Nevius makes the case for a progressive DCCC

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Nevius and his allies want San Francisco to be more like his hometown of Walnut Creek.

Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius made an excellent argument for supporting the Guardian’s slate of progressive candidates for the Democratic County Central Committee in Saturday’s paper, even though he was trying to do just the opposite. But I suppose that perspective is everything.

Our perspective at the Guardian is one of great pride in San Francisco and its left-of-center values. Nevius looks at San Francisco from his home in Walnut Creek and sees a scary place where people question authority figures and don’t simply trust developers, big corporations, and the Chamber of Commerce to act in the public interest.

“The next two months will see a battle for the political soul of the city. It will pit the progressives against the moderates in a face-off that will have huge implications in the November elections and, perhaps, the election of the next mayor. The key is control of an obscure but incredibly influential organization called the Democratic County Central Committee,” Nevius writes, and he’s right about that.

But he’s wrong when he assumes most San Franciscans agree with him and others who want to make the city more like the sterile suburbs that they prefer. Nevius values “safe streets,” which is his code for giving police more power through the proposed sit-lie ordinance and other unpopular crackdowns, despite the fact that he sat in the back row and watched the DCCC voted overwhelmingly against sit-lie after nobody presented a credible case for it.

Nevius is so utterly blind to the fact that most San Franciscans want adequate mitigation and community benefits from development projects that he recently ranted and raved about the defeat of the 555 Washington project, even though it was unanimously rejected by the Board of Supervisors for inadequately addressing these requirements.

The “moderate values” that Nevius champions are actually quite extreme: give downtown and developers everything they want, never question the behavior of cops or the Fire Department’s budget, keep cutting taxes until city government becomes incapable of providing services or regulating the private sector, ignore the cultural value of nightclubs and artists, and deport all the undocumented immigrants.

This is the Democratic Party that Nevius and his allies like Sup. Michela Alioto-Pier and supervisorial candidate Scott Wiener (a conservative attorney who would be the best friend that the suburban cowboy cops could ever have on the board) want to promote, and it looks more like the Republican Party than a political party with San Francisco values.

But they aren’t honest about that intention, instead trying to fool people into believing that progressives are the extremists. "But when Mrs. Jones receives her Democratic voter guide in the mail…she's thinking of the party of Barack Obama, not the party of Aaron Peskin and (Supervisor) Chris Daly,” Wiener said.

But in the Democratic presidential primary election, it was Daly and Peskin who were the strongest early supporters of Barack Obama, while Wiener backed John Edwards and Alioto-Pier, Mayor Gavin Newsom, and the rest of the “moderate” party stalwarts supported Hillary Clinton. That’s not a huge deal, but it’s a sign of how the so-called moderates are willing to distort political reality.

So Nevius is right. This is an important election and it is about the soul of the city. Do you support scared suburban twits who disingenuously try to hide behind the “moderate” label in order to seem more reasonable, or do you support progressive candidates who have integrity and won’t moderate their values in order to appease the cops or the capitalists?

If it’s the latter, support the Guardian’s slate (which is substantially similar to the slates approved by the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, the San Francisco Tenants Union, the Sierra Club’s SF Bay Chapter, and other progressive groups).

And if you want that slate to have some money to mail out a Guardian slate card, come to a fundraiser this Thursday evening at CELLspace, 2050 Bryant, featuring the candidates and some great exemplars of the culture they support, including amazing singer/songwriter Valerie Orth, the zany dance troupe Fou Fou Ha, and DJs Smoove and Kramer, who regularly rock the best clubs and community-based parties in town.

And by “town,” I mean San Francisco, not Walnut Creek.    

Comments

Remember, a majority of Democrats voted for Gonzalez over Newsom in 2003.

Posted by Dave on Apr. 26, 2010 @ 1:00 pm

Trust the Guardian to lead this city in the right direction. Boycott Arizona, Walnut Creek and all people everywhere who disagree. Dude, who's up for a protest?! Let's occupy a vacant house!

Posted by Guest on Apr. 26, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

Why the fuck didn't you endorse Hope Johnson? I have my suspicions but I'm willing to withhold judgment ... for now.

