It has not been a fun week for Supervisor John Avalos. The progressive stalwart and married father of two recently admitted to an affair
with his former top aide.
And, in this week's Board of Supervisors meeting, Mayor Ed Lee appeared to come up with a new moniker for the beleaguered legislator: "Supervisor Asshole."
You can hear the mayor's odd choice of words at just after the one-minute clip in the video above. It was, undoubtedly, the highlight of yet another tantalizing-as-dry-oatmeal session of Mayor's Question Time and came during a rather innocuous Avalos query about potentially divesting city retirement funds from fossil fuel companies (Lee's scintillating answer to "Supervisor Asshole" involved the term "fiduciary responsibility.").
The episode took Avalos aback. After hearing what Lee said, "I mouthed the words 'Supervisor Asshole?' [in disbelief]; I'm not sure if I was looking at the clerk or David Chiu," recalls the supervisor. "Maybe it's Freudian. I don't think it was intentional."
Either way, it made for good TV: "This was downright racy compared to what Question Time is usually like," Avalos says.
Avalos says he asked the mayor about this following the meeting. Per the supervisor, Lee told him he didn't realize what he'd said and that he "doesn't engage in name-calling." The term "Supervisor Asshole," for what it's worth, was not typed into the prepared script the mayor reads when answering -- or failing to answer -- the supes' prepared questions.
Our calls to the mayor have not yet been returned.
Avalos says his name has not before been confused with "asshole" in a professional setting, but this may have occurred back on the schoolyard.
"I can only think this was some kind of brain fart rather than what the mayor really wanted to do," he says. "It seems counter to what Ed Lee would do when his operatives already had the story they wanted in the news."