SAN FRANCISCO—Even here, in this defiantly liberal city, it was simply too much. A local measure that would have renamed a sewage treatment plant after George W. Bush was defeated yesterday, with 69 percent of voters opposing it. Thirty percent of voters supported the initiative.
Promoted by a group that calls itself the Presidential Memorial Commission, the measure was dreamed up over beers one night earlier this year. It would have renamed the Oceanside Treatment Plant, located on the western edge of the city, after the current president, who is wildly unpopular here. Only 12,000 signatures were needed to put the measure on the ballot. But with 100 percent of precincts reporting, more than 143,000 people voted against it. More than 63,000 people supported the measure.
Though renaming a sewage treatment plant would have had little practical effect—and had little chance of passage, experts say—many voters here worried that its presence on the ballot would only contribute to the country's perception of San Francisco as the land of the loony left. "I see it as disrespectful to families of the soldiers who have fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan," Colin Gallagher, a Republican attorney in San Francisco, told the Los Angeles Times last week, adding that he is no admirer of the president. "It would speak better of San Franciscans if they remained civil." A sizable majority of voters here seem to have agreed.
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