The D6 Ranked Choice debacle

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I must admit, I was pretty astonished when I read that Jane Kim had endorsed two other candidates in District 6, and Debra Walker wasn't among them.

I understand that there's bad blood here -- Walker's supporters are pissed that Kim moved into the district and entered a race that Walker had been working on for years. She effectively challenged another progressive with whom she has no substantive policy disagreements, and it looked a lot like personal ambition trumping progressive strategy. And the Walker team managed to keep Kim off the Democratic County Central Committee slate.

But please, folks: The real issue here is Theresa Sparks -- and the possibility that we'll lose D6 to a downtown candidate. And there are only two people in the race capable of beating Sparks, and they're Walker and Kim. I've been wrong before, but I don't think I'm wrong here -- this is a three-person race at this point. And two of those people are qualified progressives.

It took me a while to reach Jane Kim, but I finally talked to her today, and I had one basic question: Does she really think her candidates would be better supervisors than Debra Walker? Well, she said her endorsement strategy was only to support people who were also doing ranked-choice endorsements, and Walker had declined to do that. (Correct: I called Walker, who told me she's not endorsing anyone for the second and third slots).

But come on: If you want to be a progressive leader, you have to be responsible not just to yourself but to the movement -- and the only way we're going to save D6 is if Walker or Kim wins the election. And the best way to help Theresa Sparks is for Kim to snub Walker and urge her supporters to vote for someone who isn't likely to win.

I'm one of the people who has publicly questioned whether Kim should have entered this race, and I've argued -- to Kim, and to anyone else willing to listen -- that while she had every right to run for supervisor, and is by any account a qualified progessive candidate, she risked splitting progressive resources and energy and, purely from the perspective of a larger progressive movement, running against Walker might not have been the smartest strategy. Kim's response: Well, that's why we have ranked-choice voting, so nobody becomes the spoiler.

Again: True. And that's why when you use ranked-choice voting, you don't play the spoiler.

Kim told me that if Walker would also do ranked-choice, she'd reconsider her endorsements. (That's tough, too -- what, is she going to un-endorse someone?) And honestly, it's better for Walker to do no endorsements than to endorse two candidates and leave Kim off. But at this point, with big money pouring into the district for Sparks, everyone's got to take the high road and work on the real issue. 

Comments

How can you call out Jane Kim for not endorsing Debra as #2 when you state in the same article that Debra has refused to endorse anyone other than herself?

If this is about progressive community and not personal ambitions, isn't Debra the candidate who is truly ignoring the progressive spirit?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 05, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

There's a huge reason to neither endorse, nor vote for, Jane Kim -- apart from the carpetbagging charge:

Randy Shaw and the Tenderloin Housing Clinic.

We don't air our dirty laundry in front of the Moderates, but many of us Progressives are tired of the corrosive effects of the homeless industry, apart from the genuine plight of the homeless. One can be against corporate cash and still resent the fact that our tax dollars go to a poverty pimp who's illegally using his non-profit SROs as an electoral base. And it's especially important if you're a prog who lives in D6. Shaw is Kim's #1 backer. The THC, and its mouthpiece, Beyond Chron, don't need MORE influence on the Board of Supervisors, they need less. So in that way Debra Walker's a godsend. She's got all the right enemies.

I'd hate to have to choose between a Randy Shaw-backed candidate like Jane Kim and a Downtown stooge like Theresa Sparks. I hope Walker kicks ass this November because she's certainly taken some names.

Posted by progressively poor on Oct. 05, 2010 @ 5:22 pm

In terms of a varying combinations of fundraising, endorsements, participation in community forums/events, grass roots campaigning and personally reaching out to voters, this is a six way race in District 6 among:
1. Glendon "Anna Conda" Hyde
2. James Keys
3. Jane Kim
4. Debra Walker
5. Jim Meko
6. Theresa Sparks
Each of these candidates are stronger in some of the above areas than others. All, however, have their strengths. While Chris Daly won last time with only 1200 votes over just one main challenger, the winner this time may only enjoy a margin of victory in the hundreds or even dozens of votes. Because of six strong candidates, instant run off voting and low voter turnout, the winner may not even among the top three picked by the Bay Guardian. The final outcome may surprise many.

Posted by David Elliott Lewis on Oct. 06, 2010 @ 4:15 am

As Jane Kim said in your SFBG endorsement interview, she is only running in District 6 because she has lived in many districts over the years, and she "happened to be living in District 6 at the time."

She also said that District 6 is not a place that requires any sort of long-term residency or committment to understand.

In other words, she thinks District 6ers are shallow people, easy to understand. But she has made the committment!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 06, 2010 @ 6:46 am

Both Jane Kim and Debra Walker need to reconsider this strategy. It hurts the chances of electing a progressive representative from district 6.

Moreover, we need a supervisor who can build progressive coalitions.

Its not too late for Walker to make endorsements, and Kim should endorse Walker anyway. They could demonstrate good-faith.

PS... So what if Kim just moved into the district? Who cares if Walker lived here since the 80s, and Meko lived here since sixty-whatever?

They are running for a seat on the Board of Supervisors, not Mayor of District 6.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 06, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

So why has she spent her entire adult life running for one office or another? Does she think we can't get along without her?

Someone should tell Jane Kim that the sun will still rise tomorrow whether she's in office or not.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Oct. 06, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

You need to understand Jane Kim is not a sellout and she has District 6 best interest at heart. Do your research and go out into the streets and you may find out what is really going on. Jane will do whats right and not be bought,

Posted by Guest queen of polk on Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:17 pm

Jane Kim is the peoples choice and will not be a sellout. She knows what the people of district 6 need and will do what is needed in every aspect for the community. Go out into the streets and you'll find out what's really going on.

Posted by Guest queen of polk on Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

You folks have misconstrued reality. Theresa Sparks doesn't have a prayer. A sixty-something transwoman who talks exactly like a man won't break out of the single digits. The real issue here is Randy Shaw. And Rose Pak. And the RBA.

Posted by Carling on Oct. 06, 2010 @ 8:41 pm

Carlin who have freredon of speech, but that prerogrative does not make you soar about turkeys,,...
I do not support Madame Sparks for D6, but there is no need to sink below mud with transphobic scoprm and mockery....
C'mon GUrl , Go to the Light !

Posted by mesha Monge-Irizarry on Oct. 06, 2010 @ 8:57 pm