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.”


Sounds a bit high for point ahead

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

little to no movement against Lee. Lee doesn't need to do anything to coast home.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 6:03 am

Perhaps, and I've not seen the polls. But Lee is surely attacking Avalos, both on line and via campaign mailers.

Politicians generally don't do that unless they're sitting on more money then they know what to do with (maybe true) or the numbers are changing.

Any one snapshot is within the margin of error. However seeing 4 Yee/Herrera attack ads to 1 Lee puff pieces, not to mention articles in this paper and elsewhere outlining Lee's corruption and lawbreaking means that the barrage is probably having its effect and driving Lee's numbers down as is the case as the election nears in any event.

You all would not be attacking Avalos if you did not view him as a threat.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 8:33 am

It's not attacking Avalos to state that he can't win. The polls are saying that and I'm just repeating the polls. Every poll I've seen has Avalos at around 5%.

I'm not a fan of attack ad's and it's a shame that Herrera (in particular) apparently can't think of anything to say to support his candidacy other than to sling mud at other candidates. That's hardly a positive campaig even if it wasn't with public money, which it is.

The best anti-Lee vote is Adachi/Yee/Herrera in whatever order you like. If you replace one of those with Avalos, and the one you drop ends up finishing second, then you've helped elect Lee.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 9:01 am

The corrupt truth is not an attack. Public finance is how the truth about corruption gets told to the voters. Apparently, this dose of truth is driving down Lee's numbers, and probably Herrera and Yee's as well. That leaves Avalos as the only candidate to not have run negative ads to sop up the drippings and that is why Lee's team is going apeshit on John.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

What are the natures of Lee's attacks on John Avalos?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

I'd heard there was a hit piece mailer on Avalos, from an IE supporting Lee.

Could be they are just running more money through the machine to keep the consultants fed and fat.

Could be they are scared.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

There has not been ONE credible mayoral poll conducted by an independent news organization. Let's not pretend we have any concrete sense of where this race stands.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 9:01 am

I'm not citing any polls. I'm citing what people close to campaigns tell me that polls say about candidates not their own. That's why I preface my statements as n-th hand information.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 9:25 am

personal viewpoint. If you want a fringe candidate to win, chances are you'll dismiss all polls indicating he has no chance as being not "credible". So what?

The three polls I've seen (there may have been more) all had (within a margin or error) Lee around 30%, Yee, Adachi and Herrera around 10%, and the rest in single digits, which usually means zero chance of winning.

But if you have a newer or better poll to share with us, please do so. I'm sure we'd all be interested. As long as it's "credible", of course.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 9:29 am

Simple fact.

Those of you crowing against lower polling candidates right now are getting way ahead of yourselves.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 10:40 am

they aren't significant enough to warrant the expense of proper sampling and a more formal methodology. That race was also much more equal with no obvious frontrunner as here. It will take a lot more than the quirks and vagaries of IRV to coronate a candidate who is running sixth or seventh in the polls, 30 points shy of the leader.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

You are forgetting that even the the vote counts themselves put Cohen in single digits in early rounds. And she won.

So can Avalos, especially with the -major- progressive groundswell that is happening right now with the Occupy Wall Street protests.

That exciting movement will boost and energize progressive voter turnout and volunteering for this November and could push Avalos over the top in a close ranked choice election.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

who don't even disclose methodology. Such polls are worthless.

There has not been a single poll taken that wasn't paid for and formulated by someone or group with a vested interest in the race...

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

that doesn't necessarily mean that their findings are wrong. Pollsters have their reputations to protect and will always use viable methods, regardless of who is paying.

If you have other credible polls to offer, then cite them, so we can discuss them alongside every poll so far, which all show Lee with one third of the votes even in a crowded field.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

what is the source of your polls, true believer?
You haven't linked to a single poll, but you ask others to?

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 10:39 pm


Marcos citing Downtown push-polls? Anonymous. In the last week Adachi was third pick of the Green Party and the League of Pissed-Off Voters and those are the two most important independent groups of Progressives in the City.

Hey, I think that Brooks and 'Greg' and Salomon and ... don't represent the thinking of Progressives.

Maybe I'm wrong.

Know what's nice?

We'll know in 30 sleeps plus a few hours.

In mythology lovers waited 30 years.

Dontcha love it?

Go Niners!


Posted by h. brown on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

H, I find that other progressives and I are on the same page about almost everything, including opposition to props C & D.

The one strange and blaring exception is support for Adachi.

The SF Greens and League simply will not let go of their fire for Adachi because of his absolutely stellar record as Public Defender.

But I've been deep in the politics game for a very long time, and I have seen previously outstanding progressives like Adachi do a complete 180 on the movement; and he is definitely showing all of the warning signs of doing just that.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

Please. Get rid of this old homophobe, who received all of 42 votes in his last electoral race.

