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Keep It Interim

July 18, 2011

Actually don't.

The Chronicle published an editorial yesterday opining that interim Mayor Ed Lee shouldn’t run for a full term. Lee has said that he won’t run but a shadow campaign backed by former Mayor Willie Brown and Chinatown power broker Rose Pak, , has been operating for months. The campaign has a snazzy website and window signs (left) that are becoming ubiquitous  but has also run into some legal troubles regarding fundraising disclosure.

Like the Chronicle, I hope Lee stays true to his word. Lee has been able to be an effective mayor because he has been able to avoid the wrangling that comes with being a political figure and running a campaign. There’s no telling whether Lee would be similarly effective if elected to a full term. Considering many of the Supervisors who originally appointed Lee to the interim position are also running for mayor, Lee’s entry into the race would likely result in a spurt of bad blood in City Hall that would make Lee much less effective than he has been in this interim honeymoon. Several candidates have confirmed that they would reappoint Lee to be his previous position as City Administrator if they were elected, assuming that he doesn’t run. Lee was effective in that post and he’d be able to continue his admirable service if he returned to it.
All’s fair in love and war, and these days we have politics instead of war so, in the end, Lee can throw his hat into the ring if he wants (and become an instant frontrunner). Still, it’d be a dishonest move that wouldn’t be best for San Francisco.
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