George Gascon as D.A.; On Progressive San Francisco; Dr. Joseph Maroon …

by on January 12, 2011

To the Editor:

George Gascon, a Republican, is going to win a City-Wide election? I think I’ll have to ask Anne Marie Conroy about how that is done. Plus, he supports the death penalty which is an unpopular position in San Francisco and an expensive proposition everywhere.

George Davis
San Francisco

To the Editor:

I read your January 11, 2011 article about Progressives on the BOS marginalizing themselves. One comment. The moderates members of the BOS are not “hacks”. They are people who do not believe exactly the way you do. They are far more likely to compromise and work with you than extreme members of the Progressive movement who as you so correctly point out are more likely to step on each other when one is not progressive enough.

In the wake of the Arizona shooting it would be well to remember that others who do not agree with us are not evil, incompetent or corrupt. They don’t agree with us. Don’t belittle or marginalize them. When you do, it’s too easy to stop seeing them as people and start seeing them as objects to be pushed aside.

Walt Bell
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Let’s review what took place on the interim mayor outcome. Newsom announced he was delaying his departure in order to ensure a successor mayor acceptable to himself, and then named four people he would find acceptable. The progressives preferred options they believed were more in line with their views that increased taxes should be on the table in meeting the budget deficit, and that staying with Newsom’s course in general was something they long opposed. They moved toward either Agnos or Peskin, but well vetted by previous tenures in office. However, there was enough sentiment for reaching across the divide to accept one of Newsom’s candidates, and that was Sheriff Mike Hennessey.

In doing so, they signaled their willingness to meet Newsom on Newsom’s side of the divide. Newsom himself reportedly called Hennessey to ask if he would be willing to serve as interim mayor. At some point toward the end of this process, Newsom then reneged on his own expressed list of acceptable candidates, and actually urged those susceptible to his influence to vote against Newsom’s own named option and instead select Ed Lee. Thus the effort to meet Newsom on his own grounds was thrown back in the face of those seeking to accommodate him while Newsom used closed-door dealmaking to persuade supervisors to vote for Ed Lee.

Bevan Dufty and David Chiu both failed progressive values, but not because they voted for Ed Lee. Either could easily justify a vote for Ed Lee on progressive grounds. They failed because they participated in a process designed to heighten tensions rather than lessen them, and designed to marginalize and divide based on Newsom’s personality. All either had to do was to announce they had met with Mayor Newsom who had informed them that he no longer considered Mike Hennessey to be acceptable, despite his own earlier statements, and was asking for a vote for Ed Lee.

Unfortunately, Ed Lee now takes office saddled by the burden placed on him by Newsom that he was used to play the system of transparency, and Newsom’s own stated goal that the selection not be politicized. Those of us who know Ed Lee believe he lacks the sullen churlishness that has marked Newsom’s style. We cannot imagine him betraying his colleagues by sleeping with a member of his staff and then trying to have the city pick up the costs of the resultant disability. Nor can we imagine Ed Lee stalking out of an interview with Hank Plante while belittling him. Nor will he manufacture issues designed for pure political purposes rather than to problem solve, as Newsom did in opposing everything from street permits for the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence annual fundraiser to disinvestment of city funds in Burma (something even George Bush supported) to a strategy of demonizing his opponents.

However, Chiu and Dufty in particular have demonstrated that they are willing players in a political game that hides from the public critical policy making, and cannot be trusted to be candid and honest with their colleagues on something as important as the city’s top leadership. Their values are totally transactional and thus will shift depending on how they benefit from the transaction. If this is the new progressivism, where the ends justify the means, then we have met the enemy and it is us.

Larry Bush
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Dr. Joseph Maroon is the same guy who dismissed a jaw correcting device, currently used in the NFL, that helps protect the medial temporal lobe area, where CTE is found. Boxers who develop CTE are known to have a Glass jaw. An NFL presentation in NY was ignored in 07 and no mandate or effective research has been initiated by the NFL. Yet the Pentagon and the Army are moving forward to investigate this means of prevention, Maroon still asks, just how do you get a concussion from a blow to the jaw?

Mark Picot
Boston, MA

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