Green Revolution on the Golden Gate

Total Recall: Schwarzenegger Wins Gubernatorial Election Over Bustamante and McClintock
October 8, 2003

SACRAMENTO, CA - The votes have been counted, and Gray Davis will be out of the governor’s mansion by the end of the year. In his place will be actor turned politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, who charged to the front of a packed crowd of over one hundred candidates in an election that brought out some of the strangest candidates in the state’s history. On Tuesday, California voted to recall governor Gray Davis by a margin of 55.4% in favor and 44.6% against, making the second time in United States history that a state governor has been recalled. In the second question on the ballot, nearly half of the 8.6 million ballots cast chose leading Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger to replace governor Davis. Democratic candidate and lieutenant governor Cruz Bustamante came in second with 31.5%, while another Republican, state senator Tom McClintock, came in third with 13.4%. Green Party candidate Peter Camejo was the only other candidate to top one percent.

Peter Camejo, who received over five percent of the vote when he ran on the Green Party line for governor last year, received a respectable 2.95% and over 250,000 votes. Camejo was the only candidate in the recall election to visit Humboldt County during the campaign, making several campaign stops in the county in September. It is no surprise, then, to hear that Humboldt County was the most favorable county for the Green Party candidate. Camejo received over 4,000 votes in Humboldt County, garnering 8.86% of the county’s 45,281 total votes. Peter Camejo actually finished third here ahead of McClintock, making Humboldt and San Francisco counties the only counties where Camejo finished third[1]. Humboldt County, along with Mendocino County, have the most registered Greens per capita of any United States county.


The Upset of Upsets!
December 10, 2003

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - The city of San Francisco is often known for being on the leftiest of the left in American politics, but not even Bay Area pundits expected the outcome of the San Francisco mayoral election yesterday. For Democratic nominee Gavin Newsom, the election should have been a foregone conclusion. Newsom’s 41.92% of the vote in last month’s first round of the election was over double that of Matt Gonzalez, the Green Party candidate who surprised seasoned politicians by even making it to the runoff. In one of the greatest political upsets of recent history - and this is coming from a state that elected Arnold Schwarzenegger governor last month - Matt Gonzalez defeated Gavin Newsom in the runoff election with 51.3% of the vote[2].

Against Gonzalez, Newsom had the full backing of the Democratic Party. Newsom was a protege of retiring mayor Willie Brown, and had prestigious names in the Democratic Party from Senator Diane Feinstein and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to Bill Clinton and Al Gore making campaign appearances for the Democratic candidate. Along with the backing of prominent Democrats, Newsom also had a massive financial advantage going into the election. The candidate spent over $4 million on his mayoral campaign compared to Gonzalez’s $400,000. Everything appeared to be in Gavin Newsom’s favor going into election day.

Except, this backing may in fact be what drove San Franciscans to reject Newsom in favor of Matt Gonzalez. Newsom’s entrepreneurial experience and slick appearance combined with the county board member positioning himself as the moderate of the race may have alienated enough of the city’s more progressive voters Gavin Newsom was appointed to his position on the county board of supervisors in 1997 by mayor Willie Brown. In contrast, Matt Gonzalez won election to the board of supervisors in 2000 after switching his party affiliation to the Greens as a direct statement against the “Brown machine” and corruption in San Francisco.

Unlike Newsom, Matt Gonzalez embodies the left wing ideology San Francisco has gained a reputation for. After earning his law degree at Stanford University, Gonzalez was a public defender in San Francisco for nearly a decade before running for the board of supervisors in 2000. Now 38, Gonzalez does not own a house or a car. Instead, he rents an apartment in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, the home of hippie culture in San Francisco. This is certainly a stark difference in image to Newsom’s house in the affluent Pacific Heights, one that was apparently not lost on voters in San Francisco yesterday.

This image of Matt Gonzalez and his bucking of traditional political affiliations struck a chord with younger, more apathetic voters in San Francisco. Many of Gonzalez’s most vocal campaigners were students and those in their 20s and 30s who felt disenfranchised by the current crop of Democrats in power locally and statewide. To them, Matt Gonzalez was a breath of fresh air, a “real progressive” untainted by the corruption of traditional politics. Gonzalez rode this wave in his first election to the board of supervisors in 2000 when he defended attacks by Democratic opponent Juanita Owens on the Green Party’s spoiler effect with Ralph Nader in the 2000 presidential election. Now, Gonzalez rides that discontent and urge for something different to the most important office a Green Party member has ever been elected to. “This really is a victory for progressive ideas,” Gonzalez strategist Ross Mirkarimi said following Gonzalez’s victory. “We have shown that you can run a strong, effective campaign outside of the two mainstream parties.”

With Matt Gonzalez set to take office as the city’s 42nd mayor on January 8, 2004, the focus turns to the future. The question now not whether Gonzalez can succeed in his new position. He has proved his capability in city management in his role as president of the board of supervisors for the past year, even receiving support from the board’s lone conservative Anthony Hall. The real question going forward is can his success be reproduced elsewhere. The ridicule of the Green Party as an unelectable idealist party no longer applies. With Arnold Schwarzenegger in the governor’s mansion and now Gonzalez potentially leading the Green Party to new heights, the Democratic Party establishment in California could find itself in trouble as it is flanked on both right and left.


Mayor Gonzalez Appoints Ross Mirkarimi As Board Supervisor Replacement
January 12, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Mayor Matt Gonzalez was sworn in to succeed outgoing mayor Willie Brown just four days ago, but he is already facing unjust attacks by the Democratic establishment for one of his first actions as mayor. As Gonzalez took office, one of his immediate responsibilities was to appoint a replacement to fill his seat in the Board of Supervisors. Gonzalez appointed environmental activist and former investigator Ross Mirkarimi. While many applauded the decision to appoint Mirkarimi to the District 5 seat, many Democratic officials criticized the appointment, citing Mirkarimi’s position as campaign spokesman and strategist for Matt Gonzalez’s mayoral campaign[3].

Much of the criticism of Matt Gonzalez’s appointment revolves around the lead role Mirkarimi played in Gonzalez’s election as mayor. State Assemblyman Leland Yee, who served alongside Gonzalez in the San Francisco board of supervisors from 2000 to his election to the Assembly in 2002, was quoted as saying “Gonzalez’s selection has an air of typical local corruption: to the victor and the victor’s friends go the spoils.” Others have commented that for a candidate who ran on a platform of moving away from the corruption of former mayor Willie Brown and for cleaner government, mayor Gonzalez is not making a good show of any shift in attitude in the mayor’s office.

