Newsom's ambitions trump local needs


I guess that's nothing new, and I could have written the same headline dozens of times over the past couple of years. But in this case, the Bay Citizen has a nice scoop -- Newsom personally scuttled a deal that would have created a $50 million annual stream of affordable housing money because he didn't want to be on record supporting any new taxes.

The Bay Citizen story, which also ran in the New YorkTimes, doesn't go quite as far as to say that the tax issue scuttle the whole thing, but I think it's pretty clear that's what happened. The deal -- a highly unusual agreement between warring parties -- involved an increase in the real-estate transfer tax on high-end buildings. The private developers agreed to support it -- if the housing advocates would allow some of the money to be used to subsidize the requirement that developers build affordable housing along with market-rate units.

I'm no so into subsidizing private housing developers, but the money would be coming from people who sell high-end properties. At any rate, whether it was a good deal in the end or not, Newsom's own staff was involved in making it happen -- and the mayor only killed it for one reason.

He doesn't want his Republican opponent this fall to accuse him of raising taxes.

That's a hell of a way to run a city.