Pin It

Newsom Snubbed by Democrats 

Even without a major opponent, Mayor Gavin Newsom fails to get a Democratic Club's endorsement

Wednesday, Sep 19 2007
Comments

Amazing scenes were witnessed last week on the evening the Sunset Community Democratic Club held its endorsement meeting. First of all, it wasn't foggy (though it was cold). But, more importantly, despite Mayor Gavin Newsom actually showing up to make his case, the Sunset Dems — a seemingly Newsom-friendly group — deadlocked between the mayor and de-facto progressive standard-bearer Quintin Mecke and made no endorsement at all.

"This is one of the few places where I've seen anybody able to ask questions of Mayor Newsom," says Avrum Shepard, the Sunset Dems' immediate past president. "When we asked Mecke questions, he gave answers. Mayor Newsom was much more elusive. He's uncomfortable in front of people."

In the end, it was six votes for the mayor and six votes for Mecke.

That the sitting mayor couldn't win an easy endorsement in the Sunset isn't exactly a sign that the sky is falling on Newsom's pomaded head. Yet the ramifications of the mayor's non-win in a Newsom stronghold may yet reverberate past the room on 24th and Taraval where a dozen Sunset denizens sat on folding chairs and weighed their mayoral options.

The Sunset nonendorsement played into Mecke's major thesis that the mayor is afraid to talk about anything substantive.

"I think that when you get past the image and the press releases, there are real issues not being addressed in San Francisco. And it was clear after I gave my presentation that some of the [Sunset Dems] felt similarly," said Mecke, whose supporters packed the house at the Sept. 12 Young Democrats meeting and forced a similar nonendorsement.

Newsom's political consultant, Eric Jaye, downplayed the Sunset Dems' actions, painting the group as über-progressives out of place in San Francisco's conservative fog belt. But while it behooves Jaye to paint the Sunset Dems as the Spartacist Workers' League, even a cursory glance at their record doesn't bear that out: In the last election they endorsed Hydra Mendoza, the mayor's candidate, for school board — and no one else. Assessor Phil Ting, a Newsom ally, is on the group's board.

"When Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, or Nancy Pelosi endorses [Newsom], it's not particularly news," bemoaned Jaye. "But when a group of 20 deadlocks I get a call from a reporter."

Fair enough. But if the Appalachian State football team went into Michigan — and lost — that wouldn't be news either.

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Slideshows

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.
  • Comic Con 2014

    Comic book enthusiasts, Cosplayers, TV and movie fans, and celebrities descended to sunny San Diego for the annual gathering at Comic-Con International.

    Whether hitting up a panel to check out The Simpson's announcement of a cross over with Family Guy or Futurama. Or hearing a new movie with Sam Raimie based on a video game or accidentally rubbing shoulders with Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) in cosplay, being a cosplayer, San Diego Comic-Con is the place to be. Photographs by Christopher Victorio

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed