Willie Brown is the most brilliant political operative in the history of California. Maybe the U.S.
To his regret, he returned to San Francisco to be mayor. A job he disliked vehemently because he had to deal with a garrulous Board of Supervisors, mostly idiots. In a town of Lefty ideological voters.
Willie had a long history of running campaigns in California from his central position as Democratic Party banker.
Willie tried an experiment in his second campaign for mayor. He wanted to see if the traditional Chicago, New York political machines would work in San Francisco.
He set up several large church fried chicken dinners in black neighborhoods. He then offered, via his political friendship network, to take any black voter to the polling station by limousine and afterwards to the free chicken dinner.
Willie was prepared to transport several thousand black voters.
He only got several hundred.
Political machines with the traditional bribery form don't work in San Francisco.
The ones that work are union based. The union has sufficient power over its members to get them to act. The unions have 26,000 city employees, the highest salaries and benefits in the country, thousands of SEIU maintenance workers and thousands of hospital workers. Unions have a large voting influence. No bribery, just suasion.