Downtown Interests Expected to Spend Millions on Dufty’s Reelection Bid

by Ted Strawser on June 15, 2006

Political observers were shocked at the amount of money poured into Fiona Ma’s state assembly victory. The $1.4 million price tag of Ma’s victory was the most expensive victory in state assembly history and included more than $ 1.0 million spent on Ma’s behalf by independent expenditure groups.

Ma and Dufty voted almost identically over the past four years, in lockstep with downtown interests. This duo comprised half of the conservative block of the Board of Supervisors (Ma, Dufty, Elsbernd, Alioto-Pier) which empowered the Mayor to veto progressive legislation that conservatives found offensive. In fact, Bevan Dufty sustained all five of the Mayor’s vetoes…. all five aimed at important progressive legislation (3 against renters, 1 against planning reform, and one against a trial of car free space in the city). Ironically, the voters took it upon themselves to overrule Dufty & Newsom on one key veto when they passed Proposition B requiring eviction disclosure by sellers of real estate.

A phone call to Bevan Dufty (or a look at his website) and you will get the following disingenuous speech: “Like last campaign, I am voluntarily limiting contributions to $100 (though the maximum allowed by law is $500) from individuals who must live or work in San Francisco. Once again, I will not accept contributions from corporations, PACs or registered lobbyists. Our 2002 campaign stood apart because money was de-emphasized and fundraising democratized..” No reference, of course, to the million dollars of downtown IE money that he has earned by voting with the conservatives for the past 4 years. No reference, either to the fact that he has chosen not to abide by voluntary campaign spending limits.

How much money has Bevan earned with his downtown allegiance? Well.. Fiona Ma scored over a million dollars with almost the exact same voting history and she represents a CONSERVATIVE district. How much more are conservative votes worth, coming from a progressive district? How about from the only supervisor to sell out on the progressive district that he represents? Most importantly, whats the premium for being the 4th sustaining vote…. without which the Mayor could not veto progressive legislation?

Just how much were Bevan’s four years of conservative votes worth?

We will find out in November but, like Bevan Dufty, we are betting that they are worth a lot. Lets hope that progressive are as tuned into Dufty’s voting record as the downtown PACs are. If so, district 8 will be the race to watch this November!


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