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Posticker Sig revisedWith 14 months until the June 2014 primary to determine top two candidates for the November 2014 general election, Rep. Mike Honda and former Obama White House cabinet official Ro Khanna have different objectives. Honda’s the likely winner (barring total collapse) of June primary to qualify for Nov. 2014 election. However, the battle for Democrats Khanna and Honda will be over a Republican. Honda’s “enemy of my enemy” or friend will be to nudge voters to support a Republican like Dr. Evelyn Li over Khanna to repeat last year. Running in the 17th – a “YODA” (Your Only Democratic Alternative) district (44% Democrat, 18% GOP), Honda soundly beat Li in Nov. 2012 (73%-26%) after she qualified in 2nd place over Libertarian and entrepreneur Chuck Richardson (5% support) to be cannon fodder after garnering 27% support in June 2012…That 27% could be the June 2014 benchmark for Khanna to leapfrog over Li and qualify to run in one-on-one with Honda for Nov. 2014 general election…. Khanna is in a two front battle. Honda’s allies are going to shell him to help Li or a GOP candidate trying to outdo Khanna.….

Ro Khanna's foe is not only Rep. Mike Honda (Courtesy of Khanna campaign)

Ro Khanna’s foe is not only Rep. Mike Honda (Courtesy of Khanna campaign)

27% MAGIC NUMBER?: So far, Honda’s internal poll has himself at 57% with Li at 13% and Khanna 5% basically fighting for loyalties of 23% undecided to reach magic 27% to run in Nov. Avuncular Honda’s not likely to help Li overtly, but perhaps his allies in labor, for example, might do soft money campaign against Khanna. However, Honda and his allies have to be careful given negative precedent – 2002 gubernatorial race where incumbent and centrist Democrat Gray Davis fielded June primary advertising campaign to defeat moderate Republican and LA Mayor Richard Riordan and reshaped race where GOP selected conservative banker and former USDOJ prosecutor Bill Simon. Davis won re-election by 5% but tactic contributed to his recall in 2003…

Dr. Evelyn Li (second from left) could be in contest with Ro Khanna to face Rep. Mike Honda  (Courtesy of 2012 Evelyn Li campaign)

Dr. Evelyn Li (second from left) could be in contest with Ro Khanna to face Rep. Mike Honda . Photo Courtesy of 2012 Evelyn Li campaign

CUE THE VIDEO: “Manufacturing expert” Khanna kicks off his video campaign in Cupertino to bring “Silicon Valley thinking to Washington” on April 14, Sunday and unseat Honda to represent western San Jose.  Besides call for “fresh ideas and forward thinking” in Capitol Hill, Khanna’s higher education connections are emphasized – video was filmed at Santa Clara University and rally’s held at DeAnza College with mention that he teaches economics at Stanford…Video launch coincides with last day of California Democratic Party convention in Sacramento which sounds like Khanna’s not expecting bigwig Democratic support – apparent concession to Honda. Unlike Honda’s recent rips into Khanna (See “Potstickers” on 3/28/13 at, Khanna’s campaign tone is positive, avoiding a head on war of attrition with Honda while conserving $1.2 million war chest for 2014 battle. “I’m going to wage a campaign of ideas on how we can thrive in a world economy where success depends on education,” he said…

HE’S A WET: San Francisco town baker Lou Giraudo, breaking bread and acknowledging players in California Pacific Medical Center project agreement, noting last month, “[Board of Supervisor President David Chiu] is a man who does a lot by example, including riding a bicycle in the rain. It’s amazing he came to so many meetings wet”….

Outcome of SF International Airport renaming will affect futures of District 9 Supervisor David Campos and District 3 Supervisor David Chiu

Outcome of SF International Airport renaming will affect futures of District 9 Supervisor
David Campos and District 3 Supervisor David Chiu.

SPEAK NOW OR…: SF APA reluctance (See “Potstickers” on 1/31/13 at on same sex marriage could be changing with same sex marriage trend shifting dramatically in California since 2008. SF Bay Area – giving the most marriage support in California – has gone from 63%-29% in 2010, 66%-25% in 2012 to 77%-20% in February 2013 Field Polls…Yellow flags yet are raised among Asian, African American and “other” voter support. Field – warning of small sample size of African, Asian Americans and other voters – went from 41%-51% for same sex marriage in 2010 to 50%-46% in 2012. Last month, larger Field Poll sample combining APAs and African American votes was at 64%-31%. San Francisco APAs, as well as African Americans, have been among most lukewarm as demonstrated by 2008 election map results (see Proposition 8 Same Sex Marriage Ban map) in orange (25% to 49% opposition) and red (>50% opposed) areas in high APA or African American precincts. However, that could change if these areas follow statewide trend. That could reinforce 2012 Pew Research Center showing more APAs supporting, not discouraging homosexuality 53%-35% in society with all APA subgroups – Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Indians and Japanese Americans supporting acceptance, with Korean Americans being exception…

