Jon Mays with beard

Now that the tumult of our election is ending, so comes the difficult task of governing. This requires assessing the landscape after the smoke clears and determining a path forward. The terrain shows some rough patches ahead. Nationally, Joe Biden has his work cut out for him in being a president not only for the half of the country who supported Trump but also the burgeoning progressive wing of his own party that seemingly wants all things now. It won’t be easy.

This local election is also revealing. District elections seemed to make it easier for progressives to get a foothold, as seen in South San Francisco, where James Coleman beat incumbent Rich Garbarino and in Redwood City, where Lissette Espinoza-Garnica also beat an incumbent, Janet Borgens. Both are part of a new generation, a politically active one that so far has been thinking of governance in the abstract and not the practical. Applying those progressive principles in practicality is key now. Let’s hope they make the jump from activism to governance well. It doesn’t always happen.

Also worthy of note is the successful election of Joaquin Jimenez to the Half Moon Bay City Council. It’s never easy to knock off an incumbent, particularly the current mayor, but Jimenez did it. If district elections sought to increase representation, it appears to have succeeded in this instance and also in South City and Redwood City.

***

In San Mateo, a 30-year-old height limit measure appears to have been barely defeated with fewer than 100 votes below victory. Also vanquished is an alternative measure that sought to retain those limits but not in key areas of the city around train stations and, in particular, at the Hillsdale Shopping Center. Now, it is in the court of the City Council, which would be wise to recognize that the measures’ failures is not a mandate for runaway growth. It means exactly half the city wanted to loosen height limits and the other did not.

When President George W. Bush won re-election in 2004, he said he had political capital and he intended to spend it, though he won 50.7% of the popular vote and 286 electoral votes to John Kerry’s 48.27% of the popular vote and 251 electoral votes. That too was not a mandate. Close elections mean those who win must treat it carefully and not push too hard. The beauty of the American political system is that the pendulum finds ways to correct if it goes too far in one direction.

So when it comes to San Mateo’s General Plan, let’s do what we said in our endorsement editorial against both measures R and Y: “Put in the work and do something better, together.” The key part is together.

***

About Measure R, I was disappointed by some of the campaign fliers that misconstrued the Daily Journal’s position. Taking text from editorials out of context is a common tactic, though shady, but printing the entire editorial with portions cut off or covered in boxes was quite the step forward into darkness.

However, it was one pro-Measure R flier in particular that was completely out of bounds. In it, the Daily Journal was listed as a signatory on a message to the community against Measure Y using text we would never support. It is one thing to list us as being opposed to a measure (we were opposed to both), it is quite another to make it appear we were politicking or participating in a campaign by signing onto what appeared to be a letter to the community. Not to mention that the text of the message was saccharine slop.

It was even more difficult to believe considering Measure R’s backers. These are typically strong and trustworthy organizations and people who were likely beguiled by someone on the campaign team infected by moral ineptitude. Let’s hope such tactics are not used again, and that the Daily Journal’s autonomy is respected and we are kept away from this mud.

***

Overall, though, most campaigns were conducted in a dignified manner from South San Francisco to Redwood City. I was particularly impressed by the candidates in San Mateo — Diane Papan, Amourence Lee and Lisa Diaz Nash — who focused solely on the weighty issues at hand and not on trying to weaken each other. There was a questionable flier or two, but those were from independent committees. And nearly all the campaign signs disappeared immediately after the election. That is a responsible act, so thank you.

Now the real work begins.

Jon Mays is the editor in chief of the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jon@smdailyjournal.com. Follow Jon on Twitter @jonmays.

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(12) comments

Terence Y

Fortunately, results of the presidential election have not been finalized so it’s presumptuous to think Biden has won.

Tommy Tee

Is Trump still president? He seems to have given up.

He's been hiding for days now, ignoring the pandemic as it kills more people than ever. I guess his 6 days of silence is his concession speech.

Rel

No, Terence, it is not presumptuous to think Biden has won. Verifiable facts are pesky things as they get in the way of desired outcomes and opinions. In 2016, Trump won 306 EC votes while losing the popular vote by 3M. Yet, the very next day, Hillary gave a very gracious concession speech. President Obama acted to give full transition information, much like President Bush prior to him, the same day. Yet, Fox News and Republicans spared no air space in calling the Democrats poor losers. These facts are readily verifiable anywhere online.

Fast forward to 2020, PE Biden ostensibly has won 306 EC votes and the popular vote by over 5M. Despite the fact Trump's own DHS declaring the election the most secure in history, Trump has yet to offer a concession with none planned in the near future. Further, access to transition sources and intelligence reports are denied. Most Republicans remain silent thus giving credence to Trump's actions. Thus, one of the most sacred traditions of our democracy, the peaceful transference of power, is being denied. Once again, the Republicans are placing their party above the best interests of the country, which is truly shameful.

Terence Y

Nice faux outrage in your second paragraph, Rel. BTW, I like how you hedge your bets with, “… Biden ostensibly has won…” Did you do that on purpose or are you unaware of the definition of “ostensibly”? Here's Google's quick dictionary, “Apparently or purportedly, but perhaps not actually.” Again, it’s not over until it’s over, no matter how desperate you are to convince yourself otherwise. Legal votes are the only ones that count.

Dirk van Ulden

Hello Rel, apparently the only time the 'sacred tradition of of power transition' is when it goes in the Democrat direction. The Obama goons did all they could to prevent that 'sacred' tradition. You and your ilk seem to have a problem with remembering with what happened four years. ago.

Tafhdyd

Terence,

What is not presumptuous is that Trump will stay hidden in his bunker until the 20th of January, at that time President Biden will have the White House fumigated and they will sweep out the vermin the next morning. If Trump shows up outside at all it will only be to put more taxpayer money in his pocket at one of his golf courses. Oh wait, before he took office he said he would like to golf but he would be too busy running the country to play golf. Oops, I slipped, it should have read too busy ruining the country.

Terence Y

My, my, my, a bit touchy. Did we break Grandpa Taffy, yet again? Poor little guy is going off on yet another unhinged rant even though, supposedly, his brain-dead candidate won. Different day, same unhinged behavior. Some more brie with your whine?

Tommy Tee

Terence--I see you're again projecting your own insecurities on others.

The five steps of grief are quite normal. You're stuck in denial, but don't fret. When Biden is certified you can move on to anger.

Tafhdyd

Terence,

I thought the same thing about your comment. If you need some WD 40 for your hinges to keep them from squealing like they have been, I think it's on sale at Home Depot. BTW, what are you going to do when they complete the recounts in some of the states and Biden ends up with more votes than he has now? What kind of fraud are you going to invent for that one?

Tafhdyd

Terence,

I think I will save the brie for tomorrow and have it with some nice champagne to celebrate the landslide victory of President elect Biden.

Terence Y

Grandpa Taffy – you should definitely invite your friends over today to share your brie and more whine, maybe even invite your TDS-twin, Tommy Tee. As the host, your friends can cut the cheese in your honor.

Dirk van Ulden

Taffy - exactly why are you happy about Biden becoming the president? What has Trump ever done personally to you? The fumigation was incomplete when Obama finally left and will resume after the Biden/Harris debacle will run its course. I think many of your compatriots voted for brain-dead Biden because they disliked Trump. Was that really a valid reason? Talk to you in about a year and see how that turkey is messing up with the help of Hi-Tech and Wall Street. Biden is a Trojan Horse and those of you who voted for him opened the gates to misery.

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