Endorsement interviews: Phil Ting

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We've started interviewing the candidates for mayor, sheriff and district attorney, and, as usual, we're taping the interviews and posting the audio feed unedited for your listening fun. We're also putting up videos of the candidates' opening statements.

mayoral candidate Phil Ting's basic pitch: "The most progressive thing we can do is make government more efficient." He talked a lot about his crowdsourcing website, Resetsf, which allows hundreds of San Franciscans to weigh in on the city's problems -- and offer solutions. Among his solutions: One minute of improved time on every Muni line would save $20 million a year. That means eliminating some bus stops to make the busses go faster.

He argued (with me) that San Francisco can eventually build its way out of the housing crisis by constructing more units on transit corridors. He vowed to reverse Gavin Newsom's policy on sanctuary and told us he supports the central subway. Listen and watch after the jump.

Ting by endorsements2011

Watch Ting's opening statement here:

Comments

It is difficult to take seriously someone who says they want greater participation but at the same time is actively opposing Ranked Choice Voting. Ranked Choice Voting has helped strengthen the voice of voters at the ballot box.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 13, 2011 @ 10:33 am

Don't understand how voters voices are stronger when some of their votes are thrown away... Care to explain?

Posted by Juan Eduardo on Sep. 13, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

> Don't understand how voters voices are stronger when some of their votes are thrown away... Care to explain?

I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you simply haven't spent the ten seconds to think about what you wrote, rather than ascribing any ulterior motives to it.

I will not mention ranked choice voting at all... I will just say that in a normal election, if there are eight candidates for mayor, and 5 of them are serious, and they they get 10%, 14%, 13%, 24%, and 32% of the vote (with the other three taking 7%), then Mr. 32 wins, and 68% of the vote is 'thrown away'.

Or is that the kind of 'throwing away' that you can live with?

Posted by Fred Fnord on Sep. 22, 2011 @ 8:28 pm

I'm fairly new to SF, so I am not familiar first-hand with the candidates' political records. I googled for "phil ting ranked choice voting", and didn't turn up any results showing Ting had publicly opposed RCV in the past. If he did oppose RCV, that would seriously impact my opinion of his candidacy. Can anyone provide a relevant link?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

No votes are thrown away.

In every election there are some voices that are not heard, votes that don't effectively get counted. In every election that happens for a variety of reasons. It happens less with RCV. RCV has helped more voters have their voices heard.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 11:59 am

Where has Ting come out against RCV? I don't think this is true.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 8:43 am

Ting's campaign website home page features a negative commentary about RCV by his campaign manager, Eric Jaye.

You can read the whole thing at:
www dot resetsanfrancisco dot org slash news slash sep-12-11 slash anyone-still-happy-ranked-choice-voting

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

The answer to the question "Is anyone still happy with RCV?" the answer is NO. The question could be "was anyone ever happy with RCV?"

San Francisco deserves the Mayor to be elected with majority support, not someone with 40% or 45% or even 48% support.

If we had the old system, I have not doubt there would be an increase in turnout for the runoff election between two strong candidates just like there was with Newsom and that other guy who lost.

And don't even get me started on the public financing aspect of SF's elections - the fact that we are giving millions of dollars to candidates that have less than 10% support.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 17, 2011 @ 8:27 am

to me to be people who hope for a freakish result to propel their pet hopeless candidate into a victory they'd never otherwise get but for the vagueries and flaws of RCV.

Their poster child for that is the current vapid, vacant mayor of Oakland, who is twiddling her thumbs while the murder rates ratchets up by 50% and their city budget deficit is out of control. She would never have won in a normal election.

But of course it's just as likely to disadvantage their candidates, as we saw in last year's supervisor elections, where the fringe left got demolished.

The huge advantage of regular elections is that it forces candidiates to focus on the issues, and not on tactical game-playing. But of course if your policies are flawed and unpopular, then any distraction works in your favor.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 17, 2011 @ 8:59 am

Candidates have been elected with more support under RCV than with the old system. Under the old system, the apparition of majority support depended on typically low-turnout runoff elections that tended to skew the results.

There are lots of people who like RCV.

People who prefer low-turnout elections and reducing the ability of voters to express their preferences are among the strongest reactionaries who want to the old, broken system.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 17, 2011 @ 9:36 am

I've noticed that it is people who don't like the fair results of elections who are the ones that complain like crying babies about ranked choice voting.

The reality is that in both Oakland and San Francisco RCV has worked beautifully.

In fact, in San Francisco it worked so well that a conservative took District 2 when in a traditional winner-take-all election the progressive would have won.

