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.



Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2010 @ 3:39 pm

I am indeed part of the other party in a legal dispute with Mr. Moss & Ms.Findling.

As you would expect me to say there was, and is, a well documented boundary line dispute and prior instances of flooding, drainage, and grading problems that had damaged an abutting property. The reason for the dispute is perplexing. I am mystified as why the dispute was not immediately resolved as my experience with the mentioned neighbors has found them to be civil, courteous, rational and patient in a manner I couldn't follow. The claim is with complete merit that is hard to dispute on any grounds.

Had we been aware of the dispute, I believe based on further investigation we certainly would not have purchased the property and gone through the subsequent misery that an ongoing legal dispute entails, as court records show we did not initiate.

I am sure nobody has interest in the details of the suit but I would make the following points.

Mr. Moss and Ms. Findling decided to engage the notorious services of Mr. Andrew Zacks.

Mr. Moss and Ms. Findling were fully aware of our attorney of record and our attorneys communication that he would accept any service after Mr. Zacks threats. A month earlier we were forced into a mediation with our attorney present. Mr. Zacks subsequently started a campaign of process servers knocking on our door night and day in what I believe to be a bullying campaign that served its purpose in ruining any enjoyment of our home. Nine times I believe they came knocking, morning, day and evening, again public record.

I do not believe we disturbed Mr. Moss and Ms. Findling's sale, but we were actually invited to meet their prospective buyer, again left out. We very much wanted to rid ourselves of any dealings with our co-owners, the Guardian describes the previous relationship as friendly, I do not believe that to be true.

In the last eight weeks we have gone through all sorts of delightful experiences, including the cancellation of both our water and garbage services by Mr. Moss and Ms. Findling without notice. They do have a tenant in their unit below us utilizing such services, but they refuse to acknowledge who it is or that they will abide by our CC & R's rules.

If Mr. Moss or Ms. Findling feel that we have a propensity to engage in malicious and antisocial behavior, feel free to question anyone on our block. Being a chatty Cathy, in my case, isn't malicious, but may be painful often.

If they feel that noise concerns were unfounded shoot some people over to the property. Or better yet get a bunch of people in a room and put it all out on a table and make your own judgment on the facts that are presented, you don't get to hide behind Mr. Zacks's Mr. Moss.

It is probably fairly obvious that I won't be voting for Mr. Moss under any circumstances and have a very low opinion of his character. I may lose my shirt financially fighting against Mr. Moss' s high powered, very expensive, pit bull eviction attorney.

However I am old school and wish that if Mr. Moss wanted a scrap he do it against me alone and not against a woman, my wife, as you did with your process servers when I was away on business, and your subsequent many actions. Your actions make you a coward, and that is what you are Mr. Moss.

A lot of people seem to be nervous and scared of Mr. Moss, an odd reaction to a candidate, obviously I am not. If you post and reply anything to this blog please don't use "guest" tell us who you are?

As a last note the accusation of malicious and antisocial behavior may be true in my case. Players at the pool tables of Blooms, The Dogpatch Saloon and the old Sadies flying elephant probably have a very strong case that I would find it impossible to win.

My wife and I are owners of tow small businesses. We employ 35 people across North America and we are for profit and not funded by taxpayer dollars.

Posted by Edward Penrose on Sep. 14, 2010 @ 8:41 pm

Checkmate 2!

Posted by Edward Penrose on Sep. 14, 2010 @ 9:01 pm

Moss is a dirt bag. Gets checks at the 'office', but doesn't pay rent? Guess that means that you and I are paying rent through the PUC $$$. While the Guardian says he has not broken the law, something tells me that the IRS will beg to differ.

I think the best place for your Mr. Moss and your lovely family is a town called Bell, CA. It seems you would fit right in with the folks running things down there.

Posted by Potrero Kid on Sep. 14, 2010 @ 9:19 pm


So he hasn’t lived in District 10 during the time with which he claims. Does that mean he can he be removed from the Ballot?

I’d prefer not to post my name. I don’t need Moss sending his goons to bang on my door too.

What else has this guy done?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

Is Andrew Zacks the Lembi family attorney? Sounds like they are using similar tactics.

Little read on them if you don't remember...

So answer me this - if you owned an apartment building in Dolores Park, and 'condo' in Potrero why o' why would you rent in Potrero?

Planning on a quick getaway?

Planning on really staying in Dolores and just needing an address here (is the PUC $$ paying for this too?)

Needing to stick it to the poor sods who purchased a unit in your 'condo', so you won't move in the other unit?

When things don't make sense, when they are not simple and practical - something dirty is going on plain and simple.

Posted by CitiGirl on Sep. 15, 2010 @ 6:42 am

I would like to post my real name - but like the others not interested in having 'visitors' from Moss.

So, the real question Mr. Moss is not about your residency. It is about your money. Or should I say OUR money.

