Endorsements 2013

Stop the 8 Washington project! No, no, no on B, no on C, yes on A, re-elect Hererra. Our guide to the Nov. 5 elections


We're heading into a lackluster election on Nov. 5. The four incumbents on the ballot have no serious challengers and voter turnout could hit an all-time low. That's all the more reason to read up on the issues, show up at the polls, and exert an outsized influence on important questions concerning development standards and the fate of the city's waterfront, the cost of prescription drugs, and the long-term fiscal health of the city.




Note: This article has been corrected from an earlier version, which incorrectly stated that Prop A increases employee contributions to health benefits.

Throughout the United States, the long-term employee pension and health care obligations of government agencies have been used as wedge issues for anti-government activists to attack public employee unions, even in San Francisco. The fiscal concerns are real, but they're often exaggerated or manipulated for political reasons.

That's one reason why the consensus-based approach to the issue that San Francisco has undertaken in recent years has been so important, and why we endorse Prop. A, which safeguards the city's Retiree Health Care Trust Fund and helps solve this vexing problem.

Following up on the consensus pension reform measure Prop. B, which increased how much new city employees paid for lifetime health benefits, this year's Prop. A puts the fund into a lock-box to ensure it is there to fund the city's long-term retiree health care obligations, which are projected at $4.4 billion over the next 30 years.

"The core of it says you can't touch the assets until it's fully funded," Sup. Mark Farrell, who has taken a lead role on addressing the issue, told us. "The notion of playing political football with employee health care will be gone."

The measure has the support of the entire Board of Supervisors and the San Francisco Labor Council. Progressive Sup. David Campos strongly supports the measure and he told us, "I think it makes sense and is something that goes beyond political divides."

There are provisions that would allow the city to tap the fund in emergencies, but only after it is fully funded or if the mayor, controller, the Trust Board, and two-thirds of the Board of Supervisors signs off, a very high bar. So vote yes and let's put this distracting issue behind us.




Well-meaning people can arrive at different conclusions on the 8 Washington project, the waterfront luxury condo development that was approved by the Board of Supervisors last year and challenged with a referendum that became Prop. C. But Prop. B is simply the developer writing his own rules and exempting them from normal city review.

We oppose the 8 Washington project, as we explain in our next endorsement, but we can understand how even some progressive-minded people might think the developers' $11 million affordable housing and $4.8 million transit impact payments to the city are worth letting this project slide through.

But Prop. B is a different story, and it's something that those who believe in honesty, accountability, and good planning should oppose on principle, even if they support the underlying project. Contrary to the well-funded deceptions its backers are circulating, claiming this measure is about parks, Prop. B is nothing more than a developer and his attorneys preventing meaningful review and enforcement by the city of their vague and deceptive promises.


you are so far off to the left, that everything looks equally right-wing to you.

Right now we are seeing massive, nation-splitting fights in DC between Obama/Dem's and the Right on the deficit and socialized medicine. And yet to you that is nothing because you regard Obama's position as massively right-wing, so you see no difference.

Greg, can you see why people might disagree with that? There is a massive difference between Obama and Boehner, And yet to you they are both members of the same party?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 08, 2013 @ 11:31 am

Silly me, I must've missed the part of the ballot that gives me another choice for Assessor, Treasurer, and City Attorney. Sometimes you skim these things and you miss stuff. Please, tell me what page the other candidates appear on, and I'll happily take back my comment comparing our elections to the one-candidate races commonly found in places like Burma and Mubarak's Egypt.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 08, 2013 @ 10:21 pm

Because no one has chosen to run against those three those three must be part of some sort of dictatorship. You know what? You can run.

Oddly progressive were slapping themselves on the back here when Campos ran against no one.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 08, 2013 @ 11:12 pm

But it is up to a progressive to stand for office and take a risk by running.

He is really whining about the failures of his own people. You cannot blame the people standing for office that nobody is opposing them.

Greg for Assessor!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 3:34 am

not even close. It is a scheme to protect the profits of private insurance and drug companies under the guise of requiring everyone to buy insurance which does not equate to care.

Publically financed profiteering aka the American way.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 6:52 am

This is America. We don't do socialism.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 7:25 am

I think you just made his point for him. Total intolerance of any view but your own, and a refusal to accept that the majority disagree with you.

Posted by anon on Oct. 08, 2013 @ 10:46 am

and an army of uni-minded left wingers gain office, Greg whines that he lives in a single party city where he doesn't have the choice to vote when no one bothers to run against the incumbent.

Greg is like the bitchy right wing radio clowns who whined when the republicans had the White House, Supreme Court, and both houses of congress.