However, mayor Gonzalez has balked at the accusations of corruption in his decision, calling them “baseless, hypocritical, and borderline slander.” In a defense of his choice of Mirkarimi, Gonzalez touted Mirkarimi’s record. “Ross Mirkarimi has one of the most extensive records in solving the issues this city faces that I have seen, from working with District Attorney [Terence] Hallinan to his strong fights for many issues supported by the members of the 5th district. I have utmost confidence in Ross to serve the voters of the 5th district well.” Though the board of supervisors is officially non-partisan, Mirkarimi, like mayor Gonzalez, is a member of the Green Party, which may have factored into the appointment. While defending his decision, mayor Gonzalez joked that with a field such as Green Party members, finding sufficiently experienced candidates could be difficult, encouraging “a wider field of candidates in the future” to select from.

Ross Mirkarimi has said he looks forward to working with his colleagues on the board of supervisors. He enters office already looking forward to another election campaign, as the district 5 seat will be up for election in November of this year. With Mirkarimi’s experience and the support of mayor Gonzalez, however, it is difficult to imagine Mirkarimi struggling for election to a full term.


[1] In OTL Peter Camejo received 242,247 votes in the recall election. He did in fact come third in San Francisco with 6.33% to McClintock's 5.80%, and came close to third in Humboldt County at 7.21% to McClintock's 8.82%. Also, Camejo did in fact visit Humboldt County during the campaign.
[2] The OTL results for the San Fran mayoral runoff were Newsom 52.81%, Gonzalez 47.13%.
[3] Ross Mirkarimi would also go on to succeed Matt Gonzalez as the District 5 supervisor in OTL, being elected after Gonzalez declined to run for reelection in 2004. Mirkarimi later returned to the Democrats in 2010
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So this is an idea I've had for a while of Matt Gonzalez winning the 2003 San Francisco mayoral election. I originally had the thought of doing this as a TLIAW but the research I was putting into it and with my writing style it was better to extend it more fully. There is no single POD. It's more of a general better campaign by the Greens and Gonzalez in 2003, which is why it begins with Camejo doing roughly 10,000 votes better in the recall election. I'm aiming to focus on California and the Greens but will mention other areas if it's relevant.

Hope you enjoy this everyone!
As a former Green myself, I am definitely subscribed to this. And I will be following it.
Unusual POD. This deserves my attention.
Looks interesting. Subbed.
Thanks! I'm wondering if either footnotes to reference differences from OTL since some will be pretty minor or adding pictures of mentioned people would improve the TL. I like footnotes but I feel like they might not flow as well with the news article format. With pictures I might not be able to find ones for some of the people featured.

Let me know what you think, feedback is always appreciated. :)
I added a few footnotes. I'll add some pictures to the update when I get home tonight. The next update will be up tomorrow.
Ralph Nader Won’t Run for Green Party Nomination in 2004
December 23, 2003

WASHINGTON, DC - Ralph Nader announced today that he will not run for the Green Party nomination for president in 2004. The former presidential candidate, who received the Green Party nod in both 1996 and 2000, will not seek the backing of the party in the 2004 election. However, Nader has not ruled out the possibility of running as an independent candidate.

The announcement came as a surprise to many Green Party officials, including national co-chair and party spokesman Ben Manski. Manski told us that he was saddened that Nader had discounted a bid for the Green nomination, stating that if he did run he was likely to receive the nomination from the party yet again. Support is still strong for Ralph Nader among the Green Party, who have sought to rebut allegations of playing spoiler in the 2000 election. The close races in Florida and New Hampshire, which ultimately went for President Bush, have sparked ire against the party and against Nader. Many Democrats accuse Nader and the Greens of handing the election to the Republicans as Nader’s votes going to Gore would have tipped both Florida and New Hampshire into the Democratic column. Nader himself sought to dispel this notion in his announcement, remarking that “the voters in question looked at all possible options and chose the candidate they felt most matched their views. The Democratic Party is seeking a scapegoat, when they should be looking inward. Al Gore lost his own home state. He lost Bill Clinton’s home state. If there’s anyone the Democrats should blame for electing George W. Bush president, it should be Al Gore.”

Nader’s decline of the Green Party nomination sparks new questions on the future of the Green Party and looks as if it will highlight divisions within the party that emerged in the national party meeting in July.. While many within the Green Party wish to run a strong national candidacy for President in the upcoming election, there appears to be a significant wing of the Green Party that believes the priority on the national stage should be ousting Bush. This wing is divided among those who seek to run a candidate for president but only run in safe Democratic states so as not to jeopardize the Democratic nominee’s chances of victory. On a more extreme level, there are also those who want to forego running a presidential ticket in 2004 altogether and have the Green Party throw its weight behind whoever the Democrats end up running. With Ralph Nader now out of the picture, these divisions will likely come to the forefront in the coming months as the Green Party seeks a new direction for its future.


Green Party Activist Peter Camejo Issues ‘Avocado Declaration’ as Party Mulls 2004 Run
January 3, 2004

“The Green Party is at a crossroads.” So says Peter Camejo, a longtime Green Party activist in his recent publication The Avocado Declaration[1]. With the recent victory for the Green Party in the election of Matt Gonzalez as mayor of San Francisco, Camejo says that the party has reached a decisive point in its history. The 2000 election and now the election of Gonzalez in San Francisco has shown the Green Party is too large for the two party system of the country to ignore, says Camejo. Camejo claims Ralph Nader’s performance in the 2000 election was the largest outpouring for a progressive, leftist party by the American public in recent memory and that the Green Party would do well to capitalize on that success and in fact has an obligation to oppose the two party system that dominates the politics of the United States at present.

Much of Camejo’s Avocado Declaration looks ahead to the decision facing the Green Party as the country moves toward the 2004 presidential election. Do the Greens continue to run an independent candidate and risk further ire from the mainstream American left if the election is a repeat of 2000 and the Greens effectively hand George W. Bush reelection? Or do they declare the priority of the moment defeating the incumbent president and throw the weight of the party behind the Democratic nominee by not running a candidate in the presidential election? This is the dilemma facing the Green Party at the moment. Indeed, the Democratic Party has already begun its efforts to sideline the Green Party in 2004 with its shouts of spoiler, and has potentially discouraged a run by Ralph Nader altogether if his decline to seek the Green nomination is anything to go by.