Money from the PUC, local charities like the Goldman Fund, PG&E 'grants', $$ from San Francisco to run your campaign.....and more I am sure I don't know about.

So where is OUR $$ is going?

Who is paying the rent on your 'office' (and which office is that?) Since your non-profit newspaper, power non-profit, election office, and FOR PROFIT all 'share' the same space?

Does the non-profit pay for the coffee? This is such laughable BS --- it is clear your 'non-profits' charity is YOU. And WE the rate payers, and charitable donors are unwittingly funding YOU and your schemes.

Since you refuse to clearly stated what 'jobs' you have provided, how much folks are paid, if they are getting benefits etc. I imagine you haven't provided any --- or you paid folks $50 bucks here and there so you could exagerate and make grand claims of 'creating jobs for poor folks in bayview'

LIke another poster said, the Guardian may say you are not 'breaking the law', but I imagine the IRS, and the PUC will disagree. And I wonder if the foundations you have been bilking will invite you to their next fundraiser?

Sir your days of lining your coat pockets are hopefully over soon. The PUC needs to do real work as do the non-profits in our fair City.

I hope the organizations will be able to get their $$ back -- I know a few streets that need their pot holes filled, a few kids that could use some after school help, and a few organizations (like Glide) that provide REAL jobs for REAL people.

May all see you are yours for what you clearly are...

Posted by SanFranNative on Sep. 15, 2010 @ 6:57 am

If you check the State Attorney Generals 990 filings on SF Community Power M-Cubed is spealt incorrectly, makes it hard to find and see who it is . Only records for 2005 / 06 / 07 are available to view, hundreads of thousands.

Guardian is wrong on a coupel of things. Moss founded M-Cubed in 1992, per his site, and on his campaign web site it doesn't list his for profit companies name, how odd.

If you look at SF Power there are hundreads of thousands in expenses that are so out of line with any organization. Potrero View and Power have same fax number. Look at finances on SF Power he depreciated equipment on both.

There is no mention of what happened to the first $1.5 million he recieved and quotes on SF Power with the first non profit, no 990's on that, again odd.

Starting a non-profit to inure yourself is comletely illegal per the IRS charter. Moss quotes on M-Cubed that they started SF Community Power but doesn't mention San Francisco Community Power Co-Operative and the original $1.5M. Was at the same time be purchased the home in D10 that the Guardian mentions, how surprising.

Moss also received over a million into SF Community Power from various charities, including the Goldman fund where his wife is deputy director, all on his SF Power page, about us, financials, third paragraph and spreadsheet link, I am sure he will remove quickly, I would.

The only company that was awarded contracts by SF Community Power was Moss owned M-Cubed. The address is listed at M-Cubed as 296 Liberty Street. 990 lists his college buddies home address in Oakland, google maps street view.

Look under projects one in ten years to Community Power listed, amazing. $1m plus paid plus a salary & benefits to Moss from Community Power - Good deal.

Lastly and more interesting yet. Residency. Moss states he had no campaign office and used his home, using offices paid for by taxpayer funds and 501 C 3 would clearly be illegal.

The PUC water usage at 18th Street rental ($2.1m property) is minimal, 6 - 9 units since February 2010 when they rented, ask him to verify, rented in spring and not winter. Liberty Street address, under Moss's wifes name water usage nearly doubled to August this year, 43 units.

Would his supporters on hear please confirm that they all met at 18th street, never went to the bathroom and pissed in the street only,no urine smell detectable and no street bathromms this morning, or maybe they drove to Liberty Street or Farleys for toilet usage. Roger at Farleys is on the SF Power board, so take it he was fine with hundreads of thousands going out the door to the for profit, executive directors business.

Steve, don't bother removing the links, and all the factual info, its copied to be safe. You removed the Mills college reference and I am sure you'll be doing a lot of cut and pastes today.

Want to confirm or deny your water usage at your $3.5 million combined property value (rental and owned), bills please, if you can't find them they are under "Findling", sure that will help.

Posted by PotreroJoe on Sep. 15, 2010 @ 7:24 am

mama mia --- ed jew is looking like a saint!

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2010 @ 8:42 am

I agree, Ed Jew took a little Chinese graft of what $75 / $85K, we'd be so lucky. Ed even promised a building permit didn't he, and then told the FBI he was holding the money for a playground, I like Ed more by the day, he didn't even spend the cash.

I believe the Potrero Center cut its staff by three quarters from what I heard, imagine how many staff and jobs that money could have created with the self awarded funds!

Just looked at the SF Power link and the spreadsheet, $435K in 30 months in consulting fees, damn sign me up for that gig.

Must run, have to award myself a contract.

