Saturday, October 31, 2020
Uncategorized Tom's Town: Crazy campaign mailers and endorsement

Tom’s Town: Crazy campaign mailers and endorsement

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One of the five most corrupt politicians in SF history? That's quite a standard
One of the five most corrupt politicians in SF history? That’s quite a standard

By Tom Temprano

It seems as if entire forests worth of trees have sacrificed their lives to create all of the campaign literature that has been flooding San Francisco voter’s mailboxes in the lead up to the November election. We’re being hit with everything from strange photos of scrambled eggs (thanks to the real estate industry’s fight against Prop G) to voter guides from at least half a dozen groups I’ve never even heard of.

48hillstomstownGiven the sheer volume, it takes quite a bit to raise my now-desensitized hackles when it comes to political mailers but BART Board candidate Nick Josefowitz has managed to do just that with his recent mail piece. In a hit that seems more appropriate for a senate race in a battleground state than a largely unwatched race to join a regional transit body Josefowitz paints his incumbent opponent, James Fang, as one of the “5 Most Corrupt Politicians In San Francisco History.”

That’s a pretty outrageous allegation on its own, but its especially outrageous when you see that Fang’s picture on the mailer is positioned directly above that of a former public defender who orchestrated the murder of an elderly lady to steal her inheritance.

Now, Fang has indeed been fined quite a bit of money over the $2,000 that he admitted to illegally funneling into the campaign of his then-boss Mayor Frank Jordan in the 1990s. That certainly is fair game to make it into a hit mailer — but putting him alongside a guy who served 25 years for murder is pretty cold.

Fortunately for Fang, I’d imagine voters aren’t that excited about getting mail for a BART race period and nasty stuff like this might further turn off voters who would otherwise support Josefowitz.

Fortunately for all of us, former Mayor Eugene Schmitz was also featured in the piece (for ending up in San Quentin thanks to his tendencies toward extortion and bribe-taking) and now we all know that he, not Ed Lee, had the most iconic facial hair of any San Francisco mayor.

 

The Giants World Series run has captivated San Francisco (as it has during every even numbered year since the turn of the decade) and has everyone glued to their TVs as they ignore phone calls, don’t answer the door, and generally tune out all things that aren’t happening on a diamond. While this is good news for civic pride, it’s bad news for the many campaign workers trying to call and knock their way to victory this November.

For three of the last five elections campaigners have been forced into being public enemy number one as they try and pry people’s attention away from baseball and on to the rapidly approaching election. A number of friends of mine working on different campaigns have said the past week or so has yielded some of the worst phone an door responses they’ve ever seen – even worse than in our last couple of title runs.

Fortunately for everyone, even a game-seven showdown would still give folks six days to figure out who they were voting for. That said, I think I speak for Giants fans and politicos alike when I say I hope we can topple the Royals ASAP.

 

Mayor Ed Lee has finally broken his silence on the Assembly race and endorsed Board President David Chiu. The timing of the move, which came less than a day after Chiu passed a $25 million dollar tax break for Airbnb – a company invested in by the Mayor’s BFF Ron Conway — is almost laughably poor and does little to quell the allegations of pay-to-play surrounding the whole Airbnb fiasco.

Airbnb aside, if I were David Campos I wouldn’t be too nervous. Lee’s endorsement certainly didn’t do much for the ill-fated 8 Washington ballot initiative and could be read as a sign that Chiu’s campaign is in the gutter and needed some star power to try and drag it out.

 

With the losses of the San Francisco Bay Guardian and Ted Gullicksen still hurting our hearts, this week’s news that the Lexington Club is closing seems like almost too much to bear. The city’s last lesbian bar, which is owned by my Virgil’s business partner Lila Thirkield, is being sold because frankly, there are no longer enough lesbians in San Francisco to keep it open.

