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Green Mayor? - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Dec. 8th, 2003

06:47 pm - Green Mayor?

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Check it out. A Green (Matt Gonzalez) might be the next mayor of San Francisco.

http://sf.indymedia.org/
http://www.mattgonzalez.com/
http://news.google.com/news?scoring=d&q=%22Matt+Gonzalez%22

If you live there, don't forget to vote tomorrow. Also if you live there, please tell me more about this thing. Is the sense on the streets really that this guy has a chance?

I guess they've gotten Clinton and Gore to come out and pitch for Gonzalez's Democratic opponent. If there's any remaining doubt about why I'm so disenfranchised with the brass of the Democratic party, this sums it up. From some random article that isn't even particularly pro-Gonzalez.

While the former president was en route to California on a private jet owned by one of Newsom's backers, Gonzalez was wrapping up his final day of campaigning with a "Punks for Matt" fund-raiser featuring former Dead Kennedys lead singer Jello Biafra.
Here's a race where the Green and the Democrat are within 7 to 10 percentage points the day before the race and there is no chance of a Republican winning no matter what the outcome. And yet the Democrats are bringing in a FORMER PRESIDENT to make sure those uppity Greens don't get their guy elected in one of the most radical-progressive-liberal cities in the country through a grassroots campaign. For years I've heard "Greens get Republicans elected" and "Greens should only run in local races where they can win". Why can't the Dems let us have this one? What are they so scared of? It's just a mayoral seat.

I heard this guy speak for an hour on the radio just now and he really seems to know his shit. He's on the city council and has been kicking ass in SF politics already. He's both highly qualified and completely grassroots. This is what it's all about. Again, I'm hoping to get some good perspective from the folks out there in the area. I'm bummed that my friends out there don't live in San Francisco proper.

EDIT: I hereby retract my senseless bitterness about the Dems fighting a hard fight to win this and pulling out all the stops. The posters here are right, it's a perfectly reasonable thing for them to do given the context. I spent all of an hour processing the news of this race this evening before posting what I posted. The closeness of the race was news to me (I think it's news to anyone not local to San Fran). Right now I want to spend the next 24 hours, not being bitter, but being GIDDY at the chance that Gonzalez could win this thing.

EDIT: The guardian in the UK even has a story about it. Bring Clinton in and everyone's writing about it (besides AP, Reuters, and UPI). christian science monitor, the nation, the age (Australia). These are just random non-newswire articles pulled down from news.google.com.

Comments:

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From:ke_jia
Date:December 8th, 2003 07:38 pm (UTC)
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The Greens run in safely Democratic districts and municipalities; forcing the party to divert money, talent, and time from campaigns to unseat Republicans, and the Democratic party is supposed to ... what? Be grateful? What the Democratic party wants Greens to do, which is by no means necessarily what the Greens should do, is to run in safely Republican districts, and force Republicans to divert their resources from competitive races.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 8th, 2003 08:11 pm (UTC)
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It isn't that they should be grateful that they're losing their hold in San Fransisco. I'm just amazed that they're spending as much resources as they are instead of treating it as a normal mayoral race. I can't imagine the San Fransisco mayoralship is worth that much to the party as much as preventing a green victory is.

No one is forcing them to fly out the former president and vice president to support this random guy.

I've seen plenty of Greens run in safely republican districts. (xref the race against Tim Johnson, which the Democrats weren't even going to run in until the Greens entered a candidate) and get criticized for it.

I wonder if they'd fly Clinton out if it looked like a close race between a Republican and a Democrat for a mayoral seat.

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From:xymboulos
Date:December 8th, 2003 09:22 pm (UTC)
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As to the general question of flying out Clinton in a close Republican/Democrat race, it would depend heavily on the demographic of the swing voters. For a major urban setting, Clinton is ideal to pump up core Democratic turnout.

