DCCC endorses....


The newly elected progressive block of the local Democratic Party flexed their muscles during tonight's endorsements. It was a full house, with only Rep. Nancy Pelosi's seat empty. She neglected (perhaps purposefully) to send a proxy.

Many of the supervisors' measures passed -- including the Affordable Housing measure and the Clean Energy Act. All of the items put on the ballot by Mayor Gavin Newsom failed, despite a small consistent cabal following his centrist party line. Sen. Dianne Feinstein's proxy cast steady abstentions on many local issues, with notable "no" votes against Affordable Housing, Clean Energy, and decriminalizing prostitution. She did, however, support Newsom's Community Justice Center, which some pointed out had already been funded and should have been taken off the ballot.

All the progressive candidates handily won top seats, with David Campos beating out Eric Quezada in the hot district nine race. Nods went to incumbents Elsbernd and Chu. There was a lot of debate over whether to select second and third choices for ranked choice voting in the district supervisor races. Though there were attempts to get second and third seats filled, there was too much division among candidates and enough progressives stuck with "no endorsement" for those seats to keep solidarity behind the top seeded candidate. After some talk about the need to have at least one woman on the slate, Denise McCarthy, running in district three, was the only candidate to receive the second billing, getting votes from Debra Walker and Michael Goldstein, who stepped outside the progressive contingent that was urging a "no endorsement" vote to keep loyalty lined up behind Chiu.

The Clean Energy Act received a healthy majority of 22, with more choosing to abstain than cast a "no." Tom Hsieh, Joe Julian, Megan Levitan, Mike Tuchow, Dianne Feinstein, and August Longo, voted against it while Laura Spanjian, Scott Wiener, Jackie Speier, Leland Yee, and Fiona Ma, abstained.

The complete rundown, after the jump:

SF General Bond -- YES -- by acclamation
Affordable Housing -- YES -- 25 yes, 6 no, 2 abstain
Create an independent Ratepayer Advocate -- NO -- 19 no, 10 yes, 4 abstain
Raising the number of signatures for a recall election -- YES -- 28 yes, 4 no, 1 abstain
City employees on charters and boards -- NO
City Elections on even numbered years -- YES
Unpaid parental leave -- YES
Clean Energy Act -- YES -- 22 yes, 6 no, 5 abstain
Pier 70 Plan -- YES
Historic Preservation Commission -- YES
Treatment on Demand Act -- YES
Set asides must be funded -- NO
Community Justice Center -- NO -- 10 yes, 15 no, 1 abstain, 7 no endorsement
Transportation Authority -- NO
George W. Bush Sewage Plant -- NO POSITION
Decriminalizing prostitution -- YES -- 18 yes, 12 no, 3 abstain
Emergency Response Fee -- YES
Payroll Tax -- YES
Real Property Transfer Tax -- YES
Tenants rights -- YES
Funding in Iraq -- YES
JROTC -- YES -- 20 yes, 10 no, 3 abstain

District 1 -- ERIC MAR
District 4 -- CARMEN CHU
District 7 -- SEAN ELSBERND
District 9 -- DAVID CAMPOS
District 11 -- JOHN AVALOS

Natalie Berg
Chris Jackson
Milton Marks
Steve Ngo



You are entitled to your own opinion, not to your own facts or to revise your postings after the fact:

"I expected better but when I look at out of control crime, a MUNI that is broken, and rising rents and mortgages and taxes, all the while seeing more middle managers hired, I wonder, what impact did progressives really have on the things that make this city liveable or not for those of us who work for a living."

Who runs the SFPD and negotiated a deal to give cops pay raises without any performance concessions in a way that opened the city to a lawsuit if the Board of Supervisors did not assent?

Who runs MUNI and just did not negotiate concessions from the TWU to make MUNI run more efficiently for San Franciscans?

Who vetoes tenant protections?

Who hires these middle managers and directors of climate change?

Who has essentially infinite funds at his disposal to challenge progressive initiatives?

The system is set up by the controller and mayor's budget office under the strong mayor system to all but freeze supervisors out of any meaningful budgetary decisionmaking aside from add backs.

The fact is that city government is out of balance, the Mayor's office has all the authority and with the assistance of the Chronicle pins all responsibility for the Mayor's failure to administer the departments to deliver city services on the Board of Supervisors.

Can we count on your support in amending the charter to bring balance to city government, or will you just ride that hobby horse and whine that the supervisors cannot be trusted as an equal branch of government? My bet is that you want to walk down both sides of the street on that one.

Progressives can always do better. Progressives could have hammered home Newsom's abdication of his responsibility to deliver city services to substantial political benefit.

The case will be made that the thousands of units of housing proposed for Eastern Neighborhoods will only add burden onto a city bureaucracy and services that are unable to handle their current load, and do so with Prop 13 limits on the rate of increase of property tax, that will all but ensure that the City will never be able to dig itself out of its fiscal hole.

