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Democrats are co-pivoting to Asia like President Barack Obama…House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and her party caucus have appointed three additional Asian Pacific American (APA) Democrats to the GOP-controlled House Foreign Relations Committee – Ami Bera of California, Grace Meng of New York, and Tulsi Gabbard of Hawai`i…For the transcontinental and transpacific commutes, Gabbard’s air mate is lone holdover Committee member, fellow Samoan and islander Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, the at-large delegate from American Samoa

JUDICIAL UNRESTRAINT: Precedent-breaking from US Supreme Court as Associate Justice Clarence Thomas uttered a few words on a Jan. 14… Six days earlier, new and first ever APA SF Superior Court Presiding Judge Cynthia Ming-mei Lee administered the oath of office to new supervisors. The only APA to preside over the now extinct SF Municipal Court is Lillian Sing, currently on the Superior Court (which absorbed the Muni Court)….Ron Quidachay was the first APA male presider…Lee took over for the retiring Katherine Feinstein after an unusually and un-judicial hotly contested race in 2012 (See “Potstickers” on June 28 at tinyurl.com/aca8yax)

Norman Yee

Norman Yee

2016 ODDS ON YEE: A four-year term is plenty for new District 7 (West of Twin Peaks) Supervisor Norman Yee to secure re-election after a squeaky 132-vote victory margin last November over commissioner and labor leader FX Crowley…Yee’s slim margin could open him up to challenge in 2016 as was the case four years ago with District 1 (Richmond) Supervisor Eric Mar. He won barely too, by more than 300 votes, which set off speculation that Mar was vulnerable to a challenge in Nov. 2012. But left-leaning Mar inched toward the center by, for example, increasing his SF Chamber of Commerce’s “Paychecks and Pink Slips” rating from 40% in 2009 to 75% in 2012 like his vote for the 8 Washington luxury condos and construction jobs created near the Ferry Building. Mar ended up winning re-election comfortably with 53% of the vote…Yee like Mar has 2016 incumbency edge – no sitting district supervisor has lost a seat since 2000…

UNITY SLATE: There’s an advantage of organizing caucus votes in Daly City on Sundays – no parking meters (unlike SF) to worry about as APA Democrats won a share of 19th Assembly District (west side San Francisco and northern San Mateo Counties) delegates going to the April 2013 California Democratic Party convention. Backed by State Senator Leland Yee and 19th District Assembly Democratic Caucus Chair Phil Ting, the district is sending 5 APAs out of 12 delegates including Board of Equalization candidate Fiona MaCommunications Workers of America leader Larry Yee and outgoing SF Association of Realtors President Jeff Woo along with KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress national co-chair Genevieve Jopanda and Pilipino Bayanihan Resource Center VPPerla Ibarrientos

HEN PECKED: Or chicken? Out of all candidates rumored for appointment by Mayor Ed Lee to Assessor-Recorder and Supervisor, expect to cross out one APA candidate due to spousal veto…

RUNNING THE SALSA STUDIO: Salsa-aficionado Norman Yee has brought on aides with APA connections – Korean American Esther Lee makes a political comeback as his scheduler. The single mom of two worked for former State Senator John Burton and co-chaired the influential Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club. Meanwhile, District 6 (Little Saigon/SOMA) Jane Kim’s former aideMatthias Mormino joins Yee’s office after SRO stints working with Chinese Progressive Association and Chinatown Community Development Center…They’ll transition from tenant leaning liberal-eastside politics to a church-going, mostly homeowner, conservative west side…. Staying with Yee, Olivia Scanlon is a holdover from termed out Sup. Sean Elsbernd, who’s working for US SenatorDianne Feinstein as deputy state director…

MORE LIABILITY THAN ASSET: APA bean counter recently had a front row seat at a major California capital project forum. Mr. Bean is apparently angling to be APA small business subcontractor for a major prime in the project worth billions… Primes should check out bean counter for political trouble. The APA’s been chosen for audits twice by the SF Ethics Commission and arguing over a $6,000 campaign fine for a campaign violation in last ten years…

1937…1987…2012: Jeopardy answer for tee-shirt worn by 90-year old voter Ken Hansell in a two hour campaign visit by candidate Norman Yee last fall…“I virtually walked into a Golden Gate [Bridge] Museum,” said Yee, astounded at the man who walked the length of the bridge when it opened in 1937 and its 50th and 75th anniversary fetes…

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.