Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ron Conway helped elect Ross Mirkarimi

Photo by Cody Pickens

C.W. Nevius is disappointed that no one has stepped up to start the recall of Sheriff Mirkarimi:

A recall election of Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi would be expensive, contentious and time-consuming. I say do it anyhow. Frankly, that's not the way the political winds seem to be blowing. Ron Conway and others, who have funded other causes, are said to be wary of appearing to be the piggy bank for every moderate cause. And there's also paranoia that Mirkarimi might win a recall and then he'd not only see himself as vindicated, he might win another term. Horsefeathers. Mirkarimi is monumentally unpopular and seems to hurt his chances every time he speaks. I think he'd lose a recall. As for the money to get the signatures, surely someone, somewhere will get behind this.

Cost is one issue. Yesterday the Examiner cited $500,000 [Later: the Examiner must be wrong about that price. $50,000 is more like it. They mistakenly put in an extra zero.] as the pricetag to gather 50,000 signatures to qualify the recall for the ballot.

Conway is probably worried that, if he bankrolled the recall, he would become the issue for progressive voters, who are already peeved at all the money---$1,220,793.62, according to Larry Bush---he's dumped into local elections the last two years, including the election of Mayor Lee. (See, for example, the Guardian's front-page story on Conway this week.) Even progressives who aren't inclined to vote for Mirkarimi might see the recall election as a chance to vote against Ron Conway, like city voters rejected Don Fisher's parking initiative five years ago.

Unintended consequences: Conway is in part responsible for electing Mirkarimi sheriff in the first place, since he contributed $35,000 to Chris Cunnie's campaign for sheriff. Cunnie was a late entry to the race that already had Mirkarimi and the well-qualified Paul Miyamoto as candidates. The popular Miyamoto had already received the endorsement of the sheriff's union, with 800 votes to Mirkarimi's two! 

Cunnie's candidacy split the vote, which is what allowed Mirkarimi to win. Cunnie and Miyamoto combined got 101,416 votes on the first ballot to Mirkarimi's 70,457. If Cunnie had stayed out of the race, Miyamoto would have won, and the city would have been spared the whole Mirkarimi melodrama.

Scott Wiener and Chris Cunnie
Photo by Luke Thomas for Fog City

Whenever something dumb is happening, Supervisor Wiener is there.

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