Endorsements 2011 - Page 6

Avalos for mayor. Mirkarimi for sheriff. Onek for district attorney. Yes on C, No on D, E, and F ... complete endorsements for the San Francisco election

The Guardian endorses Ross Mirkarimi for San Francisco County Sheriff

Mike Hennessey has been sheriff of San Francisco for so long, and has done such a great job, that hardly anyone in town really thinks about the politics of the office any more. We take it for granted that we have the most progressive sheriff in the state, maybe the nation. We just assume that the jails will be run well, that the deputies will be held to a high standard of behavior, that alternatives to incarceration will be part of the program, that evictions will be handled in a humane way, that anti-recidivism programs will be funded and given priority, that immigrants won't face automatic deportation — and that San Francisco's top elected law-enforcement official will be a leader in innovative ways to approach law enforcement.

But it wasn't always that way, and it won't necessarily be that way in the future. This is a crucial election, pitting a progressive reformer who comes from the civilian world against two career law-enforcement officers. It's a chance to vote for someone who will continue Hennessey's legacy or to risk turning back the clock. That's why we're strongly endorsing Ross Mirkarimi, and only Ross Mirkarimi.

Hennessey was never a cop. He started off as a poverty lawyer, working in prison legal services under Dick Hongisto, who launched the tradition of progressive sheriffs in this city. He ran as a civilian and won — and there's a value to that. The Sheriff's Office in San Francisco has no Police Commission, no Office of Citizen Complaints; the only oversight of 850 sworn officers is the elected sheriff.

Since Hennessey's election, law enforcement lobbyists have managed to make changes in state law that bar anyone without formal police training from serving as a sheriff. Under current law, Mike Hennessey — who is widely respected by his peers — wouldn't be allowed to seek the office.

Mirkarimi meets the qualifications. He went through the San Francisco Police Academy as an investigator for the District Attorney's Office and graduated as president of his class. He holds the Peace Officers Standards and Training certificate and is thus in an unusual position: He can run for sheriff without being part of the law-enforcement fraternity.

It's not as if Mirkarimi is a stranger to the issues. He spent much of his first term in office working on public safety. When he took office in 2005, District Five, particularly the Western Addition, was plagued with violent crime. He personally appeared at every homicide scene, pushed for more police on the streets and for foot patrols and worked to organize the community around crime — and it worked. The murder rate dropped dramatically.

These days, Mirkarimi is working on anti-recidivism programs and wants to bring that approach to the office. Which is critical: Over the next two years, as the state implements a prison-system realignment, hundreds more inmates will be entering the San Francisco County Jail system — and while Hennessey has made a lot of progress, almost three quarters of the people who leave jail in San Francisco wind up getting in trouble with the law again.

The person who knows the job best is Hennessey — and he's made his position clear. When Hennessey decided three years ago that he was going to retire at the end of his term, he met with Mirkarimi and told him he'd like to see the supervisor as his successor. In fact, Hennessey told us, he offered to appoint Mirkarimi as undersheriff, so he could learn the job and run as the second-in-command. But that wasn't possible — city law prohibits sitting supervisors from taking another city job (unless it's an elected position).

If Hennessey had become acting mayor he would have appointed Mirkarimi sheriff. "Ross is the person I want to see in the job," Hennessey said. He noted two important reasons.


Leland Yee?? Are you serious?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

seems perfectly in line with embarassing mayoral endorsements by the guardian of the past, like angela alioto in 2003 and dick hongisto in 1991.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

You're right, the Guardian makes expedient--and weird--Mayoral endorsements. Alioto just took the cake! It was so wrong, and so stupid.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 05, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

And what is this endorsement of Prop C? This cuts pensions for the 99% so the 1% don't have to pay their fair share. It is just wrong!

Posted by Guest on Nov. 07, 2011 @ 10:52 am

Come on guys. Yee is their -3rd- rank pick. Lighten up...