From what I've read of the San Francisco race, the key concern is losing Willie Brown's machine in the city, which Newsom's opponents have vowed to reform. With the governor's mansion now Republican, Democrats feel the need to retain every power base they can to keep California in 2004.
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From:ke_jia
Date:December 8th, 2003 09:28 pm (UTC)
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I like your explanation better than mine ...
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From:boannan
Date:December 8th, 2003 10:01 pm (UTC)
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For the reasons cited above, I think that San Fran Dems _would_ haul Clinton out here to keep the Democratic seat in SF if a Republican was in the race. I think the fact (as xymboulos mentioned) that the Dems just suffered a humiliating loss to _Ah-nold_ (!!!) may be contributing to an acute desire not to be whipped on all fronts. That loss was really humiliating for Democrats out here. I really don't think it's a "Greens are bad" thing.

some local links (not that folks couldn't find these on their own)
<http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/12/09/region.tmp>
<http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/12/08/mngrd3idda1.dtl>
(interesting stuff about age difference in candidate supporter pools)
<http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/12/06/bag7n3hh7j1.dtl>

for what it's worth at the law-student dinner party we recently had, where a lot of politics got talked by libertarian/Green/progressive people, this did not come up once. None of us live in San Fran though.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 8th, 2003 10:17 pm (UTC)
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See my edit above in the original post.

Regarding the age thing, I found this to be an amusing opinion posted on another forum.
I didn't know you were into punk, Zach. :) It's a very amusing situation - on the one side you have Gonzalez, who has had a local music showcase every night as a fundraiser (tonight there are 3.) On the other side you have Newsom, who actually owns some of the most upscale/overpriced dance clubs in the city, like Matrix. So it's sort of a showdown between indie rock/rap kids and people who... sip Crystal in backrooms, or whatever.


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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 8th, 2003 10:30 pm (UTC)
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From an interview I heard today with Gonzalez, it sounds like he's really been focusing all his outreach resources within SF. He hasn't brought in Nader or Camejo or any other prominent Greens to his campaign events. He has just been doing his thing to get voters directly where they live. I mean, I try to be pretty up on Green party news and I just learned about this tonight. So I'm not surprised that there's not a lot of buzz outside of SF about it.

So far the one person I've talked to from SF proper knows all about it though.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 8th, 2003 10:14 pm (UTC)
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see my edit above in the original post.
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From:xymboulos
Date:December 8th, 2003 10:20 pm (UTC)
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While a win would be the best outcome from a Green perspective, the strong showing in both the original and runoff of Green/progressive candidates bodes well for the party's future in that area. Regardless of the outcome, the winner will need to come to terms with the losing party in the 2004 general elections. While bringing in Clinton is a good move, it is also and admission of weakness.
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From:ke_jia
Date:December 8th, 2003 09:25 pm (UTC)
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Are you referring the SD senate race? South Dakota's senior senator is Tom Daschle, the leader of Dem caucus there; it isn't a "safe" Republican office by any means. Unless you mean a different Tim Johnson than the Democrat who won re-election to that seat in 2002 in a very close, hard race. After a little poking, I'm guessing that you are referring to the Tim Johnson who represents the 15th Congressional district in IL. Heh. Whoops.

As for San Francisco, it falls within Nancy Pelosi's district. Pelosi is the leader of the House Dems. Which is why folks like Clinton and Gore have been turning out in support; it would be really embarrassing if she couldn't get her candidate elected. Which isn't to say I disapprove of the hardball tactics; if by hardball tactics you mean bringing in nationally prominent former office-holders to campaign for our candidates. Use 'em or lose 'em, I say.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 8th, 2003 10:11 pm (UTC)
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Yah, I'm refering to the IL 15th congressional district race. When the state Dems did the redistricting in 2000 they conceded this district to the Republicans in order to remove Republicans from a district further to the south and make that easier for a Dem to win. The Democrats did not run any candidates in the primary and had no candidates campaigning until AFTER the Green candidate finished petitioning to get on the ballot. Then the Dems picked someone to run and that person spent more time trashing the Green than Tim Johnson, the common enemy.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 8th, 2003 10:18 pm (UTC)
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see my edit above in the original post.
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