On the steps of City Hall on October 22, one progressive after another paid tribute to Supervisor and D5 candidate Christina Olague. We heard about Olague’s years of progressive votes on the Planning Commission, and her commitment to true progressive principles. All I could think was, “wow, this tune has changed.” Tim Redmond and Steve Jones, aka “the Bay Guardian,” did not even endorse Olague for any of their three slots. Supervisors Campos and Avalos, who both touted Olague at the event, endorsed Julian Davis over her before his campaign imploded. There’s no question that progressive “unity” has emerged around Olague’s re-election, but one must ask why Olague's virtues promoted at the event---such as her not being a “robot” but instead voting according to her principles---were seen as liabilities only a few weeks ago.
On October 9, I wrote a piece, “In District Five, Christina Olague Battles Progressive Hypocrisy
.” My chief argument was that Olague’s long history of progressive activism and Planning Commission votes were being ignored because she was supported by Mayor Ed Lee, Willie Brown, and Rose Pak. I noted that all three had supported Art Agnos without having him thrown off the progressive island in his 1987 mayoral campaign, yet now the rules for Olague have been changed.
It seemed that all it took was Olague’s vote to reinstate Ross Mirkarimi for her progressive history to be rediscovered. While Campos, Avalos and others withdrew support from Julian Davis for other reasons, Olague, rather than John Rizzo, the Bay Guardian’s second choice, has won nearly all of the support leaving Davis.
It makes all the foolish attacks on Olague’s progressive credentials for her vote on 8 Washington and for confirming her longtime colleague Mike Antonini on the Planning Commission look even more ridiculous.
As I stated earlier, Olague was going to win the D5 race no matter how she voted on the Sheriff. But I’m sure its more rewarding for her to have former allies who once bucked her return to the fold.