Endorsement Interviews: Leland Yee


State Sen. Leland Yee, who is running for mayor, has been involved in local politics since the 1980s, when he joined the School Board. He's been a supervisor elected at-large, a district supervisor, a state Assembly member and now a senator. And he stirs up strong passions in the city -- supporters of Mayor Ed Lee say they urged him to get into the mayor's race in part to stop Yee from winning. Yee was a fiscal conservative on the Board of Supervisors, but in Sacramento, he's been a foe of budget cuts. And he told us he wants to see new revenue -- including a city income tax -- to make sure that "the people who need services get them."

You can listen to our interview with Yee and see the video after the jump.

Yee by endorsements2011


because we'd need a change in State Law to implement such a tax, in the usual sense of what that means.

I could be wrong here, but I don't believe that any City west of the Mississippi has it's own income tax, and it's illegal throughout most western States.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 27, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

A perfect example of everything wrong with our political system - a career politician who's only ambition seems to be to aim for the next higher office.

At least he appears to have overcome his kleptomania these days.

Posted by Right on Sister Snapples on Sep. 27, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

The Guardian has been touting a city "income tax" for years (decades really), presumably similar to the one used in Oakland that is called an "employee license fee.". In 1978 the CA Supreme Court ruled this city tax constitutional. (See Weekes v. Ciy of Oakland). (Partially copied below.)

I wouldn't take what The Guardian thinks about taxation very seriously, however, since they seem to be for ANY tax, regardless of how fair, effective, or administatively feasible the tax might be. Similar to the constant mantra of the city itself, "we need revenue" is much more relevant than whether the tax is very progressive or even very smart. For example, I'll expect them to endorse the pothole bonds, which are based on patently unfair Prop 13 tax values, even though The Guardian supposedly hates Prop 13, and even though bonds are one of the main ways (besides rents and dividends) the really, really, really wealthy earn their income - tax-free I might add. I'll also expect them to endorse the regressive sales tax on November's ballot also using their main argument, "we need the money."

One of the many downsides to a city income tax (that isn't based on the person's federal or state income tax return) is that hundreds of auditors would be needed to ensure compliance. And every wealthy person who could afford two hours of tax advice would be able to evade the tax by changing their domicile to one of their many other homes outside SF, or by changing the business location of the company paying their salary/wages. As usual, the tax would fall on the ever shrinking population segment between the poor and very rich, unlucky to work for a SF based business verses being self-employed (where it would be much easier to evade the tax.) I think The Guardian writers have a fetish of wanting to go through everyone's sock drawer and closet to make sure the residents aren't hiding anything.

The fairest, most adminstratively efficient tax - and perfectly legal in California - is a tax on rents. It's easy to calculate, easy to audit, impossible to evade, and it recycles communtiy land values back into the community. The past couple of years The Guardian has been mentioning a rents tax, albeit only for "commercial" property and not residential. (They seem to have been mostly educated as old-style commies who think cost equals price, when it's obvious that as a landlord I'll charge as much rent as someone will pay me, regardless of my costs.) A modest 3-5% tax on rents coupled with reductions in regressive sales taxes would be an economic boost for San Francisco, but it seems most "progressives" just want more tax revenue without giving up any other taxes, no matter those taxes might be. "We need the money."

Another perfectly legal tax - that is far more efficient, fair and administratively managable than a city income tax - is a business gross receipts tax. A gross receipts tax applies to all companies that sell in SF, including those that ship jobs overseas or outside the city, but that continue to sell into the very lucrative SF market. It's perfectly legal to charge different tax rates to different business types, for example manufacturers paying the lowest rate; services paying the most (state sales tax doesn't apply); and maybe retailers somewhere in between.

Even better would be a graduated gross receipts tax based on the company's worldwide sales (eg, no tax under $500,000 annual sales; .5% tax under $3 million sales.... up to 2-3% tax for companies with over $1 billion sales). Presumably someone has asked the City Attorney their opinion whether a graduated gross receipts tax is acceptable under the current state constitution. And Senator Leno apparently has been working to change state law to allow city income taxes, perhaps based on a resident's federal or state income tax return.

Weekes v. Ciy of Oakland -

"We conclude that the fee is what it purports to be, namely, an occupation tax substantially resembling the type of municipal license fee long approved by us and expressly authorized by the final paragraph of section 17041.5. In view of our conclusion in this regard, we need not, and do not, reach the further question whether the Legislature is prevented by the home rule provision of the California Constitution from imposing an absolute ban upon revenue-raising measures of this nature enacted by chartered cities.

