It’s “arrivederci!” for Joe Alioto Veronese’s run for district attorney.
And he may have Supervisor Aaron Peskin to thank for pulling the rug out from under him.
Alioto Veronese, the grandson of the late, former mayor Joe Alioto, had ambitious plans (but a light bank account) to take over District Attorney George Gascon’s job this November.
There’s a pack of folks running: former Police Commissioner Suzy Loftus, deputy public defender Chesa Boudin, California deputy attorney general Leif Dautch and prosecutor Nancy Tung. Each has a sizable campaign war chest (as you’ll see elsewhere in this column), and fire in their bellies to win.
Alioto Veronese, on the other hand, had an albatross around his neck: He’s also a fire commissioner. That wouldn’t have mattered in previous races, and may even have been a boon for his candidacy. But in a bad bit of timing for Alioto Veronese, last June voters approved Proposition B, a city ballot measure that requires anyone running for office to step down from city commissions.
That ballot measure was authored by Peskin.
Candidates are required to file a “declaration of candidacy” with the Department of Elections, a form that officially puts a candidate’s name on the ballot, which previously would have been between mid-July and early August for a November race.
But under Peskin’s new law, that “declaration of candidacy” must be filed at the same time as another form, the declaration of intent to run, which was due Tuesday, March 26. In short? The deadline to file that one particular form — crucial to candidacy — got moved up, up, up.
But filing it would have automatically knocked Alioto Veronese off the Fire Commission.
I confirmed with the Department of Elections that Veronese did not file his declaration of candidacy Tuesday.
I could not reach Alioto Veronese for comment, and Peskin was off vacationing (as all the supervisors are) with his phone turned off.
So did Veronese not file the form by accident? Did he intend for his candidacy to fizzle?
I honestly can’t tell you. The only thing I can tell you is this — he’s said “ciao” to the DA’s office, for now.
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Speaking of the Alioto family, former supervisor Angela Alioto’s ballot measure to amend San Francisco’s sanctuary laws has fizzled.
Though no one has reported this that I’ve seen, the measure actually kicked the bucket last November after Alioto intentionally did not file a few forms necessary to place it on the November 2019 ballot.
“I have so many cases and trials that I simply cannot do a campaign,” Alioto, an attorney, told me Wednesday.
Her measure took a lot of heat from politicos for potentially weakening The City’s Sanctuary City ordinances, which are supposed to protect undocumented people who report crimes so they can do so without fear of being reported to immigration authorities.
Fox News, however, loved the ballot measure, and Alioto was featured on Tucker Carlson’s show for it.
“The policies in your city are so crazy that even you who support Sanctuary City say, ‘enough,’” Carlson said. “You walk down the street you see junkies shooting up, you see Union Square and you see people living there and defecating on the sidewalks. And The City is protecting felons and normal people are leaving.”
Well darn, it’s a shame to let Carlson down, huh?
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And one more note on the District Attorney’s race — District Attorney candidate Chesa Boudin has filled his campaign war chest with alarming speed, following his late entry into the race this past January.
Boudin, a deputy public defender with progressive lefty bonafides, amassed just a hair over $200,000, he told me.
That’s a lot of dough for just two-and-a-half months worth of campaigning, and all in donations of $500 or less.
While traditionally candidates only discuss their latest funding when The City requires campaigns to disclose funding at regular intervals (the next one is in June), Boudin’s campaign revealed the numbers to me voluntarily, in a show of campaign strength for this November’s election.
“The level of enthusiasm for my campaign has surpassed even optimistic expectations,” Boudin said. And that’s all toward his pursuit of fixing the “status quo,” he told me. “The system is plagued by racial and socioeconomic disparities, recidivism is so high that incarceration is essentially a revolving door, and too many victims don’t have a voice in the process.”
Other candidates in the race have had months-long head starts on Boudin. California deputy attorney general Leif Dautch told me he’s raised roughly $150,000 so far, but former police commissioner Suzy Loftus’ campaign declined to release their numbers.
Now we don’t know for sure why she said no, but in my mind, there’s only one real reason you don’t say how much you’ve got: You may reveal a weak hand.
Loftus debuted her campaign complaining that DA Gascon has been “lacking” in leadership against car break-ins, among other issues. In February public filings revealed Loftus raised roughly $157,000.
I couldn’t get a hold of DA candidate Nancy Tung, a prosecutor, in time for this piece. But as of her last public filings, Tung had raised about $27,000 toward the race. Tung is widely viewed as running to the political right of her fellow candidates and has touted a need to clamp down on drug dealing in the Tenderloin. That’s hardly a view exclusive to right-leaning candidates, as progressive Supervisor Matt Haney has called on the police to do the same.
And as for Alioto Veronese, who is no longer a District Attorney’s Office candidate?
He raised the least, just $1,999. No wonder he ain’t runnin’.
On Guard prints the news and raises hell each week. Email Fitz at email@example.com, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @FitztheReporter, and Facebook at facebook.com/FitztheReporter.