Since I’ve always been a lesbian at heart, the Lex was my go-to bar when I moved here a decade ago. At the time I lived in my first apartment in the Mission at Caesar Chavez and Guerrero and my best friend Mary, who had also just moved here, lived in the Bayview.

Valencia was still a place that young queers wanted to hang out, and so I would walk down to the Lex to meet her and she would take a bus from the Bayview and then skateboard the last block or so, so that she looked cool when she rolled up. There we’d sit, an odd couple of a fresh faced twink and a little lesbian with a Kelly Osbourne inspired haircut, drinking cans of Tecate, feeling as if this was exactly what we had come to San Francisco to do.

Knowing that future generations of queer new arrivals won’t be able to meet up for a beer at the Lex truly breaks my heart. It has been a home away from home for a generations of San Franciscans, and San Francisco isn’t going to be the same place without it.

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.

32 COMMENTS

  1. Greg, interesting to see you and I agreeing on a few, doubtlessly for very different reasons.

    I’m NO on A as well, but because it is a tax hike. I usually defend Ed Lee but he is claiming this doesn’t raise taxes when it obviously does.

    Same argument against F.

    Yes on L because the anti-car Nazi’s are out of control.

    No on 1 which is a handout to farmers, and No on 46 also for privacy reasons but also because it is a gift to trial lawyers.

    And No on 2, not because I think the money should be spent, but rather that if it is surplus then it should be handed back to taxpayers.

    Campos doesn’t care about ordinary people. He cares only about himself and his favored constituencies. It has to be Chiu who genuinely can and does talk to everyone.

  2. Ooh, fun! I haven’t decided on all of them, but these look clear enough:

    Prop B: Give money to MUNI, but take the money from other departments, though Mayor Lee says that honestly, he promises to maybe ask the voters later to cover it. NOOOO!
    Prop E: Sugary drink tax? What will they think of next, tobacco tax? YES.
    Prop F: They want to build to 90′ on the waterfront, instead of 40′. What do they need 90′ for? Isn’t a 120% increase a bit much to ask for, just because you like it? Anyway, the shoreline is the last place you want tall buildings on. Thanks for asking, but NO, NO, NO.
    Prop G: It’s just a small gesture, falling short of a deserved kick in the nuts to heartless speculators, but it’s a sweet thought. YES.
    Prop H: Plastic parks? Really? With stadium lighting? Yikes! Vote YES.
    Prop I: Aww, that’s cute, thought no one would notice it’s designed to cancel H? Nuts. NO.
    Prop J: Slavery is so 1864. Seattle just went for a version of the $15 minimum wage, though they are not as expensive as SF. If you can’t afford to pay your employees $15/hr, how can you afford to pay an extortionate lease to your landlord? YESSSSS!

    Assembly: Campos! Not a weasel (cf. Chiu.) Super liberal but works well with others. Good successor to Ammiano.

    District 10: Kelly. Cohen has been AWOL for the first three years of her term. Only last year she started trying to please everyone, but still doing nothing definitive. Tony Kelly has been a relentlessly energetic community organizer for many years, is smart, knows the ropes, etc. A natural.

  3. Well, all right… I’ll throw my slate in there too. Actually Marcos’s is pretty good… much better than the SFBG.

    D10: Tony Kelly. The district needs someone who will work on behalf of residents, unlike the do-nothing incumbent.
    D8: anyone but Weiner

    SFUSD: Stevon Cook absolutely, and Jamie Rafaela Wolfe deserves a shot. No one else.

    Community College Board: for people who will stand up for students and won’t sell out City College -definitely John Rizzo and Wendy Aragon. For the 3rd seat I’d go with Brigitte Davila. I like Dan Choi as well, but you only get 3 votes, and Davila is faculty and she has a better shot at winning.
    For the 2-year seat, William Walker is head and shoulders above the other candidates.

    BART Board: hold your nose and vote Fang. If Josefowitz gets in, we’ll never be rid of him.

