Mayor Ed Lee might still be a shoo-in among voters, but his popularity has clearly plummeted in and around City Hall. The newly minted mayoral candidate is being passed over by political groups both big and small when it comes to endorsing candidates.
For an incumbent mayor, Lee is certainly getting snubbed; in the last few weeks, the League of Conservation Voters, Central City Democrats, the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, came out with their endorsements -- and it wasn't Lee. He did however, secure the third place endorsement with the more moderate Alice B. Toklas LGBT Club, and last night, the Police Officer's Association lumped Lee onto its slate at the last minute under political pressure, a move that insiders are calling a laughable "shitshow."
Perhaps the biggest blow came last week when the Democratic Party passed over Lee and voted to throw its support behind City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Supervisor John Avalos. What's even more telling is of the 32 members, only two cast their vote in favor of Lee.
"He's not been gaining a lot of endorsements, and it's surprising," says Jim
Ross, a local political consultant. "None of the ex-mayors, aside from
Willie Brown, have come out to support him."
We can count on one hand the number of elected officials who have come out in support of Lee, including Senator Dianne Feinstein (D- San Francisco) and Supervisors Carmen Chu and Jane Kim. It's worth noting that's partly because is running against half the city's elected officials, but even at the state and federal level, Lee's not getting much love.
Such is the backlash of politics; the once favored Lee is now facing harsh criticism about how and why he got into the mayor's race. As Ross notes, Lee's connection to the dubious Progress for All Committee -- which was responsible for helping draft Lee into the race -- is "coming back to haunt him" in that Chris Daly sorta way.
After Lee insisted he would only remain a caretaker mayor for San Francisco, his intentions became questionable when the Run, Ed, Run campaign was formed by Progress for All and Lee became cagey about his political future. The Committee, which claimed it was not operating as a shadow campaign for Lee, was able to collect unlimited cash while pushing for Lee to become a mayoral candidate since it was technically a general purpose committee, not a campaign running one candidate.
While the District Attorney and the Ethics Commission has cleared the committee
of any illegal activity, San Francisco's political circles are not hardly convinced.
"It's been a warning sign to elected officials that the mayor of San Francisco might not be able to keep his word over any number of items," says Aaron Peskin, chair of the DCCC. "It's more than what any elected representative can stomach."
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