Cash not care - Page 4

Downtown groups are spending big money and making telling alliances in this election

Downtown's money has filled local mailboxes with reams of campaign propaganda

Yet Moss, who sold a condo on Potrero Hill in 2007 for the same price he paid for the entire building in 2001, seems to voice more sympathy for property owners than renters, who make up about two-thirds of city residents. He told us, "Landlords feel that they are responsible for maintaining costly older buildings and that they are not provided with ways to upgrade their units in ways that share costs with tenants."

Another realm where downtown seems to be trying to flip the Board of Supervisors on a significant agenda item is on health care, particularly the California Pacific Medical Center proposal to build a high-end hospital and housing project on Cathedral Hill in exchange for rebuilding St. Luke's Hospital in the Mission.

The project has divided local labor unions. UHW supports the project and a slate of candidates that its parent union, Service Employees International Union, is opposing through SEIU Local 1021, which is supporting more progressive candidates. The California Nurses Association also opposes the project and candidates such as Wiener who back it.

"A recent mailer by CNA falsely says that CPMC is closing St. Luke's and Davies," CPMC CEO Warren Browner recently complained in a letter to the Board of Supervisors. "We are not. We are committed to building a state-of-the-art, high-quality replacement hospital at St. Luke's and continuing to upgrade Davies."

But the CPMC rebuild is contingent on the board approving the Cathedral Hill project. So the CNA mailer focused on what could happen if the city rejects the CPMC project: "We could lose two San Francisco hospitals if Scott Wiener is elected supervisor."

SEIU-UHW's alliance with downtown groups and its use of member dues to attack progressive candidates places it at odds with SEIU Local 1021 and the SF Labor Council, which has endorsed Janet Reilly in D2, Walker in D6, Mandelman in D8, and Cohen (first choice) and Chris Jackson (second choice) in D10.

"We're really disappointed that there are labor organizations that feel they have to team up with Golden Gate Restaurant Association, which is against health care [it challenged the city's Healthy San Francisco program all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court], and with CPMC, which is working to keep nurses from joining a union," Labor Council Director Tim Paulson said. "This alliance does not reflect what the San Francisco labor movement is about."