Living in the Inner Sunset, and for some reason not on any mailing lists, I’ve missed out on most of the “fun” that is Political Dead Tree Mail this season. In particular, I’m missing out on the flurry of eastside mailers for the Democratic Central Committee, which include many current Supervisors as candidates.
The Bay Guardian’s blog reports that apparently the so-called “Change” Slate of candidates is sending out a slate card mailer with the Bay Guardian’s logo on it, implying an endorsement of Sen. Carole Migden (the SFBG in fact, endorsed Mark Leno.) There is a more detailed photo of the mailer in question over at the Wall discussion board as well.
I took a look at the pictures myself, and the “too-clever-by-half” design makes it rather easy for voters to be misled that it’s a Guardian slate card. Yes, it does say “all change initiatives and DCCC candidates endorsed by” above a logo that looks almost exactly like the Bay Guardian’s. At the same time, however, they use the logo as the return address as well.
Yes, there is a disclaimer, but to the casual eye scanning a pile of crappy junk mail, it seems to give the Guardian stamp of approval to all candidates. The fact that people are complaining about it to the Guardian indicates that whatever the alleged “intent,” if the end result is the voter is feeling misled or confused, the piece fails. Not being a mind reader, I don’t know if this was intentional or just plain dumb, but I wonder what progressives would say if the roles and candidates were reversed. I seriously doubt they’d be giving the Other Side the wink and a nod.
More interesting, though is how Supervisor Daly has taken a “do it my way or go F**K yourself” attitude, saving his best vitriol for people who’ve been on his side in the past. He has issued two heavy handed progressive fatwas on SF Labor Council director Tim Paulson – someone whom I’ve worked with in the past and always found to be an honorable, decent guy – and who, with the SFLC, did a lot to support Supervisor Daly in the past.
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You really have to hand it to Mayor Newsom and his team. They can pretty much get away with anything, short of murder for hire, and no one seems to really mind. Even more amazing, even when “progressives” are right on the issues, they can’t seem to get their message out.
This latest brouhaha, between Supervisor Peskin, the Mayor, the infamous MTA, et al gets the usual “political gossip” treatment, as always. But also, as always, we tend to forget a few salient points as to how we got here.
We’re in a situation where the city has a big budget deficit and Mayor Newsom has ordered awesome-sounding “across the board cuts,” sounding all fiscally responsible. Which is funny, because as Supervisor Daly tried to point out, this is the same Mayor who blew out the budget with big expensive pay raises and increases in the City payroll.
What’s even funnier is that as Daly was trying to point this out, his infamous “cocaine” line blew up into this Big Problem, and Supervisor Peskin was gamed into removing Daly from the Budget Committee. So even though in this case Daly was right, it was he who paid the price – and the Chronicle waited 6 months to note Newsom’s key role in blowing out the budget.
Now, to be fair, it was not that hard to push Daly aside – his acrimonious style, and his spending of political capital on symbolic measures made it easy for the Mayor’s people, and their friends in the press, to make it all about something Daly really didn’t say. Chalk one up for repeating the “mean Chris” meme, and one down for any serious budget reporting.
Likewise, as the Mayor is demanding we cut funds from things we need, he’s spending a lot of money on plasma TVs and fancy new offices. And to pay all these people watching ProRun on those plasma tvs, he’s swiping money from MUNI and other agencies so he can fill the chairs.
But once again, it really doesn’t matter if the Mayor’s people are doing anything wrong – they’re recasting this as a “personal attack” and upping the ante with all kinds of personal and legal attacks, so no one stops and thinks about the actual issues at hand. And once again, as in the case with Daly, Peskin’s temperament and style are being used against him. Suddenly we’re talking about he-said-he-said, instead of talking about whether the Mayor is breaking the law, or mismanaging the taxpayers’ money.
Brilliant. One thing progressives and their allies don’t seem to understand is that in these fights being “right” with the facts isn’t enough – you have to have the political capital to be able to fight back.
Blowing it all on symbolic measures and feel-good stuff means you don’t have it when you really need it. Now, the Mayor’s holding all the cards, and although his opponents may have caught his hand in the till, they’re losing the battle.
As this latest political battle escalates, it’s clear the Mayor’s people don’t mind playing rough with their opponents. There’s no “safe word” in San Francisco politics, and those who would oppose the Mayor would be wise to remember that.
Note: I wish I was clever enough to come up with that last bit, but it’s actually a paraphrasing of a comment I heard from a friend, so I wanted to be sure I mentioned that.
This just in: yet another crap-tastic crack shack has sold in San Francisco for $935,000. SocketSite has been following this one for a while so go there and see pics of this decrepit piece of real estate.
I seriously wonder if we should put this on a billboard, with a pricetag, on billboards that say “Memo to Hippies: The SF of the 60s is dead. Do not come here and expect to rent a room in a big nice house for cheap and live off of handouts. Unless you’re rich enough to buy this crapshack and renovate it to livable standards, please, stay away. Thank You.”
Or something. I mean, at this point, all the housing measures in the world (along with all the ones we’ve passed) don’t seem to mean much if even a craphouse like this is selling for almost a million dollars.
Put another way – how do you build lots of “cheap affordable” housing on super expensive dirt? More importantly, is it really feasible for anyone to build anything that’s not super expensive condos for wealthy childless couples anymore when you have garbage selling for almost a million bucks?