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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Moderates Are Winners, Progressives Are Losers in Fight to Rule San Francisco

Posted By on Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Progressive Loser
  • Progressive Loser

The last two weeks at City Hall have been much like a low-budget mini-series, as the city watched progressives and moderates hit all-time lows in order to wrestle power away from one another. But now that the political waters have calmed, it's time to look at who emerged on top:


Rose Pak:  As Chinatown's most influential leader, Pak scored many, many points for moderates this last week with her political brokering and machinations that  -- at the 11th hour -- elevated the first Chinese-American, Ed Lee, into the position as San Francisco's chief executive.

Supervisor David Chiu:

The mild-mannered Chiu has a much bigger bite than bark. While you will

only hear canned statements and diplomatic words come out of Chiu, he

clearly has a temperamental streak.  As progressives learned this week, they might have overestimated Chiu in believing he was a straight-up progressive.

click to enlarge Winner
  • Winner

Mayor Gavin Newsom: The clear winner

over the last two weeks. Not only did Newsom  overstay his welcome in

San Francisco, he then skillfully used the extra time here to make sure

moderate politics would dominate City Hall after his departure. He

illustrated his political acumen more in the last seven days than any

other time over his two terms as mayor, as he used a series of maneuvers to fill the city's top positions with moderates like himself.

District Attorney George Gascon:
It's been more than a decade since San Francisco has had a district attorney who said they would seek the death penalty. Newsom shocked everyone, including the former police chief himself, when he appointed Gascon to the position at the last minute. Gascon, who admits he has never prosecuted a case, has the support of cops in town with his pro capital-punishment philosophy. No doubt, this will be a boon for the moderate camp.


Chris Daly: The hardcore progressive supervisor is always looking

for a good fight, even if he has to weather a few black eyes himself.

But Daly received a knock-out punch during Tuesday night's board meeting

when Supervisor David Chiu and Supervisor Bevan Dufty defected to the

moderate camp, casting their votes for Lee. Daly, like the other

progressives on the board, were sure they had the six votes they needed

to make their candidate, Sheriff Michael Hennessey, interim mayor. At least he put San Francisco on the map with his throwback phrase, threatening moderates when he said:  "It's on like Donkey Kong."

Supervisor Bevan Dufty: He likes to be a progressive moderate or a moderate progressive, whichever comes in handy at the time.  True to form, Dufty was the instigator of Daly's furious diatribe where he threatened to haunt moderates. Dufty pissed off progressives, just as he ramps up his mayoral campaign.

Ed Lee: The city administrator never wanted the job as mayor. But after Pak twisted his arm unbearably, he succumbed to the job. So while it might be a personal loss for Lee, who is a Newsom ally, it was a point for the moderates.

So there you have it, a new San Francisco run mostly by moderates who you never even voted for.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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