| News

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Nancy Pelosi: A San Francisco 'conservative'

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Bill Steigerwald
Sunday, Nov. 26, 2006

San Francisco is a great place to visit but you wouldn't want to vote there.

Since 1987, the City by the Bay has been the home turf of Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the incoming speaker of the House and Red State America's worst left-liberal nightmare.

If you're among the millions who've climbed Coit Tower, dined at Fisherman's Wharf or been shocked by the permanent homeless encampment near Mission and Market, you've seen San Fran Nan's stunningly scenic 8th Congressional District.

On Election Day morning, as voters across the land were delivering a spanking to deserving Republican war-makers and big-spenders in Congress, I happened to be a tourist in Pelosi Land, which is as famed for its human diversity, wealth and know-how as it is for its laissez-faire social values, hatred of the American military and fondness for neo-Soviet politics and economics.

I was in Precinct 3209, to be exact, which is in the Marina neighborhood near San Francisco Bay. A highly polished, youthful and trendy residential area built on landfill that "liquifies" during earthquakes, the precinct is a 15-minute bike ride from the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Like many of consolidated San Francisco City/County's 739,425 souls, the citizens of Precinct 3209 regularly vote in a homeowner's garage.

On Nov. 7, their polling place was at 3445 Fillmore St., the multimillion-dollar address of lovable retired city asbestos inspector Ray Pons. You could tell it was a voting location because the sidewalk-touching garage door was open wide all day and a port-a-potty was parked in front.

Inside the narrow garage, where tools, ropes and bike parts hung neatly on pegboards, were six optical-scan voting machines and a table manned by an elections department inspector and several college interns.

The inspector was a helpful, nice guy named Kenne, 43, who lived in Murrysville as a child. Disabled by a back problem, married and living in a cheap condo-by-the-freeway now worth $500,000, Kenne (who didn't want me to use his last name) looked like he might still live in a Pittsburgh suburb -- except for those dozen or so piercings in his ears and face.

Precinct 3209, said Kenne, is a conservative oasis in Pelosi's Liberal Land -- relatively speaking. It usually votes down tax increases and is pro-business and anti-tenants' rights.

Of course, as he said, "a San Francisco conservative is a middle-of-the-road centrist Democrat."

Pelosi, who consistently votes in Congress for things like partial-birth abortion and tax increases and against the death penalty, tax cuts, drilling for oil in the Arctic and increased defense spending, couldn't get elected dogcatcher in most of America. But on Nov. 7 she was re-elected with her usual 80 percent slice of the vote. Her sacrificial/masochistic Republican foe got 10 percent. Even Gov. Arnold managed only 29.5 percent in San Francisco, which also passed a referendum 59 percent to 41 percent calling for the impeachment of Messrs. Bush and Cheney.

Elections inspector Kenne is no fan of Ms. Pelosi. He identified himself as a socialist and a nationalist who favors price controls, rent control and believes government should seize 30 percent of the stock of all corporations.

Not surprisingly, like many of Pelosi's constituents, Kenne thinks the new speaker -- who is ranked more liberal on economic and social issues than 90 percent of her Housemates -- is way too conservative.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Rossi: Looking at the next great Steeler
  2. Roman Catholic Church in midst of culture clash over gays
  3. McCullers’, McLendon’s prowess in clogging trenches crucial to Steelers defense
  4. Reds solve Cole, stave off Pirates’ 9th-inning rally
  5. After early criticism, Haley has Steelers offense poised to be even better
  6. Steelers swap draft pick for Eagles cornerback
  7. Steelers notebook: Injuries finally become issue at training camp
  8. Starting 9: Examining Pirates’ deadline decisions
  9. Pirates notebook: New acquisition Happ more than happy to fill spot in rotation
  10. Penguins not alone in top-heavy approach to salary cap
  11. Biertempfel: Players, MLB agree logic of season’s setup needs to be examined