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Progressing Progressive

Oct
29
2003

Well, it looks as though Matt Gonzalez was right.
He is, indeed, the mayoral candidate of the Left. A poll done over the past week or so shows Gonzalez winning the Lefty Primary coming in second to Newsom with 19% of those polled, beating Tom Ammiano (about 14%) by a hefty 5 point margin. Angela Alioto is third with around 11% of those polled followed by Susan Leal (6%) and Tony Ribera (2%). The Chron has different numbers but the same result: Gonzalez has picked up votes in the past few days.
SFGate’s left-of-center on-line readership seems to agree. What’s interesting — or, if you’re a Newsom supporter, worrisome — is that Gonzalez has leapt ahead of his entrenched competitors in a very short time. Remember, he entered the race at the last minute.
“That’s about the worst news for the Newsom campaign,” said one long-time Newsom supporter who was told of the poll results when he got a call asking for a donation.
What’s the attraction? After all, isn’t Supervisor Chris Daly’s guerrilla PUC appointment a good example of how machine-like the anti-machine Left has gotten? And isn’t Gonzalez the leader of that little cabal? He is and it is. But voters aren’t seeing it that way, says the Newsom supporter. In part, because no one on the board — save Supervisor Tony Hall — is kicking up a fuss about Daly’s tactics.
So the lefties are getting a free pass from their more conservative colleagues. On top of that, Gonzalez, the Green Party candidate and president of the Board of Supes, does well in the debates. And he’s not tarred with the socialite/insider/downtown business community connection that haunts Newsom. “People are sick of cronyism in City Hall,” the Newsom supporter said. That translates into support for Gonzalez who has set himself, at least rhetorically, apart from the city’s mainstream politics.
“The press is saying he’s uncorruptible,” the Newsom supporter said of Gonzalez. “They’re not saying he’s the son of a some millionaire‚Ķ”

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