Mayor’s race a morass — supervisors can’t cut deal
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
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.
Oprah Winfrey shows off her Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at the Golden Globe Awards.