The ‘Deep Slate: November 2006 Edition

[Ed. Note: 10/31/2015: This “post” was originally a pair of emails (“LIST” & “DETAILS”) I sent to my friends on 11/02/2006. I have posted it today in 2015, and backdated for archival/search purposes]

‘Deep Slate 11/02/2006

(my apologies if you get this multiple times & if you don’t want to
get this type of stuff from me, just let me know)

Hey folks –
So here is my ‘Deep Slate for the Nov 2006 elections.
– This email contains the endorsements in a super-simple list – easy
to print!
– The whys & wherefores are in a second email entitled:
“DETAILS:…”. I’ll send that out shortly.
– Please feel free to forward this far & wide…. IF YOU GOT THIS
FROM A FWD & want more details – send me an email
– NOTE: Not all your ballots will contain all these candidates – it
depends on where you live

To find your polling place:
415 554 4375

Go Vote next TUESDAY!

The key is as follows:
• the more UPPERCASE – the more strongly I feel
• exclamation = don’t get me started!
• * = I don’t know a lot about it & went with the Guardian or
California League of Conservation Voters


Gov: Phil Angelides
Lt. Gov: John Garamendi*
Sec. of State: Debra Bowen*
Controller: John Chiang*
Treasurer: Bill Lockyer*
Atty General: Jerry Brown*
Ins. Commisioner: Cruz Bustamante*
Board of Eq: Betty Yee*
Assembly, District 12: BARRY HERMANSON
Assembly, District 13: MARK LENO


1A: Yes
1B: No
1C: Yes*
1D: Yes*
1E: Yes*
83: No*
84: YES
85: No
86: Yes
88: YES

Supervisor 2: DAVE KIDDOO (Write In)
Supervisor 4: jaynry mak
Supervisor 6: CHRIS DALY!!!!!!!
Supervisor 8: ALIX ROSENTHAL
Supervisor 10: Sophie Maxwell

Assessor: Phil Ting
Public Defender: Jeff Adachi
Community College Board: Bruce Wolfe!, John Rizzo Anita Grier
School Board: Jane Kim, Mauricio Vela, Dan Kelly

A: Yes
B: Yes
C: Yes
D: no
F: Yes
G: um no.
H: Yes.
I: yes
K: yes


(my apologies if you get this multiple times & if you don’t want to
get this type of stuff from me, just let me know)

These are the details of my ‘Deep Slate endorsements – to see it in
simple list form see the other email entitled: “LIST:…”.

Thanks again to the number of folks who have asked me for my opinions
– I know I say it every time but it is quite true – I really am
honored – any questions or flames can, of course, be addressed to me….

Ok – so to figure out how to value (or devalue :-)) my opinions you
should know the following:

• My opinions come from my experience in local politics over the past
11 years & the tons of candidate interviews I’ve done with the San
Francisco League of Conservation Voters & all the lobbying I’ve done
at City Hall, etc etc…. As you know I don’t get a dime for this,
I’m a software engineer by day, and a political activist in my spare
• The 3 biggest “norths” of my political compass are
environmentalism, social justice issues & good government (reform
type) issues.
• I’m basically an idealist, an optimist, and a humanist.
• In some of these races it is a matter of picking between flawed
• Ballot measures are REALLY a bad way to govern. Most of the things
done in ballot measures SHOULD be done in the normal legislature,
where they are easier to fix if they turn out wrong. Another problem
is that you have to boil complex issues down to yes/no votes – which
rarely is a good idea. But this is what we have so keep in mind that
some “good” ideas make bad ballot propositions & also that there is
often a lot of balancing going on…..
• I’m President of the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters &
on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
While my views are definitely shaped by my activities in these
organizations, my endorsements do NOT represent the views of these
• 90% of my experience & knowledge is about local issues – so
understand that state issues are a little greyer for me unless I say
otherwise. Thus some of the endorsements (as marked) below are taken
from compiling what the California League of Conservation Voters, the
SF Bay Guardian, and the Sierra Club have had to say.

The key is as follows:
• the more UPPERCASE – the more strongly I feel
• exclamation = don’t get me started!
• * = I don’t know a lot about it & went with the Guardian or
California League of Conservation Voters


Gov: Phil Angelides
This is a no brainer even though it’s a long shot at this point.
Angelides is a better candidate in numerous ways – he’s a better
environmentalist, he’s refreshingly interested in FAIR taxes (as
higher taxes & more less regressive (easier on the low & middle
incomes), etc etc. But even if he wasn’t as good, I would have said
to vote for him because of Arnold’s RIDICULOUS and WRONG HEADED
ballot measures of two years ago. But even beyond that, there is a
bigger reason to vote against Arnold – he was a BIG reason Bush won
Ohio in 2004 & I will never forgive that. Never.

