June Election Chat: The State Senate Primary

66 days until voting opens in SF, May 9th

The June SF election has 3 local races in addition to the national presidential primaries: The DCCC election, The Ballot Measure and The State Senate Primary.

The State Senate Primary
The State senate primary race for District 11 is between Scott Wiener and Jane Kim. All of SF can vote in it, as well as part of San Mateo.

California has open primaries - the top 2 vote getters in the June primary go on to battle each other in November. There is no doubt that Jane and Scott will be the top 2 in June, the questions are, Who will be number 1? and By how much?

Scott won the CA State Democratic Party endorsement by a landslide. This is an incredibly valuable endorsement, purportedly worth 8 percentage points in the general election (that’s about 40,000 votes). According to pre-convention scuttlebutt, Scott anticipated getting 70% of the delegate votes. He wound up getting 80% of the delegate votes at the convention because not all of Jane’s delegates turned in their ballots. David Campos (Current Supervisor for the Mission, District 9), for instance, didn’t turn in his ballot at all.

What happened? Apparently Jane’s campaign just got caught flat footed: http://www.sfexaminer.com/beware-of-scott-wiener-the-machine/ This columnist drops stunning allegations that Scott Weiner is unfairly stealing the election by being organized, competent and responsive to constituents:

“One thing he does, and I don’t know if this does help him, he is tireless,” Mandelman said. “If you write him with a concern or a complaint if you are a constituent, you will get a thoughtful response even if he doesn’t agree with you. Often it’s a long response. That goes a fair way to winning people over.”

Here’s an article from 2013 making the same allegations: http://www.sfbg.com/2013/01/29/machine

If I wasn’t already sold on Scott as a candidate, those two columns might be enough to convince me to vote or volunteer for him. What kind of a political culture is Jane Kim embedded in, if her cheerleaders believe that “effective” is adjective they can use to criticize someone? Scott Wiener, terrible politician, he makes goals and accomplishes them. Vote for Jane! She can barely put one foot in front of the other! Does she make goals? Who knows? Who cares, because she can’t remember what she’s doing from one day to the next! What world am I living in?

I understand wanting to advocate for the underdog, but advocating requires effective action. I’m afraid the political culture Jane is embedded in is mistaking becoming the underdog (by being less competent), for advocating for the underdog. As an underdog, I don’t want an advocate that finds value in losing.

Based on Scott & Jane’s performances so far, my guess is Scott will win in June, but it’s not at all clear. Moreover, if Scott wins by a wide margin, Jane’s ability to fundraise for the rest of the year will be crippled.

Help Scott win in June, what you can do:

  1. Make sure you and your friends are registered to vote. Do it online. YOU DON’T NEED A CA DRIVERS LICENSE TO REGISTER TO VOTE. You don’t need to be a “CA resident,” I don’t even know what people mean when they say that. I’ve had this conversation about 10000 times:
    “I can’t register here, I’m not a resident of SF.”
    “Oh, where do you live?”
    “[they give me an SF address or neighborhood]”
    “Do you live somewhere else for 6 months out of the year?”
    “no I live here all the time.”
    “Do you own property somewhere else, and you’re claiming a homestead exemption on your property taxes?”
    “lol, no, who can own property?!”
    “Where are you a resident of, if not where you live now?”
    “…”
    “You live here, you are a resident here, register to vote here, there’s no where else that claims you if not here.”
    “Oh well I didn’t get a CA drivers license yet”
    “You don’t need a CA drivers license to register to vote.”
  2. Vote in June. Did you know, you can vote at SF City Hall ANY DAY from May 9th, 2016 to June 7th, 2016? You can also send in a mail in ballot, or vote at your neighborhood polling station on June 7th.
  3. Tell your friends to vote in June, and make sure they do it.
  4. Volunteer to phone bank or precinct walk for the campaign. Contact Armand Domalewski, he’ll tell you what to do.