The Debating Davids: Chiu Stumbles in the Race to Sacramento

Last night at the SF Public Library, David Campos emerged as the champion of the people in the race to succeed Tom Ammiano in the CA State Assembly representing District 17.

Campos spoke in Spanish! He referred to his illegal immigrant roots! He made it clear that he was THE gay in the race! He introduced his newlywed HUSBAND!

David Chiu, for the most part, was like a tree in the wind.

The debate, sponsored by the San Francisco Young Democrats, was the first of the campaign between the two members of the Board of Supervisors: David Chiu (District 3) and David Campos (District 9).

Let’s hope it’s not the last debate. San Franciscans need to know that elected officials have a stake in the current socio-economic affairs tormenting the city. Recent Board and committee hearings at City Hall gave the public access to process, but the outcomes of the hearings have been less than satisfying.

An active election year filled with debates is needed to help define which politician is going to maintain the status quo and which politician is interested in representing the increasingly agitated voice of the disenfranchised in Tech Town 2.0 (aka San Francisco).

In addition to that, Chiu certainly needs a rematch.

As President of the Board of Supervisors, Chiu didn’t have a good start to the evening. The doors to the auditorium didn’t open until after the listed 5:30pm starting time and Chiu didn’t show up until almost 6:00pm.

David Campos was present at 5:15 and passed the time shaking hands and greeting the guests waiting to enter the room. He didn’t miss a beat.

Chiu's diarrhea-scented gas attack.

Campos’ opening remarks accusing Chiu of being the candidate of the SF Chamber of Commerce was delivered like a Tanya Harding blow to Nancy Kerrigan’s knee. Campos tore into Chiu’s support of the destruction of hundreds of rent controlled units in Parkmerced while Chiu fidgeted and grimaced and released a series of what had to be diarrhea-scented farts.

Not only did Campos maintain a dominant role in the debate but he also kept his cool when Chiu finally started to return fire.

Chiu raised questions about contributions to Campos’ campaign – which was an effective barb – but Campos didn’t break a sweat nor did he ever stop smiling.

Outside of the jabs the bulk of the evening was an identity marathon. Chiu used to be a janitor paid $3 an hour. As a child, Campos and his mother and sister had to sneak across the border into America. Chiu loves booze and marijuana and working behind the scenes! Campos wants everyone to dance at a nightclub and speak truth to power! They both are opposed to crime (or as Chiu put it “negative activity”).

The low point of the night came when the moderator asked each candidate to explain their vote regarding Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi back in 2012. Each candidate exhibited scar tissue they’ve accrued from domestic violence in their lives and took turns shitting on Mirkarimi. Chiu voted to overturn the election because Mirkarimi’s behavior was unfit for elected office. Campos missed an opportunity by not making a point about Mayor Ed Lee over reaching his authority. (In the future, can we please not relive the Mirkarimi family drama? This year presents new challenges that need to be addressed and reopening that wound will only be an exploitative distraction that accomplishes nothing.)

After closing statements about the glory of America and San Francisco were delivered, the first debate of 2014 came to a close. David Chiu appears to be the establishment candidate–mimicking the remark Mayor Lee made recently about San Francisco needing to “grow up.” David Campos is wearing his counter culture beret–shaking his fist into the air and shouting “stick it to the man!”

Ultimately, the Young Democrats chose Campos to be the recipient of their endorsement for the race.

Round one: Campos.

Highlight: Michael Petrelis' interruption early in the debate calling for a public forum on community access to the Rainbow Flag in the Castro.

Comments (24)

Let’s start the Uppity Fag fan club!!!

Great coverage, Uppity Fag. More, please, Uptown Almanac!

It’d be sad to see Campos go, he’s a reliably great member of the Board of Supervisors, but hopefully whomever replaces him will be similarly awesome.

Reliably great? The guy doesn’t do shit, but talk. Probably why you like him.

Are these 2 our only choices?

What are you talking about? If you look at his voting record, and the causes he has championed, he has been one of the two most reliably sensible/liberal members of the board of Supes. That, combined with the fact that he has been very responsive to his constituents means that, yeah, he’s pretty fucking great.

Like voting to keep a sheriff convicted of domestic violence in office?

Who might that be? I can’t recall any case of an SF Sheriff being convicted of domestic violence.

I assume you’re talking about Ross Mirkarimi, who, contrary to your misinformation, had the charges of domestic violence dropped, and instead plead guilty to a simple misdemeanor false imprisonment charge.

Assuming that that is, indeed, whom you’re referring to, then, yes, Campos absolutely voted the right way.

False imprisonment is form of domestic violence, and a sheriff who pleads guilt to it is not fit for the office. Campos made a inexcusably bad decision to support a political ally. Many voters will not forget this.

Nope, it sure isn’t. Not legally, and not morally.

That having been established, let’s move on to your suggestion that a sheriff that has plead guilty to a misdemeanor is not fit for office. It’s certainly your prerogative to hold the opinion. Indeed, I don’t doubt that a lot of people may agree with you. Happily, we have a system to deal with situations where some people may not be happy about an elected official: Elections.

So. You’re unhappy that our Sheriff plead guilty to a misdemeanor? That’s fine. Vote against him next time he’s on the ballot. Hell, you can even try to organize a recall campaign before then. But do NOT try to disenfranchise the voters of San Francisco who elected the Sheriff at the last election.

