The Milk Club's strange endorsement vote

John Rizzo voted not to rescind the Davis endorsement

The Harvey Milk Club has decided not to rescind its endorsement of Julian Davis for supervisor in District 5 -- although the vote may say more about the geopolitics of the race than the way the club members feel about Davis.

The club members had two resolutions in front of them Oct. 22, a night that also featured the third presidential debate and the do-or-die Giants game. The first resolution would have withdrawn the club’s support for Davis, who lost most of his progressive endorsements after he was accused of groping a woman at a campaign event six years ago. The second would have given an unranked three-way endorsement to Sup. Christina Olague, John Rizzo, and Thea Selby.

Of course, the second resolution wouldn’t even come up unless two-thirds of the club members voted in favor of the first.

And while a number of club members are as unhappy as the rest of the left about Davis’s behavior, the real drama involved the efforts of other candidates in the race to prevent Olague from getting the nod.

Rizzo, president of the Community College Board, told me he showed up and voted against the first resolution. “I didn’t campaign, I didn’t organize, I just showed up for 15 minutes and voted no,” he said. Rizzo’s not supporting or working with Davis -- so why try to protect the guy’s Milk Club endorsement? Well, Rizzo knows that Olague is a much bigger threat to him than Davis, whose campaign is on the ropes. So he voted in his own self-interest. 

Rizzo agreed it was “very odd” for him to be in this position, but said he was campaigning to win and didn’t want to see a front-running competitor getting a major club endorsement.

Gabriel Haaland, a longtime Milk Club member who supports Olague, wasn’t happy with that. “In the end, I want a progressive supervisor,” he said. “John and Christina are my top choices, but I don’t want to see London Breed get elected.”

Ah, that’s the subtext here -- and it’s a serious one. The left is worried about Breed, who’s the beneficiary of a well-funded independent expenditure campaign by the San Francisco Association of Realtors. That group, which is also pushing hard to oust Eric Mar in District 1, wants to weaken the power of tenants on the Board of Supervisors, and sees Breed as friendly to that agenda.

Breed’s a serious contender -- a lot of observers think that she and Olague are in a two-way race, although with ranked-choice voting, Rizzo is also very much in the running, as, potentially, is Thea Selby.

Breed’s supporters didn’t want to see the Milk Club go with Olague, either, and some showed up to vote against rescinding the Davis endorsement. Breed told me she wasn’t actively involved: “I just wanted to stay out of it,” she said. She acknowledged, though, that some of her supporters had told her about the meeting and “there were some people that went there.”

In the end, Club President Glendon Hyde told me, the vote was 53 yes, 42 no -- far short of the two-thirds needed to reverse the endorsement.

There were, by all accounts, plenty of Davis supporters in the room. But it’s likely that the combination of Breed supporters and Rizzo supporters was enough to sway the vote and ensure that the Milk Club retained Davis as its only choice.

Both Breed and Rizzo denied working together -- but the result was the same: The Milk Club is now about the only significant progressive group in the city still siding with Davis.



Time to vote the misogynist Milk Club off of the progressive island.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

I was there, and a lot of the members were very upset at how this special vote to undo the endorsement was pushed down their throats. A lot of people feel that this six-year-old incident (or possible incident) is being pushed for political purposes. And the Olague/Rizzo/Selby faction did not work together in a proactive way to get to the two-thirds supermajority to revoke Davis.

The sponsors of these resolutions did not make a sufficient case to the jury, plain and simple.

There is definitely a split in the Milk Club between its moderate faction (folks with political jobs who take their cues from elected officials) and its hard-left, grassroots, progressive faction (folks who are poor and simply don't buy Kay's story at face value, and who really want Davis elected due to his progressive views).

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

your two groups didn't include run of the mill citizens?

Posted by matlock on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

Does any Democratic Club in San Francisco include run-of-the-mill citizens?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 9:40 am

Overzealous of author Tim Redmond to fail to acknowledge that the Tenants Union, a major endorsement group for decades, continues to robustly back Davis. Other leading candidates are trying to obscure realtor-developer-BOMA ties and masquerade as the tenant-friendly choice. Do you want more developer sellouts to the likes of the 8 Washington crew that wants to ruin the waterfront, per Olague's voting record and Breed's backers? If so, then keep ignoring the Tenant Union's unbeholden wisdom in this race. What's happening at the Guardian? Why insult tenants and the Tenants Union with daily flacking for Olague (who you won't actually endorse) by hammering their candidate, Davis?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

...considering the Club's support for Ross Mirkarimi.

Posted by Hortencia on Oct. 29, 2012 @ 8:01 am

When the SFWPC endorsed Newsom twice after his perpetrated sexual harassment and broke up a family, were they not self hating women as well whose actions were in sync with misogyny?

