Saturday, November 14, 2009

Chris Daly: A jerk as acting mayor

Six years ago, this was a front-page story in the Chronicle:

Daly surprises his colleagues, appoints 2 to PUC
Thursday, October 23, 2003

In a move some called gutsy and others childish, San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly used his powers as acting mayor Wednesday to appoint two people to the powerful Public Utilities Commission while Mayor Willie Brown was traveling in Tibet. It was a premeditated stroke of opportunism that observers said was without parallel in modern political times at City Hall and caught the Brown administration and Daly's Board of Supervisor colleagues by surprise...Daly, who was tapped by Brown to serve as acting mayor for one day Wednesday, said he had been plotting the insurgent appointments for the past few days. And so far, he has no regrets. "When you ask if this is what should have been done, you have to look at what's good for San Francisco," said Daly...

Last week Daly again made the acting mayor an issue, as Matier and Ross tell us:

At issue now: questions over the authenticity of the letter that Newsom's office says the mayor wrote designating Supervisor Carmen Chu as acting mayor when he unexpectedly took off for Hawaii after dropping out of the governor's race. Daly has questioned both the timing and the legitimacy of the letter, and was not content with viewing a copy. On Tuesday, he showed up at the mayor's office to inspect the original. He not only read the letter carefully, but he also fingered its edges---and then the backside---to check the indentations of the signature. Finally, he whipped out a high-quality magnifying glass---complete with light---for a closer inspection...

Maybe Daly was hoping the mayor would appoint him as acting mayor, but Newsom was a supervisor in 2003 and remembers Daly's stunt under Mayor Brown.

Like a lot of ultra-liberals---and ultra-conservatives, for that matter---Daly has always had a means-and-ends problem. Utterly convinced of his own righteousness, Daly is compelled to question the motives of his political opponents and to push his agenda using questionable means. In spite of all the political setbacks over the past six years, Daly is unbowed. His latest achievement: insulting Supervisor Maxwell on her vote on an important budget issue.

Daly, the Punk Progressive, grapples with means and ends.