Davis needs to drop out


EDITORIAL Kay Vasilyeva, a member of the San Francisco Women's Political Caucus, has come forward with the allegation that District Five candidate Julian Davis grabbed her and put his hand down her pants at a political bar crawl in 2006. That was six years ago, but it's still important — and more than the incident itself, the response we've seen from Davis is highly disturbing. He's utterly denying that it ever happened, and retained a lawyer to send Vasilyeva a letter threatening her with legal action if she continues to talk.

While we endorsed Davis for supervisor, we take these charges very, very seriously — particularly coming at a time when relations between men and women in the progressive movement are badly strained.

Since the SF Weekly, which broke the story, suggested that we knew something about Davis's behavior, we need to state, for the record: When we endorsed Davis, we had heard nothing even remotely close to this type of allegation. Yes, we knew that in his 20s he was a bit of an arrogant ass. We knew that at one point, he actually got into a tugging match with another person over the ridiculous question of who got to hold a campaign sign. We'd heard that, in the past, at somewhat debauched parties, he'd made advances toward women who weren't interested in his affections.

Those could be the acts of an immature man who has since grown up. And since, on a level of policy, knowledge, and positions, he was by far the best and strongest progressive in the race in District 5, we — along with much of the local progressive leadership — thought he was demonstrating enough maturity that he was worthy of our support.

But this new information, and his response to it, is alarming.

We don't take last-minute allegations about a front-running candidate lightly; people have been known to dump all sorts of charges into heated races. When we learned about Vasilyeva's allegations on Oct. 13, we did our own research. We spent two hours with Davis and his supporter and advisor, former D5 Supervisor Matt Gonzalez. We realized that allegations without corroboration are just charges, so we tracked down everyone we could find who might know anything about this incident — and, as we discovered, other similar events. And we have to say: Vasilyeva's account rings true. Davis's categorical denial does not.

More than that, we were offended that he in effect threatened with a lawsuit a woman who, at some peril to herself, came forward to tell the public information about someone who is running for elected office. What was the point of that, if not to intimidate her? It's highly unlikely he's going to sue (and drag this whole mess into court). He says he was just trying to send a message that he has a legal right to respond to defamation, but this is a political campaign; if he didn't want to deal publicly with what he must have known were these sorts of potential allegations, he shouldn't have run for office.

This is a bad time for progressives in San Francisco. The Mirkarimi case has brought to the fore some deep and painful rifts; a lot of women feel that (mostly male) progressive leaders have pushed their issues to the side. For the future of the movement and the city, the left has to come together and try to heal. This situation isn't helping a bit.

Davis needs to face facts: Supervisors John Avalos and David Campos have withdrawn their endorsements. Assembly member Tom Ammiano is almost certain to do the same. With his inability to handle the very credible charge that he not only groped a woman but lied about it, Davis no longer has a viable campaign in the most progressive district in the city, and we can't continue to support him.

We have said it many times before: People on the left need to be able to put their own ambitions aside sometimes and do what's right for the cause. Davis can't win. He's embarrassing his former allies. He needs to focus on coming to terms with his past and rebuilding his life. And for the good of the progressive movement, he needs to announce that he's ending his campaign, withdrawing from the race, and urging his supporters to vote for another candidate.


Not sure where you are getting your information from, but a reporter has to disclose its source, eg. Bill Blogs said............, otherwise the published article becomes unsubstantiated and has little to no value.

Posted by Troll 11 on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

Then why bother commenting? Regardless, I'm not talking about the article, I'm talking about the decision about the endorsement... which is what the article is about. Please see response below.

Posted by lw on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

Troll 11, you may have missed the LONG HISTORY of reporters NOT disclosing confidential sources. God, are people really this dumb?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 8:26 pm

They are not objective. The ridiculous and predictable screeching for "proof," as if this were a criminal trial and not an election endorsement, is patently absurd. No one has to "justify" an endorsement beyond stating why they believe the endorsee is the better candidate. Period.

Don't like it? Don't follow the endorsement.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

Exactly. In the opinion of this reporter and obviously the Bay Guardian, the evidence they've seen is enough to pull endorsement. End of story. They don't need to provide "proof" or disclose this evidence in order to pull endorsement of a candidate. You can either choose to believe the evidence is there or not, but in this case, logic and common sense say it is.

