Endorsements 2010: San Francisco candidates




Frankly, we were a little surprised by the Janet Reilly who came in to give us her pitch as a District 2 supervisorial candidate. The last time we met with her, she was a strong progressive running for state Assembly as an advocate of single-payer health care. She was challenging Fiona Ma from the left, and easily won our endorsement.

Now she's become a fiscal conservative — somewhat more in synch with her district, perhaps, but not an encouraging sign. Reilly seems to realize that there's a $500 million budget deficit looming, but she won't support any of the tax measures on the ballot. She's against the hotel tax. She's against the real estate transfer tax on high-end properties. She's against the local car tax. She opposed Sup. David Chiu's business tax plan that would have shifted the burden from small to larger businesses (even though it was clear from our interview that she didn't understand it).

She talked about merging some of the nonprofits that get city money, about consolidating departments, and better management — solutions that might stem a tiny fraction of the red ink. But she wouldn't even admit that the limited tax burden on the very rich was part of San Francisco's budget problem.

Her main proposal for creating jobs is more tax credits for biotech, life sciences, and digital media and more public-private partnerships.

It's too bad, because Reilly's smart, and she's far, far better than Mark Farrell, the candidate that the current incumbent, Michela Alioto-Pier, is backing. We wish she'd be realistic about the fiscal nightmare she would inherit as a supervisor.

On the positive side, she's a strong supporter of public power and she has good connections to the progressive community. Unlike Alioto-Pier, she'd be accessible, open-minded, and willing to work with the progressive majority on the board. That would be a dramatic change, so we'll give her the nod.

We were also impressed with Abraham Simmons, a federal prosecutor who has spent time researching city finance on the Civil Grand Jury. But he supports sit-lie, Prop. B and Prop. S, and opposes most new tax proposals and needs more political seasoning.




We've always wanted to like Carmen Chu. She's friendly, personable, intelligent, and well-spoken. But on the issues, she's just awful. Indeed, we can't think of a single significant vote on which she's been anything but a call-up loyalist for Mayor Newsom. She even opposed the public power measure, Prop. H, that had the support of just about everyone in town except hardcore PG&E allies.

She's running unopposed, and will be reelected. But we can't endorse her.






CORRECTION: In our original version of this endorsement, we said that Jim Meko supports the sit-lie ordinance. That was an error, and it's corrected below.

A year ago, this race was artist and activist Debra Walker's to lose. Most of the progressive community was united behind her candidacy; she'd been working on district issues for a couple of decades, fighting the loft developers during the dot-com boom years and serving on the Building Inspection Commission. Then School Board member Jane Kim decided to enter the race, leaving the left divided, splitting resources that might have gone to other critical district races — and potentially helping to put the most pro-business downtown candidate, Theresa Sparks, in a better position to win.

Now we've got something of a mess — a fragmented and sometimes needlessly divisive progressive base in a district that's key to holding progressive control of the board.


book 'em, dano

Posted by stopyourwhiningnow on Oct. 21, 2010 @ 11:39 am

"Maufas said she thought she could use the card as long as she reimbursed the district for her own expenses; the rules are now clear and she's had no problems since."

From the Chronicle


-- $766 for 21 taxi rides taken by board member Kim-Shree Maufas during a 2008 conference in Orlando. About $500 of that was submitted for reimbursement last year, 15 months after the conference - even though the district's policy is that such expenses should be submitted within 15 days. She said the hotel she selected, which cost $12 less per day than those used by other board members, was farther from the conference..

-- $622 for a rental car for Maufas during a five-day conference in 2009 near Allentown, Pa.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 25, 2010 @ 7:12 am

with your school board picks! Kim-Shree Maufas?!?! Really?!?!? Do you guys pay attention to the school board? Why don't you have Emily Murase on your list?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2010 @ 9:55 am

Related articles


    Our voting guide to take to the polls for the June 3 election

  • Listen to the Guardian's endorsement interviews

  • Guardian endorsements for June 5 election

    Sure, the primaries are a joke -- but your vote still matters. Our take on the trash wars, the DCCC race, and more local elections

  • Also from this author

  • Arguments against minimum wage increase are out of touch

  • Housing ballot measures would weaken city policy

    With market-rate housing construction booming, Kim abandons effort to balance it with more affordability 

  • Appealing to San Francisco values