No Wall on the Waterfront wins big, Chiu prevails in Assembly race by slim margin

Election night wins and losses at the Yes and No on B campaign parties. Pictured here is the Yes on B campaign table.
Photo by Rebecca Bowe

Developers looking to build high-end luxury condos on the waterfront lost big last night. 

Proposition B, backed by a campaign committee known as No Wall on the Waterfront, won handily with a 19 percentage point lead at the polls. 

At the Yes on B campaign party at Sinbad's, former Mayor Art Agnos described the outcome as a win for the people of San Francisco.

"I think this vote is a decisive vote," Agnos said, "that sends a message to City Hall that people in San Francisco want to protect the waterfront.

The ballot measure will require voter approval for waterfront development projects that exceed established building height limits.

Most political experts predicted last night's June primary election would result in record-low turnouts, since Governor Jerry Brown's expected win meant no big-ticket votes on the ballot. The prediction was correct. All told, 22 percent of San Francisco registered voters cast ballots in the June 3 election. And though some provisional ballots and mail-in ballots will be counted over the next few days, the initial counts have Yes on B miles ahead.

At Oddjob, a SoMa cocktail bar, opponents of Prop B backers were in a grim mood on election night.

Patrick Valentino, a No on B spokesperson, said his camp had a "more complex message" to convey. He felt their thesis, arguing luxury condos take pressure off the housing market, wasn't heard by voters.

Meanwhile, in the Assembly race for soon-to-be termed out Tom Ammiano's seat, Board President David Chiu and Sup. David Campos emerged as the first- and second-place primary winners, respectively, setting them up to face off against one another in November as expected.

Chiu prevailed, with 48 percent to Campos' 43 percent, a five percentage point lead. But from the start of the night to the end, Campos was able to close a gap that was initially larger, setting the stage for a close race in November

At his celebration, Chiu told supporters: "It feels good." When early polling results showed Chiu much farther ahead, a finance staffer told the Guardian, "We're surprised by the gap, we expected to be up, but not by this much."

David's father, Han Chiu, said "we are so proud.

But as more results came in, Campos was able to narrow the gap, finally trailing by a margin of about 3,000 votes.

Campos adressed his supporters at Virgil's Sea Room, and as the crowd whooped and hollered, he took note of a few milestones.

Firstly, few progressive campaigns for Assembly had ever raised as much money as his had, which he thanked his staffers for.

And the numbers should make Chiu nervous, Campos said, because fewer voters turn out to the polls in the primaries.

"We've been very clear," he boomed to the bustling crowd. "If Chiu doesn't win by double digits [in June], we win in November."

Reed Nelson contributed to this report.

Bay Guardian News Editor Rebecca Bowe, Staff Writer Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez and freelancer Reed Nelson live-tweeted campaign parties throughout last night. Check out their tweets in a curated timeline, below.


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Posted by hay day cheats on Jul. 31, 2014 @ 4:26 am

I never heard Campos say anything like that until after he lost.

Good luck with that spin. And good luck with your fundraising between now and November.

and really? 22% of SF voted? That is just plain pathetic. I guess we deserve the government we have, after all.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 04, 2014 @ 12:58 pm

election wasn't high enough for a mandate, and yet here a much smaller win for Prop B is a great victory for the people?


Posted by Guest on Jun. 04, 2014 @ 1:06 pm

Prop B's win this time comports with last election's Prop B margin.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 04, 2014 @ 6:41 pm

but Prop B winning on the same turnout is a mandate from the people?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 04, 2014 @ 7:02 pm

Dude...any electoral victory for a progressive cause is a powerful statement of the true sentiment of the electorate.

Any defeat is meaningless unless turnout was 95% and no campaigning was done by the other side and the margin of defeat is in double digits.

Get with the program.

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Posted by grüner kaffee kaufen on Aug. 04, 2014 @ 3:37 pm

I wouldn' call call 5% points a slim margin, especially when the 8 percentage points of Republican vote will overwhelmingly go to Chiu in November.

The problem with progressives are that they can't hear or see outside of their own bubble to their own peril, so they continually bask in the "glory" of distant 2nd place finishes like Ammiano or Avalos instead of realizing why they didn't win.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 04, 2014 @ 4:20 pm

Throw in another 10% for the GOP votes that go to Chiu and it's a landslide.

