Effort brewing to recall Peskin

San Francisco has apparently come down with a case of recall fever.

As a contingent of District 1 business owners collects signatures to place a recall of Supervisor Jake McGoldrick on the November ballot, another move is under way in District 3 to place a recall of Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin on the February 2008 ballot.

A main figure behind the push to recall Peskin is Rex Reginald, who says he is acting as a consultant for a group calling itself the Committee to Recall Peskin.

Reginald, who moved into the Sunset district about a year and half ago from Los Angeles, vowed to recall Peskin earlier this year after Peskin shot down an idea advocated by Reginald to allow landlords to charge more rent per pet.

Reginald, who is not a registered voter in Peskin’s district and cannot legally circulate or sign a petition calling for the recall, said he began talking to voters in Peskin’s district — which includes Chinatown and North Beach — about a recall campaign. Reginald said he found a group of residents “brewing against him [Peskin].”

That group includes Eugene Wong, an immigration attorney, who ran against Peskin in 2004. Wong now sits on the Committee to Recall Peskin.

A notice of intent to circulate a recall petition was submitted to the Department of Elections on Wednesday, signed by 40 voters in District 3, mostly from the Chinese-American community. The notice alleges that Peskin abused his position to advance “personal ambitions,” including blocking a City College campus in Chinatown to protect views of area high-rises owned by his “developer friends” and attempting to end the Chinatown Night Market for personal reasons.

The notice also brings into question the purchase of the Telegraph Hill home he resides in, an issue that played out in the media during Peskin’s 2004 re-election campaign.

Peskin on Thursday said, “Everyone knows I am not a big friend of downtown high-rises.” He said his concerns about the Chinatown Night Market were justified given the results of a critical recent audit by the city controller. Peskin said suggestions that there was any wrongdoing surrounding the purchase of the Telegraph Hill home are “untrue.”

A recall should be reserved for “cases of manifest injustice and corruption, not political differences of opinion,” said Peskin, who has seven days to officially respond to the charges. “But my detractors are free to give it their best shot.”

Placing the recall on the ballot would require having 10 percent of the district’s 33,213 voters sign a recall petition. Peskin will be termed out of office on Jan. 8, 2009.

jsabatini@examiner.com


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