History is written by the victor, not the vanquished — and in politics, history is easily rewritten by the people in charge.
This is one theory behind the removal of Supervisor John Avalos’s face from School Board president Norman Yee’s campaign literature. The face of Avalos, an endorser of Yee’s effort to represent District 7 on the Board of Supervisors, was photoshopped out of Yee campaign literature by persons still unknown, as the San Francisco Examiner’s Melissa Griffin first observed.
In earlier versions of a picture of a gaggle of Yee sign-toting supporters standing behind the candidate, Avalos’s smiling visage is prominently visible on the left. In later versions, Avalos’s face is replaced with that of an unidentified Asian man.
In response to questions from the Appeal, the Yee campaign released a succinct statement on Thursday.
“My campaign made a mistake,” the statement read. “I called John to tell him this.”
Further inquiries, asking if the literature was taken out of circulation, went unanswered.
Yee campaign manager Anthony Valdez, an alumni of Obama for America in 2008, did say that Yee’s campaign consultant handles all campaign literature. And that consultant is one Enrique Pearce, ex of the “Run Ed Run” and the SF Neighbor Alliance, the independent expenditure committee that released an unauthorized biography of the mayor last year.
Pearce, who has courted controversy nearly constantly during a decade-plus in city politics, did not immediately return a phone call and text message seeking comment.
For the uninitiated, Pearce has close ties to the power brokers behind Mayor Ed Lee: former Mayor Willie Brown donated to and campaign on behalf of Supervisor Jane Kim, whose campaign Pearce ran in 2010.
And Pearce is BFFs with organizer David Ho, who sat to the right of Rose Pak as Pak watched Lee be selected interim mayor in early 2011.
Pak, it should be noted, is at the moment very upset with Avalos for comments the runner-up to Lee in last year’s mayoral election made during a recent campaign rally for Julian Davis. Davis seeks to unseat District 5 Supervisor Christina Olague, an Ed Lee appointee.
“[Julian Davis] is not being bankrolled by power brokers in San Francisco,” Avalos said, according to Fog City Journal. “He’s not being bankrolled by Ron Conway or the biggest powerbrokers in Chinatown.”
Did Pearce pull Avalos from Yee literature at Pak’s behest, or to pre-emptively please her? While Avalos wouldn’t comment on a possible Pak connection, he does have a theory about the Photoshoppery.
“I believe it was Enrique who did the photoshopping, but Norman had the guts or at least honesty to say he was ultimately responsible,” Avalos said.
“He did tell me earlier that my endorsement wasn’t all that influential in D7. I appreciated that bit of honesty, too.”