City progressives lost again in Tuesday's election. That's apparently the way they like it, since they insist on supporting the Ranked Choice Voting system that ensured their defeat. The front page story in this morning's Chronicle got it just right:
Under San Francisco's traditional voting system, interim Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor John Avalos would be headed for a December runoff in which stark contrasts could be drawn between the moderate longtime bureaucrat and the progressive former social worker. It would have been interesting, but it's not going to happen. Under San Francisco's ranked-choice voting system---in use for the first time in a competitive mayor's race---Lee won with less than a third of first-place votes. Ironically, it's Lee's supporters who are calling for the end of ranked-choice voting. And Avalos and his backers believe it's a beneficial system that should continue.
Exactly. The RCV system is one of those bogus "good government" measures pushed by city progressives that does nothing but sow confusion. RCV does save money on runoffs, but since when have San Francisco progressives worried about saving money? They just hate to admit they're wrong about an issue, much like their chronic state of denial on homelessness and the Central Subway.
The last serious chance for city progs to elect a mayor was in 2003, when Matt Gonzalez gave Gavin Newom a close race. Interestingly, the big issue in that race was homelessness. Newsom had a well-defined position on the issue with Care Not Cash, and Gonzalez vaporized about the "root causes" of homelessness, suggesting that Newsom was a meanie who was waging war on the poor.
There wasn't a single important issue dominating this campaign---thanks in part to RCV---but a runoff campaign might have sparked some debate on important policies, though Avalos doesn't differ with Lee on significant city policies, like the Central Subway, "smart[sic] growth," and anti-carism.
The best thing about this election: David Chiu, Bevan Dufty, and Dennis Herrera all lost decisively.
We're still stuck with Chiu and Herrera, but we can hope that Bevan Dufty's political career in San Francisco is over.
Good too to see Scott Wiener's gratuitous Prop. E---a solution in search of a problem---soundly rejected by city voters.
Labels: Campaign for Mayor, City Government, Ross Mirkarimi