Wednesday, May 25, 2011

WSJ Omits Dufty:
SF's Mayor's Race & Gays

Out gay politician Bevan Dufty, when he was still on the Board of Supervisors, was the first big-name candidate to toss his chapeau into the race for the 2011 San Francisco mayoral election and his nascent mayoral effort is not generating much traction.

He's not regained any serious degree of trust he once enjoyed among moderates and independents, trust that evaporated when he betrayed the progressive community with his back room deal with Willie Brown and Rose Pak that produced interim mayor Ed Lee over Mike Hennessy.

Bevan's snatched an endorsement from the Democratic Party's affiliated organization Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, and he's proved very capable at raising funds and securing matching public election funds from the municipal coffers, but there is definitely an absence of enthusiasm among many sectors of the electorate for him.

The political gay community, never a monolith around these parts, has not gravitated to endorse Bevan and in recent weeks Dennis Herrera received a hearty endorsement from and gorgeous photo-op with Phyllis Lyon, while Scott Wiener, Chad Griffin and Dustin Lance Black have come out fully for Herrara. Guess those A-gays are not under the influence of the Victory Fund in this race.

From the WSJ:

When Gavin Newsom stood behind a lectern at San Francisco City Hall in May 2008 to celebrate the city's victory in a gay-marriage lawsuit, the mayor flung his arms wide, flashed his signature grin and proclaimed to a jubilant crowd that same-sex marriage was "going to happen, whether you like it or not!"

Behind his shoulder stood Dennis Herrera, the little-known city attorney responsible for the legal strategy. Today, that man is considered one of the front-runners for the office Mr. Newsom vacated last year to become lieutenant governor.

Mr. Herrera's rise to prominence over the past three years underscores the importance of the gay-marriage battle to the city's identity. In 2007, Mr. Newsom's gay-rights advocacy helped him win re-election by a landslide. Mr. Herrera, 48 years old, is expected to benefit in his mayoral bid from his gay-rights work while also winning votes from moderates for obtaining injunctions against gangs. ...

The interim mayor, Edwin Lee, and Mr. Herrera's other top rivals, Michela Alioto-Pier, David Chiu and Leland Yee, also are seen as quieter figures than the other recent mayors.

It's debatable if Alioto-Pier is a top dog in the 2011 race, but that aside, it's worth noting Bevan's omission from the list. The entire article excludes his name. How can this major newspaper write about San Francisco's mayoral campaign, and fail to say the mini-major gay candidate's name once? 

The candidate reaping positive national media attention for his gay advocacy, along with a few marquee endorsements and bigger bucks from gay donors is Herrera, a straight dude. Not good signs for Bevan, but a damn healthy development in an only-in-San Francisco way that the best mayoral wannabe for the gays is seen by many to not be the gay politician.

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