Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Uncategorized Election night: It's not over yet.

Election night: It’s not over yet.


David Campos speaks to supporters who still don't know who won the race
David Campos speaks to supporters who still don’t know who won the race

By Tim Redmond

NOVEMBER 4, 2014 (midnight) – We can give Twitter a huge tax break. We can legalize Airbnb. But the administration of Mayor Ed Lee can’t seem to manage to get the election results posted without the Department of Elections website crashing.

All night, we had no results. Finally, the DOE folks decided to post a PDF of what they had. It’s still not complete.

So we still don’t know who won the 17th Assembly District, the most hotly contested issue on the local ballot.

As of the latest PDF tonight, David Chiu leads David Campos by 2,265 votes, around 3 percent. By my calculations, Campos won the Election Day votes 25,831 to 19,169, or 57 percent to 43 percent. Chiu won the absentees by about 59-41.

So the Campos field campaign did a wonderful job. The Chiu absentee effort put him ahead. Here’s what’s interesting: There are tens of thousands of Election Day absentees still to count. In some precincts I visited in the Mission, there were as many absentee ballots dropped off as there were live voters.

John Arntz, the director of elections, told me tonight that there are probably between 30,000 and 50,000 Election Day absentees to be counted. Not sure how many of those would be in D 17.

Suppose the number is 40,000 and 40 percent are in D 17. That’s 16,000 more ballots. If Campos wins 57 percent, that’s 9,100 more votes for him, and 6,900 f0r Chiu — enough to put the race within a handful of votes either way.

Big assumptions. We don’t know how the Election Day absentees will go, and we don’t know exactly how many will be counted in D 17.

So this race is nowhere near over. We may not know for days who has actually won. Typically, Election Day absentees break fairly close to how the live votes do; if that’s the case, then Campos is in very good shape.

He didn’t sound at all like a candidate conceding when he spoke to his supporters tonight at El Rio. “There are people who think they can buy San Francisco,” he said. “But our campaign is about saying that San Francisco is not for sale.”

Tomorrow at 4pm, if the website is fixed, we will know how the Election Day absentees break, and then we’ll know what to expect.

Prop. G, the anti-speculation tax, is behind 53-46 – and that’s a remarkable outcome considering that the tenants were outspent so overwhelmingly with such a torrent of out-of-town landlord money. And again: Lots of votes still to count. Prop. G did well on Election Day.

Prop. E, the soda tax, won 55 percent of the vote. If it had been a general tax, it would have passed. A similar tax passed in Berkeley. And that’s after a massive spending binge by the soda companies. They should be nervous.

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.


  1. Yes, younger people are consistently more liberal. And younger people vote in hugely higher numbers in presidential election years than in midterms. Yes, young liberals are offset by old conservatives in every election, but in 2016 there will be a hell of a lot more young voters compared to this year, and not nearly that many more old ones.

    Here’s another telling chart:


    Compared to 2012, virtually all groups voted more Republican – indicating that the Republicans maintained more of their turnout in the mid-term than the Democrats did, as per usual.

    But compared to the last midterm in 2010, most groups actually voted more Democratic this year, including women (50% of the population), Latinos (15% of the population), people aged 30-44, and seniors, all of whom leaned about 6% further left this year. The only groups leaning significantly further right this year were people of “other” races (about 6% of the population I think, leaning 5% further right) and Asians, who are only 5% of the population, though they leaned a dramatic 17% further right. (I wonder what’s up with that? Maybe something led Asians in particular to vote more to the left than usual in 2010?)

    So if you compare to the last midterm, when the turnout demographics were more comparable, this election was actually a moderate swing to the left! That may be because in 2010 there was the usual backlash against the party that won office two years before, and people are more used to Obama by now, but the fact remains, if you insist on comparing to 2012, this was just a predictable rightward shift due to very low Democratic turnout in a midterm year.

  2. Chris, sure younger people are more liberal and idealistic. But that is offset by the rest of the people ageing and becoming more conservative. The age of the average person who actually votes is around age 50.

    If not, the electorate would become ever more left-wing, and that doesn’t happen. People grow up, take on responsibilities, careers and families, and their politics change accordingly

    “He who is not a liberal at 20 has no heart. He who is not a conservative at 40 has no brain”.

  3. Where will this “infusion of new young progressive voters” come from?

    Surely the lesson on this election is that the number of progressive voters is declining?

  4. That’s great, we’re both happy! Prop G was pretty extreme, and I think pretty unfair to long-term small property owners, so I’m neither surprised nor unhappy that it lost. And clearly you’re right that in terms of actual results the election was a moderate swing to the right, driven by pitifully low turnout on the left.

    But you’re deluding yourself about the Senate (and President) in 2016.,_2016

    Republicans will have 24 seats to lose, Democrats only 10. And current estimates show 8 vulnerable red seats and only 2 blue ones. That combined with an infusion of new young progressive voters and the fact that Democrat turnout falls more in mid-term elections than Republican turnout does makes it pretty inevitable the Democrats will win back the Senate, unless somehow the economy tanks in the next 2 years.

  5. Well Chris, different people are interested in different things. I wasn’t that bothered about either the soda tax or the turf thing. And I’m not very interested in the East Bay either.

    Prop G losing was important to me. And Schaaf’s win in Oakland was a pleasant surprise.

    The Senate won’t swing back in 2016, barring a major issue arising. I’d expect the mid-terms in 2018 to be the earliest regardless of who wins the Prez race, and the House GOP majority is now so big that it’s not clear when that will go back.

