A Source at City Hall
one person's comments on politics
in San Francisco
On Plan C, District 6 & District 8
There is now a political organization launched mostly by
gay men that seeks to counter a generation of activism on the left
within the l/g/b/t community. There has always been a middle-class gay
constituency, but to date it hasn't been politically organized. Chair
Michael Sullivan, a Williams and University of Michigan Law School
graduate, disclosed this is on offer from Plan C. Sullivan lives in
District 5, and the markers are certainly there for a would-be
supervisor. This November Plan C will form a political action committee
(pac) to promote its endorsements. Plan C's pac could well send out
slatemail and take out newspaper ads, if not do television advertising.
Sullivan is direct about where the group is coming from.
Plan C was launched in reaction to Jake McGoldrick's 2001 McTic
proposal. Sullivan wrote the following in Monday's Examiner: "Nearly a
year ago, six of us gathered in a Noe Valley living room, after that
shocking July 2001 vote to ban TICs." So it should come as no surprise
that Plan C supports HOPE. It's also signed on to Supervisor Gavin
Newsom's Care not Cash.
Wednesday night's candidate debate had nuances. First,
not every declared candidate from Districts 6 and 8 was invited. It was
explained why only Districts 6 and 8 were included in the forum. In
consideration of "time," a selection criterion was used to decide who
would merit an invite. As a consequence a fully clothed Shawn O'Hearn
sat in the audience. Neither Chris Daly nor Eileen Hansen participated.
It's unclear if they did not show because of time conflicts or objected
to the fact that not every candidate was invited or because their
politics are not simpatico with Plan C. After all neither one of them is
Certain characteristics stand out about the candidates
who did show and were allowed to participate. The questions were
predictable and the answers were canned and pre-rehearsed, but that is
par for the course at a candidate forum. Thankfully this one was the
first of the season. Still you had to listen to Michael Sweet use the
word "opportunity" two dozen times in three minutes. Gavin Newsom
mentioned Plan C on Bruce Pettit's show. Plan C scores a thread on Malik
Looper's sfpolifix site. Frank Gallagher gave Plan C a plug last week in
a snitch-and-tell story over whether Chris Daly would or would not
Well over 100 people attended Wednesday's event,
described by organizers as a "bake off." Mabel Teng wore a black leather
jacket.. Teng was following well-heeled Janet Reilly's fashion cues, who
also wore a black leather jacket at the last Plan C meeting. Log Cabin
Republican and Tammy Haygood booster Chris Bowman stumbled around the
room trying out different benches before he finally found the right one.
Rebecca Silverberg's cell phone went off in the middle of the forum and
she took what seemed like an eternity to figure out how to silence its
With some distance now from the event these observations
Roger Gordon. He backs CnC and opposes HOPE. A credible
District 6 candidate can not support HOPE. So at this point only Roger
Gordon passes this threshold test. Gordon has the social science
language of NPO service providers down pat. Somehow with enough CDBG
money his NPO is going to create demand and markets on 6th Street
through employment training and enhanced intergovernmental cooperation.
He took credit for recent developments along San Bruno Avenue in the
Portola District. Few in the room knew where the Portola was, much less
grasped the reality that it's not anywhere near District 6. The growth
of the Chinese community in the Portola or the middle-class spirit of
enterprise Chinese émigrés bring to the United States counted for little
in Gordon's calculus.
Garrett Jenkins supports CnC and HOPE. His only
redeeming commentary was a reasonably articulated defense of public
Michael Sweet. He supports CnC and HOPE, if not the
Reagan revolution. He said he is a liberal, but he might as well just
tell the truth and come out as a "ditto head." As a corporate attorney
and South Beach homeowner, he'll get his vote, his wife's vote, and that
of Jeffrey Leibovitz.
Bevan Dufty. He is the most skilled in using language to
advance his political goals. He connects with his audience. He is
dealing with his "Willie issue" by refusing campaign contributions in
excess of $100, and he won't accept the $43K in matching public funds
his campaign is otherwise entitled to receive. Like Al Gore he is
running as his own man. Still you sense Dufty knows that Brown remains
his elephant in the living room. Dufty backs CnC and HOPE, and this
group identifies with him.
Tom Radulovich. The BART Director likes certain words:
Planning, Priorities, Regional, and Infrastructure. That may not make a
wonk, but that is the language game he uses. He scored some good points
about the incredible wealth San Francisco has enjoyed in recent years,
and how boom-year revenue was diverted into hiring more public employees
rather than tending to deferred maintenance or completing capital
projects that would have a longer shelf life than an SEIU contract.
Radulovich begged off definitive positions on HOPE and CnC. A few eyes
rolled when he told the audience he had "to talk to Mark Mosher first"
before taking his stand on HOPE.