(I do agree about prop C though. What indeed is up with that?)

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 07, 2011 @ 11:36 am

Passing C is the only thing that could forestall something far stronger, be it Prop D or the inevitable future legislation.

The pensions problem isn't goin away regardless of C and D. It's just one skirmish in a struggle that will define the next decade in local politics.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 07, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

The only 'union' support that Prop C has gotten is from gutless union bosses, who the rank and file (which -opposes- C) should vote out of leadership at the earliest possible opportunity.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 07, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

The longer the City is committed to unsustainable and unaffordable pension benefits, then the more city workers who will eventually have to be fired, and the more that services will have to be cut.

D addresses the issue more than C, but if neither pass then you will see a bloodbath within a year or two, with bankruptcy a real possibility.

Just look at Oakland now, and Vallejo two years ago, to see where SF will be in 2 years without rral change.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 07, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

What a colossal joke - Prop C was written by the City's highest paid employees to shield them from higher pension contributions and it sh$t on EVERY City employee making between $50k and $100k. It will not pass because voters will not be fooled. Prop C is blanketing the City today with their bs flyers in a desperate attempt to put C over the top.

Both the SFBG and JOHN AVALOS should be EMBARRASSED they actually supported Prop C.

A columnist for the CoCo times, with no dog in the fight, said over the weekend that the City's pension system is trying to fund pensions for the rich on the backs of rank and file workers.

No on C.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 07, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

Public sector pension reform is coming to a theater near you regardless of whether C or D pass. The issue is becoming compelling and, if not addressed, will decimate services in SF.

No on C; yes on D.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 07, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

This is like a chess game - you have to look down the road.

I can see why City employees are voting no but I think they're not looking down the road.

Either police and fire pay more or it is the rank and file who are going to be laid off in droves at the expense of police and fire greed. They won't get laid off.

D makes them pay more even though D isnt enough to fully address problem. D also caps future police and fire pensions at 140k which of course, our crooked Controller left out of his cost savings estimates.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 07, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

I find the Guardians choice of Yee interesting.

Vote for Yee, as a lesser of 3 evils, because he has a chance of winning. Because he's hated by Pak. Sorry not convincing at all.

2 viable candidates who are clearly not part of the Brown or Leftist machine: Chiu and Adachi.

Unlike Yee, Adachi and Chiu have a clear recent record. You can disagree and judge them on what they've fought for. Yee however, can say anything he wants, he is a master waffler. Classic Yee. My top 3 WILL include Adachi or Chiu. They can take the fire, the critics and are addressing real problems most San Franciscans can agree on: pensions and job creation.

Be as critical as you want about Prop D, but w/o Adachi we wouldn't have C or any pensions measure. As for Twitter and the payroll tax, most San Franciscans DON'T want more companies (and their jobs) leaving.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

Don't kid yourself. Chiu is concerned only with personal advancement and will screw, and screw over, anyone he has to, (including the City itself) to win. He would get back in lockstep with Brown, Pak, and Kawa in a heartbeat if he won the election, because they would then embrace him again and use him as their -own- vehicle for advancement.

These people are cynical and dangerous power mongers and money addicts who will completely destroy our city if we let them continue to control it.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 05, 2011 @ 2:09 am

Yes, don't kid yourself. Both Lee and Chiu are getting mega-independent expenditures from Twitter and Facebook for TV ads.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 05, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

In challenging global economic conditions, people in San Francisco want jobs. Companies and start-ups whose services are increasingly web based, will setup in cities which aren't going to tax their payroll or stock options.

Yet the progressive block says "no".

San Francisco is one of the most HOSTILE business climates in the state. Companies in the thousands are setting up shop in the Peninsula or South Bay instead. So far there is nothing really substantial from Avalos on how he'll address this, other than local hiring (which only goes so far) and taxing the hell out of the rich. No offense to Avalos, he knows about community (there's more on his website about community than jobs), but his lack of a broad fundraising pool suggests that he can't and won't attract the support of the wider San Francisco community that allows it to function, and provide for the very services Avalos seeks to protect and expand.

