monopoly_money.jpgMayor Gavin Newsom is not going gently into that good office in Sacramento. Last Tuesday wasn’t a great election day for Newsom’s moderate allies running for seats on the Democratic County Central Committee: aides to Supervisors Sean Elsbernd and Michela Alioto-Pier lost, and progressive Supervisors John Avalos, David Campos and David Chiu all won, meaning the progressive majority led by DCCC chair Aaron Peskin added one seat to its majority — and its ability to endorse candidates with the official Democratic Party stamp.

The progressives’ majority on the DCCC has helped them maintain a majority on the Board of Supervisors, but all that could end if Newsom has his way at the ballot box.

Earlier today, the deadline for putting ballot measures before voters in the November election, the mayor introduced a voter initiative that would prohibit city elected officials from also sitting on the DCCC.

Avoiding conflicts of interest is the main reason behind this, according to Tony Winnicker, Newsom’s spokesman. Right now, a city supervisor cannot solicit re-election campaign contributions from any entity doing business before the city, but the supervisor can solicit contributions to a DCCC election bid. This closes that loophole, Winnicker said.

“It’s an appropriate restriction for which there is precedent,” he told the Appeal. On top of that, “dual office holders crowd out grassroots activists with their name identification.”

Of course, aides to supervisors will still be able to run — and lose — and statewide and federal elected officials from San Francisco, like Speakers of the House of Representatives and any potential lieutenant governors or attorneys general, will be able to appoint proxies to the DCCC as well as generously fund bids by aides.

If you’re not a politics wonk you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Who gives a fuck.” Well, in the words of Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius: “If you are running for supervisor in San Francisco and have the DCCC endorsement, you’re in.”

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!
  • Greg Dewar

    I’m not so sure this is legal – I’m sure Gavin’s people had their lawyers check this – but local governments generally cannot regulate the actions of a political party. The structure for all of this is set up by the state of california (in and of itself an odd arrangement) but this was designed to ensure that only the true major parties were on the ballot (there were times when people would make up fake ones).

    Messing with who can serve on an AD committee or a Central Committee can and will cause direction repercussions to the State and National parties, and could set the precedent for hostile counties to enact regulations on minor parties etc.

    Of course, all this could be solved by simply having political parties opt out of government sponsored elections and go back to conventions and precinct captains and so on, in which case none of this matters. And when you think about it – why ARE political parties having to use government facilities for their members to decide who runs?

  • Greg Dewar

    I’m not so sure this is legal – I’m sure Gavin’s people had their lawyers check this – but local governments generally cannot regulate the actions of a political party. The structure for all of this is set up by the state of california (in and of itself an odd arrangement) but this was designed to ensure that only the true major parties were on the ballot (there were times when people would make up fake ones).

    Messing with who can serve on an AD committee or a Central Committee can and will cause direction repercussions to the State and National parties, and could set the precedent for hostile counties to enact regulations on minor parties etc.

    Of course, all this could be solved by simply having political parties opt out of government sponsored elections and go back to conventions and precinct captains and so on, in which case none of this matters. And when you think about it – why ARE political parties having to use government facilities for their members to decide who runs?

  • Greg Dewar

    There’s also a nice little loophole in Gavin’s plan – the Supervisors could simply put a ballot measure on the ballot to make said races partisan – in which case all Democratic members of the Board would be represented ex-officio.

  • Greg Dewar

    There’s also a nice little loophole in Gavin’s plan – the Supervisors could simply put a ballot measure on the ballot to make said races partisan – in which case all Democratic members of the Board would be represented ex-officio.