Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dear Rafael Mandelman: I'll Consider Voting for You When ...

On my way into San Francisco's Glen Park BART station (that's one of our subway lines, for those of you out-of-towners), I snapped this photo of one of the trash bins at the station. On the other side of the entrance, the same sign was on another trash bin. Around the entrance were several supporters of this candidate, Rafael Mandelman, who is running to become our supervisor (the equivalent of an alderman, and with all the weirdness that entails in most city councils).

I know that following the law seems to be considered an optional pursuit in San Francisco by many people, but am I really being too stuck up to be annoyed that a candidate plasters his material on public property? Or did BART (or the city – whoever owns the trash bins) approve of this use? If so, it's a form of endorsement of the candidate, and it's wrong. If BART or the city did not approve of it, then it's abuse of public property, and it's wrong.

Considering all of the troubles we have with people who get into public office (at all levels, in all locations, from all parties and ideologies) and forget about the line between their personal aggrandizement and the public good, we should hold people to decent standards when they're running for local office. So, Mr. Mandelman, you might be a perfectly fine candidate in many ways, but I'll consider voting for you when you display proper respect for the people you intend to serve. Get your signs off my – our – public property.

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