Posted by Matt Stewart on Apr. 26, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

In addition to the Guardian and others, the slate that Nevius fears was also endorsed by the teachers and paras of the United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) and the Richmond District Democratic Club.

Posted by Guest Dennis Kelly on Apr. 26, 2010 @ 3:54 pm
Posted by Guest on Apr. 26, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

While Nevius just writes a column Chris Daly is making policy while residing outside of the city he claims to represent.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Apr. 26, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

Sigh. While I could not agree more with the general point of this post -- i.e., we need a progressive majority on the DCCC (or else we likely will lose the progressive majority on the board in November), I do wish Steve could develop a more mature (which translates into more persuasive) tone. Sound arguments are best made when the speaker presents the facts in a non-condescending manner, rather than relying on empty (and shrill) rhetoric and hurling insults. Referring to people who live in the suburbs in general as "twits" only makes Steve, the Bay Guardian, and I fear the rest of us who vote the Guardian slate, look petty and mean. And that doesn't help our cause at all.

Look, the race for DCCC isn't really about the `burbs v. the city, though yes, Nevius resides in the former. We need to keep Peskin in as DCCC chair, because that is our best hope for making sure that non-rich renters still have a say in City Hall.

I think it would have been better to lay off the, "We're cool, and you're not nanny-nanny-boo-boo" tone, and take the time to alert readers to the signficant amount of money from real estate, corporate, downtown, financial and development interests that's going into the DCCC races -- in order to more poignantly characterize the real threat that Nevius' column represents.

Consider just the following:
Mike Sullivan, who founded "Plan C," which was supposed to be about some sort of middle ground between corporate interests and those of SF lefties but really is about pushing the SF Realtors' agenda, has raised a whopping $28,500 -- largely from contributors associated with downtown law firms as well as corporate and real estate interests, including a big, fat $1,500 check from BOMA. He's running for the 12th A.D., and no doubt he'll keep reeling it in. But just looking at what he's gotten so far tells us he can get quite a few mailers out -- maybe enough to knock off a progressive incumbent.

It's really the 12th A.D. where our concerns should lie. For Peskin to remain chair, we probably need to win at least seven of the 11 seats. And unfortunately, it's in this district where the Bay Guardian/tenants union endorsement doesn't carry nearly as much weight. We've got to hope that ALL of our incumbents hang on, and also that Supervisor Avalos' name i.d. is high enough with voters to assure him a spot. But even then, it will be a close call.

While we should be glad that Supervisors Carmen Chiu and Sean Elsbernd's names didn't turn up on the ballot for the DCCC/12th A.D., again, we are by no means out of the woods. For his part, Elsbernd doesn't need to run. His aide, Alex Volberding, is doing it instead. Volberding has raised $11,900 so far.

Also, the firefighters PAC (likely not friendly to Peskin) have put $10,000 behind 12th A.D. candidate (and former DCCC member)-- Dan Dunnigan.

Meanwhile, we can't afford to lose any ground in the 13th A.D. We already know that Scott Wiener, armed with nearly $60k from the same sort of downtown law firm, corporate, real estate and financial industry types that are backing Sullivan, will be re-elected. And probably Leslie Katz will be as well, due to a high level of name recognition. That leaves us having to hope that the $10 k that the firefighters have put behind newcomer Keith Baraka -- (combined with any as-yet unreported funds) doesn't knock off one of our incumbents.

B/C if that happens, and Peskin loses the chairmanship, it will be our Waterloo and truly the end of an era of progressive reform in SF.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 26, 2010 @ 6:25 pm

Seems to me the point of the "suburb" barb is that if Nevius prefers Walnut Creek, he should be writing about that lovely burg, and not telling us San Franciscans who we should be ruled by.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 27, 2010 @ 11:09 pm

It's bad enough that people are destroying our planet by living in suburbs. That lifestyle requires a massive amount of driving, and only exists by destroying natural land to build disgusting sprawl. But when a suburban jerk like Nevius tries to force his zombie suburban lifestyle on us, people like Steve Jones not only have every right to attack him, but that attack is welcome and needed. While I agree that we always need to be strategic, what Steve said needed to be said and I'm glad he said it. As to strategy, I have no opinion one way or the other on how he said it. But saying it was far better than not saying it, regardless of the tone. The evils of suburban living -- not only the environmental harms, but the brain-dead, spirit & soul killing lifestyle -- is a huge issue that badly needs to be raised, and there are very few of us who ever do so.

