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Money or energy? District 1 (Richmond) Supervisor Eric Mar last Sunday was tightening up his progressive pedigree, campaigning for SF College Board member and former SF chapter Sierra Club chairJohn Rizzo, a District 5 (Haight-Ashbury/Japantown) supervisor candidate in the Panhandle…But Mar’s facing a tough vote (besides his stance on ousting/keeping suspended SF Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi), depending on what happens in committee this week. SF Supervisors could get down and dirty over the SF Public Utilities Commission CleanPowerSF contract with Shell Energy to generate electricity. The trade-off for Mar, as well Supervisors David ChiuChristina OlagueDavid Campos and John Avalos seeking re-election in November, could be a near $1,000 rate hike on SF residents over 4.5 years to breakeven for allegedly 100% renewable energy for SF residents. The idea comes in the wake of the left getting a state-sanctioned Community Choice Aggregation (i.e. CleanPowerSF) as another avenue to SF voter-rejected municipal public power initiatives. And assuming they want to bed down with Shell, strong environmental advocates like Sierra ClubSF TomorrowLeague of Conservation VotersSF Bay Guardian and the Green Party will want Mar and his colleagues to stay plugged in with the CCA electricity plan. On the other hand, Mar will face Richmond homeowners and tenants who could balk at 23% annual rate hikes along with his contender, former commissioner David Lee

If Supervisor Eric Mar doesn’t get entangled politically, he could be leading progressive in 2013

TO THE FRONT LINES: Bay Area APA Republicans, returning from the Tampa national convention, said last week that they’re riding the California mood in hopes of electing former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for president. Although, Pablo Wong, a former aide to California Governor Pete Wilson (1991-99) acknowledged that “California is going to be a tough state for us to win.” He and his APA GOP colleagues would powwow nationally via teleconference and strategize on building a Romney presence in the APA community. “Battleground states like Florida and Nevada have enough Asian populations that maybe a margin for victory,” he said. Wong said they will raise funds, go to these states and walk precincts for local Republican parties…

Pablo Wong speaks in support of GOP White House candidate Mitt Romney

GREEN SUPPORTS ONG: 20th Assembly (Fremont) candidate and Dr. Jennifer Ong goes into her South San Francisco early afternoon Sunday fundraiser at recently inaugurated FilAm Ft. McKinleyrestaurant with a major endorsement – Union City Mayor Mark Green. The independent finished third with 20%, losing an opportunity to run in the November general election to Democrats – Hayward Councilmember Bill Quirk and optometrist Ong who respectively received 30% and 25% of the vote in the battle to replace termed out confessed shoplifting legislator Mary Chung Hayashi who’s running for Alameda County Board of Supervisors

DOUGHNUT HOLE IN COP STAFFING: Meanwhile, David Lee knocking doors on Saturday in District 1 (Richmond) and winning support of one senior resident over a spate of four robberies in five days before Labor Day. Lee, a former member of Richmond Station’s police advisory board, says one armed robbery occurred not far from Alamo School, whose students were sequestered on “shut down” and just blocks away from his opponent’s campaign headquarters. Cops apprehended three bad guys…Lee says station is understaffed, earning him the endorsement of SF Police Officers Association and president Gary Delagnes, angered and penning all out support for Lee after a SF Board of Supervisor resolution urging the release of alleged 1971 cop killers of Sgt. John V. Young

MAR SPEAK FOR THE LEFT?: With a looming SF Board of Supervisors vote to oust suspended Sheriff Mirkarimi, progressives face losing their standard bearer. Mirkarimi was the only progressive to win citywide in 2011 compared to moderate winners Ed Lee for Mayor and George Gascon for DA. That leaves an opportunity for progressive supervisors to emerge – Eric Mar and District 9’s (Mission)David Campos – as standard bearers when they weigh Mirkarimi’s final fate. But unlike unchallenged Campos seeking November re-election, Mar has to also win re-election in a contest especially against David Lee, a better-funded and highly organized rival. If Mar wins, he’ll have something to crow about, especially with overcoming anti-progressive political trends since 2008 and his own personal issues. Further, Mar could have a brighter political future, considering he defeats Lee by cutting into a primarily moderate APA political base that has delivered victories to centrist mayoral candidates since 1991…

DON’T BET AGAINST VETS: Retired SF Police SWAT Sergeant Nelson Lum, who led the 1993 assault against 101 California mass murderer who killed nine civilians is leading the appeal by 16American Legion Posts and 1,300 members to the SF Board of Appeals on Sept. 19 after a SF Historic Preservation Commission vote allowing the reduction of War Memorial space to veterans in favor of the arts. Lum, chair of the American Legion War Memorial Commission, is pushing for retrofitting as well as creating veteran “one stop shop” for jobs and clinics. Choices facing War Memorial Trustees which include Charlotte ShultzDede Wilsey and Paul Pelosi: go to the brink negotiating with the vets that could delay the July 1, 2013 construction deadline or litigation…Lum leads posts that include Commander David Wong’s Cathay Post 384Rudy Asercion’s Bataan Post 600 and Post 230, led by Lawrence Au…Lum, Vietnam War vet of the 101st Airborne, will meet the Appeals Board, which includes another Vietnam era veteran, Frank Fung, recently reappointed by the Mayor in August….

