Tech Problems at SF Mayor Debate on Technology

By Chris Roberts
|  Saturday, Jun 18, 2011  |  Updated 7:35 AM PDT
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Tech Problems at SF Mayor Debate on Technology

Getty Images/Blend Images

The debate suffered microphone and live stream issues.

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Who is the candidate for San Francisco mayor best-suited to use technology -- one of the city's most noted industries -- for the city's benefit?

Each and every one of them! According to the nine candidates, anyhow, who each spent Thursday's SFOpen2011 debate extolling their tech-savvy political prowess -- when technical difficulties didn't hamper their efforts, at least.

The tech debate was marked by issues with technology, according to the San Francisco Appeal. The microphone the candidates used did not work early on in the debate, and the website that streamed video from the event stopped working briefly even though it appeared from the site's statistics that no more than about 40 people were watching it online simultaneously.

Nevertheless, the bully pulpit was put to use. Former supervisor Bevan Dufty, for example, said he'd open up his schedule to the public to see. Not just the press-friendly events on former Mayor Gavin Newsom's schedule, either -- every meeting would be public knowledge in a Dufty administration, he said.

More technology means more government, according to City Attorney Dennis Herrera. The city would have an Office of Innovation and a chief digital officer under Herrera, who said "we have to have the mechanisms to make sure that information is getting to the public."

Other candidates found ways to link technology to everybody's favorite whipping bus. Leland Yee slammed the $384,000 severance package doled out to former Muni CEO Nat Ford; David Chiu pointed out he's the only mayoral hopeful to take Muni every day; and Supervisor John Avalos pointed out that the NextBus technology is often broken at bus stops in southern San Francisco.

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