Saturday, December 29, 2012

The silence of the progs

During the Dec. 11 appeal hearing on the Fell/Oak bike lane project, supervisors Avalos, Kim, Mar, and Campos had nothing at all to say about the project. All of these supervisors are already on record as supporting everything the Bicycle Coalition wants to do to our streets, so why didn't they speak up? 

Supervisors Chiu and Wiener were the only supervisors to even try to make substantive comments on the specifics of the appeal, and Supervisors Chu, Farrell, and Elsbernd all made brief---and stupid---remarks in support of the project, but the progs didn't even do that.

Instead, they let the so-called moderates, Supervisors Wiener and Chiu, do the dirty and dumb work in support of a project that will surely have a negative impact on this part of the city and which, if the appellants decide to litigate, is likely to be ruled illegal by the courts. Are they worried about the growing opposition in their districts to City Hall's aggressive expansion of parking meters? Are they worried about the combined impact of the Fell/Oak project and the nearby Masonic Avenue project? Hard to know when they don't explain themselves---and no one asks them about it.

But that all the prog supervisors abstained from participating in the hearing---except that they all naturally voted to reject the appeal---looks like it was prearranged.

Funny that no one has even asked them about this. In fact there's been no story on the hearing on this important project in the Chronicle, the Examiner, the Bay Guardian, or the SF Weekly.

After coming in second place to Mayor Lee in last year's election, Supervisor Avalos is the de facto leader of city progressives. I've wondered before whether Avalos has any political backbone. Check out his campaign website and try to find any serious political content, even on the "issues" page. If you're the city's progressive leader, why not endorse the Fell/Oak bicycle project, especially if you're already going to vote to reject the appeal?

Avalos made his spinelessness official with his reaction to rumors of a recall move against Sheriff Mirkarimi:

It doesn't appear Mirkarimi would have much support from[Supervisors] Campos or Avalos. They said they'd probably stay neutral. "I've already spent months of my life anxiously awaiting a vote that I knew would upset everyone in San Francisco, and I'm not really looking forward to going through that again," Avalos said. "I would probably stay out of it."

But he and Campos already voted to allow Mirkarimi to stay in office. If they believe that the charges against the Murk weren't serious enough to justify dismissing him, why would they be "neutral" if/when a recall campaign was launched based on the same charges?

Supervisor Kim has the same problem: why vote for Mirkarimi and then support a recall based on the same insubstantial charges? Kim's candle power has always been questionable, and the same question now has to be asked about Supervisor Avalos.

The problem San Francisco progressives face is that their leadership is just plain stupid---and now they know that it's also politically gutless.

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