CCDC Executive Director, Planning Commissioner, Famed Refugee Campaign Co-Chairs to Draft Ed Lee

run.ed.run.jpgFar from being a mysterious manufactured movement engineered by shadowy kingmakers (ok, just Willie Brown and Rose Pak), the campaign to draft interim Mayor Edwin Lee to run for a full four-year term in November is real, and run by real people. Some real political people, it turns out.

Chinatown Community Development Corporation executive director Gordon Chin, Planning Commission president Christina Olague, city assistant district attorney Victor Hwang and famed political refugee Eddy Zheng are but a few of the campaign’s co-chairs, a political consultant working on the campaign said Monday.

Consultant Enrique Pearce of Left Coast Communications, which organized RunEdRun.org (the subject of some controversy of late, some of which unfolded on this very site), said that any allegations that the campaign is “astroturfing” — making it appear Ed Lee has grassroots support when he does not — are absurd, a fact belied by the people behind the campaign.

“The truth of the matter is, I think we have more people signed to our petition than any other candidate [who may submit signatures in-lieu of a filing fee],” Pearce said Monday.

“Dare I say, there’s probably more support out there for Ed than any other potential candidate.”

Shelly Bradford-Bell, a former executive director of the Bayview Opera House, is also on board, Pearce said.

Earlier news reports had questioned the openness of the efforts to draft Ed Lee. When approached by LGBT blogger Michael Petrelis during a photo shoot for the campaign last week, Pearce had identified himself only as a volunteer.

The RunEdRun web site, which went live over the weekend, is registered to an address in Spain, and the only name connected on public records to the Progress for All coalition campaign committee, the committee to which the Run Ed Run signs are linked, is a Ceazar Cabreros of Oakland.

Cabreros is a campaign volunteer, Pearce said. “There’s no secret to this, no mystery,” he said. “We’ve very public about it — do we want to see Ed run for mayor? Yes, the answer’s yes. There’s no charade here.”

A campaign to draft an active politician to run for an office doesn’t necessarily need to register a campaign committee — it does need to register, however, if it raises or spends over $1,000, according to Ethics Commission executive director John St. Croix.

Any group of volunteers can do whatever it wants — hold signs, collect signatures — without registering a committee, but as soon as funds are raised, a committee must be formed, St. Croix said.

“Keep in mind, however, that this has never happened before,” St. Croix said. “This is an area we don’t have a lot of experience in.”

Political watchers will leap at the mention of Chin’s name. Chin is very close to the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce’s Rose Pak, who, with former Mayor Willie Brown, was seen as instrumental in placing Lee as interim mayor.

Chin was also an active and vocal supporter of former CCDC employee Jane Kim, whose successful supervisorial campaign in the fall was run by Pearce.

But it’s the inclusion of Olague’s name that will make the city’s progressive establishment feel ill. Olague, you may recall, was active in the 1990s with the Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition with the likes of former supervisor Chris Daly, who has made opposing efforts to draft Lee a key mission (and the subject of a Beatles-influenced Facebook page, Let Ed Be).

A call to Olague’s cell phone was not immediately returned. The Appeal left a message for Chin at the CCDC’s main office.

It will be some time before public records reveal exactly who the financial backers are behind the Progress for All/Run Ed Run effort. The first filing deadline for the 2011 calendar year isn’t until the last day of July, St. Croix said.

“That’ll be everybody’s first wide glimpse of all the money that’s floating around,” he said.

In the meantime, the volunteers — no paid signature gatherers — behind the Run Ed Run effort will continue to harness the groundswell behind the former City Administrator despite “people taking down our signs and boasting about it on Facebook,” Pearce said.

Run Ed Run sign “Spotted in the window of a pet shop in Cole Valley”: Matt Baume

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  • Karthik Rajan for Mayor

    I am disgusted by the artificial clamor being generated by interests who attempt to ensure that Ed Lee’s name is on the ballot, which should not be allowed, and which, if by some manipulation does occur, should be contested in court as an unfair election practice.

    They scramble for Mr. Lee because they fear Instant Runoff Voting – which they decry at every opportunity.

    During the embarrassing negotiations to appoint Mr. Lee Interim Mayor – because there are no rules for succession that make sense in the event of the departure of a Mayor to become Lieutenant Governor – I was guardedly suspect, but as satisfied as everyone else that our eminently capable Chief Administrator was willing to take the job, was so self-effacing, said in fact he didn’t want it.

    But I was under the impression that the negotiations concerning the appointment of Mr. Lee as Interim Mayor included the fail-safe: that whomever was chosen Interim Mayor would be disallowed to run because of unfair advantage as a pseudo-incumbent. Let them run in 2015. The whole deal with Ed Lee was he would be a good Interim Mayor because he doesn’t want the job – we were all happy not to appoint Leland Yee or Art Agnos and everyone trusts Ed Lee.

    This artificially “populist” call for Ed Lee’s entry into the race comes from people who are doing it because they are afraid of IRV, afraid that a lot of people will turn out to vote, and for whomever they want, and that the math would put someone they cannot control in charge. Those who call for Interim Mayor Lee’s inclusion on the ballot fear direct and better democracy. They think it would be crazy if someone they didn’t know won the race for Mayor.

    Why? Could it be corporate, union and other interests have become entrenched in City work? Isn’t that why we don’t want Mr. Lee to run? for fear of conflict of interest?

    Lee is clearly the point-man for some vested corporate interests (Twitter, Treasure Island developers). He’s the first to produce a 5-year budget (something we don’t need, but which seals relationships to his partners in all of this). And we are meant to believe that this self-effacing man, who wants to be Chief Administrator, and is good at it, is being begged to run for office by a clamoring public at-large? This is absurdist theater.

