In the news
Recent news stories on SF 2016 elections
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Tue, Nov 1
D11 Supe race – Safai’s ethically challenged affordable housing deal may hit brick wall
Real-estate house-flippers D11 Supe candidate Ahsha Safai and his partner come up with an “idea” for new affordable housing in D11, which sounds good just before the election but is fraught with ethical problems.
SF Nov 8 elections — The sleaze reaches high tide in SF election
The big-money lies are staggering. Phony Bernal slate card, Ahsha Safai’s bogus D11 affordable housing project, real-estate backed “Parents PAC” supports Wiener, and “keep in mind that almost everything arriving in your mailbox may be paid for by some of the worst players in local politics.”
Sat, Oct 29
D11 Supe race – Paywall – Ethics complaints fly at City Hall over District 11 candidate
D11 Supervisor John Avalos filed an ethics complaint against D11 Supervisor candidate Ahsha Safai. Safai boasts of a proposed 104-unit affordable housing complex but does not reveal he has a financial tie to the developer. Avalos also accuses Safai of failing to register as a lobbyist.
Fri, Oct 28
No on P, U, Q and R — OPINION: Some SF ballot measures Donald Trump would love
Thu, Oct 27
Tell Scott Wiener: It’s Not Hip to Evict
Scott Wiener, Exhibit #1 in the problem with huge real-estate and tech money in SF.
Playing politics with middle-class housing
Mark Leno Op-ed, “I am proud to stand with [nonprofit affordable housing and tenant groups] to vote No on Propositions P and U this Nov. 8, and I hope you will join me.”
Company Town: Tech vs. grassroots on the screen
New documentary uses 2015 supe campaign to show how the community is fighting the tech-money invasion.
New Documentary ‘Company Town’ Investigates Tech Industry’s Impact On SF Neighborhoods
New film explores tech in SF politics with Airbnb, Peskin (and me)
Funny video — American Refugees In Mexico After Trump Is Elected
“We should have built that wall.”
Tue, Oct 25
Mattresses and torn pants: The struggles of working families
Op-ed by Ahsha Safai, D11 Supe candidate, “Everything that I do and everything that I will be about will be to help working people.”
[By election day his Supervisor campaign will have about $1 million, mostly from real-estate and tech interests, with little support from working people.]
Scott Wiener twisting a dead mans words in election mailers is the last straw
“[The] words were critical of Wiener, but the candidate twisted them to be supportive.” — Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez
Mon, Oct 24
Wiener’s big money from bad agents
“… look at what’s going into the [Equality California] EQCA PAC, which is spending more than $800,000 (to date) promoting Wiener. … Doris Fisher, the widow of GAP founder (and prominent Republican) Don Fisher, who gave $3.35 million to the California Charter Schools Association, which then funneled $420,000 to EQCA. … The biggest opponents of Ellis Act reform were the California Association of Realtors and the California Apartment Association.
The Realtors put $120,000 into the ECQA PAC. The Apartment Association put up $180,000. That money is going to help elect Scott Wiener.
Wed, Oct 19
Prop H – Public advocate – Public Advocate benefits would outweigh cost
During Mayor Lee’s tenure, he’s added 6,414 full- and part-time city employees, increasing the payroll by $665.7 million. Adding $4 million for a Public Advocate is peanuts.
Mon, Oct 17
Debates of Land-use Props M O U X – Point/Counterpoint (Aaron Peskin, Scott Wiener, Jane Kim et al) Podcast Description of the event
Dennis Richards, of the Planning Commission, and Enrique Landa hosted a free event, Point/Counterpoint. It was well-attended by people and groups from both sides, both progressives and real-estate/tech supporters.
(At 9:10 in the Podcast Aaron Peskin was speaking in favor of Prop M – Create a Housing and Development Commission, and occupied the stage alone since the speaker against, Scott Wiener, could not arrive until 9pm. Sonja Trauss of SFBARF walked up to the stage, interrupted the speakers, and asked something inaudible. Moderator J K Dineen explained again about Wiener’s late arrival.)
