Peskin, down and dirty: John Geluardi's article ["Who You Gonna Call?," March 5] about the war between our two leading pols, Gavin [Newsom] and Aaron [Peskin], was heavy on the gossip but light on how they actually do their jobs.
As the article alluded, Newsom is long on hot air and short on action. Aaron Peskin is always ready to roll up his sleeves and get down to work. That's why he gets dirty. And in this case, a dirty accessible politician is far preferable to a distant clean one, big ideas and fancy suits notwithstanding. Gavin needs to get out of the way and let Aaron do his job.
The Quitter and the Spoiler
Gonzalez to disappoint progressives: I was pleased to see a realistic view of Matt Gonzalez' candidacy for vice president in Matt Smith's "Gonzales/Nader Hysteria" column [March 5]: "The former supervisor has merely committed to spending a few months attending events at college campuses ... as a warm-up act to Nader's longtime stage shtick." It was also interesting and somewhat ironic to see this article in the same issue as the one about Aaron Peskin.
It reminded me how Matt quit as president of the supes and quit as the leader of the progressives in S.F., leaving the polarizing Chris Daly as the leading progressive voice in S.F. Matt cost the progressives political momentum in the city, which they still have yet to regain.
Meanwhile, Aaron Peskin has spent his entire time as president of the supes running for mayor for 2012, starting with his attempt to coddle moderates by kicking Daly off the finance committee. He emulates the intimidation tactics perfected by Willie Brown. Matt could have elevated the level of political discourse in the city, but he chose not to. How dare he run now on the same premise? Asshole.
Gonzalez to inspire progressives: The Gonzalez run proves that there is another generation of progressives ready to lead us away from the back-biting, self-hatred, and rationalizations of the left — sold out by the Democratic Party again, and again, and again. Nader's guts and his refusal to water down public policy positions long abandoned by yesterday's liberals make him a target for abuse. Who will be the next Ralph Nader? Perhaps Mr. Gonzalez.
Don the Drain
The soft bigotry of low expectations: As a member of the alumni of the University of San Francisco, I have been dumbfounded during the most recent crisis of their basketball program. How does an athletic director place the head basketball coach on leave of absence without stated reason and then bring in an outside (and Hall of Fame) coach, who proceeds to denigrate the players on the team as the worst he has ever coached? Thanks to Ron Russell for shedding light on these depressing circumstances ["Benched," Feb. 27].
Eddie Sutton, the new head coach, obviously believed that by criticizing the USF players he would establish low expectations for his success with the team. With a 4-12 record (the old coach could have done better than that), Sutton succeeded in meeting low expectations, but his unfair criticism of the players also illustrated why he should no longer be coaching. USF helped him to get his 800 wins, but he is leaving the basketball program worse than when he arrived. Thanks for nothing, Eddie.
As for the current state of affairs of the basketball program, the blame goes to the top — right to university president Father Stephen A. Privett, who apparently made the choice for the hire of the current athletic director who set no standards for the operation of the basketball program. It is these same circumstances that led USF to close down its basketball program for several years about 25 years ago.
John M. Kelly