Guardian Attacks Jane Kim for Defying Lefty Political Machine, Denies Existence of Lefty Political Machine

Categories: Media, Politics
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S.F.'s progressive machine wants to spread its wings
The San Francisco Bay Guardian, an organ of the far political left, is not pleased with Jane Kim. The Stanford-educated president of the San Francisco school board has thrown her hat into the crowded race for the District 6 supervisor's seat, challenging the Guardian's preferred candidate, Debra Walker -- and earning herself a trip to the woodshed this morning at the hands of Guardian Executive Editor Tim Redmond.

"When there's already a solid progressive in the race ... why is Kim running?" Redmond asks in today's print issue. (Hint: It's called democracy.)

There's nothing particularly out-of-character about such musings. The Guardian has been in the tank for Walker for a while, and cherishes ideological purity and regimentation when it comes to its favorite topics -- such as tenants' rights, public power, or, apparently, who gets to run for office. What's curious is that Redmond tries to simultaneously attack Kim's independent-mindedness and deny that there's any progressive machine for her to seek independence from.

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Don't look behind that curtain, Jane
His article focuses in particular on a statement Kim made during a recent campaign speech: "I'm not part of anyone's machine, and I'm certainly not part of anyone's master plan."

Redmond huffs, " ... no matter how you try to spin it, when you say you aren't part of anyone's machine, you're implying that maybe your opponents are ... There's a fine line between an effective, organized political coalition that can actually win elections and a political machine, which stifles political innovation and grassroots candidates."

A progressive political machine has sprouted over the past few years; SF Weekly staff writer John Geluardi chronicled its ascent in a 2008 cover story. In one of that machine's more absurd recent workings, current, termed-out D6 Supervisor Chris Daly, a Guardian favorite, even tried to organize a phony "primary" for the coming election to narrow down the field of leftist candidates to a single standard-bearer.

But let's take Redmond's definition of a political machine on its face. In a column whose purpose is to squelch a formidable progressive candidate from challenging the far left's heir apparent, the Guardian editor denies the existence of a force that "stifles political innovation and grassroots candidates." Are we the only ones who see some irony here?

Photo   |   Luke Thomas, Fog City Journal

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