Who's next?

How the next mayor's race is shaping up

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(39)

steve@sfbg.com and tredmond@sfbg.com

The seven serious candidates who have announced plans to run for mayor extends from moderate to conservative at this point, but it's an unusual field for San Francisco: there is no clear progressive standard-bearer, and no clear downtown candidate.

But it probably won't stay that way. Sources say others are likely to join the lackluster race in the coming months, and there's a strong likelihood that some progressive candidate will decide to the take plunge.

Also unlike the last few mayor's races, there appears to be no clear frontrunner — either in fundraising or in having a clear constituency base — a new dynamic that creates an unpredictability that will be exacerbated because this is the first contested mayor's race using the ranked-choice voting system and public financing of candidates.

There was a weak field of challengers to Gavin Newsom in 2007 and no one qualified for public financing or presented a strong threat. But this time City Attorney Dennis Herrera and former Sup. Bevan Dufty already have indicated they will take public financing, and others are expected to follow suit.

In addition to Herrera and Dufty, the field includes Sen. Leland Yee, Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting, venture capitalist Joanna Rees, and former Sups. Tony Hall and Michela Alioto-Pier. Those close to Board President David Chiu also say he is "seriously considering" jumping into the race and talking to friends and supporters about that possibility now.

But so far none come from the progressive political community that has controlled the Board of Supervisors for the past decade. Although Chiu is the only candidate in the field to self-identify as a progressive, he has adopted a more moderate governing style that has frustrated many progressive activists and supervisors. So that leaves voters on the left without a candidate right now.

"If a credible progressive candidate doesn't get into the race, then we'll see the top-tier candidates — which so far Leland Yee and Dennis Herrera — try to make friends with progressive San Francisco. And it would appear they have a lot of work to do," Aaron Peskin, the former board president who chairs the San Francisco Democratic Party, told us.

Both Yee and Herrera have taken some progressive positions, and Yee has consistently endorsed more progressive candidates than anyone else in the mayoral field, but they have also taken many positions that have alienated them from progressives. And both have been taking in lots of campaign cash from interests hostile to the progressive base of renters, environmentalists, and advocates for social and economic justice.

"Nobody who has put their hats in the ring is really exciting anyone, so there is plenty of room for new entrants," Peskin said, noting the progressives are actively discussing who should run. Peskin wouldn't identify whom they're courting, but some of the names being dropped are Sups. John Avalos, Ross Mirkarimi, and David Campos, as well as former Sup. Chris Daly and Peskin.

But Mirkarimi shifted some of that talk this week when he announced that he intends to run to replace the retiring Mike Hennessey as sheriff.

Political consultant Jim Stearns, who is representing Yee, also expects others to get into the race. "I don't think the field is complete yet. Historically, the strong self-identified progressive candidate has come in late or surged late, like [Tom] Ammiano and [Matt] Gonzalez," Stearns said.

Ammiano launched his write-in mayoral bid in September 1999 and Gonzalez jumped into the race just before the filing deadline in August 2003, so there's plenty of time for progressive candidates to get in. "It's never too late in San Francisco," Stearns said. And unlike those two races when the upstarts were seriously outspent by the well-heeled frontrunners, Stearns said this year's field will likely be on a fairly even financial footing.

Comments

I'm sorry, Leland; I just can't get over that one.

Posted by Common Sense SF on Feb. 23, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

They have an attitude problem, which impedes building city-wide coalitions. If you don't agree 100% with all their dogmas, they call you a "right winger" and stomp off. The result is self-marginalization on their part.

SF progressivism was once positive and inviting. Its spirit was captured by Harvey Milk, when he said "You gotta give 'em hope."

Today, however, SF progressivism is narrow and vindictive (and also, by the way, misogynistic). It's spirit was captured by Aaron Peskin, when he said "Payback is a bitch."

In the 2007 mayoral race, progressives were unable to come up with a serious contender. They offered up Quintin Mecke as their sacrificial lamb. His campaign slogan was "substance over style."

After Mecke lost, he was hired as Tom Ammiano's image polisher. That was an ironic end for someone who denigrated "style." If moderates had done the same thing, progressives would have called the result "graft."

Not only are SF progressives unable to field a serious mayoral candidate. They also just lost control of the board of supes and went up in flames in the vote on Prop L.

In the midst of this general decline, they are in denial that there's a problem, and they demonize anyone who dares to mention it.

Prediction:

More fatwas from the Ayatollah Brugmann will not be able to save them. They will get more Darwin Awards. And they will blame everybody else but themselves.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Feb. 26, 2011 @ 11:15 am

He's WAY too conservative for San Francisco - he probably couldn't even win his old seat back at this point.