To those who argue this way and say that the Green Party’s number one goal should be the defeat of Bush this year at the cost of building the party, Peter Camejo makes a comparison to an avocado. “Green on the outside, Green on the inside” goes the saying[2]. The Green Party cannot throw away the success garnered from Nader’s run in 2000 and Gonzalez’s historic victory. With the Avocado Declaration, Camejo calls for more people to turn to the Green Party as full party members to send a message to the duopoly and to the American people that there is another option. Camejo calls on progressive Democrats to switch affiliation to the Greens and build the party, that they have an obligation to run a candidate in 2004 to demonstrate that an alternative does exist. Perhaps with this message, the Greens can build upon the success of San Francisco to spread their ideology outside the Bay Area. For Camejo at least, it is an imperative; the crux of his message to the Green Party is that democracy requires more than lesser evil choice making, and that the Greens can be the forefront of a shift away toward giving Americans a real choice in how they are governed.


Ralph Nader Announces Independent Run, Seeks Green, Reform Endorsements
February 23, 2004

WASHINGTON, DC - Ralph Nader has announced he will make yet another run for president. However, this time Nader will not be running for the nomination of the Green Party as he did in 1996 and 2000. This year, the two time presidential candidate will be running as an independent.

In an interview following his announcement, Ralph Nader stated his reasoning for running as an independent was down to campaign strategizing, as well as an attempt to broaden his base of support. Nader complained that his past runs for president were constrained by the affiliation with the Green Party only, and that moving beyond the party label could attract a larger base of support for Nader as he seeks the nation’s highest office for a third time. However, Nader has made clear that he is not eschewing third parties entirely in his 2004 bid. “My number one priority is still to break the corporate party duopoly that runs this country. We must give Americans another choice.”

The Democratic Party reacted with disdain for Ralph Nader’s campaign announcement. In a statement to CNN, Democratic Party Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe called Nader’s run “unfortunate” and reiterated the need for Americans to come together and “end the disastrous policies of George W. Bush.” However, McAuliffe also dismissed Nader’s campaign in the statement. “Ralph Nader has turned his back on the Green Party, and that is a benefit to us. Many Green Party activists have been flocking to our organization because they recognize the need to unite around the Democratic nominee and defeat President Bush in November.” For his part, Republican Chairman Ed Gillespie also dismissed Nader’s announcement and remained confident that President Bush would win reelection with or without a Nader candidacy.

While Ralph Nader maintained his run is independent of party, the consumer advocate said he will still seek the endorsement of the Reform Party and the Green Party in his bid for the presidency. Nader already received the endorsement of the Reform Party last year, which could help boost the candidate’s ballot access. The Reform Party endorsement has already earned Nader ballot lines in a few states including Colorado, Kansas, and Florida[3]. The Green Party endorsement could give Nader a large boost in his candidacy and questions of Nader’s reasoning for running for the party’s “endorsement” rather than its official nomination have already begun circulating.

It has also started to cause divisions within the national Green Party as the party’s nominating convention in June draws closer. The debate over whether to nominate a presidential candidate or not, and what to do in the case of declining to nominate anybody, has enhanced divisions within the party over the priority of the 2004 cycle and the future of the party as a whole. Some Nader supporters, including California activist Peter Camejo, support an official endorsement of Nader at the convention. However, many members of the Green Party including David Cobb of Texas, who is seeking the party’s nomination, called Nader’s announcement a betrayal of the Green Party. IN a statement on the Green Party’s website shortly after Nader’s announcement, Cobb called for supporters of the Green Party in 2000 to support him rather than Nader and claimed that an official candidate for president would be the best way to build up the party at all levels of politics. The contest for the Green Party nomination - if there is to be a nominee - will test the strength of the nascent party in Milwaukee in June when the national convention meets.

For now, however, the wheels have begun turning on the Ralph Nader train once again. It will undoubtedly be a different affair to that of 1996 or 2000, and whether Nader can keep his level of support is very tenuous. In his announcement, Nader stated he would campaign using “novel tactics,” possibly referring to a use of the internet as a grassroots organization for his insurgent campaign. However, the focus will surely remain on the Democratic Party’s nomination contest as frontrunner John Kerry seems to be steadily progressing toward the nomination as we near the Super Tuesday contests on the 2nd of March.


California Greens Nominate Strong Slate of Candidates, Will Challenge Boxer for Senate
March 3, 2004

SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Green Party has built off its success in the 2003 San Francisco mayoral election to nominate a strong slate of candidates for California’s November elections this year at that state party’s nominating convention. In the presidential primary, which has seen much debate within the party over the decision to endorse any candidate, state activist and perennial gubernatorial candidate Peter Camejo received a resounding amount of support by the California delegates. Camejo came in a strong first place in the state primary with over four fifths of the vote, and will have the support of 107 of California’s 132 delegates to the Green National Convention in Milwaukee. Lorna Salzman, a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, came in second and won 14 delegates. Former Green Party legal counsel David Cobb received 11 delegates, while one delegate will be uncommitted at the convention[4].

In addition to the presidential primary vote, the Green Party nominated a record number of candidates for statewide and federal office in California. After a debate earlier in the year over whether the party should nominate a candidate for United States Senate, the Green Party of California unanimously nominated Kent Mesplay of San Diego to run against incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer in November. The Senate nomination was to be contested between Mesplay and former United States Representative Dan Hamburg, but Hamburg withdrew from the race last month[5].

In other races, the Green Party will field 12 candidates for the United States House of Representatives in California, two candidates for the California State Senate, and six candidates for the California State Assembly. Among these races, there were several that were contested by multiple candidates. Pat Gray defeated Barry Hermanson for the nomination for the 12th US House district, challenging Tom Lantos. Pamela Elizondo narrowly beat out Bill Meyers for the nomination in the 1st US House district. This North Coast district is favorable territory for the Green Party, as it includes Mendocino and Humboldt County. Additionally, former Pasadena mayor Bill Paparian defeated Philip Koebel for the nomination for the 29th US House district against Adam Schiff. Another notable nomination for the United States House was that of Terry Baum for the 8th district, where she will challenge House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi[6].