    But what was clear from the results was that there was a measurable swing to the right, with of course some exceptions here and there. The SF mayoral race and the 2016 Prez race are now key. Personally I want to see 4 more years of Lee before Wiener is ready, and we are due for a GOP president although I really haven’t decided who yet.

  6. It’s true, I’m really disappointed in the Senate results, and I was also really disappointed that Prop 1 passed (more state-sponsored environmentally destructive dams, though it does have some good parts), and generally with the very low turnout.

    But it’s also true that before the election, the two things I was most excited about, and the first results I checked, were Prop 47 and Berkeley’s soda tax, because those are the real sea-change issues. (I figured SF’s soda tax would have a hard time getting 2/3 – they shouldn’t have made it an earmarked tax – but I was hopeful that Berkeley’s might get over 50% despite the opponents spending over $2M, which comes to almost $400 per vote for the 5600 or so votes they got! Turns out it won about 75% of the vote in Berkeley.)

    And it wasn’t just those things. I was also very happy about Measure BB in Alameda County, which just barely made its 2/3 threshold. In fact, with the exception of a few state propositions (all of which except Prop 1 I didn’t even have strong opinions about), every single race I voted in went the way I voted. So I’m quite content with the outcomes overall.

    The Senate will swing back in two years when the turnout will be much higher, but minor, nonviolent crimes will probably never be felonies in California again. That’s huge! Everyone’s up in arms about gay marriage, but I think the major civil rights issue of our time is the vast overuse of prisons and the abusive, inhumane ways we routinely treat our prisoners.

  7. Chris, if I had lost across the board, I would probably seek to rationalize my defeat like that too.

    I can write and the wall but I cannot make you see it.

  8. I wish I could agree with you about Berkeley’s having a model that effectively contests smart growth/new urbanism. Tuesday’s rout of Measure R, the most important item on the Berkeley ballot by far, illustrates the hegemony of the paradigm among the city’s left-liberal voters, who think requiring developers of 17-story buildings (that’s high-rise in Berkeley) to provide community benefits will encourage sprawl and drive up housing prices all over town.

    But there are signs of revolt in the region. Marin County is up in arms against Plan Bay Area, which is smart growth on steroids. And I’m not talking about property rights activists or libertarians.

  9. You know that the Democrats will not filibuster anything, they don’t play like that. They’ll assent to the majority of what the Republicans want and claim victory for their minor gains via compromise.

  10. There needs to be political power brought to bear to contest the smart growth and new urbanism. And there needs to be a coalition put together that can perform that heavy lift. There are models in Berkeley and Oakland that seem to be working better than what we’ve got. We need to be looking into creating these unowned spaces for political networking.

  11. Totally disagree. Most of (1) through (5) are of minimal importance. Campos, the supes, and a mayor will have minimal impact one way or another. Prop G would have been a significant change, at least within one medium-sized city, but the fact that it lost simply means nothing has changed. The SF housing market will continue to be hostile to renters, but it would probably have done so regardless.

    And nationally, Republicans having a majority in Congress but not enough to override a filibuster just means that instead of a bunch of Democrat-sponsored legislation not getting passed, a bunch of Republican-sponsored legislation won’t get passed instead. Exception: if Obama gets a chance at a supreme court nominee, the Senate control will then be a big deal. Not a huge chance of that in two years, but it’s certainly possible. On the other hand, maybe this gives the older right-wing justices a chance to retire without a guaranteed liberal replacement, and I’d be all in favor of them taking that chance. (Scalia, Kennedy, want to go home and enjoy your golden years?)

    No, the most important race yesterday was Prop 47, whose success will save Californians billions of dollars and thousands of lives. And Berkeley’s success passing a soda tax may eventually turn out to be quite significant, as it will embolden other similar fights that will now have a clearer path to a win. If this heralds a national movement to discourage consumption of soda and other crap food, that could end up saving trillions of dollars and millions of lives. Yay Berkeley! Yay California! Yay progressives! Two very important wins on a night that was otherwise somewhat discouraging but no biggie.

  12. “the new urbanist equations do not balance”

    Agreed, though it’s new urbanism’s cousin, smart growth, that’s currently the dominant paradigm in planning. In the first piece I wrote for 48 hills, “The attack on SoMa,” I called it the new urban renewal.

  13. The semantics of “progressive” is both subjective and objective, self-definition and projection of the label onto (or not) others.

    The reason why the progressive movement that was a viable political force a decade ago is dead in San Francisco is that it has been confined politically to NGOs staffed by commuters who tolerate a few residents when they agree.

    This is chronicled in the decline of the Guardian as noted by Joe Eshkenazi where progressivism got defined as certain individuals and groups getting their public sector funding goals met.

    Clearly the constituency behind those interests is of minimal electoral significance, the poor, whatever poverty nonprofit workers who have managed to hang on and guilty liberals. This is hardly the stuff of which successful coalitions are spun.

    The poverty mitigation and labor progressives have no affirmative vision of what they want San Francisco to be. Their politics is all about people being in crisis and being helped by the activist. Ask the CCHO, the self proclaimed voice of the affordable housing movement in San Francisco, why there is no significant opposition from them to market rate condo projects in the Mission. Cross the developers and the MOH will Cut You.

    Our opponents, on the other hand, have crafted an inclusive narrative which has peeled off the sustainable transit nonprofits from the progressive coalition quite successfully. The new urbanism scam has proven quite successful. It took me several years of learning enough land use and transportation nuts and bolts to pencil out the math for me to realize that, counterintuitively, the new urbanist equations do not balance. The infrastructure does not exist now to handle existing loads, regional and local rapid and reliable transit primarily, and there is no funding to scale that up to to come close to handling the load of new residents and jobs. Even with Prop A and B, Muni can’t catch up faster than it falls behind. The benefits of this big scam are reaped by developers and the costs are shifted to existing residents.

