As far as political races go, the two San Francisco supervisors vying to represent District 11 in the California Senate could not be much closer after the June primary. So it stands to reason both will be pulling no punches in the run-up to November’s general election.
For Supervisor Jane Kim, that apparently means asking her opponent, Supervisor Scott Wiener, to play nice – like, really nice. Last week, Kim issued a request for Wiener to refrain from basically everything that constitutes a campaign for elected office. It’s a bold stance, but not necessarily an unprecedented one – and Wiener is none too happy about it.
In her pledge, Kim begins by simply asking Wiener to commit to a positive campaign. That seems fine and dandy until you get to her bullet points, specifically two of them: “My campaign shall not mention my opponent in any paid advertising, including broadcast, cable, digital or mail”; “My campaign shall provide my opponent copies of all paid advertisements 24 hours before they are broadcast, posted or mailed.”
Kim seems to have come up with the idea in response to Wiener’s “series of false and misleading attacks against Jane. We’re hoping he will change his mind,” according to the pledge.
Not surprisingly, Wiener responded with dismay, calling the move “anti-democratic.”.
“Democracy isn't well-served by allowing candidates – both myself and Jane Kim included – to have a monopoly on discussion of our records,” Wiener wrote on his website. “Democracy isn't well-served by allowing candidates to cherry pick only what we want the voters to hear about our positions, while preventing other people from correcting the record or painting a complete picture. It is entirely appropriate and healthy for Jane Kim to discuss my record – as she has already done – and for me to discuss hers.”
Candidates asking each other to be cordial is nothing new, even if it’s somewhat perplexing. John McCain did it in September 2008, going so far as to suspend his campaign in the face of the nation’s financial meltdown and seek a conciliatory tone from opponent Barack Obama as the two senators joined congressional colleagues in addressing the crisis. We all know how McCain fared a few months later.
More recently, some wondered whether Bernie Sanders should have attacked Hillary Clinton more this year and late last year as the underdog for the Democratic Party nomination for presidenthttp://bit.ly/29g9F38. When he finally did, it was way too late.