Lee backs crackdown; Avalos: "I stand with Occupy SF"

One of several trucks leave with Occupy SF belongings after the camp was unexpectedly raided in the middle of the night.
Quinn Norton

Mayor Ed Lee has just released a statement on last night's police raid of the Occupy San Francisco encampment – claiming to basically support the movement but also support the harsh police crackdown and seizure of tents, food, and other personal property – that offers a sharp contrast to the position of his mayoral rival, John Avalos, who is condemning the SFPD's actions.

Once again, as Lee also did this week in defending businesses that seize money set aside for employee health care costs, our “consensus and civility” mayor is showing that if you try to stand for everything, you end up standing for nothing. Yet Avalos understands that there are times when one side is simply wrong and that supporting the people means being willing to fight for them.

On both issues, Lee mouthed the meaningless “jobs” defense, claiming that he was trying to help working people by letting their employers raid their health care funds, allowing restaurants to fraudulently jack up their bills, or directing the police to seize their tents and food. That's not just pandering, it's insulting.

I've tried unsuccessfully to get Lee's office to offer more detailed explanations of his positions, but they're so far sticking to prepared statements that are riddled with contradictions. So we're just going to run the full statements by Lee and Avalos and let you decide who makes more sense and best reflects San Francisco values.

Lee wrote:

“I understand and sympathize with the anxiety and frustration felt by so many in our country caused by a lingering recession and joblessness. That’s why I am doing everything I can to create jobs, get people back to work and make our families stronger here in San Francisco. I support the spirit of the Occupy Wall Street movement that calls for peacefully assembling to protest and bring national attention to disparity issues in our country.
“In San Francisco, protesters are acting within their First Amendment right to free speech and freedom to assemble. While allowing for peaceful protests, we also must ensure that our streets and sidewalks remain safe and accessible for everyone. I will continue to work closely with our Police Chief to ensure San Francisco responds appropriately to these demonstrations.  
“San Francisco is a city that embraces free speech and freedom to assemble like no other city.”

Indeed, no other city among the 60 or so that have followed the Occupy Wall Street example of occupying public spaces has sent police and trucks in to raid encampments in the middle of night, so San Francisco is indeed alone in its treatment of the movement that Lee shamelessly claims to support.

And now Avalos:

“Last night I gathered in solidarity with the protesters Occupying San Francisco. Like many people all over the country, I have been watching this protest gather strength and grow as more and more of us, more of the 99 percent, demand accountability from the corporations and people who are responsible for the destruction of our economy and devastation of our families.

“I came to down to observe the protest last night in response to summons from protesters and a notice from the police accusing their encampment of a number of minor infractions, ranging from open flames on a city street or sidewalk to serving food without a permit. I observed and negotiated with police in good faith to keep the peace and allow the encampment to remain, only to hear of a crackdown shortly after I left.

“This is not the San Francisco that I know. This is not the San Francisco I love. This City has served as a sanctuary for free speech and assembly for generations, and we must protect that legacy. With our unemployment rate nearing 10 percent, we have a responsibility to be a sanctuary for the 99 percent.

"Instead, last night we witnessed that 99 percent being detained, arrested, and intimidated with force.

“My vision is of a true sanctuary city - one that protects our right to free speech and assembly, and one that holds real criminals accountable. This should be a city for the rest of us - for the 99 percent. I stand with Occupy SF.”


And I make a low salary because I purposely choose to. It's called voluntary simplicity. Look it up.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

I was trying to make the same point, but I think it's best if he hears it from someone else. I prefer to keep my posts civil, in part because personal attacks don't help the positions/issues/candidates I'm advocating for.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

Lisa, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the insulting psychobabble analysis you just laid down.

This is about Greg (who posts on this blog as a progressive) suddenly and unacceptably attacking a crucial progressive ally, when he should be supporting her.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

The fact that she has nothing other than touchy-feely appeals to people who think she's a hopeless irrelevance is all we need to know about here. she has no practical plans on tax that are within the jurisdiction of a SF Mayor.A credible candidate would understand how such statements are interpreted.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 8:42 am

so there is no evidence that aValos is running 4th, as you siggest. Polls indicate that Adachi and Dufty will do better than Avalos. He's more on a par with Chiu and Ting.