Posted by marcos on Oct. 29, 2012 @ 8:12 am

Is it the Milk Club's agenda to support Men who victimize Women?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

Milk has not supported Newsom, have they?

Posted by marcos on Oct. 30, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

London Breed has no chance of winning this race. There is no way Robert Haaland doesn't know that. Pretending that London Breed is a threat is nothing more than an excuse to hand a victory to BrownPakLee.

Posted by Judy on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

Talk about a post-modern echo chamber. SFBG deems the Davis campaign "imploded," therefore it is. Meanwhile, a major progressive group backs him (Milk Club), but that's just a political show. No way the elders of the Milk Club could possibly support Davis after SFBG threw him under the bus (in order to save face for backing Mirkarimi). In reality, however, that is exactly what happened. Davis' supporters were mostly turned away because they weren't eligible to vote--meaning everyone else was just regular rank-and-file. Meanwhile, Gabriel Holland is basically running Olague's campaign. Big surprise he's doing his alpha-male acts of aggression wherever he has influence (not any more, apparently).

Creating a self-fulfilling prophecy does not an "implosion" make. The race is still wide open, and when the dust settles, I wouldn't be surprised if Davis still comes out on top.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

agree completely; you nailed, nothing further to say
and folks ought to stop feeling guilty about protecting their vote for a progressive sherriff

Posted by Brocke on Oct. 28, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

for the integrity of the city's charter and rule-of-law, and against political opportunism and sadism towards both an individual and his family.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 28, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

"sheriff (Ross)" and "integrity" should not be used in the same sentence.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

they have no knowledge or capacity.

Ross Mirkarimi has never conducted himself in any way except that demonstrating the highest degree of integrity. That's why the political machine hates him.

That's why.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 30, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

It is amazing that you can type that with a straight face.

Posted by D. Native on Oct. 30, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

His family has retained its integrity after vicious onslaught by the same sleazebags who broke up the Tourke family.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 30, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

Former Board of Supervisors Presidents,

Harry Britt

Aaron Peskin

Matt Gonzalez

{See Gonzalez endorsement on Davis' site: "Julian Davis will protect progressive values at City Hall at a time when our Board of Supervisors desperately needs grounding. He has the intellect and energy to make a lasting contribution. His ethics are unimpeachable."}

Terrance Hallinan (Former District Attorney)

Eileen Hansen (Former Ethics Commissioner)

John L. Burris (Civil Rights Attorney)

Adam Werbach (Former President, Sierra Club and Former SFPUC Commissioner)

Mark Sanchez (Former President, San Francisco Board of Education)

Clarence B. Jones (Attorney, Speechwriter, Advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)

SF Tenants Union

Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club

Green Party

SF Bay View

SF Bicycle Coalition

SF League of Conservation Voters

Coleman Action Fund for Children

Local 1021 SEIU

National Union of Health Care Workers

The Wigg Party

DogPac SF

Kevin Epps (Filmmaker)

Patricia Lee (Deputy Public Defender, San Francisco)

Chris Jackson (Community College Board of Trustees)

Dennis Antenore (Former Planning Commissioner)

Rhodessa Jones (Artistic Director, Cultural Odyssey*)

Hene Kelly (Retired Teacher)

Kevin Danaher (Executive Director, Friends of SF Environment*)

Heather Box (League of Young Voters)

Sharmin Bock (Prosecutor, Assistant DA, Alameda County)

Julian Mocine McQueen (Green For All*)

Shona Gochenaur (Member, Medical Cannabis Taskforce)

Bruce Lee Livingston (Executive Director, Alcohol Justice*)

Lauryn McCarthy (SF Bike Party)

Zahra Saleh (Owner, Café International)

Michael Gause (Mental Health Advocate)

Sharon Miller (Executive Director, Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center*)

Karen Johnson (Owner, Marcus Books)

Jim Siegel (Owner, Distractions on Haight Street)

Patricia Scott (Executive Director, Booker T. Washington Community Service Center*)

Remy Nelson (Owner, Mojo Bicycle Cafe)

Jeremy Pollock (League of Pissed Off Voters)

Clint Womack (Wigg Party, NOPNA board member)

Karen Kai (Japantown Community Activist)

Morgan Fitzgibbons (Wigg Party)

Judith Cohen (Executive Director, Handful Players*)

Larry Bob Roberts (LGBT Community Activist)

Amanda Starbuck (Rainforest Action Network*, Director of Energy and Finance Programs)

Robbie Kowal (Sunset Promotions)

Josette Melchor (Executive Director and Co-Founder, Gray Area Foundation for the Arts)

