Monday, February 12, 2024

Endorsements for the San Francisco election of March 2024

It's time for me to tell you how I'm voting in March, a Gray Report tradition. But I dread writing this endorsement post. I have been thinking about how to phrase this for months. I fear I am going to lose friends for saying what I'm about to say.

Let me be very clear upfront. For national politics, Donald Trump is the greatest danger facing the United States today. We must do everything we can to keep him out of office. He has promised to be a "dictator for a day," and to encourage Russia to attack our NATO allies, among other things. It boggles my mind that he has the support that he does. I'm not going to belabor this point.

I also encourage people in other states not to send back to Congress the Republicans who have accomplished absolutely nothing this term, and who continue to support and protect their fascist leader.

What I am about to say applies only to San Francisco. I have thoughts on California politics in general that I will share in autumn, but the following statement does not apply to California, only San Francisco (and also Oakland, but I don't vote there).

We have to vote all of the progressives out of office in San Francisco.

There, I said it. It feels good to get that out.

The reason is simple. San Francisco progressives simply do not see San Francisco's problems the way normal people do: crime, businesses leaving, and a drop in tourism. We can't solve our problems if we don't recognize what they actually are.

They believe San Francisco's biggest problems are Israel's invasion of Gaza, exorbitant CEO salaries, income inequality, and homeless people not being given free furnished apartments downtown. (It appears their proposal to pay black city residents $5 million cash in reparations, each, is dead, for now.)

For folks outside California, it's easiest to explain it this way. Our progressives are just like your MAGAs. They are extremists. They are obsessed with national issues, and ignore local issues. They are incapable of the basics of governing, like passing a budget. They are hate-filled people who shout down any attempt at conversation on issues. Instead they argue by personal insults and intimidation. They don't accept facts that don't fit their worldview. And they're often openly racist, though unlike MAGAs the people they openly disparage are Asians and Jews.

Longtime readers of this blog know that nationally, I could easily qualify as a progressive. I voted for Bernie Sanders in the presidential primary in both 2016 and 2020. As recently as 2018 I voted against the centrist mayoral candidate in favor of both of her left-wing opponents.

Let me be clear who San Francisco progressives are. They are not Nancy Pelosi, Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris. San Francisco progressives hate all three of them. Each of those politicians faced their fiercest opposition here from the left, not the right.

Instead, our local progressives are people whose goal, literally, is to cause problems for the city. Here's an example.

Courtesy KGO-TV
Blocking the Bay Bridge was their main accomplishment last year. Progressives planned for months to disrupt the city during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, when the world's media came here and we could hope for positive coverage to help restart our tourism industry. What SF progressives came up with was well-coordinated. They stopped cars on the bridge in every westbound lane. They handcuffed themselves together and chained their cars together. Some of them threw their car keys off the bridge. It took police several hours to clear the bridge and restore the main traffic artery between Oakland and San Francisco.

They had great planning, coordination and secrecy, and tremendous local impact, as local police were helpless to stop them in their goal -- which was to make life more difficult in San Francisco. It reminded me of 9/11, and I don't say that lightly. At least they didn't kill anyone. But SF progressives put so much work into something that was intended to be bad for the city.

Nobody outside San Francisco noticed because progressives protest here about something every week; it's their favorite social activity. Blocking the Bay Bridge didn't end the war in Gaza, but it was a local pain in the ass, and that's San Francisco progressives' political goal in a nutshell.

This is why we have to work together to stop them. We can't fix this city if we keep in power people whose main goal is to be a pain in the ass.

I was attracted to progressive politics for a long time because I am at heart a pragmatist, and 20 years ago the progressive position was usually the practical one. Fighting global warming. Preserving the environment. Supporting mass transit. That sort of thing. San Francisco was once an attractive place to talk about issues because it wasn't politics as usual, and we could actually discuss, for example, whether it's a good idea to eliminate bail for people accused of a crime. (We're trying that, and it turns out to have problems. I think they are fixable; I don't think we should have a separate system of justice for rich people. But I also have learned many judges we have now won't address those problems.)

George Floyd's murder accelerated a trend here, not just of the left's move into identity politics, but into the behavior of the left becoming not just more aggressive, but more conformist. I am risking being doxxed, harassed on the street, and possibly even assaulted by writing the things I am now writing. I don't want to live in fear, so I'm writing this anyway. But I worry that I will pay a price, both personally and professionally.

That is the thesis statement. We need a sea change in San Francisco politics. We must vote out all of the progressives. I don't want Republicans running this city, though that's what the progressives will accuse me of. (To them, you're either righteous or an evil racist right-winger, like Nancy Pelosi.) I want this city run by the only politicians who ever accomplish anything in this country: Moderate Democrats.

Some of this problem is due to the decline in local media. The excellent progressive newspaper Bay Guardian is defunct; I really miss its well-researched endorsements. Instead, progressives now click on QR codes that lead to a list of "who is the most progressive" in each race, with no explanation. The Guardian cared about competence. Progressives here now do not.

The San Francisco Chronicle and the related website SFGate have openly abandoned covering news that progressives in the newsroom don't approve of; their executive editor told a journalism conference, "Objectivity is dead," and it's obvious from their coverage. Every time a business closes here and says crime is the reason, the Chronicle or SFGate publishes a piece saying that's not true. "Walgreen's is closing stores everywhere. Nordstrom's sales are down." Etc. Basically, according to the Chronicle, every single business owner who says they're leaving because of crime is lying. The Chronicle simply is not reliable anymore, not just for endorsements, but for news coverage.*

* (Because my main gig is wine journalism, let me be clear that my criticism of the Chron does not extend to its coverage of wine, which is excellent, especially now that Esther Mobley is back.)

Ten years ago, if you told me I would say the most reliable political endorsements in San Francisco would come from a bunch of tech guys, I would have laughed. But today it's true. GrowSF does the best voter guide in San Francisco; better than mine. Their main issue is building more housing. That's not my main issue, so I'm still doing my own endorsements. I care most about the general decline of the city.

I believe San Francisco will rebound. It will always have the advantages of geography and climate. But I want it to rebound in my lifetime, and that won't happen unless we vote all the progressives out of office.

If you think the true victims of crime are the shoplifters and "bippers," (car break-ins are so common here that they have a cute nickname), because of the many societal injustices they face, then keep voting progressive. If not, here's how to vote in March.

President: Joe Biden

Come on, man. I would vote for a can of tuna over Trump.

US Senator: Adam Schiff

I also like Katie Porter and hope these two end up in the runoff in the fall. But Schiff has been in Congress longer and has been very effective. Either would be good, but to me, Schiff has earned it.

