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 The first resolution would have withdrawn the club’s support for Davis, who lost most of his progressive endorsements after he was accused of groping a woman at a campaign event six years ago.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.



What's embarrassing is the level of collusion engaged in by people who know (knew) better...and their utter hypocrisy.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

Just last week the club had printed and distributed a slate card without Davis before the vote. The 4 on the Board are trying to protect each other and are stooping to nasty lows. The president of the club is an Avalos/Ammiano lapdog and was under great pressure to deliver the club. The motion for the Milk Club's meeting to reconsider the Davis motion seemingly came from the floor. The Club's president could not do it because of the by-laws, so the president had a lackey do his dirty work. It backfired!

The Milk Club membership promotes progressives. We do not work for elected officials; they work for us. Kudos to the Milk Club for sticking with the only progressive in D5. The membership knew it a month ago and we still know it. Davis is the only progressive in D5.

Posted by Viper on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

Gabriel Haaland pushed both motions: the motion to consider revoking the Davis endorsement and the motion to suspend the bylaws in order to consider a new endorsement. Rafael Mandelman pushed the motion to consider a triple unranked endorsement for Olague/Rizzo/Selby.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 9:48 am

Whenever Gabs-Gabs doesn't get his way it is always an expression of a greater structural oppression.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 10:19 am

Soooo, a week and a half ago you'd have been singing the praises of Avalos/Ammiano as they were endorsers of Davis. Then very serious accusations were raised about his behavior and they decided to pull their endorsements. So suddenly they've become a four-letter word?

Anyone who calls themselves a "progressive" and goes around acting as if standing alongside Tom Ammiano and John Avalos makes one traitorious isn't a progressive, just an idiot.

Posted by Trollllll on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

No, even the "good guys" have lapdogs.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

The bigger factor working for Davis is that Milk Club members are progressive and don't like seeing people tried in the press, much less a young African American male involving he said-she said 6 year old allegations that surface 3 weeks before an election.
When the facts are unclear, old and disputed fair minded people do not use labels like "transgressor." It's a healthy thing to be skeptical about what we read. The SFBG could know more but frankly how many smart people in 2012 want to hear, "trust us on this one." That is sort of how everyone landed in this shitpile in the first place.
Conspiratorialists will like the realpolitik angle of the Milk vote but that would not explain more than a handful of votes. Fair minded people do not like to convict people on hearsay.
For over a week now it's clear the Guardian is preparing to endorse Olague. There isn't a big difference between her and Breed if you look at their donors. SFAR may fantasize about condo conversion or eliminating rent control but those changes are easy to torpedo at the polls, and after the suspension debacle Ed Lee is that last guy who wants to open up a new battle front with progressives.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 6:46 pm

"SFAR may fantasize about condo conversion or eliminating rent control but those changes are easy to torpedo at the polls, and after the suspension debacle Ed Lee is that last guy who wants to open up a new battle front with progressives."

Maybe... but he probably won't be near as hesitant about an all out war against Progressives after he wins a 2nd term. I admit I underestimated Lee. He seemed like such a low-key, affable worker bee until the Mirk debacle. Now I see fury in his eyes. My gut's telling me that Lee is not a man who likes to be humiliated. I've known a few guys like this. Lee's not going to mend any fences, and he's not going to let anything go. If Lee approaches Progressives with any olive branches, they better watch their backs, lol.

Posted by Snoozers on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

For me the facts line up to and unjust media smear, at a neighbor Meetup amiee ellis attacked julian with false accusation, not occording to any competive faction of self elect progreso, but in a letter from moderate senator Leno,who clarifys that julian parting ways with senator Leno had nothing with respecting women. I know Mark and he doesnt and isnt a liar.nor do I think my neighbor hood group is lying, about these paid and in positions of Power behavior , THE first cease and desist letter was sent out to her regarding the first unethical behavior, and slander.

Posted by shona on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

Aimee Ellis is a paid Lobbyist for JP Morgan Chase Bank. She works for Daniller Consulting, see her linkedin page. Daniller Consulting has received monthly checks in the amount of $6,000-$15,000 from JP Morgan Chase Bank. You can find this information on the SF Ethics commission website. She has been orchestrating the whisper campaign against Davis. Her employer is getting paid handsomely for her work. Check it out SFBG and report it. Do your homework Tim Redmond.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2012 @ 7:01 am

You call yourself a journalist? Act like one!!

