Not a surprise: Wal-Mart's Walton family dropped more than half a million dollars into electing the governor, with a most timely donation of $250,000 last year on the very day he vetoed legislation aimed at Wal-Mart that would have required businesses to disclose when employees use public health care services.
Two other bills, SB1523, requiring environmental impact reports and public hearings for the construction of stores larger than 100,000 square feet, and SB1818, allowing cities to recover legal fees when sued by big-box retailers, sailed through the legislature but are currently festering on the governor's desk.
Is it all enough to protect San Francisco? Can the city keep mom and pop on the corners and resist the commercialism that has made a city like Emeryville the mall that it is today?
Maxwell, who pushed the recent legislation for Showplace Square and Potrero Hill, hopes so. "I'd rather have the position of them on the offense than the defense," she said of potential retail applicants. When asked if the city codes are strict enough, she said, "If not, I'd be willing to put forth the legislation that is."
As for the idea of Wal-Mart coming to town, the District 10 supervisor was nothing if not firm: "No, no way. Not in San Francisco." SFBG