(48:15 in the Podcast, a surprisingly good exchange: Prop O, Yes – Angelo King, No – Calvin Welch)
Sun, Oct 16
District 11, 9, 1 (Three Moms) Supe races – Supervisor candidate Josh Arce takes $70K from groups backed by controversial police union
“… on June 27, the POA contributed $75,000 to an independent expenditure committee (a.k.a. a big political piggy bank) called San Franciscans for a City that Works.”
SF for a City that Works has a big pot of cash $371,000 so far that it used to boost moderate Democrats aligned with Mayor Ed Lee: District 1 supervisor candidate Marjan Philhour, District 11 candidate Ahsha Safai and, yes, Arce.
Humor – Mayor Lee out of town? – Paywall – Willie’s World by Willie Brown
I was called in at the last minute to sub [at a social event] for Mayor Ed Lee, who I was told was out of town.
On the way out, I happened to bump into one of the mayor’s security people.
“So Mayor Lee is out of town?” I asked.
The cop nodded.
“Might I ask where?”
“Westlake Joe’s. Daly City.”
Fri, Oct 14
District 1 and 11 Supe races – Community, labor leaders protest scary Big Tech dark money
It’s clear whats going on here: The allies of Mayor Ed Lee, who want to take back control of the Board of Supes, have decided that their best shot at blocking a progressive majority is to go after [Kim] Alvarenga and [Sandra] Fewer. So they are pouring in the money at a staggering rate.
District 1 Supe race – Police union helps pay for Arce literature
“In this case, the cops (whose water Arce has carried in the past) have made their preference clear. So have the allies of Ed Lee.”
Mayor and backers buy a Supe seat – To Keep Tech Shuttles Running, Companies Are Backing Moderate Candidates For Supervisor
Progress SF PAC, the real-estate/tech money channel. “The Robert F. Kennedy Democratic club is one of the three political groups that Progress SF funded, providing it $200,000: It supports Philhour in District 1 and Safai and District 11. Another beneficiary of Progress SF is San Franciscans for a City that Works, which received $195,000 from the PAC and spent $63,397 to support Philhour. San Francisco Firefighters Local 798 is the third group funded by Progress SF, receiving $300,000 from Progress SF. It spent more than $309,330 in support of Safai, for whom third-party spending totals $384,327. $365,507 in third-party money has been spent in support of Philhour.”
It’s all about tech shuttles – “Early morning commuters need to know how the supervisor race will impact their lives,” Laura Clark wrote in a mass-email to supporters obtained by the Examiner. The RFK club’s vice president and the president of Grow San Francisco, a group that promotes the building of housing, Clark punctuated her remarks with the call to Help reach techies near you!” according to the Ex.
The real-estate/tech pickup of the D11 Supe seat? “John Avalos, the current District 11 Supervisor who is supporting candidate Kimberly Alvarenga to succeed him rather than Safai, told the paper he’s “not surprised that tech money is flooding into D-11 through back channels like the firefighters [independent expenditures]. The tech bros are trying to elect Safai who has demonstrated to them that he will give them the tax breaks, subsidies and favorable business conditions that will provide them at the expense of the D-11 neighborhoods.”
Google bus issue reappears as ‘dark money’ from tech floods into supervisor races
Salesforce, Y Combinator and Maximus Real Estate the latter is the developer behind the so-called Monster in the Mission are among the more than two dozen contributors to Progress San Francisco, a political action committee that has received $1.2 million in funding as of Sept. 24.
Wed, Oct 12
D11 Supe candidate Safai’s failures – Paywall – SF supervisor hopeful Ahsha Safai touts tenure at troubled agency, the commission that was so ineffective Mayor Ed Lee removed almost the entire bunch, Safai included, three years later.
In 2013, The Chronicle revealed several improprieties at the agency, including favoritism in awarding contracts, employee lawsuits alleging discrimination, and financial problems so bad the federal government rated it among the two worst public housing agencies in the state.
Millennium Tower (aka Leaning Tower of Frisco) – Paywall – Millennium penthouse price defies gravity
Supervisor Aaron Peskin has found $250,000 city money to pay for an independent analysis of the Millenniums foundation.
