Mirkarimi victory seems assured

Ross Mirkarimi was reluctant to declare victory at City Hall yesterday, but today his win seemed assured.
Steven T. Jones

The San Francisco Elections Department counted more than 25,000 ballots today and just posted new ranked choice voting tallies that continue to indicate Ross Mirkarimi has been elected sheriff, widening his margin of victory from yesterday's count. Mayor Ed Lee and District Attorney George Gascon saw their margins shrink slightly, but they are also the clear winners.

With only about 7,000 provisional ballots still be counted, it's unlikely that these results will change. Lee's share of first place votes dipped by about a half percentage point to 31 percent, while second place John Avalos, third Dennis Herrera, fourth David Chiu, and fifth place Leland Yee each gained a bit of ground.

It took 12 rounds of reallocating votes, one more than yesterday's tally, but the latest count shows Lee winning with 60 percent of the vote to Avalos's 40 percent.

In the sheriff's race, the only variable after yesterday's count was whether Paul Miyamota might be eliminated before Chris Cunnie – raising the question of whether Mirkarimi would get a big enough chunk of Miyamoto's votes to put him over to top. But with Mirkarimi gaining ground in first place votes to 38 percent, and with 1,117 votes separating Cunnie and Miyamoto in the second round, it would be almost impossible for the winner to change.

In the DA's race, Gascon dropped and David Onek rose by about a half percentage point, but with more of Sharmin Bock's votes going to Gascon, he wins in the third round with 63 percent of the vote.


The rules demand that he carries out evictiosn and foreclosures if the courts determine that. He has no say.

How do you guard the courtrooms in a "liberal way"?

Will the jail become a garden of Eden?

I think you're expevcting far too much but, if this is your only victory, you might as well enjoy it

But Ross still works for Ed, just like he did before.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

Dude, calm down. This is as bad as progressives saying that Lee doesn't have a mandate or that they won on election day votes.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

This was about continuing the legacy of Michael Hennessey, who was perhaps the most progressive sheriff in California's history, rather than letting the cops take over. It's about creating programs that let the inmates get an education, learn a trade, and participate in other programs that reduce recidivism rates, which benefits all of us. It's about having one of the country's best jail health programs and treating the drug abuse, HIV, hepatitis,mental health issues, and other problems before they return to society. This is an at-risk population that we have an opportunity to help -- a chance that benefits all of us as much as it benefits them -- and that's something that Hennessey and Mirkarimi are more committed to than people who have spent their careers in law enforcement. And a small correction, the sheriff doesn't work for the mayor, it's an autonomous agency, just like the DA and Public Defenders offices.

Posted by steven on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

I just think he'll get very bored having no control over the rules under which he operates. He's going to have to evict tenants that he thinks should not be evicted. That's quite a step down from writing tenant protections into law.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

actually...sheriffs are the law of the land.
they don't have to follow federal laws, and do not have to be pawns for banks.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 13, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

They are public servants subject to the law. The cops, the DA and the courts have more power and discretion, and make the decisions. The sherriffs are at the end of the trail and have to follow.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 14, 2011 @ 5:51 am

Better than Ammiano's showing, except Avalos did it without trying too hard.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 5:10 pm
Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 5:16 pm

This is unreal.

Avalos ran a full campaign, for like 8 months, and was actually on the ballot.

And you're attempting to find solace in the fact that he *might* not have lost as bad as a write in candidate in 1999 who's campaign had like $20K in the bank and featured homemade signs?


Posted by Sambo on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

And that campaign was active in the last two months, whereas Avalos didn't do all that much till the last two weeks.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

And gee Greg, you didn't seem so down on Avalos a few days ago. And now his campaign sucks? Ok, dude.

You could find the silver lining in dog poo. Your current small victories include *possibly* doing better than a write-in candidate 12 years ago, and that most of the propositions the SFBG endorsed passed (never mind that the majority of those props were also endorsed by every major paper in town, lol).

You never addressed Lurker's awesome post to you last night. Caused you to think I guess. But props on filling out extra ballots for your family and friends.

Posted by Sambo on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

I think he would've made an awesome mayor, but I never said his campaign did a great job. It really didn't take off till the last week, by which time it was too late.

And clearly there was a moderate-progressive divide on the props, with Weiner trying to take away people's votes and all.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

For once Greg, I have to agree with the troll.

I watched the Avalos campaign closely because so many of my political compatriots were involved in it. These people busted their -asses- for months for that campaign.

Honestly man. Where do you get this nonsense...?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

But you need more than hard working volunteers to make for a winning campaign. They didn't have a discernable absentee absentee ballot strategy, they didn't reach out to the west side, they didn't even have a headquarters till... when?

