In San Francisco, there are probably more political clubs than the National Football League has football clubs. Every manner of political shenanigan harking to student government or Trotskyism is pulled by candidates and their underlings attempting to rack up as many club endorsements as possible -- packing the house, holding elections at 11 p.m., changing the definition of the term "endorse."
But if you want the vote of San Francisco's gay Republican club, the best thing to do is show up and ask for it. The Log Cabin Republicans today released their official voting guide. Tony Hall is their top choice for mayor. "Of all the candidates, he's the most fiscally conservative," says Log Cabin president Dan Brown. This is a statement somewhat akin to saying "of all the Birmingham Barons, Michael Jordan was the tallest."
But there's another reason Hall was tops with the logs: He talked to them. "He's been very active and willing to participate in Log Cabin events," says Brown. "He supports us as a group." Likewise No. 2 mayoral choice Michela Alioto-Pier. And bronze medalist Mayor Ed Lee just happened to drop by the meeting prior to ballots being cast and chatted up the group. Not that this would take long: Only 12 members were present and voting.
That touches on an interesting facet of San Francisco politics. A candidate who touts a bevy of club endorsements may actually have only won the votes of hundreds -- if not dozens -- of people. There are only 22 dues-paying Log Cabin Republicans here in San Francisco, which means the club made its quorum by one gay Republican.
Its other endorsements did not go against type. Bill Fazio is their choice for DA; Police Officers Association favorite Chris Cunnie gets the nod for sheriff. Meanwhile, from Propositions A through H, the Log Cabin Republicans deign to offer "yes" only for D and H. Prop. H
would push a neighborhood-based school assignment system. Prop. D
, interestingly, is public defender Jeff Adachi's controversial pension measure.
This posits an intriguing scenario. Lee sweet-talked the logs into a No. 3 mayoral endorsement, but his pension measure
, supported by every vestige of power in this city, was spurned. Meanwhile, the G(ay)OP liked Adachi's pension plan, but didn't like the man in its mayoral rankings.
But perhaps these contradictory moves shouldn't be overthought. Perhaps the machinations of a dozen gay Republicans don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy city.
Finally, the Log Cabin endorsements appear to be akin to those one would expect of any local Republican, not necessarily a gay one. Brown agreed. "I don't think [gayness] was an issue this year, because no one running was anti-gay," he said.
Huh. When was the last time San Francisco had a pro-homophobia candidate?
Brown paused. "That's an excellent question."
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