Lee Heidhues 7.9.2022
Mayor London Breed, in her quest for law ‘n order, is responsible for the incipient political Civil War raging in San Francisco. The City is now riven over a political Coup d’etat, whose backers spent 7.2MM to oust Chesa Boudin, the democratically elected District Attorney.
At least one media outlet described choice of a Puppet District Attorney as an Academy Award style slap in the face to Chesa Boudin. Breed could have been a diplomat and tried to cool the political heat. Instead, she turned it to a boil.
Chesa Boudin’s supporters have taken notice. Just today Chesa issued a cryptic “Good Morning” on his Twitter site. As of this evening nearly 1100 people have “Liked” it. The pressure on Chesa to run in the November 8, 2022 election is intense. By her action Breed has laid down a marker.
She did it intentionally.
On July 7, 2022 London Breed named Brooke Jenkins as Puppet District Attorney to replace Chesa Boudin. The same Chesa Boudin she campaigned against for eight months as the most visible leader in the Recall campaign. Jenkins has now been handed the job by a Mayor who values loyalty over ethics. A Mayor who holds grudges. A Mayor who willfully ignores what common sense dictates.
London Breed could have selected an interim DA who did not participate in the Coup d’etat and would have assumed the office without the questions which now hang over the Puppet DA Brooke Jenkins.
Breed’s leadership, or abdication of it, in the Coup d’etat resulted in the Recall of Progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin.
This willful incendiary decision is the most blatant manifestation of her willingness to spare no political expense to lay waste to her opponents.
It is important to step back to 2019 when Chesa Boudin was running for District Attorney. In early October that year then DA George Gascon resigned. One month before the November 5 election. Rather than let an Assistant District Attorney administer the office until a new DA was elected, Breed appointed Suzy Loftus as Interim DA. Loftus was a Breed favorite, who also happened to be running for the job.
This crass political decision may well have turned the election in Chesa’s favor. A number of voters recognized this as an act of odious nepotism. In fact I told a reporter the day Loftus was appointed interim DA, that Breed had just handed the election to Chesa.
Unfortunately, Breed didn’t learn any lessons from this debacle.
From the moment Chesa Boudin took office she has been one of his harshest critics. It must have grated on her to sit in on Chesa’s Inaugural at the Marines Memorial Auditorium as a packed house cheered his ascension to the DA’s office. Adding insult to injury Breed swore DA Chesa Boudin into office.
We fast forward to 2021 when the Recall movement began in earnest. Extremist Republican Richie Greenberg launched the first Recall effort. Seeing this was not going to make the Ballot, Breed’s allies swung into action. Her cronies Andrea Shorter and Mary Jung launched a second effort which spent $1,400,000 in a mercenary signature gathering campaign. Through it all Breed remained silent. The Recall measure qualified for the ballot in October 2021. The election was put on the calendar for June 7, 2022.
It was at this same time that Brooke Jenkins, an Assistant District Attorney in DA Boudin’s office, quit. Why? She had a dispute with Chesa over sending a man to prison who was deemed to be insane. Jenkins wanted him in prison. Chesa wanted him incarcerated in an instiution where his illness could be treated. She quit and immediately began campaigning against her former boss.
Ironically in 2020 Jenkins made several public comments praising Boudin’s stewardship of the DA’s office, in which she was an Assistant District Attorney.
Breed said nothing during the entire Recall campaign even though everyone in San Francisco knew she supported the Coup d’etat. A public statement reminding voters Chesa was the democratically elected DA and there is a regularly scheduled election in November 2023 may have changed the result.
Instead, Breed remained silent.
On election night, Brooke Jenkins was proudly celebrating her victory in the Coup d’etat against her former boss.
Top photo – Mayor London Breed speaks at University of San Francisco Law School graduation – May 2021