That looks like democracy to me, and as a progressive, I can accept that, because it allowed the people of that district to select the representative who most fit their views.

It's pretty amusing to see all you right wingers wringing your hands about success.

Likely because your agenda is to ensure that money, not voters, will control politics.

That, is why you don't like RCV.

It makes it harder for you to buy an election.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 17, 2011 @ 9:24 am

Why do you think Lee is spending so much? Why are the other candidates squandering our taxpayer money in an ill-fated, forlorn attempt attempt to catch up with the frontrunner?

It's a red herring. The simple fact is that RCV doesn't change the result that often and, when it does, it is sometimes for the better (District 2) and sometimes for the worse (Oakland). Or sometimes favors the right, and sometimes favors the left, if you prefer.

So we both agree that it evens out. You seem to think that it matters anyway. I don't. But I do think RCV encourages game-playing as candidiates try and do a Red Queen Quan. And that distracts from the real issue which, for most voters, is jobs and the economy.

And on the economy, Lee is miles ahead. Other candidates should focus on trying to being more job-friendly than Lee, if they want to stand any chance.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 17, 2011 @ 9:49 am

It all boils down to this.

When I walk into the voting booth as a Green this November, I will be able to vote for Terry Baum with no fear whatsoever that it will take votes away from John Avalos or Leland Yee.

And you, my Toryist foil, will be able to vote for Tony Hall, with no fear whatsoever that this will take votes away from Jeff Adachi or Edwin Lee.

For the first time in electoral history in San Francisco, we will actually be able to vote our conscience, without fear.

That, is what democracy looks like.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 17, 2011 @ 10:10 am

By your own admission, a large initial count for Baum will mean nothing. You can vote for her, knowing she'd be a terrible Mayor, without any risk of putting her in that position by accident.

To which I respond, so what? What have you achieved there? Yee is the only one of your picks who has even a tiny chance of winning. If you only had one vote, you'd vote for him not Baum.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 17, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

How is what you have just written an argument against ranked choice...?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 17, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

tactical voting, game-playing and dubious machinations. While I believe elections should be about the issues and policies. Which in this election means jobs and the economy.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 17, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

RCV encourages just the oppoiste -you can vote your conscience without worrying about the spoiler effect. Less so in an election where there are half a dozen viable candidates and only 3 choices, but can you imagine what that would be like under a traditional runoff system? It would be a vastly more tactical voting scenario. And in the runoff, money would rule and issues would go out the window, in favor of personal mudslinging to dedpress the other guy's turnout. In the end, money usually carries the day among a low turnout electorate.

As for Oakland... it's always hard to say what would've happened under a different scenario. But if a totally hated and corrupt machine poilitician like Perata could have won, that's as strong of an indictment of tradtional runoffs as any I can think of.

Posted by Greg on Sep. 17, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

tactically by NOT voting for the guy you like, but rather voting for the guy most likely to beat the guy you hate. Some might do that anyway, but it's self-defeating trying to second-guess everyone else's vote.

Tactical voting can happen more easily under RCV. Suppose you want Lee to be beaten. It's easier under RCV, at least in theory, because you could put his closest three rivals as your three votes. And maybe Adachi, Yee and Herrera could just achieve that if they worked together.

But luckily the candidates on the left hate each other more than they hate the moderates, and cannot co-ordinate. So you see someone like Eric putting two no-hopers first and second, which actually helps Lee to win.

So, sure, you get to cast "pity votes" for fringe candidates who can't win like Baum and Avalos. But what does that really achieve? You've got three votes and you waste two of them.

So RCV could help overcome a frontrunner, as happened in Oakland, but only if the left dropped their self-hate and worked together. And that has bever happened in SF. RCV is flawed in that way, but it won't matter here.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 18, 2011 @ 4:06 am

What you are really saying is that RCV lets a voter vote more effectively, their vote is more likely to make a difference.

Yes.

If you don't like strategic voting and the fact that three-choice RCV doesn't do enough to reduce strategic voting, then what you really want to advocate is keeping RCV and upgrading from our first-generation voting system so voters can rank more candidates.

On the broader point of politicians and special interests trying to game the system, that's what politicians have been doing since forever. RCV helps bring that out in the open because it puts more choice in the hands of voters.

Repealing RCV will disenfranchise voters. It is a strange position for Phil Ting to advocate.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 19, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

Zero factual support for his arguments, which he changes repeatedly.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 17, 2011 @ 10:14 am

Red Queen Quan? Really?