    Judicial races: congratulations marcos for figuring out the code. However, I disagree about Pollak and Kline. I’m voting to retain them. All the rest… what marcos said.

    SF Superior Court: Flores

    Prop 1: NO.
    Prop 2: NO. Rainy day fund? It’s raining now. Spend the damn money where it’s needed.
    Prop 45: YES. Of course. Unless you want to pay more for health insurance.
    Prop 46: Hell NO to random drug testing and invasion of privacy!
    Prop 47: YES. You have to be pretty rabidly right wing to oppose this.
    Prop 48: Yeah, whatever. Let the Indians build their casino.

    Prop A: No. When I actually read what the money’s for, I don’t support a lot of it.
    Prop B: Yes. Not wild about the MTA, but MUNI does need more money.
    Prop C: Yes. Sure. More money for kids and puppies and apple pie.
    Prop D: Yes. Sure. Let ’em have their retirement benefits.
    Prop E: NO! I don’t drink soda. It’s working class people who will get hit the hardest. .02 per OUNCE is a HUGE increase in the cost of a 2 liter bottle that you’d buy at the store.
    Prop F: NO. See my reasoning above.
    Prop G: YES. Pretty mild tax to discourage speculation and help keep tenants in their homes. Lots of loopholes, but it’s better than nothing. Conservative homeowners can rest easy that they won’t be affected, unless their name is Sangiacomo or something.
    Prop H: YES. Stops toxic astroturf and stadium lights that will light up the surrounding neighborhood till 10PM. Keeps the park as it was originally intended to be, a natural area.
    Prop I: NO. Deceptive measure put on the ballot specifically to kill Prop H
    Prop J: YES. We need $15/hr now, not in 2018. But it’s better than nothin’.
    Prop K: Yes. Watered down so as to be meaningless, but a “no” vote would be interpreted the wrong way.
    Prop L: YES. The parking gestapo is out of control. The city is balancing its budget on the backs of working people with the highest parking tickets in the state, and Sunday meters are just offensive. There needs to be some balance.

    Statewide officials:
    All the Democrats will win. With top-2, they’ve taken away even the trappings of democracy. But some of the incumbents are so awful that they deserve a protest vote against them no matter what. These include Gavin Newsom, Fiona Ma, and Nancy Pelosi. And I’m considering no vote for Governor and AG. The only people on the ballot I’d probably vote for even under the old system would be Alex Padilla (SOS), Betty Yee(Controller), Dave Jones (Insurance Commissioner), and Torlakson for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

    And whatever you do, vote for Campos. Chiu is a sellout; Campos actually cares about ordinary people.

  4. Perhaps Farrell wants Campos to win so that Lee appoints a more balanced and consensual Supervisor in his place, which will help Farrell achieve his goals?

    But I would never call Farrell a conservative. He just appears like one to folks who are very left-wing. He’d be the token liberal on Lubbock’s city council.

    Another explanation is that Farrell had a spat with Chiu and this endorsement was done out of spite. The left pull stuff like that all the time, as we saw when the Progressives appointed Ed Lee as mayor (and I laughed my ass off).

    Regardless, Campos is a left-wing extremist, and cannot be elected.

  5. According to the most conservative member of the Board of Supes Mark Farrell – Campos is a bridge builder and has earned his sole endorsement

  6. I thought I’d throw my slate in here:

    2014 San Francisco ballot recommendations:

    SF Supervisors:

    Vote the incumbents

    SFUSD:

    Vote the incumbents

    City College Board:

    Santos

    Local Props

    Prop. A Transportation Bond NO
    Prop. B Transportation Set-Aside NO
    Prop. C Children’s Fund Renewal NO
    Prop. D Redevelopment Employee Benefits NO
    Prop. E Soda Tax NO
    Prop. F Pier 70 Project YES
    Prop. G Housing Resale Tax NO
    Prop. H Grass Athletic Fields in Golden Gate Park NO
    Prop. I Renovation of Athletic Fields YES
    Prop. J Minimum Wage Increase NO
    Prop. K Affordable Housing NO
    Prop. L Motorist Policy YES