I remember the Gonzalez campaign, for which I served as a district captain, and that was on a completely different level. There were house signs all over the west side. In this race, mine was the only Avalos sign in the whole neighborhood for blocks, and it's not the most conservative neighborhood in the city either. Hell, the McGoldrick campaign for supe was on a whole different level! We were cranking out voter IDs like a machine from rows of phone banks in the campaign headquarters in early *September*! Did Avalos even have a headquarters in early September?

I wasn't as close to this campaign as I was to some of those, but I did contribute, I did vote for him, I did think he'd make a great mayor (and still may at some point), but self-critique is a healthy thing, and I never saw the makings of a victorious campaign. And frankly the polls reflected that. The polls never registered Avalos breaking away from the pack until maybe a couple weeks before (when unreleased polls started showing it). But by then it was too late.

Avalos won on election day, but he lost by 30 points in the early absentees. I realize there's a different demographic there, but the disparity should not have been that astronomical.

Here's hoping we can take some healthy criticism, learn from our mistakes, and come back stronger next time.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 7:10 pm

First, window signs don't mean shit. They don't win elections.

Second, what you just typed is a far cry from the dismissive blurb that you so casually tossed off before. Please just show more respect and don't make flippant comments that have no basis, just because they are easy and provocative.

Third, I've heard this absentee argument before, and I don't think it holds up very well. Whether a vote is absentee or not, is not the issue. It is early recognition with all voters that builds the campaign and largely solves the problem of getting progressive absentee voters to vote. The only absentee strategy I advocate, is identifying which progressive voters consistently send their ballots in and contacting them to make sure they vote for our candidates.

Fourth, 40% against the Lee juggernaut is pretty damned good.

Finally, and as I stated on other threads, we lost this election because of a failure of progressives in general to agree on and implement an effective strategy for sharing ranked choice votes.

It's fine to analyze what the Avalos campaign could have done better in detail as you did above - and we should. But let's spend even more time getting to the fundamentals of how things really could have been turned around.

Ranked choice strategy is the obvious culprit.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

clearly the voters number one issue - jobs, business and investment.

Avalos never reached out to the middle majority, preferring his own powerbase.

So, yes, he worked hard. But in the worng area's. I suspect that he never thought he had a chance.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

News flash. The election's over. Why are you still blathering out absurd campaign spin arguments which have nothing to do with reality.

To the extent that the Ed Lee campaign's strategy was responsible for him winning (which is another debate altogether) it had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the issues.

It is media face time, branding, messaging, and mental frames that win elections.

Lee won because he came off as everybody's kind, practical, friendly uncle.

The reason the attacks against him didn't stick, is because people don't like it when strangers make fun of and attack their kind uncle. And people were confident that their practical uncle would balance the books and run the store efficiently.

And Avalos did incredibly well in spite of what he was up against, by shining as the heroic progressive man of the people standing up to the oppressive state and banks, and helping turn the tide in favor of the 99%. (While he also defended and befriended ostensibly equally oppressed groups like the dog and the bike people as well.)

Those were the frames that made this election.

The other candidates didn't stand for anything, and spent all of their time attacking kind cuddly Uncle Ed, instead of projecting a compelling narrative of themselves.

That's the whole thing in a nut shell.

All of this various conservative vs liberal political and economic issues claptrap is complete bs.

The only other factors that mattered are endorsements/slate-cards, get-out-the-vote, and RCV strategies.

And of course, big money and corruption...

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 12:45 am

Certainly people I spoke to were cocnerned with the local economy, and felt Avalos was too anti-business. whether true or not, that was the perception, and it mattered.

But I'd agree with you that Yee and Herrera suffered because of their mud-slinging, while Lee was unaffected. Avalos didn't fight dirty, to his credit, although he might have spoken out against those dirty tactics.

I'd guess part of why Avalos did well was a revolt against Yee and Herrera for running a dirty campaign. Serves them right.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 3:56 am

Jobs was only a soundbite, not a narrative. And both Lee and Avalos convincingly used that soundbite, so it was a wash. Most importantly, if the voters had indeed been voting on jobs, it would only have been because they don't have them and because Lee has presided over a worsening of that situation. So if voters were gutturally responding on jobs, they would have thrown out the incumbent, and they didn't. Not enough of the unemployed voted in this election for that dynamic to take hold. Since it was a very low turnout election, a vast majority of those voters have job/income security and were unlikely to vote based on jobs (this because wealthy people make up much higher numbers in low turnout elections).

