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Sunset District supe candidate announces support for Alioto’s anti-Sanctuary City ballot measure

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District 4 candidate Jessica Ho, said she backed a controversial anti-Sanctuary City ordinance in an endorsement interview. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)


Former supervisor David Campos, now head of the local Democratic Party, has publicly criticized a candidate in the Sunset District’s supervisorial race for supporting Angela Alioto’s Sanctuary City ballot measure.

Jessica Ho, who is running to lead District 4 on the Board of Supervisors, said she backed Alioto’s ballot measure in a San Francisco Democratic Party endorsement interview last Saturday.

Hoo boy, what a swirl of manure she landed herself in.

That proposal was largely blasted by nearly the entire San Francisco political class earlier this year. Most saw through the anti-Sanctuary City ballot measure as a (rather blatant) ploy to bolster Alioto’s mayoral campaign, which did land her some airtime on Fox News (I felt a chill up my spine just writing that), while simultaneously placing innocent immigrants in its crosshairs.

Alioto responded to those critiques and weakened her measure, which now would allow city agencies to cooperate with requests from federal immigration authorities to share information with them when a judge found there is probable cause to believe a person committed a serious or violent felony, the Examiner reported at the time. San Francisco already largely does that, and the measure is seen now as only closing a few loopholes in the law.

Perhaps one of Alioto’s most prominent critics was state Sen. Scott Wiener, who staunchly defended our immigrant community.

“No, @AngelaforMayor, our sanctuary ordinance doesn’t ‘allow murderers, rapists, child molesters & other felons safe harbor in our city,’ Wiener wrote on Twitter in May. “It makes our city safer by signaling that local law enforcement isn’t an arm of ICE. Please stop demonizing immigrants.”

So did Ho really come out for Alioto’s measure? One doesn’t need to take Campos’ word for it — the whole interview is on video.

Campos himself asked Ho if she backed the measure. “For people who have convicted violent felonies or arson we should really look at having due process,” Ho answered.

Campos pressed, “Do you support it?”

“I do support it,” Ho answered.

I reached out to Ho via phone numbers listed in her Ethics Commission filings, but did not hear back by press time.

Though Alioto’s measure was first announced for this November’s ballot, it seemingly died following Alioto’s loss at the ballot box. However Alioto told me Wednesday “it did not die. We are gathering signatures,” and that it’ll appear on the November 2019 ballot. (Conveniently timed with the District Attorney’s race, in which her son Joe Alioto Veronese is running. Perhaps a double-billing is in the works?).

San Franciscans who decried Alioto’s perceived attack on our Sanctuary City laws include Ho’s most prominent supporters: Mayor London Breed and Wiener.

It’s unclear if latching on to the Sanctuary City attack will help or hurt Ho in her race to lead the Sunset District.

But local politico John O’Riordan, chair of the Westside Democratic Club, told me Alioto’s ballot measure is “a solution looking for a problem.”

“The West Side is concerned with kitchen table issues like public transport, parking, cost of housing and homelessness,” he said. He encouraged Ho, and anyone else running on the West Side, to focus on “quality of life issues.”

It’s a little kept secret, he added, that Alioto’s proposal is just a political distraction.

* * *

So in the last week we’ve learned District 6 supervisor candidates Sonja Trauss (founder of “BARF”) and Christine Johnson (the former planning commissioner) have teamed up in a ranked-choice voting strategy to knock out the perceived front runner, former school board member Matt Haney.

Now wait guys, hold on — don’t we remember some editorial, somewhere, from some old gray lady, writing a rather pointed critique of ranked-choice voting allies as “gaming the system?”

The San Francisco Chronicle’s tirade against Supervisor Jane Kim and former assemblymember Mark Leno for teaming up against London Breed in the mayor’s race earned many rightful public knocks.

Because, of course, it’s not gaming the system. It is how. The system. Is actually. Designed. Full stop.

So now I’m fully looking forward to seeing The Chronicle completely trash Johnson and Trauss for “gaming the system.”

Not due to any personal ill will against the D6 candidates (Johnson in particular has some pretty neat ideas), but because it would be the only way for The Chronicle to be ideologically consistent, even though Trauss and Johnson are the moderate-backed candidates whom the Chronicle often favors.

Unless of course The Chron was simply in the bag for Mayor London Breed the entire race, which certainly — oh my! — is not the case, right?

On Guard prints the news and raises hell each week. Email Fitz at joe@sfexaminer.com, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @FitztheReporter, and Facebook at facebook.com/FitztheReporter.

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