Mike Zuckerman (Co-founder, Yerdle)

Guilliana Milanese (Community Organizer)

Rich Wada (Japanese American leader)

Amy Weiss (Neighbors Developing Divisadero*)

Rev. Dr. James McCray (Former Pastor, Jones Memorial United Methodist Church)

Shanell Williams (President, Associated Students of City College of San Francisco)

Ed Donaldson (Osiris Coalition)

Rev. Edgar E. Boyd (Pastor, Bethel A.M.E. Church)

Hana Hardy (Board Member, Jazz Heritage Center)

Michael O'Connor (Owner, The Independent)

Andy Thornley (Transportation Advocate)

Terrance Alan (Board Member, California Music and Culture Association)

Joileen Richards (Former President, Black Women Organized for Political Action)

Mike Katz (Owner, Katz Bagels)

Teresa Goines (Old Skool Cafe)

Chris Duderstadt (Inner Sunset Park Neighbors)

Valerie Tullier (Director, Mission Beacon Center)

Adam Scow (Board Member, San Francisco Tomorrow)

Barbara Babcock (Stanford University Law Professor Emeritus)

Justin Morgan, M.D. (Family Physician and Community Activist)

Vicky Liu (ICF International*)

Ron Dicks (Western Regional Vice President, IFPTE)

Mai Ling (Mai Ling Hair Design)

Diamond Dave Whitaker (Mutiny Radio)

Richard Stone (San Francisco Green Party)

...along with dozens of loyal supporters and campaign staffers/ volunteer

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 2:43 pm
Posted by matlock on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

This is one powerhouse group here. LOLz.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

Davis groped his way into oblivion. Deal.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 7:43 am

You call Matt Gonzalez, Aaron Peskin, Harry Britt, Terrance Hallinan, Adam Werbach, John Burris, Mark Sanchez, Eileen Hansen (former Ethics Commissioner), and Clarence B. Jones, who was an advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "nobodies"?? What about the Harvey Milk Club, the Green Party, (on your ballot), SF Tenants Union, SF Bicycle Coalition, SF Bay View, SF League of Conservation Voters, National Union of Health Care Workers, SEIU 1021, etc.? Sorry, these are folks with a lot of clout. But you, Guest, are quite obviously a "nobody"...certainly nobody worth listening to.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

These are the power brokers in SF. Nobody gets an endorsement from these folks unless they are prepared to vote in favor of their interests at all times. No different that The Burton/Brown/Pelosi Machine. Now its the Peskin/Ammiano/Mirk machine. Either way - still a machine.

Posted by Richmondman on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

Can anyone believe the sanctimonious drivel dripping from the pages of this week’s issue of the Bay Guardian?

Who are they kissing up to and why?

Here’s a newspaper that apparently knew about Julian Davis’ alleged groping problems with women before it endorsed him, but endorsed him anyway. Only when its journalistic rival published an uncorroborated allegation - from an accuser who had given assurances to those who endorsed Davis that whatever had occurred between the accuser and Davis had been resolved - did the Guardian run to the hills for cover with their tails between their legs.

No further investigating needed. No need to look into a calculated whisper campaign, and no need to mention a second cease and desist letter sent from Davis to a co-conspirator who was publicly attacking Davis with provably false accusations.

On the other hand, had the Guardian had actually reported what it knew about Davis, then perhaps it wouldn’t be able to justify its endorsement of Davis. Or, if they would have just come clean with what they knew and reported it, the accuser may have not felt it necessary to go public.

Either way, the Guardian has some serious egg on its face that may last for eight, embarrassingly long years. I’m not alone in saying that I’d much prefer to see a true, independent progressive win this important contest (and it’s not Olague), but if Breed wins, progressives can thank the Guardian for participating in the destruction of the only candidate the left could 100% trust on policy.

Shame on you, Bay Guardian.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

Don't know how many times I have to say this, but we did NOT know about Kay's allegations, or anything close to them, when we made our endorsement. When we found out -- and checked the story out pretty thoroughly -- we made a decision.

Posted by tim on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

We still don't know what was whispered in your ear, before or after you "knew". Everything is top secret...hush, hush (wink wink*). But you want us to believe that you knew nothing when you made that endorsement? Sorry, not drinking the kool aid, dude.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

Many, many people knew about this whisper campaign months ago. They dismissed it until the Gang of 4 on the Board needed to protect each other. They then gave this baseless whisper campaign credibility. Remember this started with Avalos and Campos who led the charge to support Olague.

A month ago everyone knew Olague was not a progressive, now everyone wants to pretend she is. Somehow this leopard has changed her spots? I don't think so.

