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Coming to Terms 

Pols weigh how to sell voters term-limit extensions. How about adding Gavin to the mix?

Wednesday, Apr 4 2007
So the Castro's reigning supervisor, Bevan Dufty, is tinkering with his Board of Supes term limit extension charter amendment, hoping to nab five other board members' yeas and serve it up on your November ballot. Dufty has worked out the basic pitch: allow supervisors to run for three four-year terms, instead of two. Now he says pollsters at Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin and Associates are exploring how to refine the recipe:

Apply to the current supes or only future ones? Bring back at-large supes, stick with district ones, or a hybrid? And while we're talking about a potential orgy of incumbent three-timers, why not add in Mayor Gavin Newsom?

"It's been briefly mentioned. I imagine that's one of the issues that is being explored in the poll," Dufty said.

Sheer popularity numbers indicate that adding Newsom to the mix might pay off. The mayor's unflappable approval ratings rode in at 75 percent in the latest post-scandal David Binder poll, the supes at just 51 percent.

But Gary Delagnes, president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, thinks that including the mayor would tank the proposal. He argues that people would say "it's just not right to have someone be able to hold [the mayor's office] for 12 years."

Dufty, who doesn't plan to run for re-election himself, is keeping mum on who's funding the poll ("different people") or who would fund the campaign.

Cynics have seen an extension as a way for the progressive majority to keep rolling out edicts of no plastic bags and business headaches for years to come. Yet the board's über-progressive, Sup. Chris Daly, said he's against an extension for anybody. (But he added he wouldn't count out running for a third term if the rules allowed. Huh?) One of Newsom's staunch allies, Sup. Sean Elsbernd, said he would first make sure the measure wouldn't apply to current supervisors, and then he would still vote against an extension. A prediction from Elsbernd's crystal ball: if the measure goes to the ballot, expect one hell of an expensive campaign on both sides.

About The Author

Lauren Smiley


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