Ed Jew puts end to Savage debate in S.F.

A lone vote from Supervisor Ed Jew killed a resolution Tuesday that would have condemned comments made by a radio personality about immigrants.

The other 10 members of the Board of Supervisors voted in favor of the resolution “condemning defamatory language used by radio personality Michael Savage against the immigrant community.” The resolution referred to Savage’s July 5 broadcast in which he said that a group of students fasting for immigration policy changes should “fast until they starve to death.”

The beseiged supervisor, nick-named “Supervisor No” by City Hall insiders and facing nine felony charges on allegations that he lied about where he lived to run for a seat on the board, said he didn’t agree with Savage’s comments but said “the First Amendment gives him a right to make those comments.”

Jew’s vote angered some of his colleagues, including Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval, who introduced the resolution and held a rally in support of it hours before on the steps of City Hall.“I know in my heart that if this commentary was directed at the Chinese-American community or the Asian community, you would not be resorting to this empty and rigid formalism on your part,” Sandoval said to Jew, the only Chinese-American member of the board.

“I ask you to stand with the Latino community, to stand with the immigrant community, which you have so many times purported to represent and to champion,” Sandoval said.

Community groups plan on holding a vigil today in front of the KNEW radio station, which broadcasts Savage’s talk show.

The groups are calling for Savage to be pulled off the air.

Savage is not without his defenders, however. High-profile attorney Daniel Horowitz has threatened legal action if elected officials “start going after Michael’s job.”

“He is using very strong language and the debate is wonderful,” Horowitz said to a bystander at the rally.

After the resolution was defeated, Sandoval referred the resolution to a board committee for a possible public hearing, which won’t take place until September.

IN OTHER ACTION

MARIJUANA CLUB AMENDMENT PUT OFF: The Board of Supervisors continued until Sept. 11 a vote on amendments to the city’s first ever law for medical marijuana clubs.

The legislation would extend the deadline from July 1 until March 2008 for clubs to obtain city permits, loosen what were some of the toughest disabled access requirements and allow patients to purchase marijuana with just a doctor’s prescription.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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