ALICE LIKES CHIU WHILE HARVEY LOVES CAMPOS

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ALICE LIKES CHIU WHILE HARVEY LOVES CAMPOS

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As this column pointed out (See “Potstickers” on 9/26/13 at tinyurl.com/lwlntx6), the key to Assembly District 17 candidate David Chiu’s election is his ability to carve out enough LGBT support. At the same time, Chiu needs to limit rival David Campos to a mudslide not a landslide vote in the LGBT community. One way is for Chiu to win the endorsement of the influential Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, whose political action committee recommended him last Saturday to the general membership that must ratify it with a 60 percent vote on March 24. At this point, the Chiu and Campos campaigns are calling Toklas members to ask for their votes after having weeks to recruit members, “stack” the club with their supporters. If Chiu wins Toklas, his name will appear on endorsement cards and ads in the 17th District or east side SF….

BACKING STRAIGHT CANDIDATES: Campos, who garnered the early endorsement of the more progressive Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club last September, faces a challenge at the liberal-moderate Alice that favors Chiu. The club has a history of supporting non-LGBT candidates. In 1999, it sided with Willie Brown for re-election for mayor over gay former Board of Supervisor President Tom Ammiano, who in 2008 became Assemblyman out of the former 13th District (east side SF which was redistricted into the 17th District). In the 2011 mayor’s race, Toklas ranked City Attorney Dennis Herrera first, followed by former District 8 (Upper Market/Castro) Supervisor Bevan Dufty and then incumbent Mayor Ed Lee. Herrera, who’s straight, was successfully defending in court the same sex marriage executive order Mayor Gavin Newsom had signed in 2004. Dufty the only gay candidate among the ranked three, had served two terms as supervisor of the nation’s LGBT mecca. And Ed Lee, who beat Herrera and Dufty for a four-year term as mayor, had decided at the last minute to keep the seat after some constituents thought he would not run for the seat… Unlike Harvey, Alice’s PAC recommendation for Chiu with under three months left in the June primary season is a sign of lukewarm support for Campos and opening the door for a Chiu endorsement…

SEPARATED BY TURF: Or separated at birth. Calvin Fong, newly anointed leader of Alameda County’s APA Democratic Caucus, looks like a taller version of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee…Fong is the chief of staff for Mayor Ed Bates of Berkeley…

BIGGEST CHIP ON THE SHOULDER: If Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen’s elected mayor of San Jose this year, endless debate is created – who truly is the tech mayor of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, let alone the world? San Francisco’s Ed Lee been drawing tech companies or jobs away from the South Bay thru Twitter, Google, LucasFilm, Yelp, Adobe and Salesforce.…

PROFESSOR AT THE PODIUM: The ninth annual dinner at Alameda County’s APA Democratic Caucus was worth an undergrad unit after California Treasurer-to-be John Chiang’s (the Controller is running unopposed this June and November) keynote sounded more like a succinct economic explanation on getting out of California’s woes…On the same day the stock market dive took a dive, Chiang quacked, “I shop at Nordstrom Rack and Ross. I buy low”…

IDENTITY & DELIVERY: Board of Supervisor President David Chiu and District 9 (Mission) Supervisor David Campos exchanged pleasantries (“two height challenged people of color”) and how much they shared (Harvard educated and progressives who voted together 98% of the time). However last week’s SF Pride Center debate hosted by the influential Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club and the Harvard Club highlighted differences. Campos underscored the importance of electing an LGBT legislator out of the 17th Assembly District (eastside SF) who can work with straight allies. Campos, who identifies as gay, noted most pieces of LGBT legislation came from LGBT legislators. Although Chiu, a straight male, touted his own leadership on LGBT issues, the important contrast was delivery – leading and putting votes together…

HSU RHYMES WITH SUE: Meandering at the Chiu-Campos debate was Lee Hsu, a newly declared SF School Board candidate. The Greater West Portal Neighborhood Association president and PTA activist skipped the John Chiang fete at Squat & Gobble …If folks can’t tell the Davids apart (Chiu and Campos) in the Assembly race, then androgynous Lee Hsu’s name sounds like Sue Lee, the Chinese Historical Society of America director and former Planning Commissioner and Lee Hsu, communications director of the Chinese American International School. The difference is Lee is a dad running for school board…The school board race is an open field with Hydra Mendoza-McDonnell and Kim-Shree Maufas not running for re-election. That leaves Madame Chapeau (aka Emily Murase) who oversees the SF Commission on the Status of Women the only incumbent in the race…

BEWARE OF THE BACKFIRE: There’s an argument faced by disappointed Oakland Mayor Jean Quan fans. Given former allies are running against her (former advisor and friend Dan Siegel and ex-ally and Oakland Port Commissioner Bryan Parker), is there a better alternative to her? Ousting her could end up with someone diametrically opposed to Quan’s liberal-progressive policies. Beware of what you wish for…The lesson is from the SF mayor’s race in 1991. Liberals and progressives critical of San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos’ political management style split over reelecting him and led to the election of conservative and former police chief Frank Jordan…In 1991 some constituents such as neighborhood activists and environmentalists abandoned Agnos. Ironically some of those same folks were working with Agnos, as well as David Chiu, as they defeated the luxury waterfront condo ballot measures last November….

DON’T GET EVEN, GET AHEAD: Donkeys don’t have long elephantine memories. District 8 (Castro/Upper Market) Supervisor Scott Wiener spoke out at David Chiu’s March 2 kickoff (See “Potstickers” on 3/6/14 at tinyurl.com/pkx8ygm) for the 17th Assembly and appeared in the morning together at a Dolores Park groundbreaking.  Both are also SF Democratic County Central Committee members. Before becoming supervisors, Chiu’s vote in 2008 for Aaron Peskin led to Wiener’s ouster as SF Democratic Party chair. Wiener said that he appointed Chiu to the county committee to fill the big heels of the late former Supervisor Sue Bierman. Wiener and Chiu went to law school together…

MISS ME?: Email Samson Wong at potsticker@prodigy.net and  follow him at Twitter @SFPotstickers…

 

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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.