THAT’S THE TICKET – RUN HWANG RUN IN 2016

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One of the criticisms of ousted Police Commissioner Angela Chan – a staff attorney for Asian Law Caucus – was that she didn’t focus enough on Chinatown issues according to this week’s reportage. Chan focused too much on issues such as undocumented immigrant rights and restraining police use of Tasers. Replacing Chan on a stunning SF Board of Supervisors 7-4 vote will be Victor Hwang. The former hate crimes and human trafficking prosecutor for the SF District Attorney and another Asian Law Caucus alum, will give more attention to Chinatown issues just like a district supervisor…Like another ALC alum in former mayoral advisor Malcolm Yeung, Hwang is likely being groomed for District 3 (Chinatown/North Beach) supervisor seat held by David Chiu with two years remaining. If Chiu is elected this November for Assemblyman out of the 17thAssembly District, Hwang could be the next pick for Mayor Ed Lee for the supervisor seat …

 Police Commissioner and Asian Law Caucus attorney Angela Chan introduces embattled Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi at his Jan. 8 inauguration. Mirkarimi is accused of domestic violence against his wife.

Asian Law Caucus attorney Angela Chan

RE-RUN ED RE-RUN: Another aspect to Hwang, he co-chaired the pro-Ed Lee Run Ed Run mayoral draft campaign in 2011 which produced its first mayoral supervisor appointee – District 5 (Haight-Ashbury/Japantown) Supervisor Christina Olague in January 2012. Olague later embarrassed the Mayor by opposing him on key issues at the Board and then losing the election to retain her seat. Looks like its Re-Run Ed Re-Run by next January, starting with Hwang appointment after David Chiu wins this November. Or, if Chiu loses and is termed out in 2014, Hwang could well be lined up to run for Chiu’s seat. Police Commissioners have been a source for supervisor candidates– among them architect Tom Hsieh who won appointment from Mayor Dianne Feinstein in 1986 and attorney Doug Chan who lost a District 4 (Sunset) election bid for supervisor in 2006 with backing from Mayor Gavin Newsom….

BAD GYOZA, NO JURY: SF Superior Court Judge Garrett Wong excused “Potstickers” from jury duty in 2010 for a hate crime case after the columnist and former editor admitted knowing and covering Hwang for years as a civil rights attorney… 

BANANAS SPLIT 3-2: The Board’s Asian Pacific American (APA) women abandoned Chan. Just last year, Mayor Lee passed over ALC alum Yeung, and instead appointed Katy Tang to become District 4 supervisor. In Tuesday’s 7-4 vote for Hwang, Sup. Tang did a nasty u-turn on Chan’s appointment, introducing the resolution in support of Hwang, after voting for Chan in committee just five days before. Jane Kim of D6 (Little Saigon /Tenderloin/SOMA) whose aide Ivy Lee is partner to Hwang and David Chiu of D3 also sided with Hwang (against Chan), which made Kim and Chiu the “practical progressives” while the hardcore progressives – Eric Mar of D1 (Richmond) and Norman Yee (West of Twin Peaks) backed Chan (but not Hwang) along with the board’s left wing and Latino supervisors John Avalos of D11 (Excelsior/Outer Mission) and David Campos of D9 (Mission)…

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and wife Eliana Lopez at January 2012 inauguration

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and wife Eliana Lopez at January 2012 inauguration

SHERIFF’S APOLOGIST: Politics trumped the debate as to whether well-qualified Chan or Hwang was the better police commission appointment. If ever an excuse for her ouster, Chan paid tribute to the now disgraced Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi at his January 2012 inaugural days after he had a domestic spat with his wife, leading to his misdemeanor domestic violence that nearly unseated him. The supervisors fell one vote short by a 7-4 vote….

BETTY YEE STRONG: Field Poll on April 12 for now is showing no fallout against California Controller candidate Betty Yee from State Senator Leland Yee’s alleged bribery and arms dealing scandal. Voters from March 18 to April 5 apparently aren’t associating Democrat Betty Yee by her last name or ethnicity (See “Potstickers” on 4/3/14 at tinyurl.com/ll666ck). Yee (19%), a Board of Equalization member, was running second to Republican Mayor of Fresno Ashley Swearengin (28%) with Assembly Speaker and Democrat John Perez (14%) behind Yee among likely voters. The poll, taken at the height of the Yee scandal (March 26), is forecasting a November scenario where Republican Swearengin will win the June primary to face second place Democrat Yee. However, Perez is still in the game with 38% undecided determining the November finalists…

MAJOR BLACKS BACK CHIU: Major figure on Assembly candidate David Chiu’s literature is former prosecutor’s old boss – former SF District Attorney and current California Attorney General Kamala Harris. The highest elected African and Indian American in the state and city represents part of a Chiu strategy to win over 11,000 African American votes in his run for 17th State Assembly (east side San Francisco) as analyzed here (“Potstickers” on 9/26/13 at tinyurl.com/lwlntx6). The district, argued as an LGBT District by Chiu’s rival and colleague David Campos, represents historic remnants of African American powerbase keeping Willie Brown in office since 1965 with 30 years as Assemblyman and 8 years as Mayor. Out of over 252,000 voters (according to PDI), African American voters represent 4%, compared to over 43,000 or 17% APA voters. But the Black-Asian or “Blasian” coalition supporting Chiu could remerge as it did, re-electing Brown in 1999 by overwhelming margins over former Board of Supervisors President Tom Ammiano who eventually was elected to Brown and Carole Migden’s old eastside SF Assembly seat. In Chiu’s corner along with Harris – leading African American endorsements – Black Young Democrats of SF, Sun Reporter, Supervisor Malia Cohen and her predecessor Sophie Maxwell. Meanwhile, Supervisor London Breed is neutral while School Board member Kim Shree-Maufas and former College Board member Chris Jackson back Campos…

BAYVIEW GODMOM: Likely to hurt the Campos candidacy is how the District 9 (Mission) Supervisor lost African American community leader –  Dr. Espanola Jackson, the “Godmother of Bayview-Hunters Point”, after his board vote against commission nominee Eddie Ahn, Korean American civil rights attorney earlier this month, for reappointment to Citizens Committee on Community Development. Talk is that Campos’ vote was less on merits of Ahn’s nomination and more on politics of Ahn’s allies. Campos earned the first “boos” of the campaign season when he confronted Ahn’s broad support in SF labor and civil rights community, especially with a lefty-righty Chinatown combo of Chinese for Affirmative Action and Charity Cultural Services Center and African American groups such as A. Philip Randolph Institute and Aborginal Blackmen United (ABU) and Latinos of Laborers Union 261….However, Jackson also said she will not endorse Chiu but consider a third candidate for the Assembly seat which could be Republican and contractor David Carlos Salverry

EASY MONEY: Big deal when it comes to indicted Leland Yee’s 2011 mayoral debt of $70,000. It’s not a whole lot by San Francisco and statewide standards. It amounts to a low end SF county district supervisor race or average SF school board campaign. One Chinatown fundraiser – 70 tables at $1000 each – would have wiped it out…

MISS ME?: Email Samson Wong at potsticker@prodigy.netand follow him at Twitter @SFPotstickers…

 

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.