I am disgusted by the artificial clamor being generated by interests who attempt to ensure that Ed Lee’s name is on the ballot, which should not be allowed, and which, if by some manipulation does occur, should be contested in court as an unfair election practice.
They scramble for Mr. Lee because they fear Instant Runoff Voting – which they decry at every opportunity.
During the embarrassing negotiations to appoint Mr. Lee Interim Mayor – because there are no rules for succession that make sense in the event of the departure of a Mayor to become Lieutenant Governor – I was guardedly suspect, but as satisfied as everyone else that our eminently capable Chief Administrator was willing to take the job, was so self-effacing, said in fact he didn’t want it.
But I was under the impression that the negotiations concerning the appointment of Mr. Lee as Interim Mayor included the fail-safe: that whomever was chosen Interim Mayor would be disallowed to run because of unfair advantage as a pseudo-incumbent. Let them run in 2015. The whole deal with Ed Lee was he would be a good Interim Mayor because he doesn’t want the job – we were all happy not to appoint Leland Yee or Art Agnos and everyone trusts Ed Lee.
This artificially “populist” call for Ed Lee’s entry into the race comes from people who are doing it because they are afraid of IRV, afraid that a lot of people will turn out to vote, and for whomever they want, and that the math would put someone they cannot control in charge. Those who call for Interim Mayor Lee’s inclusion on the ballot fear direct and better democracy. They think it would be crazy if someone they didn’t know won the race for Mayor.
Why? Could it be corporate, union and other interests have become entrenched in City work? Isn’t that why we don’t want Mr. Lee to run? for fear of conflict of interest?
Lee is clearly the point-man for some vested corporate interests (Twitter, Treasure Island developers). He’s the first to produce a 5-year budget (something we don’t need, but which seals relationships to his partners in all of this). And we are meant to believe that this self-effacing man, who wants to be Chief Administrator, and is good at it, is being begged to run for office by a clamoring public at-large? This is absurdist theater.
It’s anti-democratic because of the sheer purchase of it all by big money. I, for one, expect John Avalos, Terry Baum and others who claim to be progressive to stand in the way of such a brazenly corporate move.
It isn’t uncivil to call things what they are and for Interim Mayor Lee and Board President Supervisor David Chiu this Mayor’s race has been a farce of glad-handing – smiling and joking about making jobs, while passing crazy development plans unimpeded. They were tweeting about jobs even as they gave away millions to Twitter and now other companies, striking down long-standing SF protections to benefit a few, new companies.
I, for one, respect Interim Mayor Lee and Board President Chiu, but don’t want either of them in charge. Respectfully, I’d rather they stay in their respective jobs as we unpack all of this mess, and make short-term budgets which reconsider and restructure our town (read site for details).
Ed Lee is an extremely competent Chief Administrator. He has asked for that job again. I would give it to him and would expect any other candidate for Mayor to reward competence and do so. But he should absolutely not be allowed to run for Mayor in 2011. It’s unfair and wrong.
And more, I am actually a candidate campaigning to do what Ed Lee should do: I don’t want the Mayor’s Office for more than a single reformative term. I’d be happy to pass it off to Interim Mayor Ed Lee in 2015 – after we have addressed the serious issues the last seven years have brought.