The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is in Hour Six Seven Eight Nine of a marathon meeting. The big item on its agenda: Whether it should proceed to appoint an interim mayor to replace Gavin Newsom, California’s not-quite-lieutenant governor. The board held a long back and forth over the legalities involved. Supervisor Chris Daly, whose term will end Saturday, was all for going ahead. Supervisor Sean Elsbernd warned that doing so would create all sorts of legal uncertainties. The board then put aside the issue while it cleared the agenda of secondary matters. At 7 p.m., it started taking public comment—most in favor of getting on with it and picking an interim mayor—and now it’s proceeding. This will be interesting, even if it only really appeals to San Francisco city politics geeks.

10:31 p.m.: So tonight’s takeaway: No new interim mayor, and no new vote until Friday, leaving plenty of time for more intriguin’ and infightin’ at City Hall. And maybe Chris Daly will expand on his plans to run for mayor and “haunt” his foes. We’ll have more on the story tomorrow morning here at News Fix and on the air at KQED News.

10:26 p.m.: Now a roll call on the continuance until Friday. That motion wins, 6-5, with Sophie Maxwell joining Avalos, Campos, Daly, Mar, and Mirkarimi. So the vote has been put off for three days.

10:24 p.m.: Avalos once again asks for the courtesy of a delay so that there can be direct consultation with Ed Lee. He suggests continuing the vote until Friday afternoon. Mirkarimi tries to get a quick approval of that, and everyone laughs.

10:21 p.m.: David Chiu now clarifies that this is a “pre-ratification vote”—and that whatever happens, the board will have to go through this again next Tuesday to ratify tonight’s vote. (So, a voice in my head asks, is this all just sound and fury?)

10:14 p.m.: Ross Mirkarimi, another Hennessey supporter, also asks the board to hold off approving Lee.

10:12 p.m.: Campos also says the board has nothing to lose by delaying vote on Lee because they’ll have to hold a follow-up vote once Gavin Newsom is formally out as mayor (and in as lieutenant governor). “I think I’ve made it clear where I want this to go tonight, but I want to be part of a broad coalition” to lead the city forward.

10:10 p.m.: David Campos is next. He, too, says he wants to talk to Ed Lee before approving him as interim mayor. “There are members of the board who are open to him if we get a chance to talk to him, and we just want that chance.”

10:05 p.m.: Or maybe not. We’re back talking about the mayor. John Avalos says he talked to all the nominees for the interim mayor’s job, and that Ed Lee said he wasn’t interested. Further, Avalos says, Lee is currently in Hong Kong, and Avalos says the vote should be put off until there’s a chance to talk to him about whether he wants the job that’s about to be thrust upon him.

10:02 p.m.: The supervisors are all sitting down. But the first order of business now is about a new Civic Center community business district. Hmmmm. This could go on … forever.

9:55 p.m.: Still waiting for the board to come back. Some more behind-the-scenes stuff from The Bay Citizen’s Gerry Shih (via Twitter):

Dufty says meeting with Gavin during recess was simply to “vet” Ed Lee and to make sure that Lee could return to admin job after intrim myr

9:43 p.m.: The Supes are due back in a couple minutes. Just to recap: All was sweetness and light, by board standards, after the supervisors went through the first two inconclusive rounds of voting. Both Sheriff Michael Hennessey and city Chief Administrative Officer got five votes out of the necessary six on the second ballot. Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who emerged as the swing vote, then asked for a recess. Reporters at City Hall said Dufty then visited City Hall Room 200, the mayor’s office. When he emerged and the board reconvened, he announced he’d vote for Lee. That clearly shocked Avalos and Supervisor Chris Daly, who both were pushing Hennessey as the progressive choice. Dufty’s announcement prompted Eric Mar to say he’d jump from Hennessey to Lee, at which point Daly lost it, as described below. Daly has already gone into the bar business, but now he says he’ll run for mayor, too, to get even with those he feel crossed him on this vote.

9:22 p.m.: Recess or no recess, Chris Daly continues his tirade in terms that are crass even by his standards:

@gerryshih Chris Daly just announced to his candidacy for mayor to press corps. “I’m going to win. F— these m———–s.”

sfbg SF Bay Guardian
Daly says he’s running for mayor, he’s raging like a bull

On Twitter, @snobographer suggests Daly has just coined “the most awesome campaign slogan ever!”