But most progressives actually work for a living to stay in this expensive city and don't have the resources that our opponents in the business community have, and the nonprofit industrial complex that we have rarely rises to the challenge because they are generally government funded and need to play nice with the hand that feeds them.

Downtown corporations get to write off their political expenditures from their taxes as the cost of doing business, no such subsidy for average folks to participate in politics. Not only do we pay tax on our contributions and expenditures, but we have to work to support ourselves and do politics on time we should spend with our families.

For all of that, we've achieved some remarkable victories since 2000, most importantly, a minimum wage indexed to the CPI and health care and sick time for working San Franciscans. The best part is that our mere presence has forced corporate San Francisco to shell out countless tens of millions of dollars to fight us and even so, we tend to win more than half of the time.

How do you reckon that progressives "demanded pay raises" and "more perks?" Gonzalez put a measure on the ballot that normalized supervisorial pay to regional averages and the voters okayed that. Are you trying to second guess the voters now as well as the progressives?

Maybe we should just appoint you dictator and everything will turn out fine?


Posted by marc on Aug. 15, 2008 @ 6:44 am

1) - Can someone clarify JROTC? I've heard two things. Yes means they voted *in support* of JROTC?

2) Can someone roll call the CJC vote? Or could someone please email me if they spreadsheeted the votes?


PS New PVI report coming out shortly! Changes afoot.

Posted by David Latterman on Aug. 14, 2008 @ 9:50 am

Excuses, excuses, Marc. If you want to get rid of JROTC, you're responsible for fixing it. Blaming bureaucrats is bullshit. I realize it may be difficult for you to empathize with parents of young people who'd like to go to a good college, but the fact remains - talking and excuses never solved anything and two people who could have forced the issue a long time ago didn't. And now they want to have the power to vote on the budget? How do I know they won't just fizzle out and put up more excuses (the way progressives love to do).

More to the point - if progressives had been more effective over the past 8 years recruiting new people, you could have had a better board. Instead people lined their own pockets and demanded more perks and pay raises. Not very effective.

And Marc, now you're the liar when you say I said the board hired middle managers. Try reading what I said. I said it simply happened. And progressives were running the board (when they weren't running around pathetically in a circle instead of challenging the Mayor in 2007 and so on). I'm happy to agree or disagree with you, but don't distort my words. I don't do that to you, the least you can do is be honest in your blog comments.

(By the way, I love how Progressive Supervisor McGoldrick got totally hoodwinked by the Mayor over the control of the SFCTA. Once again, ineffective bluster fails. Now we not only can't vote to change the MTA like you want, we're gonna play games with the CTA. Not smart, but again, why I'm tired of these people ruining the city with their inability to work things out).

Posted by greg on Aug. 14, 2008 @ 1:38 pm

The DCCC voted NO on prop V, the JROTC initiative. I think that what is written above is a typo. In fact I know it is. It was 10 YES votes, and 20 NO votes.

On the mayor's poverty courts, the first vote came out 10Y, 15N, 1 abstention, and 7 NE. That meant the DCCC did not take any position, and the item was taken up again at the end of the meeting.

At that point the NO side was able to muster a majority -7Y, 16N, and 4NE, with 3 abstentions that don't count for the total.

There was a bit of grumbling that two of the yes votes had left by the time the second vote was taken, but the NO side would have still had a 16 of 29 majority, primarily because NE's switched to abstentions.

Posted by GregK on Aug. 15, 2008 @ 8:32 pm


two members of the current school board are running for supervisor, and want an upgrade in job and pay based on their record. they had an opportunity several years ago to replace JROTC with something equally as respected, but not military related. They did not do so and now we're left with getting rid of a respected program for youth, but replacing it with nothing but vague promises.

More to the point, progressives have not shown an ability to develop leadership, and bring new people in the process. It's a boy's club, through and through, and for the last 8 years the Class of 2000 has spent its time keeping themselves in power, while shutting out the public as often as possible. How that is any better than the days of Willie appointing every board member he could for a Napoleonic Council is mystifying. I expected better but when I look at out of control crime, a MUNI that is broken, and rising rents and mortgages and taxes, all the while seeing more middle managers hired, I wonder, what impact did progressives really have on the things that make this city liveable or not for those of us who work for a living.

Posted by greg on Aug. 14, 2008 @ 9:22 am

What a bunch of self-serving mysogynists. God forbid Peskin and Daly would let girls into their little boys club.

ERIC MAR?? Jesus, he's endorsed more Greens than Democrats, including Keefer against Pelosi in 2006. He doesn't belong on the DCCC let alone the board of supes.

These people aren't progressive. They're pathetic.

Posted by Jackie on Aug. 14, 2008 @ 7:00 am

Greg, you're smart enough to know that the charter prohibits the supervisors from interfering in the Mayor's exclusive province of administration.