Posted by Wow on Sep. 15, 2010 @ 9:10 am

Thank you very much for this eye-opening article. Moss came across to me as a weaselly lying douchebag, or at the very least a man with such a gap in believability that he's D10's version of a Fox News pundit. The man's highly questionable statements demonstrate that he should never ever be taken at his word unless there are three independent sources verifying his statements.

Moss is entitled to dispute my opinion. But unless he can show, say, that the rather damning e-mail about his residency intentions was a fake e-mail created under his wife's name, I feel D10 deserves a far better candidate than this man who will stretch the limits of the truth or the law to get elected.

Posted by Peter on Sep. 15, 2010 @ 9:32 am

Crook !

How do you get the money back anyone?

Posted by Moss is a dirt bag on Sep. 15, 2010 @ 11:05 am

So based on all the comments and questions will the elusive and rich Mr. Moss state on record that he did not have cable, Satellite or DSL service at the Dolores address from Winter 2010 onwards?

If he did have usage let all D10 voters see the bills and usage. Can we get a sworn statement from the residents at the Dolores residence that he has not been seen in residence since 2010.

I take it they drive, you have 30 days to change DMV records to a new address, where are their cars registered?

Residence aside from all the other unanswered questions is very important, for Moss and all other candidates.

His response avoided answering and further questions make him look like a liar. Why not provide a statement and put this to rest, it is such easy stuff.

Posted by Candidate Moss answer please. on Sep. 15, 2010 @ 1:34 pm

those of us who may have only mildly troubled by the carpetbagger accusations have a lot more to chew on now...

i think a real question for the other candidates is whether they would want his #2 vote...

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

Someone should give Farley's, Goat Hill, Christopher's, Centered Body and any other biz endorsing Moss a heads up --- something tells me they had no idea who they were really endorsing.

Posted by Mensch on the Hill on Sep. 15, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

I think those biz can read and decide for themselves.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

Pretty obvious why Sutton and the rest want Moss in the board at any cost.

The dirt is bad and deep, he gets in and they can get him to vote on any issue anyway they want, that is how it works folks.

Irony that his ego is so inflated over what, stealing tax payer and non profit funds by pitching a good story. Poor people needing help, green power, pretty good timing.

Pretty amusing to see the latest view issue. He uses his own daughter with African African American friend of course, predictable, but doesn't tell you that we the tax payer are actually paying her $24K a year private tuition while city schools fall apart from lack of funding. Nice move Steve.

Back in the land of reality children in LA are turned away from school for a few days due to lack of funds, SF Power $350K that Moss is paying a nice chunk to himself would probably have helped.

It doesn't take very much intelligence to look at SF Power mission statement and what he pitched versus what he did. Does anyone honestly think that the PUC or any fund would give money to a non profit that's executive director would then freely admit was going to pay back to himself in hundreds of thousands, in fact millions.

The problem for Moss is that he left a bad trail. In a good honest city the district attorney would jump on this and get the funds back, the question of criminal activity is so obvious a first year law student to get him convicted. I hope our DA's office isn't asleep at the wheel.

I hope we can truly get a great supervisor into office this November and that the stain of past few years corruptions ends soon.

In addition the members of the PUC, state and city, should resign immediately. The other non profits that gave money really need to take a long hard look at their due diligence before handing tens of thousands out.

Posted by Obvious Politics and obvious crook. on Sep. 16, 2010 @ 7:05 am

Hold on…

I usually filter out political basing but this particular article hits a little too close to home for me not to chime in.

I live on the corner of Vermont and 18th and have been for several years. I can assure you, without question, this guy has not been living at 2145 18th Street. If he lives there now it hasn’t been more than a couple weeks.

Why is this happening in my district??. Potrero needs good representation. In my opinion this guy is a self serving, greedy, manipulative businessman (at best).

Posted by Guest on Sep. 16, 2010 @ 7:19 am

I think you should contact the DA with this info. They'll keep it confidential.

Everyone knows who lives around them on Potrero and nobody including others have seen them around until very recently.

They have a dog, per his website and his comments, where do they walk it, in the bathtub?

Posted by Hold on on Sep. 16, 2010 @ 8:14 am

So Mr. Moss are you going to respond to this? Very curious to hear your side of the story.

Posted by Mensch on the Hill on Sep. 16, 2010 @ 7:29 am

Hmm, I wonder if Moss is going to show? Or is he going to empty his accounts and go while the going is good?

Wed, Sept 22 at 6:00pm
D10 Candidate Forum at UCSF
Genentech Hall, 600 16th Street
hosted by the League of Women Voters, Potrero Boosters, Potrero Hill Association of Merchants and Businesses, Dogpatch Neighborhood Association, and UCSF

Posted by Hill resident on Sep. 16, 2010 @ 11:28 am

That's so unfair.

Why don't they hold it closer to Valencia so he could walk.

Posted by Hmm, I wonder if Moss is going to show? on Sep. 16, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

LA DA is prosecuting assemblyman for lying about residence on declaration of candidacy.