Posted by lw on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

...and ignoring endorsements is often a good plan. However, the Guardian is essentially the official organ of something called the "progressive" movement, so for many there's more at stake than just any old newspaper's endorsements.

Posted by Hortencia on Oct. 22, 2012 @ 9:01 am

Is there any proof that Julian touched this woman?

It is a he-said-she-said.

Don't cave in to the Lee/Brown machines' hench-woman. She may have lied.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

That's rich, exactly what proof do you have that this person is a "Lee/Brown machines' hench-woman"? See the irony here?

Posted by lw on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

"Lee/Brown machines' hench-woman"??? Even Chris Daly said: "Kay Vasilyeva is not a political opponent or saboteur -- she is one of us, and her voice should not be silenced."

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 11:04 pm

Why has the Guardian deleted from its website its original endorsement? I no longer trust any of your endorsements.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

can be found here:


we wanted to make sure there was no confusion.

Posted by marke on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

This is all about personal jealousy and vendettas. It pains me to see progressives goaded into attacking other progressives based on allegations from sources who may well be paid by the likes of enemies of progessives. It is a known fact that one of Davis' accusers mentioned in the story above has been a paid lobbyist for Chase Bank.

Posted by D5 Resident on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

Did you know he's in the Gangnam Style video? Check the video at 1:55 and tell me that's not him.


Posted by Ed Jew's Cousin on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 4:15 pm
Posted by Bye Bye Julian on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

He can always squeak in to the DCCC or one of the other myriad of places progressives like to stick bothersome blacks and other minorities in this town, where they feel part of the power structure but in reality are politically neutered. There's a myriad of commissions, task forces etc... where he can bide his time, do "public service" and wait for another election where he'll make a magical reappearance as a "changed man."

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

uh, yeah. good luck with that.

Posted by Bye Bye Julian on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 7:52 pm

It's interesting. A politician can do what Julian is being accused of having done and it can be the end of the politician's career. Then you have other politicians who drone innocent people and kill them on a daily basis in various parts of the world (along with a long list of other despicable actions by the same politician) and that's NOT the end of that politician's career. In fact, those politicians are celebrated, propped up and the sheep cheerlead for them as their nominee for president. It's amazing what one can get away with being a corporatist politician.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

What are the actual allegations against Julian? I have only seen a few quotes here and there. Has either Kay or Julian put out a public statement?

Posted by Erika McDonald on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 4:55 pm

I heard he gave her a purple nurple.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

Bye Bye Julian

Posted by Bye Bye Julian on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

Reading the article and the comments has left me even more discouraged and depressed.

Everyone with a brain knows that sexism is alive and well. But to see these high profile progressives throwing women under the bus - literally and figuratively - is indeed sickening. First the flip on Ross - at first he was radioactive, and rightly so, for his behavior. But then the Good Old Progressive Boy network got active, and started ACTIVELY recruiting - guess who - WOMEN - to stand by him, claiming it was some vast right wing conspiracy to take back the Sheriff's office. Wow, that is some conspiracy, getting Ross to walk RIGHT INTO THEIR TRAP by abusing his wife and pleading guilty to same.

Now this. Can hardly believe Matt Gonzalez is defending Julian Davis - acting as his advisor? Did he advise him to send this woman a letter threatening her to shut up or face defamation suit? I really hope that is not the case. Hadn't heard the alleged rumors about everyone named in the article, and don't put much stock in rumors, but... maybe where there is smoke, there's fire... all so awfully disappointing.

Expected better in the City of St. Francis - but St Francis was a guy too, and was more concerned with the fluffy animals than the other half of the human race, perhaps.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

Well, now we know that neither JFK, Ted Kennedy, nor Martin Luther King would have been worthy to be the D5 Supervisor!

Fortunately, being convicted for false imprisonment is still OK, however...

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

to something, or become a genuine leader of the movement, or joined a band. He groped to soon.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

Yes! Let's condone away sexual harassment and nonconsensual physical advances by quoting the names of some famous leaders from the past everyone likes who lived in a time when sexism was even more alive and well than it is today! Genius argument.

