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 The first resolution would have withdrawn the club’s support for Davis, who lost most of his progressive endorsements after he was accused of groping a woman at a campaign event six years ago.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



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

That's absolutely true, in part because the corporate media no longer educate the public but rather feed them silly, childish pabulum. And news division have been cut. Many USans are very ignorant and proud of their ignorance.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 12:54 am

Democracy means one vote per (stupid) person rather than, say, one vote per person who disagrees with you and, say, ten votes for those who agree with you?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 3:17 am

We're seeing a full blown sex panic in San Francisco where our city is being redefined as a political culture where:

1. nobody ever fights, gets into an argument or has passion.
2. nobody ever has het sex, because to approach a woman for sex risks misogyny
3. nobody ever gets naked.

This is a political ploy to distract from the real economic issues facing San Franciscans onto a manufactured sense of, daresay, outrage at the defiance of bourgeois standards of propriety.

One reason that I like Olague is that she is not college educated and brings an experience widely held by many San Franciscans to the table. Towards that I do not want to see city government populated solely by Princesses Perfect who have crafted their lives cautiously to avoid any semblance of controversy and as such live lives that look nothing like the folks they're supposed to represent.

This is a natural result of a generation of helicopter parents structuring their childrens' lives with play dates, bolstering their fragile egos with self esteem classes in school, all with the intent that they never know adversity, never skin the knees of their souls and freak out about sex because it is dirty and potentially deadly too.

Combined with a presidential election where both parties are papering over their lack of substantive difference by riling up their bases--in this case women--by promising each base the reddest of red meat, we're seeing San Francisco descending into a full blown sex panic that is a typical tool of social control when everyone's freaking out about economic insecurity.

As the two facades of the national plutocratic political party are using the phony war on women to move their bases, so are interests with direct claims on San Francisco's public resources using the sex panic to ensure that their cash flow remains uninterrupted.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 6:27 am

Public nudity, now there's the rock bottom, so to speak, of SF progressivism.

Obama has reformed the medical system to provide coverage for millions of people, reformed the financial system (including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which someday will be seen as one of the most important things he did), passed an early stimulus bill that blunted the recession, ended the war in Iraq, set a deadline for ending the war in Afghanistan, ended Don't Ask Don't Tell, supported gay marriage, signed the Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act, shut down our international torture chambers, and tried to shut down Guantanamo but Congress wouldn't let him.

The Republican Party opposed everything on that list.

Posted by Rob Anderson on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

Rob is about as far away from my preferred policies as one can get, but there's something about his wryness and humor that is refreshing in contrast to the pettiness, nastiness and partisanship of many posts on this website.

I think he's wrong that a Supervisor Breed or Olague wouldn't give his hated high-density developers much better financial deals (their respective records on Redevelopment and Planning confirm this) than would a Supervisor Rizzo or Davis, but on 95% of the other votes he has a fair point - there's aren't many substantial policy gaps among the leading D5 candidates.

And on his main point, he's dead right. There are much bigger battles to be fighting involving government budgets, Medicare, imminent tax changes, healthcare, and other issues that affect millions of people in SF, the Bay Area, and the state. Wasting any time posturing one candidate verses another on a chatboard where 90% of the readers won't be voting in D5, and where 95% of the D5 readers have mostly made up their minds who they're voting for and in what order, ranks fairly high in terms of futility and stupidity.

The highly negative partisan bickering, sniping, and sometimes borderline libel comments for a political race that most likely will make little difference to most of our lives over the next 4 years is a good example of how far some of the SF "progressives" have regressed over the past 8 years.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 4:23 pm

The two major pro-war, pro-neocon corporatist parties are the same on the major issues especially. Yes, Obama gave a major corporate bailout to the mangled "health care" industry and you're cheerleading for that. Jesus fucking christ! He conveniently supported gay marriage in an election year to buy votes from the GLBTQ "community" and get donations for his campaign as a result of that (he asked for donations the same day he announced his supposed support and GLBTQ suckers sent him $$), and the ACLU has slammed him for torture (you can google it) and as for the other things you wrote they are not as you present them either. None of them are as black/white as you try to make them. You'd make a superb Obamabot, if you're not already one. They enjoy telling lies, half-truths and not telling the full story about their beloved Republican neocon Obama (R).

Posted by Guest on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 5:37 pm
Posted by Mrs. Roper on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

This is like the joke about academic politics: It so ugly because the stakes are so low.

Unfortunately every single D5 candidate will be a reliable "progressive" vote when elected. There are no serious political differences among these candidates. All of them will vote for the dumb "smart growth" development path---19,000 people living on Treasure Island, 16,000 new residents at Parkmerced, 40-story highrises at Market and Van Ness!---and of course the bicycle fantasy that requires making it as difficult and expensive as possible to drive in SF.

Posted by Rob Anderson on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 10:47 am

Once again the white male leadership of the corporate owned bay guardian defends a white guy who was actually convicted of a crime, but throws the black guy who at this point has only rumors being fanned by the Olague camp under the bus.

Says a lot about how progressives are circling the drain. Face it guys, you're finished. The fact you consider a trustee from a bankrupt, soon-to-be-discredited, corrupt college system a legitimate candidate for ANYTHING just shows how FUCKED UP you people are. Rizzo should be shown the door, not the seat to power.

Hope the Realtors really fuck you all up. Your credibility is minimal. And I really hope that when Campos leaves office early, Lee appoints someone that will REALLY PISS YOU ALL OFF. That is, if the corporate owners even want a failed newspaper lapping up at the corporate trough anymore.

Posted by Buck the Buck on Oct. 27, 2012 @ 8:30 am