Posted by Jeff Hoffman on May. 02, 2010 @ 9:13 am

When Chris Daly drives off in his Uhaul for Fairfield.

Posted by glen matlock on May. 02, 2010 @ 11:22 am

On June 8th San Francisco will elect our County Democratic Party Central Committee. What is at stake? District Elections in either 2011 but more probably 2012. The SFBG likes to keep the terminology as Downtown v our Neighborhoods, but in reality the words are CFR-Democrats v New Democrats.

So what does the CFR have to do with local politics? Everything. Prop 16 is Willy Brown's client's "PG&E Constitutional Initiative" to set aside a permanent Constitutional Carve-out for a Private Corporation. Companies like ATT and PG&E need licenses from our CPUC to operate. Our CPUC licenses are certificates of "Public Conveyance". The Officers and Boards of these Public/Monopolies are members of the corporate focused Bay Area Council, a local outpost of the larger CFR New York based organization. CFR-Democrats, along with their counterparts the CFR-Republicans favor Corporate Power, Corporate finance of elections, and the Privatization of the Public Trusts. Public Utilities are Private Corporation who seek ownership and control of our Public Trusts. In reality, we have many CFR-Democrats in our Democratic Party. These politicians have done grave damage our Democratic Party, as the CFR does not stand for Democratic Principles or Values. We can all visualize a suction cup on one arm of the Octopus known as the CFR. Now let's label that suction cup "San Francisco". The other suction cups we would label with other City and County Names, and the arms of the larger body we can think of as Industry Sectors, Education, Health Insurance and so forth. At the head is Financial Services - or the Global Banks so well known for their multi-trillion dollar bail outs. The CFR-Democrats locally show up in the DCCC race as proxy candidates. We would all be better off to recognize this and vote for the New Democrats accordingly. Willy Brown speaks for PG&E. Meg Whitman supports the Brown/PG&E Prop 16 that prohibits local competition to the Private Monopoly. Who stands with Brown and Whitman? The Bay Area Council does. So when the Sierra Club says Prop 16 is solely supported by PG&E that is not totally correct. Who supports the Bay Area Council locally? Newsom is not the only CFR-Democrat in that boat. Where is the investigative journalism? Good question.

The Bay Area Council backed Repair California in their corporate call for a Constitutional Convention. So does Gavin Newsom. So does Meg Whitman. So does the Courage Campaign. Odd. What does this have to do with San Francisco and our June 8th race for local independence of our County Democratic Central Committee? Everything. State Power Politics is headed for a worse log jam than what we have endured with Arnold v our State Legislature. Local control of our DCCC will mean local solutions to local problems, that are not New York based World Banking Solutions to democracy.

As a Candidate for DCCC in AD13 I have learned much. Aaron Peskin is a good guy. I like graduates of Berkeley High. I graduated from Palo Alto High School and CAL. But I don't go out to dinner with Willy Brown as often as Aaron does. Is Aaron that independent. Why does San Francisco have a Sequoia Voting System and not an Open Source Voting System? Why are four of Willy Browns proxies endorsed by the SFBG for AD12 and another four also endorsed for AD13?

I want to speak up for the New Democrats. There are a few I will name now, who are not CFR-Democrats, and they are not Candidates for Supervisor as well. In AD12: Avalos (is already a Supervisor), Fewer, Gembinski, Mak, Wong, and Yee. In AD13: Campos (is already a Supervisor), Currier, Johnson, Smith, and Taylor. We need to support the New Democrats who care about the two things the DCCC is supposed to focus on: (1) Identifying and Recruiting the best New Democrats for Appointed and Elected Offices and (2) Party Building. The DCCC is not supposed to be a second Board of Supervisors. The DCCC is about the California Democratic Party, Locally and Statewide.