If this rag honestly didn't know about the whisper campaign it is admission to just how out of touch the paper is.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

The actual "whisper campaign" is Julian trying to blame his problems on the women he harassed and abused. Get a grip.

Posted by KeepingItReal on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

He has a legal right and a responsibility to his supporters to rebut false allegations which were dropped like a bomb in the eleventh hour of an election. Get a grip yourself.

Posted by Keeping it Honest on Oct. 27, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

Isn't sexual assault and domestic violence condoned by progs nowadays?
Davis and Mirkarimi, wow Progressives sure know how to pick them!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

He made pass at a woman, in a singles bar!

Posted by marcos on Oct. 30, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

...been at war with Eastasia.

Posted by Hortencia on Oct. 29, 2012 @ 8:03 am

This sounds like Nixon's secret plan to end the Vietnam War or Romney's secret tax plan.

With no public bill of particulars, this is all second and third hand hearsay originating from those with a dog in this fight and their own political ambitions on one hand, and political operatives maneuvering for their own economic interests on the other.

There remains significant reasonable doubt as to the credibility of all involved here.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 8:55 am

Julian is still a contender in this race. He enjoys a wide array of support by people with more integrity than to throw him under the bus over an unsubstantiated rumor. Julian can win this without your support, because there are still many of us (progs), who you don't recognize, who are standing with Davis and refuse to bail him like so many cowards. iVenceremosI

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 3:07 pm

Please Julian staffers and so called supporters, please stop enabling him!
He needs to learn how to take responsibility for his actions. You minimizing his mistreatment of women is not helping him or our community at large.

He is very disrespectful of women.

He's never really had a job.

He knows how to talk the talk, but actions speak louder than words.

His handling of this situation has been incredibly disappointing, and he continues to disrespect the victims and now through you. Empathy and compassion is needed.

He has proven that he does not posses those qualities through his staffers and supporters continued harassment of Kay. Own up to your shit like everyone else!

Right on SFBG!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

that he transferred from Yale because he wanted to build a political network in San Francisco? When he actually never attended Yale at all.

Big problems with the truth - Julian Davis has.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 3:58 pm
Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 10:44 am

Because he told this to a multitude of people. Perhaps all those idealistic law students are part of the conspiracy against Julian though.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

A "multitude of people"?? Puh-lease! You'd say anything because you're the Queen of Smear, and everyone knows it.

Posted by Truth on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

if it stuck his fingers down his pants and attempted to stroke his flat ass.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

He has to lie, in order to hide his background as a trust fund baby of two university professors. He has never worked a day in his life, has done NOTHING for the movement in SF, other than take credit for other people's work, and act like a complete misogynist jerk. He had his acceptance to Yale rescinded just like all his endorsements- FOR BEHAVING BADLY (acts of violence). He can cry "racism" and "conspiracy" all he wants -- anyone with half a brain can see the guy is not suited to run for public office. What a train wreck, and embarrassment to SF "progressives". He does a disservice to actual instances of racism that occur.

Posted by KeepingItReal on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

He graduated from U.C. Hastings College of the Law (magna cum laude). He has worked for former Assemblyman, now State Senator, Mark Leno, in his SF district office. He is President of the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center, and has worked in government and the non-profit and legal sectors on community development, social justice and environmental causes. As Executive Director of a community economic development non-profit, he worked with small business owners to navigate the hurdles of setting up shop in San Francisco. In short, he has a STELLAR resume. You are just repeating the lies of his opponents and smear artists (& LB supporters) Aimee Ellis and KV who got this 'whisper campaign' going in the first place. Shame on you!

Posted by Keeping it Honest on Oct. 27, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

I can't get my hands down someone's pants when they want it. It's a very difficult thing to do. To do it against someone's will in a crowded bar seems almost impossible.

I don't believe her.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

liberal women usually wear, it's like taking candy from a baby.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 7:48 am

Just because it's never happened to you doesn't mean it's not possible. You're probably a man.

I've had it happen, unfortunately - and it was awful. It happened so quickly I hardly had time to process what was going on. I wonder if you have any idea what it's like to be a woman and to feel as though you are just there for them (to grope, to fondle, to harass)?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 8:39 am

Clearly not

Posted by lw on Oct. 30, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

Tim and Steve, by taking out Davis you have both helped London Breed take D5 and there goes the progressive movement.

Posted by guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

voting for one horny black candidiate, it is in way bigger trouble than we even thought.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 7:48 am

Tim I guess you will have to say it many, many more time as by the comments posted your readers don't belive you.

Posted by guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

wow, some of the people clearly supporting Julian Davis and leaving comments on this thread have sniffed way too much glue today. sober up people! this shit is embarrassing.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 4:16 pm