Mayoral candidates scurry for signatures

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Chiu-bacca, and just plain Chiu, gather signatures in Dolores Park.
Steven T. Jones

San Francisco mayoral candidates and their volunteers have been scrambling to gather the signatures of registered voters needed to reduce their filing fees and demonstrate popular support, over the weekend hitting popular gathering spots such as Dolores Park with a combination of earnest appeals and election-year gimmicks.

Volunteers for candidate John Avalos were the first to hit a crowded Dolores Park on Saturday, canvassing throughout the day, but they may have been upstaged by the campaign of David Chiu, which featured both the candidate himself and his Star Wars-inspired alter ego Chiu-bacca – a campaign volunteer dressed up as Chewbacca. The campaign even carried the motif through at the table it set up, which was staffed by someone in a space helmet that was reminiscent of a stormtrooper. No other mayoral or district attorney candidates seemed to have a visible presence there.

A Clonetrooper for David Chiu

Candidates have until this Thursday, July 28, to turn in the signatures of registered voters, each of which reduces that candidate's filing fees by 50 cents. So mayoral candidates can eliminate their $5,048 filing fee (which represents 2 percent of the mayor's $252,397 annual salary) by turning in 10,096 signatures. For district attorney candidates, the goal is 8,704 sigs, while sheriff candidates need 7,990 to get the freebie.

An Avalos volunteer gathers signatures (and possibly PBRs)

The other important upcoming election-related dates are Aug. 1, when the semi-annual campaign finance statements are due and we find out who's been raising the most money, and Aug. 12, the deadline for candidates to file their intent to run for office. That's when we find out whether Mayor Ed Lee breaks his pledge not to run, and whether there are any other surprise late entrants into the race, which is always a possibility.

Comments

an entry into the race by Lee as a "breaking of his pledge" rather than a Mayor taking into account the feedback from his constituency and doing what all smart and ethical people do, and changing his mind for the people he serves?

Could it be less about ethics and more about the fact that you're scared he might prevail over your own much less supported and popular candidate?

Posted by Walter on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

Lee pledged not to run for the office, and that pledge was cited as a reason for appointing him by the very same people (particularly Rose Pak) who are now funding a completely manufactured campaign that is trying to appear to be a grassroots groundswell. "The people" have plenty of options for mayoral candidates. What the "Run Ed Run" campaign is, as I and others have written over the last few months, is a deceptive, ethically challenged campaign pushed by powerful interests who are worried that Leland Yee might become mayor and end their gravy train of lucrative city contracts.

Posted by steven on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

a popular and competant Mayor to respond to those who urge him that the City and it's people need him?

Why do you object to the voters having more choice in November?

If Daly had been made an interim Mayor on condition that he wouldn't stand again, and then he changed his mind, would you be crowing so loud?

Posted by Walter on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

As I've reported, the Progress for All campaign registered as a general IE instead of a candidate committee, and then resisted Ethics Commission director John St. Croix's request to re-register in a way that was less deceptive. This campaign has been spending more money on online ads and other campaign expenditures than the other campaigns, all of it geared toward selling the public on the false impression that this is a grassroots groundswell, which it just isn't. I've been covering politics long enough (20 years, full-time) to recognize astroturfing when I see it, and this is a prime (and not even particularly well-executed) example of it.

Now, none of that has anything to do with Ed Lee, who is a decent man and has done a good job at mayor, precisely because he's not associated himself overtly with this slimy campaign or election year politics. But for you to claim that I somehow "object to the voters having more choice in November" is ludicrous, and it probably indicates that you're connected to this campaign. This year, San Franciscans have a choice of more top-tier candidates than they've ever had, including a senator who has served San Francisco his entire adult life, two current citywide office holders, two current supervisors, and three former supervisors. It's not like voters lack choices.

Posted by steven on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

fund raising has nothing to do with Lee, and since you also admit that the voters should have a lot of choice, then you appear to have no valid reason to object to a Lee campaign, should he decide to stand.

The real point here, of course, is that as the incumbent, he will have a big advantage, and will probably win. And even though you claim to like Lee, you'd rather see someone else as Mayor. Can you admit that? And how that skews your sense of "ethics" here?

Posted by Walter on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

Yes, I'll admit that Lee would have a huge competitive advantage if he ran as the incumbent, and that's precisely the point why breaking his pledge is a big deal. If he and his supporters were honest that he might run in the fall, he probably wouldn't be in Room 200 right now. Hennessey probably would be, and he doesn't seem like a man who would break his word or let his supporters play these deceptive games. Lee's appointment was based on that pledge not to run in the fall, and if he has integrity, then he will honor it. And if he chooses to run, then he's just another politician willing to say or do anything to get ahead, and we'll treat him as such.

Posted by steven on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 10:08 am

"...an entry into the race by Lee as a "breaking of his pledge" rather than a Mayor taking into account the feedback from his constituency and doing what all smart and ethical people do, and changing his mind for the people he serves?"

"Changing his mind for the people he serves".... Oh man, that's rich! It sounds so naive. Even the residents of Mayberry weren't that gullible. Some people will dive to any depths to defend some politicians no matter what they do. Ethical people don't say one thing and do another. That's called a hypocrite. He's a typical political opportunist. If he were an ethical person he would say, "I said I was not going to run and I'm not going to run. I'm a person of my word. My word is my character as a person. I may run in the next mayoral election, but not now."

He's just bull shitting people and some are falling for it and going to any length to excuse it, which is so typical these days.

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

After all of the negativity in the news lately, it's great to see a campaign having a little fun with their work.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

It's interesting that the backroom candidates don't bother gathering signatures.

Getting a "freebie" isn't that much of a concern, but avoiding the electorate is.

Posted by old burner on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

Courting the geek vote is genius.

Oh yeah, that's not a Stormtrooper helmet by the way. It's a Clonetrooper from the (meh) prequels.

Posted by Cheatachu on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

for the info -- fixed above!

Posted by marke on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

Glad I wasn't the only one that noticed that!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

Only a dumbass can't tell the difference between a clone trooper from the prequels and a stormtrooper from the reglar films. I mean, seriously, wtf? I guess Steve's head so far up his ass he is cut off from popular culture. disgraceful in the home of Lucasfilm.

Posted by Clone Trooper Pride on Aug. 02, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

I do like the picture of the hipster in the park, "uh, like Avalos is like, for the people, could you like, uh vote for him, and stuff"

Posted by matlock on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

"Volunteers for candidate John Avalos were the first to hit a crowded Dolores Park on Saturday ..."

- Award-winning Journalist Steven T. Jones

I haven't seen many "Queers for Avalos" in the Castro during the past few weeks. However, I have seen an impressive and persistent presence on behalf of Dennis Herrera.

David Campos, the big drum banger for "Queers for Avalos," promised a vigorous push in the gay community.

What happened?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

Other than the miscreants and true believers of the Milk Club?

Campos is a prophet without a following - preaching into the wilderness and blowing his own horn.

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

"Campos is a prophet without a following."

- Lucretia

David Campos is proof that a good education is no substitute for good judgment. He'll end up like Chris Daly - entrenched in his own district and radioactive everywhere else.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

of those few creationists who make it through biology class at the college level still being young Earthers.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

If Campos's identity politics has marginalised him.

You can only be servile to so many groups until the self interest of some of those groups see through it.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

As this contines to be the mother of all Seinfeld campaigns about nothing, can SFBG produce a simple "yes" or "no" matrix as to where the candidates stand on November ballot issues (i.e. union pension reform, pothole tax, Adachi reform (assume it gets on), sales tax increase (is this on ballot yet?) etc...Jeez- the general SF media campaign coverage is 90% process. Thx.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

We will be getting into the issues that are relevant to the next mayor, as we've already been during in the monthly issues forums we've been hosting and our David Chiu cover story and some other selected articles. But our coverage will really pump up starting in September, once people start paying a little bit more attention to the substance of the race. And we'll also be posting the audio of our candidate endorsement interviews so people can hear for themselves where the candidates stand -- and which ones are ducking the tough issues.

Posted by steven on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

Campos alienated a lot of folks within the Milk Club leadership when he endorsed Julius Turman over David Waggoner for police commission. Trust me: Campos isn't really serving as a spokesperson for John Avalos, despite giving a speech at the Avalos campaign HQ kickoff. (I can't remember the last time I've seen Campos at a Milk meeting.)

The Queers for Avalos folks aren't really super-duper active, at least from what I've seen.

I know I'm feeding a couple of trolls by responding to this thread, but what the hell.

Posted by Common Sense SF on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 2:55 pm

"The Queers for Avalos folks aren't really super-duper active, at least from what I've seen."

- Common Sense SF

The understatement of year!

Rumor has it that Campos hopes to form a group called "Homos for Mirkarimi," analogous to his "Queers for Avalos."

Any word about this?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

After you've said something 5 times you can stop. Its the same 8 people commenting and the same 50 people reading here fogcity, thewall, baycitizen, etc. We all heard you the first 50 times you made this point and nobody else in this city cares. Most voters in this city have no idea who David Waggoner is, they don't know what the Milk Club is, they've never heard of Queers for Avalos and I doubt too many would be offended if they had. None of this matters in a mayoral race and for some reason (your work in the 70s?) I actually think you are smart enough to know that.

Because its the same 50 of us reading, can you do us all a favor and limit your repetitions to a minimum of 5 times please.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 4:50 pm

Agreed. Some people are just so impressed with their own imbecilic stupidity they can't stop embarrassing themselves.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

Thank you. The repetition is like a "broken record." Just to add to what you said, from my experience and my partner's experience out and about among people and online, most people are NOT paying any attention to any of this political stuff. They are more concerned about partying and their distraction toys/gadgets. Most couldn't care less about any of these political topics and so one does not need to keep repeating oneself over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. GET A GRIP!

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 6:02 pm

Ah ha, but U seem to be paying attention..........................no?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

...you can't say he isn't trying.

I'm just curious where the heck they found a Chewbacca costume. It's pretty good.

I'm not sure if the campaign oughta go down the "Clones for Chiu" route.

But it's still a pretty cool helmet.

Does this mean Chiu is part of the Empire? =-)

Posted by John Tuttle on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

It's surprising that John Avalos would think that trotting out David Campos would gain him support in the gay community. But he did.

Doubt it?

Click here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JEDuDUo8Bo

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

...you can't say he isn't trying.

I'm just curious where the heck they found a Chewbacca costume. It's pretty good.

I'm not sure if the campaign oughta go down the "Clones for Chiu" route.

But it's still a pretty cool helmet.

Does this mean Chiu is part of the Empire? =-)

Posted by John Tuttle on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

Looks like desperation to me.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 9:00 pm

Votes and signatures are where you find them. I think Chiu's team is clever for thinking outside the box, because in a race with so many candidates and supporters, you have to find a way to differentiate and gather attention. Considering Avalos campaign is practically treading in shallow water, they ought to be doing something more interesting than sending out hipsters to court hipsters, which is in general the problem with most progressives. Preaching to the choir just will not do in RCV.

Posted by Justin on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 9:37 pm

Best article I've ever seen from the BG, love the yellow bikini! I would TAP that!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 8:21 pm