    Progressives will win when progressives articulate an agenda for San Francisco that is drawn from and represents the desires and aspirations of folks who live here, Alinsky-like. Gullicksen had it right when he called the tenant convention, punting to the community. They picked quite a fight and came close to winning.

    As in Richmond and Berkeley, were San Franciscans engaged proactively in an organization where the interests of residents, not labor, the nonprofits and private business are priorities, we might see some cohesive resistance to neoliberalism. But that would involve labor and the nonprofits tolerating what they’d view as political competition operating outside of their comfort zones. They jealously guard their prerogatives. And who wouldn’t? Imagine getting paid good money to advocate and operate in areas of policy where your position is losing dramatically and not losing your job. We have met the enemy and s/he is us.

  14. So there’s no equivalent to BCA in San Francisco? If that’s so, why do you think it is?

    By the way, Berkeley politicians and activists of all stripes call themselves progressive–a situation that testifies to the label’s ambiguity. I addressed that murkiness in a piece for Dissent, “Progressive Incoherence in ‘Radical’ Berkeley.” And it’s not just a problem for my town.

  15. Where is your evidence that the new two new members of the council are more elft-wing than the previous ones?

    Show your assumptions and working. I’m calling BS on this.

  16. Of course you can never say for sure until you’ve seen how they vote -nothing is certain unless you’re a troll mouthing prepackaged talking points -but I believe they did. In the two open seats, the winning candidates ran to the left of the current city council members.

    But I’m sure you know better… even though you had no idea that they were even open seats until I told you.

  17. Berkeley has Berkeley Citizen’s Action:

    In San Francisco, the professional progressives are like Eucalypts, invasive and fast growing trees that get watered and fertilized by corporate power and which secrete a chemical that inhibits growth of anything else near them.

    Citizens, residents are excluded from San Francisco’s political process by both neoliberal and progressive monopolists alike.

  18. If you weren’t such an imbecilic troll, then you’d know that Brent Turner has been an open voting systems advocate since before forever.

  19. You idiots should be happy that G did not pass. If it did, you would have seen a tidal wave of Ellis Act evictions because there would no longer be any disincentive not to Ellis given the match 5 year penalty periods. Only idiots of the tenant union kind could be stupid enough to draft their own demise. All the while, Campos, Kim, Mar and Avalos play you all like the ignorant dummies you are.

  20. Funny how you only say that when you lose, and never when you win, when of course it is a powerful mandate from the people.

  21. It’s not so much Arnst’s fault as it is the vendor voting systems he has to work with.. over priced, corporate owned software with crappy hardware design. The closer you look the worse this will get– and there is no way to ever get a secure verifiable count. This is ” faith based ” voting… and the horror continues..

  22. Yeah, well i don’t think we can view SF as an island, and the liberal failures in the Bay Area mirrored the rightward moves across the nation, except maybe in Richmond which Greg hasn’t stopped crowing about today in his desperation.

    The progressives didn’t want the supervisor incumbents to win, but could not even get organized enough to put up credible challengers, with the possible exception of Kelly, who still got crushed. I see that as a progressive failure.

    And when did a pro-tenant prop ever not win? That’s a biggie too.

    When Greg is spinning Richmond as the one bright light, and marcos and Tim vanish from here, you know you have won the debate, and they have lost.

  23. Well, I was more talking SF than nationally, or even in CA in general. But really, there were no progressive challengers to any of the incumbent Supes, so progs can’t be too upset about none of them losing. Prop G and possibly Campos just seem to strike me as the only losses, and Campos isn’t dead yet (and frankly, I do feel like him going to Sacto is worse for progs than him staying in SF, though reasonable minds can differ on that)

  24. Yeah, Campos thought that somehow being a Hispanic was all he ever needed to win. In his own strange private world, maybe it was.

    But 80% of the voters in the Eastern neighborhoods are not self-glorifying Hispanics, and rejected his divisive, polarizing card-playing, envy-fueled ass. And good riddance.

  25. Campos said whatever he thought he needed to say to save face given his ignominious loss.

    And, insultingly, he said it in Spanish. He still really doesn’t get this country, probably because in his heart he really doesn’t like it that much.

  26. Well, you’re certainly right that Campos would have been irrelevant in Sac. Point taken.

    It’s funny, but when I first woke up this morning and checked the results, I thought the progressives had done quite well. At the minimum, only two of the Prop’s went the way I voted (F and G).

    But when I thought about it more, I realized that the stuff that progressives won were not things I felt very strongly about, like props A thru E.

    But where the progressives did lose, it was the important stuff:

    1) Campos losing
    2) Prop G losing
    3) The incumbent Supes all winning
    4) Oakland’s mayoral race
    5) And of course nationally, Congress and various Governorships.

    It’s not what you win, but how important those things are. The elft lost where it really counted.

  27. David Campos said on Election Night that “San Francisco is not for sale.” Judging by the final results from the Department of Elections, the city’s not for sale because it’s already been bought and sold.

  28. So G and H lost, and Campos is TBD. But minimum wage went up, the stupid car thing lost, Muni got more money, the Children Fund won, Pier 70 won, the housing statement won. How is this such a bad night for Progressives? Shit, they were split on the soda tax and soccer fields anyway, so even those loses don’t affect the whole Progressive movement. (and if Campos loses, Lee doesn’t pick his replacement, is that so bad for SF Progressives, as opposed to him going to Sacto where he will be pretty much irrelevant??)