Posted by marcos on Sep. 17, 2011 @ 10:19 am

pithy categorization. I can't claim personal credit for it, as incisive and truthful as it is.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 17, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

Jean Quan had not impressed me as being very much of a Republican or that she had much in common with Red Queen Sarah and Princess Bristol.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 19, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

being very left-wing, as in red being the color of communism, not "red states". I always thought that we have the blue and red thing the wrong way around in the US. In Europe, red is invariably the color of the labor or socialist party, while blue is for the conservatives.

But I agree Quan hasn't been impressive, whatever party she thinks she belongs to. She's a committee type, not a leader. And way too indecisive and misguided.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 19, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

Leland Yee has always been for sale
Eric,

I'll continue to ask you to answer questions about Leland Yee's numerous sins. You seem to abandon sites or threads when I ask questions like the one below.

Please address this ...

Eric,

A couple of months ago the State Senate voted 37-3 to refuse to permit a garbage dump in a San Diego suburb. Leland Yee was one of the 3 votes in favor of the dump. Leland Yee also took over $8,000 from the operators of said garbage company within a year of his vote.

Please justify Yee's vote.

And, keep it short. Unless you're getting paid by the word.

Giants won 5th in a row and closing in.

Adachi for Mayor!!

h.

Posted by h. brown on Sep. 17, 2011 @ 10:48 am

Look H, how many times do I have to repeat that I have serious qualms about Yee myself, and am -reluctantly- ranking him as my number -three- before you acknowledge that fact, and stop behaving as if I am some sort of Yee champion?

For all I know, Yee did just as you say on that particular issue. But the fact remains, that Yee is voting a -lot- with the progressives right now, in what is undoubtedly a bid to eventually run as a strong progressive for a U.S. Congress seat or the Governor's office.

So if he beats out Lee, and becomes our mayor, he will -very- likely continue that progressive pattern to keep progressives as his base; and he will therefore do a lot of good things for the city.

And if we don't get Baum or Avalos, who have we got left besides Yee?

Herrera? No way. Total slime.

Adachi? Even if you were right, and I was wrong, and Adachi is some kind of saint, he is -not- going to win, because labor is going KICK - HIS - ASS.

So if Baum and Avalos don't win, and we haven't thrown our third rank choices behind Yee, then either Willie Brown or Dennis Herrera will control room 200, and that means real estate developers will continue to demolish San Francisco and turn into a giant strip mall.

Simple math.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 17, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

Very straightforward,

You'd have enjoyed Adachi's kick-off last night. Luke should have pics and a story up on Fog City soon. Kevin Epps is doing a documentary on the campaign. Watching Jeff's mom and dad who were interned with the rest of the West Coast Japanese-Americans during WWII serving the food his mom prepared and silently clearing tables amongst the dancers and kids gave everyone pause to reflect on how far they've come.

I'll leave you alone on Yee.

Giants battling in Colorado.

0-0 in bottom of 1st and Arizona up 1-0 in San Diego.

Adachi for Mayor.

Baum for Mayor.

Avalos for Mayor.

h.

Posted by h. brown on Sep. 17, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

h. brown. -- That bill was opposed by the head of local Sierra Club.

The alternative was to truck waste hundreds of miles away leading to further degredation of our environment.

The bill was simply to protect the interests of the Big Casinos who didn't want a dump near their precious moneymaker. In fact, they spent millions at the ballot box three times and lost every time. The voters of this community spoke and should be heard. Can you imagine the state coming into SF and telling us to disregard the will of our voters?

And one of the Legislature's most progressive members, Senator Christine Kehoe, who represents the area voted against the bill as well.

Seems to me Leland Yee was respecting the local Senator, the voters who already approved the project 3 times, and considering the alternate environmental impacts.

Next time, do a little homework, like the Sierra Club and San Francisco Tomorrow did before they endorsed Yee as their first choice.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 19, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