Of course, Avalos wants to increase the city's revenue by $500 million / yr, but bombs on the "progressive policies" to get there.

If progressives want to win over San Francisco voters, they need to walk the talk. I'm not saying avoid taxes completely, but think about smarter taxation and fees. The detail on Dennis Herrera and David Chiu's pages are mile's apart compared to the detail of ideas from John Avalos.

Posted by arthur on Oct. 05, 2011 @ 11:32 am

Of course, Arthur, SF needs politicians to foster "companies and start-ups whose services are increasingly web based" as you say. But we also badly need a diversity of businesses, big ones and small ones, and every business will need to pay payroll taxes to fund our falling-apart roads and schools. In fact, the Web itself wasn't free but was created by the US educational system, funded by all us taxpayers, so in fact, businesses profiting from it should not only pay payroll tax, but also a surcharge to the local school system. And don't turn a blind eye to the importance of smaller businesses and the arts. Just on a practical level, larger businesses rely upon the artists, immigrants, small business owners, restaurant chefs, food truck owners, DJs, and other amenities to make life interesting for their employees. OK, sure, go set up someplace else with lower taxes, but see what kind of workforce wants to go live in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Human beings want to be in or near a city, with actual things to do and see. Even Palo Alto or Redwood City is just not as fun as SF. Otherwise, why would all those techies end up getting drunk and losing their Ipod prototypes here?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

Conservative Troll makes a habit of revisiting month old comment threads and agreeing with himself in order to give the illusion of support.

Posted by matlock on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 1:23 pm

Agreed. I never understood who's endorsing Yee on the environment. He completely buckled to chemical interests when he had a chance to get BPA out of kids bottles in state government. He's similarly talked one show and voted another on many issues. This doesn't bode well for the city at exactly the time it needs someone 1) to be straight and 2) to be able to say no every once for protection of citizens.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 08, 2011 @ 11:46 am

Yee got the number one pick from Sierra Club because (with the single weird exception of the shark fin ban) he has a 100% voting record on environmental issues.

Yee is by far the strongest environmentalist in the race.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 08, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

translation: WTF??

Posted by Lisa on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

The Guardian has done much worse. I could quibble about one or two endorsements, especially supporting any conservative pension measures, I'm voting no on both, but by and large not bad.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

I bet that dude in the shark costume does not approve.

Posted by shark on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 7:16 pm

Overall, I guess I agree with marcos that the Guardian could have done worse. Mirkarimi and Onek are understandable, though both have their issues. So is Avalos in first place for Mayor -that's pretty much expected and deserved.

But Herrera shouldn't be anywhere near a progressive ballot -not after gang injunctions, working behind the scenes for PG&E, and torpedoing people's democratic aspirations on legal technicalities. This is all recent stuff, not stuff from long ago like criticisms of Leland Yee. Well at least they gave Leland a spot, who is (as much as I like John) the anti-machine candidate who's most likely to win.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

Interestingly enough, Dennis Herrera also said he would support the Parkmerced project

Posted by Guest on Oct. 05, 2011 @ 11:23 am

Herrera's Gang injunctions are not as bad as they sound if you look how they are set up on the city attorney website. It has some well thought ideas unlike the ones in LA. People can also opt out of the program.
As for Yee the endorsement looks ridiculous.
He is a crook who panders to whatever group he can benefit from. He opposed cutting down eucalyptus trees that are dangerous in wind storms and non native. He had the crook Ed Jew as his liaison, he supports shark finning and voted against some medical marijuana bills then pander to pot clubs to get his support. He also stiff several democratic clubs of slate card money on his assembly run.

