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She’s Baaack: Joanna Rees Says She May Run For Mayor of San Francisco

Joanna Rees — whose San Francisco-based firm, VSP Capital, famously imploded several years ago — was never a shrinking violet, and apparently, she still craves the spotlight.

After what she considered unfair treatment by the media as VSP was crumbling — she invited her married boyfriend into the firm as a partner without disclosing the relationship to VSP’s other partners; three of VSP’s general partners subsequently resigned; and the firm’s LPs voted to pull the plug on its third and last fund — she tells VentureBeat’s Matt Marshall that she now has her eye on the SF mayor’s office.

If Rees is serious about running for mayor of San Francisco, I say: good luck. But my suspicion is that Rees’s sit-down with Marshall, who remarks that Rees’s career “shows remarkable persistence and grit,” is largely a publicity stunt intended to clear her name in Silicon Valley.

Here’s the problem: While Rees points the finger at prominent male VCs who’ve had affairs and accuses her detractors of having double standards — she says her debacle told women, “Don’t try; you’re going to be taken down because you’re not wanted here” — Rees can as easily be accused of wanting it both ways by playing the gender card. Perhaps she believes that VSP’s existence hinged on her sex, instead of the other qualities she brought to the table. If she doesn’t, then blaming her firm’s downfall on sexual discrimination, instead of acknowledging the role that her decisions played in the matter, is more than disingenuous. It’s a disservice to every other woman in the industry.

What do you think? Does Rees, a Democrat, have the cojones to run for political office? If you care, take this survey here.