Monday, October 31, 2011

Bevan Dufty: Gay chauvinist


The SF Chronicle on Bevan Dufty: "But while Dufty is a bit of a political chameleon, he isn't a panderer. He just wants to be liked. Dufty has a simple solution for fixing San Francisco: Everybody needs to talk more." Yes, and talk talk talk, which is preferable to actually taking a stand on an issue, which is why I call him The Deliberator. His campaign website is packed with windy, abstract rhetoric on "the Big Picture" and "solving everyday problems," but he doesn't take a stand on Proposition B, the costly street bond, though he has a picture of a pothole on one of his mailers with this commentary: "In his eight years on the Board of Supervisors, they sometimes called him Mr. Pothole. For Bevan Dufty, that's a badge of honor." Well, is the $248 million bond a good way to deal with potholes on the city's streets? Mr. Big Picture doesn't take a stand on the issue.

Dufty claims to support Muni and the city's "transit first" policy, but he also supports the Central Subway, which is draining $200 million of the city's transit income that should be going to Muni.

He claims that he wants to "help every neighborhood preserve what they love about their community," but he supports neighborhood destroying projects like allowing UC to ripoff the old extension property on lower Haight Street for a massive housing development. He was MIA on the UC issue for years, even though the 5.8-acre property is in his district. But it turns out that he was negotiating with developers in private to allow the project because it will include housing for gay seniors. He recused himself from voting on both the M/O project and the UC project because---after years of silence on the issues---he eventually bought a house on nearby Waller Street. That's an ideal outcome for Dufty, who hates to take stands on controversial issues.

In spite of all his talk about Muni and his support for the anti-car Bicycle Plan---not mentioned on his website or in his literature---Dufty defends free parking for supervisors, who make $100,000 a year.

Dufty is an anyway-the-wind-blows guy, who helped the bike people take away street parking for bike lanes on upper Market Street, rushing it through in spite of protests from many small businesses to get it done in time for Bike to Work Day (Dufty: "I will be on that bike ride"). One of his mailers: "Bevan has helped hundreds of small buinesses that are the backbone of our economy."

We got a glimpse of Dufty's gay chauvinism on the UC issue, as benefits for gays justified betraying the city and the neighborhood---and will damage a national and state landmark---and allowing property that's been zoned for "public use" for 150 years to be privatized to fatten UC's real estate portfolio.

Dufty has now come out of the closet, so to speak, as a gay chauvinist in a recent mailer---he paid at least $60,000 for this!---based on chauvinistic quotation from Harvey Milk: "We don't want sympathetic liberals, we want gays to represent gays."

In the 1970s we all agreed with this. Yet we still haven't elected a gay mayor...In this time when dark forces continue to attack our right to marry whom we love and have a family, it is not enough to elect sympathetic liberals. We have to elect gays...There has never been a more important time to elect one of us as the Mayor of the gayest city in America.

Obviously, there aren't enough gay chauvinists in San Francisco to elect Dufty, even if gays were united behind the idea, which they clearly aren't. Hard to tell who exactly the mailer is targeting, since it insults "sympathetic liberals" like me as unwanted! It's apparently an act of desperation by a failing campaign. Liberals like me elected Willie Brown the first black mayor in SF not because he was black but because he had a long history of supporting liberal causes, including gay rights. He also had a good record on womens rights and was an early opponent of the US invasion of Vietnam.

Unlike Willie Brown early in his political career, Dufty has a history of waffling and political timidity, except for his support for a new trial for Mumia Abu Jamal. Why not put that in his campaign literature? The answer: Dufty was just running with the prog lemmings when he voted for that resolution, which was ignored by the media.

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