In state races, there are two important races that the Green Party is keeping watch on. The first is in the 15th State Senate district, where Green Party candidate Brook Madsen will challenge Republican Assemblyman Abel Maldonado and Democratic candidate Peg Pinard for the open State Senate seat. With the southern California district evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, Madsen’s run could make a difference in the outcome of the November result. The second important race is in the 12th State Assembly district, where the Green Party has nominated a candidate against incumbent Democrat Leland Yee. Yee, a leading Democratic critic of San Francisco mayor Matt Gonzalez, has attracted a challenge from California Green Party co-chair Susan C. King, who should be a strong candidate in the San Francisco district where King is also a member of the Green Party county council[7].


[1] You can find the full Avocado Declaration here. Warning: Early 2000s website design, and someone thought dark green text on light green background is a good idea.
[2] Camejo uses the avocado comparison to contrast with an earlier statement he made that he was a watermelon: green on the outside, red (socialist) on the inside.
[3] This is as OTL. Nader did appear on the ballot on the Reform Party line in several states.
[4] Here we start seeing the first major knock-on effects. In OTL, Camejo only won 83 of California's 132 delegates, and Cobb received one delegate more than Salzman in the state.
[5] In OTL, the Greens didn't run a candidate against Boxer in 2004.
[6] In OTL, the Greens ran only 11 candidates for the House in California in 2004. The difference here is that Terry Baum gets on the ballot against Pelosi instead of running as a write-in candidate. Also, Koebel was the nominee in OTL against Schiff, but here Paparian runs.
[7] There was no Green challenge to Leland Yee in 2004 in OTL. However, the Libertarian did get nearly 6% in that election to Yee's 77% and the Republican's 16%.
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Matt Gonzalez, Jerry Brown, Hold “Bay Area Couch Surf Summit” to Discuss City Issues

April 13, 2004

OAKLAND, CA - It’s not a sight you normally see every day, especially for a press conference. Two high profile mayors - Matt Gonzalez of San Francisco and Jerry Brown of Oakland - sitting side by side not at an ornate wooden conference table or a public meeting space, but on a cramped couch in a modest apartment. However, Gonzalez and Brown are certainly not normal politicians. Brown, who has served as mayor of Oakland since 1999, has a largely idiosyncratic lifestyle. Before moving into the residence of his girlfriend Anne Gust last year, Brown lived in a communal space that he built on the former site of a warehouse overlooking Jack London Square. For his part, Gonzalez is similar. The Green Party mayor of San Francisco has also rejected the traditional politicians’ residences, possibly even more so than Brown. Mayor Gonzalez has opted to remain living at his Hayes Valley apartment for now with his three roommates.

It is here at Jerry Brown’s Telegraph Avenue apartment that the two Bay Area mayors are holding what they have termed a “couch surf summit” to discuss the current issues facing the Bay Area and the potential for municipal cooperation in addressing them. The main issue the two mayors discussed was the housing crises facing their cities and how to revitalize the San Francisco Bay Area in the wake of the dotcom bubble. Mayor Brown, who has already been in office for five years and was reelected to a second term last year, has already done much to help energize downtown Oakland and make the city more appealing to businesses. Brown has worked with developers to refurbish developments in the city center as well as the neighboring Uptown and Jack London districts. Key to Brown’s plan, whose goal is to move ten thousand residents into downtown Oakland, has been the creation of a BART transit hub in the 12th Street/Oakland City Center station a block from city hall.

However, there has been a backlash against Jerry Brown’s revitalization plan from activists who claim Brown is too chummy with real estate developers and that the plan will lead to gentrification and pricing low income families out of downtown Oakland. Gonzalez expressed these concerns to Brown during the “couch surf summit” leading to a discussion of how to mitigate a rise in rent and housing costs while keeping the economic boon to the areas. Mayor Brown boasted that with the public’s recent approval of a shift to a strong mayor structure, he will have more ability to control for the danger of gentrification to low income housing. Additionally, Brown mentioned a recent agreement between developers and affordable housing organizations for a new Uptown district development that will have at least 15% of the units price controlled with a ceiling of 50% of the city’s median income[1].

Gonzalez echoed his support for such rent controlled units, and stated that it will be a cornerstone of his plan to tackle the crisis of homelessness in San Francisco. Gonzalez added that his election as mayor gave a support to livable and sustainable housing solutions going beyond an emphasis on home ownership. During the summit, the San Francisco mayor advocated for city subsidized land trusts that would put a limit on acquiring equity in some housing developments. This, Gonzalez said, would give opportunities for low income houses and grant affordable units with the benefits of home-ownership, but prevent the homeowners from speculating on their property and prevent government-subsidized properties from being bought up by speculators rather than low income families.

Many of the ideas Gonzalez supports have been rarely tested in practice in American cities, but with the new mayor’s efforts, San Francisco could serve as an experiment in a novel solution to the affordable housing dilemma. As for the future of the couch surf summit and cooperation between the two Bay Area mayors? Gonzalez has already invited Mayor Brown to San Francisco for a summit at his apartment in Hayes Valley.


Ralph Nader Announces Peter Camejo as Running Mate
June 22, 2004

WASHINGTON ,DC - Yesterday, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader announced his choice of California Green Party activist and two time gubernatorial candidate Peter Miguel Camejo as his running mate. The choice of Camejo brings even more credibility to Nader’s third run for the White House, and brings him closer to a much sought after endorsement from the national Green Party. If Nader receives the endorsement of the Green Party at their June convention in Milwaukee, he will have automatic ballot access on 22 states including California and the District of Columbia. This will be on top of the seven states Nader has clinched ballot access through the endorsement of his candidate by the Reform Party.

The potential of a Green Party endorsement of Ralph Nader brings the specter of another Nader spoiler campaign to the Kerry campaign and the Democratic Party. Currently, President Bush and John Kerry are polling evenly, but the entrance of Ralph Nader into another high profile presidential campaign could change things tomorrow. There are no polls on how well Nader would do in the general election against Kerry and Bush, so it is difficult to say how impactful Nader running on the Green ticket would be. A spokesman for the Kerry campaign downplayed the potential of another Nader challenge, stating that Nader has lost much of his support base and that voters now understand the need to unite behind the Democratic Party to oppose President Bush in November.