The victim mentality is so appealing to people like Greg, he is a victim when no one bothers to run for office against an incumbent.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 08, 2013 @ 11:19 pm

We all know that what matlock/guest/anon are engaging in, is pure rhetorical masturbation.

I think we can all agree that when someone runs unopposed, it's not because they have no opposition, but because the potential opposition thinks they're too strong to be knocked off.

That goes for both progressives and establishment conservatives. But there's a qualitative difference about where that strength comes from. I think we all know that as well. The money, the power, the business elites, the media all stand behind establishment conservatives. When progressives occasionally win, it's because they manage to overwhelm all the above with a good field operation -in other words, people.

So notwithstanding the trolls who will now flame me for saying this, there is a fundamental truth when I say that there is, in fact, a qualitative difference between progressives who manage to run unopposed, and establishment candidates who manage to run unopposed.

When progressives manage to run unopposed, it is because the elites who hold the money, the power, and control the media, have decided that it's too expensive for them to field and fund a challenger, because the incumbent is too popular and they'll probably lose their investment anyway.

When establishment conservatives run unopposed, it's because progressives think that while they may have the numbers in a fair fight, they don't believe they have the kinds of numbers necessary to overwhelm the media and money barrage that the other side will unleash.

That is not democracy. That is a failure of democracy.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 8:43 am

contributor database because I wondered why my supervisor, the great "progressive" hope, David Campos, has been so silent as luxury housing development threatens to overrun the Mission District.

Unsurprisingly, he received donations from the real estate industry, most notably $500 from Dean Givas, the owner of Oyster Development that is building luxury condominiums next to the New Mission Theatre, and was able to avoid including below market units in that development by buying the Mayor's Office of Housing a parcel at Cesar Chavez and Shotwell for future subsidized housing development. The unfortunate catch is that the funding for the offsite affordable units is as yet non-existent. Could be many years before they are actually built.

Also, for his DCCC campaign, Campos received all kinds of real estate money in the first half of 2013, including $1000 from the Residential Builders Association and $2000 from the San Francisco Apartment Association Political Action Committee. Just noticed a donation from Carmen Policy as well.

Check it out yourself.


Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 10:13 am

When I am undecided about a prop. on the ballot I first check the S.F.G.O.P. web site and if they have no recommendation on a certain ballot measure iI go to the BG web site and vote against anything the BG recommends, I love to stick it to progressives.

Posted by Guest Nicolas on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 7:54 pm

That's why I and most readers read the Guardian rather than troll it.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 11:38 pm

I participated in a voter survey about 8 Washington development. In addition to all questionable promises, there was a mock picture of what the complex would look like. The advertisement neon sign "gracing" the complex can probably be seen from space. Find it on line, have a look. It doesn't only affect San Francisco or just block the view. The whole Bay will be unrecognizable.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 26, 2013 @ 3:07 pm

Jesus H Christ

Posted by Guest on Oct. 26, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

Originally, I was going to vote to allow 8 Washington to go forward; after all, it had received its exemptions for height limits by going through the review process, and we need housing of all types, luxury condos too. But after looking over the plans and talking to two real estate developers, I can't figure out why this project was approved. Two things really bother me: height limits along the waterfront are there for a reason, so why exceed them by such a large amount? Also, the resulting public access park area is really small compared to the private, locked spaces. This hardly seems a fair trade for the developer exceeding the height limits by so much. Also, a neighbor I trust has family in the billion dollar property business, and he told me that the developer is looking at a whopping 30% profit. He asserted that the developer could build the project within height limits and still make a good profit, just not getting the citizens' gift of 30% profit. These folks know one another and think the developer is really getting a super sweet deal. Lastly, a highly placed water engineer for the city of SF told me the project was a political deal, not a well designed one, and she would be voting against it. So between my reading the propositions, studying the diagrams, and talking with this property insider and a city engineer who is otherwise pro-development, I have decided, reluctantly, to vote NO on B & C.

Posted by voltairesmistress on Oct. 29, 2013 @ 9:24 am

that the project will be surrounded by much higher buildings, and so no view will be lost. In fact, if you take a walk around that immediate area, there is nowhere where you can see the Bay directly from street level.

Building up actually restores a view of the Bay, at least for some. Maybe they should include a viewing gallery.

Finally, as well as the 11 million for affordable housing, it is estimated that this project will generate some 350 million in all taxes over the years. The envy mob do not like anything being built for the wealthy, but this project will repay itself several times over.

