Mayor Ed Lee, Election Champ?

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Who's the big winner?
As we noted yesterday, it's difficult to pin banners reading "WINNER" and "LOSER" on vestiges of city power following Tuesday's election because they're often the same people.

Today, Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius came up with an interesting take on things. Who's the big winner? Mayor Ed Lee. Everyone's entitled to an opinion -- but this is a very Lee-centric reading on an election in which two of Lee's handpicked office-holders were utterly eviscerated by the voters.

Lee's selection for Community College board, Rodrigo Santos -- the well-connected choice of powerful city movers and shakers -- was trounced, despite spending an eye-popping $200,000. And the mayor's appointed District 5 Supervisor, Christina Olague, was thumped by a wide margin. Of course, Nevius portrays Olague's demise as a big win for the mayor after she crossed him on the Ross Mirkarimi vote, and Ron Conway poured a metric shitload of money into nasty ads targeting her as soft on domestic violence. 

But this, again, is a very Lee-centric reading of things. It's a bit much to be lauded for solving a problem of your own making. Nobody played up what a big win it was for England's King Henry II after he sent a quartet of assassins to deal with the man he appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket. 

Nevius goes on to note that, after mayoral money man Conway ponied up the cash to unseat Olague, "Breed would be wise not to buck Lee's policies." This is an unsubtle and ominous way of putting things -- and makes little sense, when you think about it. Lee had cause to be peeved with his appointee Olague bucking him.

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Who will rid me of this meddlesome supervisor?
But Breed wasn't appointed to office -- she won, fair and square, via a vote of the people. Breed would be wise not to buck the policies of District 5. Those attempting unsubtle and ominous applications of pressure on London Breed may be reminded who did and did not wipe her ass as a baby.

It also warrants mentioning that, for a man portrayed in the Chron as the Great and Powerful Oz, it was the mayor who was apparently blindsided by Olague's vote to reinstate Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. Olague's most powerful fund-raiser, Rose Pak, was okay with it, seemed unsurprised, and kept sending money and volunteers. Huh. Kinda interesting.

Finally, the mayor is lauded as the ultimate victor in the ballot proposition battle -- though it was, again, Conway who put up scads of money and benefits directly from the elimination of the payroll tax, and many of the mayor's favored propositions were supported by all 11 supes.

The real winner, though, is Government, Inc. Thanks to we, the voters, the government has been given a parcel tax to bail out the City College system it ran into the ground; a massive bond to bail out the park system it ran into the ground; a housing trust fund; the gross receipts tax that pleases the tech folks funding our current crop of leaders; and the demise of the Hetch Hetchy measure that might have forced the government to alter its lucrative status quo.

You're welcome.

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