Barbara Lee was right about opposing the war in Iraq in 2001. It is the only thing she has done in Congress in more than two decades. She's a fine representative for her Berkeley district, which likes protest votes and doesn't want to get its hands dirty by actually participating in crafting legislation. But California deserves more than that. We already have one Senator who does very little. As the largest state in the union, California should play a larger role in national legislation than it currently does.

You have to vote twice: once for Schiff to complete Dianne Feinstein's term (I told you in 2018 that she was too old), and once for him to get a new six-year term.

Members, Democratic Central Committee, Assembly District 17

Let's start voting out the progressives here
, as this committee steers issues the wrong way and supports the wrong candidates. You can basically take any progressive voting guide, and vote for everybody they don't recommend.

I will follow GrowSF's choices and vote for the following 14 people:

Emma Heiken
Lily Ho
Cedric G. Akbar
Nancy Tung
Michael Lai
Laurance Lem Lee
Peter Ho Lik Lee
Trevor Chandler
Carrie Barnes
Lyn Werbach
Joe Sangiradi

Luis A. Zamora
Matt Dorsey (one of the few good members of the Board of Supervisors)
Bilal Mahmood

If you're in Assembly District 19, I encourage you to read Grow SF's recommendations there. But I do want to put in a plug for Marjan Philhour (at left), who upsets progressives so much that a left-wing journalist stole her campaign signs, got caught, and was fired from her job. Philhour is running against Connie Chan for supervisor in the fall and we need Philhour to win that race.

US Representative, District 11: Nancy Pelosi

Or as San Francisco progressives like to say, radical right-wing warmonger Nancy Pelosi.

State Senator, District 11: Scott Wiener

We still have a few sensible moderate Democrats moving up in office and Wiener is one of them. I can imagine him as a mayoral candidate in the future, though he (and many others) might be hoping to take over Pelosi's seat when she retires.

State Assembly Member, District 17: Matt Haney

Haney is an opportunist. He spoke the progressive language of us vs. them, evil right-wing capitalist warmongers, etc., to get elected to the Board of Supervisors in a very progressive district, then tacked to the center to win the Assembly seat. I don't trust him. But the alternatives are simply inadequate.

Judge of the Superior Court, Seat #1: Chip Zecher

For years I have advocated retaining all judges so that the judicial process is not politicized. Well, too late for that, as incumbent Begert has been out campaigning with the progressive wing. That's not great. But it's not why we need to replace him.

Begert, and judges like him, are why eliminating bail isn't working. If you're going to let people out on their own recognizance, you have to be willing to keep dangerous violent multiple offenders in jail awaiting trial. Begert doesn't do that: he has released sex offenders into the community to offend again and again.

Progressive judges like this are one of our biggest problems. They refuse to accept that some people are career criminals. We have to change that if we want to solve this city's problems. Everyone is entitled to a vigorous defense, but the judicial system should also protect the public. Begert does not.

Zecher is a well-qualified attorney who is on the board of directors of UC Law. He says he's running because he believes judges like Begert are not holding drug dealers accountable. He's right.

Judge of the Superior Court, Seat #13: Jean Myungjin Roland

Speaking of holding drug dealers accountable, incumbent Patrick Thompson released drug dealers on their own recognizance in 17 separate cases; 10 used their freedom to commit more felonies. One guy Thompson let out had 14 prior arrests for dealing drugs, and after Thompson freed him, the next time he was arrested, he had nearly a kilo of fentanyl on him. A federal judge made the rare move of overruling Thompson and ordering the dealer held without bail.

Thompson might be the single worst judge in Northern California. Almost anyone would be better.

Roland has spent 22 years in the San Francisco District Attorney's office. She managed to survive the Chesa Boudin regime, which should tell locals that she's obviously not a law-and-order extremist. This isn't a hard decision. She's competent; Thompson is not. This might be the most important choice on this March ballot.

Proposition A (affordable housing bond): Yes

To be honest, I don't believe San Francisco in its current politically dysfunctional state will be able to build the affordable housing that this bond is supposed to pay for.

But a bond doesn't cost the city all that much, and if we get a regime change on the Board of Supes that would allow housing to be built -- if we can vote out the multimillionaire "socialist" who votes down every housing project proposal because it keeps the value of his family's rental property high -- than we'll need the money on hand.

Proposition B (police staffing levels): No

This is a poorly written proposition put forward by a lousy mayoral candidate to get attention without doing anything to address our crime situation. The idea is that we would have minimum police staffing levels, but only IF voters later approve a new tax to pay for it. This is just politicking with the police. 

Proposition C (real estate transfer tax waiver): Yes

Currently, if you want to convert office space into rental housing, you have to pay a transfer tax. This is self-defeating. We have huge office vacancy rates and a shortage of housing. Converting some office space to housing is an elegant solution that might revitalize downtown.

Proposition D (changes to ethics laws): Yes

In addition to being inept, our leadership is corrupt, as a City Hall bribery scandal unfolded under the last few years. (The Chronicle either didn't know most contractors paid bribes to get permits, or did know and decided not to write about it; I'm not sure which is worse.)

This is a minor change that would put the Ethics Commission in charge of ethics training, rather than each individual city department. I'm not sure how much of a difference that will make, but we have seen that the departments cannot police themselves.

Proposition E (police procedures): YES YES YES

Do you think the true victims of crime are the people who shoplift, break into cars, and intimidate shopkeepers? If so, vote no on this. The rest of us need to outvote those pro-crime progressives and vote YES.

This would allow cops to use surveillance cameras and would restore their ability to chase violent criminals. Yes, San Francisco currently lets the crooks get away because progressives don't want them followed. That's why things are the way they are.

Proposition F (drug testing for services): Yes

Five years ago I might have voted against this. But now we have a fentanyl epidemic that killed more people in this city than Covid, and just continues to ramp up. We need this now.

Currently the city pays people up to $712 a month in cash assistance. This would require them to undergo drug testing to get the cash. (To be clear, cannabis is a legal drug and would not be tested for.) If they fail, they have to enter a drug treatment program. If they don't, their city cash is cut off.

A lot of that cash is going for drugs. People can keep getting the cash AND keep using it for fentanyl and meth AND keep testing positive, as long as they are participating in a drug treatment program. It's really not too much to ask. It's hard for me to believe other cities would be this generous.

Proposition G (algebra for 8th graders): Yes

Here's yet another annoying thing about San Francisco progressives: they want every kid in public schools to be taught at the level of the worst students. They think it's "elitist" to give smarter kids more advanced classes. This is not how we're going to educate the next generation of leaders.

