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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
November 16, 2014

Christine Pelosi named as potential new S.F. Supervisor

San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu’s election to the state Assembly will have wide reverberations at City Hall in the coming weeks — and could leave District Three unrepresented for a month — as political insiders jockey to influence not only who will replace him but also who will be the board’s new president.

Many possibilities exist for both jobs, and it seems likely that the board will have a new president before it has a new supervisor. The developments are being closely watched, because a more progressive District Three representative or president stands to shift the balance of power toward the left at the Board of Supervisors and affect whether Mayor Ed Lee can secure legislative backing for his tech-friendly, pro-business policies.

Planning Commission President Cindy Wu — a longtime affordable housing advocate whose politics are to the left of Lee’s — is favored by Chinatown power players for Chiu’s seat. For much of the past year, she has been seen as the heir apparent for the District Three seat, but her connections are giving some mayoral allies pause.

Lee is being pressured by some in his inner circle to look at other candidates considered more moderate or business-friendly. They include Julie Christensen, a neighborhood activist and product design consultant whose advocacy included the construction of the new North Beach Library, and Christine Pelosi, a Democratic Party strategist and the daughter of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco.


November 16, 2014

Emails show SF zookeepers pushed for extra help, warned of hazards before gorilla death

More than a year before a closing hydraulic door fatally crushed a 16-month-old gorilla, zookeepers pushed for extra staff to monitor the San Francisco Zoo’s youngest gorilla and warned that young gorillas had trouble understanding the zoo’s electric doors, documents show.

National agencies and an investigator hired by the zoo are trying to piece together what happened Nov. 7 when Kabibe, a western lowland gorilla who was born at the zoo in July 2013, somehow ended up pinned underneath one of the doors to the gorillas’ nighttime enclosure at closing time.

Initial information released by the zoo shows that the zookeeper “appeared” to not follow protocol by keeping a hand on an emergency stop button to the doors as they closed.

Emails and documents obtained by The San Francisco Examiner on Friday show that gorilla keepers warned that young gorillas did not understand closing doors, and that after Kabibe was introduced to the group, workers pushed for a third zookeeper who was never hired.


November 16, 2014

My wish: Obama for future Mayor of Chicago.

Being a president should not have to be the end of time in elected office. He's will still be relatively young, in good shape and mentally keen as ever when he leaves the White House in 2017. And it should never be considered a "step down".

November 16, 2014

Four names pop up ahead of possible Boxer retirement.

Among the most talked-about potential candidates are (Gavin) Newsom, (Kamela) Harris, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and his successor, Eric Garcetti.

California Democrats most often come with one of two pedigrees: Bay Area or Los Angeles. A ranking Democrat in the Bay Area is known by more than a quarter of the state's Democrats; a Democrat in the Southern California area commands the attention of upward of 40%. That is a key advantage over politicians from other areas, but the edge vanishes if it's divided by multiple candidates.

For example, Newsom and Harris. Their profiles in the recent poll were almost identical. Each was at least twice as popular in the Bay Area as in Los Angeles County, though Newsom was more popular up north, on their joint home ground; their standings among Democrats, independents, minority voters, urban residents, men and women, young and old were remarkably similar.

One of them against, say, Villaraigosa, would be a classic North-South clash. But if there were two candidates from the north, the edge could move south.


November 16, 2014

Terry McAuliffe: 60 Days Until Hillary Decision

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says Hillary Clinton will know whether she's running for president in 2016 within the next 60 days.

That's the timeline the Clinton confidante outlined to U.S. News' Nikki Schwab Thursday night during a conversation at the Knock Out Abuse gala, an anti-domestic violence charity event held at The Ritz-Carlton in Washington.

Here's what McAuliffe said:

"She’s got to make that decision and she’s got to spend the next 60 days making that decision. Obviously I’m close friends with the Clintons, I chaired her last campaign. If you know Hillary, she’s going to make up her own mind. I tell you, I hope she runs. It’s time for a woman president of the United States of America. Put the woman issue aside for a minute – she’s tough, she is smart, she is very pro-business, she will get this economy going. She will help the middle class. So I’m hoping she runs, but you know, it’s her decision. But I’m really hoping she runs, but I’m leaving that decision to her."

Sixty days from now would place Clinton's decision around mid-January. When she reveals that decision is an entirely different question.

November 16, 2014

Poll on Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein: Step aside

A University of Southern California/Los Angeles Times poll released over the weekend shows that most California voters surveyed think their two veteran Democratic senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, should not run for re-election.

Beyond the expected big majority of Republicans feeling that way, Democratic voters were divided almost equally on the question.

Boxer, who turns 74 on Tuesday and is up for re-election in two years, and Feinstein, 81, whose term expires in 2018, have not said whether they will try to win new six-year terms. But they have dropped a few hints.

Feinstein is preparing to reintroduce sweeping legislation to expand protection of the California desert. Last week, she told a gathering of environmentalists that it would be "the final campaign" to see the bill through.


November 16, 2014

Duckworth interested in challenging Kirk for Senate seat in 2016

WASHINGTON — Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., is interested in a 2016 Senate run against Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., but for now is focused on the impending birth of her daughter, who is due any day.

A member of Duckworth’s team — who is familiar with how Duckworth is approaching the possibility of a 2016 run — confirmed that Duckworth is “interested, open and curious” about a Senate bid and is receptive to having conversations about the race.

Duckworth, 46, is taking her time, having just won a second term to represent the northwest suburban 8th Congressional District.

Ten years ago this week, Duckworth, a retired member of the Illinois National Guard, was shot down while flying a Black Hawk helicopter over Iraq. She lost both legs and shattered her right arm.

Duckworth is the only Democrat in Illinois who can cut into the enormous goodwill Kirk has stockpiled as a result of a massive stroke that kept him out of the Senate for almost a year.

Both Duckworth and Kirk use wheelchairs and canes.


November 16, 2014

The 10 states that could decide the next Senate

The Senate map for 2016 might not be as bad for Republicans as it looks.

The GOP has a bigger cushion than expected for its new majority, probably 54 seats. More veteran senators may stick around to preserve safe seats. And some vulnerable incumbents will have committee chairmanships that could pump up their profiles.

Even though conventional wisdom suggests this may be a short-lived Republican majority, interviews with nearly two dozen operatives in Washington and 2016 battleground states reveal a more nuanced picture of the next Senate landscape. The most vulnerable Democrats this year were up in very red states; the most endangered Republicans in 2016 will, with the exception of Illinois, be defending seats in purple terrain.

Three sitting Republican senators begin the cycle as underdogs: Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson, Illinois’ Mark Kirk and Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey. Obama carried each of these states by at least 5 points in 2012, and there are credible challengers who will likely take little coaxing to get in. The only truly endangered Democratic incumbent is soon-to-be Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.


November 15, 2014

Education is just plain expensive, no matter the grade level.

School supplies, check. Afterschool, check. Chess club, check. Sports, check. Clothes, check. Lunch, check.

Whenever I read about the income gap for families with school-age kids, the discussion tends to revolve around whether one can afford private schools. But no one ever talks about all the things parents have to pay for even when kids go to public schools. And as a third-grade parent, I what a difference it makes to be able to afford all the "extras" I mention above. Our educational system is set up to drain us dry, no matter what path we take.

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
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Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
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About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.
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