Back in Dodge

Oct 10, 2012

Ross Mirkarimi, who was sheriff of San Francisco until a domestic dispute sparked his ouster from office, got his job back following a surprise vote of the Board of Supervisors after a public hearing that lasted nine hours.


From Heather Knight and John Cote in the Chronicle: "In a shocking end to the melodrama that has consumed San Francisco City Hall for the past nine months, the Board of Supervisors bucked Mayor Ed Lee late Tuesday night by giving suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi his job back."

"Four members of the board rejected Lee's call that Mirkarimi be permanently removed for committing official misconduct, an allegation that stemmed from a New Year's Eve fight with his wife for which he later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of false imprisonment."


"Lee needed nine of the 11 supervisors' votes to oust Mirkarimi. Supervisors John Avalos, David Campos, Jane Kim and - in a major blow to Lee - the mayor's appointee, Christina Olague, voted to reinstate Mirkarimi. As soon as the vote became official, the crowd of Mirkarimi supporters in City Hall burst into whoops, cheers and applause. Domestic violence victims advocates looked downcast and made a beeline for the exit."


Frank Schubert, known for years as a Sacramento-based political strategist who fought for coservative causes, now is heading a national effort against gay marriage, state by state.


From the NYT's Erik Eckholm: "Schubert, a former corporate public relations executive, ran the $40 million, come-from-behind push for Proposition 8 in California in 2008. He went on to mount successful campaigns to defeat same-sex marriage in Maine and North Carolina. Now, with marriage initiatives on the ballot in Maryland, Minnesota, Washington State and Maine, Mr. Schubert is the chief strategist in all four at once."


"Gay rights leaders despise Mr. Schubert, who has devoted himself to the issue in recent years, for what they call his misleading arguments. They have also learned to fear him for messages that are less openly harsh than those voiced by many other opponents of gay rights: a strategy aimed at reassuring the moderate voters who decide such elections that barring gays and lesbians from marriage does not make them bigots."


"Citing polls showing growing public acceptance and armed with more than $25 million, gay rights leaders hope to win their first ballot victory for same-sex marriage on Nov. 6. But they are bracing for a rush of Schubert-designed television ads in the four contested states."


Bill Clinton, who wowed Democrats at the party's national convention last month, was in Davis to endorse a pair of ballot initiatives and boost the chances of Dems in tight congressional races.


From the Bee's Laura Rosenhall: "Former President Bill Clinton rallied thousands on the quad of UC Davis on Tuesday, endorsing four California Democrats running for Congress and encouraging Californians to vote for Proposition 30 and against Proposition 32."


"Clinton endorsed current Reps. John Garamendi and Jerry McNerney as well as challengers Ami Bera and Jose Hernandez. Their four contests are among the most competitive in the nation, and the national Republican and Democratic parties are spending big to try to take the seats."


"The districts at stake span a 200-mile-long swath of Northern California stretching from Modesto to Yuba City."


The record-high cost of gasoline raises questions about how those prices can be lowered, but it's a lot more complicated than it sounds.


From the Mercury News' Paul Rogers: "Skyrocketing gas prices over the past week have been blamed on two key issues: outages at California refineries and the fact that the state requires a unique type of clean-burning summer gasoline that can't be easily replaced or imported from other places during shortages."


"As a result, California is a "fuel island," vulnerable to disruptions and price spikes. Even temporary solutions pose problems."


"Experts say the state can't just dump the special "California only" gas -- unless there are major changes to federal pollution laws that would allow California to dramatically increase its already high smog levels. And because of the health problems that would cause -- increased emphysema, asthma and even deaths -- the chance of that isn't high."


"I don't know that there is a solution to this," said Jay McKeeman, vice president of the California Independent Oil Marketers Association. "It's the price we pay for living in California."


Organized labor, fighting Proposition 32, say the measure's supporters didn't fully disclose some $8 million spent on advertising.


From the Bee's Jon Ortiz: "The union-backed No on Proposition 32 campaign has filed a formal complaint with a state political watchdog commission over $8 million the measure's supporters spent on media ads last month."


"The opposition group on Monday asked the Fair Political Practices Commission to investigate two Yes on Proposition 32 campaign committees, California Future Fund for Free Markets and the Small Business Action Committee PAC, No on 30/Yes on 32. The complaint alleges the independent pro-32 committees failed to disclose enough detail over roughly $8 million paid for TV and radio spots that started running in mid-September."


"The deadline for political committees to file third-quarter financials with the Secretary of State was Friday."

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