I went to a public school in a working-class neighborhood in Baltimore and I could take algebra in 8th grade because I could handle it. A lot of times I really don't understand progressives, and this is one. Nobody is going to force the worst students into algebra. But let's stop holding back the best students.

State proposition 1 (mental health bond): Yes

Crazy homeless people screaming into the sky have become one of the most memorable features of visiting San Francisco. Ask any tourist. Drugs are a large part of the problem, but if you live here, you know that there are some street people who don't seem in control of their own actions. Los Angeles and Sacramento have the same problem.

The U.S. used to have a nationwide system of mental hospitals to which people could be committed. President Ronald Reagan shut that down. I have read a lot about this issue from all sides, and have come to the conclusion that Reagan wasn't wrong. State mental hospitals were basically warehouses for crazy people where the staff abused them. It was a bad system. Unfortunately, Reagan didn't have a better solution than letting them live on the streets. If you have seen One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, you might understand when I say I'm not sure it's worse now, for the crazy homeless people. It's definitely worse for the rest of us.

This is an attempt to create a more compassionate system of mental treatment. It's a $6.38 billion bond measure that would build more facilities and set up treatment programs. Here's the rare issue where progressives and normal people probably agree: Ignoring crazy homeless people, until we arrest them and then let them out again, isn't working, and also isn't humane. Let's see if we can do better.

Follow me on Twitter: @wblakegray and Mastodon: @wblakegray and like The Gray Report on Facebook. I like discussing issues but I can't allow comments on endorsement posts because in the past, people have simply cut-and-paste statements from their preferred candidates. If you want to talk about this one, The Gray Report Facebook page is the place. Thanks.


Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Google censors a blog post of mine ... from 2010!

On Sunday I got the following notice from Google, which runs the Blogger software that I use on this blog:

Your post titled "The Prisoner, bondage and niche marketing" has been put behind a warning for readers

How about that! I published the post on Dec. 8, 2010, and only now has Google saved young impressionable people from its nefarious mind-warping. If a teenager read the post on its day of publication, she has now graduated from college and might already have two kids -- with her morals corrupted by my blogging!

Here's a quick primer on the world of December 2010:

* Two months earlier, a new app called Instagram was launched

* The Walking Dead TV series had just started, as had Justified and Downton Abbey. Breaking Bad fans were wondering if Jesse had really shot Gale.

* "Tangled" was the top movie at the box office

* "Tik Tok" was a single by Kesha, and it topped the pop charts. Remember that?

* The Republicans had just taken the House, thwarting Barack Obama's hopes of accomplishing anything after health-care reform (some things never change)

* Steak salesman Donald Trump said Julian Assange should get the death penalty for Wikileaks

* Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson had led the Lakers to the NBA title, while Draymond Green and Klay Thompson were in college. Nikola Jokić was in high school in Serbia. Jordan Poole was 11 years old. (Maybe Poole's problem in this year's playoffs was that in 2010 he saw my blog post.)

* Tim Lincecum was the best pitcher in baseball, while Josh Hamilton was AL MVP. The post references SF Giants reliever Brian Wilson: he was a guy with a big beard and a sense of humor.

It's terrible to think of how many young minds may have been warped by this blog post. I'm going to link to it here, but I want to warn you: no matter how old you are, you should get your parents' approval to see it, even if you have become their legal guardian.

Here it is, folks. You have been warned!

Follow me on these new-fangled sites: Mastodon: @wblakegray Twitter: @wblakegray Instagram: @wblakegray and like The Gray Report on Facebook.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Water barons move into Napa, and Supreme Court considers wine shipping again

The property now owned by Wonderful. Photo courtesy Visit Napa Valley

According to Mother Jones, the owners of Fiji Water use "more water than every home in Los Angeles combined." Now, after buying a Napa wine brand last year, they are buying up a property right on Silverado Trail. But they won't take possession right away -- showing just how valuable Napa winery buildings are now.

Details in this story for Wine-Searcher

Also, your humble correspondent has somehow carved out an extremely infinitesimal niche as the leading journalist on issues relating to wine and the U.S. Supreme Court. Next month the Court will meet in its chambers to discuss whether or not it wants to hear a case on retailers shipping wine from one state to another. Here's the analysis I wrote about that.

By the way, I'm trying to avoid conversations on the Musk site, so if you want to chat with me the way we used to there, I'm tooting like I used to on Mastodon. So check it out.

Have a great holiday season -- and open the best bottles of wine you have in the house! Life expectancy is dropping in the US and you never know. There's no better time to open a great bottle than the present. Stay healthy, and Merry Christmas!

Follow me on Mastodon: @wblakegray and Instagram @wblakegray and like The Gray Report on Facebook.

Monday, December 19, 2022

If you like Chianti Classico, you'll like Chianti Rufina


Chianti Rufina makes good wines, the equal of Chianti Classico in quality but with a more rugged, savory character, the product of its cooler, mountainous terrain. But it's not in Chianti Classico, which makes nearly 12 times as many wines per year.

In October I visited the region for the first time to write about its new higher-end classification, TerraElectae. I was impressed by the wines. If you like cool-climate Sangiovese, you'll like these: more red fruit than black; savoriness more than fruitiness; good freshness and structure.

Here's the article I wrote for Wine-Searcher. Cheers.

Follow me on Mastodon: @wblakegray and Instagram @wblakegray and like The Gray Report on Facebook.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Herbicide overkill and a story about Mexican enology

Photo courtesy iStock

Hey friends. I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with the unpleasant Musky aroma of Twitter, which I used to frequent both for fun and professionally. I haven't deleted my account, but I don't like giving Musk free content either. 

Until some other social media site pops up to fill the sparrow-sized hole in my day, I'm going to try to fill in at least the professional gap by touting my new stories here. 

Herbicide the Star of New Napa Movie: A new documentary set in Napa examines the omnipresence and danger of Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate. 

Mexican Wine Gets Its First University: Mexican wine country is unique -- a desert close to an ocean. Cooling winds make fine-wine possible, but water is precious. The region really needed a university program in viticulture and enology, and now it finally has one.

Please follow the links to read the stories. See you here again soon!

Follow me on Instagram @wblakegray and like The Gray Report on Facebook.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Endorsements for the November 2022 election in San Francisco

It's always darkest before the dawn. We can turn San Francisco around!

Here we go again! It's the fourth election this year in San Francisco, and I am here to share with you how I plan to vote.

