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UncategorizedChiu in charge of vote for his successor

Chiu in charge of vote for his successor

Sup. David Chiu is leaving for Sacramento -- but not before he oversees the choice of the next board president
Sup. David Chiu is leaving for Sacramento — but not before he oversees the choice of the next board president

By Tim Redmond

NOVEMBER 14, 2014 — Sup. David Chiu carefully orchestrated his second term as board president, cutting deals with his more conservative colleagues to prevent the progressives from ousting him. Now he’s making the same sort of move to help choose his successor.

It’s odd that the outgoing president – who could be sworn in as a member of the state Assembly Dec. 1 — should have any role in deciding the next president, but that’s exactly what Chiu has lined up.

He has introduced a motion for the coming Tuesday’s board meeting (Nov. 18) to convene a Committee of the Whole and vote to elect a new president.

One of the interesting twists to the scenario: Sup. David Campos, Chiu’s rival for the Assembly seat, will be out of town Tuesday. So if the vote goes forward as scheduled, Campos won’t be able to participate.

Of course, that means there will be only ten supes present, and it still takes six to elect a new leader, who will have the power to make committee assignments. So any five members who either object to the timing or can’t agree on a candidate could bring the whole thing to a halt.

Although publicly everyone says that nobody has six votes, what I’m hearing today is that Sup. London Breed is the closest, and that Chiu will support her. Sups. Jane Kim and Mark Farrell are both also interested in the job.

Which makes for an interesting dynamic. Breed is very much a centrist whose voting record is close to that of Chiu. She’s not close to the progressives at all.

The more progressive supes might typically favor Kim – but Farrell has done a lot to reach out to the left, including endorsing Campos for Assembly, and he might be willing to give Campos, John Avalos, and Eric Mar their choice of committee assignments.

He also might be willing to vote for Kim if it’s clear he doesn’t have six.

So with the left flank – Mar and Avalos – and the two other contenders – Kim and Farrell – there are four votes that might not go to Breed. If one more member – say, Norman Yee – sides with those four, then the board is deadlocked 5-5 and no decision can be made. The issue might have to be put off another week, until Campos is back.

There’s an interesting question that John Avalos has raised: Can one member of the board object and demand that the issue be sent to committee first? Here’s the problem with that: Under the City Charter, the Board of Supervisors makes its own rules. If the Charter is silent on a question – say, is a motion the same as a resolution – the board president decides, and the members need six votes to overturn that decision. With Campos missing, it’s hard to imagine which six would vote to overturn Chiu. The City Attorney’s Office will give wide latitude to the board to handle its own internal affairs.

Of course, this vote is just to fill Chiu’s job until January, when a new board – with a Chiu replacement named by the mayor – is seated and by law has to vote for a president.

Naturally, the person currently in that post – the one elected in the next week or two – will be seen as the front-runner. But one vote could change things, and it’s not clear who the mayor will put in that job.

But in the short term, Chiu has set the agenda, Chiu will decide how the process goes – and Chiu will do everything he can to make sure that a person acceptable to the mayor and Ron Conway takes over his job.

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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36 COMMENTS

  1. Greg studied Spanish for a year in Madrid. He is a supporter of the PartiDA Popular there. His Spanish is excellent. At least high-intermediate.

    Like some others here, I was surprised that Jane Kim did not win this battle. She has been trending moderate for a long time.

  2. Daly did leave a legacy of upping the zoning to get your way. Witness Trinity Towers. When Sangiancomo wanted to tear down the Del Webb and put up something more appropriate, Daly complained about the 200 rent controlled tenants who would lose their apts.

    So they both worked a “win-win” deal where Daly got to be a hero by saving “362 rent controlled units (160 of those @ market rent, or $2500 ea); and “The Father of Rent Control” got to add an extra 300 non-rent-controlled units with sun-blocking height enhancements. (beats SPF 50).

    See, THIS is the way SF works. The loser = the future (and the present).

  3. Sam, your sleuthing is pretty good. My file on Greg says he is from Ukraine.

    Greg is his middle name. He uses it as his nom de plume for politicking.