Even so, the Kerry campaign and the Democratic Party is undoubtedly not dismissing a Nader challenge out of hand. If another statewide contest comes as close as Florida did in 2000, then even a vastly reduced Nader campaign could make the difference between a Democratic or Republican victory. It may also be significant in terms of Kerry’s vice presidential selection. The presumptive Democratic nominee has yet to announce his running mate but is expected to do so in the next couple weeks. Should Nader receive the Green Party endorsement in Milwaukee in the coming days, it could affect the Kerry campaign’s decision making. Several choices have been brought up as potential running mates, but the Kerry campaign has kept quiet on who is on their shortlist. Among the probable members of that list are Senators John Edwards of North Carolina and Bob Graham of Florida, as well as Representative Dick Gephardt of Missouri. All three men challenged Kerry for the Democratic nomination, but dropped out of the race early on in the primaries. Along with Kerry’s former rivals, other options including Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, Arizona governor Janet Napolitano, and Washington governor Gary Locke. For now, John Edwards appears to be the leading candidate for Kerry’s running mate. However, with the race as contentious as it is, Senator Kerry may want to choose someone from a more competitive state who will also shore up his support on the left.

[1] This and the other parts of the plan were part of OTL efforts by Jerry Brown to revitalize Oakland in the early 2000s. The ultimate goal of his "10k plan" was to get 10,000 people to move to downtown Oakland by the end of his time as mayor.
After Contentious Convention, Greens Endorse Both Nader and Cobb
June 28, 2004

MILWAUKEE, WI - As the Democratic National Convention gears up in Boston in one month’s time, the Green Party held its convention in Milwaukee over the past several days. The Green Convention, unlike the primaries held by both major parties this year, was rather contentious. The two main contenders for the nomination were Texas lawyer and activist David Cobb and, though he was not formally seeking the Green Party nomination for president, independent candidate and Green nominee in 1996 and 2000 Ralph Nader. On the first day of the convention, David Cobb received the most delegates of any of the candidates on the first ballot with 294 or 38.2% of the convention’s 770 delegates. However, a number of the uncommitted delegates broke for Nader or his newly announced running mate Peter Camejo, placing both candidates second and third on the first ballot. Camejo received 155 delegates on the first ballot and Nader received 115.5. With no candidate having received the necessary 386 delegates for a majority, the convention went to a second ballot - something neither major party has done since 1952.

Here is where the divisions between the pro-Nader and anti-Nader factions of the Green Party took their real form. While Peter Camejo kept his delegates bound on the first round of the convention, it had become common perception in the week before the convention that the California activist was acting as a surrogate for a Green Party endorsement of Nader. On the first day of the convention, Camejo voiced his intention for the party nomination clearly. In a debate between Peter Camejo and David Cobb hosted by Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman, Camejo announced his support for a dual endorsement of Nader and Cobb by the Green Party[1]. According to Camejo, the dual endorsement would allow state party organization to have the final decision of which candidate would appear on the Green Party line on the ballot in November. Cobb initially dismissed Camejo’s outreach in the debate, stating that he disagreed with Camejo on the Green Party’s tactics and that putting forward a unified, national candidate would be the best way to strengthen the party.

The second round of voting was a far different affair from the first round. If the delegates backing Nader and Camejo had backed a single candidate, they would have achieved 295.5 delegates in the first round. While they would have come in first in the first round barely ahead of Cobb, it still would have sent the balloting to a second round. Here, however, was where the convention could have ended swiftly. The Green Party convention rules held that after the first round of voting, any candidate who had not formally expressed in writing that they would accept the Green Party nomination and placement on all party ballots would be removed from eligibility and any votes for those candidates in further rounds would count as abstentions. As such, Camejo and Nader, as well as other spurious candidates such as Dennis Kucinich and Eugene Debs were eliminated from eligibility on the second ballot[2]. With neither candidate now eligible, the pro-Nader faction now rallied around the nomination of “No Candidate”, in which case motions for the party to endorse one or more candidates would be allowed. On the second ballot, No Candidate received the most votes with 352 delegates, while Cobb fell to second with 331. Lorna Salzman, the only other significant candidate left in the running, came third with 52 delegates Still, none of the candidates received a majority and the convention went to a third ballot.

The third ballot produced a minor swing toward David Cobb, with Cobb receiving the most delegates with 344 delegates to 339 for No Candidate. However, at this juncture Lorna Salzman announced her withdrawal from the nomination and her support for no formal nomination, stating that a diverse array of candidates and strategies was the best way to counter the attacks by the Democratic Party on both Nader and the Greens, and that this was the best opportunity for the Green Party to expand its base of support at all levels of government. The fourth ballot at last reached a majority, though the delegates and the party still remained very divided. No Candidate received a slim majority with only 391 delegates in support, and 369 delegates supporting David Cobb on the final ballot. The motions to endorse multiple candidates and the Vice Presidential nominations in the following days of the convention went much smoother than the presidential nomination. Ralph Nader and David Cobb both received presidential endorsements. With these endorsements, the state parties were now free to choose which candidate will appear on their ballot. Additionally, the national Green Party also endorsed two vice presidential candidates, who will presumably appear on the tickets of their respective candidates. Peter Camejo received one of the vice presidential endorsements, having been announced as Nader’s running mate in the week leading up to the Milwaukee convention. The other endorsement went to one-time Maine gubernatorial candidate Patricia LaMarche, who received 7 percent for the Greens in the 1998 gubernatorial election. With the nomination process wrapped up, it is now up to the state parties to decide who will be on the ballot in each state. From chatter at the national convention, it is very likely that the Nader/Camejo ticket will at least appear on the Green ballot here in Wisconsin as well as in California and the District of Columbia.


Green Senate Candidate Kent Mesplay Releases First TV Ad Ahead of GOP’s Bill Jones
July 1, 2004

SAN DIEGO, CA - The summer months of a political campaign are often a race to fill the airwaves with a flurry of campaign ads as the political candidates fight to gobble up as much television ad space as possible. However, this election, one candidate, Republican Senate candidate Bill Jones, has been remarkably absent from television screens. The former California Secretary of State has not taken out any television campaign advertisements yet in the race against Barbara Boxer[3]. Now, Jones’ neglect of television ads has become even more glaring as Green Party candidate, Kent Mesplay of San Diego, has produced a campaign ad of his own. The ad is a fairly simple one and features Mesplay, a founding Green Party member, laying out the vision he and the Greens have for California and for what he will push for in the Senate if elected. While the Mesplay ad will only air locally in San Diego with plans to air it in San Francisco later in the summer, it is nonetheless notable as it makes the Green Party the second party in the Senate race to purchase television ad space and shows the financial strength and commitment the Greens possess even in non-presidential races in the state.