    It’s anti-democratic because of the sheer purchase of it all by big money. I, for one, expect John Avalos, Terry Baum and others who claim to be progressive to stand in the way of such a brazenly corporate move.

    It isn’t uncivil to call things what they are and for Interim Mayor Lee and Board President Supervisor David Chiu this Mayor’s race has been a farce of glad-handing – smiling and joking about making jobs, while passing crazy development plans unimpeded. They were tweeting about jobs even as they gave away millions to Twitter and now other companies, striking down long-standing SF protections to benefit a few, new companies.

    I, for one, respect Interim Mayor Lee and Board President Chiu, but don’t want either of them in charge. Respectfully, I’d rather they stay in their respective jobs as we unpack all of this mess, and make short-term budgets which reconsider and restructure our town (read site for details).

    Ed Lee is an extremely competent Chief Administrator. He has asked for that job again. I would give it to him and would expect any other candidate for Mayor to reward competence and do so. But he should absolutely not be allowed to run for Mayor in 2011. It’s unfair and wrong.

    And more, I am actually a candidate campaigning to do what Ed Lee should do: I don’t want the Mayor’s Office for more than a single reformative term. I’d be happy to pass it off to Interim Mayor Ed Lee in 2015 – after we have addressed the serious issues the last seven years have brought.

    https://karthikrajanformayor.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/ed-lee-should-not-be-allowed-to-run-for-mayor/

  • Karthik Rajan for Mayor

    I am disgusted by the artificial clamor being generated by interests who attempt to ensure that Ed Lee’s name is on the ballot, which should not be allowed, and which, if by some manipulation does occur, should be contested in court as an unfair election practice.

    They scramble for Mr. Lee because they fear Instant Runoff Voting – which they decry at every opportunity.

    During the embarrassing negotiations to appoint Mr. Lee Interim Mayor – because there are no rules for succession that make sense in the event of the departure of a Mayor to become Lieutenant Governor – I was guardedly suspect, but as satisfied as everyone else that our eminently capable Chief Administrator was willing to take the job, was so self-effacing, said in fact he didn’t want it.

    But I was under the impression that the negotiations concerning the appointment of Mr. Lee as Interim Mayor included the fail-safe: that whomever was chosen Interim Mayor would be disallowed to run because of unfair advantage as a pseudo-incumbent. Let them run in 2015. The whole deal with Ed Lee was he would be a good Interim Mayor because he doesn’t want the job – we were all happy not to appoint Leland Yee or Art Agnos and everyone trusts Ed Lee.

    This artificially “populist” call for Ed Lee’s entry into the race comes from people who are doing it because they are afraid of IRV, afraid that a lot of people will turn out to vote, and for whomever they want, and that the math would put someone they cannot control in charge. Those who call for Interim Mayor Lee’s inclusion on the ballot fear direct and better democracy. They think it would be crazy if someone they didn’t know won the race for Mayor.

    Why? Could it be corporate, union and other interests have become entrenched in City work? Isn’t that why we don’t want Mr. Lee to run? for fear of conflict of interest?

    Lee is clearly the point-man for some vested corporate interests (Twitter, Treasure Island developers). He’s the first to produce a 5-year budget (something we don’t need, but which seals relationships to his partners in all of this). And we are meant to believe that this self-effacing man, who wants to be Chief Administrator, and is good at it, is being begged to run for office by a clamoring public at-large? This is absurdist theater.

    It’s anti-democratic because of the sheer purchase of it all by big money. I, for one, expect John Avalos, Terry Baum and others who claim to be progressive to stand in the way of such a brazenly corporate move.

    It isn’t uncivil to call things what they are and for Interim Mayor Lee and Board President Supervisor David Chiu this Mayor’s race has been a farce of glad-handing – smiling and joking about making jobs, while passing crazy development plans unimpeded. They were tweeting about jobs even as they gave away millions to Twitter and now other companies, striking down long-standing SF protections to benefit a few, new companies.

    I, for one, respect Interim Mayor Lee and Board President Chiu, but don’t want either of them in charge. Respectfully, I’d rather they stay in their respective jobs as we unpack all of this mess, and make short-term budgets which reconsider and restructure our town (read site for details).

    Ed Lee is an extremely competent Chief Administrator. He has asked for that job again. I would give it to him and would expect any other candidate for Mayor to reward competence and do so. But he should absolutely not be allowed to run for Mayor in 2011. It’s unfair and wrong.

    And more, I am actually a candidate campaigning to do what Ed Lee should do: I don’t want the Mayor’s Office for more than a single reformative term. I’d be happy to pass it off to Interim Mayor Ed Lee in 2015 – after we have addressed the serious issues the last seven years have brought.

    https://karthikrajanformayor.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/ed-lee-should-not-be-allowed-to-run-for-mayor/

  • harryo

    Many people don’t understand why Kamala Harris was re-elected and elected Attorney General. I think it was, in part that she made a campaign promise not to seek the death penalty, and she stuck to that promise despite tremendous political pressure to change that position. Ed Lee made a promise not to seek election to mayor and he will be even more respected as city administrator if he goes back to his old job fulfilling his promise not to run for mayor. If Ed Lee does break his promise and run, he will lose the respect of many people who support him as interim mayor and would be less likely to vote for him, regardless of how well they think he’s doing the job as mayor..

  • harryo

    Many people don’t understand why Kamala Harris was re-elected and elected Attorney General. I think it was, in part that she made a campaign promise not to seek the death penalty, and she stuck to that promise despite tremendous political pressure to change that position. Ed Lee made a promise not to seek election to mayor and he will be even more respected as city administrator if he goes back to his old job fulfilling his promise not to run for mayor. If Ed Lee does break his promise and run, he will lose the respect of many people who support him as interim mayor and would be less likely to vote for him, regardless of how well they think he’s doing the job as mayor..