  29. Re: Soda tax. You know something really sick is happening when you find lefties in bed with libertarians.

    You’ve both bought into that “nannie state” hokum being peddled by the soda companies who spend billions each year shoving that swill down people’s throats – it’s “freedom of choice” bought and paid for – billboards everywhere, television and the internet blanketed with manipulative advertising – sugar, sugar everywhere, highly refined and in everything – it is now almost impossible to escape.

    I don’t understand how you can be so conscious of the effects of mega-spending on political advertising and so obtuse about it elsewhere.

  30. Greg, if challengers to the existing leftist council members failed, then the council did not move to the left.

    It simply did not move at all.

  31. OK, Greg, so you admit both that you cannot point to any direct experience that lends your view credibility NOR can you possibly explain why what you claim to be true could actually be true.

    I guess “Greg says so” is as much as we are going to get. We should all take counsel from an anonymous troll on the internet, right?

  32. Greg, as long as you keep expending vast amounts of effort and energy trying to spin yesterdays’s epic loss for the left as a win, you are missing the opportunity to learn what those results should be telling you about what the American people actually want.

    And that is not the mind-numbing, brain-dead, knee-jerk form of socialism that you tirelessly but hopelessly advocate here.

  33. Again, experience. I don’t need to prove anything to you. The history is what it is. You will see starting today that the late absentees look very different than the early absentees that broke 60-40 for Chiu.

  34. What you are ignoring, Greg, is that the composition and bias of the city council did not change.

    But the mayor did.

    Oakland is more moderate today than it was yesterday.

  35. “You haven’t mentioned Oakland, where the left lost badly”

    See above. Apparently things look surprisingly better than the much-touted mayoral results make it seem.

  36. I’m sorry, Greg, but claiming provisionals break left based on “your experience” is meaningless because you are anonymous here, and so there is no way to verify if your actual experience is correct and relevant.

    You need to come up with a reason WHY they would break left, and you have not. Whereas I gave a very good reason why they would break right.

    But you are right that the absentee ballots are key, and I know of no reason why they would break differently than the earlier ones, which broke for Chiu

  37. “Greg, nobody on the Oakland council is conservative, or even moderate.”

    So what you’re saying is that you’re well to the right of all of them, even the most right wing Chamber-backed candidates. Well, we already know that. You didn’t have to remind everyone of how right wing you are. Then I guess the winners of the city council races are communist revolutionaries by your definition. I’m just saying that in all 3 races, the more progressive candidates won, and hopefully they’ll clip Schaaf’s wings a bit.

  38. On the subject of losing with dignity, it is to be noted that Campos still hasn’t had the decency to concede, despite being well behind and with many absentee ballots still to be counted, which typically favor Chiu.

    More evidence, as it were needed, that he is a snide little operator.

    Oh, and nobody loses more ungraciously than the left, invariably alleging that the election was bought, or that there was voter fraud, or that there were lies and misinformation. Or, always my favorite, the turnout was not 100%.

    That goes all the way up to that whiney inventor of the internet, Al Gore, who got all legal when he lost to Bush.

  39. The evidence is based on all my experience with previous elections. We’ll find out soon enough.

    That said, Campos’s problem will be with those late absentees Tim is counting on. Late absentees look like something in between early absentees and election day voters. The question is where on that spectrum they will fall.

    If Campos bleeds more votes from the late absentees, then it’s probably all over. If, however, he starts actually gaining votes -any votes -then expect Chiu to lose once provisionals are counted.

  40. Greg, nobody on the Oakland council is conservative, or even moderate. They try and out-do each other to see who can be more liberal while the city crashes and burns.

    And you don’t think Quan has been a disaster for the city? If not, you evidently disagree with the people of Oakland, who just humiliated her. And the great white hope of Oakland liberals, Kaplan, self-destructed, as did old-school lefty Siegel.

    Schaaf is a smart, pragmatic leader who can hopefully drum some sense into the city council and halt Oakland’s long decline. She may get some help from the economic headwinds if they continue to track upwards, and Oakland enjoys spin-off from SF and SV.

    Oh, and Oakland also supported prop Z – large tax hike to pay for more cops. not very Greg of them at all.

  41. Incidentally… not as clear cut in Oakland as you make it out. True, Schaaf won, and that will be a disaster for the people of Oakland. However, in all 3 city council races, the conservatives lost. The Chamber of Commerce went all in particularly for Jill Broadhurst and Dana King, and both lost. Broadhurst lost particularly badly after posting massive leads in all their polls. She was said to be leading by 24 points. Instead she lost by about that margin. So we’ll see… it’s not all bad.

  42. Maybe, maybe not, but you are only revelling in the Richmond results because it is the one town in the US that did not swing right last night. So of course you are going to dine out on it.

    But that’s all you’ve got. You haven’t mentioned Oakland, where the left lost badly, and that is a town more like Richmond.

    Nobody cares about Richmond. You see it as a template for the left winning in SF but you cannot win here. If Campos cannot win the liberal eastern neighborhoods, then he cannot win anything city-wide. He cannot run for mayor and in two years time will have to settle for non-profit work or shilling for SEIU like other SF progressive has-beens.

    Spin it any which way you like, but last night you lost badly, simply because the majority are not buying what you are selling.

  43. Yeah, Greg, because the left NEVER blames voter fraud when they lose, right?

    Not with public power. Not with Bush-Gore. Not with Ed Lee. No sirree, never happens.

    You claim that provisionals break left but have provided no evidence or reason for that. Why would that happen? If anything, people who have recently moved are likely to be better off, as the poor allegedly cannot upgrade their homes in this town.

  44. OK, Grwg, I get it. When the voters of Richmond vote the way you think they should, it is a huge vindication of truth and justice. But when they vote the other way, like chiu over Campos, Prop G or the US Congress, then it is the result of money,fraud and lies.

    Richmond is a basket-case any which way you look at it. You could move there if you thought it was that great but of course you would not be seen dead there.

    Richmond only appeals to you because it was the one town in the US where you did not lose badly last night

  45. Woeful misreading of the election results.

    “Although the crime rate has fallen in Richmond, credit for that has widely been given to their police chief.”

    No, the voters gave the credit to the people who swept to victory in all five races. Chevron tried to make the exact argument that you outline above. The results speak for themselves.

    “In fact, Richmond was the ONLY city in the Bay Area where property tax revenues are falling. That should tell you something. My guess – white flight. Whites are already down to 30% in Richmond…”

    Your guess is completely wrong. In 2000, Richmond was 21% white. In 2010, it was 31% white. Whites are flocking to Richmond, not leaving.

    Richmond was somewhat left behind by the real estate boom, but not for the reasons you claim. Property values took a direct hit as a result of the Chevron fire. No one wants to live in the shadow of a polluting refinery that doesn’t adhere to basic environmental safeguards. This is part of the lawsuit. Richmond progressives are arguing that Richmond took a direct hit in the form of businesses and people not wanting to move there as a result of the fire. Chevron spent 3 million dollars making the argument that you outline -that lack of businesses and decline in property values is due to the poor leadership of progressives.

    Which argument did voters side with? Again, the results speak for themselves.

  46. Oh no, the numbers do indeed add up.

    Total sweep. The future of Richmond’s eminent domain program was at stake. The future of the lawsuit was at stake -had Chevron’s candidates won, they would probably drop it or take a token settlement. Voters sides squarely with the progressives.

    And the great thing about this example is that Richmond is precisely the kind of city that is NOT composed of ideological progressives. This is not Berkeley, or Santa Cruz, or Noe Valley and the Haight. This is as if progressives swept to victory in an electorate composed of SF D10 and D11.

    If you try to tell these people that you’re going to protect them with a soda tax, they’ll tell you to fuck off. But if you show them that you will fight for them against banks and large corporations who are screwing them over, then you’ve got them on your side.

    And the great thing about it was that it even transcended identity politics. The RPA coalition had whites, blacks, Latinos… their mayoral candidate was white, as was Gayle McLaughlin. And African Americans voted for the white candidates over Chevron’s African American mayoral candidate. Chevron played identity politics and lost big time. What happened in Richmond was powerful.

  47. If the provisionals break freakishly high for Campos I would suspect voter fraud – that is more prevalent with provisional votes

  48. My bad, Greg, I had temporarily forgotten how much you hate cops.

    Although the crime rate has fallen in Richmond, credit for that has widely been given to their police chief.

    And the police department there has been asked this year to cut their budget by 17%, doe to fiscal mis-management, so that may change.

    In fact, Richmond was the ONLY city in the Bay Area where property tax revenues are falling. That should tell you something.

    My guess – white flight. Whites are already down to 30% in Richmond and, once that tipping point is reached, typically more leave and you wind up with an economic donut with high crime – the Detroit effect.

  49. On what basis? Neither the early absentees nor election day voters went particularly heavy for H. I’d like to believe it, but it looks like a narrow loss to me. I’ve seen provisionals turn around a 51-49 race -easily. That’s why Campos still has a chance. But not 54-46.

  50. I’ve crunched election numbers for a long time in this town. Provisionals always -AWAYS -break heavily progressive -moreso than election day voters. The only question is how heavily, and how many. Campos won 40% of early absentees and 57% on election day. He will probably take 65-80% of provisionals.

    And if a bunch of cops needed to be fired in Richmond, then that tells you that more cops does not equal less crime. Because violent crime is down in Richmond under progressive leadership. Same thing in Oakland, btw. I was disheartened to see every major candidate tripping over themselves to hire more cops, when Oakland’s murder rate is way down even as a bunch of cops were laid off.

  51. Doesn’t matter. The point is that you DO want to restrict freedoms. But of course only for the people that you personally disapprove of, while retaining it for those you approve of.

    So let’s just call that “discriminatory freedoms”. Freedoms are only vlaid when they comform to Greg’s ideological world view.

  52. You confirm the point I was making. You want freedom for the rich and the strong. I want freedom for as many people as possible.

  53. A lot of bad choices are addictive. That’s the way the human brain works. You can’t legislate away people’s right to make bad choices, because we all make bad choices. Some of us eat poorly, some smoke, some do drugs, some don’t use sunscreen, some engage in dangerous sports, some ride motorcycles, some have high risk sex. You’re probably not immune to making bad choices either.

    Rather than try to legislate and tax your way into forcing people to make good choices, let’s just acknowledge that we’re all human and take care of each other when we inevitably have to deal with the consequences of some bad choice that we all make along the way.

    And Mexico is not the standard I want to emulate.

    In Europe, you can eat and drink what you want. They don’t have taxes on soda, and in places, you can even do drugs. But sodas are made with real sugar instead of HFCS, and GMOs are banned because they operate under the precautionary principle. People have less stress at work due to better worker protections (stress will make you fat faster than any soda), good public transit makes you get out of your car more, and you can get preventative health care. And people live longer and don’t get nearly the rates of diabetes as in this country.

    That is what we should emulate. What Mexico and bay area liberals want to do, is lazy nanny state liberalism. It’s a back-assed punitive approach in place of the real work that needs to be done to truly make a difference in people’s lives.

  54. Berkeley and Richmond are much more one-dimensional towns, and much smaller.

    Berkeley is dominated by the University, and all those students, staff and leftover hippies make it a liberal haven, but also a laughing stock.

    While Richmond would barely exist without Chevron, has just a 30% white demographic, a crime rate that is off the charts and underwent Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

    You cannot extrapolate from their situations to somehow turn a world-class economic powerhouse like SF into a larger version of Santa Cruz.

    Greg is dreaming. The numbers do not add up. And you cannot win merely by re-organizing the usual suspect lefties into a different pattern, because there are not nearly enough of you

  55. Ah yes, Russo, always rationalizing defeat and glibly gloating in the odd victory here and there. Every defeat is trivial, or the result of fraud, money or misinformation. While every victory heralds a brave new world.

    If you don’t understand the huge move in the Senate and in various Governor races, nor the signs more locally that the electorate are now more moderate, then you are doomed for further disappointment in the future.

    Minimum wage? Hardly anyone makes less than $15 an hour in SF anyway so it is moot. But drone on abu=out that if it makes you feel better.

  56. Greg, I’d put it differently. The left are interventionist on economic matters and the right are interventionist on social matters.

    I am non-interventionist on both, so am a true libertarian. I do not want the government telling me who I can and cannot marry, and what I can eat, drink and smoke. But I also do not want the government interfering with my right to make a living, whether that be in finance, real estate, tech or anything else.

    If you want to control landlords then you are telling me how to live – exactly what you claim to oppose. Likewise if you tax me in a punitive way simply because of “inequality” then you are again interfering with me.

    You want to be non-interventionist on stupid petty shit that doesn’t matter, like soda. But you absolutely want to interfere on everything else – hence the irony I was alluding to

  57. Richmond and Berkeley have progressive alliances. Why does San Francisco outsource our progressive alliance building to compromised operators who’ve piled up a scorching record of failure over the past 10 years?

  58. Big government/small government is a false distinction -a stupid frame dreamed up by right wing think tanks. The issue is not small government vs big government. The issue is what kind of government.

    Conservatives and so-called moderates love big government too -there are no bigger cheerleaders for massive military spending and the surveillance state than the likes of Barack Obama, Dianne Fineswine, and Nancy Pelosi. In this sense, corporate Democrats are in lock-step agreement with the likes of George Bush, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan.

    True progressives want a government that steps in and helps people when they *want* to be helped, and leaves them the hell alone the rest of the time. Enact socialized medicine because we’re all healthier when we take care of each other as a community. Go after the speculators and control the profiteers – of the landlord variety and others. Progressive taxation to reverse inequality. Protect labor rights from abusive bosses… all of these are progressive values.

    But don’t tell people how to live. Protect people from abuses by others, and please, by all means, educate people. But don’t forcibly protect people from themselves. That’s the difference between nanny state liberals and real progressives. Get it now?

    And btw, ultimately it’s about freedom. This isn’t an agenda that true libertarians should be at odds with. When you’re not free at work to organize because you may get retaliated against, to spend free time with your family because you don’t get vacation and sick days, to leave your job because your healthcare is tied to it, that is not freedom.

    People who call themselves “libertarians” want freedom for one person -the boss. But when one person’s freedom to abuse a hundred or a thousand or ten thousand people, conflict with the freedom of all of those people, I side with the freedom of the thousands to live a free life, over the “freedom” of the one to lord over them like serfs in a fiefdom.

  59. You overlook that Richmond had to file for bankruptcy because of gross financial mis-management. They had to fire a significant number of cops, leading to a crime frenzy that, for a while, made the city overtake Oakland in crime stats, and it became the murder capital of California on a per capita basis.

    And of course, if Chevron moved away, the city would collapse. In fact, the only reason the progressives there got away with their policies is because Chevron bankrolls the city budget through its jobs and taxes.

    So yeah, Tim, do a piece on a one-company, company town with a sky-high crime rate, a municipal bankruptcy and a blighted town-scape/ I can hardly wait.

  60. No, Greg, I paid attention to the turf thing but still could see any cogent argument to oppose it. Nor, evidently, could the voters.

    Campos has lost and you know it. There is no reason to believe that provisionals would break for Campos. They are just people who recently moved here whom, it could be argued, are more natural Chiu supporters.

    If you don’t understand the importance of the Senate, then read a book about it. Obama’s attempt to legalize illegals is now DOA. ObamaCare itself could be toast. His appointments will not fly, and that could include SCOTUS nominees.

    And it shows the direction the nation is going in, which is the exact opposite of what you claim. We are not going to be like Venezuela – move there if that is what you want because this aint it.

    Richmond? Ha ha. It filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy and had to fire a large number of its cops. Way to go. You sure pick some weird poster children

    Oh, and you lost in Oakland as well

  61. In your dreams, Sam-John, did “the whole nation moved to the right yesterday.” The usual low voter turnout at the midterm, the usual oppositional advantage in a president’s second term, lopsided GOP redistricting, and weak, ill-advised Democratic positioning are truer culprits. Minimum wage hikes won big last night, a better indication of where the country is at.

  62. The processed food industry is built on a model of psychological manipulation and addiction. Around the world, not just the US, obesity has skyrocketed. We know why it is. It’s not just people not exercising (although that’s part of it). It’s also because average daily caloric intake has increased dramatically in developed countries, and that’s almost entirely due to the increase in sugars in processed foods.

    So expecting people to exercise their own will to eat more healthily, when their affordable choices are mostly junk, supported with mass investments in advertising, ignores the last 40 years of evidence. The answer is not education or labeling. Waiting for socialized medicine isn’t the answer either.

    FWIW, Mexico recently passed the US as the most obese country in the world, and they reacted by raising the tax on soda. It’s already having benefits.

  63. Tim,
    You ought to do a post about Richmond, because it’s a case study in what progressives should be doing to govern.

    Chevron spent enormous amounts of money trying to reclaim Richmond as a “company town.” They even set up a fake news outlet and bussed people to the polls with the promise of free pizza. They received a thorough drubbing. Candidates endorsed by the Richmond Progressive Alliance handily won the mayor’s race and swept all 4 city council seats up for grabs, led by outgoing mayor Gayle McLaughlin.

    Richmond is a case study in how progressives can win. Progressives did dabble in the kind of nanny state liberal policies that irritate libertarian-minded folks and “vulnerable” populations alike -they tried to impose a soda tax, and failed spectacularly, as they should have. However, they also did some things very right.

    They addressed issues that real people, left, right, and center, can get behind. They showed that progressive ideas offer real solutions to real problems. They went after Chevron to pay more taxes to lift up the community. They went after the banks when the foreclosure crisis hit with their innovative way of using imminent domain to the benefit of people, not corporations. When Chevron had a fire that sickened 15000 people, they went after them and sued to get real compensation for the community, not some token settlement. Richmond is doing better in real ways due to progressive leadership.

    When progressives offer people real solutions, people are innoculated against even the most vicious corporate attacks. Progressives governed well in Richmond, and they were rewarded for it. It’s a lesson for progressives here… and indeed nationally.

  64. It was nice for once to see one of those only in SF situations (approved by multiple courts and approving bodies yet still put to the voters) where the voters affirmed what had been approved all along.
    That along with the pier 70 landslide was a nice reminder to the local obstructionist sect.

  65. If you don’t understand, then you weren’t paying attention.

    As for the Campos… we’ll see. There are a huge number of late absentees. While I don’t think the late absentees will net Campos many votes like Tim does, everybody is forgetting the all-important provisionals. Provisionals will break hard for Campos. If there are 5000 of them, Campos can take this.

    The Senate… actually that is the least important thing of all. Nothing will get done in the next two years, just as in the last two years. The policy of the United States has been fostering increasing inequality and mass surveillance at home, and war and imperialism abroad. So it will be in the next two years. Neither domestic nor foreign policy will significantly change because of a few more Democrats in the senate. The former will only change when Americans finally wake up and realize they’re being royally screwed. The latter will change because the rest of the world is already having enough of American hegemony. Latin America has already spun far out of the US orbit, the BRICs are rising… US imperialism is approaching its expiration date.

    And there is on bright spot in the Bay Area -Richmond. I want to talk about it in a separate post, because it’s a case study in what progressives should be doing.

  66. Oh, the irony of a big-government interventionist arguing that we should not tell others how to live and should not be taxing people more.

    As it happens, I voted against the soda tax as well. But it’s good to see your libertarian side coming out. Keep it up.

  67. Roberto,
    I agree that it’s unhealthy, and frankly when you get used to eating real food, the processed fake crap starts to taste shitty too. It tastes too sweet and artificial. And diabetes is a terrible disease. So I agree that people should drink less soda.

    But not like this. You want to cut down on diabetes? Fine. Educate people. Label these products. Enact socialized medicine so that people can go see their doctor regularly and get the preventative health care they need.

    But it is thoroughly insulting to tell people “we [white wealthy liberals] know what is best for you, and if you don’t make good choices, then we’re going to help you make the right choices… by making your bad choices unaffordable for you.” See how much we care about you? We care about you so much that we’re going to make you pay a naughty tax when you’re naughty. What? You say you can’t afford the naughty tax? Yes, I know it hurts, but understand that we’re only doing it because we care. This hurts us more than it hurts you.

    This is the way you treat a 4 year old – making the cookie jar unreachable by putting it on the top shelf. It’s not the way we should treat adults. This goes to the theme marcos always talks about -how liberals, instead of building coalitions with underrepresented populations to work on the issues they actually care about, appoints themselves the defenders of the people they deem “vulnerable,” and impose their notions of what is good and right.

    An yeah, it’s the same thing with cigarette taxes. Although in that case, there is a difference. The difference is not that lung cancer is worse than diabetes. The important difference is that second hand smoke has the potential to harm others, not just yourself. I still oppose cigarette taxes, though, because I don’t like regressive taxes and freedom is an important value. What’s next? Double the cost of hamburgers because they’re bad for you? Give tickets out to anyone lying on the beach without sunscreen? Fuck that shit. Don’t tell me how to live.

  68. Problem is that we’ve got to punch through our “progressive allies” first, “allies” who are paid to run interference against the economic forces engaged in the political cleansing of San Francisco. These “allies” will be kept on the tab just long enough until they’re not needed, until the political cleansing is complete and then they will be cut loose to return to the east bay as well, their clientele strewn, their reason for existing terminated.

  69. Correction: I was also happy about Prop I trumping Prop H. I never understood the objections to artificial turf. So petty.

  70. Whenever the left lose an election, we can rely on someone chirping that most people didn’t vote and so the election results somehow don’t matter and are not valid. The only uncertainty is which bad loser will say it. Well, now we know.

    Ah yes, if you win an election it’s a powerful mandate from the people. While if you lose the election, then elections don’t matter and you must take to the streets to get what you want via “direct action”.

    It just never occurs to you that your views simply have inadequate support.

  71. 63% didn’t vote. As usual, the vast majority recognizes the uselessness of its vote, notwithstanding pundits, politicians, political junkies and internet commenters.

    What meaningful social change came from a ballot initiative? Rosa Parks didn’t get permission from her local democratic club before she refused to sit on the back of the bus.

    Ignore the sell outs and the fake progressives. Do it yourself through direct action.

