Saturday, December 13, 2008

District 5: the money and the votes

I appreciate the fact that the Examiner's Joshua Sabatini went to the Ethics Dept. and dug out the numbers on spending on last month's election, a tedious task I performed after the 2004 District 5 election to see who spent what and what each vote ending up costing the candidates. The filings on money won't be final until February, but the numbers for District 5 are unlikely to change much.

Ross Mirkarimi spent $57,200 and ended up with 27,482 votes, which cost him a mere $2.08 per vote in his easy victory against me and Owen O'Donnell, who spent $58,413 and got 5,962 votes in an energetic but more or less issue-free campaign against the Murk, costing him $9.79 per vote. My campaign was a bargain, since I spent $1,629 on a doorhanger, which, though I was only able to distribute it to a fraction of the district, still got me 1,982 votes at 82 cents a vote. I came in a distant third, but, at the very least, succeeded in advertising my blog with the doorhanger, which hammered the Murk with specifics on his role as the Bicycle Coalition's go-to guy on the Board of Supervisors and his aggressive leadership on large, destructive development projects.

O'Donnell's campaign succeeded in raising his name recognition but lacked focus on issues that could have distinguished him from Mirkarimi. He agreed with the Murk on the bicycle bullshit and wasn't interested in the development issues I raised. Instead, he came out blandly against crime, for affordable housing, for the greening of SF, and for improving Muni. His late hit-piece mailer tried to use JROTC and the legalization of prostitution to gain some traction against the Murk but evidently with little success, probably because those two issues had none of the incumbent's political fingerprints.

Compared to 2004, this election was a bargain for Mirkarimi, who spent $82,796 the first time around in a much more competitive field, which worked out to $8.39 a vote.

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