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Saturday, January 8, 2011

David Chiu Is Board President Again -- No Conspiracy Necessary

Posted By on Sat, Jan 8, 2011 at 2:22 PM

click to enlarge The new supes are sworn in. Everyone cheers. The knives come out for presidential voting. Then everyone makes a poignant speech. And everyone cries. - JOE ESKENAZI
  • Joe Eskenazi
  • The new supes are sworn in. Everyone cheers. The knives come out for presidential voting. Then everyone makes a poignant speech. And everyone cries.

You can add another adjective to describe Supervisor David Chiu, the once and future president of the Board of Supervisors: Survivor.

Chiu broke with progressives a number of times -- culminating in his support of Ed Lee for interim mayor, which led to a resurgence of interest in the game Donkey Kong. After seemingly burning his progressive bridges once and for all, Chiu shocked everyone by removing his name from consideration for district attorney. Maybe he knew something political observers didn't, as Chiu was today handily re-elected board president in two lightning quick rounds.

Voting in the first round shook down this way: Moderate Sean Elsbernd had four votes as did Chiu, and Supervisor John Avalos had three. At that point, Elsbernd withdrew his name from consideration -- as he later told SF Weekly, "I knew there weren't two votes that would come down from the sky and go my way."

At that point, most political observers in the room readied themselves for Chiu's victory speech. (Your humble narrator, it should be pointed out, had put his money on Avalos, just like he did two years ago).

click to enlarge David Chiu always seems to time his jump just right...
  • David Chiu always seems to time his jump just right...

Elsbernd, Mark Farrell, Scott Wiener, and Carmen Chu flipped their votes to Chiu for an 8-3 victory. Only progressive stalwarts Ross Mirkarimi, David Campos, and Avalos cast their votes for the District 11 supe.

Coming on the heels of Chiu's championing of Ed Lee over Mike Hennessey for interim mayor, the move gave the more conspiratorially minded ample fodder.

But, realistically, moderates appear to have simply voted for the less left-leaning candidate -- and Chiu has shown his willingness to break ranks again and again. "Between John Avalos and David Chiu, no 'deal' was necessary" to swing moderates to the sitting president, noted consultant David Latterman.

Following the stunningly rapid election, all four new supervisors broke into tears during poignant speeches. Chiu compared the current board to the band of castoffs and misfits that were the World Champion San Francisco Giants (who gets to be Pat Burrell?). Avalos graciously congratulated Chiu and told him he'd "Make a fine board president that everyone can work with."

The moderates, it seems, are counting on it.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more

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