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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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News + PoliticsSome local Democrats oppose the Newsom recall—but not the Boudin recall

Some local Democrats oppose the Newsom recall—but not the Boudin recall

Here are the people who argue that Newsom should stay in office—even if they have policy disagreements—but won't say the same about Chesa Boudin.


It now appears that the first attempt to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin won’t qualify for the ballot. That was the one run by Richie Greenberg, a Republican. But the second recall attempt, run by Andrea Shorter and Mary Jung, has raised a huge amount of money—and when you have millions of dollars, you can put almost anything on the ballot.

Pretty much every single elected Democrat in San Francisco has come out against the recall of Gavin Newsom. Even people who have serious political disagreements with Newsom argue that he was duly elected, has done nothing so horrible that it rises to the standard of a recall, that this is a waste of money—and that it’s the only way the Republicans can get a governor in California.

Lots of local Democrats stand with Boudin—but some don’t.

(By the way: I am hearing more and more reports that Sen. Dianne Feinstein may be unable to finish her term. A GOP governor would appoint a GOP senator—who would otherwise never get elected in this state— upending the Democrats control of that chamber, at least for the next critical year).

But some of those same local Democrats, even those who describe themselves as progressive Democrats, have refused to take the same position on the Boudin recall.

The argument that an elected official who has been accused of no impropriety shouldn’t be recalled just on a whim by people who lost the election last time seems to apply just fine to Newsom, but not to Boudin.

Some SF Democrats have been very clear from the start. Assemblymember Phil Ting told me that “I am vehemently opposed and have been since it was first raised.” Among those listed on the Stand With Chesa website: BART Board Member Bevan Dufty, who wrote a piece for the BAR about his position; Supervisors Aaron Peskin, Connie Chan, Dean Preston, Hillary Ronen, Gordon Mar, Matt Haney, and Shamann Walton.

Sup. Myrna Melgar isn’t listed on the site, but she told me: “I never support recalls unless an elected official has committed a crime of otherwise shown malfeasance. They are a waste of time and money.”

So that leaves three supes. Catherine Stefani and Ahsha Safai haven’t responded.

But Rafael Mandelman did. He told me he hasn’t take a position. I asked why the Boudin recall is different from the Newsom recall, and he said:

One has to do with what’s at stake in the recall of a Democratic governor (not just a potential Senate appointment that could determine the success or failure of the Biden administration). The other has to do with immediacy. The threat of the Newsom recall is real and imminent. Ay potential Boudin recall is not.

He continued:

I and my office have been able to work productively with Boudin and his team on several matters, but I still do have questions I need to answer for myself and many of my Boudin-skeptical constituents before I sign on to his re-election (or a campaign against a recall that may or may not materialize).

State Assemblymember David Chiu told me he hasn’t taken a position.

State Sen. Scott Wiener hasn’t responded to my text asking him for a position.

So at this point, as far as I can tell, for the record, local Democrats who oppose the Newsom recall but are not publicly opposing the Boudin recall include Mandelman, Chiu, Wiener, Stefani, and Safai.

Oh, and Mayor London Breed.

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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  1. Campers,

    If live, I’m in.

    Rafael’s 24 hours is gone on out da window.

    He was a one-trick pony and spent all of his complimentary drink tickets far as I’m concerned.

    Think I can’t beat him?

    I’m twice as smart and informed and free of any machine or clique pressures.

    Then, there’s the question of looks and my lord am I looking good these days.

    My trainer has been the Grim Reaper and he’s a real toughie.

    If you don’t keep to your diet, drink no booze and work out every day, he’ll make certain you never get outta bed again.

    I’ve run for office a half dozen times and never spent a dime cause I was just on stage to pummel the leading Moderate rep and soften them up for whichever Prog or Progs I choose to support.

    This time, if I live and that’s a big if, I will show San Francisco how to run a fantastic campaign on the cheap.

    Now, if we can just find the saboteur in the 48 Hills barn interfering with my freedom of speech.

    So far they haven’t had sexual intercourse with this thread but I’ll screen shoot this anyway and add it to my hundred or so pages of comments I’ve made that have been hidden by that cowardly scoundrel.

    I think I know who it is and I want to challenge them to an open debate right now at this moment.

    Perhaps the Milk Club will host the event.

    Last time I was onstage there I was booed out of the building.

    Nice challenge for Ma Brown’s youngest to come back from that one.

    I’m dead (pun intended) serious.

    We don’t have to wait for election season.

    Come out from under your rock now, Coward!

    The tumor hasn’t grown in 7 months and they don’t even call it that.

    It’s a suspicious and persistent ‘mass’.

    My spinal column is also crumbling but we’ve masked that with twice daily doses of Naproxen and Gabapentin.

    My heart and lungs are fine and my legs have always been a thing of envy and beauty compared to mere mortals.

    Let’s me pick a marathon to aim for.

    I’m thinking SF Marathon next month.

    Wanna face off with me there, Rafael?

    Surely you can beat a dying 77 year-old former Beach Jumper/Seal?

    I sure hope Sasha or Monroe don’t start talking now.

    I just spent two months sleeping on top if Marilyn.

    Really. I did.

    Bought a wrinkled place mat with her image for fifty cents.

    Took me half hour to scrub the mustard off her boobs and she was still wrinkled so I put her under my mattress and slept atop her for 2 months.

    She’s fine now and hanging on the inside of my front door scrunched in front of one of those chalk pastels of a couple named Kevin and Sarah whom I couldn’t bear to toss in a dumpster.

    Erase this 48 Hills saboteur and I’ll just send it to my dynamite blast list.

    Go Giants!!


  2. Campers

    That does it for me with Mandelman.

    If I live long enuff I’m going to make a serious run against him for D-8 Supervisor.

    You have 24 hours to change your stand against Boudin and post it right here.

    24 hours.

    h. brown

  3. Tim,

    Great, then I guess I can reply to tennisstar?

    And, cjenk415.

    Boudin’s policies are similar to Gascon’s and Adachi’s and Gonzo’s.

    His decarceration work has already saved millions and it will be billions and spared thousands of years of unnecessary prison time.

    If you and I both rob liquor stores and you’re in a gang because that is the only way to survive where you were born, grew up and live do you think you should get an extra 5 years in prison?

    Go Giants!


  4. I guess when you get local the line between political and personal gets messy. If they feel a successful recall is unlikely, why should they stick their necks out and make a statement they might possibly have to distance themselves from later? Why make an issue of it?

    I like Boudin but he’s still green to me. Let’s see if he can handle the mudslinging and bare-knuckle politics without needing everyone to [protect him.

  5. He’s out. You can circle the wagons like you did with Mirkarimi, but the people will speak and kick this criminally negligent DA out of office. Adios Chesa.

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