CHIU’S WINNING COALITION

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CHIPosticker Sig revisedU’S WINNING COALITION
If June 3 results hold up after counting of remaining mailed and provisional ballots, David Chiu took one step forward to being the first Asian Pacific American (APA) to win and represent the 17th Assembly District seat of eastside San Francisco in Sacramento. Chiu if he beats runner up David Campos in November would represent the cradle of the city and nation’s LGBT community as well as historic APA home to Chinatown, Japantown, Little Saigon and Manilatown. Since 2004, LGBT legislators have held the seat since 2004 under Carole MigdenMark Leno and Tom Ammiano…As analyzed in “Potsticker” columns at tinyurl.com/k3jr7ks on 3/20/14 and tinyurl.com/lwlntx6 at 9/26/13, Chiu had to win decisively in APA and African American communities while winning the confidence of a major minority of LGBT voters and thus blunting an LGBT landslide by Campos…Unofficial results had SF Board of Supervisors President Chiu leading colleague and District 9 (Mission) Supervisor Campos 48.4% to 43.1%…
CHIU WINS APA & LGBT BACKING: District 3 (North Beach/Chinatown) representative Chiu, a straight male, won big in major APA enclaves like Chinatown in District 3 (65% Chiu to 24% Campos), Portola (51% – 36%), Diamond Heights (53%-37%) and Visitation Valley (59% – 28%) but also deadlocked or edged Campos in liberal-moderate LGBT strongholds like Upper Market/Eureka (46% – 48%) and Noe Valley (48% – 44%). Chiu’s ability to earn these votes reflected endorsements from influential liberal-moderate LGBT endorsers like Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic ClubBay Area Reporter newspaper and gay Supervisor Scott Weiner, the District 8 representative of Upper Market/Eureka Valley. The neutrality of gay State Senator Mark Leno, whose district includes SF, added to the rough LGBT split between Chiu and Campos. Chiu also picked up support in African American pockets like Bayview/Hunter’s Point (54%-37%), which is also home to an emerging pro-Chiu APA electorate. Chiu in many respects followed the 1999 pattern that centrist Mayor Willie Brown won re-election over former Board of Supervisor President Tom Ammiano, a progressive bidding to become the first LGBT mayor. The major difference is that Brown also stunningly won Republicans and accumulate a citywide 57% – 43% victory over Ammiano. In the June election GOP Assembly candidate Salaverry eked out 8.4%, more than enough to put Chiu over the 50 percent mark…
NOT DOWN FOR THE COUNT: Board of Equalization member Betty Yee is in a close race for Controller (held by Treasurer candidate John Chiang), even though she’s fourth. Counts as of June 5 with more than 770,000 uncounted ballots according to California Secretary of State, GOP’s Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin ranked first with 24.4% of the vote with Democrat and Assembly Speaker John Perez climbing into second with 21.7%, dark horse GOP candidate and CPA David Evans in third with 21.6% and Democrat Yee with 21.4%. The top two finishers will face off in November. Assuming Swearengin is one of the top two then only 6,427 votes separated Perez, Evans and Yee who should not be counted out. Back in November 2010, Attorney General candidate and SF District Attorney Kamala Harris was losing in the early counts. But days after the election, Harris picked up votes to overtake Los Angeles DA Steve Cooley who conceded 23 days after the election in a 46.1%-45.3% squeaker…
2018 BRAGGING RIGHTS: Two APA candidates to succeed Governor Jerry Brown in 2018 – Attorney General Kamala Harris and Treasurer candidate John Chiang should easily defeat their opponents. As of June 5, Harris with 1.6 million votes led 52.8% while her second place GOP rival eked out 12.7%.  Democrat Chiang with over 1.7 million votes was routing his Treasurer opponent 54.8% to 38.7%…Meanwhile, there’s former SF Mayor and Democrat Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom who anted up 49.6% or 1.5 million votes to his nearest Republican with 23.4%. Former SF resident Newsom has in the past been interested in the governorship and was elected/re-elected SF Mayor with overwhelming support from APAs….
KING MAKER: Vice Mayor and San Jose Councilmember Madison Nguyen shot at San Jose Mayor diminished as she was finishing third and more than 4,600 votes behind Councilmember Sam Liccardo (2nd place, 25%) and Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese (1st place, 33%). Liccardo and Cortese will likely face each other in November. Councilmembers Pierluigi Oliverio (9%) and Rose Herrera (6%) were lagging in fourth and fifth…Labor-backed Cortese has talked about changing public pension reforms hemorrhaging police officers while the Councilmembers running for mayor had supported the measure and fiscal reforms advanced by outgoing Mayor Chuck Reed.  It’s likely that the Councilmembers and potential kingmakers Nguyen, Oliverio and Herrera would be more inclined to support and leapfrog like-minded Liccardo over Cortese. For Nguyen particularly, can she rally over 46,000 Vietnamese American voters according to Political Data Inc. making up more than 11 percent of more than 412,000 San Jose voters? During the election, Cortese and Nguyen according to polls were splitting San Jose’s APA (more than 101,000) and likely Vietnamese American voters. However, some Vietnamese American voters were unhappy with Nguyen’s stance on the Little Saigon renaming (which led to her unsuccessful recall election) and concerned about a personal trip to Vietnam (See “Potstickers” on May 8, 2014 at tinyurl.com/l6zj7et) as she and all mayoral candidates pledged no official business ties with Vietnam’s Communist government over its human rights violations… Nguyen’s ability to be a kingmaker was weakened given that her endorsement was could not buoy friend and Franklin-McKinley School Board member Buu Thai to succeed her as District 7 Councilmember. Behind also in fundraising, Thai finished last among four candidates with 12% of the vote and out of any November runoff…
Hon. Mike Honda is screened for hepatitis B at the Asian Heritage Street Celebration in 2006.