And David Campos couldn't win citywide either. Unless he somehow manages to figure out a way to allow non-citizens to vote, something to BOS has been scheming to do for a decade, but have been thwarted by city voters every time it's placed on the ballot.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Feb. 26, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

The two biggest trolls and authoritarian figures just have to repeat their same blabber - over and over and over again. No matter what the subject - they are the experts and we need to listen to them spout their same points, for the millionth time it seems.

How many chat boards have been filled with the hundreds and thousands of their posts, always with that classic tone of voice pointing their fingers at us and telling us what stupid and bad people we are. If they have children who have to listen to their lecturing voices all the time, I'll bet you they run away from home before reaching age 13. Could you imagine being a child and having to listen to their pompous superiority day after day, night after night? It sends shivers down my spine.

Too bad we're not able to run away from their madness. The Guardian needs to follow the Chronicle's lead and use chat software where we can ignore certain posters. The Chron's website has improve with a much more intelligent and civil conversation now that the rest of us can turn off listening to the many screwballs who constantly post their jibberish on that website too.

As to the article, as of this moment I'd say the top three finishers are Yee, Chiu and Herrera, not necessarily in that order. The big question for the mayor's race is who comes in third and how do the 2nd and 3rd place candidate choices shake out between the top two finishers.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

Frankly, Yee Chiu and Herrera are all awful- the dullest field imaginable. The trajectory of this City needs to be radically altered. I hope to god (sorry SFBG for the god reference) someone else gets in this race.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2011 @ 11:43 pm

The election will not be held today.

But if the election were held today, then Yee would beat Herrera. No indication that Chiu would be able to compete with Alioto-Pier and Dufty.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Feb. 26, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

Is it because, as marc salomon once claimed, progressive men know what's best for women?

Or is it because the male-chauvinist behavior of Chris Daly and his imitators have driven many women from progressive ranks?

Or is it because the progressive faction at the board of supes now consists of four males?

Or is it because the progressives have created a dogma-generating machine, with the Ayatollah Brugmann at its peak, that resembles a male-dominated religious sect?

Or is it because progressives are hostile to the issue of public safety, which is of special concern to women, and above all, to women with young children?

Or perhaps all of the above?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Feb. 27, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

All men.
And everything is always about you.
It reminds me of a Monty Python flick I saw once called "The Gay Man Who Hated Men"

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2011 @ 6:34 pm

What does it mean to have "a more moderate governing style?"

I can sometimes understand some of the labels people assign to positions that people take on issues, but it's unclear to me how the simplistic moderate or progressive labels apply to a type of governing style.

Newsom was viewed as a "moderate" yet among City Hall insiders he was supposedly a rather detached executive - long on ideas and pronouncements, but not very engaged in details and follow-through.

Daly or Peskin are viewed as a "progressives" yet both were widely viewed as abrasive and ill-tempered at times.

Is it fair to apply "moderate versus progressive" labels to governing styles when each person has their own individual style of interacting with colleagues, City staff, and the public.

Anyone have any observations or insights on this question?

Posted by ProgressiveSF on Feb. 27, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

"a more moderate governing style?" in relation to Chiu, it means he's not doctrinaire I would guess. In any other city Newsom and Chiu would have progressive bona fide's, here they are not down with the "theory of everything," thus "moderate" is a casting off of the island.

I think that Mirkirimi has the moderate style you mean too, like Newsom he is a meandering "idea man" who does a lot of mono-tone talking to hear his own voice. Like 90% of politicians.

Peskin some and Daly especially are tantruming shouters who should be lumped in with people like Tom Delay and Newt Gingrinch.

Posted by saint Daly on Feb. 27, 2011 @ 9:01 pm

What does it mean to have "a more moderate governing style?"

I can sometimes understand some of the labels people assign to positions that people take on issues, but it's unclear to me how the simplistic moderate or progressive labels apply to a type of governing style.

Newsom was viewed as a "moderate" yet among City Hall insiders he was supposedly a rather detached executive - long on ideas and pronouncements, but not very engaged in details and follow-through.

Daly or Peskin are viewed as a "progressives" yet both were widely viewed as abrasive and ill-tempered at times.

Is it fair to apply "moderate versus progressive" labels to governing styles when each person has their own individual style of interacting with colleagues, City staff, and the public.

Anyone have any observations or insights on this question?

Posted by SFObserver on Feb. 27, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

"is it because you hate men?"

- Guest

I love watching anti-feminists denounce feminists as man-haters. I've been seeing them do this for more than 40 years.

It's especially juicy to watch people who call themselves progressive act like this.

But guess what? -

There's nothing progressive about anti-feminism.

Bummer, huh?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Feb. 28, 2011 @ 12:25 am

There is nothing feminist about a male gender identified man using a woman's name to post anonymously.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Feb. 28, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

Only a moron or a shitty pretend philosopher would confuse the two.
Or a combination of the two.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 28, 2011 @ 9:14 am

"...it's an unusual field for San Francisco: there is no clear progressive standard-bearer, and no clear downtown candidate."

I wonder if that could mean that the dualistic "machine/progressive" war that has fueled so much the Bay Guardian's motors for so many years is finally becoming irrelevant.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 28, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

Brown and Pak never left, they were in room 200 via Steve Kawa all along.

They operated behind the shadows until the prospect of their disenfranchisement became apparent and then set the stage for their putsch.

So long as City government does not solve problems that voters, residents, citizens and taxypayers face, there is a good chance that the Brown machine is working the switches.

Brutus killed Caesar and that did nothing to further Brutus' political ambitions.

Et tu, Chiu?

-marc

Posted by marcos on Feb. 28, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

Says Guest in a post above:

"Denouncing Arthur Evans is not the same as denouncing feminism."

So your excuse is that you're not denouncing feminism -

You're just engaging in ad hominem slandering.

Inspiring, huh?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Feb. 28, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

When Ruth R. Snave posits himself as a woman and as a feminist, and her postings don't square up with feminism, then Chrissypus has put himself in a position to be called on his contradictions.

No ad hominem here.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Feb. 28, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

1. I'm not a progressive, so fuck you.
2. It's not "ad hominem" or "slander" if it's true, and if it speaks to the fact that your statement and questions are untruthful and concocted to mislead.
3. You should expect people to continue to denounce you. Not feminism or civility.
You.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 28, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

"so fuck you."

- Guest

The late Cosmic Lady used to go around the city asking people "Are we civilized yet?"

It was a rhetorical question.

We all knew the answer.

And we still do.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Feb. 28, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

"Ahh, yesss,,,, I remember the late Cosmic Lady... it was all so very long ago and it was a simpler time.... Why everyone was so civilized back in the seventies.... in the Castro.... yesss, civilized....."

"Okay everybody, Mr. Evans has drifted off and is having one of his semi-conscious hallucinations. Let's let him rest now."

Posted by Guest on Feb. 28, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

Cosmic Lady (Janice Aurah Kramer) was a poet who spoke to people on the streets of SF, Santa Cruz, and elsewhere. She was always sweet, often funny, and sometimes profound.

She died of cancer in 1992. Here’s a short video that doesn’t do her justice, although something of her wit and insight does come through:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ccd3bqi7pA

Posted by Arthur Evans on Feb. 28, 2011 @ 11:20 pm

sure hope she didn't have to sit down.

Posted by marke on Feb. 28, 2011 @ 11:23 pm

"sure hope she [Cosmic Lady] didn't have to sit down."

- marke

I mostly encountered Cosmic Lady in the Haight-Ashbury, where I live.

This neighborhood is rich in parks - Golden Gate Park, the Panhandle, and Buena Vista Park. These have plenty of benches and also plenty of nice grassy spots for sitting and lying.

What more do you want?

By the way, Cosmic Lady put her finger on the great question of our era, which she called the Cosmic Question:

- Are we civilized? -

Every person in every culture in every social class should be asking this question.

Why?

Because it won't do for the human race to continue acting like a pack of marauding primates, dominated by violent males, that have just emerged from living in caves and eating their neighbors for lunch.

We have to evolve, and soon, or the jig is up for humanity.

Cosmic Lady reminded everyone she encountered of this reality.

How, then, do we evolve?

A big part of the process is cultivating excellence of both mind and character.

Every movement that calls itself "progressive" should have something to say about attaining this goal.

What does our local progressive sect have to say on the matter?

Shall we ask Chris Daly?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Mar. 01, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

that sitting on the sidewalk is a crime.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 01, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

"Cosmic Lady would never have agreed with you that sitting on the sidewalk is a crime."

- Guest

The civil-sidewalks law contains a list of exceptions for ordinary affairs. Its aim is to control squatting on the sidewalk by a toxic subculture that enables alcoholism and drug addiction.

I never saw Cosmic Lady squat on the sidewalks in order to have a base for getting drunk or stoned, or selling drugs.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Mar. 02, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

I knew her well when I worked at the Haight Ashbury Switchboard, a great community institution. People (some of them drunk or on drugs, yes Arthur) sat on the sidewalk outside 1338 Haight St until one of us showed up to open the doors. Cosmic Ladye (and she put an "e" at the end of her name when she wrote to me at the Guardian, which was often) would have opposed sit-lie as oppressive and mean-spirited. I have no doubt about that at all.