I challenge the Old Guard of the CDP and the San Francisco DP to step aside and make room for new blood. There is alot that the four great old leaders could and can do in the ranks, as you have had your turns. In AD12: Borenstein, Kelley, Marks, Morrison, and Nutter have better things to do than take up space where we need to make room for new party activists. In AD13: Maufas, Migden, Peskin, and Rosenthal all have better things to do in politics than to block the room, which would be better occupied by new blood.

The San Francisco DCCC should be about Local Issues: A New Comprehensive Light Rail Muni Expansion Plan to deliver Underground Service to the whole Geary Corridor, and a New Line of Service from Chinatown thru to the Marnia, Presidio, Richmond, Sunset, SF State, connecting to Daily City Bart for SFO access for 3/4 of San Francisco. We need to KEEP District Elections and local control of our Board of Supervisors. We need some new Plan for Housing Cooperatives to allow Tenants to Privatize the SF Housing Authority, many of the SRO's and Larger Apartment Developments. But to achieve any of these dreams, the DCCC will have to deliver a plan to rebuild a New Organized Democratic Party. If Whitman is elected and Obama continues bailing out Banks, We will have a Republican Governor and Republican President in no time, regardless of whether we like it or not. I predict the New DCCC is going to have to re-build a New Democratic Party to clean up the mess that will be in our hands in November Locally, and in 2012 Nationally. Since it is the CFR-Democrats who are leading us into these two train wrecks (November 2010 and 2012), San Francisco needs to deliver leadership to America and invest their votes and confidence in New Democrats, who all share one key Democratic Value: We Do Not Compromise Integrity. That is a good place to start.

Posted by Paul Currier, Candidate for DCCC AD13 on Apr. 26, 2010 @ 9:20 pm

Peskin won last time by only one vote. Should the scales tip ever-so-slightly, we're in real trouble.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 26, 2010 @ 10:58 pm

It's a bit frothy.

Posted by generic on Apr. 26, 2010 @ 11:19 pm

Why doesn't this regressive Nevius find a job in Walnut Creek? Has he never heard of the concept of "working close to where you live?" I don't read the drivel that Nevius writes on SFHate. I used to read it from time-to-time but learned not to read his stuff for my own emotional well-being. He reminds me of a paid internet troll. He despises San Francisco and writes "bait" articles for the Nazis that saturate that hate-filled backwater cesspool forum they have at SFHate. If Nevius would only have the intelligence to find a job closer to or in Walnut Creek he wouldn't have to come into a City that he clearly dislikes, hates, can't stand at all. Ever. But he doesn't seem to have the intelligence to do that...or no one wants him or will hire him.

Why does he concern himself with a City where he doesn't even live? Why does he concern himself with sit-lie, for example, when this pathetic guy doesn't even live here?

Posted by Sam on Apr. 27, 2010 @ 3:17 am

Sam, get help and soon

Posted by Guest on Apr. 27, 2010 @ 6:25 am

The commenters who accused me of being a bit strident and "frothy" may have point, but I was just pushing back with equal force against that suburbanite who tries to write with such authority about our city and its politics. Honestly, that guy is starting to irritate me even more than his doppelganger Ken Garcia, who is safely out on the fringes of SF political discourse these days.

To answer Matt, we at the Guardian like Hope Johnson, but there was a strong progressive field in D12 and it was tough to narrow it down to a dozen solid candidates. She's new to politics and if she can demonstrate some strong campaigning and fundraising abilities now (which we haven't seen yet), I'm sure we'll be happy to endorse her in the fall for her City College race.

Posted by steven on Apr. 27, 2010 @ 9:33 am

I agree. Steven's reactive bitchathons are nauseating and they get me kind of crabby.

Posted by Matt Stewart on Apr. 27, 2010 @ 10:03 am

And Eric Quezada's decades of racked up electoral losses have qualified him for endorsement how exactly?

The Guardian needed to have looked into Quezada's homophobic antics at Dolores Street Services' Robert Cohen HIV housing before endorsing Quezada for anything.

If a white gay man were running a Latino social services agency, Quezada would be leading the charge.

But when a Latino male runs a nonprofit that inherited HIV services and who has refused to answer the charges his staff's abuse of disabled HIV residential clients before the HIV Planning and Prevention Council when the council asked for his side of the story, all progressives are shh ssh?

