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East Bay prosecutor mulls bid for SF D.A.

Add Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Sharmin Eshraghi Bock to the list of people considering throwing their hats in to the ring to succeed state Attorney General-elect Kamala Harris as San Francisco District Attorney.

“A lot of people from the community are encouraging me to run and I’m seriously considering it,” she told me late yesterday, confirming a rumor I’d heard.

Sharmin BockBock, 48, has been a prosecutor for 21 years and is a nationally-recognized expert in human trafficking who created and leads the Human Exploitation and Trafficking Unit in Alameda County, prosecuting complex human trafficking cases with a focus on sexually exploited minors. She is also directs a H.E.A.T. Watch program, providing communities, prosecutors, and police departments with the blueprint that has made Alameda County a role model in combating these crimes.

Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, D-Alameda, earlier this year named Bock the 16th Assembly District’s Woman of the Year; she and others from districts around the state were honored at a March 8 ceremony at the State Capitol.

“Sharmin has been an invaluable asset to my district, the state, and nation in bringing domestic commercial sexual exploitation of minors to a level of national discussion,” Swanson said at the time, noting he’d worked closely with Bock on his legislation to increase penalties for human traffickers and put money toward aiding child victims. “Ms. Bock’s outspoken advocacy on behalf of child victims has taken the discussion to an unprecedented intellectual level, bringing state and federal law enforcement, lawyers, policymakers, and the public to the table to discuss the underground crime and its severe impact on our communities.”

California Women Lawyers last year bestowed upon Bock its top honor, the annual Fay Stender Award, given to a woman attorney who has demonstrated her commitment to under represented or disadvantaged people

Bock, an equestrian, also cofounded Paddock Cakes, a business that makes and sells horse treats; a portion of the business’ proceeds goes toward funding a safe house she hopes to establish with a therapeutic riding program for young human trafficking victims.

Bock earned an undergraduate degree from Occidental College in Los Angeles in 1984 and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. in 1988.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom or his successor will appoint someone to fill Harris’ post as district attorney. Newsom has said that if she resigns before him, he’ll heed her recommendation for her successor.

The Chronicle has reported that others who’ve expressed interest in the appointment include attorney Bill Fazio, San Francisco Assistant District Attorney Paul Henderson, Police Commissioner and former prosecutor Jim Hammer, and David Onek, a senior fellow at the U.C. Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice. Other possibilities included Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and San Francisco Superior Court Presiding Judge Katherine Feinstein, daughter of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

UPDATE @ 11:38 A.M. FRIDAY: The Chronicle’s Marisa Lagos reports Katherine Feinstein might not be eligible for appointment to this job.

Posted on Thursday, December 16th, 2010
Under: Kamala Harris, San Francisco politics | 3 Comments »

SF Dem group snubs Newsom for Lt. Gov.

The political action committee of San Francisco for Democracy – a grassroots progressive group “inspired by the leadership of Howard Dean” – released its slate of endorsements yesterday for November’s election. The group endorsed Democrats for every congressional, legislative and statewide office – with the exception of the lieutenant governor’s office, for which San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is the Democratic nominee.

The group’s website indicates the 60 percent threshold for endorsement wasn’t reached for that race during an Aug. 17 endorsement meeting. I couldn’t immediately reach the group’s president or communication director this afternoon, and my query to Newsom’s campaign wasn’t immediately returned. The campaign of Republican incumbent Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado chose not to comment.

Two polls last month – one commissioned by Maldonado’s campaign, the other independent – showed Newsom and Maldonado in a statistical dead heat.

UPDATE @ 12:47 P.M. FRIDAY: First, I was mistaken in calling San Francisco for Democracy an “SF Dem group” – it’s a nonpartisan progressive club, president Tim Durning said in a voicemail he left for me this morning. Durning went on to explain that Green candidate Jimi Castillo and Peace & Freedom candidate C.T. Weber got enough support from members of the club that Gavin Newsom didn’t have enough left to break the 60 percent threshold required for an endorsement; Republican Abel Maldonado was “a nonfactor in the race,” he said.

Posted on Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Abel Maldonado, Gavin Newsom, Lt. Governor, San Francisco politics | 6 Comments »

TEA Party will boycott San Francisco

Let’s get this straight.

San Francisco is boycotting Arizona over its immigration crackdown. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has even put the kibosh on all those city employee golf, er, business, trips to Phoenix.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg wants California to follow suit.

And now, California TEA Party groups  are boycotting San Francisco with a protest march in …  San Francisco.

President and founder of the Pleasanton/NorCal TEA Party, Dr. Bridget Melson, sent out an announcement of the May 1 event, which will start at 2 p.m. at the Civic Center at 24th and Mission streets.

“I say spend your money anywhere else than in San Francisco, vacation elsewhere, dine elsewhere — if you protest (in San Francisco), bring your own food, coffee and water,” she said in her news release.

I guess that means they won’t be stopping for a sourdough bread bowl at Fisherman’s Wharf?

Read on for the full news release:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
Under: San Francisco politics, tea party | 50 Comments »

Obama names new EPA regional administrator

San Francisco’s top environmental enforcer, a notable crusader against climate change, has been selected by President Barack Obama to become this region’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator.

Jared Blumenfeld, 40, will run the EPA’s operations in California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands and more than 140 tribal nations. Here’s an interesting interview conducted with him about a year ago.

For eight years, Blumenfeld has directed the San Francisco Department of Environment, serving as the top environmental decision-maker for 28,000 city staff and a $6.5 billion city budget; he also did an eight-month stint as interim manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. He is a founder of Business Council on Climate Change; a former director of the Treasure Island Redevelopment Authority; and led the first United Nations World Environment Day hosted by the United States. He holds law degrees from the University of London and the University of California.

“I look forward to working closely with Jared Blumenfeld on the range of urgent environmental issues we face, in Region 9 and across the nation,” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in a news release. “At this moment of great challenge and even greater opportunity, I’m thrilled that Jared will be part of our leadership team at EPA. He will certainly play an instrumental role in our Agency’s mission to protect our health and the environment.”

Posted on Thursday, November 5th, 2009
Under: Environment, Global warming, Obama presidency, San Francisco politics | 2 Comments »

Did the guv really do that?

Check out the San Francisco Bay Guardian blog on a possible not-so-hidden message from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano in a veto letter.

As you may recall, Ammiano yelled “kiss my gay ass” when the governor showed up at a San Francisco event.

Posted on Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
Under: San Francisco politics, Schwarzenegger | 3 Comments »

Is Newsom’s affair worth news coverage?

This just in from Times online editor Ari Soglin: ContraCostaTimes.com readers are split on that question. In a poll on the site, about a third of readers (as of 2:30 p.m. today) say, “Let’s stay out of his private affairs.”

But about 20 percent say that the scandal — the San Francisco mayor admits to having an affair with the wife of his former campaign manager — is worthy of coverage because of his position. And another 30 percent say the incident “raises questions about his loyalty to people close to him.”

Rounding out the poll — a highly unscientific snapshot of what our readers think — 10 percent say they “don’t care about his affairs, but dude’s hot, so please post a photo.” And 3 percent say, “I don’t care about Newsom, but please update us on Monica Lewinsky.”

Link to poll here.

Posted on Thursday, February 1st, 2007
Under: San Francisco politics | No Comments »