The new attack on Herrera


Well, the salvo coming from the Lee campaign trying to smear Dennis Herrera for not being a strong enough supporter of same-sex marraige shows at least one thing: The race is closer than the polls are reporting.

For the former staffers of Gavin Newsom -- and everyone knows who they are, because there weren't that many people in those meetings -- to come forward two weeks before the election with these allegations was a serious political risk. For starters, Herrera is really popular in the LGBT community, and already, much of the city's queer leadership (including Tom Ammiano, Mark Leno and Scott Wiener) has responded by denouncing the attack. The three, along with Phyllis Lyon and representatives of both major clubs, Harvey and Alice, will be holding a press conference Oct. 27 in the Castro. A letter that went out today under Lyon's name notes:

A petty smear campaign is underway to personally discredit City Attorney Dennis Herrera over his years of work for marriage equality.  Incredibly, despite all the heroic efforts of Dennis and his office right from the start, anonymous sources have pushed a story in the San Francisco Chronicle that Dennis wasn't "supportive" of Mayor Newsom's decision to issue same-sex marriage licenses back in February 2004.  It's not true.  These politically motivated attackers are hoping we'll forget the years of hard work Dennis and his deputies invested -- and continue to invest even now, in the federal challenge to Prop 8 -- for LGBT equality.

So this could easily backfire and wind up focusing attention on all of Herrera's LGBT support.

It's also a risk for Lee. Although his name isn't on any of this, his people are clearly behind it; Newsom (who just endorsed Lee) and his former staffers (some of whom are now Lee's staffers) wouldn't have contacted the Chronicle and pushed this story without the knowledge and permission of the mayor and his senior campaign people. Wiener, who is often one of Lee's allies on the board, is clearly unhappy about the blast at his former boss. Leno, who isn't involved in the election all, is now going to be pissed at the mayor. And if this winds up looking like a Lee-sponsored political swipe at an LGBT community ally, Lee's going to lose votes and support.

So why do it? It makes no sense -- Lee has tried to appear as the candidate of civility and reason, above the mudslinging fray. He's trying to act so much like the inevitable winner that he doesn't even show up for a lot of the debates and forums. There's no point in dishing this kind of story up -- unless the Lee camp has polling data showing the race tightenting and Herrera emerging as a serious challenger.

It's a pretty basic rule in campaigns: You don't risk political capital attacking candidates who are no threat to you. So if I were Herrera, I'd be mad -- but also encouraged. They're obviously worried.


If Herrera said that it wasn't legal to do something as council to the mayor then those people are as scheming as a progressive.

Herrera used city tax dollars and his office to further the moon bat agenda all over the state and country, which is why I would never vote for him. His using his office for political activism should be the issue.

A red herring, not even a good one.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 2:38 pm


As an LGBT voter I never had any intention of voting for Lee - so this really didn't impact me. Dennis has been a great friend to the GLBT community and outside of Bevan, who is a gay man, he'd be a great mayor for us. Really any of the candidates would - excepting Tony Hall.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

What good do Herrera and Chiu do for the LGBTQ community if they both continue to so unacceptably enable large Wall Street developer high priced condo gentrification in San Francisco, making it more and more impossible for lower income LGBTQ youth to come to SF and establish themselves here in safe affordable homes...?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 6:51 pm

As the co-founder of the Freedom to Marry Task Force of Northern CA in 1996 who instigated and produced the first mass LGBT commitment ceremony of over 200 same sex couples at SF Pride, won Best Float for my Freedom to Marry Float, and went on to work for Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund for Baehr v. Miike -- the Hawaii Gay Marriage Trial, it is easy for me to say without reservation that Dennis Herrera is more supportive of LGBT marriage equality than even I am.

For partisans to attempt to paint him otherwise is laughable and desperate.

I lend my two cents here in the spirit of the truth and to tell people when it's time to back off.

Our global march for civil rights is too important for us to allow them to be undermined for the sake of what is, in the big picture, a provincial elected office.

Queer people are still getting beaten, killed, and committing suicide every day. Dragging down our quest for civil rights to try to achieve an elected office is going too far.


Brian Basinger

Posted by Brian Basinger on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

Seriously, who cares about this? Let's stick to the blocking and tackling.

