As many of you know by now the DCCC is the steering committee for the Democratic party here in SF. They produce the slate cards that litter every corner of the city during elections, produce the robo calls for the party and find ways to promote the Democratic message here in San Francisco. They are the group that decides what tactics are used to win elections.
The Alice B. Toklas Democratic club had an issue with the fact that the DCCC used monies donated by Democrats to run other Democrats down in the last election. On the other hand a Republican Developer who dumped 200 Thousand into District elections and also tried to destroy rent control in the state of California backing Weiner, Sparks and others in the election.
I agree that negative campaigning is a bad way for the DCCC to spend their monies but I also think it is fair to call people who accepted these IE (Independant Expenditures) should be called out. Why was a Republican spending all that money to elect a Supervisor in San Francisco's Districts 2, 6, 8, and 10?
I am dubious at best about the current DCCC and as a newly elected Harvey Milk Club Board Member feel like there are some things that should be said.
1. Alice I do not believe your club was acting out of generosity for the good of Democrats every where but do agree that smear tactic campaigning should not be payed for by this body. I think your behavior is similar to that of the DCCC who put out the emails and the mailing in question. It is exactly the same bad sportsmanship that you have called out and your letter was inflammatory just like the ones you hope to rail against.
2. DCCC your tactics are in need of review as you all agreed upon last night. Democratic monies should not be spent berating other Democrats and wording is essential to keep this from happening again. I know that emotions run high in a race but you are the governing Democratic body and I am glad you will look into how this money was spent and how future races will be handled. Just because no out right lies were told in the mailing the language was the problem and it did offend many voters and I truly believe it is why Scott Weiner won district 8. It made the other campaign look dishonest and desperate and the DCCC should own that responsibility.
Having said this I would like to highlight just how this behavior could happen. Just last night the newly elected President of the Young Democrats was stopped mid sentence by Carol Migdin as she complained that "I came all the way down here for Sacramento and I have to go back can we just get on with the meeting and hear public comment after the other issues so I can get home at a decent hour?" Um Hello Carol what were you thinking. You are sitting in a meeting that is discussing unbecoming Democratic behavior and how to unify the Democratic message and you shoot your mouth off at a newly elected President of a Democratic Club? Ok but I think that it just points out the very position that was being discussed. It was not a move that was unifying for the party and I was offended to see this young man treated so horribly by a senior Democrat.
Blame and bickering are a part of politics and life yet we must learn to be cautious as to how we word our opposition to others. Also to say that Sparks and Weiner and other beneficiaries of Mr. Coats had their hands tied and could only sit back and let Coats dump monies into their campaigns and could do nothing about it is a bold faced lie. If the politicians are not able to tell a greedy developer with destruction of rent control and an agenda on his plate; "No please do not send any money twords my campaign I am pro rent control and your behaviors are not in keeping with my platform but Thank You very much"; who can?
Lets face it everyone is a bit wrong here and blame and bickering is best left to the children on the playground and not for adults who are meant to lead us. It's the "You without sin cast the first stone" idea .
Secondly the voters who elect official to the DCCC should look deeper than name recognition in the future. The fact that the same person who insulted me in my pitch at the DCCC in the fall could go on a tirade and insult members of this governing board last night makes me wonder why anyone would vote to keep Mr Goldstein on the DCCC. Whenever I ask about Michael people always say "Oh thats just Michael." Well guess what he is not helping the situation and his erratic and condescending behavior is part of the problem.
So I say lets get it together or even create an official Liberal party and break from the moderate Democratic movement that is trying to please everyone all the time and get down to the business of housing, the environment, jobs, budget and all the things we need to focus on asap. To say that NO ONE can be elected in San Francisco unless they are a democratic choice is just stroking your own egos. I have Matt Gonzales as an example!
So in closing I would like to add that I am very glad that you as the DCCC are working on a unifying strategy that will stop the use of DCCC funds from being used in smear like campaigns against other Democrats and that you have decided to fight to keep the Recycling center open in the Haight. Both worthy causes. Well except Scott Weiner who voted against the recycling center remaining open. That I am still reeling from. Really Scott? Then if that is how you will vote I expect that perhaps you will take a different route and use all recycled materials and soy ink in your next campaign as should all Candidates from now on. Greening the earth surely is something we can all agree on no matter what side of the fence we sit.