And yes mudslinging was a problem for the 'moderates', but even more important for them is that they had no powerful mythical public narrative around themselves to put an image in the voters' minds of what they were about. Only Ed Lee and John Avalos painted a compelling personal values narrative of themselves widely in the media, and that is why they prevailed over the others.

(Note that I use the word 'mythical' in the sense that Joseph Campbell properly returned us to; a 'myth' being a coherent personal worldview and narrative connecting one's self, or a people, to our world around us, putting us in harmonic accord with that world.)

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 10:00 am

Avalos deserves credit where it's due. He convincingly beat 5 candidates who had better name recognition and funding. His support reached well beyond whatever you may call the progressive movement. I've voted for twice each for Willie Brown and Newsom, but I was impressed by Avalos' stance with the Occupy SF movement and the endorsement he received by the dog groups. He got my vote on Tuesday. And he remained in second place through the entire 11 rounds.

Posted by Guest Ted on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

You can use the ballot image file to make this comparison. Cunnie loses by Mirkarimi by an even larger margin if matched against him one-on-one.

Posted by GuestRob on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 5:41 pm

Finally a little bit of good news. One of the decent guys became an elected official. It's surprising Brown & Co didn't try to rig that election either. Did he not have enough money or something?

Man, it's strange that 80% of the absentee ballots for the mayor's election came from Chinatown. There's something un-natural about it. Maybe it's just due to global warming. Creating extremes.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

You just lost a Board of Supervisors seat. Progressive majority that's been dwindling has just taken a pretty big hit.

Ed Lee appoints Mirkarimi's successor.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 5:53 pm

It is absolutely vital to have a Sheriff who will stand up to ICE, Homeland Security, incarceration for nonviolent offenses, etc. One look at Hennessey's history shows how important this result is. And though it is not guaranteed, Mirkarimi is far more likely to side with homeowners and evictees if we get hit with another depression in which foreclosures and evictions surge far higher.

The very fabric of our social structure could eventually depend on our having a progressive Sheriff.

As to the Board of Supervisors, we already lost progressive control of the Board over a year ago when Chiu started really going south on us on most votes.

So it is worth losing D-5 for a very short tenure to get a progressive Sheriff. It unfortunately won't change how things go down at the Board much at all.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

have a legal basis for refusing to carry out an eviction that the courts have instructed him to carry out?

Please provide relevant case law.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

It wouldn't be the first time sheriffs refused to carry out evictions. Happened all the time during the depression.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 9:04 pm

As Greg notes. During the Depression the law in many cases simply was not upheld.

This is even already happening right now, as large protests are helping fight foreclosures/evictions.

There are all sorts of laws on the books that are selectively enforced.

So it's good that we have a Sheriff who we can encourage to stretch laws to their limits, find creative ways of working around them, and if the shit really hits the fan, simply refuse to cooperate if we empower him to do so (which would take big protests).

It happened during slavery. It happens all the time around immigration, and now that the rich are showing no compunction about evicting people for economic problems caused by those financiers themselves, it should happen in the class war during this 'recession'.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

I don't see that our progressive Sherriff Hennessey ever refused to cooperate with a court order, despite having the unenviable task of evicting people who have fallen on hard times. I can't help but feel doing so would be a step too far. If the shoe were on the other foot, and some right-wing tea-bagging type were calling for the Sheriff to "work around" the law or simply refuse a court order, many people around here would be having fits and we'd be talking about recalls.

I'll say this, people should tread very carefully when it comes to wanting a Sheriff to disobey the law

Posted by Guest on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

Hennessey was, let us say, very, creative, in how he handled immigration law.

But yes, most of the time he stayed within the bounds. That's why, in our current times of increasing economic collapse, massive record ejection of immigrants from our country, and outrageous unconstitutional federal surveillance and entrapment of Arabs and Muslims, we will need Mirkarimi to throw even stronger challenges in the face of ICE, Homeland Security, and the banks.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

It's mostly up to the cops, DA and politicians.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 4:33 pm

The Sheriff has a huge role in these issues, especially immigration, and we have seen repeated reports to that effect in the mainstream news for many years now.

You are just making up complete bs fairy stories with no basis in reality.

Quit wasting everyone's time and blog space with your stupid empty responses.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 7:44 pm

That 80% number that has been tossed around recently is so completely and utterly incorrect.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

Ross is a major advocate of marihuana legalization and the winner of the Rufus King Award from High Times magazine.'

