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ElectionsCampaign TrailWiener tries to fundraise—for himself—from Peskin mayoral campaign announcement

Wiener tries to fundraise—for himself—from Peskin mayoral campaign announcement

Plus: Will the right-wing candidates really do an anti-Peskin RCV strategy?

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Even by the current standards of political cynicism in San Francisco, this one’s hard to believe:

Just hours after Sup. Aaron Peskin announced he’s running for mayor, state Sen. Scott Wiener sent out an “URGENT” message: “Don’t let Nimby politics delay our housing progress … Aaron Peskin—San Francisco’s housing obstructionist in chief, just announced his campaign for mayor.”

Okay, Scott and I disagree on a lot of housing issues, including the idea that letting developers build market-rate housing will ever in any way address the affordability crisis.

And never mind that Peskin has voted (sometimes despite my objections) to rezonings that allow more than 100,000 new units of housing in the city.

Wiener isn’t running for mayor, and has no real state Senate opposition, but he’s using the Peskin announcement to raise money for himself.

The point here is not that Wiener is trying to raise money for candidates who oppose Peskin. The email he sent out is all about raising money … for him.

“If you agree will you make a contribution to my campaign?”

Wiener, who is running with little serious opposition for state Senate, is using the Peskin announcement to enrich his campaign.

This is, for the record, a politician whose career was helped immensely, and who possibly owes his electoral success, to former state Sen. Mark Leno, who endorsed him early and often for every job, from County Central Committee to supervisor to state Senate. A lot of progressives were dubious about supporting Leno for mayor because of that, but to the end, Leno defended his endorsements, saying Wiener had always supported him and it was a matter of loyalty.

Then Wiener went and endorsed London Breed for mayor, in an event right across the street from Leno’s headquarters, stabbing his former mentor in the back.

Now he’s trying to raise money for his state Senate fund from someone else’s mayoral campaign.

I shouldn’t be surprised.

The Chron is asking whether the conservative candidates in the mayor’s race may try to do an “Anyone But Peskin” ranked-choice-voting strategy.

Good luck with that. It assumes these candidates care more about their issues and their vision for the city than about their own chances of winning.

For starters—my opinion, based on years of watching her career—Breed wants to win, and doesn’t care who might get elected if it isn’t her. She has never been about issues and agendas as much as she’s been about her own career.

Breed called for defunding the police when it was popular. Now she’s all about more cops with more power and less oversight.

Would she make an alliance with her conservative opponents to block Peskin? I seriously doubt it.

Would Daniel Lurie—who again has never been a part of a serious political organization or agenda in this city—sign on with Mark Farrell if it might block Peskin? Doubt it. I don’t think Lurie cares, either; he wants to win, and he’s not going to work with his rivals.

I could be wrong here, but I see three candidates who care more about themselves than about any vision or agenda for the city. I see candidates who would just as soon align with Peskin if they thought it would help them win.

I see a big tech-funded anti-Peskin effort, with the potential of many millions of dollars, because the tech industry cares about its bottom line and those folks don’t want a mayor who has a history of trying to regulate them.

But the other conservative candidates working together? Maybe—but only if they think it will benefit them.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Tim Redmond
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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