    San Francisco Superior Court

    Goodwin Liu NO
    Mariano-Florentino Cuellar NO
    Kathryn Werdegar YES
    Jim Humes NO
    Kathleen Banke YES
    Anthony Kline YES
    Therese Stewart NO
    Stuart Pollak YES
    Martin Kenkins YES
    Ignazio Ruvolo YES
    Mark Simons NO
    Terence Bruiniers YES

    State Props

    Prop. 1 Water Bond NO
    Prop. 2 State Budget NO
    Prop. 45 Health Insurance NO
    Prop. 46 Drug and Alcohol testing of MD’s NO
    Prop. 47 Criminal Sentences NO
    Prop. 48 Indian Gaming NO

    State and Federal offices, Vote all incumbents.

    And whatever you do, vote for David Chiu. Campos is a divisive polarizing identity politician who is not fit for public office and cannot work with anyone whom he disagrees with.

  7. I thought I’d throw my slate in here:

    2014 San Francisco ballot recommendations:

    SF Supervisors:

    District 10 Tony Kelly
    District 8 Anyone but Wiener
    District 6 Jamie Whitiker

    SFUSD: (bullet vote)

    Stevon Cook

    City College Board: (anyone but santos)

    William Walker
    Wendy Aragon
    John Rizzo

    Local Props

    Prop. A Transportation Bond NO
    Prop. B Transportation Set-Aside NO
    Prop. C Children’s Fund Renewal NO
    Prop. D Redevelopment Employee Benefits YES
    Prop. E Soda Tax no vote
    Prop. F Pier 70 Project NO
    Prop. G Housing Resale Tax YES
    Prop. H Grass Athletic Fields in Golden Gate Park YES
    Prop. I Renovation of Athletic Fields NO
    Prop. J Minimum Wage Increase YES
    Prop. K Affordable Housing NO
    Prop. L Motorist Policy no vote

    San Francisco Superior Court

    Goodwin Liu YES
    Mariano-Florentino Cuellar YES
    Kathryn Werdegar NO
    Jim Humes YES
    Kathleen Banke NO
    Anthony Kline NO
    Therese Stewart YES
    Stuart Pollak NO
    Martin Kenkins NO
    Ignazio Ruvolo NO
    Mark Simons YES
    Terence Bruiniers NO

    State Props

    Prop. 1 Water Bond NO
    Prop. 2 State Budget NO
    Prop. 45 Health Insurance YES
    Prop. 46 Drug and Alcohol testing of MD’s NO
    Prop. 47 Criminal Sentences YES
    Prop. 48 Indian Gaming NO

    State and Federal offices, don’t encourage them by voting.

    Why I am not voting for David Campos: he abandoned D9 neighbors when we asked for design changes to an enormous luxury condo on our block. All politics are local, you can’t get much more local than that. Jane Kim and Chris Daly stood up for neighbors against bad projects, as did David Chiu, while David Campos did not. To my mind, this renders him disqualified for promotion.

    Whatever you do, don’t vote for David Chiu.

  8. Good comments,refreshing when site is free of Ron Conartists trolls. Hope for a good rain. wash all the snakeoil off our beloved city & bar area,sweetdreams all

  9. Surely there are D8 folks paying attention to the decimation of San Francisco and the effed up politics of the incumbent Supervisor. If you’re one of those D8 voters and you’re pissed off, vote Petrelis!

  10. When I didn’t know how to vote, I used to triangulate between the Guardian, the Milk Club and the Tenants Union and vote accordingly (and maybe throw in Plan C, now SFModerates, to see who/what to eliminate from consideration).

