Fresh off what may have been the biggest victory of his political career, Mayor Chuck Reed last week decided to immediately blow some of his hard-earned political capital, endorsing the conservative Christian council candidate Larry Pegram.
Unless Fly is missing something, the timing of the mayor’s announcement couldn’t have been worse. In recent years, Pegram has been San Jose’s most high-profile anti-gay activist. He campaigned locally for the ban on gay marriage, without success.
Voters in San Jose, a decidedly live-and-let-live bunch, overwhelmingly rejected the proposition. So why did the mayor choose the day after Prop. 8 was overturned to announce his support for his old pal?
Perhaps he was riding high after ably forging a majority on the council, just days earlier, to put a financial-reform package before voters. Or perhaps the mayor has some perverse blind spot when it comes to endorsements; back in April, he threw his support behind Richard Calderon, who was running a doomed race against the powerful, popular Sheriff Laurie Smith.
Justifying his man-love for Pegram, the Chuckster said social issues such as gay marriage never come before the council, conveniently forgetting that in 2004, the City Council was asked to consider providing benefits to same-sex married city employees. As the political blog Daily Fetch pointed out last week, then-Councilmember Reed voted against the measure—which passed.