Posted by lw on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 9:49 am

I don't know where you're getting this idea that men and women divided over th Mirkarimi struggle. Tami Bryant led the organizing effort to reinstate Ross. Myrna Melgar's article about how paternally Eliana Lopez had been treated was a major turning point for both Ross and Eliana. Krissy Keefer, Debra Walker, Vivian Imperiale, Christine Craft, and many more women spoke out for him.

Two of four women Supervisors voted to reinstate Ross. Five of seven male Supervisors did not.

The Domestic Violence Consortium and the Commission on the Status of Women - with at least one dissenter who came to speak out for Ross last Tuesday - called for Ross's resignation. "Women on the left" were not alienated from "men on the left" over this. PEOPLE, both male and female, and organizations, disagreed.

Posted by Guest Ann Garrison on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

are disgusted by both of them.

Could it be it's their politics that makes you and a handful of exceptions (mostly sock puppets of chrisCraft anyway, which you probably are too) give them a pass?

If Lee had done this stuff, you'd be all over him like a syphilitic rash.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 2:24 am

In julian's case a "handful" couldn't be a better wat to put it

Posted by nancy on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 10:42 am

Check your facts; those who began gathering "progressive" support initially for Murky were men. The fact was that they needed it to look like women were pushing for him, or it would not have worked from a PR standpoint.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 9:09 pm

What you allege is simply not true. Women have been at the forefront of the battle to protect our vote and our sheriff right from the start... starting with um, Eliana herself. Even the crap push poll strangely found that more men wanted him removed than women, but that was a crap poll, so who the hell knows what the real numbers are. What's been clear from the get-go is that the ones prosecuting this disgusting coup were men -Ed Lee and George Gascon.

Like other commentators, I found Tim's divisive comment annoying as well. This never was a division between women and men, but between progressives and other clean government advocates, and those who see politics as a blood sport where anything goes in the interests of destroying your opponents.

Not only that, but note the disgusting sexism of the men who constantly attack women who disagree with them -alleging that they're "sock puppets" and even calling them "skanks." These aren't trolls imping other posters to make them look bad. These are "real trolls" who are making these comments in all sincerity about the multitudes of different women who've posted here, for the purpose of shutting them up. It speaks very badly of the character of people on your side, and supports the notion that they'll do anything to get their way.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 7:29 am

She didn't speak up for Ross for months and only when she saw his paycheck was under threat.

As for most of the chicks posting here - they are just ChrisCraft posting under various names - she has admitted using sock puppets here to engineer the appearance of false support for Ross among chicks.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 7:46 am

Once again, sexism rears its ugly head, revealing the true nature of the Ross-haters.

For the record, I know many of these women, and they are not Christine Craft. Again, this is yet another sexist tactic to silence women who disagree with your side.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 8:30 am

so the term seems valid here, if not elsewhere. First we have Ross thinking he can slap down his wife if she demurs. Then we have Julian who sees female fringe political figures as gropable fodder.

I'm not the one making this stuff up.

Oh, and ChrisCraft has already admitted using multiple handles here, so we're not debating the truth of that, only which women here might actually be real.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 8:43 am

Ross Mirkarimi is well known for mistreating people, but Eliana immediately began to speak up for her him and her family, as soon as she realized the whole matter was out of her hands. She did go to Venezuela, which is what she had wanted in the first place, but she is back now. My respect for her has grown, but I fear for their son if Mirkarimi begins to treat him the way he has treated others.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 9:41 pm

Both men and women. Ever heard of Carole Migden? Horrible to her staff. Ross is a saint compared to her.

In fact, not just politicians, but people in business too. Jack Welch... Carly Fiorina... the women are every bit as bad as the men. I think it's something about the kinds of people who claw their way to the top -you have to be a certain kind of person to do that in the first place, and once you have that kind of power, it goes to some people's heads even more.

BUT... just because Ross has been a slave driver to his staff, doesn't mean he goes home and beats his wife or child. There has been no pattern of that whatsoever.

And... I think this whole affair will likely make him a better person... and a better sheriff.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 11:40 pm

No, I am disgusted by people minimizing this issue and the Julian camp screaming "conspiracy". If a candidate had accusations they were "anti-gay" or racist, people would not be running to his or her defense as quickly.