Posted by Keeping it Honest on Oct. 27, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

”And while a number of club members are as unhappy as the rest of the left about Davis’s behavior”
This is misinformation these are suspiciously timed accusations and only that as for your headline ”The Milk Club's strange endorsement vote” with the current conservative power grab in San Francisco it is up to truly progressive organizations to stand their ground with the Milk Club and say hell no!

Posted by alexblue420 on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

Actually, if you read the article over half of the Milk Club said Hell Yes to rescinding the endorsement. Granted, not enough to take it away but to say that the club overwhelmingly and enthusiastically supported Julian is a lie.

Posted by Trollllll on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

Christina Olague (1) was part of the team that brought San Francisco Ed Lee, after she jumped ship from the David Chiu for Mayor campaign, (2) voted for the America's Cup when she was still at Planning when it was still in the give-away to Larry Ellison phase, (3) voted for 8 Washington, (4) voted for the re-appointment of Michael Antonini to the Planning Commission, (5) may have lied to the press about a conversation she had with Building Inspection Commissioner Debra Walker about a different conversation she had with Mayor Lee about the fate of Sheriff Mirkarimi, and (6) is backed to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars by Rose Pak and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The people they represent don't give a hoot about her vote on the sheriff.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 9:55 pm

shred of evidence that isn't hearsay from a biased source, that means nothing. And if you have evidence, go to the DA.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 7:46 am

How much developer crap did Aaron Peskin, Chris Daly, Matt Gonzalez, Ross Mirkarimi, Eric Mar, John Avalos and David Campos allow to come down the pike without nary a peep from the progressives?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 8:13 am

My choices would be
1. Rizzo -he's progressive, he's ethical, and he's an adult. None of which have ever been in question.
2. Davis -I had my doubts about whether he was ready, but I'm just getting more and more pissed at the whole smear campaign. Bottom line -what matters on the Board of Supes is that you can count to 6.
3. Olague -she changes her colors like a chamelion, but the history is there with the progressive movement. In any case the alternatives are frightening.

Thea Selby is a wolf in sheep's clothing, and London Breed would be a complete disaster.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

Olague and Breed as credible candidates, plus a few of the usual losers.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 7:45 am

On Wednesday there was no change in the DCCC's "no position" on D5. This means a trumped up threat of London Breed winning in D5 has been exaggerated. Her best endorsements are still Kamala Harris and the SF Womens Political Caucus. Breed is a political moderate with old ties to Willie Brown and real estate money running in D5.

What it means for progressives is they can actually vote for who they want as opposed being goosed into supporting a faux progressive. John Rizzo and even Davis are still in the mix if Latterman can be believed.

Check the paranoia, vote for the type of leadership you actually want at City Hall as opposed to being drawn into a Hobson's choice. That's the beauty of ranked choice voting --which by the way Lee's appointed incumbent sought to eliminate with Mark Farrell.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 12:06 am

Isn't that Kay Vasilyeva's operation?

Posted by Greg on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 7:41 am

Yes, that is her operation. And as endorsement chair, she ran that club with an iron fist. Kay only let "certain" candidates for DCCC be interviewed during their endorsement process this year. Non-ass-kissers need not apply.

Kay is on an ego trip all her own, and I would guess that a handful of wanna-be elected official are afraid of pissing her off because she could easily fuck up their chances of an SFWPC endorsement. (In my opinion, SFWPC is as powerful as the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club. They can make or break budding careers.)

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 10:02 am

When Julian groped Kay's ass, she put that in her back pocket (as it were) and figured that, as the Chinese say, "revenge is a dish best served cold".

He got a cheap thrill and a brief grab of her ass. Then she got to hang his ass out to dry. Turnaround is fair play. All things come to she who waits.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 10:19 am


Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

Did Julian even seek the endorsement of SFWPC? Go ask him. If he never applied, he wouldn't be eligible anyway. Trash Kay or other women he harassed and abused all you want -- it's only making Julian's cause look worse. This whole affair has helped expose who the real misogynists are! Stop making the Progressive cause look bad. Even Steve Jones, City Editor of the Guardian (long-time friend of Julian's) posted comments about how HE witnessed Julian acting aggressive towards women, and then Julian proceeded to lie about it, and try to cover it up. Is Steve part of a massive "conspiracy" against Julian too? Here is Steve's comment on this:

Posted by KeepingItReal on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

Did the SFWPC send Julian an endorsement questionnaire?

If so, did he fill it out and return it?

If so did the SFWPC call him for an interview?

Posted by marcos on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 6:26 pm

I didn't say Julian Davis sought the SFWPC endorsement. I was talking about DCCC candidates from the June election. (And he did not run for that.) And I know for a fact that Kay refused to schedule interviews for a lot of candidates. I was there.