I guess its not Ed Lee that's why he is endorsed.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 8:26 pm

It's true that those listed in the a gang injunction can legally challenge being named. To do so, they are required to prove why they should not be included in the injunction. They are not provided an attorney if they can't afford one. They don't even have to have committed a crime. This is true for the Mission gang injunction that Herrera orchestrated. Noy so bad you say? I'd say that some basic freedoms that we expect as law-abiding citizens have be stripped away from those that have never committed a crime.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

Herrera's Gang injunctions are not as bad as they sound if you look how they are set up on the city attorney website. It has some well thought ideas unlike the ones in LA. People can also opt out of the program.
As for Yee the endorsement looks ridiculous.
He is a crook who panders to whatever group he can benefit from. He opposed cutting down eucalyptus trees that are dangerous in wind storms and non native. He had the crook Ed Jew as his liaison, he supports shark finning and voted against some medical marijuana bills then pander to pot clubs to get his support. He also stiff several democratic clubs of slate card money on his assembly run.

I guess its not Ed Lee that's why he is endorsed.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

The people that matter are the ones whose rights are being violated, the ones whose freedom of assembly is being denied. If they can opt out, that's news to me.

Your attacks on Yee are superficial and easily refuted.
He fired Ed Jew when he realized what a slime the guy was.
He does not, for the umpteenth time (!), support shark finning.
He was one of the first electeds to publicly come out in favor of the marijuana decriminalization initiative.

... well you did stump me there on the eucapyptus trees. He'll be an independent mayor who will clean house from the machine, he's not afraid to look for new revenue instead of balancing budgets on the backs of the poor, he's a strong civil libertarian... but man, those eucalyptus trees. I dunno... his stand on eucapyptus trees makes it real tough.

Maybe you're right. Maybe I should support the corrupt city attorney who stomps on people's first amendment rights, 'cause those eucalyptus trees really need to go (or wait... do we need to save the eucalyptus trees?)

Posted by Greg on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

Dennis Herrera "working Behind the scene for PG&E" is the most ignorant statement I have read in all of these Posts.

Posted by Guest joe on Nov. 04, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

Seriously? Leland Yee has made national news for years because of his moral panic views on video games. Earlier this year his law trying to ban game sales to minors was struck down by the US Supreme Court as it clearly violated First Amendment protections of freedom of speech. Actual, full-on government censorship of what can and cannot be sold.

There was a massive, nationwide discussion of him and his policies, but, of course, all of this gets ignored in his own district by the people it's most likely to actually affect.

Posted by Belgand on Nov. 08, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

David Onek!?! Mr. I don't have a clue what to do, but I have the phone numbers of people who do and can bring them in from all around the country to do my job for me!?! What a joke!

The best candidate for District Attorney, the only one who is offering true solutions, in the present, to the problems of our current justice system and safety is Vu Trinh. His message, plan, and vision is one of truth and "truth changes everything."

Of course, truth has a tendency to scare people, especially, those of the establishment. Apparently, it must be scaring these "Guardians" because they can't even admit, truthfully, that there are four challengers to Mr. Gascon, and not three. Hahahaha... So sad, it's comical.

They professed to provide a thorough, in-depth analysis of the candidates, and then give their endorsement, yet they refuse to interview the best candidate, Mr. Trinh! Clearly, they are afraid of the truth. What a joke these "Guardians of fear" are!

Voters of SF, do your own research, find what's true, and trust in your own wisdom and judgment. I have and Vu Trinh is, by far, the best candidate for District Attorney. Real change starts with the truth, and "truth changes everything!"

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 7:41 pm

The context of ranked-choice voting. We're for Avalos, and he's running a strong campaign, and I hope he wins -- but if he doesn't, someone else is going to get elected mayor, and it's going to be one of the people running, none of whom are perfect. Would you rather have Ed Lee than Dennis Herrera? David Chiu rather than Leland Yee? Those are choices, and you can disagree with ours, but understand that once we got beyond Number One in the mayor's race we were going to endorse candidates who we had issues with.

The purist thing to do is say Just Avalos, but that's not practical in this race. And Herrera would be better for the city than Lee -- no doubt about that in my mind. We deal with reality here.