It's perfectly plausible that Herrera as the City Attorney with a lawyerly bent would have been at first, opposed. But it's no big deal/ a non-issue.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

I'm disgusted by a sleazy gay hit piece against Herrera. It arrived in my mail today, paid for by THE GAY AND LESBIAN VICTORY FUND. The Victory Fund should stick to supporting gay candidates, in this case Dufty, rather than attacking candidates who have been nothing but pro-gay rights like Herrera. Herrera provided his absolute best trial lawyers to overturn Prop. 8. He's a friend of the community. Also, as an attorney, he was 100 percent correct that the city had no standing to change the marriage laws like Gavin tried to do. I'm glad Gavin did it, but Herrera was just doing his job admirably (if it's true that as city attorney he advised Gavin not to). That's a man of integrity, and one who I'll vote for even though I'm both gay and married--probably thanks to Gavin. And Dufty, who I was going to include in my ranked vote will lose it unless he comes out publicly and denounces the hit piece as the sleazy misleading trick it is. As a former supporter of the Victory Fund, well I'm just ashamed for supporting that bunch.

Read more:

Posted by Brad Heinz on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 6:53 pm

Because Peter Ragone couldn't help himself.

Posted by beckybayside on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

What the wealthy gays do not understand is that John Avalos is the one who will best represent the queer community when it comes to nightlife, taxing the rich their fair share, standing up for our civil rights, and securing funding for critical needs like health care.

Posted by mark snyder on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

That's where the presser is happening tomorrow with the so-called queer leadership trio of leno-ammiano-wiener leading the charge against one small piece of sleazy politics.

Let's also remember none of these gay pols bothers to hold regular town halls with the committee. they show up for pressers, meetings that others have organized, speak for a few minutes, then split the scene, usually after posing for cameras.

How about this queer leadership trio start open meetings?

Can we address other issues beyond the mayoral race and sleazy tactics, such as social security checks and CA medical benefits were cut back on july first, affecting thousands of elderly, disabled and other gays receiving public benefits, while our cost of living went up, and ammiano-leno-wiener have said nothing about the impact of the cuts on gays SSI/SSDI recipients?

I don't give a rat's ass about what newsom's fag-boys are now saying about herrera and how they're using the chronicle to toss mud on herrera and the gay political classes are simply shocked shocked shocked with reality of finishing this race.

The Castro ain't nothing but a banana republic with out-of-touch politicians and corrupt merchants keeping a tight lid on things, maintaining control of an agenda that in the end more benefits them then regular gays.

Let's see what happens at the presser at noon. Hey Tim and Guardian folks, you forgot to include the time and place of the presser in your post. That info is crucial to turning out folks.

Posted by MPetrelis on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

when you hate it so much Michael?

You're nothing more than an underemployed "activist" whose time in the spotlight has long since passed - something you clearly have a hard time accepting. Newsom's "fag-boys" are more popular and influential in the GLBT community on their worst hair day than you ever were at the height of your "influence".

Queue one of Michael's rants about "elitist A-list gays" now. He's always on the outside of the dance floor looking in.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 11:04 pm

In another sign that Lee's "helpers" are nervous about the up coming election, Smearing Dennis with the LGBT community makes perfect sense. He is viable and many voters like Herrera on the marriage issue. Gavin's move though appreciated back in the day, resulted in a lot of press for marriage equality but also for him. I voted for Herrera as my number 2 putting Yee first. I put Dennis there because as an LGBT voter he earned my vote on that issue. Yee has also done a lot as a state senator and voting for marriage equality in D4 aint easy.

D4 has the only Mormon ward in it but Yee keeps voting positive for marriage equality and many other LGBT issues that mean a lot to us.

Posted by Guest lucretiamott on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 5:07 am

Now that Newsom's attack on Herrera is backfiring that clown Randy Shaw is trying to blame it on John Cote and Heather Knight at the Chron for not specifically naming the sources within Newsom's circle, rather than placing the blame squarely where it belongs with Gavin Newsom for swift boating a politician popular within the gay community.

Yesterday he was actually siding with the Chinese Communist Party against Falun Gong as though the CCP were somehow a more reliable source of journalism.

I'm just glad no one actually reads Beyond Corn anymore.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 5:46 am

and his shady bullshit. Gotta keep the bad guys sussed out, and stay current on what they are up to ;)

Pains me to give him web hits though...