Usually I write a very short intro of who I am and why I do this. But this election is different. The No. 1 issue in SF this year was whether or not to recall pro-crime District Attorney Chesa Boudin in June, and the local media failed us. All but one publication recommended voting to keep Boudin, but 55% of voters rejected him. Clearly local publications are out of touch with the electorate and many people might be looking for new guidance. So I wrote a long screed about who I am and what I believe: It's here. In it I listed some new publications offering pragmatic endorsements like mine, some of which you will see quoted below.

Before the endorsements, let me explain ranked-choice voting, which is used in San Francisco races. You do NOT have to choose more than one candidate. I usually don't. You CANNOT choose the same candidate twice (as your first and second choice, for example) as this will invalidate your vote. You can choose only a 1st choice, a 1st and a 2nd, or all 3.

If your first choice is eliminated, your vote will go to your second choice if she is still in the race. If she is eliminated and you don't have a third choice ... well, you lose. But to me, if my first two candidates lose, I lose anyway. I have never chosen all 3 because there have never been three good candidates, and that's true again this time.

One overarching issue to consider on local races is that we are likely entering a time of fiscal shortfalls. The downtown business district has not recovered from the pandemic, and that's going to hurt the tax base. Families have moved away from our dysfunctional school district, which means there will be less funds there as well. Everyone we elect this time is going to have to deal with cutting budgets. They must choose wisely and so must we.

So let's get to it!

Governor: Gavin Newsom

Newsom has had an up-and-down term, faced a recall himself, and might run for President in 2024 rather than finish out this second term as governor. However, his GOP opponent is anti-abortion, anti-legal cannabis, and pro-gun rights. This is not Texas.

Lt. Governor: Eleni Kounalakis

Kounalakis used her family's money to run for this do-nothing office and has successfully done nothing in it. Her opponent is a bank vice-president supported by GOP House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who is smart enough to know Trump committed treason but too craven to do anything about it. If Newsom has a heart attack, we'd have a typical GOP conservative as governor. Kounalakis is a safer choice.

Secretary of State: Shirley Weber

Weber is a Democratic machine candidate. She was appointed to this job after Newsom appointed Alex Padilla to Kamala Harris' Senate seat. She's a former professor of African American studies and California assembly member. Grow SF likes the way she has stood up to California's powerful teacher's unions, while the Bay Guardian likes her progressive bona fides. What's not to like?

Controller: Lanhee Chen

I'm fighting a losing battle here, endorsing a Republican in California in 2022, but Democrat Malia Cohen is not qualified for this job and is running a disingenuous campaign.

Cohen had the worst attendance record when she was on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The board of equalization had most of its powers stripped away but the six-figure salaries remain, so Cohen ran for that do-nothing job and won. Now, she is claiming that her experience there gives her the ability to oversee California's budget. Moreover, she's making her pro-abortion stance the centerpiece of her campaign. 1) This is California: we're all pro-abortion here, including Chen. 2) The controller's job has nothing to do with abortion rights.

Chen was nominated by President Obama to sit on the Social Security Advisory Board. He was Mitt Romney's chief policy advisor during Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. He's a public policy professor at Stanford. I don't love all of his political positions, but he's a Romney Republican, not a McCarthy Republican. And the plain fact is that he's qualified to oversee California's budget while Cohen is not. The LA Times, which is very liberal these days, endorsed Chen.

Treasurer: Fiona Ma

Ma is a CPA who graduated from the San Francisco board of supervisors to the state assembly, then to the board of equalization, and she won this job in 2018. The best thing about her is that she ordered three external audits of the board of equalization, which is still using a lot of state money despite its powers largely being stripped. Her first term has some personal controversy, but she seems to have weathered it.

Attorney General: Rob Bonta (ugh)

I dislike this race, and might be making the wrong choice. Bonta was appointed by Newsom and immediately used his position to solicit donations to his wife's high-paying charity from firms with business before him.
That bothers me a lot, but Bonta has been good on the issues in a year and a half in office, notably on trying to force California's many anti-housing cities (like San Francisco) to build the new housing they are legally obligated to.
Because of my concerns about Bonta's integrity, it wouldn't be difficult to convince me to vote for a GOP Attorney General. I did so in the primary, but she lost. We may be better off with Republican Nathan Hochman, a former federal prosecutor and onetime head of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission. I'm deferring to the LA Times, which saw Hochman's work up close yet is endorsing Bonta for the same reason I am: Bonta is more likely to be aligned with Democrat values, and unlike controller or treasurer, this is a position where that matters.

Insurance Commissioner: Robert Howell

Democrat Ricardo Lara is corrupt: he took money from insurance companies and then intervened in cases on their behalf. He should be in prison, not on the ballot.

Lara is also not good on the issues. He wants to force insurance companies to cover high fire-risk buildings. I know this is a sensitive issue for the wine industry, but we need to look into our climate future here: the state shouldn't prop up construction in fire-hazard areas.

I don't know anything about Howell: his website is nearly devoid of info other than that he's a "Reagan Republican" who owns a small business in Silicon Valley. Ugh. He might be awful. But I know Lara is awful: both corrupt and wrong-headed. I'm taking the devil I don't know. And I blame the Democratic Party machine, which -- if it's going to run the state by itself -- should clean up its own trash.

Board of Equalization Member, District 2: Sally Lieber

The actual duties for this job have been eliminated so it's just a big paycheck for a Democratic politician (see Malia Cohen, above.) Lieber was smart enough to win the nomination, and her opponent looks like a garden-variety conservative. He has more policies online than she does -- she's a cypher and I'm not sure how she won -- but it just doesn't matter.

US Senator: Alex Padilla

There are two spots on the ballot for Padilla, who was appointed to fill Kamala Harris' Senate seat: one to finish this term (why did they wait until now?) and one for a new six-year term. Padilla hasn't distinguished himself one way or the other in the Senate, but his opponent Mark Meuser is a GOP lawyer whose claim to fame is that he has sued Gov. Newsom 22 times, and defended some right-winger from a lawsuit by "one of antifa's front groups (sic)." Also, according to his website, Meuser reads one book per week. Being in the Senate might prevent Meuser from finishing "The Expanse" series (no spoilers!) so we'd better send Padilla.

US Representative, District 11: Nancy Pelosi

A few years ago I wondered if it was time for Pelosi to step aside for new leadership in the House. I was wrong: Pelosi has had an outstanding last two terms. She helped keep the country from going completely haywire under Trump. And her whip skills for the past two years in the House are underappreciated. The Democrats have a very small (220-212) majority, and the left and moderate wings of the party are far apart on issues, yet the House keeps passing legislation anyway; it's the Senate where it all bogs down. If the Democrats lose control of the House next year, which seems likely, Pelosi, who will be 83 in March, may decide to step down from a leadership role. If so, she'd be doing so at the top of her game.
Her opponent? Be serious -- San Francisco is not sending a Republican to the House in 2023.

