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.
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.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.