Your numbers of Yee and Herrera are also exaggerated. The last poll I saw had Lee with more support than any other three candidates added together.

And despite what you might like to think, most voters approve of things like the Twitter tax break, and managing the "protests".

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 8:46 am

Depends on how those questions are phrased in the polls. Had they been phrased in a way that equates tax breaks for corporations with a Republican economic plan, voters in SF would oppose them. Had they been phrased in a way that asks if voters wanted to help their "friends" at that annoying Farmville application that bugs them on Facebook to grow more of their money crops, voters would oppose them. If they were asked whether San Francisco needed to augment the 500K more jobs than San Franciscans with these tax breaks, then voters might weigh in otherwise.

As for "managing" the protests, it remains to be seen as to whether it is a good idea to be siding with the 1% against the 99%. Crisis means that we don't know what's going to be happening next. I hope that Ed Lee takes that risk and ends up tarred and feathered, along with Willie, Rose and David
3% Chiu, in Justin Herman Plaza.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 9:21 am

Avalos is going to lose this and take San Francisco's progressive movement with with it because he has made poor decisions and is running a crappy campaign that is inward focused and self-referential rather than outward focused and addressing issues important to San Francisco voters in a way that magnetizes them.

I wish this was not the case, but wishing and wanting does not change reality, organizing does, and that ain't happening.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 9:35 am

left and those who already support him, and makes zero effort to gain any broad appeal. As such, he's rightly dismissed as a fringe candidate.

But for IRV, most people wouldn't risk voting for him at all, because that only helps Lee get re-elected. Even under IRV, a vote for Avalos takes one away from the candidate who has the greatest chance of beating Lee (given that it's not clear yet whether that is Hereera, Yee or Adachi).

So Avalos will get a lot more first-place votes than is warranted by the number who actually think he'd be the best Mayor. But either way, he's not going to finish in the top five.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 10:06 am

Not sure that Avalos helps or hurts Lee as they appeal to very different demographics by any measure.

Like Obama, Lee risks associating himself with the corrupt interests that are the cause of US economic collapse and will end up, like Willie Brown did in 2000, eventually paying a political price for that association.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 10:11 am

If that's "paying a political price" then I imagine any candidate would be willing to pay it. The sole point is to secure power and, despite what you might think, most voters are fairly pro-business, city-wide. They supported Brown and they support Lee.

I agree Avalos is just noise in this election. But Lee's opponents are going to need more than left-wing bumper stickers to defeat him.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 10:30 am

Brown lost the Board of Supervisors resoundingly one year into his second term and would not have been reelected had he been able to run. Brown in San Francisco was like Gray Davis in Sacramento, only the successful reaction to his policies came from the left rather than the right.

Brown had to go into stealth mode in order to reassert his claim on the public purse after a partial 3 year resistance from Newsom. In 2005, corporate power got into "survival" mode and has spent lavishly to out organize progressives who have been constrained in the box into which they were put by corporate San Francisco.

I warned progressives, but they spent more energy attacking me for telling the truth than they did against the corporate power they claim to oppose.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 10:48 am

Anonymous, ranked choice doesn't work that way. If Avalos were to do as badly as you claim (and he won't) voting for him in a high rank would take no votes away whatsoever from other candidates. And if he -doesn't- do that badly he will simply prevail over those other candidates in actual totals, showing that he was a stronger contender in the first place.

This new myth being pitched by Downtown lobbyists that lower ranked candidates somehow steal key votes from eachother, is just that - a nonsensical myth cooked up by political hacks trying to scare progressives away from voting their conscience, and potentially winning the election.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 10:50 am

defeating Lee, and voters who put one of those first don't include the other two, then that will help Lee.

And luckily for Lee, the left is split, and few liberals will put those three as their three picks.

