By: Lee Heidhues 11.6.2019
Coup d’état. definition
A sudden decisive exercise of force in politics especially the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group
San Francisco may now live with a District Attorney who is a favorite of the City’s power elite while the rest of the citizenry which cares about fairness, ethics and democracy have been left in the dirt.
Democracy has failed.
Regardless of who is the District Attorney in San Francisco the alarming fact is that the City power elite thrust its choice on the electorate via a virtual political Coup d’état.
It is a shameful and alarming event in this allegedly progressive City.
What were the events which led to this government seizure of the District Attorney’s race less than three weeks before the votes were tabulated? The tawdry story is well known to most San Franciscans. It has escaped notice of the world at large.
San Francisco was to have held its first open District Attorney election in over 100 years. Yet 18 days before the election the Mayor swore in her hand-picked candidate who was one of four people seeking the seat. This blatant and brazen political move drew the scorn of many people who knew it to be a power play. Nothing more. The Mayor herself said she wanted a DA, “I can trust.”
The ”Interim” DA was then anointed with the mantle of incumbent and all the favorable press coverage which goes with a newly minted public official.
Next, and even more insidious, was the intervention of the notoriously right-wing Police Officers Association. The POA set up a Political Action Committee (PAC), spent upwards of a Million dollars and blanketed City mailboxes and television viewers with outright libelous, defamatory, inciteful and shameless ads. This abuse of free speech was directed towards one candidate, Chesa Boudin.
Boudin was the only one of four candidates who vowed to hold the SFPD accountable for its misconduct, a state of affairs which is well known throughout San Francisco. This conduct includes the killings of unarmed civilians, racist behavior and a pattern of abuse towards many San Franciscans, particularly those of minority background.
It is a sad day for San Francisco.