9:12 p.m.: But that vote won’t happen right now, because John Avalos wants an hour’s recess. “My head is spinning,” he says. He wants to confer with someone, somewhere. Daly erupts again, denouncing Dufty for his earlier recess call, during which he apparently conferred with Newsom and agreed to vote for Lee. The recess is until 9:45.

9:11 p.m.: Mirkarimi is complaining about the process and how “pre-orchestrated” the sudden consensus over Lee seems to be. But all that remains is a vote.

9:10 p.m.: Eric Mar switches his vote from Hennessey to Lee. Both San Francisco and Oakland will have Asian-American mayors if the vote proceeds.

9:09 p.m.: Ed Lee will be the next mayor when the vote happens—albeit on an interim basis.

9:07 p.m.: Mirkarimi says he doesn’t like the way things are degenerating due to whatever “intrigue is being brokered.” He withdraws Art Agnos’s name from consideration.

9:06 p.m.: Daly is carrying on. Chiu is trying to get the roll called. Daly is still carrying on. “Go ahead and call the sheriff,” he says.

9:02 p.m.: Now Bevan Dufty: After conferring with the mayor, it looks like he’s going for Ed Lee. He says he’ll live with his vote. Alioto-Pier praises Dufty for his “strength. This is a great decision.” Daly interrupts repeatedly–off mike on the TV signal–and Alioto-Pier suggests that maybe someone should call the sheriff. That gets a whoop from the audience.

9 p.m. Chris Daly is off his good behavior now. He says the board is on the verge of making a huge political fumble for progressive politics in the city. He’s blaming Chiu. “I will haunt you,” he promises. “I will politically haunt you for the biggest fumble in the history of San Francisco progressive politics. It’s on.” He gets a smattering of applause for that.

8:59 p.m.: The supervisors are back, and Mirkarimi is asking what evidence there is that any of those nominated are willing and ready to serve. The board clerk says she’s making inquiries now, and Board President Chiu says that he’s talked to all four of the nominees and that they’ve expressed an interest in serving.

8:53 p.m.: Some interesting analysis of the vote (and good old City Hall color) by way of the Bay Citizen’s Gerry Shih:

Gerry Shih
Steve Jones of @sfbg sez Maxwell and Dufty just walked outta Room 200 — Gavin is still in the building. dealmaking abounds? …

… Good chance Ed Harrington’s name will surface in next round after recess…

… Progressives are furious during recess, accuse Dufty of trying to play kingmaker to further his own mayoral ambitions

8:26 p.m. We’re going to have to go back to our other paying gig—editing the news for tomorrow morning’s newscasts—but here’s the takeaway from the first two rounds. The board is split on Sheriff Michael Hennessey and Chief Administrative Officer Ed Lee. Supervisors Daly, Mar, Mirkarimi, Avalos and Campos voted for Hennessey on each round; Chiu, Chu, Elsbernd, and Alioto-Pier did the same for Lee, with Maxwell joining them on the second round. Bevan Dufty is the de facto swing vote, having suggested he’d go for Hennessey but having voted for no one on the first two rounds. You wonder who will be twisting whose arm during the 20-minute stand-down.

8:22 p.m.: The second round doesn’t change much, and now the board’s going on recess. But before they take the break, Chris Daly asks Bevan Dufty to explain himself. Dufty, despite saying earlier he’d vote no on the first round just to let a consensus reveal itself, voted no to every candidate again on the second round. In fact, he’s the only board member who hasn’t voted yes to anyone so far.

8:18 p.m. Now they’ll go to a second round, with new nominations possible. Daly is suggesting that they proceed immediately to a vote in the hope that Dufty, who essentially abstained from the first round, would change his vote and vote for Hennessey.

8:16 p.m. In the first round, no one gets the needed six votes. Hennessey got 5 yes, 6 no; Lee got 4 yes, 7 no; Agnos got 4 yes, 7 no; and Peskin got 3 yes, 8 no. (Each candidate was voted on in turn, and each supervisor voted yes or no on each).

8:13 p.m.:
Here’s the roll call vote.

