Every mayoral candidate who wants the progressive vote showed up for the Guardian forum Sept. 21. Everyone except Mayor Ed Lee.
Yeah, the mayor’s a busy guy. But state senators and city attorneys and public defenders and city assessors and supervisors are busy, too, and those people managed to get to the LGBT Center, where more than 100 people were packed into the fourth floor room.
Jeff Adachi made a point of talking about “showing up” — and everyone knew exactly what he was saying. Where was Ed?
Well, maybe the mayor isn’t interested in votes from the city’s left, but I kind of doubt he’s written off such a huge sector of the population. In fact, by that standard, he would have written off most of the neighborhoods, and most of the political clubs. Because the mayor isn’t showing up much at all.
There have been more than 50 forums, debates and candidates nights over the course of the election season. Sure, some of them happened before Lee got in the race — but since the day he filed his papers, the other candidates have gone to between 12 and 15 events. Lee has made it to maybe two or three — and when he does show up, he often answers one question then leaves.
I get the strategy: Lee is pretending to be above the political fray. He’s the incumbent in the Rose Garden, refusing to lower himself to the level of all that riffraff out there trying to communicate with the voters. He’s making sure nobody gets to ask him any embarrassing questions; that way he won’t make any mistakes. And his entire reelection will be one big scripted event, paid for with big corporate money and managed from behind the scenes by the same slick operators who brought you Gavin Newsom.
Do we really want four more years of that?
Tony Winnicker, who was Newsom’s press secretary, is now handing the media for Lee. He’s just as hostile and dismissive of legitimate journalistic inquiries as he ever was, just as full of spin and vinegar. He acts as if campaigning — you know, the stuff all the others are doing — is beneath the dignity of His Honor.
Come on, Mr. Mayor. Come out and campaign like everyone else. We’re starting to wonder what you’re trying to hide.