In the unlikeliest of scenarios, the hardline leftist Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021 is essentially supporting a GOP candidate for a seat on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Board of Directors.
James Fang, a Republican, is running against Nick Josefowitz, a leftist environmentalist, and yet on August 13 the SEIU urged a vote of “no endorsement” for that race at a meeting of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee. The “no endorsement” vote won, 17-10.
Supervisor Scott Wiener, befuddled, said, “It’s an odd thing. Here you have this uber-progressive union, yet they are supporting a Republican candidate in San Francisco against an environmental progressive,” reported the San Francisco Chronicle.
Fang has served six terms on the BART board since being elected in 1990. Oddly enough, he has been supported by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos explained to the Chronicle that Fang’s support was manifested because Fang’s family owned newspapers including Asian Week, which had supported Pelosi and Feinstein in the past.
Agnos said Fang has labor’s support because he walked the picket line in last year’s BART worker strike. He added, “Until now I would characterize Fang’s relationship with labor as benign neglect. This is one of the few times he’s been in support of labor. He took advantage of this strike because it was an election year.”
Josefowitz has strong support from the rest of the left; he has been endorsed by The Chronicle, the Examiner, the Sierra Club, the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club, and seven of the 11 San Francisco supervisors, the Chronicle reports.