October 31, 2011 § 3 Comments
A week ago I posted a lengthy opinion-filled post about the candidates running for Mayor of San Francisco, mentioning all of the candidates on the ballot (plus one NOT on the ballot) and commenting on most of them.
Since then, a few things have changed.
In that post I said “I wouldn’t know Ascarrunz, Currier, Lawrence or Pang if I woke up next to them.” That is no loner true. I sat behind Emil Lawrence at an Urban League debate last week and now there is NO DOUBT in my mind that if I woke up next to him one morning I would absolutely know it. No doubt whatsoever.
Also – my selection of #1 candidate for the ballot – Mat Honan – isn’t eligible to be a write-in candidate after all. His campaign lasted exactly 7 days. I was caught up in the excitement of a candidate untethered to political machination and scheming and posturing and thrilled by the prospect of this young, intelligent, man pushing his way into a crowded elevator and farting really loud.
But the rules of engagement got in the way and he was TWO SIGNATURES shy of eligibility for the ballot.
Honan wrote a brief summary of his experience that week and explained his motivation to run that is required reading to anyone living in San Francisco that is frustrated by stagnant political constipation.
In the post, Honan says “There’s a reason #votemat exploded on Twitter: Nobody’s happy with our choices for Mayor. I tend to think that’s because all of the candidates have been playing it too safe, hoping to slide in thanks to the uncertainties of ranked choice voting. And it means the race is Ed Lee’s to lose.”
That is the disappointing truth.
Following my endorsement post I caught some shit (from a small percentage of the handful of people that read the damn thing) for abusing ranked choice voting by selecting as my #1 choice a “joke” candidate and as my #2 choice a “fringe” candidate (Terry Joan Baum) while my #3 choice was more or less ignored (John Avalos).
To be clear: I want and hope and believe that John Avalos can be the next Mayor of San Francisco. He has been my choice since he entered the race.
During the debate season I met and listened to and was inspired by and grew to admire Terry Joan Baum. She is not a fringe candidate. She is not a joke. She is not an invalid choice. Our democracy needs candidates like Ms. Baum (and Tony Hal) because representatives from the two asshole parties that hog the spotlight have fucked everything up in the city, state and country.
If we keep playing the same game by the same rules with the same asshole candidates that wear a different toupee or pantsuit every four years, the same bullshit avalanche will continue to bury us. I will never apologize for my support of a candidate that has the freedom to address elephants in the room ignored by the representatives of the two parties that brought the elephant to us – one sent out the invitation while the other holds the door open for it to enter.
Now that Mat is out – who is my new addition? What is my new ranking?
I want my vote for Terry Joan Baum to be counted. I realize and anticipate that at some point she will be eliminated from contention because she hasn’t sucked up and spent cash like a drunken sailor at Willie Brown’s “Pay to Play” lounge.
She gets #1.
John Avalos is #2. He is climbing in the polls because he has made great decisions lately and is a viable candidate that is supported overwhelmingly by many progressive organizations in this unabashedly progressive (which apparently can be defined any way you want) town.
He can win, he must win and he deserves to win.
His ranking at #2 means – based on the polling information I’ve seen – that this where my ballot will end. He is not likely to be eliminated in round after round of vote counting as candidates with lesser success are dropped and their votes are redistributed. My placement of him as #2 is a strategic as well as supportive decision. I want Ms. Baum to collect votes and I want Mr. Avalos to continue to collect votes as the eliminations of candidates progress.
Shall I choose a number #3 anyway, just for shits and grins?
Well, I’ve been lobbied (more than anyone else) to put Dennis Herrera on my list. I was offered a pair of Joanna Rees shoes to add her name. Leland Yee mentioned that he hopes to earn my support. I don’t think Bevan Dufty cares what I do. I’d ask my mom what she thinks, but she’s dead.
I asked Matt Gonzalez to run three months ago when I saw him on the bus and he looked like he was going to start to cry (thus cementing my effect on men…it’s shocking I ever landed a boyfriend let alone managed to get married a few times).