State Assembly Member, District 17: Matt Haney

Matt Haney has been in this seat for a few months now and it's possible that he's the next rising star of San Francisco politics. That may not be a good thing. While on the school board, Haney was the joker who came up with the idea of renaming schools named after racists like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. You won't see that anywhere on his campaign materials. Progressives are angry at him for lurching centrist to campaign for the assembly job, but the moderate Democrat vote is far more important for his future statewide ambitions. Haney is a good speaker, but he's also a political opportunist.
But his opponent David Campos was Chesa Boudin's top aide, and his political brand is "uncompromising leftist," which is commonplace on the SF board of supes, but in the state assembly just means you get nothing done.

California Supreme Court and Court of Appeals justices: Yes on all

Judges should not have to run for election. The US Supreme Court is making that argument harder to understand, but we don't want justices considering the electoral effect of their rulings: only what's fair. Judges should only be voted out in cases of malfeasance or extreme incompetence. None of these judges have been accused of that.

It's tempting to go through the list of judges who keep releasing career criminals in San Francisco and hold them accountable. But these judges are higher level than that.

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tony Thurmond

I dislike Tony Thurmond, a Democrat owned by the teachers' unions. But here is an answer by his GOP opponent Lance Ray Christensen to a questionnaire sent by Grow SF: "We recently moved to Wheatland to be closer to our roots where we could raise our children in the ethics of hard work and in a community that values family, faith and freedom." That sounds like a right-wing dog whistle to me.

Member, Board of Education: Lisa Weissman-Ward, Lainie Motamedi, Ann Hsu

Earlier this year we recalled three incompetent members of the school board. Before their recall, the board refused to pass a budget or discuss a plan to reopen schools, but it did find time to rename 44 schools that had been named after notorious racists like Abraham Lincoln.

The worst of those three board members -- Gabriela Lopez -- is right back on the ballot. There should be a law against that. She was elected in 2018 by just 13.7% of voters in a 19-candidate race. She was recalled in February by 72% of voters. We clearly don't want her! Yet progressives support her so she might win again. The second most important thing on this ballot, locally, is to keep her out of office so we can keep the school board from sliding back into dysfunction.

Lopez is terrible: she is the only board member who supported Alison Collins' $87 million suit against the city. (Collins made racist remarks against Asians and was forced to resign as board vice-chair; she thought her hurt feelings entitled her to 7% of the annual school budget.) Lopez was board chairman yet complained about having to deal with budget issues, and avoided it so long that the state nearly took over our schools. She lectured parents at board meetings and gave one the finger on Twitter.

You may have noticed we don't hear much about the school board anymore. That's because post-recall, once Mayor London Breed appointed Hsu, Motamedi and Weissman-Ward, they got to work. They dealt with the budget mess left by their predecessors. They put Lowell High School back on the right track. Progressives in SF these days believe that "merit" is racist, and that all students should get the same education as the lowest achievers. That philosophy hits Asian kids especially hard; for years, poor Asian families encouraged their kids to study hard so they could get into Lowell to get the kind of quality education that white progressives send their kids to private schools for. There's a distinctly anti-Asian tint to the progressive school board candidates. Collins' mistake was saying the racist part out loud.

Lopez is not the only bad progressive candidate on this ballot. "Diversity Inclusion Educator" Karen Fleshman was so involved in the Chesa Boudin cult that she physically stole a banner supporting his recall. Putting these two on the board would take us right back to the days of 6-hour meetings where nothing is accomplished and parents are lectured and given the finger. And don't forget: very soon the board is going to have to deal with a smaller budget because we have fewer students. It will be ugly: classes will be eliminated, teachers might be laid off, schools might close. It's going to happen no matter who we elect, but we should elect people who can make good choices in that situation, not avoid it entirely as the pre-recall board did.

Please, please re-elect Hsu, Motamedi and Weissman-Ward. I would write 4000 more words on this if it would convince you. Please. I'm tired of our school board being a laughing stock as well as a budgetary sinkhole.

Community College Board (term ending 2027): Jill Yee, Marie Hurabiell, Thea Selby

I always hate this election, in large part because of the lack of information about the candidates. For years the Guardian recommended ideologues and they won because the Chronicle, the dominant local media, ignored the race. That led to a dysfunctional board that nearly cost the college system its accreditation.

Fortunately Grow SF has stepped up to do what the Chronicle never did: take this race seriously. I recommend that you read Grow SF's no-endorsement, in which it narrows the candidates down to four acceptable ones. Let's not stray from those four: budget cuts are likely to be needed this year and we need board members who can hold adult conversations about them. Please don't vote for candidates who say they will fight budget cuts because that's not how it works, and you would be electing someone to do a job that they don't want to do.

I chose these three from the Grow SF quartet because this board was a huge problem until about five years ago, so anybody from the board before that should not benefit from incumbency.

(By the way, if somebody from Grow SF reads this ... please don't do the "no endorsement" thing. We're going to vote anyway. We have to make a decision so you should too.)

Community College Board (term ending 2025): Murrell Green

Green was appointed to this board by Mayor Breed. The other two candidates' websites say their focus will be on preventing classes from being eliminated. Sorry, but that isn't going to be possible if the budget is cut. The bad old CC board would spend hours fighting over class cuts and wind up not making any decision at all. Let's not go back to that.

Assessor-recorder: Joaquin Torres

Torres was appointed to this job in 2021 and is running unopposed. I don't have any reason to not vote for him, and it wouldn't matter if I did.

Remember, you can vote for one to four candidates, but you don't have to. I'm only voting for two and recommend you do also. Do NOT vote more than once for any one candidate or your vote will not count.

District Attorney: Brooke Jenkins 1st, Joe Alioto Veronese 2nd

Even after being recalled, former pro-crime DA Chesa Boudin looms large over San Francisco politics. Hatred of his appointed successor Brooke Jenkins caused Hearst to debase itself so utterly that I won't even read the Chronicle's endorsements anymore because I don't condone misogyny (for that story, read my intro). And I'm not even on the bitter political side. Boudin supporters are angry and want to take their anger out on someone. I hope it's not the city itself, but that's a real possibility in this race.

