Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Peskin ousts gay Dem Party chair

Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin emerged the victor tonight (Wednesday, July 23) in his battle to oust Scott Wiener, the openly gay chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party.

Peskin will now oversee the Democratic County Central Committee, a little noticed panel that exerts control over which candidates receive the local party’s endorsements.

By a vote of 18-16 a majority of DCCC members voted at their meeting to replace Wiener with Peskin, who is termed off the board this year. Peskin won with help from gays on the committee. Susan Leal, former Public Utilities Commission general manager, served as proxy for Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) and voted for Peskin. Supervisor Tom Ammiano also voted for him.

Elected to the DCCC in the June primary, Peskin surged to victory with the help of a progressive majority he helped elect to the local Dem panel. He needed 17 votes to claim the chairmanship.

Supervisor Chris Daly, who also won a seat on the body last month, had threatened to campaign against any members of what was known as the “Hope slate” who did not vote for Peskin in future races.

With control of the board up for grabs this fall, progressives had made the race for DCCC chair a priority, as who the Dem panel endorses usually goes on to win their races. The supervisor races could also be key in who replaces Peskin as board chair next year, and in 2011, who opts to run to replace Mayor Gavin Newsom.

— Matthew S. Bajko, July 23, 2008 @ 9:19 pm PST
Filed under: News,Politics

Senate OKs repeal of HIV travel ban

The Senate today (Wednesday, July 16) approved the repeal of a discriminatory law barring HIV-positive visitors and immigrants. Passage came on 80-16 vote reauthorizing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

The bill now moves to conference committee before being sent to President Bush.

Senators John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) and Gordon Smith (R-Oregon) secured the provision to repeal the travel ban in the Senate’s legislation to reauthorize PEPFAR.

The travel ban originated in 1987 and was codified by Congress in 1993. While immigration law currently excludes foreigners with any “communicable disease of public health significance” from entering the United States, only HIV is explicitly named in the statute. For all other illnesses, the secretary of health and human services retains the ability, with the medical expertise of his department, to determine which illnesses truly pose a risk to public health.

— Cynthia Laird, July 16, 2008 @ 4:45 pm PST
Filed under: News

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