MAYOR LEE SAYS “ENOUGH”

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WATERLOO COMES TO CHINATOWN

“Enough is enough,” said Mayor Ed Lee after being accused of perjury. “My testimony before the [SF Ethics] Commission was entirely truthful and based solely on the facts…Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s own admission of guilt is the basis for his suspension and these official misconduct hearings.” Lee further added that Mirkarimi had “dissuaded… demonized…[and] devalued” domestic violence witnesses and victims…

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and wife Eliana Lopez in happier times at the January inauguration after taking oath of office

WATERLOO COMING: The perjury accusations against Mayor Ed Lee in suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s SF Ethics Commission “trial” had represented the first progressive counteroffensive in the guise of outgoing SF Democratic Party chair Aaron Peskin and Building Inspection Commissioner Debra Walker. Peskin’s injection into the Mirkarimi-Lopez legal affair gives him a shot at taking on the city’s top Asian Pacific American (APA) politicians – the Mayor and Board of Supervisor President David Chiu. Intriguingly, Peskin – compared to Napoleon in stature and politics – is no fan of Mirkarimi having (see “Potstickers” 4/12/12) denounced the suspended Sheriff and called for his resignation last March as the progressive leaning party’s central committee took no stance. Then Peskin for the June election pulled a strategic retreat by exiling himself to his own Elba and avoiding being the pin-the-tail on the donkey for all the party’s problems by not running for re-election to the central committee and thereby relinquishing the party helm. Peskin avoided an embarrassing fate that saw the stunning defeat of progressive Gabriel Haaland – a long time tenant and labor activist – as liberal-moderates won enough seats to take control of the party for the coming two years. These moves have kept former SF Board of Supervisor President Peskin viable to reclaim his old District 3 seat (North Beach/Chinatown) against his successor Chiu this November. District 3’s election could be Waterloo for progressives in their standard bearer Peskin, or could that happen to Chiu?…

US Senator Dianne Feinstein administers oath of office to Mayor Edwin Lee with First Lady Anita Lee and daughter Brianna at the January inauguration.

MAJOR LEFT LOSSES: Progressives are facing Waterloo having to defend seats of Eric Mar (District 1 Richmond), David Campos (District 9 – Mission) and John Avalos (District 11 – Excelsior) this November after a string of losses. This June’s loss of central committee has been compounded by supervisor defeats in 2010 (District 2 Pacific Heights/Marina in Janet Reilly, D8 – Castro in Rafael Mandelman, D10 – Bayview in Tony Kelly), liberal-centrist shifts by progressive supes (D6 – Little Saigon in Jane Kim and D3 – David Chiu), defeats for mayor (Avalos and City Attorney Dennis Herrera), sale of the Bay Guardian – newspaper/clean slate card for the left and suspension of promising mayoral candidate and Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi …

Aaron Peskin and Telegraph Hill allies could be opposition to Board of Supervisor President David Chiu and a destination to somewhere – Chinatown’s Central Subway

PREP FOR RECALL: If Mirkarimi survives an SF Ethics Commission and SF Board of Supervisor’s vote, he likely will face a recall. That’s where his defense attorney, Shepherd Kopp, son of Quentin, could also help. In running for Sheriff, Mirkarimi’s strength was on the progressive eastside while his rivals – then Sheriff Captain Paul Miyamoto and Chris Cunnie, advisor to California Attorney GeneralKamala Harris – lost by dividing votes on the moderate to conservative west side. As Joe Engardio’s District 7 campaign believes (see below), the Kopp name still resonates on the west side, given Quentin’s years as state senator, supervisor and judge and as the town’s watchdog on the city’s liberal politics…To compare, District 4 (Sunset) Supervisor Ed Jew, eventually imprisoned in 2008 after accusations of extortion and perjury over residency, also faced the prospects of recall if he survived his suspension by Mayor Gavin Newsom at Ethics and Board of Supervisors. One of Jew’s two attorneys was former SF prosecutor Bill Fazio. Unlike Mirkarimi, Jew’s moderate to conservative political base in particular was synonymous with Fazio (he won mostly west side support in his 1995, 1999 and 2003 losses for SF District Attorney)…

PARTY BUSES VERBOTEN: A few APA businessmen from a recent retire-the-debt event for Mayor Ed Lee also were at Steven Lee’s Independence Day pot luck BBQ of oysters, clams, bacon-chicken, ribs, sausages and king crab-shrimp-mussel pot feed….Their perception of lefty Supervisor Eric Mar is heading for political middle of road where striped yellow lines and dead Armadillos lie. That doesn’t jive with SF Chamber of Commerce midterm pro-jobs and municipal efficiency report card ranking Mar for 8th with Board President David Chiu among 11 legislators. Chiu slipped from first place in 2011 when he was running for mayor. Meanwhile, Carmen Chu and Jane Kim are respectively in first and second. While centrist Chu’s not surprising, Kim’s shown her independence from progressive orthodoxy by supporting 8 Washington luxury condos and America’s Cup contract…CUT THE WIENERS: Chief party Commissar Steven Lee had issued July 4th executive order for low-heeled gals to preserve his hardwood floors. That was followed by his Facebook order for less sausage and more buns and seconded by ubiquitous party guy Myron Lee. That was food, not code for something else…BADGE TO PARTY: Better listen to Steven’s commands, since he sports a badge on behalf of the Entertainment Commission, which means he can check out any nightclub…

A new sheriff in town. Steven Lee takes an oath from Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and gets a badge as Entertainment Commissioner.

SERVE ONE WIENER HERE: Dark pony for maverick District 7 (West of Twin Peaks) supervisor seat. Former SF Democratic Party chair and current District 8 (Castro/Upper Market) Supervisor Scott Wiener and SF’s independent former State Senator and Judge Quentin Kopp are supporting writer Joel Engardio, whose partner is Lionel Hsu from Taiwan. Now held by outgoing Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, the seat was a wild card when independent Tony Hall worked with Green Party Board of Supervisor President Matt Gonzalez to the chagrin of Democrat Mayor Gavin Newsom

TOO BIG TO GIVE: Former SF Ethics Commission President and current Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitrator Mike Garcia through his Campaign Treasurer Frank Fungwon’t benefit from the corridors of high finance. The SEC in 2010 banned financial advisers from making political campaign contributions to District 7 candidate Garcia… JOBS, JOBS, JOBS: Will this score with the Chamber? Supervisor Eric Mar’s “evil twin brother” Gordon talking about establishing grocery markets with the supervisor in underserved neighborhoods while hiring locals for good paying union jobs…

Niece Liane Mar curls up around Uncle Eric Mar’s legs during his speech opening up campaign headquarters last Saturday.

CURL UP HERE: As Eric spoke about “supporting not only sustainable and healthy food options for our kids and throughout the district,” niece Liane (Gordon’s daughter) curled herself at Uncle Eric’s feet at last Saturday’s campaign HQ … His District 1 (Richmond) challenger David Lee, former Chinese American Voters Education Committee director, may have to defer to wife Jing Lee for public visibility as president of the prestigious Chinatown Charity Cultural Services Center and being award winning insurance agent – whose visage once appeared on her Sutter Street office to an endless stream of buses and vehicles exiting the south portal of Stockton Tunnel. She and David now serve a territory once held by a Richmond District agent…

District 1 (Richmond) supervisor candidate David Lee (center) with daughter Jill (left) and wife Jing (right)

MISS ME?: Follow me on Twitter at @SFPotstickers and 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.