Chronicle taps Chiu, opening up the mayoral field

David Chiu's endorsement by the Chron helps him and other candidates who are trying to topple Ed Lee.
Keeney and Law

David Chiu has snagged the mayoral endorsement of the San Francisco Chronicle, beefing up his fairly paltry list of endorsers and giving his campaign something to trumpet with its hefty cash reserves in the final weeks. Most importantly, the endorsement opens up the race and probably hurts perceived frontrunner Ed Lee.

After the Examiner endorsed Lee as its top pick, it would have solidified the appointed incumbent mayor's standing as the consensus pick of pro-business centrists – who always have a strong influence in the mayor's race – if the Chron had also gone that way. But now, both that vote and the Chinese-American vote will be divided, with some of the latter also picked up by Leland Yee, who got the top endorsements of the Labor Council, Sierra Club, and other influential groups.

The Chronicle endorsement probably gives the biggest advantage to Dennis Herrera, who has placed second in most public opinion polls as well as many endorsements, including getting the second place nod in the Guardian, Examiner, Labor Council, Milk Club, San Francisco Democratic Party, and others – an impressive array that covers the full spectrum of San Francisco politics.

Lee, Herrera, and Jeff Adachi also got praised by the Chronicle in a companion editorial entitled “Three other candidates to consider,” and that will also help Adachi with his left-right punch and outsider appeal, making him another candidate who can't be counted out just yet.

By opening up the mayor's race and creating a more complicated calculus in the city's ranked choice voting system, the varied list of endorsements and the dethroning of Lee as a done-deal could also be a boon to John Avalos, the consensus pick of the city's left who has a long list of first place endorsements (including those of the Guardian, Milk Club, SF Democratic Party, and many others). Avalos could capitalize on the rising frustration with corporate America that is embodied to the Occupy movement, which he has been nearly alone among the mayoral field in actively supporting.

(You can read an Excel file of the endorsements of various San Francisco organizations, which we'll periodically update, here.)

While the Lee campaign and the many independent expenditure groups that back him are expected to vastly outspend the rest of the field, obscene displays of corporate cash could end up backfiring this year, particularly against the backdrop of OccupySF and the business community's raid on employee health care funds and deceptive surcharges on restaurant bills, which Chiu and Lee have been supporting.

Bottom line: with four weeks left until Election Day, the mayor's race is still up for grabs.


Guardian readers and staff,

Dig this from the Chronicle on the character of Jeff Adachi ...

Jeff Adachi

Talk about courage. One of the city's most liberal politicians took on labor over the bedrock issue of pensions. He lost in his first attempt last year, but is back with a revised version after he wouldn't back a compromise measure also on the ballot. He's been unfairly vilified by much of the city's political establishment for daring to raise the pension problem that others preferred to ignore.

His campaign shows he's more than a one-issue candidate. He has a clear grasp of a variety of issues ranging from homeless policies to taxes. His independence is unassailable. The question is whether he has become too divisive a figure to be an effective mayor.

Read more:

Posted by h. brown on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 5:53 pm

I suppose next you'll be citing the National Enquirer

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

If the Enquirer endorses Adachi, h. will be the first to tell you about it. Dude has no shame.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

Can someone please buy the Guardian ad space in the top of right of this site so that we don't have to be subjected to Chiu's fake face every time we access this blog..?

Thanks in advance...

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

No doubt the SFBG is donating the ad revenue to the Avalos campaign.

How much are you willing to donate to your cause?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

Lol, he probably road blocked it for the entire month with all that cash he's sitting on, just to mess with you, Eric Brooks. Freakin' genius.

Posted by Justin on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

Since you are only exhibiting the cowardice to attack me anonymously, how about instead, showing the courage to reveal your own real name?


That's what I thought...

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

I'm not sure what telling you my last name would accomplish, other than allow you to stalk me, or see if I'm a registered Republican through voter file records or something (which I am not FYI).

Besides, I did not attack you. Poke fun at? Yes, but attack? Definitely not.

You make it sound like it was me who bought the ads for the purpose of trolling you and only you. It's always a conspiracy with you folks isn't it?

Posted by Justin on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

a little narcissistic and paranoid are we, Justin?

Posted by 'anonymous' on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

You actually think that I, or anyone, would even consider you important enough to look up your political party affiliation and somehow unfathomably figure out a way to harass you with such an unimportant detail.

Who is the conspiracy theorist here...?

Easy there homes. A Harvard education only gets you so far, once you get out into the real world...

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

Well, you were the one who claimed I was attacking you, when I did not. It's just a bit weird that some stranger wants to know my name, when it's completely irrelevant. This isn't a contest of who's quicker to reveal their personal info on the internet.