More often than not, when the supervisors put measures on the ballot that would increase the diversity of oversight over departments, the Mayor and his downtown money guys shoot it down, as in the DPW commission. The next time anyone whines about filthy streets, they won't have any effect as the Mayor likes to say "read my press releases and stand in awe, but please, tell it to the hand."

The schools have improved since Ackerman left. They are still in a hole, but under Mark Sanchez' leadership, the SFUSD has turned a corner and is starting to dig itself out of a hole that Democrats like Wade Randlett dug it into.

Under our strong mayor form of government, why do mayoral allies insist in blaming the Board of Supervisors which is relegated to nibbling around the edges? That's assigning responsibility without granting authority.


Posted by marc on Aug. 14, 2008 @ 7:52 am

Chris, in 1996, the charter was reformed to concentrate power in the Mayor's office. That left the Board as a structurally unequal branch of government.

The plastic bag ban is a regulation on industry. The problems Greg mentions, crime, filth, etc., are the failure of the city bureaucracy to respond to a problem. Since the Mayor can usually rustle up 4 votes to protect his prerogatives, the Board is generally constrained in its range of practical options and the Mayor runs the city agencies. Remember how foot patrols was like pulling teeth?

I agree that David Chiu is disappointing and I am not supporting him.

Greg, a committee was set up of stakeholders by the previous SFUSD Board majority under Ackerman to study how to dispose of JROTC. Predictably, it rarely met and did not produce any actionable proposals. The recent action transpired only after that committee failed to deliver and only after giving its members the respect, apparently undeserved, that they were entitled to to do their work.

The progressives on the SFUSD Board were not the problem. Wade Randlett, Warren Hellman, Arlene Ackerman and that crowd were the problem. They're gone and the SFUSD is beginning to pull itself up.

The Charter gives the Mayor power over MUNI. Progressives tried to change that in 2005, but Newsom and his money men paid hundreds of thousand to stop that. The Board of Supervisors has tried to address housing costs and been challenged by Newsom at every turn. It is amazing that they've accomplished what they have.

Greg, you are just lying now when you make the case that the Board of Supervisors hired middle managers when you know they can't, Newsom did. The other alternative is to elect Newsom clones who won't ever challenge their patron on anything.

Could you imagine Barbara Kaufman having appointed Christina Olague to Planning?

I've got problems with many supervisors but that is largely a function of the overwhelming work load with too little staff to even begin to address it. If the Board of Supervisors was increased in size so that San Franciscans were represented at a ratio similar to other city/counties and if supervisorial staffs were augmented to best practices, then we might see a more relevant Board of Supervisors as relates to supervising the departments.


Posted by marc on Aug. 14, 2008 @ 10:23 am

It was truly hilarious to listen to Chris Daly's tortured arguments against IRV style endorsements when he was one of the people promoting IRV.

Even funnier was to listen to him talk about "bullet voting" - which is IMPOSSIBLE under IRV - and repeating the big lie that this "saves money."

In fact no money is going to be saved with IRV. Those voting machines are illegal and we're gonna have to count ballots by hand.

You also failed to mention Chris's mocking of the 16 year old that cried at the hearing.

Funny how that and the overall heavy handed, top-down, mocking of the people who showed up attitude of "progressives" made for a rather pathetic DCCC meeting. Whatever moral high ground "progressives" once had is gone - the politics of thuggery and the like have taken over. It's too bad despite all the bickering and brawling progressives just don't perform when it comes to MUNI, crime, schools, or anything that actually matters.

They had 8 years to show us they could handle the job - and given how things are declining, it's clear they fumbled the ball.

Posted by greg on Aug. 14, 2008 @ 1:25 am

@marc Are you saying either the board is impotent or they are fooling themselves into believeing they can make a difference?

I donot believe this as they can be a force for good as we have seen with initatives like the Plastic Bag ban. The mayor shares his responsiblity but the article is regarding present and potential Board members, and I believe the past 8 years have been a dissapointemnt, the present board should take it share of responsibilty, not hide behind "It's the mayor's fault". We need change and David Chu represents to me more of the same divisive politics (the new DCCC is a product of this type of politics).

As for the schools, there have been a couple of recent studies that state next to housing costs, schools are the reason families are leaving the city. After this and the JROTC mess, Eric Mar and Marc Sanchez still have the audacity to run for public office.

Posted by Chris P on Aug. 14, 2008 @ 8:34 am

I think Greg has summed it up, after 8+ years it has all been very dissapointing. I think David Chu will be more of the same.
Along with that the schools have a terrible reputation and the removal of JROTC has been awfully handled no matter what your views on the issue, so Eric Mar has no business staying in Politics.
I would really like to see Change this election cycle lets look else where for a truely progressive San Francisco.

Posted by Chris P on Aug. 14, 2008 @ 6:21 am