8:11 p.m.: Supervisor Sophie Maxwell: Says she preferred Ed Harrington, general manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Unless I missed it, she didn’t say who she’ll vote for.

8:08 p.m.: Board President David Chiu says he’ll vote for Ed Lee. Praises his experience and his “old-school progressive values.” Hennessey 4, Lee 3, Agnos 1, abstain 1.

8:03 p.m.: John Avalos, the supervisor who has been most outspoken about his desire to appoint an interim mayor, says he feels closest politically to Sheriff Hennessey and that’s who he’ll vote for on the first round. That’s Hennessey 4, Lee 2, Agnos 1 and one abstention. Hennessey’s the only one who can win in this declared first round of voting, and he’s got three more supervisors to get the two votes he needs.

8 p.m.: Supervisor Bevan Dufty notes that when he spoke to Lee about the interim mayor’s job last fall, Lee said he wasn’t interested. He strongly suggests he supports Hennessey but that he won’t vote for anyone in the first round of votes to allow everyone else on the board to express their preference first.

7:57 p.m.: Supervisor Carmen Chu supports Ed Lee. That’s two votes for Lee.

7:55 p.m. Supervisor Eric Mar: Likes Lee a lot, but thinks that he’s too valuable to city as chief administrative officer. Praises both Agnos and Hennessey, but says he’ll “be supportive of Sheriff Hennessey. That’s Hennessey 3, Agnos 1, Lee 1.

7:51 p.m.: Finally someone we haven’t heard from—Supervisor Michaela Alioto-Pier. She’s talking up Ed Lee, whom she refers to as “Ed … Mr. Lee.” If you’re keeping score at home, the tentative vote is Hennessey 2, Agnos 1, Lee 1.

7:47 p.m.: Mirkarimi’s turn, and he wants to remind everyone that Art Agnos is his choice (and ought to be theirs, too). He says it’s time to dust off the history books to look at Agnos’s tenure (January 1988-January 1992) and consider how well he led the city through a tough fiscal period.

7:43 p.m.: Well, here’s a bit of a surprise: Chris Daly, who nominated Aaron Peskin, says he’ll support Michael Hennessey as interim mayor. Not surprisingly, Campos also rises to praise Hennessey, whom he nominated.

7:40 p.m.: Now they’re going to talk about the qualifications of each of the candidates. This will take awhile, I’m sure. They key here is that someone needs to get six of the 11 votes to get the appointment. And remember—this is all being done in a sort of legal limbo. No one’s quite sure whether an appointment will pass legal muster as long as Gavin Newsom is still mayor.

7:37 p.m.: Chris Daly nominates former Board President Aaron Peskin. Nominations are closed.

7:35 p.m.: Supervisor Sean Elsbernd nominates veteran city official Ed Lee, currently the city’s chief administrative officer.

7:32 p.m. Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi nominates former Mayor Art Agnos. Another name that’s been widely rumored. Mirkarimi praises Agnos for his collaborative approach.

7:28 p.m.: Supervisor David Campos leads off by nominating Sheriff Michael Hennessey. That’s one of the names everyone’s expecting. Campos notes Hennessey is from Iowa and says no one should hold that against him. Campos also says that he admires Hennessey’s stand to resist a call for an immigration crackdown.

7:25 p.m. Now, the board is taking nominations.

Live Blog: SF Supervisors Consider New Mayor 5 January,2011Dan Brekke


Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke is a blogger, reporter and editor for KQED News, responsible for online breaking news coverage of topics ranging from California water issues to the Bay Area’s transportation challenges. In a newsroom career that began in Chicago in 1972, Dan has worked as a city and foreign/national editor for The San Francisco Examiner, editor at Wired News, deputy editor at Wired magazine, managing editor at TechTV as well as for several Web startups.

Since joining KQED in 2007, Dan has reported, edited and produced both radio and online features and breaking news pieces. He has shared in two Society of Professional Journalists Norcal Excellence in Journalism awards — for his 2012 reporting on a KQED Science series on water and power in California, and in 2014, for KQED’s comprehensive reporting on the south Napa earthquake.

In addition to his 44 years of on-the-job education, Dan is a lifelong student of history and is still pursuing an undergraduate degree.

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