    Well, Ted who was the driving force behind the TU is now gone, and the Guardian died even before these latest endorsements. The Sierra Club’s not bad. But they did endorse Josefowitz, ’cause he’s such an environmentalist [sarcasm]. But just what kind of environmentalist is Josefowitz? Well, the kind who opposes CleanPowerSF, for starters. In other words, not my kind. The SFModerates endorsement clinched it for me. Deal-breaker. Also confirmed my instinct to throw Shamann Walton and Thea Selby off my ballot, incidentally.

    The volume/weight method was proposed half-jokingly. It sounds like something an old crank might say. But in truth you can’t go too far wrong with that method, and there’s a good reason why. The campaigns with the most money for slick mailers are more likely to be supported by big-moneyed special interests and not the grass roots. An big moneyed special interests don’t have the interests of ordinary people at heart.

    Take Prop F for example. I’ve gotten at least 3 or 4 mailers for Yes on F. They’ve secured every endorsement under the sun (barring a few independent-minded holdouts like San Francisco Tomorrow and the Tenants Union), no organized opposition, and they only need 50% to pass. They’ll win in a walk, so why is someone bothering to spend a gazillion dollars to make sure it passes? Well, someone, with a lot of money to spend, really really wants to make sure Prop F passes… probably because that same someone stands to make even more money if it does. Beware.

    So who has sent me the most mailers for BART Board? Josefowitz,, by far. Either… he’s really really interested in transportation issues (and has a long history of transportation activism to back that up)… I’ll give you a hint: he doesn’t… or, he’s just another rich guy who thinks that because he’s rich, he has a god-given right to parlay his wealth into a political career at the expense of the rest of us.

    So now that we understand that neither candidate is going to work in the interests of the Bay Area community, the question becomes, which one will do the least amount of damage? That would be the one closer to retirement age, and whose party label makes it difficult to advance.

  11. Littlest and Least but the Best,SF Green Party&Serria Club, both good choices.SF Bay Guard turned into sellout, very sad.

  12. Yes, but unfortunately one of these clowns will be elected. When both candidates are horrible, perhaps the best strategy is to vote for the one who will likely retire or be defeated sooner, and least likely to move up the political ladder. That would of course be Fang.

  13. One pretty good system is to gather all the mailers, and vote in each race for whichever side/candidate has sent the least amount of junk mail.

  14. I use mailers for my windows, after “fixing” them with big felt markers.Its like Magic,how I win at Bingo with my lucky markers. Yes on H,B,C,D,F,GGGG,HHHHH,J NO on A,IIIII Parks for people not for Rent.NO on K,L CAMPOS,State YES on 45,47.NO on 1,2,46. NO on self appointed pundits,who just don’t get it!

  15. That was I made the comment, because your persona attacks and off-topic rants directly contradict Tim’s earnest request for civility and relevance here.

  16. Ooh, it is a big contest and the successful people are winning while the unsuccessful people are losing.

    Well bless your heart!

  17. If you want to resurrect the debate that you were losing on the other thread, I suggest that you try again over there rather than flooding this new thread with off-topic utterances.

  18. So you do view people by arbitrary classification and support those you agree with when they do as well, while your attack your opponents for doing exactly what you do.

    Well bless your heart!

  19. So you do like it when people see other people as members of groups when it benefits your politics. Well bless your heart!

  20. Tom Temprano was not here during the height of the Fang family’s political power, was he?

    This is one of the races that we should throw the political equivalent of gasoline on and set on fire, a pox on all of their houses.

  21. Seems obvious that Lee would endorse the more moderate and balanced candidate for the Assembly (as well as a fellow Asian-American) so I am not sure why you are trying to drum up a conspiracy theory around that. The only surprise is that he waited this long.

    Lee remains a popular mayor and his endorsement has to be positive for Chiu. The folks who don’t like Lee would mostly have voted for Campos anyway.

  22. No rogue’s gallery of the most corrupt San Francisco politicians is complete without Willie Brown. Gee, I wonder why he wasn’t pictured?

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