Backroom brokers - Page 3

Behind the carefully orchestrated downtown campaign to take over City Hall

27 that Hsieh has been sending robocalls in Cantonese to voters saying that Lee is endorsed by the "San Francisco Democratic Party Club." Actually, the Democratic Party endorsed Mar.

What is this new "party club" anyway? Well, the Web site reported, the club started raising money just two weeks ago, and already has collected $30,000 from PG&E, $2,000 from the Chamber of Commerce, $5,000 from GGRA (Golden Gate Restaurant Association), and $70,000 from the Committee on Jobs. Another new club, called the Richmond Reform Democratic Club, is opposing Mar — and has $18,000 from the Committee on Jobs, $5,000 from PG&E, and $2,000 from BOMA.

In television ads paid for by the Realtors, a voiceover tries to link Mar, Avalos, and Chiu to Sup. Chris Daly, whose popularity outside his district is low — although neither Mar nor Chiu has much of a discernable connection to Daly. Avalos was a Daly City Hall aide.

One of the Realtors ads was so utterly inaccurate and deceptive — it claimed Chiu and Avalos support decriminalizing prostitution, when both have publicly opposed the decriminalization ballot measure — that Comcast pulled the ad off the air when Chiu filed a complaint.

Fog City Journal uncovered what appears to be illegal collusion between the police union and Safai. Although candidates are barred from coordinating with groups making independent expenditures on their behalf, POA president Gary Delagnes told FCJ editor Luke Thomas that Safai had given the group a photo of him to use on a mailer, a copyrighted image that Thomas took. Safai denied wrongdoing, but refused to answer further inquiries about the matter.

It's a pitched battle — labor, the tenants, and the Democratic Party against the landlords, PG&E, downtown interests, and the Republicans. It's pretty clear which side you want to be on.

Steven T. Jones, Sarah Phelan, and Amanda Witherell contributed to this report.