Five things you should know about Steve Moss

And they aren't part of the D-10 candidate's campaign literature

Steve Moss: landlord backing, condo conversion, and a hasty lawsuit

In August 2010, Steve Moss, who is running for District 10 supervisor, took out an ad in the Potrero View, which he owns, titled "Five things you need to know about Steve Moss."

The ad, paid for by Moss' political campaign, stated that Moss "edits and publishes this very paper (but got its endorsement on his own merits)." A year earlier, when Moss filed for the D–10 race, he promised in the View that "the paper will not endorse any of the contenders." Reached by phone, Moss said that part of the ad was intended as a joke.

The other four bullet points seemed to be factual statements about Moss' accomplishments. But Moss' misleading ad got the Guardian taking a closer look, and, along the way, we found a lot of other things you probably didn't know about Moss.

As far as we know, none of these things are illegal, and Moss can certainly argue that none of them are wrong. But since this is a progressive district, we thought voters would want to know a little more before the November election.

1. He's a carpetbagger

Moss portrays himself as a District 10 resident who spent the last decade raising his family on Potrero Hill. In fact, during 2008 and 2009, Moss wasn't living on Potrero Hill at all. When he filed his intent to run in the D–10 race in 2009, he was living near Dolores Park in a four-floor, four-unit, $1.6 million apartment building he owns. And shortly before he filed his intent to seek office, Moss' wife told friends that the family was only moving to District 10 so Moss could run for supervisor, and that if he lost, they would be moving back to the Dolores Park area.

In his declaration of intent to run, a legal document he signed under penalty of perjury Aug. 4, 2009, Moss listed his address as 2325 Third St. That address is where the View; Moss' nonprofit San Francisco Community Power; and M.Cubed, Moss' private consulting company, share space. It's also where where the Moss campaign asked supporters to send checks. It's not where Moss was living with his family.

Indeed, evidence that came to light in a lawsuit between Moss and his wife, Debbie Findling, and a couple who co-own the property where Moss used to reside on Kansas Street, indicate that he moved out of D-10 in November 2007 and was living at 296 Liberty Street, in District 8, until February 2010.

In a July 8, 2009 e-mail to friends, filed in court in this lawsuit, Moss' wife noted: "Steven has decided to run for city supervisor in District 10!!! (Sophie Maxwell's term ends in November 2010) so we'll be moving back to the hill in early spring! If you hear of any lovely rentals let us know. Or — I know it's a crazy idea — but if you're interested in swapping houses with us for a year as an even trade, you can move into our place on Dolores Park! (We're hedging our bets in case he doesn't win, we'd be moving back to Dolores Park after the elections. If he does win, we'll find a long-term place to live ... )."

Reached by phone, Moss told us that it was only his candidate intention statement — a form that allows a candidate to start to raise money — that he filed while living at Liberty Street in 2009, not his official declaration of candidacy form. The language on the two forms is slightly different; the intent form only asks for a "street address" while the actual declaration of candidacy asks for a "residence" address.

Moss said he filed his declaration of candidacy a few days before the deadline, this summer. That form requires candidates to have resided in the district for not less than 30 days immediately preceding the date they file.

Moss insisted that he currently lives in a rental house at 2145 18th Street. "I'm planning to win," Moss told us. "And we're very much enjoying the house on Potrero Hill and hoping to stay there."

2. He managed to avoid the condo lottery.