Posted by anon on Oct. 29, 2013 @ 9:34 am

Yes, I know some nearby buildings are even taller, but these were built before the current city planning guidelines settled on the 84' height limit for the waterfront. The Golden Gateway towers, for instance were built in the 1960s when the Embarcadero Freeway dominated the waterfront. So I think we should build along the waterfront according to our current vision as agreed upon in the City Plan.

Posted by voltairesmistress on Oct. 29, 2013 @ 9:57 am

Is it not true that Carmen Chu supports Peops B & C?

Therefore why support her?

Posted by 1stkorean on Nov. 02, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

If you notice, all the pragmatists and financially responsible pols support 8-Wash. Only the ideologs and the envy mob oppose it.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

Mark Goldes' proofless claims regarding his Aesop Institute's make-believe strictly ambient heat engine do not represent any new technology, or even a new pretense - they merely represent a rather old pretense.

"Before the establishment of the Second Law, many people who were interested in inventing a perpetual motion machine had tried to circumvent the restrictions of First Law of Thermodynamics by extracting the massive internal energy of the environment as the power of the machine. Such a machine is called a "perpetual motion machine of the second kind". The second law declared the impossibility of such machines."

"A perpetual motion machine of the second kind is a machine which spontaneously converts thermal energy into mechanical work. When the thermal energy is equivalent to the work done, this does not violate the law of conservation of energy. However it does violate the more subtle second law of thermodynamics (see also entropy). The signature of a perpetual motion machine of the second kind is that there is only one heat reservoir involved, which is being spontaneously cooled without involving a transfer of heat to a cooler reservoir. This conversion of heat into useful work, without any side effect, is impossible, according to the second law of thermodynamics."

Goldes' make-believe ambient-heat-powered engine would be a perpetual motion machine of the second kind, as defined above. Goldes is not developing any such engine; he is merely developing a pretense - as usual.

Goldes' ambient-heat-powered engine would not merely "circumvent" the Second Law of Thermodynamics - it would actually DISPROVE the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

An engine that uses ambient heat would need to be able to DECREASE the entropy of the universe. The Second Law tells us that we can never decrease the entropy of the universe, or of an isolated system.

As a consequence of this law:

"It is impossible for any device operating on a cycle to produce net work from a single temperature reservoir; the production of net work requires flow of heat from a hotter reservoir to a colder reservoir."


In the make-believe strictly ambient heat engine there are not two heat reservoirs at different temperatures; no reservoir would be available at any temperature other than the ambient temperature. No matter what cycle we design with this constraint, we will find that the cycle would have to be able to decrease the entropy of the universe in order to do any work.

The Second Law tells us that we can never build an engine that does some work with heat taken from a heat reservoir, without also transferring some heat to another reservoir at a lower temperature.

An equivalent statement is that we can't decrease the total entropy of an isolated system.

The entropy change differential due to heat transfer to or from a reservoir is inversely related to the temperature at which the transfer occurs. The consequence is that transferring heat INTO a cold reservoir produces a larger GAIN in entropy, than the LOSS of entropy that occurs due to transfer of the same amount of heat FROM a hot reservoir. This noteworthy and remarkable inequality enables a heat engine to use some heat to do some work without violating the Second Law - as long as it can make use of two different heat reservoirs, at different temperatures. The ambient-heat-powered engine only involves a single reservoir, at a single temperature (at any given moment). When it reduces the entropy of the reservoir by using some of the heat to do work, it has no way to compensate by increasing the entropy anywhere else. Therefore we know for certain that the engine will disappoint us. It will never be able to do any work.

There is no "new science" in any of Goldes' "revolutionary breakthroughs." There is only pseudoscience and pretense - and nothing new, at all.



Posted by Guest on Nov. 04, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

Prob B is essentially a microcosm of SF's current, out of control political real estate machine. It's too late to label this as a "good" or "bad" development. The entire city is thriving off of huge $$$$ developments in the name of housing demands. The question is, housing for whom? The demographic is what's pushing the skyrocketing rents and home prices. You can blame the developer of Prop B for pandering to an upper class market but when someone willingly pays $1850 to rent a 270 sq ft micro-studio in the Tenderloin, Pandora's box has already been opened.
If not this project with this developer, then 10 more just like are already waiting at the gait.
At least this developer and the contractor are local based, well respected firms. The next one may very well be from China, with little to no interest in the local economy and impact.

Posted by The_Biff on Nov. 05, 2013 @ 8:17 am

Then kneejerk MINBY's like you might actually be successful in freezing this city in time like some squalid deranged theme park.

"Progressives against progress" would be a good tagline.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 05, 2013 @ 8:36 am

Anyone know what the outcome of these were?


Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 10:00 pm

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