But the skills that allowed Wiener to become a prolific legislator among his peers have not worked their magic on voters. Two of the three charter amendments he's placed on the ballot have been rejected. Most notably, Proposition E of 2011 was snubbed by 67 percent of voters despite its foes raising just $13,200 to combat it (tech investor turned moderate cash machine Ron Conway pitched in $10,000 toward the measure). In short, Prop. E would have enabled future Boards of Supervisors or mayors to amend or repeal future voter-enacted measures. Wiener will be the smartest guy in almost any room he walks into — but it's asking a lot of voters to essentially cede this point by allowing him and other elected officials to undermine measures they ratified at the ballot box. "I got my rear end handed to me on Prop. E," admits Wiener. "Voters always ask me, 'Why can't you guys do your jobs?' So I proposed a policy to see if they really meant it. ... We have a dysfunctional ballot system. I thought it was important to propose reform."

That sounds about right. Even in losing, Wiener can claim he was attempting to reform a broken system, while his opponents battled to retain the unworkable status quo. His subtle efforts to change the city's rules, akin to altering a few lines of coding within a vast program, could lead to drastic changes. But few can be bothered to parse those details. And, even when Wiener fails, he's never gotten into a wreck serious enough he hasn't walked away from it. Nothing has even slowed him down.

"Ninety-nine of 100 voters won't have a clue what [Prop. E] was about," explains Latterman, Wiener's longtime strategist. "I've said this to Scott over and over again: It doesn't matter if you lose or win. People will remember you did something. Here's the guy who's doing something.

Those close to Scott Wiener say he's not "too uptight or too serious. ... He is very comfortable in his skin and very comfortable with other people."
J. P. Dobrin
Those close to Scott Wiener say he's not "too uptight or too serious. ... He is very comfortable in his skin and very comfortable with other people."
Upon being sworn in as a supervisor in 2011, Scott Wiener realizes he is too big 
for his desk.
Joe Eskenazi
Upon being sworn in as a supervisor in 2011, Scott Wiener realizes he is too big for his desk.

"They've heard of him. He does shit. And they respect him."

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19 comments
sebraleaves
sebraleaves topcommenter

Are the recall Wiener rumors for real? Voters don't take too kindly to someone who tries to take away their right to protest at the ballot, or someone who tries to hide information from about how to legally appeal decisions they disagree with.

Why do people who hate a place the way it is, move and try to change it? Why don't they just stay where they are, and leave those of us who love the way it is alone?

marcos
marcos

Of course the risk of having no political center of gravity is that one is constantly pissing everyone off about something.

Wiener is not crafting any new coalitions to challenge the dysfunction in government, rather fine tuning dysfunction to benefit whomever he's carrying legislation for.

The gamble, and the risks are significant, is that people remember whatever crumbs they get and forget the turds tossed their way when Wiener makes his next move.


UntoldStories
UntoldStories

“Cathedrals” seems meant to mock the regular people that dare to question the SF political machine, but it is true. The parks are our Cathedrals, built over generations and shared by all. Just like religious Cathedrals, parks are a places that people go for a sense of community, to be inspired, to relax, to meditate, to escape day-to-day pressures, and for family bonding – among other things. The wonder is these Park Cathedrals have been shared and meant for everyone no matter one’s race, age, gender, social-economic background, sexual orientation, or political persuasion.

Just like with a religious institution that is loved and financed by the masses, the parks are a gold mine and are ripe for corruption and manipulation that benefits only a select few. It is quite sad that trusted City leaders aren’t interested in the needs and desires of the majority of people that are paying millions for this unnecessary and deceptive bit-by-bit destruction and commercialization of much loved parks. Allowing people to speak but not listening or caring what is said seems far worse than not pretending to listen at all. For Sup. Wiener, these Parks Cathedrals seem to have little meaning other than as pawns in his political chess game.

Guest
Guest

The Mayor Of Castro Street 

marcos
marcos

Aside from Wiener's distinct lack of political center of gravity, what I find interesting is that someone who has no life to speak of outside of politics is making policy for the rest of us who do.