A Lee voter can put Hall or Aliota-Pier in their picks and it really won't make any difference. They'll be eliminated quickly. But a liberal including Baum and Avalos will have only one vote left for a candidate who can actually catch up with Lee. If their one pick then finishes third, that helps Lee win.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 11:19 am

Except that most center left voters will do exactly as you are suggesting meaning that the ranked choices will shake down toward those three just fine.

Whoever the strong left progressives choose as their third choice then becomes important to tip one of them over the top.

So what we should be doing is getting that strong left to all vote for the same candidate as their third rank choice.

Clearly Leland Yee is more progressive than the others and should be that vote.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 11:43 am

Anyone who has fixing the City's chronic budget deficits as a priority is not voting for Yee. Yee will draw no middle-right or right votes whereas Adachi and Herrera can. It's Adachi or Hererra to take down Lee imo. Still think Adachi has best chance because he has core support from right and left...Dont think anyone else even has a shot. Lee's "lead" has been inflated by powerful media interests (ahem, Chronicle). But Lee will be tough to beat. Adachi did shoot himself in the foot by not taking public financing though...

Posted by Guest on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

is a union hack although the same could be said of Lee.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

I'd much rather have a Mayor overly deferential to unions, than one overly deferential to real estate corporations, Willie Brown, and Rose Pak.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

Pro-union mayors and/or pay-to-play Mayors is the core problem.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

A) Of course. Avalos would be an even better mayor. But we are currently talking about the lesser of evils, not the ideal winner.

B) No. The problem is real estate developers being allowed by Brown, Newsom, Lee, Kawa, Pak, and Herrera to demolish our city and turn it into a giant condo track and strip mall. And another huge problem is Adachi attacking all workers on behalf of billionaires.

Again, that leaves Yee as the far lesser of the evils.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

Yee hates Adachi, Adachi hates Herrera and Herrera hates everybody.

So their supporters will fritter away vital IRV picks on Baum and Avalos, and then the third choice votes will be split between the only three candidates who can catch up to Lee.

The left fumbles yet again.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

and the voters don't perceive as large a difference between them as differences between all three and Lee.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

and not waste votes on no-hopers like Avalos and Baum

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

It is crucial to build the SF Green Party back up to strength with a strong showing under IRV, and it is entirely possible that Avalos could win this election.

Progressives need to all choose the same third rank candidate, not abandon their core goals.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

He'll do well to finish to finish 6th

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

And while it may be your opinion that Avalos has no chance, I don't share that opinion. At this point the race is pretty wide open, and we have a month to go.

Polls actually show him doing better than Adachi last I looked, btw.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

"only Adachi, Yee and Herrera have a credib;le chance of catching Lee".

So he didn't exactly say that avalos couldn't win. But he said that Avalos has no credible chance.

Tim said something similar in explaining his endoresements.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 6:01 am

Can't find it. Can you? I didn't read any such thing. In any case, all the polls I've seen have Adachi either in a bunch with Yee, Herrera, and Avalos, or slightly behind. Avalos is a top tier candidate, and I think he may do better once people start paying attention to endorsements.

If the only goal here was to defeat Ed Lee, I might agree with your strategy. But defeating Ed Lee with a candidate who's no better than Ed Lee doesn't accomplish anything. I believe Herrera is such a candidate.

Adachi is progressive on criminal justice issues, but deeply flawed on other issues, to the point where it's difficult to vote for him. Nevertheless, the lack of good alternatives is making me come around to an Avalos-Yee-Adachi ticket.

As for Baum... well the only benefit to ranking Baum at all would be to put her down for 1st. And it would be a symbolic benefit only, to show that a Green Party candidate has support. And frankly, she's not worth 1st place. When competence is figured into the equation, I truly believe that EITHER Avalos or Yee would make a better mayor, even if I could magically choose. And ranking her third is a pointless excersize in every way. No one will see how many "thirds" she collects, so there's not even any symbolic value in that. Not even the DOE workers. The computer will tally up the first place votes, and then eliminate the candidate(s) with the fewest. And that means Baum.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 8:20 am

from 3/4 weeks ago and you'll find the quote, a discussion about it, and Steven's attempt at backpeddling.