Watch out Steve baby, they may come knocking sometime.

Posted by LA DA's office on Sep. 16, 2010 @ 1:22 pm

"I intervene in regulatory cases on behalf of SF Community Power," Moss said, "And then, if you win a case, you get compensation after the case."

Absolutely not the stated mission of the non-profit on IRS 990's. The other non profits that gave him money were not told either.

That makes you a conman Mr. Moss, a bona fida crook who stole from the poorest members of our district to fill your pockets, a filthy human being.

He cannot stop this campaign as he will have to fight for his life outside of jail, and that is where a crook like him should be.

Supporters do the same, research what sleaze bag did, all public record, still want to support him?

Posted by IRS on Sep. 17, 2010 @ 1:33 pm

Following the publication of this article and my comments my wife and I have received numerous blocked ID phone calls through the day and night.

We have noticed, and never seen before, people stopping outside our residence, looking up at our abode and leaving. Not local, not folks from the block, we know most especially due to the spike in crime, muggings and auto break ins within two blocks of our home.

I'd appreciate if anyone has a question, comment or accusation they can make direct contact with me.

My wife and I already feel hostage in our own home and do not feel comfortable even having private conversations at home as we are unaware of who Mr. Moss and Ms. Findling have living below us, they refuse to disclose. and every conversation carries, contrary to Mr. Moss' accusations.

As one might imagine my wife and I were astonished that Mr. Moss and Ms. Findling proceeded last year to evict a tenant in their D8 property for exactly the same reason that we had issue at Kansas Street.

Edward Penrose
D10 Resident - Kansas Street, San Francisco.

Posted by Edward Penrose on Sep. 18, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

Five Things Worth Discussing in D10

The following important, but easily ‘homogenized’ issues every candidate discusses in a general and peripheral way (often resulting in sound-bite solutions), have been given short shrift in the recent SFBG articles that focus on candidate-specific anomalies.

Crime and Public Safety
Health, Environment and Social Services
Land Use Planning and Housing
Education, Economic Development and Jobs
Transportation, Muni, Traffic

Yet, there are FIVE additional issues, which have not been discussed and are worth the attention of our candidates:

1. Re-Districting in D10 and the 2012 repeat of moved initiated in 2002. Will each candidate make a pledge to retain the relationships and district connections among the Potrero, Bayview and Visitacion Valley communities?

2. Tax Increment Financing, the Redevelopment Areas and Audits of the Redevelopment Agency

3. The Sewer Plant – move it, reduce it, expand it? Or ignore it?

4. M1 / PDR districts and the great pressure on building new affordable housing in D10. Will the remainder of SF play in this sandbox?

5. The Non-Profit sucking sound in D10. Are the organizations receiving real money actually delivering significant services?

Will the SFBG, the candidates and the D10 voters engage in a debate on these items?

Dan Dodt
San Francisco

Posted by dan dodt on Sep. 20, 2010 @ 5:10 pm

Lots of errors, omissions and flat lies in the Guardian article and almost all of the comments. Here are some FACTS.
Steven Moss did in fact live at the address on 18th street starting early this year. I visited him and his family at that home in March so the person who lives on the street and said Steven Moss did not live there until very recently is flat wrong.

The law on declaring an address and running for office is very clear, even though the Guardian and most of those who comment don't seem to get it. A candidate DOES NOT have to actually live in the district when filing the initial intent notice, but does have to live there when making the formal application. Steven Moss fully complied with the law and is not at all like Mr. Jew.

As for moving into the district to run, his family lived on Kansas since 2000, as the Guardian admits. He works there, has businesses there, hired people for both the View and M3 who work in District 10, and has contributed significantly via the non-profit to improve energy efficiency, save money on utility bills, and reduce greenhouse gases. Moving back to his district for 8 1/2 of the last 10 years where he has worked for more than 10 years is certainly not carpetbagging.

Posted by Guest Guest on Sep. 22, 2010 @ 8:16 pm

So Mr. or Mrs. Mysterious why doesn't Mr. Moss simply provide utility bills from both properties to prove?

He received over $4m in majority taxpayer funds, how many people did he hire?

The utility program is PG & E, not him, total crap.

His non profit did contribute a lot, to himself. There are so many unanswered questions, have him answer these at:

Posted by The Real Steve Moss on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 10:00 am

What an amazing cover. We know he rented the place, thank you taxpayer.

You mean the the non-profit that pays him well over a million in consulting plus a salary benefits and looks like all the views rent, eerr that is criminal if you didn't notice.

What are all the errors and emissions, must be talking about Mr. Millions tax returns, he is so very quiet and you a "guest". What's in it for you? Are you with CPMC?

What a slimy crook who has stolen from the taxpayer and hopefully will get the justice he deserves.

Is evicting anyone else this week?

Posted by BS on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 1:38 pm