Listen – if you want Dennis Herrera to win – write him in as #3. If you want me to get a pair of Joanna Rees’ shoes (which is swaying me, I have to admit) – give her #3. Leland Yee seems awfully nice – and the ED LEE biography his campaign just released is brilliant (but I still don’t understand why he is so mad at sharks) so put him down as #3.
Put my mother down as #3. Her votes won’t be counted because she didn’t obey the rules but she’s dead anyway so you have nothing to lose.
Bottom line: Do what you want with #3 just make sure you put down any name other than Ed Lee. We’ve had four terms of Willie Brown in San Francisco City Hall. It’s time to try something new.
October 24, 2011 § 14 Comments
Over the past few months many neighborhoods in San Francisco have hosted forums for candidates in competition for the office of mayor. After attending my first forum at the Castro Theater on August 8, I was hooked.
That was a rowdy night.
Interim Mayor Ed Lee had just announced his intention to run for office two days prior to the Castro forum. Consequently that was his first public appearance as a candidate and the audience heckled him mercilessly. It was thrilling.
Green Party candidate Terry Joan Baum staged a sit-in in my heart that night when she demanded inclusion at the crowded debate. Baum announced that the only way she would leave the stage was by being arrested. Eventually she was accommodated and has been an active participant throughout the campaign.
During closing remarks that night Supervisor John Avalos read aloud one of the Tweets I sent and I haven’t been able to lose my erection ever since. Every now and then I pass out because of the priapism but witnessing his evolution as a candidate has been worth every unconscious moment.
Since the glory days in August the campaign has grown increasingly bullshitty. Some candidates make irregular appearances at best (Mayor Lee, Alioto-Pier and Ting) while others simply won’t stay away (Chiu and Dufty). There are candidates that always sound extremely MAYORAL (Herrera) and others that are consistently irascible (Hall).
Tony Hall may be the object of smart-ass comments in my SFMayor tweets, but every forum he attends is much more interesting because of his participation. Hall does not appear to censor himself and his contributions do not fail to entertain. He isn’t kissing ANY ass.
Unlike Hall, other candidates are either overly cautious or they blatantly pander to the crowd in attendance.
Dufty is possibly the worst offender. He’s gay, Jewish, a single father, left handed, has a Black Agenda, he’s gassy, and is comprised of a quarter moisturizing cream. You name it – he’s got the demographic covered. If he was addressing the cyclops community, he’d draw an eye on his forehead. Shameless.
In addition to the candidates working overtime to relate to the audience of the night, there has been an excessive emphasis on civility.
After the rowdy night at the Castro, prudish worry warts were concerned that the campaign would take on a negative tone and that would be too reminiscent of the relationship between the previous administration and the Board of Supervisors. San Francisco supposedly needs leaders who get along and jerk each other off and play nicey-nicey…or at least make it look like they do.
The last thing we need is a false sense of civility about what looks like the impending 5th term of Willie Brown.
That is what will happen if Ed Lee wins the election as is predicted. Willie Brown’s crooked crony campaign paired with Rose Pak’s strong-arm Chinatown politics have possibly guaranteed Ed Lee’s ascension to mayor.
Haven’t we been pursuing this direction for long enough to know that the beneficiaries of the Willie Brown Machine should not be confused with the majority of SF citizens? If the flight of families and African-Americans from the city is a major concern (as I heard repeatedly at the forums) then why would we elect ANOTHER politician from the same class that helps pull the plug on working class families?
Willie Brown elevated his heir Gavin Newsom who then elevated his heir Ed Lee. San Francisco has been subjected to a sixteen year experiment in blow jobs for big business. Don’t we already know what to expect from four (or possibly eight) more years of the same bullshit?
Also – why is it an automatic certainty that Lee would have resounding support from Asian communities in SF? Another large segment of the San Francisco population – LGBT citizens – have yet to elect a queer mayor and it’s not because there aren’t enough gay politicians in town.
