On Guard! - Page 3

The news you need to know this week: Herrera takes some flak, but pushes right back, while property interests reveal their support for Prop. E

"WTF, Chronicle?": LGBT community leaders express support for Dennis Herrera

Molly McKay, one of the original plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit that followed San Francisco's actions, teared up as she described the ups and downs that the case took, working closely with Herrera throughout. "But this is one of the strangest twists I can imagine," she said of the attack by the Chronicle and its anonymous sources. "It's ridiculous and despicable."

Representatives for both the progressive Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club and fiscally conservative Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club also took to the microphone together, both saying they often disagree on issues, but they were each denouncing the attack and have both endorsed Herrera, largely because of his strong advocacy for the LGBT community.

Sup. Scott Wiener called Herrera, "One of the greatest straight allies we've every had as a community."

When Herrera finally took the microphone, he thanked mayoral opponents Joanne Rees and Jeff Adachi for showing up at the event to help denounce the attack and said, "This is bigger than the mayor's race. It's bigger than me."

He criticized those who would trivialize this issue for petty political gain and said, "It was my pleasure and honor to have been a part of this battle from the beginning — from the beginning — and I'll be there in the end." (Steven T. Jones)





October yielded tremendous financial contributions from real estate investors and interest groups for Yes on E, feeding fears that the measure will be used to target rent control and development standards in San Francisco.

Sup. Scott Wiener has been the biggest proponent for Prop E since May 2011. He argues that the Board of Supervisors should be able to change or repeal voter-approved ballot measures years after they become law, saying that voters are hampered with too many issues on the ballot. Leaving the complex issues to city officials rather than the voters, makes the most sense of this "common sense measure", Wiener calls it.

But how democratic is a board that can change laws approved by voters? Calvin Welch, a longtime progressive and housing activist, has his own theory: Wiener is targeting certain landlord and tenant issues that build on the body of laws that began in 1978, when San Francisco voters first started adopting rent control and tenants protection measures. Yet the measure will only allow the board to change initiatives approved after January 2012.

"That is what the agenda is all about — roughly 30 measures that deal with rent control and growth control," he said. Critics say  the measure will leave progressive reforms vulnerable to a board heavily influence by big-money interests. Although Wiener denies Prop E is an attack on tenants, who make up about two-thirds of San Franciscans, the late financial support for the measure is coming from the same downtown villains that tenant and progressive groups fight just about every election cycle. High-roller donations are coming straight from the housing sector, which would love a second chance after losing at the ballot box.

Contributions to Yes on E include $15,000 from Committee on Jobs Government Reform Fund, $10,000 from Building Owners and Managers Association of SF PAC, another $10,000 from high-tech billionaire Ron Conway, and $2,500 from Shorenstein Realty Services LP. Then — on Oct. 28, after the deadline for final pre-election campaign reporting — the San Francisco Association of Realtors made a late contribution of another $18,772, given through the front group Coalition for Sensible Government.


Either Christine Deakers is uniformed and has not read Prop E or she is deliberately trying to mislead readers. Prop E is prospective only, not retroactive, meaning it will only apply to laws passed after 1/1/12. Rent Ordinances passed by voters in the 1990s will NOT be subject to the provisions of Prop E. Any changes to those propositions would have to go back to the voters as is required under current laws. Only ballot measures passed after 1/1/12 would be subject to the changes in Prop E. Also Prop E does not apply to bonds, taxes, charter amendments nor initiatives via gathered signatures. I would hope that the fact checking of articles would be better for a "newspaper". Someone is not doing their job.

Posted by Guest David John on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 11:15 am

Personally, I am Yes on D, E and H - no on the others

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 11:36 am

Ditto to the first comment.

The last line in the "Buying Reform" article in the print edition of the Guardian says, "that means if voters say Yes to Prop E, a slew of tenant measures approved in the 1990's could come under immediate attack." Earlier in the piece, the author cites a theory from a critic that the proposition is targeting legislation from the 70's.

The voter guide issued by the Department of Election clearly states: "Proposition
E would not allow the Board and Mayor to amend or repeal: measures that the voters approved before January 1, 2012."

In other words: Proposition E will not permit changes to any voter-approved ordinances currently on the books -- whether they're from the 70's or the 90's.

Does the Guardian have some way of interpreting the law differently? If not, then this article should have a prominent correction and include a note to readers that it was based on inaccurate reporting. Anything less is doing your readers a disservice.

And, removing the last sentence of the article on the web version without noting the very important difference with the print version is only adding insult to injury in terms of building trust with your readers.

Posted by Eli Zigas on Nov. 03, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

We have corrected the inaccurate information in "Buying reform" and we apologize for the errors. We've also highlighted the change with a prominent post: http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2011/11/04/correction-prop-e-isnt-retroactive

Posted by steven on Nov. 04, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

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