How badly do progressives want this? Austin Hills, scion of the coffee-bean family fortune that also owns Grgich Hills winery, tried to run for it, only to learn he didn't fit the minimum requirement of being an attorney. Trust-fund progressives, sigh.

This is part of a national progressive movement: after we recalled Boudin, progressives around the country immediately dumped on San Francisco, accusing us of being right-wingers and/or duped by Republican billionaires, and hoping our city deteriorates further. Nice!

Boudin's not running again this time, and the progressive who is on the ballot is the dream of those out-of-towners who want to see more crime here. John Hamasaki must be stopped. Which candidate stops him is not important. If he wins, the quality of life here will go down overnight.

"Overnight" is not an exaggeration. The No. 1 problem during the Boudin regime was not Boudin himself: it was the unofficial work slowdown by San Francisco police, who told residents multiple times they wouldn't bother investigating crimes or arresting people because Boudin wouldn't prosecute them anyway.

That's a huge problem: I don't like being held hostage by our own police department. But electing a DA the police hate even more is not going to solve it. Hamasaki was the most angry, aggressive member of the police commission. He is not an even-tempered person: he had to delete 8509 tweets to run for this office. You can search them to learn why. He doesn't think teenagers arrested with assault weapons should have those weapons confiscated. He enthusiastically videoed a sideshow that stopped all traffic on the Bay Bridge after a gang funeral. Hamasaki frequently defends gang members and might be one himself.

He's also not qualified. Boudin at least had been a public defender. Hamasaki has never held a government job. He has never supervised a department; he has only one employee. He has never set a budget. He's a defense attorney with an affinity for gang members. He has all the integrity of Saul Goodman.

UPDATE: Since my first draft I learned Hamasaki has credit-card and tax liens against him AND had a domestic violence accusation filed against him this very month, seeking a restraining order against him. THIS is the progressive candidate for DA? Why are you doing this to us?

I defended Jenkins online from Hearst's misogynistic attacks on general principle, and I'm going to vote for her first because I think she deserves more than three months to show us if she can do the job. She was a homicide prosecutor, including under Boudin, and she seems to be good at politics. One huge improvement over Boudin is that she will talk to groups that don't agree with her. This job will be on the ballot again either this year or next, depending on Proposition H, and we'll have a better assessment by then of whether she's good at it.

But I can live with Veronese. He and Jenkins both say they want to stop the open-air fentanyl markets that have led to more overdose deaths in this city since 2020 than deaths by Covid. (Hamasaki is pro-fentanyl dealers; of course he is.)

If you are so angry at Jenkins that you can't abide voting for her, let's meet in the middle at Veronese. Please don't put a gang lawyer in charge.
Public Defender: Mano Raju (1st only)

I don't love Raju, who has expanded his job past defending clients into agitating for reducing police funding and other progressive social justice goals. There is no shortage of local nonprofits who make those arguments. But his opponent quit the PD's office to go work for Chesa Boudin. Raju at least stayed in the job he's supposed to be doing.

State proposition 1 (Constitutional right to abortion): Hell Yes!

This would codify any woman's right to abortion in California. It is necessary after the Trump Supreme Court took away women's rights to control their own bodies. California is going to be an important sanctuary for women around the western US, and we should embrace that role.

State proposition 26 (Online gambling controlled by Native Americans): No

We have two props that would allow online sports gambling. I'm against both. I'm a prude on online gambling. If gamblers have to make some minimal effort -- driving or flying to Las Vegas -- then almost by definition they're not spending their kids' lunch money. Online sports gambling will lead to more child poverty and homelessness.
Both of these props are offensive not because of the issue itself -- clearly many people disagree with me on online gambling -- but because they represent an attempt by one entity to grab a monopoly on it. This prop would give a monopoly to Native American tribes. I'm vehemently against that AND YET it's still better than prop 27.

State proposition 27 (Online gambling controlled by mega corporations): NO

If you want to vote for online sports gambling, please choose prop 26, not this one, which would require that companies that run it pay a $100 million license fee. This is a naked power grab for the biggest gambling companies, none of which are local: BetMGM, DraftKings and Fan Duel. It would allow these companies to set the rules and regulate the business.

If we're going to allow online gambling, we really should let the legislature write the bill. Both of these bills are written by the entities that would profit from them. California deserves better.

State proposition 28 (arts and music school funding): No

This would require the state to set aside 1% of school funding for arts and music education. This is a typical ballot funding mandate issue; it sounds like a good idea, but those funds are going to come from somewhere. This would force the state to spend nearly $1 billion on arts and music education, and if the budget shrinks, those funds are untouchable. Arts and music education is a good thing, but setting a funding mandate makes it the most important thing.

State proposition 29 (union attack on people who need dialysis): NO, DAMMIT! (Didn't you get that the first time?)

California voters have rejected this attack on people who need dialysis twice before, in 2018 and 2020, but the powerful SEIU supports it so it's back on the ballot. It would require a doctor to be on-site for all dialysis treatments. That's expensive. Clinics would close. Some dialysis patients would die. Don't do this.

State proposition 30 (tax the rich and spend it on electric cars): No

This is funded by Lyft, which would benefit from it. I like what the Bay Guardian said about this: "The great modern economist Thomas Piketty says: Taxing the rich today is a good idea, by definition, no matter what you do with the money. Taking income and wealth from the top 1 percent always makes society more equitable." Sure, but Lyft is a $3.8 billion company, and that's pretty 1% also. It's just moving money around between rich people.

State proposition 31 (bans flavored tobacco): Yes

The state banned flavored tobacco, but the big tobacco companies gathered enough signatures to put it on the ballot. The whole purpose of flavored tobacco is to turn young people into lifelong nicotine addicts. "Yes" keeps that from happening here.

City proposition A (increases pension money for older retired city workers): No

This would put a cost-of-living increase on the pension for city workers who retired before 1996. I'm sure this is going to pass and maybe it even should, but city pensions are already quite generous. I feel hardhearted voting no, but just think about all those former SF cops who are going to get this money.

City proposition B (puts Department of Public Works back together): Yes

Matt Haney foolishly proposed a 2020 measure to split DPW in two, and voters foolishly approved it. We were feeling a little burned by the Mohammed Nuru scandal at DPW.
But splitting the department in two made no sense and just added bureaucracy and extra costs. What DPW needs is oversight, not two separate divisions.
DPW, incidentally, is responsible for cleaning our streets. DPW is doing a terrible job. I see more human feces on the streets now than ever. I understand the anger at DPW. Maybe by the next election we can come up with a better idea for fixing it.