The Mesplay ad begins with an introductory biography for the candidate, who many voters may be unfamiliar with. Kent Mesplay was born to American parents in Papua New Guinea, and holds a PhD in biomedical engineering. He is an air quality inspector for pollution control in San Diego County, and has worked with many organizations on energy efficiency and finding renewable energy solutions for businesses looking to combat climate change. The Mesplay campaign ad will air primarily in the San Diego area to boost awareness for the local candidate, but it will also play in the San Francisco television market later this month. The Bay Area is considered to have high potential for the Green Party in the coming elections following the unexpected victory of Matt Gonzalez in the San Francisco mayoral election last year. The timing of the ad is expected to coincide with several campaign appearances by Mayor Gonzalez with Kent Mesplay in San Francisco. The San Francisco mayor endorsed Mr. Mesplay over incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer last week in addition to several other Green Party candidates across the state. However, Gonzalez has yet to weigh in on the presidential race, declining to endorse either Nader or Cobb before the state Green Party decides which candidate will be on the November ballot. Gonzalez has not commented directly on Nader’s campaign, though he has been lukewarm on the possibility of a presidential challenge by the Green Party. In an interview shortly after Nader entered the race, the San Francisco mayor said that the priority for those on the left should be removing President Bush from office.

The news of the Kent Mesplay campaign ad also underscores the financial difficulties in the Republican camp with former California Secretary of State Bill Jones’s run for Senate. The Jones campaign has already overcome a contentious primary in March. Former Treasury Secretary Rosario Marin launched a strong challenge against Jones on the back of a tacit Bush administration endorsement, but Jones was able to clinch the nomination with more local backing. He has received the endorsements of not only governor Schwarzenegger, but also former governors Wilson and Deukmejian. However, the pivot to the general election has been rough for Bill Jones as he faces off against Barbara Boxer. Despite the entrance of Kent Mesplay into the race and one poll seeing Mesplay score over 5 percent of the vote, Senator Boxer is still outpolling Bill Jones by double digits.

[1] Camejo's proposal of a dual Green endorsement is OTL, and the Democracy Now interview can be found here.
[2] Kucinich received 9 votes in the OTL 2004 Green Convention. Debs received 1.
[3] This was true in OTL as well. Bill Jones did not produce a single television ad in the 2004 Senate race against Barbara Boxer.
Ironically, the Greens having more success might hurt the environment in the long run, since they oppose nuclear power, which is at least very low carbon, safe, and is basically renewable. Without nuclear power, we would be forced to use much more natural gas and coal because solar and wind aren't good enough right now (and for at least a decade or two) for baseload power.
Ironically, the Greens having more success might hurt the environment in the long run, since they oppose nuclear power, which is at least very low carbon, safe, and is basically renewable. Without nuclear power, we would be forced to use much more natural gas and coal because solar and wind aren't good enough right now (and for at least a decade or two) for baseload power.
I admit, that's one of the reasons that I switched. I realized that they tended to embrace the more ... new age excesses of the environmental movement, like holistic and alternative medicine, as well as opposition to nuclear power and GMO's, which I, a pro-technology environmentalist, have always opposed.
Kerry Taps Senator John Edwards for Running Mate
July 6, 2004

PITTSBURGH, PA - Democratic nominee for President of the United States John Kerry today announced his selection of North Carolina Senator and former primary rival John Edwards as his Vice Presidential pick. During a rally at Teresa Heinz Kerry’s estate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Senators Kerry and Edwards appeared with their spouses to make the announcement to hundreds of supporters. Edwards had been the Massachusetts Senator’s biggest challenger in the race for the nomination, but after dropping out of the race Edwards became one of Kerry’s most prominent supporters.

While Edwards has only served one term in the Senate, John Kerry lauded him as a “passionate” speaker and “one of the strongest advocates” Kerry has worked with. For his part, Edwards said in his acceptance speech that the was “deeply humbled” by the decision and promised to give the Democratic presidential nominee his full support throughout the campaign. The choice of Edwards is one that will come to little surprise to many, as the North Carolina Senator was at the top of the list during speculation on who Kerry would choose. However, rumors of second thoughts floated around after the decision by the Green Party to partially endorse Ralph Nader for president, with names of noted progressives such as Russ Feingold of Wisconsin being floated as possible alternatives.

The boost to Nader’s campaign does not appear to have troubled the Kerry campaign much, however. John Edwards will still likely serve as a good balance to the ticket. The North Carolina Senator is a sound regional pick for New Englander Kerry, as the Democrats perhaps hope to regain some of the ground they lost in the South in 2000. The choice of John Edwards also adds valuable charisma to the Democratic campaign. Before his election to the Senate in 1998, Edwards was well known as a trial attorney. Edwards, who turned 51 last month, also adds some relative youth to the Kerry campaign.

The Kerry campaign’s decision to announce his running mate now comes at a good time for the Democratic nominee in the polls. With the primary campaign over, Kerry had been rising in the polls against President Bush. In the past couple days, Kerry again pulled ahead of the President in national polls after three weeks of trailing in polling averages. As the general election begins in earnest with the Democratic and Republican conventions next month, polling looks like it will continue to be tight, and the addition of John Edwards to the Kerry campaign could prove an invaluable boost over the summer.


California Green Party Puts Nader on Ballot
Jul 11, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - In the wake of the Green National Convention in Milwaukee, the California Green Party organized an unusual meeting on Friday. The business of that meeting was to pick which slate of candidates would be next to the Green Party name on the presidential ballot in November in the state. In San Francisco on Friday, the Green Party General Assembly, made up of delegates from each of the smaller county parties, selected between the ticket of Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo and that of David Cobb and Pat LaMarche to be on the presidential ballot in November.

