The authors of a new “biography” of Mayor Ed Lee are hoping voters will judge the book by its cover — and believe everything they read.
“The Real Ed Lee: The Untold, Untold Story” hit doorsteps in The City over the weekend, some 10 days before Election Day, thanks to the efforts of Leland Yee’s mayoral campaign. It comes on the heels of the fawning hagiography “The Ed Lee Story: An Unexpected Mayor.”
“It didn’t seem like The City had a great appetite for the first book,” said Yee spokesman Jim Stearns. “Sometimes the sequel does better than the original.”
The 55-page takedown parodies “The Ed Lee Story” by political consultant Enrique Pearce, which was funded by the independent expenditure group SF Neighbor Alliance.
Stearns would not say how many copies had been printed or how much the campaign had spent on the new book. He did say that writing the book, which draws on newspaper accounts and blog posts, was not the effort of any single Yee staffer.
“The book wrote itself,” Stearns said.
The slim volume oozes sarcasm as it covers the history of Ed Lee’s tenure as mayor, including his promise to not run for a full term and charges of inappropriate campaign donations from contractors.
The book, which paints Lee as a pawn of Chinatown power broker Rose Pak and former Mayor Willie Brown — together, they are called “the Three Racketeers” — even includes allegations of voter manipulation by Lee supporters just nine days ago, indicating a very tight production schedule.
Tony Winnicker, a spokesman for Lee, said two Lee campaign volunteers had found copies at their doors Sunday.
“They were pretty disgusted by it,” Winnicker said. “Here’s a guy, just when you thought he couldn’t go any lower, [Yee] comes out with this sleaze.”
Winnicker said he was confident the book would reflect worse on Yee than on its subject.
“He knows he can’t win,” Winnicker said. “All he cares about at this point is dragging everybody else down with him.”
Highlights of new book
Excerpts from “The Real Ed Lee: The Untold, Untold Story.”
- From “Willie & Rose’s ‘No Longer Secret’ Make-a-Mayor Recipe”: “VERY IMPORTANT: Mix all contents together in back room; if any part of the mixture is exposed to sunshine, it will be ruined. … Pour mixture into an empty vessel — any loyal bureaucrat will do.”
- From “Section 1: The Making of a Mayor,” about the deal to make Ed Lee interim mayor: “[Then-Supervisor] Chris Daly said: ‘This is the biggest fumble in the history of San Francisco politics.’ You know your city is in trouble when Chris Daly is the only politician who got it right.”
- “Fun facts” about Lee: “Ed Lee didn’t just bring America’s Cup to San Francisco, he also brought Jim Harbaugh to the 49ers. The real reason Twitter isn’t leaving is because Ed Lee won an arm-wrestling match against Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone. … These may not actually be true, but Ed Lee is quite skilled at taking credit for the work of others. …”