City proposition C (creates homelessness oversight commission): No

We spent $1.1 billion on homelessness last year for about 9000 people, with little to show for it. It's not a bad idea to put somebody in charge of seeing what the hell we're doing with all that money.
The problem with this proposition is that it reserves every commission seat but one for people in the homeless industrial complex: companies that benefit from keeping our homeless population high. They're not going to solve the problem; they're going to find a way to make more money for themselves from it.

City proposition D (streamlines housing construction approvals): Yes

Housing is not my main issue and that has enabled me, for years, to stand aside amused at San Francisco progressives' NIMBYism. Progressives support housing projects as long as they are affordable, sustainable, allotted by social justice standards, shaped like a banana and able to levitate.
We have a shortage of housing. We won't fix it by continuing to not build housing. Market-rate housing is not the devil: we have rent control here. You can't say you're "pro-housing" while continuing to oppose every single housing initiative.

City proposition E (prevents new housing from being built): No

The board of supes was so upset that Prop D might lead to new housing being built that it put this on the ballot. Don't fall for it; the whole point is to overturn D.

City proposition F (library preservation fund): Yes

This reauthorizes an existing 0.025% property tax to fund the library system. I'm a big fan of the public library, which among other things allows kids of any income level to have access to free reading material. I would vote yes for this twice if I could.

City proposition G (grants for schools from general fund): No

This funding measure is a bit complicated. The state typically collects property tax for school funding and redistributes it to schools first. The extra, about $300 million a year, can go into the general fund. This would make those funds available for schools, which would have to apply for them, but some percentage of it would be required to be spent on schools.
I like the idea, but I don't like new funding mandates in this environment. The city might be scrambling for funds in the next year or two. We might want to spend this money on schools, but we should keep our options open.

City proposition H (changes city elections to presidential years): Yes

We have had 4 elections this year in San Francisco, and we haven't even voted on mayor, sheriff, city attorney or treasurer. The only reason we've voting on district attorney is because of the recall.

Most likely San Francisco was set up to have these important city officials elected in non-presidential election years so that a minority of interested voters could control them. Exactly which minority has shifted over the years; what likely started as a white male power grab now benefits whatever political group is the most motivated.

We could analyze which group would benefit from moving those elections to presidential election years, but I don't care. More people vote in presidential election years. I'm pro-democracy. Having more voters turn out to choose the mayor and DA is a good thing.

Progressives might grumble that this gives Breed another year, and law-abiding citizens should quake in terror at an extra year for Hamasaki. I would rue the latter (we all would soon enough), but that just shows that the idea itself is apolitical.

City proposition I (reopens JFK Drive to car traffic): No
City proposition J (keeps JFK Drive closed to cars): No

Props I & J are my most difficult decisions on this ballot. On most issues I know where I stand pretty quickly. I don't feel good about voting either way on either of these measures, and frankly I wish they weren't on the ballot.

The debate is over JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park as well as the Great Highway, both of which Mayor Breed closed to car traffic during the pandemic. This was the dream of a lot of relatively well-off people who like having their own private park. The Great Highway has since reopened on weekdays but JFK Drive is now "JFK Promenade," with no cars allowed.

I don't think JFK Promenade supporters realize how classist their position is. Golden Gate Park should be an important recreational space for everyone, but Muni service there is weak. Where I live, I can drive to the park in about 20 minutes but it would take about 2 hours, one way, by bus. I like walking on pedestrian-free JFK Drive, but I prefer driving and parking there and then walking. Supervisor Shamann Walton complained that his constituents can't use the park if they can't drive to it.

The Great Highway is another problem. The city was not laid out with any good north-south alternatives in that area. With the Great Highway closed, more traffic has been diverted to become stop-and-go on local streets. Also, people who would have parked on JFK Drive are circling around looking for parking nearby instead.

I don't like Prop I in part because it was written by a socialite in support of the deYoung Museum. I get that, though: People with limited mobility can no longer visit the museum. I spent some time talking about Prop I with a disabled man at a farmers' market, and it's difficult to dismiss his concerns.

However, Prop I also overturns a 10-year-old plan for the city to close the Great Highway south of Sloat in order to build a seawall and protect a wastewater treatment plant. And it demands that the Great Highway be open 24/7 when closing it only on weekends is a reasonable compromise.

Prop J was put on the ballot by the Board of Supes to basically codify the status quo: it's a competing measure, but it would also hamstring the board against making future changes without another referendum. If Prop I fails, there's no reason to vote for Prop J, and thus I will not.

By the way, Prop N makes a difference if it passes. Check it out below.

City proposition L (sales tax to fund Muni): Yes

This measure reauthorizes a 1/2 cent sales tax to fund mass transit, with most of it going to Muni. Muni is pretty terrible and this city should have better public transit, but cutting off its funding isn't going to make that happen.

City proposition M (tax on vacant apartments): No

My instinct is to vote Yes on this, because I agree with the Democratic Socialists that I'd like to see landlords who have removed rental housing stock for Air BnB pay up.

However, I was persuaded by GrowSF's argument that this bill will not help. The problem is that it doesn't apply to single-family homes; only to large apartment buildings that have an apartment open for more than six months.

The (un?)intended consequence is that developers will be less interested in building more apartment buildings. But the Democratic Socialists hate new housing projects anyway, so maybe that's a feature? It isn't for me. I'm going to vote No and hope this bill comes back with a provision that targets all rental property, not just apartments in large buildings.

City proposition N (city control over Golden Gate Park parking garage): Yes

For some reason, city voters in 1998 took the Golden Gate Park parking garage out from under city control and put it in control of a separate public entity, the Golden Gate Park Concourse Authority, over which the city has no power. What the hell were they thinking?

The main selling point of Prop I is that working-class families need to drive to the park to enjoy it, and there aren't enough places to park cheaply. The city could change that. If JFK Promenade remains closed to cars, we could subsidize parking in the garage. Right now it costs up to $30 a day.

Voters made a bad and inexplicable decision in 1998. We can and should fix it.

City proposition O (parcel tax for City College): No

This is the definition of throwing good money after bad. City College can't keep to its budget, nearly lost its accreditation, and now is asking for additional funding at the ballot box. I don't mind taxing landowners but City College hasn't demonstrated that it can responsibly use the money it gets now.

Election endorsement intro: who I am and why I do this

Who am I, and why should you care about my political endorsements?

I'm a freelance wine journalist; I chose this path because wine is the most interesting topic. But I have more relevant journalistic experience. In the SF Bay Area I have been a city editor at two local newspapers. At the second, I was on the editorial board, did some endorsements and won an award for editorial writing. I started my career covering cops and courts in Florida. I have also won awards for public service reporting and investigative reporting. I have lived in this area for more than 20 years. Before that I spent about a decade abroad so I have an international perspective. 

