Mayor Ed Lee

Gascon comments on Lee perjury allegations

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Luke Thomas from Fog City Journal showed up at a press conference District Attorney George Gascon was holding on another topic, and threw in a question about the allegations that Mayor Ed Lee lied under oath before the Ethics Commission. Read more »

If Mayor Lee lied

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What’s going to happen to Mayor Ed Lee?

That’s the big question after a series of news reports have suggested that the mayor was less-than truthful under oath in his statements to the Ethics Commission. If he actually lied on the stand, that would be considered perjury, which is a felony.Read more »

Under oath

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steve@sfbg.com

Mayor Ed Lee and suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi each took some lumps on June 29 as they were cross-examined by opposing attorneys in front the Ethics Commission, which is conducting the official misconduct case that Lee brought against Mirkarimi over a Dec. 31 domestic violence incident. But the hearings proved unexpectedly dramatic when the room was suddenly cleared for an undisclosed security threat — following testimony by Lee that a city commissioner alleges included perjury.Read more »

Stop 'stop and frisk'

Mayor Lee's new policy smacks of Arizona

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EDITORIAL If the San Francisco Police Department put up checkpoints and metal detectors all along lower Market Street and stopped and searched every person who walked by, they'd find some contraband. No question — a certain percentage of people on the city's main downtown artery are carrying drugs or weapons. Some have warrants out. There would be multiple arrests and criminals taken off the streets.

And it's hard to imagine that anyone would consider that a good idea.Read more »

Mayor vs. Mirkarimi

Rival politicians to take the witness stand in official misconduct hearings this week

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steve@sfbg.com

For all the lawyers, investigators, witnesses, politicians, and political appointees involved in Mayor Ed Lee's official misconduct case against suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, this case is ultimately a battle between these two politicians, who come from rival ideological camps — and have a lot riding on the outcome of their clash.

And this week, both Mirkarimi and Lee are expected to take the witness stand and face tough questioning from each other's attorneys.Read more »

Ethics Commission undercuts the main witness against Mirkarimi

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The testimony of the star witness in Mayor Ed Lee's official misconduct case against suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi came in for harsh criticism by the Ethics Commission last night, with that body striking most of it as prejudicial and unsupported hearsay evidence that should have never been introduced, something that even the city's attorneys admitted and apologized for.Read more »

Why do Lee, Chiu, and others want to stifle economic growth?

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Why do Mayor Ed Lee, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, and San Francisco's two major daily newspapers want to punish success? Because that's exactly what their proposal to create a new gross receipts tax for businesses – in which corporations would be taxed more as they grow, thus encouraging economic stagnation – would do.Read more »

Editorial: The Mirkarimi case is an abomination

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Editor's note: And so the man who became interim  mayor on a false pretext and then lied his way through an election for a full term amid a sleazy mass of campaign irregularities and violations, has suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi without pay and is now using the full power of the city attorney's office to continue the Mirkarimi crucifixion. Without pay? The usual City Hall/cop practice is to suspend or put a city official on administrative leave with pay. Even Willie Brown, former mayor, Chronicle columnist and PG@ES lobbyist, says Mirkarimi should not have been suspended without pay. B3

EDITORIAL There's only one way to say this: The official misconduct case against Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has become a one-sided star-chamber proceeding that violates all the basic rules of fairness, decency, and due process.

Over the past few weeks, Mayor Ed Lee, acting through the City Attorney's Office, has been collecting evidence and issuing subpoenas to force witnesses (including some who have only a peripheral involvement in the matter) to give testimony. The mayor is acting as if he's prosecuting a murder case instead of conducting a hearing on whether an elected official should be thrown out of office for a misdemeanor.

And Mirkarimi and his lawyers have absolutely no ability to respond. Read more »

The mayor's tech tax talks -- and the legacy of the "Filthy 52"

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Tech tax talks. I've always wanted to use that headline.

And of course, the meetings in the Mayor's Office on the city's business tax involve more than the tech folks -- but from what I hear, they dominated the discussion.

The issue is the way the city taxes businesses. Way back in the 1990s, the city had two types of tax -- a payroll tax and a gross receipts tax. The system was complicated, but essentially, companies paid a portion (about 1.5 percent) of payroll or gross receipts, whichever was higher. That made a certain amount of sense; since under California law, cities can't tax corporate income (profits), there's no simple way to enact a perfect local tax, but payroll and gross receipts are both rough approximations of the size of an company.

But in the late 1990s, a group of big corporations, including Pacific Gas & Electric, Chevron, Bechtel, the Gap, Levi Strauss, General Motors, Equity Office Properties, Eastman Kodak, Safeway, Charles Schwab, the Hearst Corporation, the Giants, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, the Shorenstein Company, and others filed a lawsuit to overturn the tax system. We called them the "Filthy 52." The gross receipts tax was unfair, they argued -- and in 2001, with only three dissenting votes, the Board of Supervisors settle the suit by repealing that part of the tax structure.

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Dufty fights Mayor Lee's dehumanization of homeless people

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I've had some pretty sharp disagreements with Bevan Dufty, but in this case, he's on the right track: Mayor Lee's idea of launching an ad campaign to discourage contributions to panhandlanders is ugly, dehumanizing, and a civic disgrace.

Homeless people are people. They're not animals at Yosemite ("please don't feed the bears.") They're not some sort of public-relations problem for downtown hotels. They're San Franciscans who for one reason or another have lost the ability to pay rent. That's not a crime and it shouldn't be the end of their humanity.

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