So I hope he'll start letting the inmates roll up and light up.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 9:36 am

More misinformed guests, many seem to have vanished but a few linger, please go away.
While you may be correct in saying that Ross is obliged to "enforce the law", he does have the option of making and taking a very powerful public stand against 'unfair' evictions, this is even more critical now that the speculators and developers seem to have been given free rein to demolish affordable housing and replace it with luxury condos.
Although he ultimately complied with 'the law' and acted in the speculative interests of Four Seas Investment Company, Sheriff Richard Hongisto spent five days in jail for initially refusing to enforce the International Hotel eviction notice. Keep this firmly in mind this Ross.
This was at the height of 'Urban Renewal', now euphamistically called 'Redevelopment'. Not surprising is the fact that Walter Shorenstein, who bought the residence in 1968, was the first to try and demolish the building and evict the residents in order to build a parking lot. Unable to overcome community resistance and activism he finally sold out to 4 Seas.
It's all in our history. Read it.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

but I find it a bit unappealing that before he has even been declared the winner of this race that people are advocating/urging him to disobey a court order. Yes, it has been done before. Yes, there is something noble about doing it. But come on, throwing aside a court order is serious business if you ask me. What other duties would we have him simply ignore? If this tactic is so noble, how come it wasn't being pushed before the election, so people could hash their thoughts out on it prior to casting a vote.

while I don't know how I feel about the tactic when all's said and done, I'm certainly not 100% comfortable with it, or Greg's statement that we should just "fuck the case law." Slippery slope, and all that

Posted by Guest on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 2:01 pm

If the court orders it, he has to obey, or he is breaking the law, and will also go to jail.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

If Sheriffs can take forever to enforce a judgement against a landlord for the return of a security deposit why can't they take forever to enforce an eviction?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

The plaintiff has to do that thru the courts.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 4:31 pm

If not the sheriff then who else, the Yakuza?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

In the spirit of trying to bring 'more light and less heat', I just chilled my jets and deleted my initial reaction.
To think otherwise is to say; Fuck Buddha; Jesus; Harriet Beecher Stowe; Ghandi; Susan B Anthony; Rosa Parks; MLK; Mandela; Harvey Milk. and all the other 'law-breaker/challengers'.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 4:34 pm

The court tells him to do them by a given date and he does them, or goes to his own jail.

You seem to want to make the sherriffs job whatever he wants it to be, and make him police chief and DA as well.

Nonsense. Ross will be knee-deep in evictions and foreclosures for his entire term. He wanted the job that does that and, if he doesn't like doing that, why does he want the job?

I'm actually surprised he wanted it. Maybe he thought he wouldn't win.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

During the Great Depression sheriff's refused to enforce evictions quite a lot.

It has even happened during this recession.

The law is one thing.

What makes sense in reality is often completely different.

If law enforcement tried to enforce every single law to the letter, in every instance, our society would quickly cease to function (and actually so would the sheriff's departments).

Eviction protection is now rising to that level of importance, where to simply stick rigidly to the law will cause more problems than it is intended to solve.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

the idea that tenants can stop paying rent and not get evicted.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

I totally agree that I don't understand why anyone would want to be an enforcer or apologist for this corrupt, self destructive and decaying system, but that being said, if one does become 'part of the problem' for whatever reason, that shouldn't mean they have to abandon all their principles as a human being.
A true believer/reformer/revulutionary, from the left or the right, who got enmeshed in 'the system' in an attempt to make change, would welcome and seek out opportunities to advance their cause, even if it meant that we the public would no longer pay their salary and they had to try and get a job like the rest of us peons.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

Witholding of rent is one of the few effective strategies that tenants have to confront gouging, abusive, and other kinds of 'slum-lords'. One of the most critical elements of this strategy is to make sure that 'rent due' is deposited in a (shit I'm tired, forget the correct definition even after going through the alphabet twice) dedicated account.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

Some jurisdictions require security deposits to be placed in escrow.

But there is no basis to put owed rent in escrow rather than pay the landlord. You can't geta way with not paying rent on some "principle" that you happen to believe.

There are some very limited circumstances where you don't have to pay rent e.g. where the warranty of habilitability has been provably breached. But they are narrowly defined.

All a rent strike will do is get you evicted. and given that you probably have a sub-market rent, you'd only be hurting yourself.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 12, 2011 @ 8:51 am

Thanks, my brain unfroze after posting.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 12, 2011 @ 10:09 am

... can refresh your mind. ESCROW.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

Ross, 'Homeland Security'; Die Faderland; stupid trolls.......
Just a little musical poetic license, solo mea culpa; please don't send my wife, family, friends to one of Willie's 'we have ways of making you submit' indoctrination camps.
Just my 2c.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 9:00 pm