Mayor’s race a morass — su­per­vi­sors can’t cut deal

San Francisco Chronicle - - BAY AREA - MATIER & ROSS

The may­oral machi­na­tions at San Fran­cisco City Hall have turned into trench war­fare be­tween the mod­er­ates and the pro­gres­sives — with nei­ther side able to amass the needed six votes on the Board of Su­per­vi­sors to make a move.

Af­ter more than a month on the job, act­ing Mayor Lon­don Breed is still one vote short of what she needs to be des­ig­nated in­terim mayor un­til the June elec­tion. Breed has a vote as board pres­i­dent, but city rules pro­hibit su­per­vi­sors from vot­ing for them­selves.

Nor are there six votes for any of the other de­clared June can­di­dates or pos­si­ble “care­tak­ers” whose names have been floated, such as for­mer Mayor Art Ag­nos and for­mer Assem­bly­man

Tom Am­mi­ano.

In fact, there is not even con­sen­sus among su­per­vi­sors on when they might hold a hear­ing to start talk­ing openly about the may­oral suc­ces­sion. Su­per­vi­sor Aaron

Pe­skin called for a spe­cial meet­ing on the mat­ter for this Tues­day, “so that we can have an open dis­cus­sion where mem­bers of the pub­lic can come and tell us what they are think­ing.”

But what with the Martin Luther King Jr. hol­i­day upon us — and with the board not sched­uled to meet this week — the call fell flat.

Breed says she’s up for a hear­ing and a vote, and has been polling the su­per­vi­sors to find a date that works for all of them. But “it’s been ex­tremely dif­fi­cult” to line up any­thing be­fore the next sched­uled board meet­ing Jan. 23, Breed said.

It’s a good time for the su­per­vi­sors to be un­avail­able, be­cause chances are that no mat­ter the out­come, some peo­ple will be un­happy.

Pro­gres­sives don’t want the mod­er­ate Breed to have the ad­van­tages of in­cum­bency. Two June can­di­dates, for­mer state Sen. Mark Leno and for­mer Su­per­vi­sor An­gela Alioto, want a care­taker. But mod­er­ates worry that some­one like Ag­nos would work to roll back the poli­cies of the late Mayor Ed Lee, and they see Breed as the best al­ter­na­tive.

Which brings us back to where we started — in a stale­mate that none of the one-on-one meet­ings among su­per­vi­sors at the bar at Orig­i­nal Joe’s in North Beach has re­solved.

“It ap­pears to be 5-5 on ev­ery­one and ev­ery­thing,” said Su­per­vi­sor

Jeff Sheehy, who has yet to back a can­di­date in the race.

And as long as the stale­mate lasts, Breed stays put as act­ing mayor — which is just fine with her.

“I’m do­ing the job,” she said, “and I want to con­tinue to do the job.” Win­frey’s the one: If Oprah Win­frey ran for pres­i­dent against Don­ald Trump, she’d win hands down — at least in Cal­i­for­nia, ac­cord­ing to a new KPIX-Sur­veyUSA poll. The talk show host and me­dia mogul bested the for­mer re­al­ity TV star­turned-pres­i­dent by 24 points, 56 to 32 per­cent, in the phone poll of 909 Cal­i­for­nia vot­ers con­ducted Jan. 7-9 — af­ter Win­frey’s tour de force speech at the Golden Globe Awards cer­e­mony.

Ac­tor Tom Hanks — whom Globes show host

Seth Mey­ers jok­ingly sug­gested could be Oprah’s run­ning mate — would whomp Trump in Cal­i­for­nia as well, 56 to 31 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey, which had a mar­gin of er­ror of 3.3 per­cent­age points.

Both Win­frey and Hanks ran bet­ter in their fic­ti­tious Cal­i­for­nia matchups than a field of pos­si­ble Demo­cratic can­di­dates, in­clud­ing Mas­sachusetts Sen. El­iz­a­beth War­ren (53 to 32 per­cent over Trump); Cal­i­for­nia Sen. Ka­mala

Har­ris (53 to 33 per­cent); and Los An­ge­les Mayor

Eric Garcetti (46 to 32 per­cent).

Prov­ing once again, celebrity sells. Like mom, like son: For­mer San Fran­cisco Su­per­vi­sor An­gela Alioto, who is run­ning for

mayor in June, isn’t the only mem­ber of her fam­ily seek­ing elec­tive of­fice — her son is look­ing to chal­lenge Dis­trict At­tor­ney Ge­orge Gascón in 2019. Joseph Alioto Veronese, a one­time mem­ber of the San Fran­cisco Po­lice Com­mis­sion who prac­tices law in the same Montgomery Street of­fice as his mother, qui­etly took out pa­pers Dec. 18 that al­low him to start rais­ing money for a pos­si­ble run as the city’s top pros­e­cu­tor.

“It’s no se­cret that the Aliotos are a fam­ily of pub­lic ser­vants, and I can no longer sit on the side­lines while our city con­tin­ues to de­te­ri­o­rate — and the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem plays a ma­jor role in that,” said Veronese, now a mem­ber of the Fire Com­mis­sion.

In par­tic­u­lar, Veronese said, the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the dis­trict at­tor­ney and po­lice “is at a low it hasn’t seen in decades.”

“For cer­tain crimes, you have a 1 per­cent chance of be­ing caught — and even when you stip­u­late to a homi­cide, as we saw in the (Kate) Steinle case, our D.A. is in­ca­pable of con­vict­ing you,” he said.

Gascón’s po­lit­i­cal spokesman, Dan New­som of SCN Strate­gies, told us, “We’re look­ing for­ward to a ro­bust, sub­stan­tive, is­sue-based — and hope­fully fac­tual — cam­paign next year.”

Veronese, grand­son of the late Mayor Joe Alioto, has cam­paigned for elec­tive of­fice be­fore — mak­ing an aborted run for the state Sen­ate in 2008.

So far, no other can­di­dates for dis­trict at­tor­ney have an­nounced.

Fred­eric J. Brown / AFP / Getty Im­ages

Oprah Win­frey shows off her Ce­cil B. DeMille Award for life­time achieve­ment at the Golden Globe Awards.

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