Lt. Gov: John Garamendi*
Sec. of State: Debra Bowen*
Controller: John Chiang*
Treasurer: Bill Lockyer*
Atty General: Jerry Brown*
Ins. Commisioner: Cruz Bustamante*
Board of Eq: Betty Yee*
I don’t know a lot about these races but I went with the California
League of Conservation Voters & the SF Bay Guardian. Given the whole
Diebold voting fiasco, it seems like Debra Bowen is an important one
– see SFBG for more details on these if you like.

Assembly, District 12: BARRY HERMANSON
Barry Hermanson is a long time Green party activist very concerned
with income fairness for low income workers – he’s smart thoughtful
and earnest – almost the exact opposite of Fiona Ma, the front runner
in this race. Vote for Barry.

Assembly, District 13: MARK LENO
Mark Leno is a GREAT Legislator & it has been a pleasure to work with
him ever since he was a Supe. I’d write more – but he’s unopposed.
Vote for him anyway.


1A: Yes – Transportation Funding Protection
Ok this one is actually a pretty good one from my sources. Basically
since 2002 the state has been required to spend gasoline tax money on
transportation projects. However, since then the State suspended
doing this in certain years & used the money for other fiscal crises
– with the promise of paying back the money. But it never did,
leaving big problems for the transportation sector. This prop
basically guarantees that such suspensions get treated as loans and
must be paid back within 3 years. Fiscal responsibility. Good for
transit. Me likes.

1B: No – Lame Transportation Bond
So enviros are split on this one. But basically this is a big $20
billion transportation bond to build roads, expand roads, pave roads,
sesimically retrofit roads oh and here’s some $ for transit. Booo.
$12 Billion for roads – largely unsustainable capacity expansion, $4
Billion for transit projects & $4 Billion for ports and homeland
security stuff. We can do better.

1C: Yes* Housing and Emergency Shelter Bonds
CA desperately needs more housing for everyone & this bond measure
starts to address the problem – esp. for disadvantaged or at risk
populations. Yes.

1D: Yes* School Facilities Bond
Reduce overcrowding, repair school buildings, improve safety at
schools etc etc etc. This is what you DO sell bonds for: Investing
in our state’s infrastructure. Yes.

1E: Yes* Flood Prevention & Preparedness Bond
This is another example of the kind of thing you are supposed to
spend bond money for: critical flood management infrastructure for
CA. Yes.

83: No* – Wrongheaded Penalties for Sex Offenders
This is just bad legislation – sure sex offenders are bad news but
saying they can’t live within 2000 ft of a park or school means we
just shove these people out of every city & urban area & into the
less policed & less socially serviced rural areas. See “Deliverance”
for references. Also adding all this monitoring will just be a huge
expense – I’d rather see that money go some place more useful.

84: YES – Clean, Safe Water resources
This is a huge bond to protect CAs water resources (beaches, rivers,
swamps etc) before they are developed into sprawl, while also
maintaining them as a drinking water resource. Good policy. Do it.

85: No – Parental Notification for Abortions
Yes, ideally kids would tell their parents when sex lead to pregnancy
lead to trouble. But this isn’t that ideal world. File under Yet
Another Attack on Choice. No.

86: Yes – Cigarette Tax
Given how much money the average taxpayer pays for cigarette related
health issues, this is a no brainer. Yes.

87: YES YES YES (knock knock? who’s there. YES) Oil Extraction Tax
Make oil companies pay a tax to extract oil just like other states
do? Use this money to fund alternative energy development? This is
MEGA PLUS GOOD. In a better world we wouldn’t have to vote on
something like this.

88: YES – Parcel Tax
A dedicated real estate based tax to fund schooling? Ahh Prop 13 you
evil evil thing. This is a half measure to mitigate the HUGE
disaster that was Prop 13 – the thing that killed decent property
taxes in CA which KILLED OUR SCHOOL SYSTEM (thank you Republicana).
Tragically this is just a half measure – it establishes a parcel tax
(a flat fee) rather than improving our value-of-the-property property
tax, but oh well – take what we can get…. YES.

