GOOD MORNING, SOMA!
With Jim Meko
District 6 is not for sale
October 29, 2006
Left to his own devices, Rob Black would probably still be polling
single digits in his run for District 6 Supervisor. The sole mailer
emanating from his campaign was a tepid criticism of Chris Daly's
in-your-face style. But Black has been getting a lot of help from
his, um, friends.
Voters in District 6 have been inundated with mailers, push polls,
emails and phone calls. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being
spent to defeat Supervisor Chris Daly, with Gap-founder Don
Fisher's SFSOS coordinating the expenditures and attack dog
Sutton shaping the message. Their spending in support of Rob
Black (a former associate of Sutton) has been so egregious that
the Ethics Commission was forced to lift the spending cap in District
6 to give Daly a chance to fight back.
With Black creeping up to within two percentage points of Daly
in the latest poll, all that spending seems to be paying off.
Here's a partial list of Rob Black's "friends" and why
they want Daly gone:
POA - they oppose walking beats, civilian oversight
and comprehensive violence prevention.
BOMA - they don't want to pay their janitors a living
Chamber of Commerce - they supported management in
the hotel workers strike.
Golden Gate Restaurant Association - they still resist
paid sick leave for their employees.
Committee on Jobs - they don't think developers should
pay for community infrastructure.
Plan C - they oppose any limits on condo conversions.
SF Association of Realtors - they oppose protections
for those who have been evicted.
Small Property Owners Association - they seek to abolish
Did those fancy mailers forget to mention where Daly stands on
Fisher and Sutton orchestrated a similar campaign two years ago
in Districts 1 and 11. Although they failed to unseat the incumbents,
the onslaught left Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval deeply in debt
and Supervisor Jake McGoldrick rattled and embittered.
They're also responsible for campaigns against public power,
family leave, universal health care and domestic partners legislation.
But the campaign against Daly is so much bigger than any of their
SFSOS's ultimate goal is the repeal of district elections.
Electing Black makes that possible.
During the last six years, the neighborhoods have gained some
semblance of power and the poor finally have an advocate on the
Board of Supervisors. But with the unabashed collusion of the
San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle, Fisher and Sutton seek to
return to the good old days -- as recently as the mid-'90s --
when they called all the shots in city hall.
Employing a strategy taken straight from Karl Rove's playbook,
they are attempting to drive a wedge between Daly's traditional
base of support and the more affluent newcomers in the District.
They link Daly to unclean streets and drug use, poverty and homelessness,
liberal social service agencies and the breakdown of law and order.
The Rob Black campaign seeks the support of the intolerant.
In its endorsement of Chris Daly, ["Daly in District 6,"
Editorial, October 20], The Bay Area Reporter observed,
"[Daly] has been unflinching as an advocate for those who
are among the poorest and most vulnerable in the city, including
many low-income LGBT folks and people living with HIV/AIDS."
Rob Black has turned his back on them.
On November 7, I will vote for Chris Daly. I'll also be voting
for Matt Drake and George Dias. I believe in their sincerity,
if not their politics. Both have run clean campaigns. Rob Black?
He's just a pawn in a much bigger effort -- a dirty and divisive
effort -- by downtown interests to take back control of San Francisco
When this election is over, we're gonna need a lot of help
to heal this community. Fisher, Sutton and Black won't be around
to clean up this mess.
They'll have moved on by then ... their next step will be to
plot the destruction of those who dare challenge Gavin Newsom
in the 2007 mayoral race. They must be stopped.
Jim Meko is a South of Market activist, currently serving
as chair of both the SoMa Leadership Council and the Western SoMa
Citizens Planning Task Force and as a member of San Francisco's
Entertainment Commission. Here at the Fog City Journal, of course,
he's expressing his own personal opinions. He can be reached at