Posted by tim on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 8:14 pm

Sorry Tim, but supporting a candidate who completely fucked over the Bayview Hunters Point on behalf of Lennar corporation is an unacceptable move for a progressive newspaper.

The reality is, this guy lives in the Guardian's neighborhood, you all know him, and through personal contact, he has bamboozled you all into thinking he's not such a bad guy.

Herrera wouldn't be any better than Lee, because he would pursue -exactly- the same course of letting mega real estate developers completely demolish our city for high end condo profits.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 05, 2011 @ 2:21 am

I wonder, did an evil developer build the apt you currently live in?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 05, 2011 @ 6:43 am

No one is interested in you.

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 05, 2011 @ 7:25 am

No, I live in a very old and beautiful building constructed before the modern mega developer assault on our community that began under 'Redevelopment' and was perpetuated under mayors like Feinstein, Brown, Newsom and Lee.

The Parkmerced debacle is a clear and loud warning bell that if we do not wrest control of the mayor's office from these developers immediately, there will soon be nothing left of the San Francisco that the world once fell in love with.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 05, 2011 @ 9:29 am

So, no second choice for Sheriff for Paul or Chris, two people who are actually QUALIFIED to be sheriff, real classy!!!!!!!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 8:30 pm

At least you acknowledged the work product of D is superior. Disappointing you did not mention C's page 250 or so attempt to erode retiree health care. Sometimes I wonder if you guys are actually progressives...

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 9:09 pm

This measure does absolutely nothing to address the exorbitant pension payout to the highest paid City workers that is claimed to be busting the pension fund, it does not attempt to realign payout of retirement benefits equitably and uniformly among all public worker categories IN A REAL effort to reign in costs.

Proposition C was concocted by self-serving Union bosses in collusion with Management with little to no input from rank and file members of the lowest paid and most adversely affected or retirees.

One of the BACK-ROOM DEALs negotiates the transfer of paid wages known as “premium pay” back to the City effective July 01, 2012; placing yet more of a drain on The City’s General Fund to pay for the cost. This is Ed Lee's way BUYING SEIU1021 support.

Posted by CJFIowers on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

It's interesting that you use different logic in each of the three races. As one commentator above notes, you declined to make a second choice in the sheriff's race. Standing alone, that's understandable. I actually disagree with the commentator and I think neither of the other choices are even remotely acceptable. But then how does that logic square with the logic on the mayor's race?

And then there's the DA's race... if you did a sole endorsement for sheriff, I actually think as much of a case can be made for a sole endorsement in the DA race, since the other 3 candidates are simply awful.

And really, you guys are selling Leland Yee short. I actually disagree with you that Herrera would be any better than Lee. He comes from the same machine; he works for the same interests. There's really not much air between them. If anything, even Adachi's more progressive than Herrera. As for Yee, you say that he's become more progressive in the last couple of years. Um... try DECADE! And unlike Herrera, Leland Yee is actually independent of the old Brown machine.

It could be worse I guess. At least you didn't give Chiu a spot. But you guys neglected to mention Park Merced as one of the reasons why.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

One more thing I wanted to add... it's a huge (possibly fatal) strategic mistake to assume that both C and D will pass.

There are poison pills in each, and each campaign is presenting itself as a "vote for one or the other" choice. Even *if* there is a supermajority anti-union vote in San Francisco, they could conceivably tear that anti-union vote in half between them. And there isn't. Everyone thought Prop B would pass, and then 57% of the city voted no!

With 2 competing measures, the bar is set much lower. If even around a third of the city votes no on both, that would probably be enough to make them both fail, because the majority of "yes" voters will only vote yes on one or the other. The Guardian alone could probably swing a third, but instead you chose to capitulate. In doing so, you just might wind up singlehandedly responsible for carrying one of these two turkeys over the finish line.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 9:51 pm

I'm no pundit but based on SFBG's recent supe endorsements, I think you are overstating its influence...

I think if it were not winner take all, both C and D would have passed. Now that they have to attack each other, maybe it's more likely neither will pass although I am voting for D and against C.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 10:19 pm

NO on B.

On one hand, we're all going after Wall Street and on the other, we're going to put basic street repairs on the credit card. Or we're not as this measure is apparently not polling well.

This is the what, fourth joust at this dragon, its been shelved twice and gone down two times in the past decade or so?

The City needs to develop a plan for paying for basic repairs as we go rather than putting them on the Wall Street fee credit card.

Only then, after there is a credible ten year plan to shift from bond financing to paygo should a transition street bond be supported.

This is can kicking at its down the roadiest best.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 10:19 pm

If we're going to pay for something in an idiotic manner, then at least what we're paying for better be damn important. I'm leaning against paying for potholes this way. Not now, not in this economy.

And I'm definitely voting against the sales tax measure. Again, if it's regressive then it better be damn good, because the fact that it's a sales tax is already a big black mark. In this case, what we're paying for is partly going to fund social services (good) and partly for "public safety," meaning more money for cops who are already overpaid.

So let me get this straight... they're taking money from the poor to pay for services for the poor (and also for cops)?

Count me OUT!

Posted by Greg on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 10:43 pm

Had to go overboard - I don't get to write that very often. The pothole tax and the sales tax are preposterous, particularly the sales tax where Lee wants to tax the poor in a severe recession to cover that giant backroom deal he just gave police and fire. What a disgrace.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 11:25 pm

Yeah, it seems that the SFBG talked to their friends in the SEIU and the Bike Coalition only and did what they wanted, nothing more, nothing less.

No on the sales tax hike, no on putting living expenses on the credit card.

I'm coming around to the idea that we should put calls for revenue enhancements and pension reform on hold until we tackle the black hole of political corruption.

Labor, the nonprofits and big business alike are united in keeping Their Good Thing going, and will not take any steps to jeopardize their place at the trough.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 05, 2011 @ 9:16 am

Marc, I agree with you that fundamental reform is needed and that both the streets bond and sales tax measures are flawed stopgap measures, as we wrote in our endorsements. But the city needs these revenue sources now, and it's both wrong and insulting to accuse us of simply doing the bidding of SEIU and SFBC. We're all very involved in this community and consulted many sources before arriving at our endorsements, which just a few posts earlier you said you mostly agreed with. There's no reason for you to descend into rank trolling and petty accusations now. Disagree, fine, but don't question our process or motives. We spent dozens of hours on endorsement interviews and made good faith decisions (sometimes choosing among bad options) about what we thought was best for the city.

Posted by steven on Oct. 05, 2011 @ 11:19 am

Steve, I said that compared to your previous ventures, that you'd not done much worse in this instance. Compared to 2003 when you all trashed Gonzalez and endorsed Alioto, a trashing that was used by Sutton to demolish Gonzalez, you'd not given quite as much ammo against Avalos this time. Cheering you all for making improvements does not mean you get an "A." Not even close.

What the City needs and what the voters are willing to pass are two very different things. Streets bond is going down, and I'm not down with regressive taxation until progressive taxation is hitched to it.

NO on everything except for perhaps Prop A.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 05, 2011 @ 11:28 am

Time was when I was proud to live in a city where I could vote yes on almost everything on the ballot. This time I'm probably going to vote no on just about everything. They stripped out everything progressive and left all the crap in. I hope it all fails. What a difference a couple years makes.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 05, 2011 @ 9:20 pm

propositions as, historically, they were invariably requests to raise taxes like the ones we oppose here.

But it makes little sense to oppose both C and D since the one with the most votes will win. It's really a simple either/or deal. Whie if by some chance both fail, we'll just see the changes crammed down anyway. The deficit won't go away either way.

Posted by Wanda on Oct. 06, 2011 @ 6:40 am

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