The first time San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly went after the Blue Angels’ annual visit to San Francisco for Fleet Week, there was an uproar, and he gave up. The second time he went after the Blue Angels, the other Supervisors decided that they weren’t going to kill a cash cow. Chris Daly is nothing if not persistent, however, and I suspect he hopes that, if he tries often enough, opponents of his initiatives will start ignoring him and he can move forward unhindered. Otherwise, how can one explain the following two news stories?
On Tuesday, September 11, Daly once again tried to block the Angels from flying and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors once again stood firm against his initiative:
Another attempt by San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly to permanently ban the Blue Angels from flying over the city was blocked Tuesday night.
Daly previously introduced a nonbinding resolution calling on the Port of San Francisco to end the annual air show, but a board legislative committee refused to send it on to the supervisors chambers for a vote.
The District 6 supervisor has subsequently amended the legislation to ask that flyovers by the elite aerobatic Navy squadron be prohibited above populated areas though allowed over the sea and San Francisco Bay.
“I’m just trying to pass the resolution,” Daly said. “I’m trying to accommodate my colleagues. It’s part of the legislative process, they tell me.”
Daly said the measure should be allowed to go before the full board because he thinks other supervisors would vote for the ban.
He tried to invoke a procedural tool Tuesday that allows a supervisor to call legislation out of committee for a vote by the full board provided no supervisor objects.
But Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, a member of the legislative committee that blocked the measure in the first place, opposed Daly, dooming the move.
Mayor Gavin Newsom has also been a strong Blue Angels supporter. I particularly like his spokesman’s take on the matter:
Nathan Ballard, spokesman for Mayor Gavin Newsom, who supports the Blue Angels, did not favor Daly’s change.
“We think that the FAA is better qualified to decide the Blue Angels’ flight path than Chris Daly is,” Ballard said. “Chris Daly is many things, but he’s no air traffic controller.”
It appears, though, that the repeated rebuffs are not stopping Daly. In a story dated September 13, two days after the above mentioned Board meeting, Daly again claims to put a resolution before committee aimed at banning the Blue Angels:
A San Francisco Board of Supervisors committee is considering a resolution seeking to permanently halt the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels from flying over the city during Fleet Week in October, Supervisor Chris Daly said today.
Daly submitted the resolution seeking to permanently halt the show because he believes it poses an unwarranted risk to life and property in this densely populated city.
Daly also said the volume of the jets exceeds the legal limits for the civilian community.
“When the aircraft fly their simulated strafing runs over the concrete and glass canyons of San Francisco’s high-rise buildings, the volume is magnified to ear-splitting and nerve shattering levels,” his resolution states.
Furthermore, the jets terrorize immigrants from war-torn countries who have experienced air bombardment, and they frighten children, seniors, pets and wildlife, according to Daly.
The Government Audit and Oversight Committee can continue the item, table it or move it to the full board, Daly said.
Since the Blue Angels fly by invitation, even if the resolution gets passed, the show will likely take place this year, Daly said. The main purpose is to halt it for future years, he said.
By the way, if you have any doubts about Daly’s real agenda, those doubts should be put to rest when you see who his fellow travelers are:
Several groups including CODEPINK, a women-initiated grassroots organization working to end the war in Iraq, and Global Exchange, an international human rights organization that was founded in 1988, support the resolution and also are concerned about safety.
“It is clearly a safety issue and the Blue Angels can have plenty of air space over just the water rather than the city and county of San Francisco,” said CODEPINK organizer Nancy Mancias.
I know that the above is a non-story: a resolution that failed, followed by another resolution that will probably fail. Nevertheless, I believe that it’s worth keeping an eye on Daly’s machinations. As I noted at the beginning of this post, I think he’s trying a “Boy Who Cried Wolf” strategy that will end, not with his getting eaten, but with his triumphing. That is, he wants us to stop looking up when he calls “Ban the Blue Angels,” in the hopes that our senses will be so dulled by meaningless repetition we will no longer know when something serious is happening.
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