  4. Tim is endorsing Mark Farrell! Progressives really know how to shoot themselves in the foot. He was poster boy for No on G one minute, your darling the next. I’ll get my popcorn this should be disasterous, a la refusal of Mirkarimi years ago when Peskin and Daly refused to back their colleague (imperfect as he is). Welcome to SF, where the politics of personality rule.

  5. I figure your name really is Greg because you come across as someone who wants to be taken seriously in local politics. You therefore will want to use a name that is consistent so you can bask in the recognition that you think is always just around the corner.

    Obviously names don’t indicate race. Many blacks have names derived from their ancestors’ owners and so have very English-sounding names. While many immigrants changed their names upon arrival in the US, particular if their alphabet or script is different.

    And it probably is only worth speculating if you were names overseas, as you presumably were.

    All that said, Gregory is very popular in a swathe of nations from France to Greece and Turkey to Russia. There have been a number of popes called Gregory, and some French nobility, Greek nobility and so on. Far from certain but increases the odds of me being right.

    I still like somewhere in the former Soviet empire, because of your odd paranoia about the police, and I’m sticking with that.

  6. Ah, you finally realized that you were “protesting too much” and digging yourself deeper. Very good – you caught my trap.

    Not sure I called you a Marxist although you are clearly some form of socialist. But you really don’t like others telling you what you can and cannot do (re your almost libertarian comments here on Prop L) so communism would never suit you, even while you were lyrically about garden spots like Cuba and Venezuela.

    Oh, and I never said that blacks can’t resist card-playing. I said that YOU couldn’t, if you were able to. But as noted, you are not, and that’s another key part of why I know you are white. I am sticking with east/central Europe within the sphere of influence of the former USSR.

    And I notice you have not denied it. Probably because you know it will come out eventually anyway and you don’t want a lie on reord. I suspect you’ve made more than a few enemies who would enjoy seeing you publicly exposed.

  7. Oh shoot… I can’t resist… I do have to add one more thing. Let’s stipulate my name really is Greg, although like you say anyone can have any name on the internet. But let’s say for the sake of argument that it is. If I told you my name was David, Eric, Phil, James, or Ed, what ethnicity would you deduce me to be according to your racial theories?

    Hint: trick question, as these are all real people we all know.

  8. In other words… no, logic ain’t your strong suit. But hey, in the absence of reasoning skills, you added statistical confidence intervals to your sophomoric speculations. Well that makes it sound more authoritative!

    Anyway, this is getting stupid, and off topic. As I predicted, you decided to try and bait me. I’m not taking the bait, but I’m contributing to the pollution of the discussion board by even engaging with you. So bait and speculate away. On your own.

  9. It’s clearly possible for a race to hate itself. Some white progressives come across as self-hating through the indoctrination of political correctness and white guilt.

    But I haven’t known Asians to be like that, although different Asian nationalities certainly distrust each other. I have a higher degree of confidence that you are not Asian than any other of my statements, due to the remarks you made on SFBG when Lee won the mayoral election. Sadly, SFBG comments have been lost so you might have gotten away with that.

    More generally, unless you think that we are all incapable of distinguishing race (a la Colbert’s “race-blindness”) then you must accept that there are differences that enable us to talk about race. So it’s entirely reasonable to infer race from things like subtle differences in language, attitude and behavior.

    And I did. I have a 90% confidence factor that you are white-European, and a 80% probability that you are from the former Soviet-dominated parts of Europe.

    I’m not good enough to pick out the nation. If your name really is Gregory then that points to central/east/south Europe somewhere – one of the Catholic or Orthodox countries.

    If nothing else, you’ll be more careful about blurting out personal information in the future.

    PS: a few obscenities aren’t so bad. we’re not nuns here, It’s when verbal abuse is directed at a specific individual that Tim and I draw the line.

  10. PS… just trying to follow the logic here… You deduce that I have an “irrational hate” for the police because I lived in a repressive police state. Let’s set aside the inaccuracies and logical leaps that led you to come to that conclusion for a sec…

    …then you deduce that I come from Eastern Europe. Let’s set aside the logical leaps that led you to *that* conclusion as well…

    …so what sort of “repressive police states” operated in Eastern Europe? Well, they were mainly under the banner of communism.

