Elections are about making sure voters have accurate, factual information about candidates’ positions, philosophies, and visions, in order to make informed voting choices. The voters deserve substantive information about where a candidate stands.
Last week, my opponent, Jane Kim, made an extraordinary demand: She insisted I sign a politically self-serving agreement under which I would be prohibited from talking about her record. Prohibited from ever saying a word about how she has voted and what positions she has taken. Prohibited from even mentioning her name.
Yes, you heard that right: Jane Kim says I shouldn’t even be able to mention her name, let alone her votes and positions on the critical issues we face as a community.
Kim couches this draconian and anti-democratic gag order as a pledge not to engage in “negative campaigning.” Under Kim’s rationale, Hillary Clinton would be prohibited from talking about Donald Trump’s crazy proposal to ban Muslims from entering our country. Huh?
I informed Kim I was surprised to receive her demand, in light of the intensely negative and misleading campaign she ran against me in the primary. You can read my response here. Kim responded by launching a petition drive demanding that I sign this anti-democratic pledge.
Why is Jane Kim scared to talk about her record? Why is she trying to put a gag order on me to prohibit me from even mentioning her name?
The answer: Because Jane Kim’s record on the issues that matter to our community is abysmal:
-Kim campaigns heavily on her support for renters, yet she is closely associated with, has accepted campaign contributions from, and has carried significant water for Academy of Arts University, perhaps the worst code violator in San Francisco and an institution that purchases rent-controlled apartment buildings and turns them into student dorms.
-Kim touts her support for women, yet she voted to reinstate Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi after he was convicted of domestic violence.
-Kim touts her support for housing, yet she has opposed thousands and thousands of units of new housing to ease our housing crisis, including her support for the Mission Housing Moratorium and opposition to a measure to create more affordable housing.
-Kim states that she forced developers to provide 40% affordable housing in their developments, yet the actual percentage was closer to 20%.
-Kim opposes soda taxes and even announced her opposition to cigarette taxes.
-Kim has no record of accomplishment on critical issues, including public transportation, healthcare access, and the environment.
-Factually talking about a candidate’s record isn’t “negative campaigning.” Rather, it’s democracy.
Democracy isn’t well-served by allowing candidates — both myself and Jane Kim included — to have a monopoly on discussion of our records. Democracy isn’t well-served by allowing candidates to cherry pick only what we want the voters to hear about our positions, while preventing other people from correcting the record or painting a complete picture. It is entirely appropriate and healthy for Jane Kim to discuss my record — as she has already done — and for me to discuss hers.
Let’s base this election on the facts — all the facts — and stop with the self-serving attempts to censor full discussion during this critical election.