Sorting out a strange election - Page 3

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

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London Breed beat three flawed progressive candidates to win the D5 race.
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY BETH LABERGE

On election night, Olague told us she believed her split with the Mayor's Office really had more to do with CleanPowerSF –- which the board approved with a veto-proof majority over the objections of Lee and the business community –- and with her insisting on new revenue from Prop. E than it did with Mirkarimi, whose ouster she dismissed as "a power play" aimed at weakening progressives.

"They don't want to say it, but it was the whole thing around CleanPowerSF. Do you think PG&E wanted to lose its monopoly?" she said.

Yet Olague said the blame from her loss was also shared by progressives, who were hard on her for supporting Lee, courting his appointment to the D5 seat, and for voting with him on 8 Washington luxury condo project and other high-profile issues. "The left and the right both came at me," she told us. "From the beginning, people were hypercritical of me in ways that might not be completely fair."

Fair or not, Olague's divided loyalties hurt her campaign for the D5 seat, with most prominent progressives only getting behind her at the end of the race after concluding that John Rizzo's lackluster campaign wasn't going anywhere, and that Julian Davis, marred as he was by his mishandling of sexual impropriety accusations, couldn't and shouldn't win.

Olague told us she "can't think of anything I would have done differently." But she later mentioned that she should have raised the threats to renters earlier, worked more closely with other progressive candidates, and relied on grassroots activists more than political consultants connected to the Mayor's Office.

"The left shouldn't deal with consultants, we should use steering committees to drive the agenda," Olague said, noting that her campaign finally found its footing in just the last couple weeks of the race.

Inside sources say Olague's relations with Lee-connected campaign consultant Enrique Pearce soured months before the campaign finally sidelined him in the final weeks, the result of his wasteful spending on ineffective strategies and divided loyalties once a wedge began to develop between Olague and the Mayor's Office.

Progressive endorsements were all over the map in the district: The Harvey Milk Club endorsed Davis then declined to withdraw that endorsement. The Tenants Union wasn't with Olague. The Guardian endorsed Rizzo number one. And none of the leading progressive candidates had a credible ranked-choice voting strategy -- Breed got nearly as many second-place votes from Davis and Rizzo supporters as Olague did.

Meanwhile, Breed had a high-profile falling out with Brown, her one-time political ally, after her profanity-laden criticism of Brown appeared in Fog City Journal and then the San Francisco Chronicle, causing US Sen. Dianne Feinstein to withdraw her endorsement of Breed. That incident and Olague's ties to Lee, Brown, and Pak may have solidified perceptions of Breed's independence among even progressive voters, which the late attacks on her support from landlords weren't ever able to overcome.

Ironically, while Breed and some of her prominent supporters, including African American ministers in the district, weren't happy when Lee bypassed her to appoint Olague, that may have been her key to victory. Latterman noted that while Olague was plagued by having to divide loyalties between Lee and her progressive district and make votes on tough issues like reinstating Mirkarimi –- a vote that could hurt the D5 supervisor in either direction -– Breed was free to run her race and reinforce her independence: "I think Supervisor Breed doesn't win this race; challenger Breed did."

But even if Breed lives up to progressive fears, the balance of power on the Board of Supervisors could be up in the air. District 7 soundly rejected Mike Garcia, the hand-picked successor of the conservative outgoing Sup. Sean Elsbernd.

Comments

Would he have less power if he'd been elected by less, or more if by more? Either you're the Mayor or you're not.

Posted by Hortencia on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

I think by that criteria there will be very few landslides, then.

Posted by Hortencia on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

used is getting 60% or more in the final runoff. the last mayoral election gave Lee just over 60% when all candidates bar Avalos were discarded.

I've seen no evidence that a real runoff would have given a different result - 3 people chose Lee for every 2 that chose Avalos - that massive.

Whether a candidate gets less than 50% of the vote depends on how many are in the field as much as anything.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

it would be if there was some way to filter out your habitual mendacity from this forum. The only positive aspect of it is that your lies are so transparent that it is a good object lesson for how dishonest the "moderates" are.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

other candidates were eliminated had Lee at about 60.2% and Avalos at 39.8%

If you have a cite showing otherwise, please furnish it. But gainsaying me without offering an alternative is weak.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 1:01 pm

for engaging in dimwitted mendacity and the basic fingerprint of your nonsense is no doubt obvious enough to everyone, but:

http://www.sfelections.org/results/20111108/data/mayor.html

And, by the way, owing to the persistent failure of the elections department to fully implement the instant run-off voting system passed by voters, there were a large number of "exhausted" ballots in the race -- over 50,000. These were almost entirely the ballots of voters who voted for more progressive, and mostly less-machine-connected (at least by perception) candidates such as Dennis Herrerra, Jeff Adachi, David Chiu, and Leland Yee and who *did* *not* vote for Lee.

