Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Examiner and District 5

Dean Preston, left,
and London Breed are running to represent District 5 on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)
Photo: Jessica Christian for the Examiner

Both the SF Chronicle and the SF Examiner are worse than useless in informing the city's voters about local issues. How the Examiner covers District 5 is an excellent example.

From the Examiner's article yesterday on the campaign for District 5 Supervisor:

The race could influence whether the Board of Supervisors is dominated by the progressive bloc, as is the case now, or the moderates.

Challenger Dean Preston, who is from New York and has lived in the district for two decades, said he decided to run because Breed wasn’t serving many of the district’s needs, especially in relation to the housing crisis. For Breed’s part, she said her track record extends beyond housing, and that appears to be where Preston’s stops.

Preston has tried to center his election bid on righting The City’s housing crisis, while Breed is touting her local roots and track record of addressing neighborhood issues, including underserved groups. Preston, a longtime housing rights lawyer and founder of Tenants Together, a state tenants rights group, said Breed has too often voted on the side of Mayor Ed Lee’s moderate bloc in City Hall.

Born and raised in public housing in the Western Addition, Breed, who was first elected as supervisor in 2012 and is now board president, disputed Preston’s characterization of her track record, claiming she is neither moderate nor progressive but an advocate for many who have been left behind.

This tells us nothing about the candidates, except that Preston's campaign is about housing, adding correctly "that appears to be where Preston's stops." As I pointed months ago, he's running a one-issue campaign. Preston provides nothing about those other district "needs," as I also pointed out back in July.

Speaking of issues, what about the Masonic Avenue bike project, which will make traffic and finding parking worse in the middle of District 5? Whenever the Examiner writes about it, we get City Hall's line on that destructive project. Preston probably figures taking a position on Masonic is a losing proposition, since doing so will surely annoy a lot of voters. Breed has always supported the project.

Preston's website has nothing about issues; it's all about raising money for his campaign. There's more information on his Facebook page, but it's still all about housing. Preston lists his endorsers---all San Francisco progressives, which butters no parsnips for me, a mere liberal Democrat. He's been endorsed by Matt Gonzalez, which also doesn't help him with me. 

But the endorsements send a message to the city's "progressive" tribe: Preston is one of us and he supposedly flanks Breed on the left.

Breed has a "track record" we can examine, which I've been doing since she was elected after an issue-free campaign that was particularly lame, even by San Francisco standards (see also this). That record is awful: see this and this.

The Chronicle endorses Breed with this bullshit: "Breed has grown on the job in the past four years, as both a leader and a student of public policy. She deserves re-election."

I won't vote for either of them.

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At 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last weekend I saw that the Bike Coalition set up a table in the panhandle along the bike path with a Dean poster on it. I thought that non-profits cannot endorse...and certainly cannot do so on public land? Am I imagining this?

At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops I meant to say London Breed

At 12:49 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I don't know what the law is, but the Bicycle Coalition has always endorsed candidates. Here's a 2008 sample of the kind of questionnaire that candidates are required to fill out.

Why the Bicycle Coalition would dump Breed now is puzzling, since she's always supported whatever they want to do to our streets, especially the Masonic Avenue bike project.

But of course Preston will do the same, though he's too chickenshit to actually take a stand on anything but housing. Dumb traffic policy is the City Hall consensus, and there's no dissent on that here in Progressive Land, which is why Proposition L is delusional.

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Actually, the Bicycle Coalition is endorsing London Breed.


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