Maxwell disappoints by endorsing Sweet

Lynette Sweet in February at the city's black history month event (Sup. Sophie Maxwell is directly behind her).
Sarah Phelan
We like Lynette Sweet's smile.Too bad she won't sit down and answer the Guardian's questions before the election

To be honest, I wasn’t surprised that termed-out Sup. Sophie Maxwell endorsed D10 candidate Lynette Sweet yesterday. Just disappointed. And it’s not just because Sweet refused to come into the Guardian this fall for an endorsement interview (a stance that suggests that Sweet would be depressingly inaccessible to reporters that haven’t drunk her Kool-Aid—a stance that, unfortunately, reminds me of Mayor Gavin Newsom's attitude towards the media).

I’d been hearing rumors that Maxwell was going to endorse Sweet since February, when Sweet, who’d already racked up Mayor Gavin Newsom’s D10 blessing at that point, showed up alongside Maxwell at the city’s kickoff event for Black history month.

Then there was the fact that during an interview in February for the Guardian’s kickoff article about the D10 race, Sweet spouted phrases that sounded eerily similar to Maxwell’s words.
"D10 is a pretty diverse district, but there is only one common thread: the need for economic development," Sweet told me.

But a few days earlier when I interviewed Maxwell about a third, and ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to recall her , Maxwell talked of common threads:

 “I’m waiting for people to have a better understanding of what this community is, what the common thread running through it is, and how to use rank choice voting,” Maxwell said, by way of explaining why she wasn’t willing to endorse anyone that early in the race.

Now, it’s understandable that Maxwell would be looking for a candidate to carry on her legacy. But it she was looking for a moderate black female candidate  then why not endorse Malia Cohen, who isn’t hampered by all of Sweet’s dirty laundry—and has raised the most money in the race, so far?

Could it be that Cohen wouldn’t be down for the kind of dirty deal making that was par for the course back in the days when Willie Brown was still mayor and Sweet was the swing vote that crowned Lennar as master developer at the shipyard/Candlestick Point?

Rumor has it that Maxwell is upset at all the corporate money that’s flooding into this race in support of Steve Moss—and that she asked the other candidates to hold a press conference in which they decry this practice. Rumor also has it that Sweet signaled her willingness to join Tony Kelly, Dewitt Lacy, Chris Jackson and Eric Smith--to name a few--in making such a statement. But it hasn’t happened, yet. And the corporate money keeps rolling in for Moss.

Meanwhile, with three weeks until the election, D10 forums are beginning to sound like a parody of a “Lost” episode featuring a 22-member cast that all claim to represent the city's polluted and economically depressed southeast sector:

“One of us is a BART director, one of us worked at City Hall, one of us is a community advocate, one of us is a City College Board member, one of us is a civil rights attorney, one of us is an affordable housing development director, one of us is a bio-diesel advocate, one of us is a public safety advocate, one of us was raised in the Bayview, one of us served on the Navy’s Restoration Advisory Board,” and so on.

I’m not saying this is wrong. Hell, I love all this diversity of choices. but I am concerned that, come election night, the progressive vote will get split into a million pieces, while deep-pocketed conservative forces like the Chamber of Commerce and Golden Gate Restaurant line up behind one candidate in an attempt to crush candidates that would stand up to their powerful influence at City Hall and truly represent the D10 community

Yes, there is ranked choice voting, and it’s unlikely that one candidate will win a majority of the vote in the first round. But it’s critical at this venture that progressives develop a winning strategy. D10 candidate Ed Donaldson told me recently that if a candidate who doesn’t represent the community’s concerns gets elected, then the community would respond just as they did around Maxwell—and organize a recall.

But wouldn’t it be better if the community can come together behind three truly progressive candidates and help them win the November election?

One of the key challenges in this race will be to win votes in Visitacion Valley, as well as in the Bayview and/or Potrero Hill.

In his latest column in the Chron, former mayor and Sweet supporter Willie Brown alluded to the importance of this in a city with ranked-choice voting:"It's not getting much attention, but someone has finally figured out how to get the Asian vote out," Brown observed."You do it by mail. You get ballots and ballot books into every household, then have the whole family sit down together. The kids help with the translation, everyone talks things over and everyone votes."

Meanwhile, D10 candidate Tony Kelly told me that Marlene Tran, who is tri-lingual (English, Cantonese, Vietnamese) and has a good handle on community issues in Viz Valley, has confirmed that Kelly is her second-ranked choice (presuming that she votes for herself in first place. of course).

Not a bad strategy--and one that other progressives need to consider, given ranked choice voting--and the brutal reality that they are going to be massively outspent in the next three weeks.








Same can be said of the D6 race where progressive votes will split between Meko, Keys, Kim and Walker. To be begrudgingly honest, it looks very likely that D6, D8 and D10 will go to downtown (Sparks, Wiener and Moss). If that happens, the progressive movement will be over in San Francisco.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 13, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

>>>If that happens, the progressive movement will be over in San Francisco. <<<......If that happens many people will be celebrating especially that revolting group of people (if they can be called people) on the Chronicle's website forum and about four toddlers who come to mind on here who live in their mother's basement and who contribute nothing of value (whose comments I've stopped reading). They will be writing things like "we finally took over 'lib,' communist, socialist San Francisco." The problem then becomes who will they perpetually complain about then when they don't have progressives and "libs" (their word) to complain about? San Francisco has slowly been changing due to gentrification and some candidates want more gentrification. Again I ask, why would anyone want to come here when (because of gentrification) it will look like where they just left?

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Oct. 13, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

It will be very important for voters in District 6 to mark all 3 choices on their ballot.

In the latest Jim Meko mailing sent to all of the vote by mail ballot recipients as of 9/20/2010, Jim's recommendations were:

1) Jim Meko
2) James Keys
3) Debra Walker

Posted by Jamie Whitaker on Oct. 13, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

After learning of all of his scandals, I don't think Steve Moss will win. The question is: of the people who vote for him, who will be their second choice? Tony Kelly (another Caucasian), or a viable downtown, black candidate (Cohen)?

Despite Maxwell's endorsement, Sweet is still not a real factor in this race. But if there is no coherent strategy for black voters rank-choice vote, I have a feeling that Kelly has a descent shot at getting this.

Ed Jew won by encouraging Asians in the Sunset to cluster vote for only Asians. The African Americans running in D10 now don't seem to have learned that lesson. (Take in point, the reckless person on the Cohen side who put stickers over Lacy's face on those slate cards.)

Posted by Guest on Oct. 13, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

I sincerely hope Moss doesn't win as I feel pretty sure he is a total crook and be a totally wreck the district.

Saying that Sweet is doing a real disservice to D10 by staying in the race when she cannot win after her forgetful memory.

This should be left to Enea, Lacy and Kelly.

Posted by D10 on Oct. 13, 2010 @ 5:13 pm

I agree with Jamie on D-6,

I just made my last cane sign (read the book) and it has Meko, Walker and Keys in that order (I staple and tape small signs together) and that's it into the post. The opposite side is all Meko all the time. I carry these things around all the time in my travels within the district and it's the least I can do and anyone who knows me well will always tell you that I always do the least I can do.

I can't disagree with the gloom and doom of the anonymous (what's new?) 'Guest' who thinks the Progressive candidates will lose. It's the moderates who are in complete disarray. Trust me, I'm embedded in the race and there is absolutely no recognition of viable life between the Zamora and Sparks and Drake campaigns. Ranked choice? It's a mystery to them.

Mandelman skates in easily in D-8. All momma ever wanted the district to bring home was a nice gay Jewish boy who's also a Progressive. Rafael fills that bill.

The black candidates in D-10 will continue political drive-byes on each other right up to election and get no white or yellow votes as a consequence. Kelly, another Prog triumphs.

Again, I'm not calling D-6 except to assure you that no Downtown candidate has a prayer. I'm hoping for Meko cause he's the best but it's a complete toss-up with Walker and Kim and James Keys would be good.

Go Giants!


Posted by Guest h. brown on Oct. 13, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

but that recall of maxwell didn't go so well and certainly didn't change her for the better.

and for those who say sweet's not a factor, the skinny is that she's running behind moss neck and neck with jackson.

whoever 4K fist place votes and a plurality of 2nd/3rd place votes will be sworn in as supervisor.

Posted by recall on Oct. 13, 2010 @ 7:36 pm

D10 again and again
Sweet should drop out because she's a damn fool. Why do you say that Moss is an utter total crook? Is this because the Guardian says so? Although I'm voting for someone else in this race, there seems to be no proof on these endless accusations. Who cares if the guy made legal money selling a property? Sounds like envy on that one. Do you think he'd be stupid enough to hide funds between for and non profits and then run for office? On the scale of dumb in this race, 19 score an A; Moss, Enea, Lacy and E. Smith get an F; Cohen and Kelly get a D. A lot of this Guardian stuff is just throwing molitov cocktails into the wind.

Posted by D 10 blah blah blah on Oct. 23, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

is a real factor and will help kelly. who gets her #3 since kelly isn't going to take this one home?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 13, 2010 @ 7:41 pm

WHO’S ACCOUNTABLE: A Message for the Candidates –

Whose community do you really want it to be? Right now, Bayview sits on on the brink of change – destruction for some, but destiny for many. I am fairly new to voting like most people my age and I’m extremely hesitant because it seems like there’s no point. I hear that in BVHP of the 30,000 people who could vote only 15,000 are actually registered. And, the sad reality is that only about three or four thousand people actually vote. That’s crazy. We are the ones who need the most help.

Let’s do the math! How can four thousand votes be split among 16 people who live in the same neighborhood, all running for the same position?

If we continue, no one will have enough votes to win. Right now we are not only misleading ourselves, but further marginalizing ourselves and undermining the values that those before us have built. So what will happen on November 3rd, the day after the election? Who will take the blame?

The younger generation will NOT take the blame for these mistakes. If you’re one of the sixteen candidates who knew you probably couldn’t win – we will hold you accountable. Would you still be running if you had to move if you finished in 4th place or worse? What if you lost your job in the community you say you’re fighting for? If you were really held accountable, would you stay in this race? On November 3rd, the day after the election will you still walk down Third Street, hang at the Monte Carlo, shop at Walgreens, or even FoodsCo with your head held high like nothing happened after you’ve left us voiceless and with no promise. We’re talking about being a part of something bigger then ourselves and shouldn’t let egos be the destruction of our great community. Is this what a leader does? We need REAL leaders in our community. We need you all to get together and have an honest conversation about who should really stand down so we can put someone in office that looks like me, has walked where I’ve walk, and who will stand on the side of the community. Everyone talks about being held accountable, especially for people my age, but the adults should be too. I’m angry because none of my “leaders” have taken action. So who will hold the 16 Black candidates accountable on November 3rd, the day after the election?–The ENTIRE COMMUNITY SHOULD.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 6:36 pm

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