    But then you also call me a Marxist. Sooo… according to your logic, living under a repressive communist police state, made me hate the police, but love communism?

    Ok, now my head is starting to hurt from da stoopid. I guess I’ll chalk it up to logic not being your strong suit, and leave it that.

  11. London Breed is prone to profanity-laden outbursts. If she were progressive, you’d be on it like flies on shit.

    As for me… keep speculating. I love when you speculate on race. Your true nature of racialism pokes through in spite of your best efforts to hide it behind a veneer of troll-like “civility.”

    Like when you make comments implying that a black person wouldn’t be able to avoid playing the race card. Or that Latinos have a certain “non-precise” way of talking, “syntactically” different than “Anglo-Saxons” and laden with “colloquialisms.”

    I mean, this stuff sounds like it’s straight out of White Man’s Burden.

    It would be delicious irony if I turned out to be Asian… your “model minority.” Of course I won’t say one way or another. Incidentally, you can’t, and never could, point to any comments I ever made about an “Asian” political machine, per se. It has always been a figment of your imagination.

    As for the repressive police state… America has developed a surveillance state that would make the Stasi blush. The fact that you’re “comfortable,” as you say, with any infringement on people’s rights… what does that say about you?

    What you wrote says more about you than it does about me.

    But hey, thanks for complimenting my English.

  12. Greg, you cannot reasonably apply the word “uncivil” to someone just because they have different political opinions from you. At least in the context that Tim and I talk about here, it means to be polite and respectful in our discussions here, and that is entirely independant of one’s politics.

    How do I know you are white? Elementary, my dear Watson. By deduction and inference. I like it when you under-estimate me but I’ll explain how:

    You told us that English is your second language. So clearly you want us to believe that you are an alien and an immigrant here. But from where?

    Can’t be Asia, obviously, given the comments you have made about the Asian political machine here in SF.

    You’re not African black. The entire vibe is wrong and anyway you wouldn’t be able to resist playing that card.

    Now it gets more interesting. You want us to believe you are Hispanic. They are the most prolific immigrants here. You drop Spanish phrases into the conversation. And your adoration of Campos and Chavez borders on stalking.

    And that is exactly why I don’t think you are Hispanic. That and the fact that your English is a little too precise, non-colloquial and syntactically Anglo-Saxon.

    So.what does that leave? White. And more specifically white-European because you can’t be from Canada or Australia because of the ESL thing. Your education, modes of expression and level of conceit all scream to me of unchecked white privilege.

    Ah, but where in Europe? There is one more clue – you irrationally hate the police. That tells me you come from a nation with a repressive police state. Could be Spain if you are old enough to have lived under Franco. More likely I’d say Eastern Europe under communist rule and a police state.

    Of course, you could lie and deny it. But if you are as politically active in this town as you claim, then there must be some here who know you personally, and they will know if you lie. I’m counting on you not wanting a lie on the public record.

  13. And what makes you assume that I’m white? Like many things about my personal life, I never said one way or another. Nor will I, though I’m sure you will once again try in vain to bait me… starting with your next post.

    All I’m saying is that I’m exposing the hypocrisy of the corporatists when they lie and say they care about civility. They only care about incivility when it’s in the service of fighting injustice. When confronted with incivility on behalf of the corporate power structure, as with such luminaries as London Breed or Heather Heil (Commissioner Pottymouth), they don’t give a damn. They’re even willing to deploy the race card to defend their incivility, another thing they decry in others. Identity politics at its ugliest.

  14. Greg, the Examiner article that Tim cited mentions clearly (twice) that Campos is on a vacation, and his aide confirmed this.

    It is understandable that one might want a vacation after a hard campaign, but Campos must have known that such a decision was likely to be voted on. He could have deferred his vacation if it had mattered enough to him.

    He also probably knew that he would lose the election. Had he won it, the issue would have been moot, but I have difficulty believing that privately he thought anything other than that Chiu would prevail.

