Monday, September 13, 2010

Political Campaign Snapshots 1: Michael Nava

Superior Court Judge hopeful Michael Nava, along with his legally married partner George Herzog (above right with Pardeep Saini and John Trout), hosted a thank-you dinner over the Labor Day weekend for campaign volunteers.

The meal for two dozen people was from a local Mexican restaurant, the food and the company were great...

...and there was an interesting multiracial mixture of gay and straight, young and old, such as Sandy Mori (above) who had wandered into the Nava campaign as a Japantown activist because she liked him.

Last Thursday Nava (above) held a fundraiser at Medjool, the Mission District restaurant that has been ground zero for gentrification controversies.

We started at the rooftop bar and restaurant which couldn't have been lovelier, but the fundraiser turned out to be downstairs on the mezzanine level.

Laurel Muniz and her husband from Bernal Heights showed up...

...along with dignified looking characters from the Latino Lawyers caucus...

...and the former Chair of the California Democratic Party, Art Torres (above with Nava).

Along with Mary Ann Massenburg and Gabriel White (above), Nava is going to need all the help he can get. California's judiciary are circling the wagons over this race and are holding expensive fundraisers for Nava's opponent, the sitting judge Richard Ulmer, maintaining the unconstitutional stance that judges should never have to face an election. The negative ads are starting with a series of telephone "push polls" where interviewees are being asked, "Would you be less inclined to vote for Nava if you knew he was an opportunist?" or "Would you be less inclined to vote for Nava if you knew he lived in Daly City?"

Nava does live just over the border from San Francisco in a modest home in Daly City, on the foggy Pacific bluffs overlooking a popular hang gliding location. It seems that judges are not legally required to live in the counties where they sit, and Daly City was the only place Nava and Herzog could afford six years ago. His opponent Judge Ulmer's house is in Daly City's nearby antithesis, namely Hillsborough, though Ulmer rents an aparment in Park Merced so his daughter can be close to her private school at St. Ignatius, according to his website.

However, the last word I would use about Nava's character is "opportunistic." In fact, the glad-handing and backstabbing of politics seems to be utterly antithetical to his nature, and it's amazing he has managed to survive this far into the political process. To lend a hand before the November 2nd election, click here for Nava's campaign website, and join the volunteer army. There are some wonderful people involved.

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