While the meeting was unusual, it was fairly short. During the California Green primary in March, Camejo won a vast majority of delegates to the national convention. The state Green Party was more divided when Camejo was selected as Ralph Nader’s running mate for his independent campaign for president, but the majority of the California Green Party still expressed support for Camejo’s decision and for a Nader/Camejo ticket. This was equally supported on Friday’s meeting. Nearly three fourths of the delegates to the General Assembly opted for the Nader/Camejo ticket to appear on the California ballot. Green Party liaison Jim Stauffer delivered the decision to the California Secretary of State earlier today, officially placing Ralph Nader on the November ballot in California.

The placement of the Nader/Camejo ticket on the California ballot puts Nader’s current ballot access at twenty states and the District of Columbia. On top of the seven states Nader is on thanks to his endorsement by the Reform Party and Friday’s decision, the Greens in the District of Columbia, Washington, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Wisconsin, and several other states have opted to put Nader on those states’ ballots. As for the Cobb/LaMarche ticket, they have so far gained ballot access with the Green Party in Maine, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arkansas, Oregon, and North Carolina. Since the Green National Convention, the Nader campaign has attempted to reach out to the Cobb campaign to repair any animosity between the two sides from the convention. While Nader has refused to rule out obtaining ballot access as an independent or with other parties in states where Cobb has secured ballot access, the three-time presidential candidate has stated his willingness to make public campaign appearances with David Cobb and has stated his desire to see the Green Party be successful for lower offices to “end the current corporate duopoly” in Nader’s words.

However, the Nader/Camejo ticket is facing one hurdle in its attempt to gain popularity in California. Matt Gonzalez, the highest elected Green official in the country, has yet to endorse Nader’s presidential candidacy. The San Francisco mayor made a brief comment on the decision at the Milwaukee convention approving the conduct of the convention but declining to comment on his feelings toward the outcome. On whether he preferred Nader/Camejo or Cobb/LaMarche, Mayor Gonzalez stated that “I have known Peter Camejo for years and he is a good friend, but it is up to the state party to decide who is on the ballot here. We have a lot to do for San Francisco right now, and I feel my performance here is more important for the party and for the city than my opinion on the presidential race at the moment.” Gonzalez made no indication of when or if he will endorse a candidate for president or who it would be. However, the state party’s selection of Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo are a strong signal that Gonzalez will eventually give them the nod.
Rumor: Is Mayor Brown Going Green?
August 25, 2004

OAKLAND, CA - Back in April, San Francisco mayor Matt Gonzalez met with Oakland mayor Jerry Brown in his Oakland apartment for a Bay Area summit to discuss common issues between both cities. Now, four months later, Mayor Brown has finally reciprocated on the “couch surf” summit and met Mayor Gonzalez in his apartment in San Francisco. Over the weekend, Jerry Brown stayed with Matt Gonzalez in the San Francisco mayor’s basement apartment in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.

The two mayors largely kept to their usual talking points in the press conference for this meeting of the “couch surf” summit. Jerry Brown touted his ongoing plan to develop downtown Oakland and attract commercial businesses and ten thousand residents to the city by the end of his term in office. Matt Gonzalez boasted about his progressive agenda working with the Board of Supervisors as the highest elected official who is a member of the Green Party. Mayor Gonzalez did take the opportunity during the summit to mention his ongoing meetings with the Board of Supervisors and the commission Gonzalez created to lay out an action plan for dealing with San Francisco’s many homeless residents. This was an early bump in Mayor Gonzalez’s tenure as his opposition to Gavin Newsom’s “Care Not Cash” initiative was a central point of Gonzalez’s campaign, but the mayor failed to lay out concrete policies of his own in the early months in office. However, the appointment of former San Francisco mayor Art Agnos to a planning commission has allayed some fears that Gonzalez was all talk no action on the homelessness issue.

After the couch surf summit as Mayor Brown returned across the bay to Oakland, further rumors on Brown’s political ambitions. Sources close to the Oakland mayor and former governor have mentioned renewed consideration by Mayor Brown of changing his party affiliation yet again and joining Matt Gonzalez as a member of the Green Party. Jerry Brown has a curious history with party affiliation, and the idea of the former governor joining the growing California wing of the party may not be as far fetched as it seems at first glance. Brown left the Democrats during his political nadir in the mid-90s, and has run and served as mayor of Oakland as an independent since his election in 1999. In 2000, the national Green Party first approached Brown with overtures toward making him their presidential nominee. Brown declined their offer. However, with Jerry Brown’s political future looking brighter once again, he could return to the statewide ballot not as a Democrat but a Green. With the election of Matt Gonzalez as mayor of San Francisco, the Greens are gaining steam. According to a press release from the Green Party of California released earlier this month, the number of registered Greens in San Francisco has increased by nearly 50 percent in the first half of 2004. Brown, already known for his status as a political insurgent, could see gains from joining the Greens if he does seek statewide office in the coming years. However, so far, Mayor Brown and those close to him have declined to comment on these rumors.


Surfer Write-In Campaign Set to Make Waves In San Diego
October 3, 2004

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego mayoral election was all set to be a boring contest between two Republicans after the primary in March. Mayor Dick Murphy did not win enough votes to win the election outright with only 40 percent of the vote among four candidates. He was set to face County Supervisor Ron Roberts in November. While the election is ostensibly nonpartisan, both Murphy and Roberts are Republicans, not a surprise for San Diego. However, the mayoral race took a turn for the strange on Thursday with a surprise entrance into the campaign.

Surfer, activist, and city councilwoman Donna Frye announced on Thursday the launch of a write in campaign for mayor of San Diego against both Murphy and Roberts. Frye cited her disapproval with Mayor Murphy’s handling of the ongoing investigations into the city’s pension fund as the major reason for her announcing her campaign. Recently, San Diego’s credit rating was downgraded amid reports of a $1.7 billion shortfall in the budget as a result of underfunding of public employees’ retirement and health benefits. There are currently investigations being undertaken by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Attorney’s Office regarding the issue. This has put a black mark on San Diego’s reputation, with some now referring to the city as “Enron by the sea.”

