By Luke Thomas
November 6, 2012
Eliana Lopez, the wife of reinstated Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, today released a video in support of District 5 Supervisor Christina Olague while condemning the exploitation of domestic violence by billionaire backers of Mayor Ed Lee for political gain.
“To me, it’s unthinkable that billionaires who don’t even live in District 5 would launch an attack against Christina Olague and to deceitfully use the issue of domestic violence as their motive,” Lopez says in the video. “These attacks against Christina are coming from the right wing. I know this, because the same special interests who are trying to defeat Christina are the same who are trying to silence me and hurt my family.”
“We must reject the bullying from the powerful people who don’t get their way,” Lopez adds. “City Hall should not be for sale. Christina Olague has demonstrated her independence and her commitment to get the job done. That is what we need and a strong woman, an independent, a creative and smart supervisor with a big heart. We need Christina Olague as our Supervisor.”
Olague, a progressive, was one of four supervisors that voted October 9 to reinstate Mirkarimi following a protracted and politically charged inquisition into whether Mirkarimi, who previously served as District 5 Supervisor before being elected to Sheriff, was guilty of official misconduct. Mayor Lee, who appointed Olague to the District 5 seat following Mirkarimi’s election to Sheriff, filed charges of official misconduct against Mirkarimi in an attempt to remove him from office in connection with a domestic violence incident between Lopez and Mirkarimi on December 31 during which Mirkarimi grabbed Lopez’s arm and caused a bruise.
Olague’s vote was viewed by Lee and his backers as a betrayal of an unsaid expectation of allegiance and blind loyalty by an appointee. To progressives, Olague’s vote was a welcomed signal of her independence from Lee.
Following the controversial vote, an oppositional political action committee – San Francisco Women for Responsibility and Accountable Supervisor – was created and financed with $100,000 from tech investor Ron Conway and his wife, Gayle Conway, and real estate investor Thomas Coates, to attack Olague in the run up to Election Day.
Conway told the San Francisco Bay Guardian that the committee was formed “solely to oppose Christina Olague because she put her own politics ahead of women and the victims and survivors of domestic abuse.” But his detractors paint a more sinister picture of Conway’s and Coates’ ulterior motives:
“But it’s eminently clear that there’s a larger agenda here, that the wealthy donors are using the domestic violence issue to get rid of a supervisor who they see as not sufficiently friendly to their economic interests,” wrote SFBG Editor Tim Redmond. “And there’s probably a bit of payback involved: Olague defied the mayor with her Mirkarimi vote — and while a lot of observers still say this was all a setup to demonstrate her independence in time for the election, Conway, one of the mayor’s closest allies and advisors, clearly didn’t get that message.”