What the Mainstream Media Won’t Report About the San Francisco Election

Commentary This week, San Francisco celebrates the decisive victory of the school board recall, which we predicted in our Feb. 8 column published in The Epoch Times. Many commentators, activists, and establishment politicians believed this election could not possibly be so clear-cut in a city like San Francisco, or had dismissed the recall as a right-wing Republican effort. The results and the data extracted from it show we were right on the money. This was a well-orchestrated campaign by parents and concerned San Franciscans regarding the quality of public education, without partisan funding. Not only did participants in the recall and donors cross all political lines; the voters did too. As we go to press, 74 percent voted yes to recall Lopez. Collins was a bit higher, Moliga a bit lower, but by a difference of less than 4 percent. Beyond any doubt, the school board recall was a San Francisco landslide! On the same ballot, in the eastern half of the city, candidates competed in a primary to fill a vacancy for California Assembly District 17. The district, which encompasses the Mission, Tenderloin, and South of Market neighborhoods, has for 40 years been a wellspring of progressive politicians seeking to climb the political ladder. The top two vote-getters in the primary were Matt Haney and David Campos—two far-left progressives who are quintessential establishment candidates. Haney is a member of the Board of Supervisors whose district includes the Tenderloin. Campos is vice chair of the California Democratic Party and the “on leave” chief of staff to District Attorney Chesa Boudin. They now move as the only choices in an April general election. On the issue of the school board recall, Haney and Campos acted in a way that was deeply out of touch with their potential constituents. They opposed the recall of Lopez and Moliga and offered just lukewarm support for the recall of Collins (on the single issue of anti-Asian tweets). On the day before the election, Haney voted with six of his fellow supervisors to put a charter amendment on the June ballot to curtail recalls, which would have prevented the school board recall. They both should know better. Haney served two terms on the school board, and Campos is the former general counsel to the San Francisco Unified School District. In this election, they could have engaged with the grassroots effort to improve the education and lives of the city’s children. Instead, they fought with each other over the purity of their progressive credentials, and they ran campaigns centered upon trying to out-left each other with ridiculous, pie-in-the-sky proposals to alter the culture in San Francisco. Haney promoted “safe injection sites,” a wealth tax, navigation centers, single-payer healthcare, and universal basic income. Campos talked Medicare for All, free college, and social justice “success stories” in the DA’s office. They demonstrated a remarkable lack of knowledge about what their constituents really think. As of this writing, about 20 percent of the votes have not yet been counted. The mainstream media will tell you that Haney and Campos each won about one third of the votes in District 17 and stop right there, without connecting the dots. We will go deeper and ask: What is the relationship between how San Franciscans voted in the Assembly race and how they voted in the school board recall? Today we will share details that we believe you will not read anywhere else. And it goes to the heart of San Francisco’s broken political culture. Since November 2019, San Francisco has run its elections on the Dominion Voting Systems platform and has released the “cast vote record” beginning election night. This is a level of voting system transparency to the public unheard of in most of the country. These files contain an encoding of all the votes on each individual ballot card. (The secret ballot is safe and secure; identifying the voter is impossible.) Larry Marso, one of your columnists, has constructed and fine-tuned since 2019 a Dominion “cast vote record” auditing platform, which has now been applied to six San Francisco elections as well as election audits by state governments, private litigants, political campaigns, and candidates across the country. It is not clear whether mainstream media is capable, even, of interpreting the ballot-level data released by the San Francisco Department of Elections. Regardless, we suspect there will be little enthusiasm on the progressive left about publishing these results. Here is what the media won’t report: Looking just at ballots that voted for Haney in the Assembly race, 72 percent voted yes to recall Lopez, and 68 percent voted yes to recall Moliga. That’s within 2 percent of the citywide average, and it’s higher than that in the eastern half of the city! Although not as striking, a little fewer than half of Campos supporters (45 percent) voted yes to recall Lopez, and 43 percent voted yes to recall Moliga. (Votin

What the Mainstream Media Won’t Report About the San Francisco Election

Commentary

This week, San Francisco celebrates the decisive victory of the school board recall, which we predicted in our Feb. 8 column published in The Epoch Times. Many commentators, activists, and establishment politicians believed this election could not possibly be so clear-cut in a city like San Francisco, or had dismissed the recall as a right-wing Republican effort.

The results and the data extracted from it show we were right on the money. This was a well-orchestrated campaign by parents and concerned San Franciscans regarding the quality of public education, without partisan funding. Not only did participants in the recall and donors cross all political lines; the voters did too.

As we go to press, 74 percent voted yes to recall Lopez. Collins was a bit higher, Moliga a bit lower, but by a difference of less than 4 percent. Beyond any doubt, the school board recall was a San Francisco landslide!