89: YES YES YES – Public Financing For State Campaigns
Everyone knows that big $$ is the cancer at the heart of our
democracy. What some don’t know is that the best known method to
deal with this public financing – a system by which the state pays
the costs of campaigning & simultaneously SHARPLY limits campaign
contributions. These systems are the best hopes for our democracy &
I hope to hell this passes – PLEASE vote YES on this one.

90: NO NO NO NO – EVIL pseudo-Eminent Domain reform
Swinging from the great good of 87 & 89, we have the most evil
measure to slither across our state’s political landscape since…
well Ok there have been numerous evil things & some have passed. But
this one could be a grandaddy – like Prop 13 kinda bad. Under the
arguably reasonable idea of addressing issues around eminent domain
(the gov’s taking of land for public purpose use) this measure would
actually harshly limit state and local governments from doing
ANYTHING that could be construed as effecting the value of ANYONE’s
property. Once you think about that for a few minutes you realize
that could describe MOST of what government does. THIS IS SOOOOO

Supervisor 2: DAVE KIDDOO (Write In)
Alioto-Pier is a BAD JOKE of a Supervisor: she’s at best not very
bright – I mean really – listening to her talk at meetings is like
having a Hallmark card for a Supe – and at worst she’s just a
downtown toady. This Wilma woman is a nut. I just found out about
this guy Kiddo who is running as a write in. He is a progressive
housing developer & was convinced to run by the League of Pissed Off
Voters – a pretty good group. Seriously he can’t be much worse the

Supervisor 4: jaynry mak
I’m torn here – between telling you not to vote for anyone or to tell
you to vote for mak. basically there are no good candidates in this
race. Mak is ethically questionable & linked to the truly bad ex-
supe Fiona Ma from this district – but has some decent positions
maybe if you can pin her down. Doug Chan is the Mayor’s boy & in all
likelihood not particularly environmental, or pro-tenant, or
progressive. One of these two will likely win & I’d say… ugh. mak.

If you only read the Chronicle, you’d think Chris Daly was a loose
cannon & a hothead who did nothing other than grandstand. If you
ever saw him in person at City Hall, you’d realize that yes,
sometimes he does fly off the handle, but he is just passionate about
what he believes in, a fantastic legislator, and a real leader at
City Hall on almost every issue of importance from a progressive
point of view. He is basically a low-income advocate who was smart
enough to get himself elected to Supervisor & has been a champion of
low-income causes since day 1. In the mean time, he has jumped into
environmental issues with both feet. Serious – he’s GREAT peeps.
Here is what I wrote for the SF League of Conservation Voter’s slate
card & it covers it nicely: “Chris Daly has been more than a “good
vote” for the environment, he’s consistently taken the lead on
important issues from authoring 2003’s Proposition K (funding a host
of critical transit projects), to dealing with environmental justice
issues like particluate exhaust from diesel buses, to improving the
bicycle network, and advocating for smart development. In addition
to championing these causes, he has been a vote we could count on in
numerous other occasions. Chris has a been dynamic and passionate
leader, and one of the the finest Supervisors we’ve had in years. We
are lucky to have him.”

Supervisor 8: ALIX ROSENTHAL
Alix Rosenthal is the kind of Supervisor District 8 really should
have. District 8 is consistently one of the most progressive
districts in SF – normally voting for pro-enviro, pro-poor/tenant
issues and it really tends to make a strong stand on these issues.
Bevan Dufty on the other hand, while not a bad Supervisor, has taken
mediocre stands on almost every thing at City Hall, and can be
counted on to jump in with both feet only after every other
Supervisor has already done so. This is really a problem of lost
opportunities: District 8 is the kind of Supervisor seat that could
take really progressive stands on things (free Muni, downtown
business tax) because it has the political cover – but with Bevan in
office, bold leadership is just not in the cards. Alix Rosenthal,
while unproven, is a much better fit & much more likely to take these
kinds of bold stands. Vote for her already.

Supervisor 10: Sophie Maxwell
This is another “meh” race. Sophie has been an Ok vote on things but
not much of a leader. She hasn’t been bad though. She doesn’t have
much good competition – Marie Harrison maybe – but I’m skeptical of
her even more. And according to the Guardian, Harrison has been
pushing Prop 90 for some brain damaged reason.

Assessor: Phil Ting – Good guy – great assessor – unopposed.

Public Defender: Jeff Adachi – doing a good job – unopposed.