Homos seem a bit more cynical when it comes to elections. It’s not good enough to give a fag the sash to wear just to prove the political power they possess. Instead of seizing an opportunity to ram an LGBT person into elected office, the gayz are a bit more circumspect about who they support.
Hopefully identity politics are not the motivating factor behind Ed Lee’s popularity, but I don’t know how else to explain his renown considering that he has never run for office before. Ask yourself this: Would Ed Lee have run for Mayor this year if Newsom didn’t install him in the first place?
While you mull that over, let’s engage in a quick process of elimination of the fourteen candidates that do not comprise my top three choices.
Michela Alioto-Pier and Phi Ting seem like nice people but I really haven’t seen them very much at the forums, so forget about them.
Tony Hall is a damn good time, but not my cup of tea. Joanna Rees has been a consistent campaigner and hard worker – and has been very supportive of my SFMayor tweeting – but I am wary of giving power and deference to business as she proposes.
Jeff Adachi has been shunned by the local Democrats because they are afraid of the Police/Fire unions that hate hate hate Adachi for his pension reform measure. That’s pathetic, quite frankly, yet the battle over the pension measures adds more mustiness to the bullshit aroma of this election. Too many civil servants make too much fucking money and will be vastly more wealthy than most people I know. At the same time, Adachi has some rich motherfuckers backing his proposition and that makes my skin crawl. Consequently he’s out.
I wouldn’t know Ascarrunz, Currier, Lawrence or Pang if I woke up next to them.
Herrera sounds like a mayor. He knows his shit. He looks the part. He’s got the tough attorney style. It’s all just TOO perfect, you know? I wouldn’t be surprised if he managed to beat Lee, but I’m feeling a bit too jaded to jump on his bandwagon.
As a protest to the rank diarrhea of San Francisco politics I’m choosing a write-in candidate for my number one position. If I had my druthers, Mat Honan would win and make every Democrat in town tear at their hole in panic. The campaign to write-in Mat began late last week and was covered by a few different outlets. At least one website has been set up for the candidate. You decide – either mayormat.com or votemat.tumbler.com
Mat is totally cute and he confirmed with me via Twitter that he’s pro-hole. I’m not exactly sure what that means but it makes so much more sense than most of what I have heard in the past couple months that I am willing to rank him as my #1 choice.
Since I am aware that as a write-in candidate Mr. Honan is not a likely winner, I know my second choice is going to be important. For number two I choose Green Party candidate Terry Joan Baum.
Ms. Baum has lead a determined campaign based on her observations of what is wrong with our political system locally, statewide and nationally. She may have a utopian vision for the future, but she is a passionate, intelligent woman that has voiced real concerns about the growing influence of right wing extremist ideology and she should not be discounted. I’d be proud to have her as Mayor of San Francisco.
Ms. Baum also faces a high hurdle of electability in this one-horse Democratic Party town. That’s why I choose John Avalos as my number three candidate. Of all the Democrats on the ballot this year, he is the ONE candidate that I have no reluctance to endorse.
Avalos is a progressive candidate that doesn’t have a long murky background of shady dealings and complicated alliances nor does he reek of Tea Party-lite policy schemes of giving tax breaks to corporate interests in anticipation that they will show mercy on the rest of us.
He does not rail on about the unfortunate burden of regulation upon small business. Avalos speaks of his community ties and his family and his love for San Francisco in a way that is not grandstanding or mawkish or transparent.
Sometimes I want to pull him aside and tell him to drop out of the race because he’s too good for the filthy politics and I’d hate for him to be ruined by it all. But then I’d be tempted to kiss him and I’m not sure he’d be into that so I have had to exercise restraint.
Plus my husband might get mad at me.
Ross Mirkarimi is my singular choice for Sheriff. The other two candidates are total cops and cops have enough power in this town.
The election of District Attorney is a bit more complicated. David Onek is my #1 pick. I’m not convinced I want to select a 2nd place candidate but I’m thinking about putting Fazio in #2 just to keep Gascon from winning. Again – Gascon is a cop and we don’t need anymore cops.