At some point, you've got to have some skin in the game along with constituents to make grounded policies.  

But when your policies don't need to be grounded, when the name of the game is putting points on an apolitical board than the guy next to you to augment your resume, then government ends up all reduced to mindless technocracy.

patnlisa
patnlisa

The antithesis of pretty much everything Harvey fought and died for.

JinCastro
JinCastro

What DOES emerge about this guy is how peculiar he really is:  obsessive, arrogant, non-human.  Banning nudists will be his only real legacy.  As a District 8 voter, I look forward to kicking him out of office in 2014.

apple123
apple123

balboa high grad here. and Castro neighborhood resident ... i can always tell the non-san franciscans.  they talk about the city being this city where anything goes, blah blah blah.  i am a native san franciscan and i support scott weiner 100%.  as for this city becoming too expensive...  it's not just san francisco, it's every major metropolitan area right now:  london, paris, new york, tokyo, beijing, singapore.  some of you want to blame weiner for the cold weather we're having.  Scott is the best thing to happen to this city in a very long time.

apple123
apple123

balboa high grad here.... i can always tell the non-san franciscans.  they talk about the city being this city where anything goes, blah blah blah.  i am a native san franciscan and i support scott weiner 100%.  as for this city becoming too expensive...  it's not just san francisco, it's every major metropolitan area right now:  london, paris, new york, tokyo, beijing, singapore.  some of you want to blame weiner for the cold weather we're having.  is it because he's gay or jewish or what?   scott weiner is doing his job, not like those two san francican wannabes from los angeles, avalos and camps.

apple123
apple123

balboa high grad here.... i can always tell the non-san franciscans.  they talk about the city being this city where anything goes, blah blah blah.  i am a native san franciscan and i support scott weiner 100%.  as for this city becoming too expensive...  it's not just san francisco, it's every major metropolitan area right now:  london, paris, new york, tokyo, beijing, singapore.  some of you want to blame weiner for the cold weather we're having.  is it because he's gay or jewish or what?   scott weiner is doing his job, not like those two san francican wannabes from los angeles, avalos and camps.

philhellene
philhellene

This guy is an ambitious train wreck.  He would do well in Orange County but his ideas are out of sync with San Francisco.  Don't encourage him by giving him publicity.

SF_Resident
SF_Resident

Wiener is such a TOTAL disaster.

He is arrogant, full of himself and a puppet for the realtors and wealthy!

He must have learned both totalitarian behavior and neoliberal ideology during his Fulbright year in Chile. 

He will do a LOT more damage to this Cty. :(

Guest
Guest

SF is moving beyond its adolescence. It's slowly becoming more serious, pragmatic, and sensible.

Blipper
Blipper

@philhellene The typical SF response to anything they are afraid of/dislike - get out of town!

Blipper
Blipper

@SF_Resident You seem to love hyperbole. Anyone who knows Scott knows that he isnt arrogrant or full of himself. Anyone who isnt virulently anti growth in this town is "in the pocket of developers"

Grow up, and get out of your provincial shell

Guest
Guest

@Guest It's becoming a carbon copy of everything that people once moved here to get away from. In the new San Francisco life is a struggle, over crowding if it means more growth is good, and life is cheep because your replaceable. If you love the struggle of life that is NYC in 2013 you will love  the new pro- big-business , 2.5 kids and a sabb, vacuous, bore-fest where MBAs have a touch base and something called "quality of life" feels prescribed from a network TV show, Its living with people for whom culture is yogurt or something to check off a list. Yes serious indeed. 

GuestyGuest
GuestyGuest

@Guest That's just a more convoluted way of saying "I've been living in my rent-controlled apartment for over 20 years, and I'm scared I'll be thrown out."  Anyone who actually owns property in SF probably doesn't think the way you do.  

Guest
Guest

@Guest Maybe it's time to move on and make room for someone who will appreciate all the opportunities SF provides. 

 
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