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Not too often a grassroots club will poll voters. Usually most cash strapped San Francisco organizations like a Chinese American Democratic Club might sponsor a question or two, but not the entire poll. But consultant Jim Stearns sponsored a poll on behalf of Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club – one of SF’s leading progressive organizations. Through various news releases with poll details selectively released by Stearns Consulting, one of the city’s premier firms that has represented left leaning APA candidates like State Senator Leland YeeAttorney General Kamala Harris, District 3 (Chinatown/North Beach) Supervisor David Chiu and South San Francisco Mayor Karyl Matsumoto. The news seems to be good for Mayor Ed Lee, who’s best 2015 challengers all seem to be once and future losers: 1999 mayoral candidate and terming out Assemblyman Tom Ammiano did the best out of the pack (losing 42%-33% to Lee), with former Mayor Art AgnosCity Attorney and same-sex marriage legal defender Dennis Herrera and 2011 mayoral runner up and District 11 (Excelsior/Outer Mission) Supervisor John Avalos apparently at least ten or more percent points behind Lee. At the same time, the poll was taken after an election where 8 Washington cheerleaders Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and Lee were at their weakest, given their inability to carry the two condo zoning and development measures to victory. If Lee had any weakness, Milk and Stearns would have undoubtedly trumpeted them going into a year before Mayor Lee’s 2015 re-election….

This past Spring Supervisor David Campos spoke on CPMC compromise with mediator Lou Giraudo and Supervisors Mark Farrell, David Chiu and Mayor Ed Lee.

This past Spring Supervisor David Campos spoke on CPMC compromise with mediator Lou Giraudo and Supervisors Mark Farrell, David Chiu and Mayor Ed Lee.

CAMPOS KRYTONITE: No teasers in that Milk-Stearns poll about the 2014 Chiu-Campos race for the east side 17th Assembly District seat being relinquished by Ammiano. Milk and Stearns – respectively the base and former campaign manager for aspiring Ammiano successor David Campos – did not release anything in the media about the 2014 Assembly race against Board of Supervisors President David Chiu. If Campos numbers showed strength, it would have been advantageous to release them, for example, immediately well before December 31, the critical fundraising deadline for District 9 (Mission) Supervisor Campos to raise money and report on January 31 a healthy campaign treasury competitive or leading Chiu for an Assembly race. Nice Campos poll numbers would help with fundraising and snagging or neutralizing Democratic Party or labor endorsements against Chiu. So, no good news for Campos to brag about….

JERRY FOR PRES: 2014 is a re-election referendum in many ways on Jerry Brown. A Brown campaign and landslide for a fourth gubernatorial term would accelerate White House talk commonly associated with Democratic post-Obama usual suspects like former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 66, and VP Joe Biden, 71. Californians, with its 1.6 million APA voters and an electoral lock for Democratic nominees since 1992, will shape one-fifth of Electoral College winning 218 votes required for the 2016 Presidency. A majority of 17 million Golden State voters next year could wink and green light Brown, 75, for a fourth shot in 2016. Brown is in tiptop shape – ability to do pull-ups on a train, successful treatment a year ago for prostrate cancer and genes from mom and dad living into the nineties. Meanwhile, voters gave two national landslides to his predecessor and 69-year old Ronald Reagan serving until 78 in the White House. Brown may find enormous leverage in playing coy about running for the White House, being kingmaker and even teasing pundits with forays into 2016 respective presidential caucus and primary states Iowa and New Hampshire…

JERRY’S “CURB” ON GAVIN: Just the threat of Brown back on the national campaign trial should thrill Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom.  The former SF Mayor was elected with huge APA margins in 2003 and 2007 and had elevated APAs Ed Lee to Mayor in 2011 and Heather Fong as Police Chief in 2004. Newsom has the chance of emerging from serving in the relatively powerless Lt. Governor’s office and Brown’s shadow.  He’s tried to raise his profile by stepping outside of government venues – promoting his book Citizensville to reinvent government, hosting a CurrentTV talk show and leading an ACLU task force to qualify a 2016 measure to legalize marijuana. If Brown at least tests the White House waters, Newsom gets a tryout as acting Governor and opportunity to impress voters. Meanwhile, Brown will have to consider a few earlier turf tiffs with Newsom and recall a wayward Republican Lt. Governor Mike Curb in Brown’s second reincarnation as Guv from 1979 to 1983. Curb while Brown ran for President was issuing executive orders, vetoing legislation and making appointments. Brown tried to reverse Curb’s actions in court…

Controller John Chiang. Photo courtesy of John Chiang

CA Controller John Chiang plans to run for Treasurer in 2014. Photo courtesy of John Chiang

TRIAL RUNS FOR GOVERNOR: Likely to frown on a Brown national campaign and Newsom interim governorship will be leading APA gubernatorial aspirants – John Chiang, Controller running for Treasurer in 2014, and former SFDA Kamala Harris running for a second term as Attorney General. Next year, they’re likely bulking up and flexing their muscles for a gubernatorial run after Brown leaves. Chiang is seeking a new office as Treasurer after finishing with 55.2% of the vote in 2010 – the second highest and respectable state constitutional office holder percentage after Treasurer Bill Lockyer’s 56.5%. However Chiang had an easier win than Harris’ tough win against LA DA Steve Cooley, 46.1% to 45.3%…The Attorney General’s major mortgage settlements of well over $20 billion against big banking gives her cache in increasing support or winning counties she lost to GOP Cooley – Sacramento, Fresno, Ventura, Orange, Riverside and San Diego Counties. These same areas were also hard hit by the Recession….

FADED STAR & STRIPES: Recognizable forever in infamous tiger outfit and stripes, disgraced Rep. David Wu hanging around at recent SF APA holiday party…Wu had resigned in 2011 from Congress representing a Portland, Oregon seat after accusations of sexual assaults and advances and erratically sporting a tiger costume while in the House…

COOKIE MEN: Among the party ring leaders for Mayor Ed Lee and First Lady Anita Lee and California API Legislative Caucus holiday reception at Straits Restaurant – digital elf Thomas Li sporting red bright seasonal bow tie.  But don’t call him Pee Wee. The relative of former City Hall aide Rose Chung is closer to former Supervisor Tom Hsieh with his ubiquitous bowties…mayoral aide Jason “Cookie Monster” Chan is the canary in the state/national coal mine by working the state and national circuit for the Mayor. He was saving a few quickly nabbed cookies with sugary caricatures of SF’s First Couple posing with bay area’s iconic bridge and cable cars. Cookies made nice holiday tree accessory along with mugs from CC Yin’s Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA). Fortunately no cookie crumbs for District 1 (Richmond) Supervisor Eric Mar to consider levying on with his two cents an ounce for sugary soda tax legislation… 

Everything is sweet for the "First Cookies" of San Francisco - Mayor Ed Lee and First Lady Anita Lee.

Everything is sweet for the “First Cookies” of San Francisco – Mayor Ed Lee and First Lady Anita Lee.

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