Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ross Mirkarimi:Collateral damage

La Casa de las Madres billboard

The above billboard was put up before Ross Mirkarimi had even been charged with a crime, let alone convicted. The Domestic Violence Consortium and La Casa de las Madres evidently think their admirable agenda justifies skewing the legal process against Mirkarimi and his family before it could even begin. Mirkarimi is presumably just seen as collateral damage. He's supposed "to do the right thing" by resigning; not doing so would be "terribly wrong." People are now urged to contact their supervisors to urge them to vote against Mirkarimi when they get the opportunity.

Yet there's serious doubt that this incident and Mirkarimi's plea bargain constitute misconduct serious enough to justify removing him from office. 

I signed Tami Bryant's petition not because I agree with her that Mirkarimi has been a good supervisor. I think he's been an awful supervisor, a viewpoint I've expressed for years on this blog. But that judgment has always been based on his politics and public policy, though back in 2008 I did a post based on the unignorable reports of his shouting at his office staff. But neither that nor his plea bargain justify hounding him from office.

City voters elected him Sheriff last November, and city voters should decide whether they want him to continue in that office, whether that decision is made in a recall election or the election in 2015.

State Senator Yee, famously opportunistic, just happened to nominate domestic violence zealot Beverly Upton as Woman of the Year at this particular time?

Yee spokesman Adam Keigwin said the Mirkarimi case had nothing to do with Upton being selected for the Woman of the Year honor. “That issue had no bearing on this,” he said.

It's safe to call that a flat-out lie.



At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"State Senator Yee, famously opportunistic, just happened to nominate domestic violence zealot Beverly Upton as Woman of the Year at this particular time?"

Is this the same Senator Yee that inadvertently put sunscreen lotion in his pocket and walked out of a store while vacationing in Hawaii??

At 11:40 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Maybe the tide is turning against the anti-Mirkarimi lynch mob. Three anti-mob pieces in the Chronicle this morning. Here, here, and here.

At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was talking to my neighbor about this whole thing...he said (and I couldn't believe it) "bruises happen". As a women, the only bruise that is acceptable is one that I get when I accidently bump into the nightstand.

At 11:44 PM, Anonymous Tami Bryant said...

Thank you for signing the petition... I thought I recognized your name, but figured it could be another "Rob Anderson." I appreciate you distinguishing between having policy disagreements, and how you feel about him, with how wrong it is to thwart the will of the voters! I would HATE a recall, and I would campaign for him to keep his office, but at least that is democratic compared to the appointed incumbent removing him from office when there is not a precedent for that, and when his motives are so transparently self-serving and politically motivated! I believe he was appropriately sentenced, and that is his debt to society, not losing his elected office, family, and home.

At 9:40 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, and it's particularly galling that Ed Lee, who's political career in City Hall began with a lie, tries now to remove Mirkarimi, who people have elected to office in SF three times. I didn't vote for Mirkarimi in any of those elections, but that's not the issue here. I don't think that his guilty plea rises to the level of official misconduct, especially since the alleged original offense took place before he even took office as Sheriff. We can only hope that the Ethics Commission and the BOS resist the political lynch mob and let city voters decide whether Mirkarimi is fit to represent them.

At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Tami Bryant said...

Thank you for your reply and expressing your viewpoint here, and elsewhere! I am really overwhelmed knowing that you can see the injustice in how this played out; this is because you had a principled difference with him, and it was not petty, or personal. Even the fact now that his wife has fled the country to the comfort of her homeland, and the man still cannot go home? How is that even justifiable? How can that jeopardize the wife and child if they're on another continent? This has played out to be cruel beyond belief! When I confronted Gascon on how this case was handled, his reaction to me was sinister! I believe that they recklessly squandered limited public resources in their effort to conjure up a case based on after the fact hearsay!

At 8:10 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The domestic violence "community"---and some in the media, like C.W. Nevius---are reciting from some domestic violence textbook---"Domestic Violence for Dummies"---forcing the facts in this case to fit some abstract principles.

Mirkarimi's wife, who I don't know, doesn't impress me as the victim type, but both her and Ross's statements are routinely discounted because, well, he's the abuser and she's the victim, and nothing they say is presumably credible.

What apparently happened: they had a fight that got out of control, things were said and done that shouldn't have been. Their relationship and their marriage is in crisis, and then she talks about going back to Venezuela to visit her family, taking their son with her. Ross of course is thinking then---and probably now!---what if she doesn't come back with his son, who he loves more than anything in the world?

There's nothing that prepares you for it when learn that love for your child is more powerful than any romantic love you've ever experienced.

Best case scenario: the Ethics Commission decides that Mirkarimi's plea bargain doesn't amount to official misconduct and votes to not pass the case on to the Board of Supervisors. I don't know the folks on the commission, but, alas, there aren't many people with that kind of political backbone.

And there's nothing preventing any of the supervisors from saying right now, "Stop, this is bullshit. Let's not let it go any further. I won't vote to throw Mirkarimi out of office. Let's let Ross and his wife deal with this. No more billboards, no more columns by Nevius!"


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