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primaries are old people and true believers.

With more voters Campos drops away.

This is a victory for top two.

In a purely democrat primary Campos wins and faces a republican, with a greater cross section of voters the person with a greater appeal to the voters wins. Chiu.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 04, 2014 @ 4:26 pm

Campos vs Chiu is like Avalos vs Lee. Lost.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 04, 2014 @ 5:20 pm

From the Examiner:

"Chiu raised $920,884 for his campaign, nearly two times as much as Campos, who raised $475,000. Chiu spent $490,000, leaving $430,884 in his account, while Campos has $25,000 to $30,000 left."

Campos spent almost the same amount of money and has nothing left to show except a 5% loss. I'd like to hear how Campos is also going to win over the 8% of voters who chose the GOP candidate. The denial and spin is amazing to watch. Greg or Lilli or other angry, bitter, far lefties (you ARE NOT progressive), please do your best Tim Redmond impression and tell us how this loss is actually a victory for Campos.

Whoever donates hard-earned money or time to Campos at this point must be completely delusional or have nothing better to spend their time on. Campos supporters are really grasping for straws right now. He's just not that good of a candidate. He's good at rallying protests, and has an interesting childhood story, but that's it. Nobody likes dealing with him, he's completely ineffective.

By the spending 95%(!!!!) of his money, you know Campos went all in and lost. Significantly.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 04, 2014 @ 4:51 pm

Campos is holed up in the Mission, too scared to interact with anyone except his narrow constituency

Posted by Guest on Jun. 04, 2014 @ 5:22 pm

I'm watching this from afar, being out of town during the festivities, but it's still fascinating to see the spin. Naturally the Chiubots are spinning this as a victory for their side because Chiu came in first, while progressives like Tim Redmond are spinning this as a Campos victory because of turnout and the fact that he closed the gap big time.

Yes, it's true that Chiu came in first, and yes it's true that most of the Republican vote will go to Chiu. Chiu won about a 10 point victory. But the key point the Chiubots don't want to talk about is that the electorate is going to look very different in November, and it's going to be much more progressive. It's been that way forever. The June electorate has always been more conservative, and much more so. If Chiu is ahead 10 points among the June electorate, I'd be very worried for November if I were Chiu.

The other takeaway is that the Mirkarimi attacks didn't work, and maybe backfired. Chiu started out with a 12 point lead among voters who picked either Chiu or Campos, and wound up 5 points ahead among those same voters after the Mirkarimi attacks. Additionally, the electorate that got hit hard in the last week with those Mirk mailers, broke heavily for Campos.

None of this is good news for Chiu. He didn't break 50% even among the very conservative June primary voters, and the Mirkarimi attacks are all he has. He shot his wad and it didn't do him much good. Meanwhile Campos is talking about things that matter for people's lives -evictions and inequality, and it seems to be resonating.

I think that going forward, Campos looks strong for November. But hey, if the Chiubots want to break out the champagne and celebrate their victory, and think that Mirkarimi is the key to victory in November, then hey, more power to ya!


And yes, the 20 point victory for prop B is a mandate. The facile logic of calling out progressives on some sort of trumped up hypocrisy sounds good on the surface, but it falls apart on any closer look. First of all, the victory was overwhelming, unlike the squeaker in the AD17 race. Any San Francisco electorate would have voted Yes. And again, the June electorate is very conservative. A November vote would have likely been even more overwhelming. But again, if the trolls think progressives are out of touch on this issue, they should put their money where their mouth is and try and see how far they'll get reversing the vote with a November ballot initiative. I think the conservative trolls know very well that the people will now always have a voice in the planning process.


Lastly, I just want to say what a disaster the jungle primary is. We may have a Republican State Controller even though the vast majority prefers Democrats. Republicans got only 46% of the vote for Controller even in June, but as of right now it looks like the much more progressive, and much more representative, November electorate may have no choice except to vote for one of two Repugs. Wow. This is one of the worst, most undemocratic voting systems ever imagined.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 06, 2014 @ 6:30 am

Again Greg, true believers turn out for primaries. Campos has shot his election load all over your face.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2014 @ 8:04 am

>"The June electorate has always been more conservative, and much more so."

