A recent article in San Diego's excellent online newspaper Voice of San Diego* recently had an article quoting local consultant Jennifer Tierney as saying that whoever wins in the San Diego City Council in District 4 will be bought. Forgive me, but I had a few thoughts.
I think its half right. If you recall from my earlier post about the background of this race, there are two candidates in the race - Dwayne Crenshaw and Myrtle Cole. Dwayne Crenshaw, again, is a good friend of mine. Myrtle Cole is a former police officer for the local community college board, former campaign manager for Tony Young (the outgoing City Councilman for the area), and works for one of the labor unions. Both Dwayne and Cole are Democrats with a long history in the Democratic Party. And both are being backed by large independent expenditures - Cole is backed by the San Diego Labor Council (our local AFL-CIO affliate), and Dwayne is being backed by Republican groups such as the Lincoln Club.
But here's the thing - Dwayne isn't a Republican. He's never been a Republican, and as an African American gay man, he probably never will be. Not only that, but he is the Executive Director (on leave) of San Diego Pride, and works with the Innocence Project to get the wrongfully convicted out of prison. When he ran for Assembly in 2000, NARAL and Planned Parenthood overwhelmingly endorsed him, and sent volunteers to work on the campaign. This is not someone who is exactly close with the ultra conservative Lincoln Club. And noticeably he has not accepted any campaign dollars from any conservative or Republican group.
Cole, on the other hand, is completely beholden to the Labor Council. As she admits in the article, it was the Labor Council's spending (more than all the other candidates in the race combined) that pulled her into the run-off. Her donations come as a result of the Labor Council's backing. The Democratic endorsements come as a result of the Labor Council's backing. In the meantime, she has little support by the intelligentsia of the District. So much so that five of the seven candidates in the primary have endorsed Dwayne.** She could never even think of going against the Labor Council's wishes, even if those wishes are contrary to the needs of her folks in District 4. Without Labor's support, her base of power completely drops out, and everyone knows this.
Again, the Lincoln Club isn't getting this with Dwayne at all. He doesn't support their issues, or their philosophies of governance. So why is the Lincoln Club supporting Dwayne? For one reason, and one reason only - to fuck with Labor. They can see that Cole is a weaker candidate, and are moving in for the kill. Thus, the District 4 seat is half bought.
*I really need to buy a membership and support of Voice of San Diego. If you live in San Diego, you should too.
**As Liam Dillon pointed out in a Tweet, of the seven primary candidates besides Dwayne and Cole, five have endorsed Dwayne, one has endorsed Cole, and one has not made an endorsement. My apologies for the error, and like I said, those guys at Voice of San Diego are really thorough. They deserve your money.