I rarely blog about wine anymore (instead I am writing about wine for publications that pay me to do so). But I keep doing these endorsement posts because I think we don't talk enough about politics in this country. Talk, not scream. We have devolved from a country where bipartisanship problem-solving was possible to a two-party system with extremists on both sides who are against any kind of cooperation. I believe if we actually discuss who we're planning to vote for with our neighbors, we will elect fewer extremists, and that will be better for everyone.

Also, I consider voting to be a sacred right and responsibility, so I do research to decide how I'm going to vote on every ballot measure and school board candidate. I might as well share what I come up with.

Politically, I am a Democrat, but foremost I am a pragmatist. That said, while I'm endorsing two Republicans for statewide office this year, in 2022 or 2024 I don't think I could vote for any Republican candidate for national office. I support democracy. That wasn't a political position in the past but Trump has made it one.

In San Francisco, where 85% of us are Democrats, the ongoing battle is between Progressives and Moderates. For most of my life I have sided with Progressives because they have been right about the big issues, starting with climate change. However, lately in SF Progressives have lost their way. They're putting ideology over practicality, whereas I will always vote for practicality. It's practical to drastically reduce our carbon emissions, and to increase taxes on the wealthy. Public transit is practical. Public power might be practical. It's impractical to have a school board that can't pass a budget or a DA who won't prosecute Honduran drug dealers because he doesn't want them deported.  

I see San Francisco deteriorating and don't think we're taking it seriously enough. Polls show I'm not alone. Our No. 1 industry, pre-pandemic, was tourism. We can't keep mocking reports from tourists who are horrified by the filth on our streets. We can't keep ignoring business leaders who say their employees don't want to work downtown. We definitely can't keep ignoring anti-Asian violence in a city that is 37% Asian. We need to take control of our streets. Recalling DA Chesa Boudin was a good start, but we need to keep on it.

The No. 1 issue for this city, all sides agree, is homelessness. For many of us, we just want fewer homeless people so there's less human feces on the street and fewer alarming confrontations.

But we have a huge homeless industrial complex in this city that gets paid because we have so many homeless people, so they show up to every board meeting advocating for solutions that line their pockets, rather than helping the city. Keeping the homeless population large is in the homeless industrial complex's best interest. And because they are loud and ever present, too many city leaders believe that what voters in general want is large expenditures to make street life more pleasant.

We spent $1.1 billion last year on a homeless population estimated at under 9000. We could have given every homeless person $100,000 dollars cash, and that would have been cheaper. We don't distinguish between homeless people. For families that lose their housing because of illness, I'm in favor of a huge amount of support. But our homeless industry treats every junkie that hitchhiked here the same as actually needy people.

If you actually ask the drug users on the street, as SF Standard did, they're not from here and "they come to party." Let's not reward them by giving them free hotel rooms.

Thanks to Chesa Boudin, criminal justice has become the main dividing issue between Progressives and Moderates. I'm with the Moderates. I'm glad first offenders are getting opportunities to avoid prison, but career criminals should be held while awaiting charges. If there is one aspect of the US criminal justice system I could reform, it would be our prison system, which is overly punitive with insufficient opportunities for prisoners to learn trades and improve themselves. Prison is bad! But it exists for a reason, and the DA's office exists not to be an adjunct of the public defender's office, but to put away criminals who pose a danger to the rest of us. Boudin's defenders have sealed themselves into an ideological bubble that apparently prevents them from seeing how terrible he was for the city.

On candidates: I want them, foremost, to not be corrupt. I would vote for an honest person I don't agree with (Mitt Romney, for example) over a corrupt person on my political "team." (Another reason I can't accept today's national Republicans at all. How can any person of conscience continue to condone Donald Trump?)

That's who I am, why I do this, and my main views on the issues of the day. (I'm very pro-abortion, btw, but that's not a local issue at this time.)

Now, where do I get my information? That changed a lot this year.

The San Francisco Chronicle and defunct San Francisco Bay Guardian were my twin towers for years. I used to be firmly between them politically -- right of the Guardian, left of the Chronicle -- but the Chron has taken a hard left turn and is back to practicing the kind of yellow journalism that its owner Hearst Corp used to start the Spanish-American war.

Hearst broke its own rules about anonymous-source content to run the picture and cutline on the right on the front page of SFGate for District Attorney Brooke Jenkins' first four days in office. Four days they left this up! They know exactly what they're doing: labeling a political opponent like Donald Trump does.

Misogynist Eric Ting wrote a story claiming "anonymous sources" (i.e., Ting himself) called Jenkins "icy," "horrible" and "insane." You don't see the Chronicle calling male politicians "icy." This is holding female politicians to a different standard: a DA who must not only fight crime, but be warm and, well, maternal while doing so. Nobody asked that of Boudin.

And what job does the author do? Misogynist Eric Ting is SFGate political editor! I won't be reading Hearst's endorsements again while he's in that job, because I vote for a lot of female candidates and want to see them treated fairly.

Fortunately, the pragmatic vacuum created by the Chronicle going misogynist-progressive has been filled by a couple of organizations doing pragmatic endorsements.

Grow SF does such a good job that I really don't even need to do this anymore. (And it's a lot of work, so maybe in the future I won't.)

Take Action SF also did a nice job.

From the left, the San Francisco Bay Guardian still does endorsements even though it's a cobweb site now; editor Tim Redmond uses the SFBG site to get around rules for nonprofit news sites like his new place of business, 48Hills. I have tremendous respect for Redmond even though the publication is far left of me politically. Unlike the current regime at the Chronicle, it treats candidates fairly and takes every issue seriously, and its endorsements are always worth reading even when I don't agree.

The new SF Standard is doing good journalism work online, and its voter guide is pretty good although it lacks endorsements.

And here's a shoutout to the Marina Times. I never paid attention to it until this year, but it was the only local media organization to endorse the Boudin recall. Has the city's media ever been more out of touch with its readership? Editor Susan Dyer Reynolds is a Twitter crank who goes after hypocritical progressives like a terrier shaking a squeaky toy, but she does the work journalistically, which I respect. I'll pay more attention to it now.

For statewide issues I also read the LA Times and the Sacramento Bee. I read the candidates' statements on Smart Voter. At some point I make a decision, and then I share it with you. I have been doing endorsements for more than a decade so if you really want to know where I stand, it's all online.

Thanks for reading and please vote.