Tue, Oct 11
Early Voting Begins In San Francisco Bay Area (KPIX TV)
State Senate race – Paywall – Kim, Wiener square off in debate on building, campaign funding
District 11 Supe race – Big bully Ahsha: Safai campaign targets tiny Democratic club
4-time loser Ahsha Safai: tried to get an endorsement twice at his neighborhood District 11 Dem Club (lost by 3–1 margin), and tried twice and lost twice to get the endorsement of the SF Democratic Party (DCCC).
District 7 supervisor race: Five candidates focus on reducing property crime
Mon Oct 10
D11, D9 Supe races – Following the big tech and real estate money in D11 and D9
Hundreds of thousands from Big Tech and anti-labor developer pour in to support Safai and Arce
Prop Q – Prop. Q divides SF over how to address homelessness
John Burton, Chair, CA Democratic Party, on Mark Farrell’s Prop Q “… one of the things that bothered me the most was elected officials who use the poor for their own political advancement.”
Props J, K – Voters will see sales tax hike, funding for homeless and Muni on November ballot
Both props are supported by Mayor Lee, Supe Scott Wiener and Supe John Avalos; both props opposed by Supes Aaron Peskin, Jane Kim and Norman Lee.
D1 Supes – Paywall – Big field for Richmond District supervisor race
Sun Oct 9
Props P, U – Don’t be fooled: Propositions P and U are bad for affordable housing
Thu Oct 6
D1 supervisor race: Philhour, Fewer battle to represent the Richmond
State Senate race – Paywall – Sony brings hammer down on Wieners Katy Perry drag-queen video
Norman D7 – Paywall – 4 challengers face off with incumbent west-side SF supervisor
Prop D – Proposition D is all about democracy
Jane Kim – Will Wiener Attacks Sink Kim?
Janitor’s union: Campaign for D11 candidate Ahsha Safai or pay $150
Jane Kim’s new TV ad – Jane Kim: Fight the Evictions – “Kicking ass so we don’t get kicked out”
10/3 Prop H public advocate – Voters will consider measure to create elected SF public advocate position
Kim-Wiener dead heat – Paywall – State Senate race locked in furious dead heat between Kim, Wiener
Props P & U – The real estate industry attacks affordable housing in SF — “National and state Realtor organizations put more than $1 million in Yes on Props P & Uto the campaigns for Propositions P and U, to undermine affordable housing. Proposition P will also create zero more housing; it creates a barrier to new housing. Proposition U will not create a single new unit of housing.
D9 – The bizarre case of Josh Arces gumshoes — If the San Francisco election wasn’t strange enough already, it just took a dive off the political deep end.
Props Q & R – November ballot measures incite class hatred in San Francisco — “Prop. Q and Prop. R could finally be the ones that halt the tradition of politicians getting ahead by using homeless people as launching pads” — Jennifer Friedenbach
D1, D9, D11 attacks — Nato Green — Negative campaign season in San Francisco
Props C, M. P, U — Measures on November ballot seek solutions SFs housing crisis
Mayor Lee backing is poison – Paywall – Supervisor hopefuls bury City Hall resumes to claim outsider cred
Paywall – D11 ‘Dirty’ Politics: How The City’s Janitors Could Swing The Board Of Supes’ Balance of Power
Props D, H, L, M ReCoTown says Yes — Dede Wilsey joins big money against City Hall reform — Mayor’s allies spending more than $800,000 against Props. D, H, L and M
D1, 5, 9, 11 – Paywall — Outside groups spend heavily on moderates in SF supervisor races
Prop H Public Advocate pro/con
D11 — All District 11 supe candidates say neighborhoods underserved
D11 candidates Kim Alvarenga, Ahsha Safai
D11 – Real-estate forces fail to force a DCCC revote in D11
Prop V Soda Tax – tax sugary beverages to reduce health risks
D1 The campaign madness moves to D1 — Opponents doubt Sandra Fewer is Chinese.