Also, why do you imply that I have a Harvard education? I went to SF State bucko.

Posted by Justin on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

He just got you to reveal something about that true identity you seem so hot to keep a lid on

I always love watching trolls get trolled.

Posted by 'anonymous' on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

Unless I was lying, which you have no way of verifying? Plus, how many people have gone to SF State? It reveals zero about my identity, other than that I'm aware of a place called SF State.

Posted by Justin on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

Ok Sparky. Taking it a little too seriously now.

Next thread's a'waitin' ;)

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 6:23 pm

Really? Believe you that is?

Or are we still being trolled friend...?

Posted by 'anonymous' on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

I'll leave it at that. You can interpret what I wrote all I want, but you still don't know who I am. So uh, good work there.

Are you two lifemates, you post when he posts? Doing important work for the oh so important Green Party these days by the way?

Posted by Justin on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 6:50 pm

Even of inexperienced newbie trolls like you.

Posted by 'anonymous' on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

Didja know that Eric Brooks is the real name of Blade, the vampire hunter. That's pretty awesome. You can team up and be Anonymous the Troll Hunter, maybe they'll make a movie too.

Posted by Justin on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

never take life too seriously

Posted by 'anonymous' on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 7:49 pm


Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

We couldn't agree more, and the Guardian could certainly use the revenue

Posted by steven on Oct. 13, 2011 @ 10:00 am

to elevate Lee, among the losers lined against him. And he's way more credible than some of those challanging the clear fontrunner.

But he can't win - his coronation here merely further fragments the feeble anit-Lee vote. It's all over.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 6:01 pm

People need to stop thinking of this election with archaic winner-take-all thinking.

In ranked choice elections, votes of one 'side' like the 'anti Lee' vote are not split nearly as much.

The key to victory is to ideally get all of the anti Lee voters to rank the same fallback candidate somewhere in their rankings. To me the obvious choice is Yee.

In any case, most progressives (a huge part of the anti Lee vote) shun Chiu, so not only is he a candidate who will not win because of his lame betrayals of the left, but his elevation by the Chronicle is unlikely to divide anti Lee votes away from being effective. In fact, it is likely to drive the progressive vote even further away from Chiu.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

where there is a strong 2nd and 3rd choice candidate, AND where they form an alliance. We saw that in Oakland last year.

That's not the case here where Lee has more support than his closest three rivals added together, who anyway don't like each other. Lee will pick up 2nd and 3rd choice votes from Hall, Rees, Aliota-Pier and Dufty and that alone will easily propel him past 50%.

Ironically, it will help Lee if liberals waste votes on candidates who have no chance like Baum and Avalos, rather than on the only three candidates who can realistically catch up with Lee's huge lead.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 5:05 am

Your claim that these are IRV 'games' is a fallacy.

Ranked choice is simply a reality. Anti Lee votes will aggregate into one general pool, and progressives will either win, or lose pretty much solely on how well we organize. All I'm arguing, is for progressives to choose the one -best- of those candidates who gather the aggregate progressive vote.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 8:46 am

if it means that people vote against someone (Lee) rather than for someone.

The only "organization" (I think you mean "conspiracy") that might defeat Lee is for liberals to pick the three candidates who are polling 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

That means Yee, Herrera and Adachi. With no wasted votes on Baum or Avalos.

From what we read here, nobody is planning on doing that.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 9:11 am

No, all we have to do to elect a more progressive mayor is get enough voters to all rank one particular fallback candidate. (And Yee is that candidate.)

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 11:51 am

sadly you collectively can't agree on who that is. You think it's Yee, but hBrown thinks it's Adachi and some others will think it's Herrera.

That wouldn't matter if you all picked all three, but you insist on wasting votes on Avalos and Baum, which means that if Yee gets eliminated because Adachi or Herrera get more votes, Lee wins.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

I don't find that compelling. Most center left voters are already going to do as you are indicating. When election night arrives, at which time the progressive votes will become most important, it will likely be clear to people who the fallback candidate must be, and they will rank him or her.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

the polls continue to indicate similar levels of support for Yee, Adachi and Herrera.

Unless you pick all three, you could get trumped.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

I'm saying that once election day itself arrives, the progressives voting that evening will exercise the usual wisdom of crowds and rank the most viable alternative to Lee.

Will that be enough to tip that candidate over the top? Who knows.

That's what makes this race interesting.

Yee is a powerful campaigner. I find it very likely that he will propel himself forward as that candidate. And, above and beyond the fact that he is more progressive than Adachi or Herrera, this ability of Yee to win, is why I have already ranked him as my number three.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

no way of determining which of Yee, Herrera and Adachi has the most credible chance of catching Lee. Plus Chui could be a contender now.

