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A Mean Green Fighting Machine

Aug
12
2003

A snarky little rumor about San Francisco Supervisors Matt Gonzalez and Tom Ammiano is making its way around the city’s political circles. It’s not a particularly nice story.
Worried that Supervisor Gavin Newsom is a shoo-in for the mayor’s race — he leads in most polls — Gonzalez has entered with the hopes of forcing Ammiano out. Young, articulate and a wheeler-dealer, Gonzalez, a Green Party candidate in the mayor’s race, currently president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, seems to think he can take Newsom in the run-off. Lucky San Franciscans get to vote three times between now and the end of the year. Think of it as the thrill of Democracy.
Gonzalez might be right about his potential to draw votes one-on-one against Newsom. But the way he’s said to be setting up for the contest is not the clean green politics that’s usually associated with the Left. It’s old-style machine politics.


The rumored scenario is that Green Party members of the city’s school board would see to it that Ammiano, a former teacher, is offered the school superintendent’s job. A job, by the way, that’s already filled, by Arlene Ackerman, the administrator hired from the Washington, D.C. school system.
Ammiano, of course, couldn’t run the school system and run for mayor and be a county supervisor; he’d have to quit elected politics to take the job. It may be nothing more than a pipe dream but it’s a classic squeeze play.
Ammiano, who polls second to Newsom, has tough job even without the school board scenario that some are spinning. If Ammiano moves right, he runs smack into Susan Leal and her trailing but potentially formidable campaign. And then he has to take on Newsom who’s got the city’s Progressive Liberals (that Plan C crowd and other Bevan Dufty supporters in the southern part of the city) tucked neatly in the pocket of his Egyptian cotton shirts. Besides, a move right would mean that Ammiano could offend his strongest supporter, folks who might already be heading to Gonzalez’s camp. Another squeeze play made more painful since it’s real.
Will it happen? Probably not. But candidates do have until the 26th to withdraw from the city’s ballot.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 10:09 PM | Permalink

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