Posted by so sad on Apr. 27, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

Steve, when you're working in the trenches, in the throes 24/7, it is difficult not to let the likes of Nevius get to you. But the thing to do is take a deep breath, and try not to stoop to his/their level. If you can do that, it will make you stronger and give you a more authoritative voice. That would be a gift to the SFBG and the cause.
It does require some real self-discipline.

It's important to recognize that there's a real hazard of sounding reactionary -- with blogging. Editors are so critical to checking over-heated tones. But they generally don't weigh in when it comes to reporters firing off a blog post. Maybe you could try writing first in a document file, giving it a few hours to sit, and then looking it over again before posting onto the BG blog -- especially if you're responding to something that's raised your ire. That's tough to do given the hectic pace at a newspaper -- even at a weekly -- but it might be helpful.

One thing more that you might consider: Most of the Bay Guardian's readers and a great deal of the progressive "army" are older, and don't really relate to the characterization of the socio-political dividing line as "hip" v. "uncool" (or "twit"). Striking that tone just makes us sound jerky, judgmental and clique-focused anyway (i.e., we have cool bands and acts at our events and you/they live prefer "sterile" suburbs.)

Even when blogging, but with writing for the print edition as well, try to remember that relying primarily on solid, fact-driven reporting that blows apart the underpinning of the other side's argument will win you converts and bolster the confidence and beliefs of those with like-minded politics, whereas dishing out angry or just tired rhetoric will make it easy for them to dismiss you (and us) and risks turning off even your most devoted readers and followers.

Think of Chris Daly. While he has in many ways been our most critical legislator in terms of taking on the most difficult and meatiest of the bedrock progressive issues -- housing and tenants' rights -- at times his behavior has undermined his and our efforts. Fresh memories of such have made it easier for downtown etc. to attack him and dismiss his arguments -- even when and where it is undeserved. This has resulted in the fact that he often does not get the credit he deserves (or gets the blame when it's not warranted.) A high level of testosterone is a double-edged sword. Those who have it need to be aware of that, and use it judiciously and wisely.

This is offered in the name of the great fight: trying to get at evening the playing field in a city where every square inch of land is so expensive and dear.

We are most definitely at a crossroads. Ten years after district elections brought us a neighborhood-minded, progressive majority on the Board of Supervisors, we are in danger of losing that and going back to the days when City Hall was under near-total control of officials who put the will of the very rich and that of corporate interests over the needs of the majority of San Franciscans.

It's a potential swing of the pendulum we just cannot afford to experience.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 27, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

It is simply not true that "relying primarily on solid, fact-driven reporting that blows apart the underpinning of the other side's argument will win you converts and bolster the confidence and beliefs of those with like-minded politics, whereas dishing out angry or just tired rhetoric will make it easy for them to dismiss you (and us) and risks turning off even your most devoted readers and followers."

Look at George Lakoff's studies on this. People's brains don't react much to facts when it comes to political issues. It's how you frame the issue and the argument, i.e., how you make your audience feel, that will win or lose the argument.

If you don't believe that, consider the success of the right in this country. They've gotten a huge number of people to vote against their own economic interests by framing issues in a manner that gets people to do this. The Republicans might be in a minority in D.C. at the moment, but considering that they're the party of the business and ruling classes, they shouldn't ever have more than 10-20% of Congress. They have a lot more because they're far superior to Democrats in framing issues, and because Democrats always try to win by using intellectually. Of course that is how it SHOULD work -- people should vote based on which side makes the most compelling logical and rational case for its position -- but that's not how it actually does work.

Posted by Jeff Hoffman on May. 02, 2010 @ 9:21 am

And if you are a average working American in the private sector, you still will never see a tax dollar work it's way down to you.

Just pay taxes so groups of democrat special get their way instead of groups of republican special interest.

You just want the spoils system to work for your groups, if people don't think the way you do, they are stupid and duped, and using intellectual arguments doesn't work on them.

It's interesting, I recall that you have called anti illegal immigrant types racist, so you are hardly above taking the short cut to "angry and tired rhetoric."

Posted by glen matlock on May. 02, 2010 @ 11:17 am

ironic the comments have more actual news than the blog post. says a lot!