It always cracks me up when Progressives make stuff up like that.

And why do you think that fabricating stories will somehow help your cause?

The official website has results going back to 1995. In the past 19 years there have been a grand total of 6 June elections.

In June 2012 Ammiano and Leno coasted with 80%+. Michael Breyer, son of a SCOTUS Justice, supported by DiFi and vilified by Tim Redmond, lost to Phil Ting.

In June 2010 there were no contested city races.

In June 2008 Leno beats Carol Migden 56% to 32%. Sandoval is elected Judge.

In June 2006 Leeland Yee and Fiona Ma win the only contested local races.

In 1998 Doris Ward is elected Assessor in the only contested city race.

In June 1997 there were only propositions, no candidates.

Let me predict your response -- that I cherry picked. But I listed every June election going back to 1997. And you can't provide any concrete examples because you find it easier to make blanket fabrications.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2014 @ 8:11 am

Idiot. Primary elections are held every even numbered year. For most of California history, primary elections have been held in June. But during the rise of Super Tuesday in the 1990s, primary elections had been moved up earlier in the year so as to give California a greater say in presidential presidential nominating process.

Your sample set is incomplete.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 06, 2014 @ 8:49 am

except for 1997 which had no election.

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Posted by Information about Britain on Jul. 30, 2014 @ 7:47 pm

Here ya go, Marcos:

Please write to them and inform them that their listing of elections doesn't conform to your fantasy world.

I know that it will take more work than calling me an idiot, but you're never going to get anywhere unless you start embracing this reality thing.

Cause right now, frankly, you don't seem very bright.

Not at all.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2014 @ 10:01 am

But clearly your idiocy has won.

March 26, 1996 Consolidated Presidential Primary Election
March 7, 2000 Consolidated Presidential Primary Election
March 5, 2002 Consolidated Primary Election
March 2, 2004 Consolidated Primary Election
February 5, 2008 Consolidated Presidential Primary

Posted by marcos on Jun. 06, 2014 @ 10:33 am

the debate.

That is, the "we've given you a chance to conquer your idiocy".

Translation: "I've lost the debate on the facts but will pretend that I've won it".

And he wonders why he was a political failure.

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Posted by Get the United Kingdom facts on Wikipedia on Jul. 30, 2014 @ 8:43 pm

Um...marcos....those are in March. Except one that is in February. Progressives have been railing against the conservative June turnout.

There is also nothing, even in those March elections, which supports the Progressive fairy tale about more conservative turnouts.

Do you notice a trend here? You keep calling me an idiot and I keep providing real data showing that you are making no sense whatsoever.

Perhaps you should give up and try again some other day. Go eat a sandwich or something.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2014 @ 10:51 am

The issue is that primary election electorates are in general more conservative than general election electorates.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 06, 2014 @ 11:03 am

It's not anyone else's fault if you cannot get the vote out. And the purpose of an election system is not to get you the result you personally prefer.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2014 @ 11:17 am

Don't deny the historically observed patterns throughout the election cycle.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 06, 2014 @ 11:40 am

lose them. And yet claim a mandate when they win them.

Dump your excuses. When you lose, you lose.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2014 @ 11:49 am

Voters always hate developer corruption. Prop B won in an off-year election in 2013 and the next Prop B won again in June, an off-election as well.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 06, 2014 @ 12:25 pm


Either way, in a large-turnout election the voters overwhelmingly elected the pro-development Ed Lee. And now condo towers are going up all over town.

You won? Really?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2014 @ 12:53 pm

If a conservative electorate rejects development then a less conservative electorate would reject development even more.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 06, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

because 90% of the voters didn't vote for B.

There is development going on and up all over the city. The people like it.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2014 @ 1:54 pm

Primary and off-year electorates are in general more conservative than major elections. Chiu should be worried and the progressive measures slated for November can only help Campos.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 06, 2014 @ 2:07 pm

from Salaverry.

And people will back off from Campos in a real election because he is scary.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2014 @ 2:41 pm



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