Run Ed Run May Go To Attorney General

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SF Democratic Party chair Aaron Peskin skirmishes with Mayor Ed Lee over his pledge not to run on August 13.

PUNT OR PLAY: SF Democratic Party czar Aaron Peskin’s SF Ethics Commission complaint against defunct Run Ed Run committee supporting Mayor Ed Lee was shot down earlier this month. However, SF District Attorney George Gascon said last Saturday at the SF Democratic Party interviews his office intends to investigate the matter and is evaluating the complaint filed by curmudgeonly retired Superior Court Judge Quentin Kopp which takes city trash contractor Recology to task for cavorting with Run Ed Run backers. DA Gascon, who’s up for election, noted that his assistant prosecutor and a Run Ed Run ringleader, Victor Hwang was “one of his key employees involved.” Gascon said Hwang was “perfectly okay” to do it because of his First Amendment rights. “But that may make the appearance of conflict,” said Gascon, who will pose the question to California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office “if they want to take it or not… if they don’t, we will continue the process.” And another conflict: Former DA Harris and Supervisor Peskin were elementary school classmates in Berkeley…

Mayoral candidates Dennis Herrera and incumbent Ed Lee at the August 16 Alliance for Jobs and Sustainable Growth debate

CONTRACT ON SF: Near the end of last Saturday’s marathon donkey interviews for the party’s Aug. 17 endorsements came a skirmish over the mayor’s original pledge not to run. Party Chair Peskin to Mayor Lee: “Your contract was not only with the members of Board of Supervisors, your contract was in essence with the people of San Francisco…In politics and in life, one is only as good as their word.” Mayor Lee to Chair Peskin:  “I beg to differ with you. My appointment was with the Board of Supervisors. And this time, it is up to the voters….And I would like that opportunity.”

GET A HORSE: When a party member queried mayoral candidate David Chiu about his stance on the vehicle license fee, DA candidate Bill Fazio chimed, “But you don’t have a car, David.” Biking and balky MUNI are impractical for mayoral candidate Chiu, who depended on a volunteer chauffer last Saturday morning to make somewhere between 12 and 17 rounds….

Former California Democratic Party Vice Chair Alicia Wang sports her 19 year old Bill Clinton for President sweat shirt on August 11.

GREEN YEE AND HAM: While mayoral candidates broadside each other over ethics, State Senator Leland Yee is two-thirds of the way towards a green trifecta. Yee, according to long-time board member and former president Jane Morrison, won the endorsement of SF Tomorrow months after clinching the Sierra Club’s SF Chapter. Remaining is the SF League of Conservation Voters. Win all three and Yee gets the honor of being the environmental candidate for mayor….

WORN BUT WASHED: That wasn’t Hillary but Bill on former California Democratic Party vice chair Alicia Wang. At a political forum last Thursday night inside Chinese for Affirmative Action’s community room, she still sported a fading blue1992 sweatshirt of Bill Clinton tooting a saxophone for President. It was well washed by how close hubby Andrew Sun sat next to wifey Alicia…

PICKY PICKET: A few SF Democratic Party activists were chatting up that Mike Casey, head honcho of 12,000 hospitality workers, boasted that he might not be so hospitable himself and threatened to boycott mayoral candidate Jeff Adachi’s entry into his “House of Labor” – the Local 2 headquarters on Golden Gate Avenue. Casey, whose rank and file have flash mobbed and picketed SF hotels, was hosting party interviews of November candidates and measures…However, Adachi – public pension reformer (Proposition D) drawing ire from public employees – wasn’t scheduled to appear…

SF District Attorney George Gascon at the SF Democratic Party interviews on August 13

FROM REP TO INDY TO DEM, BUT WHAT ABOUT GASCON’S PAST?: While Chiu mocked his surname as “Chiu-bacca,” another “Star Wars” character dominates San Francisco – YODA, as in “Your Only Democratic Alternative” where 56% of voters are Democrats, outnumbering GOP’s measly 9% of over 450,000 voters…APA immigrants might empathize with SF District Attorney George Gascon, a Cuban immigrant and alienated Republican who re-registered as an independent in Mesa, Arizona. He became a Democrat last January when Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed the former SF Police Chief to SF District Attorney… On a questionnaire, Gascon informed the SF Democratic Party central committee that “My voting history is private” when asked who he voted for President in 2004 and 2008. Freedoms like privacy and supporting candidates and measures “was the reason my family left Cuba and came to America” in 1967 as political refugees. His uncle served 10 years as a political prisoner and his father was fired from a job for allegedly anti-government activities…

BOBBSEY TWINS: SF School Board members Kim-Shree Maufas and Sandra Lee Fewer sweetly quizzed November candidates as to whether they supported the school district bond (Prop A) – $531 million to repair 50 schools – and the candidate’s undivided devotion to sacrificing their first born to attend public schools…The two pinned City Attorney and mayoral candidate Dennis Herrera on the bond. Prohibited from endorsing local candidates and issues, Herrera said, “I am in full support of it. I am voting for it. I think it’s important.” Sounds like no legal obfuscation here… Maufas, Fewer and retired teacher Hene Kelly (and wife of United Educators of SF president Dennis Kelly) practically gave a pass to Herrera for allowing his son to attend the private Chinese American International School since no similar immersion alternative apparently existed in SF Unified at the time…

Dennis Kelly, Sandra Lee Fewer and SF Deputy Superintendent of Schools Myong Leigh advocating for the $531 million Proposition A school bond.

 

BATTLE HYMN OF TIGER MAYOR?: Maufas and Fewer applauded His Honor Ed Lee for graduating two daughters Brianna and Tania from Lowell High School. However, the district will have to wait a while for Mayor Lee’s grandchildren to fill public school ranks… The Mayor and SF First Lady Anita Lee’s daughters are in grad school and working full-time to pay for their studies. “They haven’t asked me for anything, yet… they said we wanted to do it for [themselves]. So, I guess we were not Tiger Mom and Dad,” said First Daddy Ed Lee…

HOWLING FOR BISON: As we hinted here last month, Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Fiona Ma last week sent out a postcard on an Aug. 19 joint educational forum with the State Fish and Game Department on “Living with Urban Coyotes” in SF and Daly City…More nature stuff for Ma, next month she will also inspect bison in Redding – to help repopulate the Bison Paddock in Golden Gate Park…

MISS ME?: Email Samson Wong at potsticker@prodigy.net.

 

About the Author

Veteran columnist has appeared in up to 450,000 households weekly in the SF Independent, Examiner (2000-04) and AsianWeek since 1996. As Editor-in-Chief (2003-07), AsianWeek and Samson received wide recognition from the California Legislature, New American Media, League of Women Voters, GLAAD, Organization of Chinese Americans, SPUR and APA civic groups. Thru the SF Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections, SF Elections Task Force and Chinese American Voters Education Committee, Wong helped boost APA influence from 25,000 in the 1980s to over 50,000 voters by the early 1990s.