News items from the June 7 Primary
Fri, May 27, 2016 Why the DCCC Real Estate bloc has to go
At the Weds, May 25 DCCC meeting a measure to reign in Airbnb’s flaunting of laws, co-sponsored by democratic heavyweights Sen. Dianne Feinstein and State Sen. Mark Leno, was voted down by the real-estate coalition (including Mark Leno’s protege Scott Wiener). A heavy dose of Airbnb money caused the Real Estate members to propose and approve a measure which did the opposite, giving Airbnb another pass.
State Senator Mark Leno said of Airbnb’s influence on the SF Democratic Party, ”No industry should have such an outsize influence on the working of a democratic deliberation.”
Thu, Apr 28: Airbnb suddenly drops $245,000 into local politics
Big donations to measures sponsored by Farrell, Cohen, and Lee and to
DCCC candidates come days after a new bill is introduced to more tightly regulate the company
Apr 8, 2016 Why are so many running for DCCC?
S.F. Democrats battle over shades of blue
Apr 7, 2016 District 11 State Senate Race Heats Up With First Public Debate
Jane Kim and Scott Wiener debated Weds/6, and while there was no clear winner there were two distinct sets of ideas on how San Francisco should be run.
Mar 17, 2016 Supervisors Debate Reimbursing Street Artists, Merchants Displaced By Super Bowl City
Supes Aaron Peskin and Jane Kim propose a $100K fund to help those affected.
Mar 14, 2016 Five candidates debate in District 9 sup race
Hillary Ronen does well as the main progressive candidate. Josh Arce, who collected $75K from real estate interests for his DCCC run, claims he is a “progressive.”
Mar 14, 2016 DCCC candidate filing rush, Academy of Art review at Planning, Non-Profit displacement mitigation
Mar 7, 2016 Campos throws down gauntlet, calls for state of emergency on homelessness
Supervisor calls for state of emergency, says the mayor has failed to act on the crisis
By Tim Redmond, 48hills.org
Mar 1, 2016 SF supervisors put affordable-housing measure on June ballot
A charter amendment, authored by Jane Kim and Aaron Peskin, requiring developers to sell and rent 25 percent of units in new developments at below-market rate prices will be on the June ballot. Passed BoS by unanimous 11–1 vote.
SF Examiner http://www.sfexaminer.com/san-
Beyond Chron http://www.beyondchron.org/
Feb 29, 2016 A Supreme Court pass gives affordable housing advocates a win
Feb 28, 2016 Peskin, Kim and progressive supes provide opening for more open government
Feb 25, 2016 Understanding the presidential campaign: The revolution has come
By Robert Reich
Feb 25, 2016 Supes Drop Ballot Measure, Shift Strategies in Debate Over Affordable Housing Requirements
Supervisors Jane Kim and Aaron Peskin today said they would withdraw one measure from the June ballot … The announcement is the latest move in a political struggle between the two supervisors and the mayor’s office over competing affordable housing measures.
Feb 25, 2016 San Francisco working to unify homeless services amid crisis on streets
Supervisors Jane Kim and Malia Cohen look for ways to solve the homeless crisis.
Feb 24, 2016 San Francisco at crossroads over affordable housing requirements
Kim, Peskin and progressives on BoS try for a charter amendment to boost inclusionary housing. Will negotiate with Mayor and developers before a final BoS vote.
By David Talbot
San Francisco values were not born with flowers in their hair – they were born howling, in strife. It’s time to fight for them again
Note: David Talbot, Tim Redmond, and a cast of progressive leaders convened the first general meeting of SFVision last Friday evening. Above is David Talbot’s opening speech. Monthly SFVision events are planned leading up to the June and November elections.
Feb 22–29 Big bucks backers at City Hall vs the rest of us
Tim Redmond lays out the many policy decisions on deck at City Hall and around town this week (http://www.48hills.org/2016/
– Thursday the Planning Commission decides whether to send the Affordable Housing Bonus Program to the BoS where it will probably die.
February 10, 2016 SF’s campaign money: Loopholes, scams, and real-estate cash
We sort out the filings for the supervisor candidates — which give a good sense of who is on which side in a divided city
By Tim Redmond – http://www.48hills.org/2016/
Take a moment to watch this video: