Campaign Trail

Mar declares victory in D4 as Jessica Ho concedes

Mar celebrates with his supporters

Jessica Ho conceded today and Gordon Mar declared victory in the only sup race that was still up in the air, making clear that Mayor London Breed will face a strong progressive majority on the board next year.

“We did what many said couldn’t be done. Against a million dollars, and the against the odds, we won for working people, and for an independent voice in District 4,” Mar said as the latest results showed him continuing to gain ground on Ho.

Mar celebrates with his supporters. Photo by Richard Wada

The results of the Nov. 6 election mean that seven of the 11 board members will be part of the progressive camp – and two of the new members defeated candidates strongly backed by the mayor.

That puts Shamann Walton is the position of potentially being the eighth vote to override a mayoral veto if Mayor Breed tries to block legislation that the progressives approve.

Joe Fitz at the Examiner says Breed “lost the election big time.”

It’s a fascinating development for our mayor, whose own election was won in a squeak against Supervisor Jane Kim and former State Senator Mark Leno. When you win that narrowly, you don’t carry the public mandate to pursue your political priorities carte blanche — you’ve gotta sweat for every ounce of goodwill from The City.

And you’ve got to be careful.

Breed could have stayed neutral in key races. Hell, she could have stayed neutral on the homeless tax, but that’s not how she decided to play it. Breed is an all-in kind of person, for better or for worse. This time she went all in, and lost.

Come January, the now progressive-led Board of Supervisors will be stacked with politicians who not only oppose her ideologically but whom she opposed in real-world terms.

More:

Political consultant Jim Ross, who ran Gavin Newsom’s first mayoral run, explained the disconnect as a narrative problem. Breed won her election largely on her inspirational story, but without a clear message for The City’s future, he said. I saw this a lot myself when talking to San Franciscans who love London — they often told me they loved that she pulled herself out of poverty and blossomed into a strong woman leader, but could hardly name a single policy London ever wrote, or passed, that they liked.

“That’s the problem with getting elected on your story,” Ross said, “there’s no rationale behind your governance.”

The Prop. C total is now heading above 60 percent – but it’s not likely to reach 67, which would make it immune to legal challenge. (The courts have ruled that tax measures put on the ballot by signatures don’t need two-thirds majority, but that’s being challenged – and the challenge could take a year or two.)

Joe:

“Historically, the only (ballot) measures to make it over the two-thirds threshold are the ones with all of the powerful people in San Francisco behind them,” Friedenbach said.

She added, “If London had backed it, we could have won” that threshold.

But she didn’t.

London, I want you to hear this: Every soul sleeping on the concrete between now and the end of Prop. C’s legal challenge?

Their lives are on you.

State Sen. Scott Wiener and Assemblymember David Chiu also opposed Prop. C. Wiener issued a statement today:

San Francisco voters have spoken by passing Prop C. While I did not support Prop C, Prop C is now the law, and I respect that result. I want Prop C to succeed, and I will work to ensure it can be implemented effectively in order to accomplish our shared goal of reducing and ultimately ending homelessness in San Francisco. I know that Mayor Breed will work with stakeholders to ensure city funds are well-spent. While San Franciscans were divided on Prop C, we all want to make life better for our homeless neighbors and to improve the unacceptable conditions on our streets. 

Which is remarkable: Wiener, Chiu, and Breed were among those who made the argument that Prop. C had “no accountability” and that the funds would not be “well spent.”

I have not heard from Chiu.

But the overall results suggest that, despite massive big-money campaigns by the power structure, San Francisco voters are far more progressive than the person in Room 200 and two of the three people who represent us in Sacramento.

Election winners and losers in SF

Democratic Party Chair David Campos celebrates on Election Night

First, we don’t really know anything for sure yet. There are, according to the Department of Elections, an astonishing 139,000 ballots still to be counted – which means there could be more than 12,000 votes (or more) remaining in each of the contested districts.

Democratic Party Chair David Campos celebrates on Election Night. Photo by Ebbe Roe Yovino-Smith

But based on the preliminary numbers, the results of the Nov. 6 local election were dramatic: Despite more than $1.3 million of Big Tech and Real Estate money, the progressives will maintain a majority on the Board of Supes. It might be a significant majority, if Gordon Mar, who is ahead in the votes, winds up winning – and if Shamann Walton, who won with the support of some of the progressives supes, winds up voting with them instead of the mayor on key issues.

The biggest loser of the night was Big Money. Nick Josefowitz poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into his own campaign in D2, and lost. Ron Conway’s friends tried desperately to beat Matt Haney in D6, and got trounced. Whatever happens in D4, the fact that Mar was able to withstand a withering assault of more than $640,000 and come out ahead in the plurality vote suggests that the principle of district elections, where volunteers and retail politics can be Big Dark Money, is still alive in San Francisco.

Mayor Breed did not fare well. She opposed Prop. C, which passed with a strong mandate. She supported two candidates in D6 who lost badly. Not only will she have a board that is a check on her policies, the next board president could be a strong critic of the mayor.

If I had to count today, I would say that Hillary Ronen is in a strong position to be the next board president. She backed Haney, Mar, and Walton.

The Coalition on Homelessness was a huge winner: This small operation, which constantly struggles for funds, crafted Prop. C, got it on the ballot, and passed it over big-money opposition. The support of Mark Benioff was a huge help — but the Coalition and its allies and their ground campaign made the difference, from the first day. This campaign changed the way people think about homelessness.

Jennifer Friedenbach, director of the Coalition on Homelessness, congratulates the campaign team

The other big winner, locally, is Democratic Party Chair David Campos. Campos worked closely with incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to set up the Red to Blue headquarters that helped turn out local folks to campaign for Dems nationally. He supported Haney, Mar, and Walton. He led the party’s endorsements — and it appears every supe candidate he backed is winning.

On Election Day, I almost felt as if we were watching the Mayor’s Race again – Mark Leno and former Mayor Art Agnos were riding around on a cable car promoting Haney. Except this time, the mayor didn’t win.

After elections, everyone tends to make nice, and Haney will be friendly with Breed. But he will remember, and so will Mar, that her allies spent vast sums of money on nasty, inaccurate hit pieces attacking them.

So that will help define the next two years.

The turnout, according to figures from DOE, appears to be extraordinarily high, over 70 percent. That’s a record for a mid-term election. It reflects, in part, the overall desire in San Francisco to make a statement about Trump, even though it was clear that our Congressional districts and our Senate seat will remain Democratic.

It’s also a factor of high awareness – even people who are not regular voters were getting texts from celebrities, there were political ads everywhere, and it was hard to miss the fact that a critical election was happening.

I think the grassroots efforts of the key campaigns also played a huge role. Prop. C and Prop. 10 had volunteers contacting voters; the field operations of Haney and Mar were key to getting voters to the polls.

Everyone in San Francisco cares about housing. Everyone knew that there were two major housing measures on the ballot. Even in districts where there was no race for supervisor, Props. C and 10 were a draw.

In D4, Prop. C may have been a defining issue. We won’t know until we see the detailed precinct maps, but the campaigns were finding a lot of support for C even in the most conservative areas – and Mar supported C while Ho opposed it.

Mar is a progressive, but he also made the race about who would best represent the district – a longtime resident or someone who just moved there in March. Sing Tao Daily, which is not typically a progressive news outlet, endorsed Mar.

The Yimby agenda was also a big loser. Sonja Trauss, the Yimby candidate in D6, came in a weak third. She ran an RCV strategy with Christine Johnson, and it worked fairly well – 70 percent of the Trauss vote went to Johnson. But Haney had so many first-place votes that he will likely finish with more than 50 percent, so RCV isn’t going to relevant in that race.

It was a good night for labor: Mar is a labor candidate, and labor worked for him.

We will see when the next round of votes comes out.

UPDATE: Only a few new votes counted in D4, but the trend is distinctly for Mar, who won an additional 273 votes to Ho’s 181. That has him 60-40 over Ho. Trevor McNeil picked up only 84 more votes — and in the RCV results show Mar picking up more second-place votes from McNeil than Ho.

The 48hills election-night coverage was prepared by the University of San Francisco Journalism 1 research team: Tim Redmond, Ilyria Bitton, Jamie Brown, Megan-Marie Caruana, Claudia Cortez, Ezra Del Rosario, Michaela Duncanson, Abigail Glass, Alizee Jean Jacques, Haley Keizur, Lexie McNinch, Katherine Na, Ciarra Nean-Marzella, Georgia Rodger, Josine Torres, Isabelle Hallock, and Olivia Scott.

Haney far ahead, Mar still leading and Prop C has won big!

The election-day results show the progressive candidates in D4 and D6 are extending their leads.

In D6, Haney is now at 56 percent. If we take the election-day vote for Haney, Johnson, and Trauss, Haney is picking up 54 percent of that vote. There may not even be an RCV contest in D6.

In D4, Mar is getting 62 percent of the votes cast for him and Jessica Ho. Prop. C is getting 64 percent of the Election Day votes.

Mar said “I expect to be in the lead when all the first-place votes are counted” but he’s concerned about the ranked-choice voting results. The first RCV pass showed Ho narrowly leading, but that didn’t include the latest results.

Mar said he was surprised at the early results, since “the people who tend to vote early tend to be more conservative and aren’t necessarily my strongest supporters.

Ho told her supporters she is “very confident and excited to work with San Francisco” but didn’t actually address the results so far.

If both Mar and Haney win, the progressives will have a clear majority on the board — and the candidates backed by Mayor Breed (and great gobs of campaign cash) will have been defeated.

Shamann Walton continues to pick up votes over Tony Kelly and Theo Ellington. At Walton’s headquarters, the candidate told us his first goal would be to “get put on budget is land use and community safety, public safety committees and then also regional transportation committees because I want to fight for affordability, fight homelessness and make sure that we have adequate transportation in our district.”

Walton said every candidate in the race “definitely worked hard,” no other candidate “has experience [with] actually getting things done and accomplishing goals.” He said, “I’m the one who’s built affordable housing and improved school outcomes here in the southeast. So I just know that we have the experience to continue to get things done.”

Kelly told us that “The fundamental problem in District 10 is that for decades there has been no problem identified out here that cannot be solved by a friendly cooperation making a profit and we see every day how much harm that causes the people in District 10. And we’re not sure yet but I believe that the turnout in Bayview was lower than expected. We’ll see if that’s true. But especially if that’s true it means that so many people in Bayview and Vis Valley who have just given up on politics. What this campaign tried to do and did really because we knocked on 50,000 doors, we talked to 10,000 people at their door. So we were determined to have a campaign that listened to the people of the district. however they voted is their choice to how they vote but there’s a lot of people who aren’t being heard. A lot of people who we talk to the doors have not talked to a candidate in their lives and the right wing in this city has become very very good at doing what it takes to get a vote on Election Day and then not really connect with people for the remaining four years. And then show up again for one election day.And Shamman and the people behind Shamman succeeded at that so far. You know depending on results but they succeeded at that. And it’s a real uphill battle because the people still want to be heard. And is anyone going to heed that. Is anyone going to listen to their call at some point. I know Shamman is clearly closer to the corporations. Closer to the power structure. I can’t say that that’s a mistake because if it works it works and it’s worked historically for supervisors here for a while but it’s very problematic when it comes to what’s happened to the people.”

Meanwhile, the leading candidates for School Board Alison Collins, Gabriela Lopez, and Faauuga Moliga. Josephine Zhao is far behind.

Early results show strong progressive vote

Natalie Gee, Walton's campaign manager, celebrates the early results

The early results, which typically skew more conservative, have the progressive candidates in the lead in District 4 and 6 and Shamann Walton, who has strong progressive support, leading in D10.

Natalie Gee, Walton’s campaign manager, celebrates the early results

Prop, C is well ahead with 55 percent of the vote.

In D4, Gordon Mar is at 30 percent and Jessica Ho at 29 percent. At Ho headquarters, about 30 people were gathered, mostly middle-aged white and Asian. Ho told us that “the night is going great” and then quickly left.

Ho’s campaign manager said he’s feeling positive.

Ho said she was feeling optimistic despite early results showing her behind.

At Mar’s party, people are singing and chanting and in very good spirits. 

Celebrations at Gordon Mar’s party

In D6, Haney is far ahead with 56 percent of the vote, Christine Johnson has 26 percent and Sonja Trauss is far behind at 16 percent. Even if Johnson and Trauss get most of each others’s second-place votes, at this point Haney looks strong.

In D10, Walton is at 42 percent and Tony Kelly is at 23 percent, with Theo Ellington at 19 percent.

A diverse and upbeat crowd of more than 100 gathered at the Laughing Monk where Walton is leading by 19 points over Tony Kelly.

Walton’s campaign manager Natalie Gee reported this election turnout as being “historically high.”  

Gee said:, “One thing about Shamman is that he’s really good at bringing people together and building coalitions… People [who] don’t usually agree with each other are supporting Shammon because they know he can actually get things done, and he has a long history of working in the community, solving homelessness, solving affordability.”

Prop. C is leading with 55 percent of the vote.

Late turnout strong

USF Votes: Students outside the Gym, which saw heavy turnout

Turnout update: While we wait for the local results, it appears turnout in at least some parts of SF was exceptional. At the USF War Memorial Gym, 229 people had voted by 7:50, which staffers said the “largest and most exciting turnout in the last ten elections.”

USF Votes: Students outside the Gym, which saw heavy turnout

At the YMCA in the Richmond, the room was full and there was a line out the door at 3pm, which is unusual – and most of the voters were young people.

In the Castro, dozens of people were walking around with “I voted” stickers. In every corner store I stopped in today, I saw the same stickers. We saw them all over the USF campus.

We are waiting for 8:45 when we will get the first results.

Dems looking good for the House; what’s happening in D6?

Haney supporters were all over Soma

It’s still early, but CNN is telling us that 24 Democrats are ahead in GOP seats (and Beto is leading in Texas!) This will change, but the overall picture is good for the Democrats taking back the House.

We are hearing that the D6 race is close; Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez at the Ex posted on Facebook that the word at the Election Day lunch was that Sonja Trauss has a great field operation and could wind up winning. I didn’t hear that, but I did stop by Haney’s HQ late this afternoon and they told me that more than 300 people had packed into the rather cramped space today, so many volunteers they weren’t even sure they could fit them all.

Haney supporters were all over Soma

“I’m feeling good,” Kyle Smealie, who is helping run the Haney campaign told me. “We have a great candidate.”

I saw a lot more Haney posters on the street than Trauss posters, but that’s only one indication: Big Tech and Real Estate put more than $600,000 into election Trauss or Christine Johnson.

 

 

Election night live: Big turnout so far

Two years ago, I stood outside John’s Grill at the Election Day Lunch and heard Alex Clemens read off the early exit-poll results, which showed Hillary Clinton heading for the White House.

Today, the mood was a lot more cautious. “We can only hope,” is what I kept hearing.

CNN and MSNBC are both reporting that exit polls show very low ratings for Trump and his key issues – immigration, trade, and the tax laws. A clear majority say that the country is going in the wrong direction.

But with so many House districts so carefully gerrymandered, it’s going to be close.

In San Francisco, by all accounts, we are looking at high-turnout, perhaps record high-turnout for a mid-term election. Reporter Joe Eskenazi of Mission Local texts that that 113,000 vote-by-mail ballots have already been received (in June, that number was 74,000); this afternoon and evening, the Department of Elections at City Hall was packed with voters.

At my polling place in Bernal Heights, turnout was strong all day, with a huge rush early in the morning.

We may not see presidential-election level turnout, but it will be very high for a mid-term – although the results of the congressional election in San Francisco is a done deal. Nancy Pelosi will be re-elected, and if the Democrats retake the house, she will again become speaker.

There are highly contested, big-money races in four of the supervisor districts, where control of the board (and the future of Mayor London Breed’s agenda) is at stake. Every campaign is investing in a field operation, working hard to get people to the polls.

The Yes on C campaign has a massive field operation that will bring voters to the polls; in fact, Yes on C may help progressives in district races by getting their voters engaged.

High turnout is typically good for progressives. But the massive, record, unheard of spending by Big Tech and Real Estate in Districts 4 and 6 puts that all up in the air.

If Matt Haney wins in 6, and Gordon Mar wins in 4, it will give the progressives a solid majority on the board – and will raise questions about whether millions of dollars of independent-expenditure attacks ads were effective at the district level. If Sonja Trauss or Christine Johnson winds in 6, and Jessica Ho wins in 4, Mayor Breed will have a board that will back her on most of what she wants to do (and the results will suggest that even with district elections, where retail politics has traditionally been more important than unlimited cash, big money can shift the outcome).

 We will be posting local results as soon as we get them. The first numbers should be posted at sfelections.org around 8:45pm; those will be the vote-by-mail ballot that arrived before Election Day. In the past, these have been more conservative votes, but more and more people are voting VBM.

Check in at 48hills.org and follow us on Twitter to get live updates.

Who’s endorsing whom on SF’s ballot?

Update:We’ve added endorsements from SF Affordable Housing Alliance, SF Berniecrats and SF Republican Party.

Sharp-eyed election observer Sharky Laguana put together a handy Google Doc comparing several major local organizations’ endorsements for Tuesday’s election. Below, we’ve used most of that aggregation to make an at-a-glance version of who’s endorsing whom. (Special thanks to web developer Matt Fisher.) The organizations are:

SF Bay Guardian
League of Pissed Off Voters
SF Green Party
Harvey Milk Democratic Club
Sierra Club
SF Democratic Party
SF Tenants’ Union
SF Women’s Political Committee
Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club
SF Affordable Housing Alliance
SF Berniecrats
SF Republican Party
SF Chronicle 
Yimby Action
(If we’ve missed your organization, contact [email protected] and we will see if we can include it.)
  

State offices

Governor

Newsom (6)
Cox (1)
No endorsement (8)

For Newsom: Affordable Housing Alliance, Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, Sierra Club, SF Dems, SF Women’s Political Committee. For Cox: SF Repubs.

Lt. Governor

Kounalakis (3)
Hernandez (3)
No endorsement (9)

For Kounalakis: Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, SF Women’s Political Committee. For Hernandez: Affordable Housing Alliance, League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Chron.

Secretary of State

Padilla (9)
Meuser (1)
No endorsement (5)

For Padilla: Affordable Housing Alliance, Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Bay Guardian, SF Chron, SF Dems, SF Women’s Political Committee, Sierra Club. For Meuser: SF Repubs

Controller

Yee (9)
Roditis (1)
No endorsement (5)

For Yee: Affordable Housing Alliance, Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Bay Guardian, SF Chron, SF Dems, SF Women’s Political Committee, Sierra Club. For Roditis: SF Repubs

Treasurer

Ma (6)
Conlon (1)
No endorsement (8)

For Ma: Affordable Housing Alliance, Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Chron, SF Dems, SF Women’s Political Committee. For Conlon: SF Repubs.

Attorney General

Becerra (9)
Bailey (1)
No endorsement (5)

For Becerra: Affordable Housing Alliance, Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Bay Guardian, SF Berniecrats, SF Chron, SF Dems, SF Women’s Political Committee. For Bailey: SF Repubs.

Insurance Commissioner

Lara (8)
Poizner (1)
No endorsement (6)

For Lara: Affordable Housing Alliance, Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Bay Guardian, SF Bernicrats, SF Dems, Sierra Club. For Poizner: SF Chron.

Board of Equalization District 2

Cohen (6)
Burns (1)
No endorsement (8)

For Cohen: Affordable Housing Alliance, Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Dems, SF Women’s Political Committee. For Burns: SF Repubs.

District 17

Chiu (5)
No endorsement (10)

For Chiu: Affordable Housing Alliance, Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, SF Dems, SF Women’s Political Committee, YIMBY Action.

District 19

Ting (8)
Bogdon (1)
No endorsement (5)

For Ting: Affordable Housing Alliance, Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Bay Guardian, SF Dems, SF Women’s Political Committee, YIMBY Action.For Bogdon: SF Repubs.

Federal offices

Senator

DeLeon (3)
Feinstein (2)
No endorsement (10)

For DeLeon: League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Bay Guardian, SF Bernicrats. For Feinstein: Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, SF Chron.

House District 12

Pelosi (3)
Remner (1)
No endorsement (11)

For Pelosi: Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, SF Bay Guardian, Sierra Club. For Remner: SF Repubs.

House District 14

Speier (3)
No endorsement (12)

For Speier: League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Berniecrats, Sierra Club.

State propositions

Prop 1

Yes (13)
No (2)

No: SF Greens, SF Repubs.

Prop 2

Yes (14)
No position (1)

No position: SF Repubs.

Prop 3

Yes (6)
No (6)
No position (3)

Yes: Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Women’s Political Committee. No: Affordable Housing Alliance, SF Bay Guardian, SF Berniecrats, SF Chron, SF Greens, Sierra Club.

Prop 4

Yes (7)
No (3)
No position (5)

Yes: Affordable Housing Alliance, Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Berniecrats, SF Chron, SF Dems, SF Women’s Political Committee. No: SF Bay Guardian, SF Greens, SF Repubs.

Prop 5

No (12)
Yes (1)
No position (2)

Yes: SF Repubs.

Prop 6

No (13)
Yes (1)
No position (1)

Yes: SF Repubs.

Prop 7

Yes (10)
No (2)
No position (3)

Yes: Affordable Housing Alliance, Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Bay Guardian, SF Berniecrats, SF Dems, SF Greens, SF Repubs, SF Women’s Political Committee. No: SF Chron, SPUR.

Prop 8

Yes (9)
No (2)
No position (4)

Yes: Affordable Housing Alliance, Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Bay Guardian, SF Berniecrats, SF Dems, SF Greens, SF Women’s Political Committee. No: SF Chron, SF Repubs.

Prop 10

Yes (11)
No (2)
No position (2)

Yes: Affordable Housing Alliance, Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Bay Guardian, SF Berniecrats, SF Dems, SF Greens, SF Tenants Union, SF Women’s Political Committee, Sierra Club. No: SF Chron, SF Repubs.

Prop 11

No (10)
Yes (1)
No position (4)

Yes: SF Repubs.

Prop 12

Yes (10)
No (2)
No position (3)

Yes: Affordable Housing Alliance, Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Bay Guardian, SF Berniecrats, SF Dems, SF Greens, SF Women’s Political Committee, Sierra Club, SPUR. No: SF Chron, SF Repubs.

SF City measures

Measure A

Yes (11)
No (2)
No position (2)

Yes: Affordable Housing Alliance, Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Bay Guardian, SF Chron, SF Dems, SF Repubs, Sierra Club, SPUR, YIMBY Action. No: SF Greens, SF Tenants Union.

Measure B

Yes (5)
No (5)
No position (5)

Yes: Affordable Housing Alliance, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Berniecrats, SF Dems. No: SF Bay Guardian, SF Chron, SF Greens, SF Repubs, SPUR.

Measure C

Yes (12)
No (2)
No position (1)

Yes: Affordable Housing Alliance, Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Bay Guardian, SF Berniecrats, SF Dems, SF Greens, SF Tenants Union, Sierra Club, SPUR, YIMBY Action. No: SF Chron, SF Repubs.

Measure D

Yes (8)
No (2)
No position (5)

Yes: Affordable Housing Alliance, Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Bay Guardian, SF Berniecrats, SF Dems, SF Greens. No: SF Chron, SF Repubs.

Measure E

Yes (9)
No (1)
No position (5)

Yes: Affordable Housing Alliance, Alice B Toklas Democratic Club, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Bay Guardian, SF Berniecrats, SF Chron, SF Dems, Sierra Club. No: SF Greens.

Josephine Zhao hasn’t really dropped out

Josephine Zhao has dropped out of the School Board race. She has stopped campaigning, she says, and has not raised any money in the past month.

She has been widely discredited in the news media for her transphobic and homophobic statements.

But there’s still an active Zhao campaign going on. I’m not sure who is paying for it—Zhao says she isn’t, and nobody has filed a report of any independent-expenditure committee backing her.

Kathy Wu, one of her supporters, told me that she and many other Chinese voters “will not accept her dropping out” and is working hard to get her elected.

Zhao has not said if she would take office if elected.

This weekend, Zhao supporters were at the Alameny Farmer’s Market handing out literature.

Zhao supporter handing out literature at the Alameny Farmers Market this weekend. Photo by Susan McCarthy

A sizable rally in Chinatown Saturday shows that there’s someone with money still promoting Zhao.

Chinatown rally for Josephine Zhao for School Board, 10/27/18

Rally for Josephne Zhao for School Board Saturday, October 27, 2018. Zhao claimed to drop out of the race after her transphobic comments surfaces, but there's obviously an active campaign going on.

Posted by 48 Hills on Sunday, October 28, 2018

Wu told me that Zhao is the only Chinese speaker in the race, which is untrue: Li Miao Lovett speaks both Cantonese and Mandarin.

“I saw her supporters at the [SFUSD] enrollment fair,” Lovett told me. 

Zhao sent me the following statement:

I had nothing to do with the canvassers over the weekend. My supporters have taken it upon themselves to support my former candidacy and to support having Chinese representation on the school board. They must still had literature from several months ago.

The Examiner Oct. 28 posted an oped by a group of Asian and LGBT community leaders warning that Zhao is still a factor in the race and calling for an active campaign against her:

We also call on Senator Scott Wiener, Mayor London Breed, Board of Equalization Chair Fiona Ma, and City Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chiu to do right by the transgender community. At this point, with the weight of anti-trans federal amendments looming over us, merely rescinding an endorsement will not undo the damage that is being done every day you continue to silently cosign bigotry. We urge you to actively come out against Josephine Zhao.

But so far, those former supporters are content to say that Zhao has dropped out, and that’s the end of the story.

The action on the streets suggests otherwise. “This race is not over,” Lovett said. “People need to vote.”

Campaign madness: No on C’s bizarre messaging ….

I continue to be boggled by the No on C campaign. I think Joe Eskenazi did a great job explaining the bizarre nature of the messaging: Mayor Breed is saying that her own administration, which would distribute the money, can’t be trusted.

Now, today, I get a mailing that says this:

Open it up and you see this:

Since when are London Breed, Scott Wiener, Katy Tang and the SF Firefighters “leaders” in the fight to solve homelessness? None of them have put forward effective plans, worked with service providers, or done much other than to make campaign promises.

There are people whose politics I don’t share who have worked on homelessness. Former Sup. Mark Farrell did some (bad) things to address the problem. But Katy Tang? She’s been entirely missing on the issue.

Scott Wiener took on a lot of causes in SF and is writing a lot of bills in Sacramento – but homelessness was never one of his top priorities and he certainly wasn’t a “leader” on the issue.

This is the first time I’ve ever heard the firefighters as “leaders” on homelessness.

The real “leaders” are the grassroots organizers and groups like the Coalition on Homelessness – and they are the ones who wrote Prop. C.

Does anyone really believe this stuff?

Laura Clark, a Yimby Action leader and big supporter of Sonja Trauss for Supervisor, has been attacking Matt Haney on Twitter, saying that he took an illegal campaign contribution from a text-messaging service called Hustle.

Trauss immediately emailed me – and apparently she and Clark also emailed other reporters – asking if we were going to cover this.

So yeah, I checked it out. Here’s what actually happened:

Hustle offered Haney’s campaign a one-year “pilot” program – a chance to try out the text service. That costs $150. The person who offered it said they could have it free.

Haney told me that his campaign asked Hustle how that should be reported, and Hustle’s legal team said it was an in-kind donation worth $150.

Instead of taking an in-kind donation, Haney decided just to pay the $150, he said. If the campaign goes beyond the allowable number of uses, it will get another invoice and pay it.

I talked to a spokesperson from Hustle and she confirmed that account. “His was invoiced $150, and that has been paid.”

Trauss told me she does’t believe that:

I consider a donation from a corporation to be a major ethics violation. Everyone in politics knows you’re not allowed to accept donations from corporations, it doesn’t matter how much the donation is for. 

Also, Haney’s campaign did use Hustle, and what evidence do you have that the value of the gift was $150? Haney used Hustle to facilitate texting their volunteers. 

I actually do have evidence. Hustle told me that was the value. And I have the invoice.

More:

I can’t believe you’re going with this “trial” line. The CEO clearly states that it was a “gift on behalf of an employee” in the email. There is no mention of a trial program. Hustle doesn’t have anything on their website about ‘free trial program for campaigns.’ They do have a section describing the fact that Hustle will donate texts to organizations when their employees ask them to. Which is what happened here. 

That seems unlikely: Haney is reporting a $150 payment to Hustle. It would have been foolish for the Haney campaign, which is a professional operation, to take a major in-kind donation from a company and not report it.

Meanwhile, I looked at the latest filings and Trauss received $500 contributions from two corporations, one from NPU Inc. and one from Ashbury General Contracting. That’s illegal. It’s also not a huge deal – it’s $1,000, and she told me today it would be returned.

The $150 that Haney paid to Hustle is not a big deal either; it’s not even a story.

The real story in D6 is the vast amount of money, more than half a million dollars, that is being poured into elected Trauss or Christine Johnson by some of the biggest corporations, corporate organizations, and real-estate interests in the city. Not to mention the cops.

The reality in today’s political world is that modest campaign contributions ($500 is the local limit) and minor violations of those limits are almost irrelevant. It’s the massive IE money that shows where a candidate’s likely alliances will be.

And given the radical right’s control of the US Supreme Court, that doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon.