Derailing the Jaye Train

Why Matt Gonzalez should stick with his progressive roots, and ignore pressure to act "responsibly"

According to city campaign finance records, the Mills Corp. campaign, led by Jaye, spent $10,000 on calls urging city residents to contact the Port Commission and ask members to vote for the Mills project. The Jaye-led campaign spent $10,000 more on flyers. The campaign spent $15,900 renting buses to transport a crowd to the Port Commission to "encourage" members to support the Mills project. The campaign paid extra consultants $6,600 to help assemble this crowd. And it spent $2,100 on temp workers to help manage this "mobilization."

Last fall Eric Jaye's political consultancy, known as Storefront Political Media, took in some $1.7 million, more than half of all money spent on city political consultants in the last quarter of 2002. He steered the successful Care Not Cash initiative, which posited Gavin Newsom as a new kind of young politician possessing bold new ideas. He worked the Prop. A campaign, obtaining $1.6 in bonding authority for the PUC, $800 million in excess of what the mayor's own experts said was required.

Now, paid callers are working over Aaron Peskin. And people in some political circles are suggesting that Matt Gonzalez faces a choice between sticking with his friends or proving himself a responsible leader.

In my view, he can accomplish the latter by doing the former.

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