I am not trashing Kay. She's human just like the rest of us. I'm just telling the truth. (Maybe trash is in the eye of the beholder.)

I am a deep feminist. But there is more than one kind of feminist out there.

Posted by common sense SF on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

Rizzo stood by as a thoroughly befuddled creatures as City College went down in flames.

Has anybody ever asked this man if he has ever peaked into the books during his tenure?

Posted by Simon the Likeable on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 6:08 am

We're in a two-horse race here - Olague and Breed. Unless we progressives rally around Olague, Lee gets a sure vote in D5.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 9:07 am

Nobody with a clue thinks that London Breed could possibly win. Is that the best you've got for Olague? What a sad commentary.

Posted by Judy on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

Sorry, with RCV, anything is possible. I wouldn't write Davis off so easily. A lot of D5 voters I know are pissed over this smear campaign, which is based on little more than hearsay.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

RCV isn't some magic box where you throw all the candidates in, and one of them randomly comes out on top.

Malia Cohen won for some very good reasons. She had a fair amount of passionate support in terms of first choice votes, and she was the candidate who was most acceptable to the most amount of voters.

People make a big deal of the fact that she placed 4th or 5th in the first round, but the reality is that the top 5 or 6 were all bunched up within a point of each other. A couple dozen more votes and she would've been first. A couple dozen less and she would've been 6th. That's not the issue. The reason she probably would've come out on top in any event, is that the others for one reason or another didn't have such broad support. She would've likely won a runoff against ANY of the other top 5. But... here's the big "but." Under a traditional runoff, she would never have gotten the chance. In a multi-candidate race, a traditional top-2 system could yield a result where two candidates who most of the district hates could square off against each other. Not very democratic.

That's what you need for RCV -you need a fair amount of first choice votes, plus broad support. It's actually one of the best systems for deciding a winner-take-all seat.

Who has that kind of support in D5?
Maybe Davis... remains to be seen how much this manufactured controversy affects real voters.

Rizzo could have, but it's true he's running a weak campaign.
Selby might trick enough people, but she's really a second tier candidate.
Breed could actually win, but only if enough progressives bullet-vote.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

the character of significant progressive groups.

What does the SFWeekly say?

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 9:19 am
Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 9:39 am

Gotta love how London Breed, an African-American woman who actually grew up in public housing in the Western Addition and now runs the African American arts center in the District, has been turned into some type of stooge for downtown corporate interests by progressives primarily because she voted yes on sit-lie....what a joke...

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 11:50 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 @ 12:13 pm

They jabe no grasp of issues outside of what affects tenants, and few people follow their endorsements.

In fact, endorsements are over-rated in general - they just don't matter that much. Voters aren't sheep.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 11:09 pm

I have not been following the race in District 5, although I should be since I am a resident of it. I wish I had known about the Milk meeting this past week, as I would have come and called out Julian for lying about his past behavior towards women. He sexually battered two of my friends, and his fellow classmates, at Hastings during his time there. This awful behavior is not in his past and he has not overcome it. He is a disgusting individual who is unfit for public office, and I feel sorry for his supporters who he has lied to and duped into helping his campaign.

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

She got caught out in a bold-faced lie when she publicly excoriated Julian Davis, claiming that he was fired from Mark Leno's office for sexual harrassment. Leno denied the charge in an open letter. Where is Ellis's apology? Davis could successfully sue her for defamation. IMHO, he should.

Posted by Truth on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

As someone who was IN THE ROOM when this "bold-faced lie" was allegedly told, I can tell you that Aimee Ellis NEVER said that. It is laughable that Julian and his supporters / staff would try to blame a woman who was Ross Mirkarimi's longest term campaign staffer for the issues he has had, and claim she is part of a "conspiracy". Hahahaha. Also, it was not during the meeting -- it was well after the meeting was over -- get your story straight. Julian is just trying to blame someone for his dilemma -- sending her a letter telling her to stop saying something she didn't say is also a big JOKE. The only person claiming she said this "Leno comment" is a Julian staffer, who also was threatening people in the room that evening. I saw this same staffer asking Aimee to "step outside with her". When Aimee declined, she started screaming that she and Julian would sue her if she didn't "shut up". Also the person who wrote this "news" item claiming this also works for Julian- did his photos for him. What a joke! Yes, Aimee shouted "stop treating women badly, you have a history of behaving this way". It's not a "whisper campaign" if it is TRUE. Also, this was after Julian tried to aggressively start a physical fight with someone else in the club, and acted very aggressive and inappropriate towards Aimee as well. Get a grip, "Truth". Good for Aimee for shouting out about his bad behavior, which was obviously the worst kept secret in town. Even Steve Jones, Friend of Julian and SFBG City Editor has a testimonial about Julian verifying his atrocious behavior towards women.