The California Nurses Association, about to have a strike this coming Thursday gave its endorsement to State Senator Leland Yee for a reason back in May. He not only has been a supporter of safe staffing, universal health care, whistle blower protection for RN's who report unsafe patient conditions, but took on Nunez and Schwarzeneggar in 2005 and stoped their plan to turn the state of California over to mandated health "insurance" with penalties if you couldn't afford it with a press conference that backed up State Senator Sheila Kuehl's health panel that scuttled the plan that afternoon after Yee held a press conference. That vote probably cost him with his own party but he did it when the nurses came calling. The Govenator was the most powerful person in 2005 and crossing him and Nunez the Democratic speaker and powerfull health insurance corporations took immense courage. I think that is why Leland Yee has been a bit of an independent when it comes to voting and puts considerable time looking at the long term consequences of his votes. Leland was the first through the door when CNA did its first attempt at health care reform with Proposition 216 back in 1996 that would have set up an independent board to monitor managed care and health insurance plan. Leland has been a progressive on health care for a long time and has led on mental health treatment for youth and adults including sponsoring bill after bill for mentally ill families. On choice, he earned a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood for his continued support against attempts to take about the right of choice especially for younger, teen women who have been under assualt by right wing anti abortion zealots with their initiatives. In addition, when he was on the School Board as its president ,then Mayor Brown cut the Balboa teen clinic, the only school based clinic with an integrated mental health clinic on site, Yee was able to convince others not to go along with the cuts. Many parents credict Yee with swinging the board against the cuts and saving Balboa teen. My nurse colleagues with the city gave Tdap shots from this thriving clinic last Saturday.

With labor, Leland was approached early on to helpd defeat B and walked mutiple precincts and managed to get many Asian American workers on the Chinese language radio. Hours of phone banking happened from his own headquarters. That is why SEIU 1021 gave Leland a dual endorsement with John Avalos. He earned it and helped defeat B.

I have heard the same broken record that he is a stealth progressive and can't be trusted. There is nothing stealth about Leland's progressive record on health care nor his steadfast support for nurses like me. He joined us last Thursday when over 5000 RN's marched around the city hall protesting attempts by Mayor Ed Lee to shut nurses at Sutter out of the discussion that may seriously imperial St. Lukes and open a non union hosptial on Van Ness. I have no doubt he will put on a comfortable pair of shoes and join us on the picket line this coming thursday. If elected Mayor, Leland will make sure we will have a place at the table.

On labor and health care Leland is the real deal. He didn't just show up at the last minute.

Posted by Guest lucretiamott on Sep. 19, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

Sierra Club is now a consistent sell-out,

Give em a nickel and they'll give you a vote. I sat and watched them for hours supporting tossing a couple of hundred small boat owners out of the West Marina in favor of large yachts. They had no problem with the new breakwater the larger craft will need to enter the harbor even though they've been assured it will collapse the seawall in front of Marina Green. Their 'talented young' former CEO, Adam Werbach went over to Wal-Mart several years ago. Adam sold out the environment for a high paying job up the latter. Just as John Rizzo is pushing Yee now because he see's it as his only path to the D-5 supe seat. Ahhh, ambition and lust, two of my mostest favoritest sins.

Send me your links to the San Diego dump story though since you've done your research. I'm real big on reading. Here's my link:

http://sfist.com/2011/06/09/leland_yee_not_entirely_sure_whose.php

Go Giants!

h.

Posted by h. brown on Sep. 19, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

Governor should veto Vargas’ end run: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/sep/02/governor-should-veto-varg...

Or simply look at the Big Gambling interests who pushed the bill:
Pala Band of Mission Indians (source)
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians
Barona Band of Mission Indians
California Tribal Business Alliance
Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake
Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians
Los Coyotes Band of Indians
Manzanita Band of the Kumeyaay Nation
Ramona Band of Cahuilla
Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians
San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians
San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of California
United Auburn Indian Community
Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians

Or call the local progressive Senator Christine Kehoe's office at 916-651-4039.

Yee and Kehoe are consistently 100% rated by all the environmental groups. In fact, last year, Yee was one of only two senators to receive perfect marks from Sierra Club, CLCV, and Clean Water Action.

Seems to me, Yee and Kehoe saw the larger environmental problem with this bill and wanted to respect the overwhelming will of the voters, rather than bow to the big money of the casinos.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 20, 2011 @ 10:24 am

Governor should veto Vargas’ end run: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/sep/02/governor-should-veto-varg...

Or simply look at the Big Gambling interests who pushed the bill:
Pala Band of Mission Indians (source)
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians
Barona Band of Mission Indians
California Tribal Business Alliance
Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake
Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians
Los Coyotes Band of Indians
Manzanita Band of the Kumeyaay Nation
Ramona Band of Cahuilla
Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians
San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians
San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of California
United Auburn Indian Community
Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians

Or call the local progressive Senator Christine Kehoe's office at 916-651-4039.

Yee and Kehoe are consistently 100% rated by all the environmental groups. In fact, last year, Yee was one of only two senators to receive perfect marks from Sierra Club, CLCV, and Clean Water Action.

Seems to me, Yee and Kehoe saw the larger environmental problem with this bill and wanted to respect the overwhelming will of the voters, rather than bow to the big money of the casinos.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 20, 2011 @ 10:23 am