TING LEAD OVER SANDOVAL GROWS
Handgun Ban challenged in court
Attack on unions solidified labor
Newsom grows coattails
District 6 the hot 2006 race
and SPUR's Emilio Cruz
By Pat Murphy
November 10, 2005
Assessor Phil Ting increased his lead over challenger Gerardo
Sandoval by 2078 votes Wednesday, in a post-election day which
saw legal challenge to a voter approved city Handgun Ban, and
analysis of electorate mood.
Elections Department Director John Arntz predicted complete count
of San Francisco ballots could take three weeks.
In related news:
- Seven San Franciscans joined the National Rifle Association
in asking the California Court of Appeal to invalidate the Prop
H Handgun Ban.
- Pollster David Binder reported the governor's early attacks
on unions united diversity of the labor movement, and Binder credited
union mobilization for defeat of Schwarzenegger ballot measures.
Binder suggested San Francisco District 6 will be the hot supervisor
race next November, and foretold Mayor Newsom could win a California
primary race for governor but doubted Newsom would prevail in
the general election if the mayor chose to run as a first-term
- A Newsom administration senior staff member reported the mayor's
endorsed candidates and propositions won this year because Newsom
limited his number of endorsements while expanding his efforts
on behalf of those campaigns. In the 2004 election, Newsom endorsed
a large field of candidates and propositions which were defeated.
LEGAL CHALLENGE TO HANDGUN BAN
The ordinance passed Tuesday by San Francisco voters held its
lead at 57.92% in ballot tally released yesterday. It would become
law on January 1, with handgun owners having until April 1 to
surrender handguns to authorities.
On Wednesday, local opponents to Prop H asked the state Court
of Appeal located in San Francisco to block the ordinance from
taking effect, claiming state authority to regulate handgun use
supersedes municipal authority.
They argued the ordinance would harm San Francisco handgun owners
According to the lawsuit, owners would be prevented from selling
private property and subject owners to having private property
confiscated; merchant handgun inventories could not be sold, inventories
could be confiscated and merchants could lose their business license;
off-duty police would be denied their right under state law to
carry handguns; and taxpayers would be harmed by city legal expense
in enacting, enforcing, and defending the ordinance.
Filed on their behalf by the National Rifle Association, plaintiffs
included Mexican American Political Association state board member
Paula Fiscal, a businesswoman who keeps a handgun at her office;
Larry Barsetti, president of the San Francisco Retired Police
Officers Association; Rebecca Kidder, a native San Franciscan
who keeps a handgun at her home; Dana Drenkowski, a U.S. Army
reservist on duty in Iraq who stores his extensive collection
of handguns in San Francisco; Retiree John Candido, who served
in the San Francisco Police Department and as a San Francisco
Deputy Sheriff; Alan Bayard, who works as a private security company
trainer; and Andrew Sirkis, a businessman and property owner.
POLLSTER DAVID BINDER ANALYSIS
Despite defeat of a Republican governor's agenda, voter trends
do not favor Democrats as state Democratic Party registration
continues to drop while decline-to-state (DTS) party affiliation
registration increases, Binder said in his traditional post-election
analysis held at SPUR offices.
In San Francisco, DTS voters are second only to Democrats with
DTS registration dwarfing other party affiliations.
Democrats now need to forge coalitions with non-Democrats to
prevail over Republicans, Binder noted.
Voter turnout, both locally and statewide, was higher than expected
due to union mobilization efforts, he continued.
And voting by mail now requires campaigns to begin earlier, Binder
Elections Department Director John Arntz has predicted absentee
ballots may account for 45% of the total San Francisco vote in
this election. State voters also are voting more often by absentee
ballot, Binder stated, requiring campaigns to begin earlier as
many voters "vote in October rather than November."
Schwarzenegger actually began campaigning for his ballot measures
with the governor's State of the State address in January, Binder
The governor attacked "big government unions" through
statewide television ads early in the year, thus prompting unions
to counter-mobilize early in the campaign.
"All of a sudden all of the diversity of labor now became
united," said Binder.
Those ads continued to hit unions hard until the last week of
the campaign, thereby keeping union resolve high. The ads changed
dramatically last week as Schwarzenegger said he had learned (from
mistakes) during his tenure, that his heart "was still in
it," preferring his ballot measures succeed to improve government
for ordinary Californians. All Schwarzenegger backed state propositions
In the San Francisco Assessor race, Gerardo Sandoval would need
to capture 77% of votes which initially went to Ron Chun. "Which
is very, very unlikely considering Chinese voting patterns indicate
Chinese will vote for Ting not Sandoval," suggested Binder.
