What it all means

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By Tim Redmond
At City Hall

This was an excellent night for labor and tenants, and to a certain extent, for Gavin Newsom. It was a lousy night for Carole Migden, Tony Hall, Joe O'Donoghue, and Clint Reilly.

Labor was the real driving force behind the No on D campaign, and the utter thrashing of that measure shows that when labor works with the progressive forces, the combination is almost unbeatable. The tenants won on the ballot a measure that Newsom had vetoed, which is unusual (it's always hard to pass tenant measures on the ballot since the landlords have all the money) and encouraging. It may even be a sign that all of San Francisco, including the more conservative west side, is sick of all the Ellis Act evictions and phony condo conversions. Newsom can't afford to ignore that.

On the other hand, the one that really mattered to Newsom was Prop. D, which Hall and O'Donoghue were transparently running as a referendum on the mayor's popularity west of Twin Peaks. If Prop. D had won, Newsom would have looked vulnerable among what was always considered his base. Right now, he looks very hard to defeat in 2007.

Carole Migden made a huge push for Steve Westly for governor; she brought him down to the Guardian office to urge us to support him, and just this morning she was with him shaking hands in San Francisco. But Angelides (the favorite of labor and the state Democratic Party) trounced him in SF, 51-43. Migden got beaten badly on her own turf.

Poor Clint Reilly: He got trounced running for mayor, and now his wife got trounced running for State Assembly. She was good on the issues, articulate and prepared, and she appeared eminently qualified for the job -- but the Ma-John Burton smear campaign kept her from getting any traction.