On Removing Ross Mirkarimi …

by on March 27, 2012

To the Editor:

I may be naive, but I cannot believe there is a downside for a Supervisor voting to remove Ross Mirkarimi from office. According to a March 21 CBS 5 poll, 72 percent of those surveyed believed Mirkarimi should resign his post as Sheriff, with 67 percent saying city leaders should oust him if he won’t go. In other words, the public has already found him guilty. After all, we have not been kept in the dark about the evidence and legal arguments in this ongoing drama. Therefore, unless Mirkarimi presents some compelling evidence at the Ethics Commission, I don’t see the down side for any Supervisor voting to oust him based on the evidence before him or her.

Ralph E. Stone
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Your analysis on removing Mirkarimi is flawed. Let’s take Eric Mar, for a start. In his last campaign he was dogged by a phalanx of JROTC students who attempted to harass his campaign rallies because of the principled stand he took on the school board against the military recruitment program. Despite these attacks, he maintained his position and ran such a good campaign, convincing people of his sincerity and concern for the district that he won a seat on the Board of Supervisors. I don’t look for him to cast his principles aside just because he is up for reelection and threatened with attack from the same rightwing forces.

David Campos is another principled progressive who is up for reelection, and whom you concede probably doesn’t face the same pressure to the same degree in his district. So look for him to stand firm for Ross in the face of the “inconvenience” the right seeks to impose. John Avalos I don’t know personally, but I voted for him and see no reason for him to act now based on what some describe as political expediency. That’s not what he’s about.

Ok, so that makes the three needed to absolve Mirkarimi before the Board of Supervisors, but you always want a margin of a couple more on your side to ease the pressure of any one of the above being scapegoated as the deciding vote. So let’s look at two more possibilities here: Christina Olague, who will be under great pressure to abandon her liberal principles and hang Ross. I am still becoming acquainted with her and would say it’s a 50-50 chance which way she will go. But I will say she’s no babe in the woods, and understands clearly the political power play the machine is trying to pull off here. Another wild card is Jane Kim. She is another progressive who sometimes swings with the conservative bloc. I’ll just say I prefer to think of her as a well-meaning and usually principled progressive who will have to examine her conscience and make a wise decision.

There is a much larger dimension to this matter than just Ross Mirkarimi, you understand? This case is ugly machine politics at its dirtiest. As things go along, the truth of that will become more and more evident. You and probably also the SFBG are too immersed in minutiae and in staking out a seemingly independent stance to see the bigger picture. The machine has overreached here and when machines do that they can be brought tumbling down. Look for it. It’s coming.

Barry Eisenberg
San Francisco

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