Anyway, I'd agree with you that Baum is a wasted vote. And you're basically agreeing with the SFBG endorsements, which were fair enough. But I don't believe that Avalos has a realistic chance of winning, as he has made little effort to develop a city-wide appeal, and doesn't seem interested in developing the moderation necessary for that.

The simple fact is that there aren't enough progressives in SF to carry their candidate, unless he's exceptional (Gonzales came close, and against a stronger candidate). Avalos is nowhere near that level.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 8:40 am

Greg, you need to think about the fact that when, as an open supporter of John Avalos, you openly attack another good progressive that a -lot- of people strongly believe in, you are powerfully alienating other progressives and seriously weakening our joint solidarity on the left against the Brown machine.

And your claims that Baum doesn't have a coherent platform are completely incorrect. She has an extensive platform which -includes- important local revenue strategies. You can see the outline of that platform right on Baum's web site at: http://terryjoanbaum.com/issues

Attacking Baum from the progressive side -hurts- Avalos and undermines the progressive cause as a whole in San Francisco.

You need to stop.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

With IRV, I would not count anyone out given the latest news about the possibility of alleged campaign money laundering by Lee. Herrera has filed a 3 page request to the State Attorney General and Yee wants sunshine laws applied to the cost over runs with respect to the Central Subway. By returning the money from Lorrie's, Lee seems to be on the defense rather than offense. His one TV add attacks public financing laws and a real low blow to candidates like Avalos that have a chance of getting their message out that would never have seen the light of day. Avalos is using some creative ways of getting people involved.

Baum has some good points and the Green party, like any third party, needs to keep its ballot lines open. Tax the Rich is a great frame used by Terri and other organizations, like CNA, has given specific ways of taxing wall street to increase federal revenue to help main street. We had a day long soup kitchen in SF in early september and held them around the country to high light our Main street campaign. We need third parties in my opinion to be edgy.

The Wall Street protests have been joined by organized labor in NYC and are growing like the street protests in Cairo which many dissed too.

The 99% movement could has some staying power. The fact that politicians are reacting is good thing.

Today, labor is turning out at Yee's headquarters for precinct walking and to highlight Leland's plans to create jobs something we need in SF.

If labor turns out in record numbers and does the hard work that is necessary to elect a new mayor for SF, anyone can win this. Lee's campaign is on the defensive and his lead and overconfidence may be outdone by plain old hard work and precinct walking.

Posted by Guest lucretiamott on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 5:15 am

there isn't a shred of evidence that what you allege is true. Lee's numbers have barely moved since all the mudslinging started. If anything, it makes him look above such nonsense.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 10:20 am

Isn't D6 her turf. Early Thursday morning when the SFPD was 'cleaning debris' outside the Federal Reserve why was it D11 Supe, John Avalos who shopwed up to try and resolve the situation. Just asking.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 9:24 am

real good for their image.

And in case you hadn't noticed, Kim is standing for any office. So why would she take on a cause that a majority oppose?

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 10:21 am

Reality check,

One year ago Jeff got 199,000 votes from the citizens of San Francisco. This, while Downtown and the brass of the labor unions were spending over a million and a half bucks blackening his name. The voters didn't buy it then and they won't buy it now.

Jeff Adachi is the smart vote for independence, integrity and intelligence. All of the other major candidates are deeply flawed and they've all done so many crimes with each other that the leaks of their transgressions will continue to play out in the media for the next 31 days.

All except Adachi.

The man has defended a half million cases over the last 20 years of people accused of crime and done it better than any Public Defender's office in the United States.

When budgetary shortfalls threatened his ability to continue to do the best job for his clients (Lee and Yee and Herrera should be his clients if the world were just) ... when that happened he looked at the myriad of City fiscal problems causing his department's problems and moved to reform the most dangerous.

Adachi will win the most first place votes cause he always does.

He'll get Lee's second place votes cause Jeff's a real Pension reformer.

He'll get the Avalos second place votes cause real Progs know Jeff's a Prog.

He'll get Hall's seconds and Yee's seconds and Herrera's seconds.

Need I go on?

Go Niners!