But, crucially, it's only a problem if you insist on wasting your votes on Baum and Avalos.

So it comes down to this. Do you want your "vanity" picks? Or do you want to defeat Lee?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

This has nothing to do with 'vanity picks'.

The SF Greens badly need electoral elevation and stronger ballot status to continue to effectively organize (and our message needs to be amplified); and, in this wide field ranked election, Avalos could very easily and suddenly rise to the top when conventional wisdom doesn't see it coming. It is extremely important therefore, to go for the chance to actually get Avalos elected.

Voters like myself simply must make those two votes for those very important reasons. And at the same time we are planning on a given third choice, while -also- waiting to see where the wind is blowing by election night itself, and perhaps adjusting that third rank choice accordingly.

This is a perfectly effective strategy, and also a very good reason to wait until election night to vote. ;)

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 2:44 pm

it turns out that Yee, Herrera and Adachi all continue to be equal, then you won't know which one of them to pick for 3rd, if you insist on going with Baum or Avalos.

My neighbor is about as liberal as they come, and he's hosting Herrera fund raisers. HBrown is all about Adachi. You're for Yee. Where's the consensus?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

And it would be a very good thing to have a mayor like Avalos. Well worth any risk. This race is not just about defeating Lee.

And again, the wisdom of crowds usually works exceedingly well.

It is highly unlikely that there will not be clear Lee challenger pulling visibly ahead by election night.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

that makes it harder to co-ordinate an anti-Lee consensus. It was easy in Oakland with only two viable alternates. That's not the case here.

There's still a decent probability that picking Baum and Avalos can let Lee slip in. That's the liberal dilemma.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

And you can't win, if you don't take risks.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

you made it sound like this was easy and straightforward. But it isn't. Get it wrong and Lee walks it.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

So we'd better pay -very- close attention, and get it right.

This is about passing through the eye of the needle.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 4:18 pm

While all the attention is focused on Lees loss of the Chronicle 4 major newspapers in the Phillipino community endorsed Yee. The Only thing for certain is that it is a major loss for Lee and benefits Chiu who is not polling well. Herrera gets a boost but not enough to gain the Chinese vote which will start looking at Chiu and Yee as better candidates.

Come down to Lee, Yee and Herrera with Chiu /adachi gaining some traction in the final stretch. It will come down to GOTV and who is better able to turn out voters.

Herreras and Yees punching have been effective but Yees got a good ground game plan and benefits the most from Ed's fall from the Chrons grace.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

Seriously, the Comical is a joke

Posted by Greg on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

the descendents of a small, remote island in the south pacific.

Lee is home free.

Posted by Dave Sydner on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

He's got a lot of ground to cover and rich men's money to sped if he wants to win against a city full of progressives, even if they are entitled true believers who need to put down there bongs.

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 7:28 pm

Oh I see what's going on here. Guardian's trying to steal the thunder from Chiu's surprise endorsement... I knew the progressives had a personal vendetta against Chiu, but wow, this is just silly.

Admit it, you have to be a little bit surprised that the Chron dared to give the endorsement that nobody saw coming. Everyone said Lee, and they were wrong. Seriously, nobody saw this coming, and it's a real game changer.

Posted by Justin on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

I'll admit that, like most people, we were surprised by this endorsement. Not shocked, because Chiu has certainly been playing to the middle and supporting Chronicle positions, but a bit surprised. Yet I'm not sure why you think we're silly or trying to steal his thunder. I really don't think this endorsement will propel into the lead or anything close to that. What it seems to do is exactly but I focused on in this piece: it opens up the field and makes this a more interesting race.

Posted by steven on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 9:56 am

And on your vendetta point, if progressives have one, it's a political vendetta and not a personal one. I like David personally, but I'm not happy with his betrayal of the progressive movement that elected him or with his role in moving this city's political center to the right. But personally, we get along just fine. Before writing this post, I even sent him a text message congratulating him on the endorsement.

Posted by steven on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 10:00 am

Uh, this article talked more about how a Chron endorsement helps Herrera and Avalos, than it did about Chiu. If not "stealing his thunder", then definitely a whole lot of denial that Chiu just received the endorsement that as Alex Clemens said, "[is] a serious, heavyweight endorsement that all politicians in San Francisco — whether they admit it or not — really, really, really want to get.”

Posted by Justin on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

What is wrong with you people? Other than a poll Herrera paid for, can you list the polls where Herrera was 2nd outside the margin of error?

Herrera has no statistical polling edge over either Yee or Adachi.

Never seen so much talk about so little...

It is getting interesting...

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 8:34 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.

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

I didn't claim Herrera was 2nd according to the polls- the author did. I am asking him/her to cite the polls.

News organizations pay for polls - they're credible.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 10:58 pm