AD-17 endorsements for April 2022

The runoff election for State Assembly district AD-17, between David Campos and Matt Haney, is underway.  You can vote by mail or in person between now and Election Day, April 19.  The Green Party does not endorse either candidate.

Matt Haney is currently in his first term as Supervisor from District 6, representing the Tenderloin, South of Market, and Treasure Island. He was previously President of the SF School Board, where he set the poorly executed school renaming plan in motion.  In 2018, we awarded him an unenthusiastic endorsement for D6 Supervisor, noting that he "would be far less progressive than his predecessors on the Board" although we expected that he'd be better than his major opponent, a corrupt member of the Planning Commission.

Since being elected to office, Haney has received a great amount of funding and support, and is now fully in bed with, corrupt building trade associations which serve as the muscle for Big Real Estate in the City.  The building trades promote luxury condo housing projects with no concern for the destructive gentrification, skyrocketing rents and homelessness, and environmentally harmful impacts that result from these projects.

The best example of Haney's betrayal of progressive values in favor of the building trades is his abandonment of his own constituents on Treasure Island, who suffer from decades of living amidst illegal toxic and radioactive contamination from the former Navy Base.  When elected, Haney promised to help end the crisis, which is poisoning and killing residents.  Greens and others met with Haney over many months, with the goal of passing local legislation to halt real estate development until the island is decontaminated, and to relocate and provide health care and strong tenant protections to the residents (most of whom are low income and people of color).

Instead, Haney held only one informational hearing in February 2021. Shortly thereafter, he decided to run for the Assembly, and completely broke off ties with community advocates.  Haney has flatly refused to put forward any legislation whatsoever to solve the crisis, even though such legislation would easily pass.

It is clear that once Haney decided to run for the California Assembly, and got major financial and ground support from the pro Big Real Estate building trades, he chose to betray the people living on Treasure Island for his own political gain.

Haney has also stood by and done nothing as Mayor London Breed has executed an all-out war on homeless people in his district.  She has revived a Ronald Reagan-style "tough on crime" drug war in District 6, enforcing draconian 20th century laws against minor drug crimes that should be addressed with health care, not policing.

If Haney is elected to the Assembly, this will create a very grave situation in which 1) pro Big Real Estate mayor Breed would personally appoint Haney's replacement on the Board of Supervisors, and 2) both the San Francisco state Senator (Scott Wiener) and the Assemblymember (in Haney) would likewise be pro Big Real Estate.

David Campos was the District 9 Supervisor for two terms (2008-2016), representing Bernal Heights and the Mission.  He defeated Mark Sanchez, who ran as the Green Party candidate in the 2008 election. Once elected, Campos had a surprisingly good voting record - especially on issues related to immigration and opposing ICE.  However he never seriously attempted to challenge the Democratic Party machine as some prior Supervisors (particularly Gonzalez, Ammiano, and Daly) did.  During his time as a Supervisor (and during his prior tenure on the Police Commission), Campos had a "go along to get along" attitude, and was rewarded with a steady rise up the political ladder, followed by a series of political jobs after he was termed out of office.

Campos has been particularly complacent on issues related to gentrification in the Mission.  One week before Campos took office in 2008, Supervisors unanimously passed the Eastern Neighborhoods plan, which rezoned the Mission and SOMA to enable building more luxury condos.  As Greens predicted at the time, the lack of investment in infrastructure (due to condo developers not being required to pay for it) resulted in current City residents effectively subsidizing the wealthy newcomers while settling for reduced City services.

As the tide of luxury condos swept through the Mission and SOMA, displacing poorer residents and increasing homelessness, Campos opposed a few higher profile developments, while letting others proceed after their developers made concessions to Campos' allies in the nonprofit sector.  Grassroots opposition to condo development was silenced or co-opted by nonprofit-run "coalitions" that excluded residents and met during business hours.  With the rise of the gig economy in recent years, these "Uber-oriented developments" have completely snarled surface traffic and resulted in greatly diminished Muni service.

In 2014, Campos ran for Assembly against David Chiu, and with no Green running, we strongly endorsed him based on his voting record up to that point.  Had Campos won, Mayor Ed Lee would have appointed his replacement (just as Mayor Breed will appoint Haney's replacement should he win this election).  After losing the election, Campos belatedly supported a moratorium on luxury housing in the Mission, and citywide limits to Airbnb, but he was unable to build consensus to implement either of these ideas.  This follows a pattern in which Campos has been unable to wrangle majority support for challenging incumbent power.

The cost of winning a State Assembly election is stunning.  Getting the attention of voters and convincing them to turn out to vote for candidates in a relatively short period of time is expensive.  There must be a better way.

The maximum contribution to candidates for State Assembly is $4,900 per person (including corporations and trusts) and $9,700 for a Small Contributor committee (e.g., political clubs).  Political parties can spend unlimited amounts of money, but neither Campos nor Haney received the CA Democratic Party's endorsement even though Campos was elected as their Vice Chair.

Campos reports more than $700,000 in donations from Persons and Small Contributors.  Haney has received more than $1.1 million.  If you think these numbers are obscene, they don't include independent expenditures which are unlimited.

Haney reports $792,000 in support with NO opposing independent expenditures.  The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 PAC contributed $531,000.  Other labor and health unions contributed $256,000.

Campos reports only $27,000 in 2 supporting independent expenditures - National Union of Healthcare Workers ($25K) and Courage California ($2K). Opposing expenditures: $273,000 has been reported, almost all from the California Association of Realtors.

Full financial data on both candidates can be found here:

Since 2010, when Democrats in the State Legislature joined forces with Governor Schwarzenegger to create a "Top Two" primary system, the Green Party has been shut out of these rigged elections. Prohibitively expensive ballot access fees have made it impossible for most Green candidates to even participate in the primary, and in most cases, the only candidates who make it to the general election do so only by taking massive amounts of corporate money.

Our State legislature has been playing games with voters for years, promising to implement progressive legislation and then making backroom deals to allow bills such as Single Payer Healthcare to die without a vote.  California desperately needs a few Green voices to shine a light on this mess.  Neither Campos nor Haney even comes close to meeting this challenge.