Recall and A.B.E.

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Oakland Mayor Jean Quan faces recall less than a year in office.

DIDN’T WE RECALL….: It was last Nov. 2010 that it was anybody but former State Senator Don Perata – leaving City Council member Jean Quan to benefit from 75 percent of colleague Rebecca Kaplan’s votes to become mayor. Now some in Oakland are calling for an unlikely recall of Quan.  But beware of what you ask for: 1) 2003 Democrat Gov. Gray Davis for Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger; 2) Quan for Perata, who have very distinct leadership styles; or 3) Quan could squash recall like San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein did with a 1983 mandate allowing her to intimidate opposition, thus winning re-election that same year…

UNITED FRONT: SF Mayor Ed Lee faces potential ABE scenario – “Anybody But Ed” where major rivals mutually support each other…Alleged Chinatown vote tampering by pro-Lee but independent SF Neighborhood Alliance have created an ABE scenario where State Senator Leland Yee, Public Defender Jeff Adachi, Board of Supervisors Prez David Chiu, Supervisor John Avalos, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, former Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier and venture capitalist Joanna Rees could coalesce after signing off on a legal federal and state complaint. Chiu, Yee, Alioto-Pier, Rees and Herrera in August had backed a probe into Run Ed Run committee seeking to draft Lee for mayor who formally declared in August. The SF Ethics Commission overruled its director and cleared Run Ed Run and indirectly his honor, who had no role in operation…

CATCH-22 FOR LEE: Lee’s paradox is lose-lose with the Alliance. Although disassociated from SFNA and denouncing leaders as politically damaging “morons,” the mayor appears powerless to voters if rogue group don’t disband. However, if the Alliance acquiesced to his demands to disband, public perception is he controls operation flouting campaign laws…

Mayoral candidate David Chiu shifts to political center and receives endorsement of SF Chronicle newspaper.

LEFT AND LEFT OUT: The Chronicle’s endorsement of Chiu for mayor confirmed SF Bay Guardian’s fears about his “shared progressive values” shifting towards political center where most APA votes have overwhelmingly won mayoral races for Frank Jordan (1991), Gavin Newsom (2003), Willie Brown (1999). Chiu’s tooting about jobs and the economy – keeping Twitter in town, redeveloping Parkmerced apartments despite tenant concerns and welcoming the America’s Cup….Left-leaning Guardian was disappointed with Chiu in a June feature and was pushing Ross Mirkarimi for Sheriff on its October 5 cover while understating Avalos, Herrera and Yee endorsements for anti-Lee diatribes. Although Avalos was a Sept. cover story, he’s getting less play than major progressive 1999 mayoral write-in Tom Ammiano or 2003 candidate Matt Gonzalez

SLICE AND DICE: Lee’s held his poll leads despite major political carpet bombing especially by Herrera, Yee and their own “Alliance” allies. For example, Yee’s endorsed by the California Nurses Association and AFSCMEpublic employee union who have taken shots at Lee. Since July, Lee is polling 30-35 percent with a candidate bottleneck for second place. The Bay Citizen/USF poll in early October had Lee with 31 percent among first choice votes and painting scenario that Lee wins with second and third place votes. Bay Citizen’s Gerry Shih analyzed that Lee had overwhelming APA support leaving three major APA candidates – Yee, Adachi, Chiu lagging…

Former supervisors Michela Alioto-Pier (left) and Bevan Dufty could be key to election of Mayor Ed Lee.

KEY LEE CONSTITUENCIES: Based on this columnist’s analysis of Bay Citizen/USF poll, Lee’s victory also depends on redistributed votes from two non-APA rivals – ex-supervisors Bevan Dufty and Alioto-Pier drawing among LGBT, women and moderate votes…Among second and third rankings of Dufty’s 19 polled votes, Lee (6 votes) was virtually tied with Herrera (6) and Alioto-Pier (5). The lone LGBT candidate and ex-District 8 (Castro/Upper Market) supervisor, Dufty, hurts Herrera, whose political calculus depended on major LGBT support after his  successful legal defense of Mayor Newsom’s 2004 order sanctioning same-sex marriages. During this campaign, Lee praised Dufty for his civil tactics while Dufty has not endorsed ethical complaints against Lee as Herrera whacks Lee. The mayor could end up competitive in Noe Valley, Castro and Upper Market where 9 of 10 voters opposed successful Nov. 2008 statewide ban on same-sex marriage…

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee faces an "Anybody But Ed" coalition.

