After the 2018 CA CD 12 campaign in which three candidates running to Nancy Pelosi’s left combined to spend $226,869, only to all lose to a Republican who made the runoff with a mere 9.08 percent of the vote, I vowed that – much as I wanted to make the race – I would do my best to avoid participating in a repeat of that fiasco.
This led to two decisions. In order to avoid having the left once again divide its vote and let a Republican into the final, I have proposed the development of a “progressive primary,” meaning a process by which all on the San Francisco left who have an interest in this race might find a way to unite behind a single candidate. I am eager to make the runoff to argue the agenda of the “Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party” against the corporate-oriented establishment politics of Nancy Pelosi and I consider myself highly qualified to run that race. But I recognize that other candidates and their supporters feel much the same, and the outcome I most wish to avoid is a Republican sneaking through again due to a divided left. Hence I have suggested a process that could conceivably result in my withdrawal from the race. (More on this on the page “A Progressive Primary for San Francisco?”)
The second decision was about how to run my campaign. After witnessing the large, futile expenditures of the last race – made with funds that might better have gone to more fruitful efforts – it seems to me that an immediate plunge into maximal fundraising and spending is exactly the wrong thing to do. So I have decided that for this initial period – when the race is primarily being contested by candidates of the left – I will accept no contributions greater than $200. This means that this stage of the campaign will operate on an all volunteer basis. Naturally I would prefer that other candidates in the race would likewise limit their spending until the point when it will actually go toward our real purpose – the race against Pelosi. But I can’t control that. Therefore, even though this funding decision places this campaign at an obvious disadvantage, it still seems by far the preferable course.
I hope that, if you agree that this is the right way to proceed, you will consider helping the effort.