This article first appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on October 11, 2016.
Photo: Gabrielle Lurie, Special To The Chronicle
Scott Wiener, who is running for State Senate posed for a photo with Supervisor David Chiu (center) during Wiener's election party, at Blackbird, in San Francisco, California, on Tuesday, June 7, 2016.
Jane Kim is getting a nice push from Big Soda in the tightly contested race to succeed San Francisco Democrat Mark Leno in the state Senate.
The presence of outside money in the city’s center-stage campaign between a dedicated progressive and the more centrist Scott Wiener is not surprising. Independent expenditures from special interests are flowing for and against both Democrats.
Wiener certainly has his share of monied benefactors, including Airbnb.
Voters are being bombarded with mailers from sources such as the Affordable Housing Alliance (a group heavily funded by the American Beverage Association) with a slate card prominently featuring Kim. Wiener is for a tax on sugar-laden sodas; Kim is against it, a rather curious position for a self-proclaimed progressive.
Wiener’s advocacy of the soda tax — Proposition V on the Nov. 8 ballot — offers a case study of why he earned our endorsement in a race between two capable members of the Board of Supervisors. He did his homework, came down squarely on the side of public health, took on a monied special interest — and stayed with the issue when the going got tough.
Wiener has established himself as a serious, pragmatic legislator at City Hall. As we have noted in our endorsement in the June primary, Wiener took a leadership role in streamlining the cumbersome construction approval process (critical to bringing housing on line), shoring up Muni service and finances, and establishing the nation’s most ambitious parental leave plan.
He is well prepared to make the transition to Sacramento.
The policy differences between the two are relatively few, but they are noteworthy. Kim voted to reinstate Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi after his 2012 conviction in a domestic violence case; she voted against arming police with stun guns as a nonlethal option; she opposed the sweeps of homeless encampments; and her support of onerous development restrictions, such as the moratorium on Mission housing that voters rejected, undercuts her pitch as a champion of affordable housing.
Scott Wiener remains our choice in state Senate District 11.