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

So if Steven Jones knew about Davis's "atrocious bad behavior," why did the Bay Guardian endorse him?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

To the "Guest" who called Julian a liar and is trotting out more of these ugly hearsay allegations (whisper, whisper...wink, wink), why should anyone believe an anonymous rumormonger? Have the courage to post under your name or STFU!

Posted by Maia Thiebaud on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

ought to not only not be believed, but by all rights ought to be taken as proof of the opposite of what they are claiming.

The fact that anonymous trolls are saying things without presenting any evidence means that the accusations are false. Period. Full stop.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 30, 2012 @ 9:16 am

@ overzealous of author Tim.
The SFBG is no longer the progressive newspaper that it use to be, Tim now takes his orders from the new owner of the Examiner that also owns the SFBG.

Posted by guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

Becuz Tim-Tim is Gab-Gab's bitch-bitch.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

your little bitch slap is duly noted

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

Files? Did someone say files?

Posted by marcos on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

"The SFBG is no longer the progressive newspaper that it use to be, Tim now takes his orders from the new owner of the Examiner that also owns the SFBG."

Well the first part is true (if not the second part). And I've noticed that the Examiner is pretty conservative/right-wing as of late.

The Guardian pretends to be "progressive" but no real, true progressive would be endorsing Obama (whose record is worse than that of George W. Bush). Did the Guardian ever endorse Bush? Hell No! So why are they endorsing a guy who's worse than Bush? Because the guy they've endorse has a D next to his name. Bush was tame compared to Obama. That's just one example of how they (SFBG) are no longer really progressive. They are Democratic Partybots and Obamabots. With them, Democratic Party-line is #1. They continually use, overuse and abuse the word progressive and many people call themselves "a progressive" these days, but it means little to them. It's just something they like to say while they continue to endorse, make umpteen lame excuses for and vote for the NON-PROGRESSIVE, conservative, pro-war, pro-neocon, pro-police state Establishment corporatist candidates of and for the 1%.

Here's the latest on Obama (google it).

Obama moves to make the “War on Terror” permanent. Complete with a newly coined, creepy Orwellian euphemism – ‘disposition matrix’ – the regime institutionalizes the most extremist powers a government can claim.

And this:

Congress Approves 30,000 Spy Drones Over US As US Police State Tightens

Are you going to change your endorsement of Obama now?

Answer: Of course not. We'll continue to make lame mealy-mouthed excuses for him no matter what he does. We'll put up with anything if it's from a politician pretending to be a Democrat. We''ll continue our "enthusiastic" endorsement of Obama. Because these days, the Guardian barely gives passing mention to the so-called "third party" candidates.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

as for the question of whether it is worthwhile to endorse Barack Obama, I'm far less certain than you, though I certainly share your "concerns.

Really, I don't support Obama at all. My disappointment dramatically exceeds the expectation I had of being disappointed which was not insignificant. The problem as I see it though, is that the American people have become more and more benighted.

Are people clamoring for legislation forbidding drones? Are they marching to insist on non-militaristic strategies? No, and no.

In fact, while I don't want this to be taken as an excuse for Obama, or to suggest that he is really capable of becoming the leader we'd support if he was simply pushed hard enough in the right direction, I think the fact is that even such a leader would have difficulty justifying the political suicide that would constitute such right action nowdays.

Okay, Obama signed the death panel law -- the military commissions act -- which means he presides over extra-judicial killing of American citizens; but what if he hadn't? What if Obama had taken even the most slightly less radical course in any facet of "national security?" Would not the Repuglicans have capitalized to the utmost upon *any* attack which they might claim ensued due to such "softness?"

Democrats have been playing this same losing game for generations. That's how we got into Vietnam. After the "who lost Korea?" question resulted in them losing the House in the 1950's, and the radical Unamerican Activities attacks got under way, even right-thinking Democrats have felt compelled to act wrongly.

The problem, sadly, is too many stupid people in this country.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 7:35 pm

Therefore - they're stupid. People don't support Gabriel Haaland's priorities therefore there's structural inequality and discrimination in the institutions he and his employer try so hard to influence.

I see how that works.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 8:07 pm
Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 11:12 pm