News & Views from 465 California Street

The kitchen is as hot as ever

Clint Reilly
Jul
20
2010

My daughters are away at camp. This is the second summer they have gone away for two weeks and we really miss them. At the same time our dog, Ollie, developed an eye problem so he has been treated by the vet and is currently off rehabbing his cornea. The house is eerily quiet and the silence is a reminder of who’s not there. Fortunately, my wife Janet is running for Supervisor in San Francisco’s District 2 and there is much to distract us from the girls’ absence.

District 2 is the illustrious area in San Francisco which has elected such luminaries as Dianne Feinstein, Louise Renne and Gavin Newsom in former times. All of them are endorsing Janet. She has even received the endorsement of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, another famous D2 resident. In fact, it is hard to find a leader in the City who is not enthusiastic about Janet’s run. Running for the vacant seat of termed out Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, Janet has garnered an impressive array of supporters.

But recently, Alioto-Pier filed a lawsuit against the City of San Francisco claiming that she is not really termed out and should be allowed to seek four more years. The suit is pending in SF Superior Court.

I know Michela quite well and have supported her in the past for Congress, Secretary of State and Supervisor. Three years ago, she sought out a City attorney opinion asking whether or not she was termed out. The City Attorney ruled that she was. But Michela waited more than 2.5 years to file suit. Her day in court will occur this Wednesday, July 21. We’ll see what the judge has to say about her 11th hour challenge.

Politics can be uncomfortable when friends have conflicting ambitions. Michela’s husband, attorney Tom Pier, once worked for me. I have hired Michela’s father, Joseph Alioto, twice to represent me in antitrust suits against newspaper monopolies here in the Bay Area. Janet and Michela have also been close over the years. Could Michela not have resolved her questions long ago instead of waiting until a month before the close of filing?

Despite the issue of Alioto Pier’s fate, Janet is pushing ahead aggressively. She opened her headquarters on California Street last Saturday with a bang. State Senator Mark Leno, Assembly Member Fiona Ma and Mayor Gavin Newsom spoke to a revved up crowd. Janet unveiled her theme “For the Good of the City,” and workers fanned out door to door to distribute her literature.

It’s a cold summer this year in San Francisco. But not for politicians. The kitchen there is as hot as ever.

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