It is this ongoing scandal that has given Donna Frye the potential for success in a grassroots driven write-in campaign. The surfing activist has only served on the San Diego city council for three years, but she has been an activist for far longer. Frye said her main concerns lie in environmentalism; she has worked hard to clean up pollution affecting the beaches surrounding San Diego. Following the announcement of her campaign, Donna Frye received two influential endorsements. Focusing on her environmentalist history, she was endorsed by the Sierra Club and by Kent Mesplay, a local air quality inspector who is running as the Green nominee for Senate. She also received the endorsement of labor activist and union organizer Jerry Butkiewicz. It is certainly a long shot for Frye, but the support of these sectors of the city could give Frye just the edge she needs to rise to compete with Mayor Murphy and Ron Roberts and turn the election into a three way race. However, Frye needs to act quick - election day is just five weeks away.
At Last, Matt Gonzalez Endorses Ralph Nader for President
October 13, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO - Three weeks before election day, San Francisco mayor Matt Gonzalez has at last made an official endorsement of Green Party candidate Ralph Nader for President of the United States. Gonzalez, one of the few elected officials from the Green Party, has been reluctant to enter into discussion of the presidential race in the past months and with good reason. The turmoil surrounding the Nader and Cobb factions in the leadup to the Green convention made making an open endorsement treacherous for one of the brightest spots in the Greens’ hopes for future office.

In his several press conferences since becoming mayor of San Francisco at the beginning of the year, Matt Gonzalez has been quiet on who he will support for president. Gonzalez would frequently deflect the question with the statement that so many eyes are watching him as an elected Green mayor that his focus has solely been on the City and not on the presidential race. Now, however, Mayor Gonzalez has at last broken his silence on the matter.

In a campaign appearance at City Hall in San Francisco, Green Party candidates Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo shook hands with Mayor Matt Gonzalez as he gave them a ringing endorsement. The three politicians spoke to a crowd of thousands in attendance in front of San Francisco’s City Hall. Nader praised the success of Mayor Gonzalez in his first year governing San Francisco and pointed to the 2003 election that swept Gonzalez into office as proof that the Green Party is capable of winning elections. Nader touted “the fresh ideas brought to the table of governance here in San Francisco” and challenged the voters of the city and the country to expand that new voice across the nation.

Meanwhile, Mayor Gonzalez talked up Nader and Camejo in his speech to boost the Green presidential vote in one of the most liberal cities in the country. Echoing the Avocado Declaration made by Camejo at the beginning of the year, Gonzalez urged San Franciscans in particular to “show the country that there is not just a choice between red and blue. There is also a third option: Green.” With the push in California in the closing weeks before election day, the Green Party clearly seems to believe that Nader can make more of an impact on the eventual vote than its other candidate, David Cobb. Cobb’s campaign appearances in the states where he is on the ballot have been consistently more low key or have been made in conjunction with Nader. An appearance at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where the Cobb/LaMarche ticket is on the ballot, Nader spoke before Cobb and received the majority of applause over the Green candidate in the state. It is unknown at this time what effect the multiple candidates will have on the actual election, but it is clear that Nader’s presence on the campaign trail threatens to overshadow Cobb and possibly undermine the Green vote where Cobb is on the ballot.


Competing Election Reform Proposals Divide California Greens
October 27th, 2004

SACRAMENTO, CA - With a week to go until Californians head to the polls, the Green Party, seemingly on the up in California, has shown signs of fracturing. The issue at hand? Two competing state ballot measures that would reform the electoral process and could have a major impact on the future of third parties in the state.

The two proposals going to the voters on Tuesday would affect how California runs primary and general elections for statewide and Congressional offices. Proposition 60, sent to the ballot through approval by the state legislature, would guarantee a political party that held a primary for a partisan office the right to be on the ballot in the general election for that office. Known as the Political Party Election Rights Act, the proposal would only affect statewide offices and elections for the state legislature. The competing proposal, Proposition 62 or the Voter Choice Open Primary Act, would modify elections for statewide offices, the state legislature, and Congressional elections to a blanket primary system. This system, similar to the one currently used in Louisiana, would turn the primary ballot into an open first round ballot, where all candidates for all parties would be listed. Voters would be able to select from any candidate no matter their party registration or lack thereof The top two candidates in this first round would then proceed to the general election ballot. This system would be similar to that currently used in some elections for local and county offices.

Because of the conflicting nature of the two propositions, only one of Prop 60 or Prop 62 can be enacted. If one proposition is approved by the voters on Tuesday and one is rejected, the approved proposition obviously becomes law. However, if both propositions pass, the proposition with the highest number of “yes” votes will be enacted. The possibility of a blanket primary in California has put members and officials of the Green Party at odds on which proposition to support. Susan King, who co-chairs the California Green Party and is running against Leland Yee for State Assembly district 12, denounced Proposition 62 as “misleading voters with a bait and switch” measure[1]. The open primary, King said, would not increase voter choice but rather restrict it. “The top two primary system would be devastating for democracy in California and unduly restrict smaller parties from challenging Democrats and Republicans in the general election.” Opponents of Pop 62 also claim that the initiative would throw away the gains made in the right for the party to appear on the California ballot that Proposition 60 would give, and heavily set third parties back in the state.

However, some members of the state Green Party point to the election of San Francisco mayor Matt Gonzalez as an example of how Proposition 62 would be a boon to third parties. The election of Mayor Gonzalez last year is a rather small island of success in a sea of failure for smaller parties, with Gonzalez of the Green Party building enough support to appear on the runoff ballot against Democrat Gavin Newsom. While Matt Gonzalez himself has not given an opinion on the issue, Ross Mirkarimi, Gonzalez’s choice to replace him on the San Francisco County Board, has expressed support for the idea. Mirkarimi, who faces an astonishing 18 opponents in his fight to retain his position as District 5 County Supervisor[2], claimed the top two primary would lead to more situations like that of Gonzalez, and more chances for third parties to rise through the system. “Look at all the races where only one major candidate runs. Third parties already get about 20 percent in many of those elections. If third parties get more visibility and support to break through to the top two ballot in broadly uncontested races, we could really change the system and bring more democratic options to the American people.” Other advocates for the "top two” primary have said it would increase the influence all voters had over the nominees of the two major parties. With all voters able to vote for a candidate regardless of party affiliation, even unaffiliated voters would have a greater influence on the general election ballot and make their voice heard.

[1] Many California Greens actually opposed Prop 62 in OTL with this claim that it would in fact reduce voter choice. It's a common argument from smaller parties against a switch to a blanket primary.
[2] I actually lowered the number of candidates for the District 5 race from OTL since Ross Mirkarimi is already established in the office. In OTL there were 22 candidates for District 5 supervisor in 2004! Incidentally this was one of the first uses of instant runoff voting in the United States in recent times.
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