07/18/2011 09:01 pm ET Updated Sep 17, 2011

Leland Yee Flip-Flops When Talking About Mayor Ed Lee

This article comes to us courtesy of SF Weekly's The Snitch.

By Erin Sherbert

We recently gave readers a little insight as to why state Sen. Leland Yee is ahead in the polls -- because he has mastered the art of telling everyone what they want to hear. This political chameleon gave us a brand-new example of his doublespeak over what has become a pressing campaign issue: Mayor Ed Lee.

Lee, who is filling in the remainder of Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom's term, has always insisted he wants his old job back as city administrator when the new mayor is elected. To ensure this happens, city supervisors signed off on legislation that would allow Lee to slide back into his old position -- but only if the new mayor appoints him.

Threats that Lee might decide to join the mayor's race himself have given most serious contenders a good reason to pander to the interim mayor. All have consistently said they'd give Lee his old, higher-paying job back -- no problem.

All except Yee.

Initially, Yee was noncommittal. He told the Chron last month: "It's hard to make any decisions about what
I'm going to do as mayor. I have not promised anybody who I'm going to hire."

But less than 12 hours later, Yee called the newspaper back, saying he'd just learned about the legislation city supes had passed that would allow Lee to go back to being city administrator. "Since the city has made an agreement with Ed Lee that he would be able
to get his job back, then I will honor the previous agreement."

But now, seeing that Lee would easily win the election if he decided to run, Yee's position became unequivocal. Last week, during a candidate debate, he was asked point-blank: "Would you appoint Lee to his old job, if elected?"

"Very easy: Yes," Yee said.

What won't be easy for Yee is if Lee changes his mind and decides to run for mayor.

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