SON’S GIFT TO MOM: Operating out of the political limelight, College Board member Steve Ngo hosted a “teaser” last Friday to highlight the Asian Women’s Shelter Ngoc Thi Pham Fund – named after his mom. Ngo said, “My mother was a survivor before she passed away from cervical cancer in 2006…an extraordinary woman who taught me about courage, grace and compassion”…A year after Ngo raised $3,326, the fund has provided for educational needs of domestic violence survivors, including SF City College ESL and immigrant mothers. Among last year’s donors – Ngo himself, former Board of Supervisor President Aaron Peskin, district attorney candidate David Onek and former State Superintendent of Schools Delaine Eastin…Although last Friday wasn’t a fundraiser, $849 was raised from raffle and donor proceeds, with more to come the bar take. The event took place before this Tuesday’s SF Ethics Commission vote on a final report to recommend ousting Mirkarimi to the SF Board of Supervisors after he pled guilty to misdemeanor charge arising over a domestic violence incident…

Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (right) after speaking out for District 1 supervisor candidate David Lee last Saturday

HIS AND HER HOSES: Here’s a political master’s thesis – firefighters and APA power women. A year ago, Assembly pro Tem Speaker Fiona Ma and firefighter/Oxnard Harbor Commissioner Jason Hodge took their vows…Now Supervisor Carmen Chu and fiancée Scott Hua will hold a “simple desert/coffee celebration” later this month. From Carmen, please no gifts. If any, she’ll return them or donate them charity. Then not sure if she can “return” an appointment for Assessor-Recorder if Mayor Ed Lee comes calling after Phil Ting goes to the State Assembly…

BRADY BUNCH BOOZE?: Hopefully some usually dry neo-Prohibitionist APAs downed a few for a good cause…Among last Friday’s Ngoc Thi Pham fund attendees – SF Democratic Party andUnited Educators of SF backed school board candidate Matt Haney and organizer Warren Mar, treated to a drink menu including one called “Six Kids”…Not named after the wholesome Brady Bunch brood, it’s a mesh of pineapple juice, bourbon and a “good mix of pain and pleasure,” said event coordinator Connie Chung of Asian Women’s Shelter, which has a sense of humor…And still Steve keeps serving some exotically named libations like “Sexual Chocolate” for his March re-election kickoff …

HUNG ON YOUR KNOB: Weekend door-to-door combat by supervisor candidates. District 7 supervisor candidate Norman Yee hangs his 17-inch long door hanger on knobs touting he’s a “native San Franciscan” with “values” synonymous with a district where church and long-tenure are key. Although not espousing his church guangxi, Yee’s not unlike former Port Commissioner FX Crowley’s SI Wildcat alumni connections and securities arbitrator Mike Garcia work for Sacred HeartSt. Ignatius and other Catholic schools…Separated by Twin Peaks and Sutro Tower, neighboring District 8 (Upper Market and Castro) has a different take on faith and tenure like the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and where at least two-thirds of a Sept. 2011 Castro Theater mayoral debate audience had migrated to SF in response to Cleveland-born Board of Supervisor President David Chiu’s question…

STAY OUT OF MY DENTURES: Northern California pro-Romney press conference in former SF GOP Vice Chair Albert Chang’s Grant Palace…Questioning government expansion and cost under “Obamacare” intruding into individual lives and businesses, Union Square dentist James Yu said, “I am not surprised, if I look at his resume, President Obama never held a private sector job”…ASKED & ANSWERED: While SF Republican Party county committee member Rudy Asercion encouraged APAs to vote for Romney and “fire Obama,” party Vice Chair Rodney Leong said that Obama fired himself by saying “this would be a one term proposition” if unemployment was above 8% in 2012….

SF Republican Party county committee Vice Chair Rodney Leong

PARTY BOUNCER: Speaking of SI Wildcats, that televised APA fella on Sept. 9 was Party Treasurer Tom Hsieh, calmly motioning a mouthy beany-headed infiltrator off the local SF Democratic Partydais after interrupting party fete of President Barack Obama’s acceptance speech broadcast from Charlotte. Tom, Jr. wears his dad’s genes well since Tom Sr. was a former police commissioner under Mayor Dianne Feinstein….

HANNA HAS THE BIGGEST…ONE: At last week’s pro-development Coalition for Responsible Growth forum at St. Mary’s Conference Center, College Board candidate Hanna Leung on her small business cred: “I am the biggest Chinese-speaking workers compensation law firm in San Francisco. I can say that because I am the only Chinese-speaking worker compensation firm in SF….because nobody wants to work in this field. There’s no money in it…” And she makes money the old-fashioned way. She works hard…

SF College Board candidate Hanna Leung at Coalition for Responsible Growth forum

BOO-BOO, CAN YOU SAY GOO-GOO:  Hanna Leung, laboring hard as a lawyer, said “At 9 pm, I would say [to clients], if you don’t mind talking to with my baby on my back, you can come in…”

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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.