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What do Joanna Rees and Austin Beutner have in common?


A few kinks to iron out

Before we answer, let's tell our unsuspecting audience who Joanna Rees is.
Joanna Rees (born November 14, 1961 in Montclair, New Jersey) is a venture capitalist at VSP Capital in San Francisco, California. In addition to her role as the managing director at VSP, Joanna filed campaign papers announcing her intent to run for Mayor of San Francisco in the November 2011 election.
Venture capitalist running for Mayor. Sound like anyone you know?

In fact, Joanna Rees and Austin Beutner are both running for the top jobs in California's top two cities, and they both have plenty of their own money as former venture capitalists--and they both have told Ace Smith and Sean Clegg--yes, they have the same team on their side--that they want campaign contributions to come from the people and not from their own vast riches.

Ms. Rees has been making her rounds in SF for two years now. She's not afraid to go out alone, and certainly has a mind of her own, independent of her notorious strategists--as the set-up with the ironing board in Bernal Heights a couple of days ago demonstrates. Mr. Beutner, however, often leaves people scratching his head when he shows up, at, say, a Democratic picnic, which he did three weeks ago, leaving many Demos feeling oogie, wondering what the heck "Mr. Decline to State" was doing there.

There are also a few welcome differences between the two. For starters, Ms. Rees is well-known to be a progressive Democrat and she has been a tireless advocate for gay and lesbian rights, with flashy backers like a Coppola or two, and Quincy Jones. Mr. Beutner has...doddering Dick Riordan in his corner, a man seemingly hell-bent on destroying Los Angeles ever since his own Mayoralty, tinkering with schools until everyone who works for them ended up hating each other, running Peter O'Malley out of his family business, centralizing mayoral power and playing chicken little with the city's finances.

I heard a whisper that Joanna Rees is out and about so much because Ace Smith and Sean Clegg were less interested in her once she told the two salty hacks that she didn't want to spend her own money. Maybe Austin Beutner sent a similar chill down the spines of the two spinmeisters--and maybe that's why we see Mr. Beutner winging it a bit, even on his web material.