Election Aftermath

Move over Cook County, Illinois, and make room for King County in Washington state, where Seattle’s ongoing bid to rival San Francisco in the crazy department is only exceeded by its dubious record in ballot counting after close elections.

Last week I noted that the attempt to reimpose affirmative action in Washington state had failed at the ballot box, but then the “late vote” started coming in from King County. Funny how King County always seems to find just enough “late ballots” to swing close elections. It appeared that the repeal of the state’s ban on affirmative action might pass after all, but as of this morning it appears that Initiative 88 (which prohibited a return to affirmative action) will win after all, but by a very narrow margin of 13,000 votes, or 50.35% to 49.65%. The Seattle Times reported that “as votes continue to stream in over the coming days, the remaining math for affirmative action advocates looked [sic] increasingly difficult.”

On the other hand, I had celebrated the defeat of one of Seattle’s socialist city council members, Kshama Sawant, but in fact the “late vote” from King County has delivered her re-election after all.

Chesa Boudin

But San Francisco still keeps bragging rights, and by a lot. After all the ballots were counted, San Francisco narrowly elected Chesa Boudin to be its next district attorney. Who is Chesa Boudin? The Washington Post calls him a “progressive lawyer,” but not until you get far down in the story do you reach some of the relevant biography:

His parents were members of the radical left-wing group the Weather Underground and were imprisoned when he was a child for their role in an armed heist that left three men dead. His mother served 22 years, and his father may spend the rest of his life in prison.

The New York Times offers a little more:

He was raised in Chicago by Weather Underground leaders Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn before studying law at Yale University. He later won a Rhodes Scholarship and worked as a translator for Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez before coming to San Francisco.

For additional background. John and Scott have both previously written about Boudin’s radical mother, Kathy Boudin, here and here.

The San Francisco police union had campaigned against Boudin, calling him “the #1 choice of criminals and gang members,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Boudin is reported to have said “F— the POA [police officers union]” during a campaign rally.

Boudin has no experience as a prosecutor, but that really doesn’t matter since it appears he doesn’t want to prosecute anyone for much of anything—certainly not if a prosecution would entail a jail sentence. Boudin has said that his main targets will be “mass incarceration, institutionalized racism, and police violence in the city.” Good luck if you are the victim of a property crime in San Francisco these next four years. It is now open season for crime in SF.

I never thought I’d long for the good old days when Kamala Harris was San Francisco’s DA, but here we are. I guess it fits, though: now that California has less reliable electricity service than Venezuela, we might as well have Venezuelan “justice” too.

Footnote: Boudin won the election under the “ranked choice” voting system that is all the rage with progressive reformers, under which voters rank the candidates by their supposed preferences, and low-ranked candidates have their votes redistributed to the higher ranking candidates. In a traditional election—you know, the kind where the person with the most votes wins—the appointed incumbent Suzy Loftus would have won.

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