If you factor in all those ballots as you trog types who persistently denigrate IRV do, Lee won less than 50 percent of the vote. He won fewer votes than did Ross Mirkarimi by every measure.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

Fat difference that makes.

Oh, and your theory that the exhausted votes would have changed the outcome is ridiculous. They would have all had to have fallen to Avalos, but there is zero evidence that they would have fallen any way other than how the non-exhausted votes fell out.

The number 3 and 4 candidiates were for Herrera and Chui, and neither ran a particularly progressive campaign. The simple fact is that Lee won any which way and would have won under any system of voting.

IOW, a Landslide.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

And, yes, I *did* demonstrate why according to basic logic that Lee garnered *far* less than "landslide" support even if ingoring the widespread vote fraud.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

The fact that he ended up with a handful less than that does not make Lee's victory any less emphatic, and therefore doesn't alter my premise one iota.

No voting system could have given victory to a candidiate who was as far short of Lee as Avalos was.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

switched their allegiance from Davis to Olague when the demaning revelations about Davis became public?

That was your biggest doozy of last week.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

You might want to go back and look at the Clean Slate for the election. However, you're right that the Guardian ran a couple of pieces that unofficially endorsed Olague.

Posted by Hortencia on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

Olague like a syphilitic rash. They couldn't say enough good thigns about her. If that's not an endorsement, I don't know what is.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

The amount of people who read this blog pales in comparison to people voting off the Guardian slate card. Especially with it being D5, I wouldn't be surprised if Olague being on the slate card would have pushed her over the top.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

A few probably do but then they'd probably vote for the left anyway. I doubt many undecided moderates read the SFBG let alone are that influenced by it.

And of course Olague lost despite being endorsed by the SFBG. While in 2010 the mayor and at least two supe races went against the SFBG slate.

If anything, a SFBG endorsement is a net negative for a candidate.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 19, 2012 @ 6:46 am

You just said Olague lost despite being endorsed by the SFBG. She wasn't endorsed by them. That was actually the point of my comment.

Take anecdotal evidence for what its worth (not much I know), but as a 20-something in this town I have a number of friends who are liberal but don't know anything about local politics. They all vote the Guardian slate for local races because they read the Guardian, basically agree with its editorial views on things, and don't follow local politics.

That being said I don't have any proof. A couple additional things I can think of include how the Guardian slate was able to take the DCCC in both 2008 and 2010 and that Campos was the Guardian's number one endorsement in D9 in 2008 and he ended up winning. Of course districts like 5 and 9 are going to be where more people read the Guardian, and therefore more likely to vote the slate, that's why I thought Olague's omission may have made the difference here. I wouldn't say that about a race in D10 for example.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 19, 2012 @ 9:22 am

when Davis's true nature was exposed and when Olague voted to bail out the hapless Ross. In the last couple of weeks SFBG shilled desparately for Olague, having previously criticized her for being a Lee/Brown puppet. She lost.

If you only know 20-somethings then you may see some influence from a left-wing organ like SFBG. As Churchill said: "if you're not a liberal at 20, you have no heart; if you're not a conservative at 40, you have no brain".

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 19, 2012 @ 9:56 am

Plenty to say, but anytime anyone drops that quote its time to bail.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 19, 2012 @ 11:04 am
Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 19, 2012 @ 11:56 am

Obviously Lee won over Avalos at the last election by "sizable margin" (quoting lilli), Breed won, Mar won and Olague will never win an election ever after voting in a Domestic Violence Abuser.

Avalos, Campos, Kim; will have an uphill battle in future elections when other candidates will only have to bring up the Mirkarimi reinstatement vote of a DV
abuser.

The big losers, the SFBG and the Progressives that support Ross!
Credibility has all but disappeared along with integrity and dignity.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 9:55 am

even while the State and Federal elections moved to the left. It takes a special kind of stupid to lurch right when the rest of the country lurches left, but somehow the SF Progressives managed it.

And that was only partly because Ross, Davis and Olague all self-destructed.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 10:13 am

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