WOMEN & MODERATES: Lee ultimately wins (56%) poll over Herrera (18%), Yee (14%) and Avalos (12%). His victory comes by winning 13 of Alioto-Pier’s 19 second and third place polled votes, while overwhelming Yee (3), Avalos (2) and Herrera (1). Alioto-Pier has targeted women (she and Rees are only women running) and moderates supporting Alioto’s business development like her legislation spurring SF biotech. She formerly represented Mayor Newsom’s District 2 supervisor seat in tony Pacific Heights/Marina. Alioto-Pier also won half of Rees ranked support (4 of 8), implying a gender connection …

SHOW THE BADGE: If the uproar continues over Lee’s ethics, he can diffuse the issue by rolling out law enforcement endorsements, including support from SF Police Officers Association, Police Chief Greg Suhr and members of police commission. In 1987, Art Agnos saved his candidacy after an income tax scandal. A crucial SFPOA endorsement rescued Agnos, who trounced John Molinari for mayor …

WHAT CONFUCIUS SAID ABOUT ELECTION…: Not Woodward and Bernstein digging through mounds of antiquated Library of Congress call slips deciphering what Nixon’s White House was reading. But Leland Yee’s recent reading about Confucius perplexed Stephanie Lee in last Monday’s Chronicle “City Insider” on children and political literature favored by mayoral candidates at Friends of the SF Public Library interviews. My theory – Yee’s stumping on his ethics platform and Confucius resonates with Chinese Americans as an icon of personal and government morality – whose ethics permeate Asian cultures…

NEVER SAY NEVER ON SUNDAY: Asian American Contractor Association and SF Chinese Club leader Florence Kong got word out on Sunday. And more than 200 came for a Four Seas Restaurant luncheon for SF District Attorney candidate Sharmin BockHOW’S THE MILEAGE?: Crisscrossing by Chinatown regularly is a white Toyota Prius adorned with Paul Miyamoto for SF Sheriff signs and stickers… FUTURE TURF WAR: Attorney General Kamala Harris is for her special advisor, Chris Cunnie, for Sheriff while Newsom chimed for Mayor Lee this week. If Gov. Jerry Brown has no 2014 plans, ex-SF DA Harris and ex-Mayor Newsom could compete on SF turf but for Guv…

WE KNOW MONEY: Congresswoman Judy Chu will take Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to task as to why no APA fund managers work at FDIC or handle TARP. “You know Asians, can they handle money? Yaahhh….,” crowed Chu recently as she steers him towards the Asian American Fund Managers Association…. Washington DC isn’t aware California’s ka-ching is managed by APAs like Controller John Chiang, Board of Equalization members Betty Yee and Michelle Park Steel, whom Chu served with until 2009. Does it say something that China, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong account for half of US IOUs totaling $2.3 trillion….That should eliminate the Oct. 23 doubt by the Chronicle’s Matier and Ross about how a cashier, cook, secretary and a Far East Cafe “helper” donate to the Mayor’s Sept. 9 Lee Family fundraiser organized by Mel Lee

COMING TO TOWN: Colleague and emeritus College Board member Rodel Rodis stirred US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas, Jr. by defending him over his out-of-context remark that two-fifths of male tourists head to the Philippines for sex. West Bay Pilipino Center director Rudy Ascercion disagrees and was urging Manila to toss him out of the country. Thomas implied he’s coming home still as ambassador in his email to Rodel: “Your article [in AsianWeek.com] is being widely circulated. Hope to see you when I visit [San Francisco] next year”….

MISS ME?: Email Samson Wong at potsticker@prodigy.net.

 

About the Author

Veteran columnist has appeared in up to 450,000 households weekly in the SF Independent, Examiner (2000-04) and AsianWeek since 1996. As Editor-in-Chief (2003-07), AsianWeek and Samson received wide recognition from the California Legislature, New American Media, League of Women Voters, GLAAD, Organization of Chinese Americans, SPUR and APA civic groups. Thru the SF Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections, SF Elections Task Force and Chinese American Voters Education Committee, Wong helped boost APA influence from 25,000 in the 1980s to over 50,000 voters by the early 1990s.