YES ON PROP 8_2008

Map of San Francisco level of support for ban on same sex marriages
(Prop 8) in 2008. APA neighborhoods such as Richmond, Sunset, Visitacion Valley,
Excelsior are heavily in red (majority for ban) or orange (25% to 49% support). (Map courtesy

FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE: Trend bodes well this Nov. if District 9 (Mission) Supervisor David Campos – whose partner is Chinese American – qualifies measure renaming SF Airport after assassinated first gay Supervisor Harvey Milk – a contemporary and ally of first APA elected Supervisor, the late Gordon Lau. The Nov. election adds two leading APA politicians for election. Mayor Ed Lee’s appointed Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu is running first time citywide to finish remaining year of now Assembly Democratic Caucus Chair Phil Ting’s term; her former aide and mayoral appointed Supervisor Katy “Scooter” Tang is running for first time ever from District 4 (Sunset) to complete remaining year of Chu’s supervisor term. Tang and Chu are certain to boost APA voting in low Nov. 2013 turnout but APA votes are not automatics against same sex marriage, let alone renaming airport after Milk…



District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang will draw APA support for election in Nov. 2013. Will they support other candidates and issues?

District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang will draw APA support for election in Nov. 2013. Will
they support other candidates and issues?

MILK IN 2013 OR 2014?: Campos and his supporters have a political decision: have Milk renaming on Nov. 2013 election with strong LGBT, Latino (City Attorney Dennis Herrera – defending Mayor Gavin Newsom’s 2004 same sex marriage order in US Supreme Court and Treasurer Jose Cisneros – highest gay and Latino citywide municipal elected official) and APA field of candidates drawing from their respective bases in low turnout election. 2013 may not be as bad year to have voters endorse airport renaming. However, qualifying it for higher turnout June 2014 primary – improves chances of passing Milk measure but also helps Campos in race against Board President David Chiu for 17th Assembly seat (eastside) now held by terming out Tom Ammiano

FULL SCHOLARSHIP: President and owner Elisa Stephens – in person at March gala to donate full scholarship to deserving nominee from Community Youth Center run by Director Sarah Wan and Board Chair Jaynry Mak to attend The Academy of the Arts



CADC honoree Victor Seeto

CADC honoree Victor Seeto

LONG-WINDED: Former SF Democratic County Central Committeeman Victor Seeto – thoughtful but chang-hay [Cantonese for “long winded” and not to be confused with Japanese kamikaze for “divine wind”] member of activist Seeto family honored with SF Democratic Party Chair Mary Jung at last Friday’s Chinese American Democratic Club dinner….BEFORE ARGO & AYATOLLAHS: In 1960s, Victor and Mr. SPUR (retired in 2009) as in Jim Chappell served in Iran while withPeace Corps well before Argo and Ayatollah years. At one point, Chappell shared his urban apartment with Seeto and Peace Corps buddies coming from hinterlands….

IN THIS CORNER: Keeping a low profile at CADC, SF Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi – in political rehab – sat in back corner table hosted by financial planner Wilson Chu with his guest Jefferson Elementary School District board member Joseph Otayde.After using his bare hands to grab ice cubes for his glass of cider, Sheriff left after his honor guard presented the colors for National Anthem…Not so low key, this Friday, Mrs. Mirkarimi – aka Eliana Lopez will guest star in Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, an anti-domestic violence performance presented by Marily Mondejar’s Filipina Women’s Network at Herbst Theater

SHORTEST DISTANCE BETWEEN: Two points is never a straight line. Otayde is one of APA plaintiffs with Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and Asian Law Caucus successfully pushing for redistricting of five-member San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. Despite APA and Latino outreach efforts before March 15 deadline, chances of FilAms or APAs serving on powerful redistricting task force appear dim. The panel will determine representation until after 2020 US Census…Although APAs make up more than one-quarter of over 718,000 county residents, they comprise only one-sixth of over 366,000 voters. APAs are more concentrated in northern county like Daly City where they make up 56% of 101,000 residents and 42% of over 39,000 voters…

District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen speaks at CADC annual dinner.

District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen speaks at CADC annual dinner.

MALIA’S NEW AIDE: Making APA rounds, including CADC 55th annual dinner, District 10 (Bayview/Visitacion Valley) Supervisor Malia Cohen has hired a third aide Michael P. Lee, non-profit, small business and public health expert focusing on emerging APA and historically African American Visitacion Valley. Cohen’s up for re-election in Nov. 2014 and her APA constituency is growing as evidenced by her 2010 race. Retired teacher Marlene Tran’s strong third place showing helped theater professional Tony Kelly in being a ranked choice runner up to Cohen…

MISS ME?: Email Samson Wong at and  follow him at Twitter @SFPotstickers…

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.