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Compare and Contrast, Part Two

Oct
31
2003

(The links to the Examiner no longer connect to archived articles.)
A few days ago, Assemblyman Leland Yee was quoted as saying that he counts himself lucky to be in Sacramento because San Francisco politics has gotten so nasty. Man. He wasn’t kidding.
Today’s Ex is just loaded with dish, so click on over. Take a spoon. It’s juicy.
The stand-out — and this is saying something — is Angela Alioto grabbing headlines — in print and on the web — with yet another temper tantrum. Alioto’s been taking shots at front-runner Gavin Newsom all summer in what looks like an attempt to trigger some kind of class resentment of Newsom’s business community and wealthy neighborhood support. She even took a shot at his recently deceased mother. Now, Alioto’s mad at The Chron’s John Diaz for endorsing Newsom.
It’s weird to see a candidate, particularly one with the kind of experience Alioto has, fall apart like this, so publicly. A smart, tough cookie, a woman who should be admired in a number of ways, Alioto is from one of the city’s better regarded political families. And she should be as proud as she is of that family’s accomplishments and contributions to San Francisco.
But that’s not enough to guarantee her the mayor’s job. The “people know me” stuff Alioto’s trotting out just doesn’t work; people don’t know her. They don’t know her family. They don’t remember former Mayor Joe Alioto. Instead, they see a wealthy trial attorney engaged in some kind of bizarre grudge match with a man young enough to be her son. It doesn’t help when Alioto gets going on the stump. She sounds just like Marge Simpson. More telling: Alioto doesn’t know The Simpsons.
Her charges that Newsom is nothing more than the rich son of privilege are just as out of touch. In her latest flyer, Alioto says she won a $11.2 million judgment against Mary Kaye, the cosmetic firm. Well, trial lawyers aren’t known for their altruism. They usually take home 30 percent of the settlements they get, meaning Alioto probably pocketed $3 million from the Mary Kaye case. She earned it. There’s no doubt about that. But those seven-figure fees are more than enough to cover the expense of running for Mayor.
That’s a glass house, Angela. Move out.
UPDATE:Mayoral candidate Angela Alioto told TheEx that she hasn’t lost it. She’s just tired. I believe it.


But, well, maybe that’s not all. A reader with an elephantine memory — he didn’t forget — forwarded on a column from a 1991 edition of TheEx in which Alioto’s campaign was dissected by columnist Bill Mandel.
Mandel could be writing today so little about Alioto’s campaign tactics have changed. The money graph:
“Sometimes her mouth doesn’t check in with the mind before firing,” Mandel writes of Alioto. He found her 1991 campaign long on nostalgia for the halycon days of Joe Alioto’s mayoralty and short on substance. And he claimed, Alioto seemed to have problems handling pressure.
“Why else would Alioto, who was acting mayor in November, 1989, when a construction crane fell in the Financial District, killing five people, behave in such an erratic, dramatic, Al Haig manner that press reports described her as ‘agitated,’ ‘confusing’ and ‘leaving reporters scratching their heads’?”
Yikes. Well, at least she didn’t put anyone on the PUC.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 10:42 AM | Permalink

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