Hon. Mike Honda is screened for hepatitis B at the Asian Heritage Street Celebration in 2006.

MORAL VICTORY?: Ro Khanna’s salvation in a November runoff after an underwhelming June 3 primary election performance is hoping that incumbent Rep. Mike Honda of the 17th Congressional District remains under 50%. At that point, the former Assistant Deputy under Commerce Secretary Gary Locke can claim that Honda has no mandate and that a majority of voters is looking for change. As of June 5 counts, Democrat Honda led Democrat Khanna 48%-27%… WHERE’S THE BEEF?: Khanna’s campaign was hyped with its Obama “dream team” of consultants (Obama himself endorsed Honda), array of Silicon Valley high tech executive endorsements from Facebook and Appleand newspaper endorsements like Hearst’s San Francisco Chronicle and the Bay Area Newspaper Group’s San Jose Mercury. Entrepreneurship and competitiveness author Khanna’s performance reflects the knock on 1984 Democratic White House candidate and US Senator Gary Hart who contrasted himself with “new ideas” and YUPPIE support against establishment Democrat and eventual nominee Walter Mondale who tagged Hart with the “Where’s the Beef?” tagline from Wendy’s fast food when it came to Hart’s substance…
FROM A BARREL OF A GUN: China’s late Chairman Mao once said political power comes from a barrel of a gun, which is what indicted and suspended State Senator Leland Yee tried to peddle in. With recent UC Santa Barbaratragedies of six deaths including three APA kids at the hands of hapa classmate, the child psychologist if he had not been caught up bribery and gun running, would have had an issue to stump on for California Secretary of State after proffering his own gun control legislation engendered death threats against him. With the shootings happening two weeks before the election, Yee would have drawn attention from a mental health and gun control standpoint. But we will never know as the public repeats the debate of Sandy Hook. Amazingly, Yee had under 10% of the California vote with more than 12% in San Francisco while finishing better than his final fifth place ranked choice showing short of 10% for SF Mayor in 2011…
Board of Equalization member Betty Yee, John Burton and former Assembly Pro Tempore Speaker Fiona Ma. Photo courtesy of Fiona Ma.

Board of Equalization member Betty Yee, John Burton and former Assembly Pro Tempore Speaker Fiona Ma. Photo courtesy of Fiona Ma.

IT’S A HORSE YEAR: Mr. Ed can’t beat this. Favored filly Fiona Ma is winning with 68% of the vote in the Lunar New Year of the Horse. The California Board of Equalization candidate and former Assembly member won easily the right to run in November for the seat being relinquished by Betty Yee who’s running for State Controller. Ma did not choose to use her state legislative title (former Assembly Speaker pro Tempore) but identified herself as a “CPA/Taxpayer Representative” and emphasized further as she passed out pen pocket protectors – a sign that this wannabee tax nerd is going after the nerdy male vote…If Ma (Chinese surname for “horse”) wins this November, it’ll continue her equine pattern – born in the Horse Year (1966), winning her first political office (SF Board of Supervisors in 2002). Based on the 12-year horse horoscope cycle, what office will she be preparing for 2026?
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.