Posted by tim on Mar. 02, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

Sit/Lie is now the law. Cosmic Lady(e) or no.

When it finally gets enforced I, for one, will enjoy the Haight much more than I do now.

With the progressives in this city finally on the run (due to their own idiocy) San Franciso might once again become a decent place to be.

Posted by Ken Howard on Mar. 02, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

Are you the bottom or is Arthur?

Thanks.

Posted by guest on Mar. 02, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

Sit lie is a meaningless law because it is not being enforced as some people who opposed it said would be the case before the election. The problem is that the police have no way of knowing who has been cited and who has not been cited. Because they are homeless. They have no ID or address. The only way one can enforce draconian sit-lie is with prison camps. Are you for prison camps? Do you want to go THERE? I know some here who pretend to be "reasonable" and "civil" and "intellectual" and think they are better than other people are for prison camps and for anything that else will hurt the homeless, as if the homeless don't have enough problems as it is. Money could be spent for helping the homeless. That would be "reasonable," "civil" and "intellectual."

If the proponents of sit-lie were to immediately leave the City, the City would instantly be a much better place because there would be a lot less hate towards the poor and homeless. 1984.

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Mar. 02, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

"Progressives" are on the run not because of their own idiocy as you want to believe, but because of the idiots who have moved here in recent years due to gentrification. Who can afford the million dollar homes here and high rents but the corporate wealthy who are usually not progressive by any definition. These wealthy shits vote and they don't vote for "progressives." That's why the political change in the City. Where you live in the Haight, sit lie was voted down.

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Mar. 02, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

Jorge,

You say:

“‘Progressives’ are on the run not because of their own idiocy as you want to believe, but because of the idiots who have moved here in recent years due to gentrification.”

Wrong. In fact, many Yuppies have fled the city in recent years, following the collapse of the dot-com boom.

Take a look at district eight, by the way, which includes the Castro. Progressives denounced Scott Wiener, who won the race for supe there.

Many of Wiener’s strongest supporters are older gay male residents, surviving on small disability payments, who have lived in the district for decades. Same was true in the case of Bevan Dufty, his predecessor.

Your just pull your theories out of the air, with no regard for the facts.

You do the same with your comments about the character of others who post here.

There's nothing progressive about denial. Not to mention dishonesty.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Mar. 03, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

Weiner won in D8 for the same reasons that Sparks lost in D6, because they were mirror image candidates. Scott hustled for 18 months 18 hours a day to win the election. Theresa phoned it in and got beat.

D8 might still have been winnable for a progressive but not against a candidate like Weiner.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Mar. 03, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

DELUSIONAL.

You're basically saying that you *might* be able to win D8 if you can just run against a really, really crappy candidate.

Awesome. For a guy who apparently thinks a lot, not too deep there, Marcos.

Posted by Sambo on Mar. 03, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

I never said that I could win D8, but that the outcomes in D8 in 2010 were more a property of the candidate than ideological in nature.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Mar. 03, 2011 @ 5:26 pm

also in your line of reasoning was that Rafael didn't work as hard as Wiener. Truth is, he worked extremely hard.

Pick a position dude - either SF progressives are on the ropes (as you just wrote to Tim) or they could win in places like D8 if they simply ran hard working candidates. Well, it's the first one, so go with that. You're losing, and will continue to, because your platform belongs in SF circa 1999.

Posted by Sambo on Mar. 03, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

" Cosmic Ladye (and she put an "e" at the end of her name when she wrote to me at the Guardian, which was often) would have opposed sit-lie as oppressive and mean-spirited. I have no doubt about that at all."
- tim on Mar. 02, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

Posted by Guest on Mar. 03, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

"D8 might still have been winnable for a progressive but not against a candidate like Weiner [sic]."

- Marc

Well, for one thing, the progressives would have to learn how to spell his name right.

For another, they would have to learn the lessons from when Eileen Hansen and Alix Rosenthal, respectively, ran against Bevan Dufty.

Hansen and Rosenthal in earlier elections, like Rafael Mandelman in the last election, had a cavalier attitude toward residents' concerns about neighborhood safety.

That's what did all three in.

Why is it so hard for some sects to learn from their mistakes?

(Answer: Sects value dogma above reality.)

Posted by Arthur Evans on Mar. 03, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

" Cosmic Ladye would have opposed sit-lie as oppressive and mean-spirited. I have no doubt about that at all."
- tim on Mar. 02, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

Posted by Guest on Mar. 03, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

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