On the same ballot, in the eastern half of the city, candidates competed in a primary to fill a vacancy for California Assembly District 17. The district, which encompasses the Mission, Tenderloin, and South of Market neighborhoods, has for 40 years been a wellspring of progressive politicians seeking to climb the political ladder.

The top two vote-getters in the primary were Matt Haney and David Campos—two far-left progressives who are quintessential establishment candidates. Haney is a member of the Board of Supervisors whose district includes the Tenderloin. Campos is vice chair of the California Democratic Party and the “on leave” chief of staff to District Attorney Chesa Boudin. They now move as the only choices in an April general election.

On the issue of the school board recall, Haney and Campos acted in a way that was deeply out of touch with their potential constituents. They opposed the recall of Lopez and Moliga and offered just lukewarm support for the recall of Collins (on the single issue of anti-Asian tweets). On the day before the election, Haney voted with six of his fellow supervisors to put a charter amendment on the June ballot to curtail recalls, which would have prevented the school board recall.

They both should know better. Haney served two terms on the school board, and Campos is the former general counsel to the San Francisco Unified School District. In this election, they could have engaged with the grassroots effort to improve the education and lives of the city’s children.

Instead, they fought with each other over the purity of their progressive credentials, and they ran campaigns centered upon trying to out-left each other with ridiculous, pie-in-the-sky proposals to alter the culture in San Francisco. Haney promoted “safe injection sites,” a wealth tax, navigation centers, single-payer healthcare, and universal basic income. Campos talked Medicare for All, free college, and social justice “success stories” in the DA’s office. They demonstrated a remarkable lack of knowledge about what their constituents really think.

As of this writing, about 20 percent of the votes have not yet been counted. The mainstream media will tell you that Haney and Campos each won about one third of the votes in District 17 and stop right there, without connecting the dots. We will go deeper and ask: What is the relationship between how San Franciscans voted in the Assembly race and how they voted in the school board recall?

Today we will share details that we believe you will not read anywhere else. And it goes to the heart of San Francisco’s broken political culture.

Since November 2019, San Francisco has run its elections on the Dominion Voting Systems platform and has released the “cast vote record” beginning election night. This is a level of voting system transparency to the public unheard of in most of the country. These files contain an encoding of all the votes on each individual ballot card. (The secret ballot is safe and secure; identifying the voter is impossible.)

Larry Marso, one of your columnists, has constructed and fine-tuned since 2019 a Dominion “cast vote record” auditing platform, which has now been applied to six San Francisco elections as well as election audits by state governments, private litigants, political campaigns, and candidates across the country.

It is not clear whether mainstream media is capable, even, of interpreting the ballot-level data released by the San Francisco Department of Elections. Regardless, we suspect there will be little enthusiasm on the progressive left about publishing these results.

Here is what the media won’t report: Looking just at ballots that voted for Haney in the Assembly race, 72 percent voted yes to recall Lopez, and 68 percent voted yes to recall Moliga. That’s within 2 percent of the citywide average, and it’s higher than that in the eastern half of the city! Although not as striking, a little fewer than half of Campos supporters (45 percent) voted yes to recall Lopez, and 43 percent voted yes to recall Moliga. (Voting yes to recall Collins stood at 77 percent and 53 percent for Haney and Campos voters, respectively.)

These results, published here for the first time, reveal just how disconnected these professional politicians are from so many of their own would-be constituents. Both candidates only weakly addressed the issue of Collins’ racist tweets while firmly opposing the recall of the other two members.

Was there an opportunity for a moderate to win this seat, based on a combination of a strong campaign to recall the school board and rejection of the progressive agenda that has proven so destructive to San Francisco and the state? No candidate fit the bill in this primary election.

We are hearing exciting discussion of next steps in the grassroots. San Franciscans are thinking more resolutely about important issues that affect their quality of life. The stunning support for the school board recall among Haney and Campos voters, which we have revealed today, offers just a glimpse of what lies underneath the votes now being reported in the mainstream media.

Something is afoot. We will continue to do our best to help bring the story to light.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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Tony Hall is a former supervisor for San Francisco's District 7. He has held executive and administrative positions positions in seven different City departments in all three branches of government- Executive, Legislative, and Judicial over a 33 year period. He is also a highly regarded vocalist-entertainer in the Bay area.


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Larry Marso is a graduate of Stanford Law School and the Woodrow Wilson School graduate economics program at Princeton University. In New York, he practiced law at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York, worked as an M&A investment banker at Morgan Stanley, and ran financial institutions M&A for UBS Paine Webber. He is Bay Area M&A advisor, technology consultant, and political data analyst.