Posted by h. brown on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 9:56 am

Jeff's been clever because some on the left are convinced he's really still a liberal "at heart". While the moderates like his willingness to take on the vested, rigid and self-serving public sector interest groups.

So it's a gamble for him - he'll either do very well or very badly, depending on whether he can finesse the contradictions in his position, or whether he's rumbled as an opportunistic hypocrit. Worth a shot, I guess, if you're well behind a clear frontrunner.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 10:25 am

How come you keep making this argument when Adachi ran unopposed? It would be like saying 100% of the Democratic primary voters support Obama when he runs unopposed next year.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 10:26 am

Adachi got the fewest votes and lowest percentage of voters voting in the election voting for him of any unopposed candidate.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 11:15 am


Larry Bush at citireport.com noted that Ed Lee appointed Eleanor Johns to the Airport Commission without announcing it to the public. She was Willie's Chief of Staff and is now the head of the Willie Brown Institute. In short, she's been his bag lady for years.

That puts another spin on the Airport Commission switching their vote to one that favors Lorrie's in the Lorriegate Scandal. In this case it was reversed. Usually first they pay and then they get the vote. In this case, first they got the favorable vote (was Johns there to vote?) and then they gave up the 10 grand.

Also, Ed Lee appointed Johns' unqualified husband to the Historical Preservation Commission despite a raft of public comment saying that he wasn't qualified.

thanks Larry Bush for the research,


Posted by h. brown on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 1:19 pm


Salomon attacks Adachi who got 199,000 votes with a huge campaign (1.5 million) against him. Wanna hear how much even his fellow Greens like Marc?

A few years back there were 11 seats open on the Green County Council and only 13 people ran.

Marc was a candidate.

He lost.

There was no big campaign against Salomon. There didn't have to be.

This season? The Avalos campaign has asked him to stay away.

Yeah, listen to Marc.

Go Cardinals!


Posted by h. brown on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

Avalos asked me to volunteer, I declined.

h. brown lies again.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

It doesn't take a scintilla of courage to show up at Occupy SF.

You know what requires a spine- standing up to the City's police and fire unions. Instead, Avalos lets the City's lowest paid and retirees get steamrolled by police and fire and the $200k managers who wrote Prop C - what a disgrace.

Trust me - non-six figure City employees will NOT be voting for Prop C and are NOT fooled by his Avalos' cowardice.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

You would not attack Avalos if you were not scared of him and what he represents politically. Perhaps the tenor of your attacks is fueled by new polling that shows him a threat?

Posted by marcos on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

Just pointing out that he had no spine on Prop C and did not stand up for the City rank and file and retirees while claiming to be a true progressive - that's just a fact. Ask a retiree or City employee. The comment had nothing to do with the Mayor's race.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 6:00 pm


If Avalos actually asked you to work for him and you refused, I apologize. Frankly, I don't believe you. Hey, I think you're fabulous but I wouldn't hire you to sell neckties in the desert if you get my allusion.

A very very interesting election season, no?

Go Niners!


Posted by h. brown on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

The homophobic old antisemite tries to get the last word in again:

"Hey, I think you're fabulous but I wouldn't hire you to sell neckties in the desert if you get my allusion."

Posted by Guest on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

h, you must be tripping on shrooms.

What part of the definition of the world 'volunteer' don't you get?

Posted by marcos on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 6:44 pm


There's a reason Ed Lee is 'running' Anonymouse. It's because he already has more arrows in him than Custer and they've only begun shooting. Wait til they get close enough to him to use the spears.

Adachi for Mayor!!

MIyamoto for Sheriff!!

Gascon for DA!!

But then, what do I know?

Go Niners!


Posted by h. brown on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

The latest poll has him twenty points ahead of his nearest rival. that's massive, considering that many voters switch to an incumbent at the last minute.

Adachi is the best candidate of the other "big three" but to win, he'll have to win over all the liberals who hate him.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

What is so hard about linking to factual material?
The problem is most likely that the facts do not support your statement.

Posted by Meatlock on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

Previous poll I heard about had Lee 25 points ahead.

Poll before that had Lee 30 points ahead.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 7:17 pm