Progressives start infighting

While Mayor Gavin Newsom is out of town and looking politically vulnerable, a fight has erupted among the progressives on the Board of Supervisors — who are Newsom’s political adversaries.

The political infighting, which began at a time when the progressives could have banded together to attack the mayor, started when the board’s Budget and Finance Committee held a meeting Wednesday to vote on legislation that would restore millions of dollars to the public health department to prevent layoffs of SEIU 1021 labor union workers — mostly nurses.

One problem: Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi who sits on the committee could not attend because he had to attend the California Coastal Commission meeting. That left progressive committee chair John Avalos and Newsom ally Supervisor Carmen Chu. Avalos would support the bill, while Chu was expected not to. It would take a third vote to send it out of committee.

Under board procedures, the board president can appoint another supervisor to fill the seat as a voting member.

Supervisor David Campos wanted to be that fill-in voting member. The procedure was put in place and Board of Supervisors President David Chiu was notified.

But then, all of a sudden Chiu vanished from City Hall without having named Campos as a voting member.

At the outset of the hearing, Campos slammed Chiu for playing “procedural gamesmanship” and called Chiu out for not adhering to the progressive agenda.

Campos said to members of SEIU 1021 that they had worked “very hard to elect a progressive majority to the Board of Supervisors” and they should expect these members “to deliver on the agenda was promised to you.”

Campos accused Chiu of playing games and caring more about his ego or reputation.

“What is at stake here is not the egos or reputation of elected officials. But it is the lives of the workers , the lives of the families that are being impacted.”

“Even though we may not be able to make that vote happen today — No one — whether it’s the Board of Supervisors president — is going to get in the way of justice.”

Chiu did not return a phone message asking for comment.

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