Politicians lie. All of them, good and bad, Democrat and Republican. It’s part of the job – and cynic that I am, it barely registers anymore. So why then does SF Mayor Ed Lee make my blood boil? I was certainly not a particular fan of Willie Brown or Gavin Newsom – but I was sort of, “Eh, whatever. Not great, but not terrible. Typical SF politicians who are socially liberal but financially and politically in the pocket of big business.” Ed Lee is pretty much the same – yet I’d like to see him run out of office.
I suppose it’s because he lied his way into being appointed mayor to replace Newsom, when he was elected Lt. Governor. Lee stated unequivocally that he would not seek election the following November – which was key to getting the support of the Board of Supes to appoint him as the putative “interim” mayor. Within a couple of months he “changed his mind” and decided to run, and vaulted to the front of the crowded field of candidates. He won handily and totally cock-blocked the first chance in ages that SF would get a truly progressive mayor.
And now – ¡escandalo! – Lee is being accused of perjuring himself – twice! – in his testimony to the Ethics Commission during its investigation of suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. And I’m channeling Capt. Renault insofar as I am shocked – shocked! – that Mayor Lee might have lied.
Frankly, I’ll be delighted if the charges stick and he’s drummed out of office. But seriously, what did anyone expect? He lied his way into office! He didn’t stretch the truth or massage the facts or artfully dissemble – he told a bald-faced lie that he would not seek election as mayor and then, virtually immediately upon being appointed, announced he would seek election. He is a craven, lying liar-head, beholden to loathsome power-brokers Rose Pak and Willie Brown, whose pockets are lined by wealthy developers and big business.
In other words, business as usual.