Campos made the right decision, voting against the disenfranchisement of San Francisco voters.

I generally think Campos has been a great advocate and representative for District 9. He has been accessible and responsive. You could often find him at the 24th & Mission BART plaza standing around taking questions and chatting with people. While I did not agree with him on the Mirkarimi issue, I can recognize he had a tough decision to make. I think having a sheriff that was caught up in a domestic violence issue undermines that office (conviction or not). However, I also think, like Doktor said, that the mayor was exploiting the situation for political gain (at best) or for a way to get a better ally as sheriff (at worst). I took advantage of having such an accessible representative by just straight-up asking Campos about his decision one day at the 24th and Mission BART plaza and, again, while I don’t agree with the decision he made, I respect him for being open about why he made it and available to speak with constituents about the situation. I support him for Assembly and hope someone who cares about the Mission as much as he does runs to fill his seat.

When someone says that Campos hasn’t done anything, I assume they are referring to crime in the Mission. If that is the case (1) direct your anger toward the mayor and the police department; (2) Campos is all about community engagement (more so than may supes); and (3) are you kidding me with that?! The neighborhood is way safer than it has been in years.

The Mayor used his power to uphold the principle that our Sheriff’s admitted actions (in your own words) “undermines the office”. Progressives were once clear and strong on ALL issues related to domestic violence, but shamelessly wavered to protect their political ally. Olague has paid the price for her vote. Now Campos will.

I thought Mirkarimi was going to be recalled??

Isn’t there enough support for that??

I guess not. Nothing political about going after people that decided to block the over reach of a corrupt Mayor. That’s right, the Mirkarimi vendetta is all about domestic violence, sure.

More like it’s about using domestic violence to conduct a political manipulation.

But go right ahead and hold up your DV shield to make you sound like a fierce warrior.

Have you been gathering signatures for the recall?? How’s that going???

Wait, does someone besides me have a Deth Vegetable shield? Nice!

Anyone who has lived in a household with domestic violence understands that there can be ZERO tolerance for it. Nice work dismissing that fact - you and most of the other male progressive leadership. See you on election day.

Yup. If you listen closely, you may actually be able to hear the sound of me not giving a shit.

Sooo… Just curious. When Campos wins in a landslide, how is that going to fit into your twisted weirdo narrative?


I neglected to include an interesting tidbit during the debate about mayoral appointments to fill vacancies on the Board of Supervisors.

Both candidates were asked about who they’d choose to replace them and naturally they both demurred.

BUT they both said they didn’t want Mayor Lee to pick someone. They agreed that districts should choose their own replacement in a special election if need be.

Will they follow through and push for a City Charter amendment before the November election???

I support Campos in this, but just feel like pointing out that in the 08 D9 race Campos ran the exact campaign Chiu is running “the progressive who can get things done” vs. Quezada who he tried to paint as the outspoken activist who wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything.

Great coverage, btw Patrick.

Chiu is your classic disgustingly slick politician who wastes everyone’s time making long winded speeches and pretending to be undecided until the lat minute when BLAM! he brings home the bacon for the same corporate fuckballs that pull the strings on the Ed Lee puppet.
So fuck him.

And don’t forget that Chiu is the one to blame for giving us Ed Lee in the first place. He was the swing vote on the board, and he went with Lee because he believed the promise that Lee wouldn’t run that fall, thus opening the way for his own run. He was either naive, or willing to take the chance that Lee was telling the truth in order to keep a progressive from becoming mayor. Either one says a lot about the man.

Campos is just not very smart and in the Legislature, his usual bullshit won’t play with the Big Kids from LA and elsewhere. His kind of feel good politics may play well locally to an electorate that votes based on emotions, but in the assembly, he will be intellectually outgunned, and politically irrelevant. if he wins, watch him get primaried by the biz crowd in 2016. Besides, Campos doesn’t even like the US constitution, nor does he seems to care . He’s just all about enriching himself, on the public’s tit.

Chiu is no great shakes since he seems to not want his current job so much he’s now running AGAIN for another one, and he’s a cold motherfucker, but he can go toe to toe with the southern CA legislators, which , thanks to redistricting, seriously outnumber the Bay Area.

Wouldn’t you say the same about Ammiano and look at him in Sacramento

no, Ammiano has always been an effective legislator. he was the one who created Healthy SF (yes, he did it not Newsom, Newsom was all set to veto it at the behest of his corporate chums, but once Sup. Dufty agreed to give it a veto-proof majority, he backed off). Tom has also been a tireless fighter to get real regulations for medical cannabis so the stupid Feds will stop their BS like they have in CO and WA (he may finally get this through in his last term in office) and has been a hard working servant for decades, long before people like Campos, Avalos, and Chiu ever even stepped foot in SF, and never sought to line his pockets.

Campos is just a hack who sees government jobs as a means to money. He ran for re-election and promised he’d serve as Supervisor, and now he’s dropping out. if he wins ED FUCKING LEE appoints his successor. I’m sure that will work out.

If he loses, he just retreats to his office and sucks his thumb until term limits toss him out on his ass. And then he’ll be nothing.

Naw, you’re full of hooey.