After Temporary Mayor Ed Lee announced plans today to run for mayor, something he promised both the Board of Supervisors and the public he wouldn't do, his fellow candidates released statements regarding his nascent candidacy. First up, we have City Attorney Dennis Herrera's stinging statement.
"I am confident that my record of independence, integrity and professionalism will match very favorably to Ed Lee’s for the remaining three months of this campaign," Herrera said. "Mr. Lee's candidacy draws one of the starkest contrasts in this race for San Francisco voters, both in terms of our visions for the future of our City and our independence from powerful special interests."
"I certainly understand why many Supervisors will feel betrayed, but I frankly don't think Ed Lee's broken promises will be his biggest liability in his campaign," said Herrera. "Ed Lee told us he didn't want to be interim Mayor. But powerful people insisted he do it, so he did. Then Ed Lee told us he didn't want to run for Mayor. But powerful people insisted he run, and now he is. To my mind, Ed Lee's biggest problem isn't that he's a dishonest man -- it's that he's not his own man. The fact is, if Ed Lee is elected Mayor, powerful people will continue to insist on things. And I don't think San Franciscans can be blamed for having serious doubts about whether Ed Lee would have the courage to say no."
Speaking of stark contrasts, former Supervisor Tony Hall chimed in with the following bit.
I welcome Ed Lee into the race. It's time we had a real debate about the policies he has proposed and whether they are good for the city.
But then, after the required pleasantries, he digs in his heels with this:
On pension reform, Ed Lee's reforms - which he called "comprehensive" - barely scratch the surface of what is needed to reform our pension system and keep San Francisco from the brink of bankruptcy. Instead of a solution, Mayor Lee cut a deal on pensions. A deal and a solution are not the same thing, and according to his own analysis, Ed Lee's deal with unions will actually add $4 billion to our unfunded liabilities over the next six years.
The bottom line is that while the other candidates complain about Ed Lee's broken promise not to run for Mayor, I am more concerned with his broken promise to govern responsibly and for the benefit of all. In my opinion he has continued City Hall's unfortunate tradition of punting San Francisco's problems instead of solving them. And it is the average San Franciscan who always ends up paying the price.
Though it's far too early in the game, Mayor Lee stands an excellent chance of winning, so expect more strongly-worded statements from his fellow candidates in the very near future.
Ed Lee will make take part in his first mayoral debate tonight at the Mayoral Candidates Forum at the Castro Theatre from 7-9:30 p.m.