Community College Board: Bruce Wolfe!, John Rizzo, Anita Grier
I worked with Bruce Wolfe on the Gonzalez campaign & he is committed
and thoughtful & a good choice. John Rizzo is a long time dedicated
Sierra Club guy & I have no doubts about his conviction or ability to
get things done – hopefully public office will soften his edges (he
can be a pain). Anita Grier impressed me last time we interviewed
her at SFLCV (though she didn’t come talk to us this time?) & the
Guardian is big on her so I’ll go with that.

School Board: Jane Kim, Mauricio Vela, Dan Kelly
The School Board was a disaster a few years ago due to really bad
financial oversight – well they fixed that. Now they are a disaster
due to contentiousness and ego – but maybe that is getting better now
that Ackerman is gone (good manager but waaay too imperious I hear).
These three should fit the bill, Jane is smart, ambitious & head of
the SF People’s Organization, Mauricio is a longtime community
activist with a good track record & Dan Kelly is a long standing
voice of reason on the School Board.

Emily is the current ED of Walk SF (a pedestrian advocacy group) and
is a LONG time transit activist. Good peeps and EXACTLY the kind of
person you want in public transit!


A: Yes – School Bonds – this is basically the second half of the
funding for school modernization we started in 2003. Do it. We need it.

B: Yes – Teleconferencing for Pregnant Supes – Allow for women
Supervisors’ being pregnant by letting them teleconference. Sure.

C: Yes – Reasonable cost of living adjustments for Mayor, City
Attorney, District Attorney etc. These people’s salaries have been
frozen for 14 years. This is lame. If you want good people running
your City, pay them. Sometimes they have staff members getting paid
more than they do. Fix it.

D: no – Disclosure of Private Info
As much as I think identity theft is important, I think this
proposition might be too broad & thus compromise government
transparency. It seems like you could very easily hinder disclosure
of necessary government employee info this way. I’d feel much better
if this was passed at the Board of Supes as a normal ORDINANCE so it
could be tinkered with – if you pass it as a ballot prop you need
another ballot prop to fix it.

E: YES YES Fair Parking Tax
Place a fairer tax in parking garages & the money would fund Muni?
And close a loophole that allowed valet parking services to weasel
out of paying ANY tax? Sign me up. Note also that the people this
will effect the most are out-of-town car-commuters – people who use
city services & pay for nothing – all the while polluting as they
commute. Lets at least TRY to make it more fair eh?

F: Yes – Sick Leave Requirement For Businesses – Require employers in
SF to give their workers paid sick leave. Yes. I realize that this
could make it more difficult on some small businesses to survive, but
this really is a basic decency thing I think.

G: um no. Chain Store Requirements Ok before you jump on my head, OF
COURSE I don’t like big box chain stores. Of course I realize they
tend to lead to more driving & kill small local businesses & don’t
tend to invest in the communities they are in. And if I could I’d
ban them from the City… but this isn’t the best way to do it,is
all. Prop G basically means that anyone who wants to build such a
thing would have to get a conditional use permit from the Planning
Commission before they can. Which is actually pretty good. But i
just don’t like doing this kind of planning by a ballot prop –
various neighborhoods have already had this enacted & it seems best
to handle this on a neighborhood level & based on what the community
wants. For example, what about supermarkets – I think they qualify
as chain retail….. Basically, this could be enacted at the Board of
Supes & be much more flexible if it was done so. All in all I won’t
be sad if G passes, but it is just not the best way to reach this
laudable goal.

H: Yes. Better relocation assistance for tenants. Yes – when people
get evicted through no fault of their own, often times the move in
costs to a new place are a severe one time burden. SF is losing
middle & low income folk all too rapidly as it is. This may help &
is fair. Yes.

I: yes – Make the Mayor appear at the Board of Supes for “Question
Time” like the British Prime Minister has to. It is a good idea and
just an advisory measure (no teeth) – so let’s give it a shot.

J: YES Impeach Bush & Chaney
Hmmmm… Call for the Impeachment of the President & VP for crimes
against the Constitution. This REALLY should be done at the NATIONAL
level – but it’s what we got, so let’s stand up & be counted.

K: yes Senior/Disabled Housing Advisory Measure
Have the City acknowledge that seniors & disabled have particular
housing needs & explore ways to help. Well – sure – but why is this
on the ballot? It is a declaration of policy – so it doesn’t hurt
anything & it is a real problem… so vote yes – but this really
shouldn’t be on the ballot as near as I can tell, rather it should be
handled at the Board of Supes…

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