  72. There’s really only one explanation for his hypocritical stance. His posts are really a form of self-parody, to assuage his guilt about a white male tech worker who has helped to gentrify the Mission and displace families of color.

    His heart is no longer in the progressive movement. He just lingers to be an irritant to it, while luxuriating in his million dollar condo and enjoying the RE price appreciation that the policies he supports have helped grow.

  73. You don’t get to just make shit up.

    Lung Cancer:

    In 2011 (the most recent year numbers are available)—

    207,339 people in the United States were diagnosed with lung cancer, including 110,322 men and 97,017 women.*†

    156,953 people in the United States died from lung cancer, including 86,736 men and 70,217 women.*†


    Number of deaths: 73,831
    Deaths per 100,000 population: 23.7
    Cause of death rank: 7

  74. “their receipt of city funding to import colonizers into luxury condos ”

    Honestly, Marcos, it’s truly astonishing how you, a “colonizer” living in a “luxury” condo in the Mission, can type this kind of nonsense with a straight face.

  75. Its telling how many people intensely dislike Chiu that Campos is nipping at his heels. What has Campos ever done to qualify him for the state assembly? He’s a half trick pony that has built his career on the SF easily fanned flames of class war. I dont like Chiu either, but at least he has done some actual leadership.

  76. Mark, I voted “NO” on the soda tax, even though I don’t drink soda and am not poor, fat and stupid.

    I just don’t like more new taxes.

  77. SF passed Prop G for the techies and Prop I for their kids. And Sam, you shouldn’t be downing so many sugary drinks in the morning, it makes you more annoying than usual.

  78. The Democrats are reaping what they’ve sown as they’ve tried to occupy the center-right which the Republicans had abandoned as they’d lurched to the right. But the voters did not vote for center right, as was evidenced in the 2006-08 elections, they voted for center-left. So when Obama governed to the center-right and kneed his base in the groin with more endless drone wars and bolstering up of Wall Street’s crime spree, it simply energizes the right wing base while demoralizing the democrat base. Since Obama began this on the cusp of a census and redistricting, the end costs of the ACA are going to be a complete decade of conservative rule.

    Here in San Francisco, the professional progressives who have colonized San Francisco after being largely displaced to the east bay have cut deals with the colonizer developers as a condition of their receipt of city funding to import colonizers into luxury condos which is reaping dividends for the conservatives in local elections.

    In both cases, we’ve seen solid non-right wing legislative majorities in San Francisco and Washington pissed away in less than a decade. One side is playing for keeps.

  79. Greg, the whole nation moved to the right yesterday, so SF just got swept along with that. In fact the GOP winning the US Senate is far more important than most of the fluff that we voted on locally.

    Even so, the left won quite a few of the propositions – Prop’s F and G were the only results on them that I was happy with.

    But good to see all the incumbent Supervisors winning easily, Chiu winning (yes, sorry guys, but Campos is toast) and Libby Schaaf winning in Oakland is a big step up for that town.

    All in all, a good night. Better get used to more of this, Greg. If the GOP win the White House in 2016, you might need to dust off your Venezuela emigration application form.

  80. Are you really trying to say that diabetes is the same thing as lung cancer? Where are the Surgeon General’s warnings on HFCS?

  81. Actually, Big Soda put out a mailer in February– months before this was even a ballot proposal– and the theme was affordability. And to say the Big Soda spending is “overstated” is to ignore that they broke the record for campaign spending in SF, and spent 31 times more than the public health advocates. If no one in your household actually drinks the stuff, it seems asinine you would want to keep it cheap for those who do; you must already know it’s really bad for your health.

    When restrictions on cigarettes were introduced, they were ridiculed the way soda legislation is now. The cultural shift has begun, and the conversation has shifted. Berkeley won, and a group of volunteers in SF got more votes than 10 million dollars from a group of powerful multi-national corporations. As one of those volunteers for health, I think we won.

  82. Fingers crossed for Campos. But like I’ve been saying all along, this will be very, very close. One thing we can say for sure at this point -the DV attacks backfired. Campos started out probably 10-12 points behind, and he pulled even in spite of (or maybe because of) the vicious attacks blatantly exploiting the DV issue.

    Prop G, I’m actually surprised it did as well as it did. The attacks were relentless, mountains of out of town cash were spent, and the campaign was completely unable to respond in kind.

    I’m glad there won’t be a regressive soda tax, but I’m not glad that it got over 50%. I don’t like 2/3 election rules -they’re unfair and undemocratic. An even though I didn’t support this asinine tax, this is not the way I like to “win.” That said, the influence of “big soda” is overstated. Although they spent a lot of money, the money they spent was spent in a completely ineffective manner. The most powerful argument against the soda tax would be to simply remind people how much it would cost. 2 cents an ounce is a LOT. It’s a HELL of a lot! If a 64 ounce bottle of soda costs what… 99 cents? at the supermarket (forgive me, I don’t know exactly because no one in this household actually drinks the stuff), and you add 2 cents AN OUNCE to that, that more than DOUBLES your grocery bill for that soda. I don’t think people understand that. Unfortunately, not one of the many mailers I received from “big soda” made that simple point.

    Golden Gate Park was sold out to toxic astroturf companies, as I figured it would be. 46% was close, but the stadium lights will still go on and the toxic astroturf will still be put in. So long GG Park. It was a nice park while it lasted.

    No on Prop L was the one thing that progressives “won” last night. Unfortunately, that and the soda tax were the two issues I voted against most progressives on.

    We may still win the assembly race, and even that is iffy, but this was the most depressing local election I can remember. I’ve never been so unhappy to be right about my predictions.

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