"Oh, but it has to do with a woman? Who cares?" It is ridiculous. It just shows how engrained sexism is in our society and makes the oh-so-high-and-mighty "progressives" of San Francisco look like a joke.

I was also appalled by the attempted belittling of the woman who made the accusations... someone sited her Facebook pictures as some sort of justification of Julian's behavior? "Oh, she had it coming." Um, slut shaming much?

What a disgrace and a sad state of politics in a city that is supposed to be a beacon of fairness, inclusion, hope and tolerance for the nation.

Posted by NO on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 9:48 pm

Couldn't agree more. As a friend of Julian the response to this episode has disappointed me greatly.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

Most people, including women, queers and people of color could care less if a candidate or elected official did not toe the PC line with respect to sexism, homophobia or racism so long as they delivered on substantive issues.

Only a few lefties value the PC culture to that extent. Liberals use PC as a way to assuage their guilt for supporting the crimes of the Democrats, as they are able to demonstrate dominance over the offender on a micro scale while allowing unspeakable crimes to pass without comment.

Of course those stoking the outrage at violations of the PC code could give a flying fuck about any of it, as their policies are dangerous to the identities, women, people of color and queers. They are just playing to the smallness of liberals and progressives who are more than eager to take the bait and commit political suicide.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 5:47 am

Tim's analysis is correct. Thanks for that.

Posted by Greg Shaw on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 10:00 pm

Progressives. Even with no opposition they still manage to screw things up.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

Man, years ago Arthur would go on those kooky rants about the Progressive SF "Boys Club", and how it was a male dominated clique with misogyny right under the surface. I think people kind of brushed it off, but holy shit the man was on to something! I mean, there's no denying what's bringing Progressive SF down these days.

The man was prophetic. He was like Tupac... except, you know, old and gay and white and a crappy dresser.

Anyhoos, guys like Avalos, Campos and Redmond don't withdraw their endorsements over a rumor. There's more to this. Avalos is a professional, Campos is a super decent guy, and even though I think he's utterly batshit I think Tim has integrity as well. Steven Jones can eat a dick, but that's beside the point. Point is, there's some shit here, and it isn't good.

Posted by Scram on Oct. 16, 2012 @ 10:52 pm

Funny you should mention Uncle Arthur. Remember back when David Campos overrode Newsom's veto (they really, really hate it when that happens) on SFPD policy towards undocumented kids?

Campos held a press conference on the mid landing of the City Hall staircase that leads to the BofS chambers. I stood watching and it turned out that Arthur Evans was standing next to me.

All of a sudden I feel a hand creep up my back, under my jacket and begin to massage my back muscles over my shirt. It turns out that Uncle Arthur was copping a feel. Campos was on TV and Evans knew that I could not do or say anything.

So for old times sake:
True believers buffoonery dogmatic sect, Milk Club, I know progressive sect man example taunts. Humorlessness of the sect dick Carole Migden Gavin Newsom I professional, filth crisis Red Queen Ross Mirkarimi, sudden outbursts Chris Daly foreplay, seething progressive cauldron. Gibberish Anyhoos defecation progressive sect seething cauldron kind white seething progressive dogmatic cauldron some members of the sect local Progressive Steven. Red Queen patriarch of the progressive old guard.

Jones Arthur, white diseased, deranged threaten bringing practical consequences like, people the progressive sect? Professional filth crisis Bay Guardian "Boys character assassination seething cauldron, true believers people anti-intellectual. Tim misogyny kooky true believers misogyny fighting crime think nomadic jamboree handout Progressive Tom Ammiano lone male? Diseased, deranged relieving themselves fighting crime seven-hour revival meeting Quality-Of-Life Court Gavin Newsom male prostitute!

Except Ross Mirkarimi fighting crime narco-nomads, drunks and druggies male prostitute, the progressive sect, Tim progressive seething cauldron white male prostitute. Progressive sect I gay point the gang who couldn't shoot straight Tim dogmatic progressive sect leader tranquilizer years, preach to the choir. Integrity Milk Clubbers batshit though Club" super Haight Ashbury seething progressive dogmatic cauldron, taunted Daly, dominated bringing vile language Campos.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 5:57 am

Hey, Everyone, please come down to Moby Dick's in the Castro this Saturday night for a special Julian Davis Fund-Raiser hosted by San Francisco's own Marc S/marcos. That's right, for a mere $5 donation, you can grope marcos for up to 30 seconds! For a $20 donation, you can follow him into the men's room and hold his wiener while he takes a leak! I know what you're thinking - "But can't I grope marcos for free nearly any time I see him? Why would I pay for the privilege?" Because it's for a progressive cause, that's why! See you there!

** All proceeds (after Marc's bar-tab is paid) to go to either the Julian Davis Campaign or the Julian Davis Defense Fund **

Posted by Arthur's Vengeful Ghost on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 10:45 am

Kay Vasilyeva is a very well-connected well-paid city hall insider. To some how paint her as a fainting, poor, downtrodden, uneducated, young woman, is just silly.

6 years ago she was allegedly groped and she waits until 3 weeks before the election to announce this. puh-leeeeeze. spare us.

Posted by Larry Bergman on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 12:43 am

I hear you, Larry, and allegations remain just allegations and all, except that it's not exactly the way you describe. She didn't rush out and make a federal case of it, but she did tell people about it, for quite some time as I understand it. She was warning progressive leaders not to endorse him, and she only went public when he threatened to sue her. Something tells me that had he told her the next day, "Hey, I'm sorry, I was drunk and totally out of line," this probably wouldn't have gone any further.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 7:15 am

fact that he finds the "not too attractive" Kay worth a fumble with.

Of course, it was Ross's arrogance that sunk him. These powerful men never learn the limits to their power until it is forced upon them, sadly.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 8:03 am

Ross made one mistake. It wasn't a pattern. And the alleged victim never asked for powerful men to intervene on her behalf to protect her. Those men -Ed Lee and George Gascon - undertook this crusade not for her sake, but because of their own arrogance and the belief that they're powerful enough that they can bend the law to advance their own personal ends.

In Julian's case, it does *appear* to be a pattern. That's why I don't hold it against the Guardian and others to withdraw their endorsements over what they believe is a pattern of malfeasance. Like even the troll said, endorsements are subjective. They require no proof of anything, unlike a court of law or an official removal proceeding.

That said, I'm not going so far as to say Julian "should" do this or do that. The only two people who really know what happened six years ago are Kay and Julian. If Julian knows in his heart of hearts that he is being unfairly maligned, and he stays in, and if after all this, somehow voters of D5 still elect him, then nobody has any business removing him for something that he didn't do in office.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 8:44 am

the unlikely event that he wins. If Ross techncially got off because the bruising was done a few days before he took office, then six years is a slam dunk.

I'm not sure I'd agree with your categorization that Ross's arrogance was an isolated incident rather than a pattern - his work colleagues might not agree also, nor Eliana in her original video before she started getting coached.

But then again, if Ross's bruising had happened before the election AND the voters had known about it, Ross would have lost. And that is Julian's problem now.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 8:54 am

It's true that Ross Mirkarimi had a reputation for verbally abusing his staff at city hall before the whole brouhaha with his wife became public knowledge, but I really don't think that Eliana was being coached. She is a person in her own right, and she fought back when the matter was swept out of her control and became a law enforcement issue.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

Ross was convicted for a misdemeanor over his turning the van around. The failure of the mayor's gambit to depose him over the event failed -- or, no matter the outcome of the board vote, *would* *have* *failed* upon being overturned by the courts -- because the charter does not allow removal for conduct not directly related to the official position except in cases of felony crimes involving moral turpitude.

The remainder of your comment is BS too, of course.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 6:57 am

First there was his backslapping summary of the Mirk case. Now he throws Julian under a bus based on a six year old allegation.

Could it be that Tim has a new position? And perhaps knows that SFBG is a dead-end career? My feeling is that he is reaching out to all parties here to build bridges.

Of course, I could be wrong, but my instincts are usually pretty good about these matters . .

Posted by Guest on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

Related articles

  • Sorting out a strange election

    What the Nov. 6 results mean -- and don't mean

  • District surprises

    Big-money efforts could unseat Olague -- but not Mar

  • Is the tax revolt over?