Posted by RU Kiddingme on Apr. 27, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

Trolls Exposed: What kind of troll is disrupting your online community?
Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard
Posted: 05/31/2009 01:27:12 AM PDT

Excerpts:

Don't feed the trolls.

You know the ones I'm talking about. They prey on news forums, chat rooms, and other online communities. Their purpose: to disrupt any conversation or thread, and to get an emotional response from some unwary person. Ignoring them and not responding to their posts is your best option.

What kind of people are trolls? They're cowards. Lonely cowards. Their posts seldom show any real imagination and often resort to childish name-calling.

Trolls are often extremely pedantic and rarely answer direct questions. There are some exceptions, but most aren't smart enough to make a reasonable argument. They're not interested in reason. They repeat themselves and say stupid, off-focus things to disrupt conversations.

End of Excerpts.

----------------

Another thing about trolls: They routinely moan, whine and complain about the article they just read, even though it should be pointed out that no one forced them to read the article. And if they were getting turned off by the article, didn't they have the ability or intelligence to "click off?" No. Trolls, don't click off. That would defeat their purpose and intent which is to "bait" people to get an emotional reaction, so they can get paid (if they are one of the paid political trolls). Don't feed them. Ignore them. They thrive on dysfunction. The useless people they are. One really has to be stupid to be a troll and one can spot them by their stupid comments. There's very little intelligence in trolls.

Posted by Sam on Apr. 27, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

I am running for the DCCC in D13 not D12 (but nice try).

It's true this is my first time running for office, and, anyway, the Guardian should endorse whichever candidates they choose. Their endorsements are a reflection of their opinion, not a definition of me.

However, it's fair to point out the reason the article says the San Francisco Tenants Union endorsements are "substantially similar" to the SFBG's is because I was endorsed by the Tenants Union. I was also endorsed by the SEIU Local 1021 and the Potrero Hill Democratic Club (who endorsed only Keith Baraka, David Campos, David Chiu, Hope Johnson, Rafael Mandelman, Aaron Peskin, and Debra Walker). I earned those endorsements myself without the assistance of special interest money, elected office name recognition, or the group support of a "slate."

That's pretty decent campaigning so far, whether or not the Guardian chooses to take notice.

Best of luck to all the candidates.
Hope

Posted by Hope Johnson on Apr. 27, 2010 @ 9:51 pm
Sam

Sam - have you ever had sex or is your whole life posting troll-like rants on this blog? For someone who claims never to read SFGate you sure seem to know a lot about what goes on there.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Apr. 27, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

Remember when “troll” was a very specific word with a very specific meaning? It meant someone who was derailing the conversation. It signified a person who was rude or off-topic. A “troll” often used obscenities and slurs to marginalize another person’s race, gender or sexual orientation.

“fUkk u faggit suKKOrz” etc.

What “troll” didn’t mean was “someone who disagrees with me” or “someone who upsets me”. Now it’s a catch-all term for “I don’t like you.” "Your comments are not in accordance with my views."

If you're looking for lockstep agreement when writing about politics, you're on the wrong Internet.

Posted by generic on Apr. 28, 2010 @ 12:35 am

"Seems to me the point of the "suburb" barb is that if Nevius prefers Walnut Creek, he should be writing about that lovely burg, and not telling us San Franciscans who we should be ruled by."---Posted by Guest on Apr. 27, 2010 @ 11:09 pm

---------------------------

I agree. That's essentially what I said in a previous comment. I mean, who has the time and energy to be that concerned about a city where one doesn't even live? Something is not "right" mentally/psychologically there. A credible psychologist would likely have a lot to say about that. Either that, or the editors of SFHate/The Chronicle have told him what they want from him---San Francisco bashing---as far as content is concerned. I wouldn't put that past them. My partner goes on SFHate pretty much every day to scan their front page to see if they are reporting anything worth knowing about (or if it's just the usual "bait"/hate articles they put on for the rabids/haters to generate hits to the site). But he doesn't usually read much on there. He usually clicks off pretty quickly after reading some of the rabid comments because he (and I) can only take so much hate talk.

Posted by Sam on Apr. 28, 2010 @ 1:28 am