Lesson Learned

Beaten in the mayor's election, S.F. lefties vow to sign up absentee voters for future campaigns

"Every time a [progressive] campaign starts up, it seems like they're busy trying to start from scratch," says Marquez. The Gonzalez campaign didn't have the resources to send out any mailings until the third week in November -- only two weeks before the runoff.

For PVP members, the lesson of the mayor's race was that notsigning up enough absentee voters can spell political doom. Though "Matt for Mayor" signs and cheering volunteers popped up on numerous street corners on Election Day, a silent constituency had already chosen a new mayor -- Newsom -- from the comfort of its members' living rooms.

"Optimism is a good thing, but there were false hopes [on the part of Gonzalez campaigners] that we could win without doing the groundwork, voter by voter, [in a] hard-fought street war," says Marquez. Next time around, the PVP hopes to be ready with a powerful corps of voters who can give a decisive edge to their political hero -- quite possibly while lounging in their jammies.

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