Examples of Chris Daly behaving boorishly in the Board of Supervisors' chambers and embarrassing even his friends are as myriad as instances of folks in Daly's district behaving boorishly on the streets of the Tenderloin and embarrassing their friends. So when the District 6 supe publicly berated his pal and protege Supervisor John Avalos last week for supposedly getting played by the mayor's minions -- after the latter was the supes' lead man in sealing a budget deal -- it was easy to shrug it off as more Daly histrionics.
At the heart of this dust-up is a rather vile little loophole in the city charter that allows the mayor to simply not spend money the supes have allocated. If, say, the supes gather and vote to fund Project A, the mayor can veto it, the supes can override that veto -- and then the mayor can simply allow Project A to die in all but name by not allocating any money to it. We've written about this in the past and noted last month that Daly has proposed a charter amendment that would do away with this nonsense once and for all (he'll get the ball rolling on it today at rules committee). Unless we're misreading something, however, the soonest Daly's charter amendment could become the law of the land is toward the tail end of 2009 -- which won't help a bit in the near term.
And that could be relevant, and quick. As BeyondChron.org's Paul Hogarth pointed out, Budget Analyst Harvey Rose noted that 41 percent of all the money "added back" to last year's budget by the supes simply went unspent by the mayor. What's to keep this from happening again? Well, apparently, Newsom wrote the supes a letter vaguely promising he'd keep them in the loop. Hoo boy. There are historically minded quips to be made about waving a dubious written promise in front of the cameras, but someone else will have to do it.
Sounds like Daly's got a a pretty strong argument, no? Still, here's how Daly chose to put it. Never mind if he's right -- he could well be -- don't you want to reach into your computer and grab this man by the lapels?
One more thing: Daly is wrong about what happens when you look up the dictionary definition of the word "foolishness." Here it is.
Not that Daly will ever take our advice, but this pattern of undermining his vital message through nastiness and pettiness is getting old, isn't it? In fact, it's odd how Daly berates his colleagues for failing to learn their lessons, but he seems to miss that his repeated bouts of artless boorishness make much more of an impression on people than any point he was trying to argue. Chris -- cut it out! Help us help you.