers than those who elect them, and where invisible hands pull strings behind closed doors but those hands don’t belong to benevolent wizards.

Tell Dorothy and Toto never to land here.

It’s not that City Administrator Ed Lee is a bad man. He has a past record of helping the little guy, including tenants in public housing. And his appointment is a first for Asian Americans. Maybe Ed Lee will be a fine caretaker mayor. But in the final analysis, it’s not about Ed Lee. It’s about how rotten things are in Denmark by the bay.

Interim mayor-elect Ed Lee.

Do the Gav, Willie and Rose now get to chose when San Francisco will have its first out queer mayor? Shades of the times of Harvey Milk when our crusading gay activist was told by the Democratic machine that it wasn’t the right time for an out queer supervisor. Harvey said hell no, and ran anyway–three times until he beat the machine.

In November, there will be a lot of folks from various communities vying for room 200 of City Hall. Will the dynamic trio rush in to decide who out of the cast of thousands should get the starring role?

It’s all so shameful, right down to the fact that the New York Times (via BayCitizen.org) not the Chron or Examiner, broke the story about the dynamic trio’s role in Ed Lee’s appointment. I knew local journalism was a joke, but being scooped by a paper 3,000 miles away?

Brown is a columnist for the Chron. I don’t want to sound paranoid, but is it really an accident that the Chron didn’t break the story?

Frankly, it all leaves me with a sense of disgust.