Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Aaron Peskin leads from behind


Aaron Peskin has a reputation as a strong leader, but an examination of his political career shows that he's often either led public policy in the wrong direction or simply run with City Hall's "progressive" political lemmings.

Peskin's leadership spine got all wobbly when he was asked the other day about the proposed Idaho stop for cyclists:

So far it has the support of six supervisors: Avalos, Wiener, Breed, Eric Mar, David Campos and Jane Kim. Supervisors Cohen, Norman Yee and Katy Tang are expected to vote against it. That means that to override the mayor’s veto, Supervisors Mark Farrell and Aaron Peskin would need to vote for it.

Farrell said he hasn’t made up his mind, while Peskin — who joined the board last week after winning the November election — seemed baffled by the legislation when asked about it. “I’m focused on writing a resolution to extend rent control,” he said. “That’s what I’m thinking about.”

Peskin suggested he wants to see the mayor follow through on his threat to veto the legislation before he gives serious thought about whether to support it.

“Let’s talk about it after then,” Peskin said (Passions in overdrive on plan to allow rolling stops for bikes).

Peskin can't think about two issues at the same time? Of course he knows what the proposal is all about. He just doesn't know yet which way the wind is blowing.

Recall that like all good city progressives in 2003 Peskin supported the Central Subway boondoggle (Proposition K, page 143) but opposed it when he ran for mayor in 2011[Wrong! He didn't run for mayor] after a critical grand jury report---and Mayor Lee of course continued to support it.

There was little political difference between the "moderate" Julie Christensen and Peskin in the campaign for District 3 Supervisor; neither stood up for the Polk Street neighborhood against City Hall's bike project that will redesign that street on behalf of the bike lobby. Peskin bought the MTA's lie about the safety of Polk Street to justify rolling over for City Hall and the Bicycle Coalition.

Peskin understood how important bicycles were to city progressives way back in 2005. Recall that Peskin ran with the lemmings when, as president of the Board of Supervisors, the board voted unanimously to make the Bicycle Plan part of the General Plan and to begin implementing it without any environmental study, an obvious violation of CEQA, the most important environmental law in California.

That was the year that Peskin voted for a resolution to give cop-killer Mumia Abu-jamal a new trial. The prog assumption: Mumia was black and the cop he killed was white, so he must have been innocent. 

Peskin sold out the Hayes Valley neighborhood and the people of San Francisco by allowing UC to rip off the old extension property on Haight Street for a massive housing development.

As supervisor Peskin was an early leader in gentrifying the city with his support for highrise development, except in low-rise North Beach where he lives.

Peskin was instrumental in bringing the cumbersome Ranked Choice Voting system to the city, making voting unnecessarily complicated and often electing people who get few votes.

And of course Peskin tried to throw Ross Mirkarimi under the bus early during the trumped-up spousal abuse charges.

The only important issue Peskin showed real leadership on: he tried to stop the dumb Treasure Island project that will allow 19,000 residents on the island.

Peskin was originally elected in 2000, when the city restored district elections. He and the "progressive" class of supervisors elected in 2000 have done more damage to San Francisco than anything since the 1906 earthquake and fire.

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