A lot of energy is spent on this board discussing voter irregularities driven by GOP operatives. Florida 2000, Ohio 2004, new laws requiring government issued ID's in order to vote, etc...
In San Francisco, our Democratic Mayor is doing his voter fraud the old fashioned way.
Update: Of course FOX has jumped on this
This years San Francisco Mayoral Election has a crowded field - 16 candidates, 10 of whom currently hold Political office and at least that many who could be called "viable" candidates. This includes current interim Mayor Ed Lee.
Lee was appointed to office in early 2011 when former Mayor Gavin Newsom headed to Sacramento to be California's Lt Governor. The appointment process was tenuos. San Francisco votes Democratic in the 85-90% range, but that doesn't make it a one party town. There are two factions in the party - the "Progressives" and the "Moderates". They get along a lot better than Dems/Repubs in Washington DC, but the split is real, and votes in the Board of Supervisors that are not unanimous often spilt along "party lines". In order to not give the side (Progressives) mostly in control of the Board an advantage with incumbency, there was a drive to appoint a "caretaker Mayor" who would commit to not running for office. Lee won out in a brokered deal over Sheriff Michael Hennessy, and admittedly calmed some of the turbulence in the City that marked the end of Newsom's tenure. This opened the door just a little bit and then Ed Lee changed his mind.
Now, if the guy is doing a good job, why wouldn't you want him to be Mayor? The problem with this is that deciding to run is in fact an indication that he is not someone to be trusted by members of the Board, 2 of whom are running for Mayor now and who could have tried a power play to install one of themselves into the incumbency. This opens worries that should Lee run, his tenure will not be marked by calm.
More importantly, it is becoming apparent that we've all been had, and the whole "caretaker Mayor" thing was a scam by the closest thing San Francisco has to "A Machine" to keep one of their own in power. And now that he is running, they are doing everything they can to accomplish that. While Lee has been City Administrator, there isn't anything of particular note to his tenure there or as Mayor to distinguish him, yet he is the only candidate to refuse public funding of his campaign. Lee says that this was a personal decision because the City was having budget problems but as usual, when someone says that it's because refusing public financing allows them to raise unlimited funds. And despite Lee's non-distinguished background, he has raised so much money he busted the spending cap despite returning some donations when his campaign was busted for accepting dubious donations. How does a humble public servant raise this much cash? By being part of a Machine that dates back to former Mayor Willie Brown and featuring Chinatown "Power Broker" Rose Pak.
OK, thanks for waiting for the punchline. This week independent organizations supporting Lee were caught with their hands in the cookie jar on film, showing supporters wearing Ed Lee shirts helping people vote for Lee with the assitance of Stencils over ballots. Some allegations of marking ballots or flat out accepting blank absentee ballots have been raised. The video is at Huff Post. Lee has seen the video which is hard to deny, distanced himself from it and called the workers "moronic" - but those workers are funded by the people who will be pulling the strings later on. What a deal!
This is just symptomatic of a lot of messy business that has been coming from the Mayor's office lately. A bike lane that was in the planning for 9 years, and vetted in Public Forums where process dictates that you come with your issues - was killed at behest of the Mayor's office after requests from a Trucking company in that area. Even if the company is "right", they were able to circumvent public process - and that's the real problem. He has not won the hearts nor minds of #occupysf - meanwhile other candidates such as Supervisor John Avalos and Joanna Rees have been going to #occupySF and have been very supportive.
Machine Politics, Voter Fraud. This is not what SF needs.
Another diary will come with details on my personal endorsements in our Ranked Choice Voting race - for the record I will be voting for John Avalos, Dennis Herrera, and David Chiu. I have not decided how to rank these candidates on my ballot yet, but most importantly I have decided that the most important thing to do is to vote for #anybodybutedlee
And if this whole thing wasn't annoying enough, our closer and will.i.am are endorsing Ed Lee in this embarassing new video - how exactly is voter fraud "legit" ?