Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

Milk club ignores PAC, endorses Adachi and Barnes

Ignoring the advice of its political action committee, the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club has endorsed Public Defender Jeff Adachi for re-election this year and is backing gay school board candidate Bill Barnes (pictured at left) along with incumbent Kim-Shree Maufas for re-election.

As the Bay Area Reporter‘s online Political Notes column reported Monday (September 13),  the PAC had recommended that the club withhold its endorsement of Adachi this year and had only recommended that Maufas be endorsed, despite there being three seats on the school board up for grabs this fall.

The backing of Barnes had been expected as he has long had ties to the club. He was unable to be at the PAC’s endorsement meeting over Labor Day Weekend and addressed the club at its meeting Tuesday night in order to gain its endorsement.

He said he was likely helped by the large turnout of many longtime Milk club members at the meeting who were there to celebrate the 80th birthday of Maggi Rubinstein, who has long been active in the progressive political group.

“The Milk Club is more organic,” said Barnes, when it comes to who it endorses and doesn’t always agree with its PAC picks. “The PAC wasn’t the thing driving the discussion.”

Barnes also has been endorsed by the tenants union. Being on the slate cards of both the renter-allied group and the Milk club will give him a leg up in the race, he said.

“I think it is really important. A lot of voters in District 8, for example, are going to be looking at who Milk is endorsing,” said Barnes.

Barnes said he had also urged Milk club members to endorse fellow school board candidate Jamie Rafaela Wolfe, a transgender elementary school teacher. But Wolfe, who also campaigned hard for the endorsement, failed to win the club’s support.

“Because she works for a private school, I think some people had a problem with it,” said Barnes.

The bigger surprise was the club’s decision to endorse Adachi, who has been attacked by progressives and union leaders for pushing a ballot measure that would require city employees to pay more for their pension and health care benefits. Prop B cost him the support of both the local Democratic Party this year as well as the more moderate Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club.

Milk Co-President David Waggoner had told the B.A.R. last week that Prop B was a “non-starter” for club members and predicted the PAC’s decision to not endorse Adachi would stand.

But Waggoner said that in the end Adachi was able to win the club’s backing.

The Milk club also voted to endorse community college board member Chris Jackson in the District 10 supervisor race.

— Matthew S. Bajko, September 15, 2010 @ 3:35 pm PST
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