    And since it seems Campos is not a contender for the President role anyway, I feel sure he trusts his colleagues to make the right decision. To my mind, that’s Breed. I’d have supported Wiener or Tang as well, but both are probably going a lot further than that and don’t need to make enemies at this point.

  15. Past tense there. “Loathed” There is no reason to feel anything for or about Daly any more. He has receded into irrelevance.

    Of course, the right barely exists in SF anyway. The huge moderate majority loathed him as well. Anyone who wasn’t hard left in fact.

    He had his fun, I’ll give him that. But it amounted to little in the end, as he decided that real estate speculation was a more worthy pursuit for a man born into privilege. I get that.

  16. Maybe Campos assumed that he would win the recent election, but there has a highly rational expectation for the past year that the BOS President position would be in play at this time. If he is away doing something more important then, well, tough toe nails.

  17. This is politics. Nobody feels sorry for the guy who doesn’t know how to play the game.

    Remember when Chris Daly made appointments when he was mayor for the day and it turned out to be completely legal?

  18. Doesn’t matter. The meeting schedule is set well ahead of time, and it was obvious that this issue was going to arise.

    Doesn’t matter if Campos is on a beach somewhere or on some kind of business. He chose to be away when he knew there was a meeting, and so accepted and understood that he would be dis-enfranchised. Too bad.

  19. Sarcasm aside, I basically agree. The meeting seems to have been scheduled at a time when it was known that a supervisor would be out of town, and that’s not right.

    Incidentally, we still don’t know the reason. If you’re close enough to David Campos to know that it was a vacation, please fill us in.

  20. Yes. Important Board meetings should be scheduled around the personal vacation schedules of the Supervisors and not the other way around.

  21. I think the question should be asked the other way around: what’s so urgent about holding this vote while Campos is out of town?

    And yes, he could vote by Skype or by proxy… if BOS rules allowed it. And who sets the rules for the BOS?

  22. When there are no consequences for failure, then there cannot be any accountability and the destructive patterns of political failure continue.

  23. Sup. David Campos, Chiu’s rival for the Assembly seat, will be out of town Tuesday. So if the vote goes forward as scheduled, Campos won’t be able to participate.

    What’s his urgent out-of-town business preventing him from participating? And why can’t he cast his vote via email or Skype or something?

  24. Lol, you mean Chiu outsmarted the progs once again? Their worst mistake was underestimating him and not learning how to cut their losses.

    Chris Daly looks like a joke. He lost his job after trying to marshal all his power at SEIU1021 to beat Chiu, failed, AND lost his job too? Too add insult to injury, Daly’s former aide Avalos tried to make the case that it would be easy to stop Chiu from having a say on the next BOS pres, and he turns out to be completely wrong, and on top of that, Campos won’t get to vote. If progs look at the past year and think they just need to keep on doing the same thing, they’re horribly mistaken. Yet ironically, it seems that progressives seem to look backwards for guidance, with people like Daly calling for Peskin to run for Mayor.

  25. London Breed… now there’s a class act. A model of civility and intelligence… she’d be the finest Board President since… well, I’m not sure there has ever been a Board President quite like her. She’d be unique in the history of this town.

  26. Exactly, the only time that residents should be shut out of representing is when there are developer corporate welfare upzonings to be had!

  27. “It’s odd that the outgoing president – who could be sworn in as a member of the state Assembly Dec. 1 — should have any role in deciding the next president, but that’s exactly what Chiu has lined up.”

    Odd that you feel that the duly elected and reelected sitting representative of D3 should not have a role.

    Have you asked Chiu about this?

    Oh, yeah..I forgot. His policy is to ignore you. Sorry!!!!

  28. Bit of a yawner really. The usual closed door horse-trading taking place among the Supes, progs included. Did I miss the public meetings at City Hall or in the community about who will be the next King or Queen of the Hill?

    Not sure what exactly is stopping Avalos and Mar and Kim from meeting with those troublesome things, what are they called again? Oh, yes, the voters and taxpayers.

    Lemme know if democracy breaks out and there’s an open-to-all discussion, preferably on SFGovTV too, about the next SF Bored of Soups Prez.

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