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 10:20 am

As someone who appreciates Castro nightlife culture and thinks San Francisco entertainers could go much farther with better support I intend to vote for Herrera, Dufty and Avalos as my choices. Seriously.

Under any of these three Castro night life will rock on even harder.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 6:06 am

The bars and music suck. The energy has moved south to Potrero Hill and the Mission.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 11:30 am

is engaged in it. The idea that different factions vote in blocks is highly misleading.

Moreover, attacking Lee when he goes on the offensive while turning a blind eye when Yee and Herrera do it (and with taxpayer money too) is clearly biased.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 6:46 am

we want gays to represent gays."

Harvey Milk said that.

And the idea that "different factions" don't vote in blocks is absurd on its face. First of all - gay voters aren't a "faction," they're the most important voting block in the city - and they routinely vote as a block for Democratic candidates for federal and state offices. If you doubt GLBT voters vote as a block look at the returns from the Castro on Prop 8 - more than 96% of voters in that district opposed Prop 8 - that's called "block" voting - the figure citywide was 70% opposed.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 12:22 pm

And even thought there are 3.5 asian candidiates for Mayor, it looks like Lee has the asian vote locked up which alone should secure him victory.

Gays are much less homogeneous. Some are homeowners; others are tenants. Some are 250K pa households; others are kids who just got here. And so on.

And as the comments here show, the votes are all over the place. As they should be - identity politics is ugly.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

Asians aren't also tenants and homeowners with some making very little and some making a lot?

Your comment shows a real lack of understanding of either community and a willingness to issue blanket assumptions about both.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

gays can only dream of. Asians listen to their leaders which why Lee, Yee, Chui and Adaci are falling over themselves to pander to their cultural cousins.

Gays are all over the place.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

How is this for clearly biased?

I didn't realize Enrique Pierce was such a total scumbag until just now and I hope someone shoots a tear gas grenade in his face.

More than voter fraud: Mayor Lee Alliance committee & others hide their donors By Oliver Luby

"Less attention has been paid to another scandal: Neighbor Alliance for Ed Lee has yet to disclose the receipt of a single campaign contribution. No donors appear in any of its disclosure reports on file with the Ethics Commission.

Nevertheless, it has spent a hefty $135,000 in support Mayor Lee, exploiting an ugly loophole in campaign reporting law, one that harks back to the days of Willie Brown’s own election campaign.

One account to actually address controversy regarding Neighbor Alliance for Ed Lee’s lack of financial transparency appeared in the Fog City Journal. Luke Thomas’s article indicated that Alliance coordinator and campaign consultant Enrique Pearce was told to leave the Buck Tavern by owner and former Supervisor Chris Daly, following an argument during which Daly queried Pearce about the source of Alliance’s funding. Thomas’s account of the argument indicated that Peace said Alliance would not disclose its funding until the late October filing deadline provided by state campaign law.

Thomas further wrote: “Asked why the committee is not being forthcoming about the book’s benefactors, Pearce said, “Because we’re complying with the law.””

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 7:37 am

1. Dufty
2. Chui
3. Adachi

But I'm not seeing a real consensus on that, which only helps Lee.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 9:58 am

I'm not a voting block just a voter who decided when considering so many candidates that my votes would go to Yee, Herrera and Avalos. One cannot turn a blind eye to open attempts a organized election fraud, now under investigation by at least gascon and a request from 7 candidates for a state or federal oversight. As to Yee and Herrera using "taxpayer" money (public financing) for their election I think that's great. They will be accountable to the tax payer rather than big donors and even bigger down town power brokers who aren't. I believe in public financing especially for candidates, like John Avalos, who can have a better chance with matching funds. Many great candidates like John wouldn't have a fair shake in getting their message out without it. I am not into identity politics either. I don't vote for women candidates, nor LGBT candidates but look at their records and what they want to do as Mayor. I also look at who is supporting them and now, financially backing them.

All the above candidates are good on LGBT issues but there were other issues that I took into consideration for my vote and their ranking.
But my ballot is Ed Less especially since he vetoed closing the loop holes on HSF yesterday.

Posted by Guest lucretiamott on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 11:00 am

is suffering from, like frontruners always do, from a dirty tricks campaign.

I'm still undecided but my 3 picks will be taken from


Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

As many of his dirty tricks are being exposed his campaign is heading down the toilet.

Which is exactly where the free speech attacking, lying little mustache puppet belongs.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 2:31 pm