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


Marcos citing Downtown push-polls? Anonymous. In the last week Adachi was third pick of the Green Party and the League of Pissed-Off Voters and those are the two most important independent groups of Progressives in the City.

Hey, I think that Brooks and 'Greg' and Salomon and ... don't represent the thinking of Progressives.

Maybe I'm wrong.

Know what's nice?

We'll know in 30 sleeps plus a few hours.

In mythology lovers waited 30 years.

Dontcha love it?

Go Niners!


Posted by h. brown on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 8:36 pm


You're right. What do I know about campaigns? First one I worked on was for Adlai Stevenson in 1952. Last one was Matt's in 2003 (I think he should enter the presidential race now).

In between I've been a self-appointed flack and ship's journalist through many a campaign (maybe 100?).

Hey, I've had fun even though I can't pick em.

Adachi for Mayor!

Baum for Mayor!

Avalos for Mayor!

Hall for Mayor!

Miyamoto for Sheriff!

Gascon for DA!

Go Niners!


Posted by h. brown on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

@Eric. If you are in support of IRV, I think you could have found a better 'pin-up' than Ms Cohen, based upon her performance so far she seems to be the second coming of Auntie Tomasophenia.
Just my 2c.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

For those of us who support IRV, it's really about democracy, not necessarily getting what we want. D10 is actually a good case in point. If it had been a traditional runoff, the two candidates would have been Tony Kelly, and that unknown Vietnamese lady whose name I now forget. Not one African American candidate would have made the runoff in a traditionally aa district.

Now I think Tony Kelly would have made a phenomenal supe. He was my #2 behind Chris Jackson. But I have to admit that with IRV, Malia Cohen is a better match for the voters of that district both in terms of identity politics, and in terms of ideology. That's the beauty of IRV.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

The point is she won, against exactly the same odds that posters are claiming preclude Avalos from winning.

I'm just making clear that such anti Avalos predictions are incredibly short sighted and show a profound lack of understanding of ranked choice voting.

We've still got a great shot at this, and we should go for it!

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

started out with a solid 1/3 of the votes locked up.

While the fact that she is black (Greg's point, not yours, I get) is irrelevant.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

I actually agree. I'm not big on identity politics. But it's not irrelevant to many voters, who do vote based on ethnic identity. My point was that if not for IRV, the aa vote would have been split many ways in that race, and no aa candidate would have advanced. With IRV, those votes were allowed to coalesce and a much truer sense of the electorate was allowed to emerge (regardless of whether that electorate made a choice you or I agree with).

Posted by Greg on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 4:17 pm

It's to save the cost of a runoff election.

And it's not a matter of sides, because IRV as often favors the right as the left.

AA's are only 10% of the electorate, and vote far less than their representation. Obama didn't need IRV, nor did Cain need it to win the Florida straw poll.

I agree with you - let's come down hard on anyone playing the race card here.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

It's to save money.
It's to increase participation (more voters involved in picking the winner than in a low-turnout runoff).
it's to reduce the spoiler effect (somewhat dampened when there are only 3 spaces on the ballot, which is why I say "reduce" rather than "eliminate").
It's to elicit a truer sense of the electorate, whether the electorate opts for left, right, or center.

Most of the time it doesn't change the final result. Sometimes it does. I tend to think that when it does, it's a more democratic result than would have otherwise occurred.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

Lee is unlikely to be at 1/3rd when the polls open. Herrera and Yee are going to hammer him.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

Polls have been holding steady.

Can't blame you for wanting to talk up "your guys" though.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 5:48 am

and 2/3 of voters have never heard of him. i guess you mean 1/3 of 1/3 of voters are in the bag with Ed Lee? that's possible. good luck with your republicobot candidate wet dream

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 6:57 am

@h, and all other old faithfuls.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

@Lisa. I thank all the God/esses for your planet.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 6:26 pm


Posted by Lisa on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

Marke, you need an old fashioned chat room,

Navigating your site is a study in diminishing returns. The more posts you get, the harder it is to reach them. Click on a link for this thread for instance and it doesn't take you to the post, you have to navigate for 5 minutes. I gots a little German in me and that's inefficient.

Read this and tell me what you think of Adachi.

boys and girls,

Heather Knight captured the soul of
Jeff Adachi in an amazing interview in this
morning's Chron.

Here it be ...


go Niners!

Posted by h. brown on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 7:39 am

I am nobody, i am everybody,

I am the 99%!

My goal;
Jail the Wall street gangsters and the democrat and republican politicians who aided and abetted their looting of America.
Take back America from the greedy corporate barrons!!

SF T party

Posted by SF T Party on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 7:04 pm