"I can hardly see any scenario in which Sandoval could pull
The San Francisco Treasurer campaign "was never much of
a contest with Cisneros winning easily on the first ballot,"
Moderate-progressive divisions have diminished, Binder said,
crediting Mayor Newsom "with some kind of role in easing
the polarization that existed in his election against Gonzalez
in 2003," but those divisions still exist and voters will
want a credible debate in the next mayoral campaign.
Binder asked the audience to name credible opponents to Newsom
in the 2007 mayor's race. Names mentioned were Mark Leno, Tony
Hall, Ross Mirkarimi, and Aaron Peskin.
Binder noted the mayor's current 86% approval rating is evenly
split between strong approval and moderate approval. He said Newsom's
high ratings do not translate statewide, and that while Newsom
could win a primary race for governor at this time, winning the
general election for governor would be improbable if Newsom chose
to run as a first-term mayor
The pollster assessed standing of supervisor candidates in the
November 2006 election. Districts 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 are up for
"In 2006 what we should look at primarily is whether Chris
Daly is vulnerable in the District 6 election. That clearly is
going to be the hot one.
"He got 51% of the first vote four years ago, and now we're
going to have instant runoff and if he gets under 50% that could
be a contest there.
"I think Bevan (District 8) is probably pretty safe, but
that was very heated last time with Eileen Hansen and there may
be some progressive people that are trying to edge him out
has a pretty good rating and he's also been kind of Newsomish
in the sense that he's tried to keep various political persuasions
"I think Sophie (District 10)
there are all kinds of
dynamics going on there that may or may not make that race an
"Michela (District 2)
I've heard is pretty secure.
"District 4 is not really a progressive district, and I
can't imagine that that's going to be any site of war.
"If there's going to be any kind of fight in 2006 I expect
it to be primarily in District 6, and possibly in District 8."
NEWSOM CANDIDATES AND PROPOSITIONS
In 2004, Newsom endorsed candidates Lillian Sing, Heather Hiles,
Nick Waugh, Coach Kane, Andrew Sullivan, Sean Elsbernd, Michela
Alioto-Pier, and Props A, J, K, and O.
Only Elsbernd and Alioto-Pier won, and Newsom's endorsed propositions
In this election, Newsom put more effort into campaigning for
his preferred candidates, against city Proposition D, and against
Schwarzenegger ballot measures.
The mayor held five press conferences against the governor's
propositions, and Newsom's message was featured in 250,000 mailers
sent to Bay Area homes.
In San Francisco, some 450,000 mailers carried Newsom's support
for Assessor Phil Ting, Treasurer Jose Cisneros, and against city
Prop D that would have shared mayoral MUNI appointment power with
the Board of Supervisors.
Additionally, Newsom's voice was heard on 100,000 automated telephone
campaign calls, and some 100 Newsom supporters volunteered on
The mayor made 23 appearances and merchant walks in support of
candidates, and gave 18 media interviews.
Newsom opposed Prop D in a radio ad that aired 125 times, and
50,000 San Francisco campaign emails quoted the mayor.
One supervisor named as a credible potential candidate against
Newsom credited the mayor with working hard for campaign successes.
Disctrict 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi
Indeed, progressive Supervisor Mirkarimi described this election
as marked by "no surprises."
The Assessor and Treasurer races provide "no surprises -
I'm not surprised at all," Mirkarimi told the Sentinel.
The District 5 supervisor predicted Sandoval would not overcome
Ting in the Assessor race.
"Oh, no. No, I think you're looking at the final results.
I mean the numbers will change as provisionals as absentees are
counted but we're looking at pretty much the final results.
Newsom's growth of coattails in this election did not surprise
"I'm not surprised by that. He's experiencing a sustained
amount of popularity, and I think his picks within the race had
run vigorous campaigns. You do the work, you get the results.
"Quite frankly the progressive community has to do due diligence.
If we are going to rally around something, then we are going to
have to fashion together the kinds of campaigns that deliver into
the winner's circle
but you can't just let things sit for
themselves particularly if there's any hint or tinge of controversy
to these measures.
The Sentinel asked whom Mirkarimi considers credible challengers
"I haven't give it any thought (laughter).
"You know, I'm not even thinking about that.
"And I'm sure they're not either (laughter).