Guardian Ditches Julian Davis Endorsement (Update)

Categories: Media
The Guardian drops Davis
Update (4:42 p.m.): SFBG's Tim Redmond responds to SF Weekly. Read his comments after the jump.

Today, the San Francisco Bay Guardian reversed its endorsement of supervisoral candidate Julian Davis -- and went a step farther, urging him to drop out of the race amid groping allegations.

According to Tim Redmond's editorial today, the newspaper claims it had no knowledge of these allegations against Davis, who denies the incident ever happened.

As the Guardian puts it:

Yes, we knew that in his 20s he was a bit of an arrogant ass. We knew that at one point, he actually got into a tugging match with another person over the ridiculous question of who got to hold a campaign sign. We'd heard that, in the past, at somewhat debauched parties, he'd made advances toward women who weren't interested in his affections. ... But this new information, and his response to it, is alarming.
The Guardian apparently didn't do its homework before it endorsed Davis, so the newspaper was going to make damn sure it did before taking it away. 

Redmond claims that after SF Weekly broke the story on Davis yesterday, the newspaper went out and interviewed folks who corroborated Kay Vasilyeva's claim that Davis touched her beneath her clothing at a political bar-crawl back in 2006. After collecting the facts, the Guardian decided that her story "rings true," while Davis' does not.

We put in a call to Redmond to find out who exactly he talked to and why he didn't talk to these folks before endorsing Davis. We've not heard yet back.

However, Todd Vogt, publisher of the San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Examiner (which also endorsed Davis) did talk to us. He told us today that he never supported either papers' endorsement of Davis, but noted that those kind of decisions are up to the editorial staff.

"I was never in favor of either papers' endorsement and I made it clear to both the editorial staffs they better be sure before making that endorsement," Vogt said. "What the Guardian did today was the responsible thing to do, and I am looking to the Examiner staff to act accordingly."

Update (4:42 p.m.): Tim Redmond called us back this afternoon and said the newspaper spent "an awful lot of time" interviewing folks who helped the Guardian make its decision to pull its endorsement of Julian Davis today. He said the paper interviewed as many as 10 people, but he wouldn't disclose who they were since it's a sensitive issue; all those interviewed wanted to remain anonymous and spoke only off the record, Redmond says. 

"I have been a reporter for 30 years, and I did all due diligence to convince us that she is credible," Redmond said regarding Vasilyeva's allegations. "Her story rings true. Does that mean I could prove it in a court of law? No. But I don't have to; this is not a criminal matter."

Redmond stated again, emphatically, that the newspaper did not know about Davis' alleged conduct prior to making the endorsement of the D5 candidate. He claimed that, prior to endorsing Davis, he also talked to "an awful lot of people," but nobody said anything about Davis groping a woman. All he gathered about the candidate was that he was, at one time, an "arrogant ass."

"I wish Kay had come forward and talked to me three weeks ago," he told us. "But you make a decision based on the information you have, and the information I had is what I said in the editorial.

"Honestly, the idea that me or the Guardian would have known Julian Davis groped a woman at a party and we still endorsed him is horrifying," Redmond told us. "Of course we wouldn't have -- it's inconceivable to me."

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Redmond and the SFBG didn't know the details because they didn't WANT to know the details. There was plenty of smoke in a place where they didn't want to find a fire. If there had been similar rumors circulating around Mark Farrell they would have been all over them.


Not to be too much of a wise guy, but I would like to bring up a couple of questions about what exactly is happening here. First of all, the timing is a dead giveaway. If Kay Vasilyeva and Julian Davis ever had the encounter that Mr. Davis is accused of years ago, then why did she wait until now to bring it up? And then take a look at who is making the allegations. Kay Vasilyeva? I looked around a little bit online, and found a movie online at starring Kay Vasilyeva - "five sexy coeds. one killer's not unrated for nothing." (NO, I'm NOT making this up!) Gee whiz, San Franciscans, the wool they are trying to pull over everyone's eyes here is 50% polyester! Don't be dumb enough to fall for this kind of thing. It's not about women's rights this time - this is about power, money, and people with agendas. I'm going to continue to support Julian Davis because I'm not dumb. I also want to urge all San Franciscans who vote to unite and tell City Hall (especially after Mirkirimi's reinstatement) that we are tired of sex and women's rights being used as political weapons.


 @j.stone2004 Did you seriously just copy and paste from the previous article dealing with this issue? Really? 


 @derpityderp  @j.stone2004 

Not to be too much of a wise guy, exactly what you said.  You haven't the experience to know what it takes for a woman to get up the courage and how long it takes to make this decision to stand up and tell a story that is sure to follow you a long time, with unwanted comments. This is hard to do.  I think you may be surprised to know how many people are out there that refused to ever speak up about this stuff.


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