We briefly examine certain characteristics of the subject ordinance, and observe that it exacts an employee license fee for the privilege of engaging, within the city, in any business, trade, occupation or profession (other than that of domestic servant in a private home) as an employee. The fee is measured by the employee's "gross receipts" in excess of $1,625 per quarter. The ordinance defines "gross receipts" as "compensation," which includes "the total gross amount of all salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses, or other money payments of any kind or any other considerations having monetary value, which a person receives from or is entitled to receive from or be given credit for by his employer" for services rendered within the City of Oakland (Oakland Mun. Code, § 5-1.65(g).) Travel and business-expense allowances or reimbursements are excluded from gross receipts, but there is no deduction for business-related expenses. If an "employee" has an ownership interest in a business and is thereby liable for a portion of the city business license fee already imposed upon owners and operators of businesses, he is entitled to an appropriate credit against the employee license fee. Provision is made for an apportionment between compensation earned in Oakland, which is subject to tax, and compensation attributable to activities outside Oakland, which is tax exempt."

Posted by Guest on Sep. 27, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

The "city income tax" you cited (the "Weekes Tax") is little different from the current payroll tax. It's a direct tax on jobs, which obviously induces the "Twitter Effect", it also doesn't tax any job located outside SF, so all those affluent Googlers and Applers who commute down to the peninsula won't have to pay a penny. While a janitor who commutes from Oakland will get caught.

A Gross Receipts Tax, which Oakland also has (and notice how their problems are even worse than ours despite these extra taxes) is regressive. It would hit businesses with high volumes and low margins, like food stores, driving up food costs for the poor. While going light on high-margin, low-volume businesses like law firms. Also it would be easy for the self-employed to fudge the numbers.

A rent tax is also regressive, as it would lead to higher rents, and it's mostly the poor who rent.

Now, in a way, you're forced into the situation of taxing the poor, since State Law prevents a real tax on the rich, i.e. an income tax, capital gains tax, or wealth tax. But loading all that burden onto the poor, just to continue to fund bloated public spending, doesn't look "progressive" at all. Quite the opposite. Bad ideas.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 6:29 am

No, they haven't, you just keep absurdly repeating inaccurate, lame arguments against them, and now, absurdly, are claiming that you have 'debunked' the these tax concepts, simply by logging your totally uneducated ramblings.

You mistakenly believe that most people reading your posts actually believe their nonsensical, Chamber of Commerce PR driven, conclusions.

Prevailing on the facts means you actually have to get facts right.

Anyone who listens to the Guardian's endorsement interview with John Avalos can get a sense of the reality, that it is indeed possible to substantially raise local taxes.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 8:48 am

You did nothing more than state that you think i'm wrong.

You didn't refute my point because we all know that you cannot.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 9:09 am

No actually, I think people get by now how full of crap you are and that almost everything post is false. I'm just quickly letting them know that someone who actually follows these issues can verify that you are wrong.

I'm not going to waste valuable time debating your absurd nonsense at length.

I'll just say 'False' and let the reader decide.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 9:27 am

an argument simply by saying that you can? And that people should believe that even though the points you are arguing against are clearly laid out, logically argued and intuitively obvious?

You're really going to have to do better than that if you desire any credibility.

Either put up a plausible counter-argument or better not to talk such trash at all.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 9:41 am

You misunderstand. I already have credibility. You already do not.

I've spent a quarter century working on, and learning about, most of the issues that you so frequently lie about.

However, many readers of this blog who have not worked on these issues in depth, need a quick frame of reference from someone they trust when they run into an argument you post, so they can easily ignore it as false, and move on.

This isn't about winning a debate, it is simply about quickly verifying the points on which you are completely full of shit, without having to waste precious time, on a loser like you.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 9:54 am

reasonable debates to have in politics. There are just "right" views and "wrong" views. And that it's just a matter of people realising that you're right, of course.

Anyone can be wrong for 25 years. It takes nothing other than stubborness. I guarantee you that far more people in this City, State and Country think I'm right and you're wrong about these issues. Every election proves that.

You're the one with the extreme views here, not me. So the onus is on you to disprove my points. So far, you've just done the usual "left thing" i.e. attack the other person.

Which itself shows that poverty of your position.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 10:02 am

No, there is simply no reason to engage in extensive debate with you yourself, because you are so full of crap. You've spent the last several months making that abundantly clear to everyone who reads this politics blog and has a brain.

I'll let the others reading here decide the merits of any given refutation I post.

Your opinion on them is unnecessary.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 10:19 am

City Income Tax - illegal under CA law
City Payroll Tax - job killer, leads to the "Twitter effect"
City Wealth Tax - illegal
City CGT tax - illegal
Gross Receipts Tax - regressive, goes easy on hedge funds and lawfirms - tough on food and drugs stores
Rent Tax - regressive - raises rents and the cost of housing for the poor
Property Tax - limited under CA law

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 10:36 am

A bit of technical truth salted within an essentially false argument.

Again, listen to the Avalos interview. He lays out well, paths to raising local revenues.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 10:56 am

You at least have the virtue of consistency

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

and seeing their antics city wide.

To sway you to the revealed world view of a progressive all they need to do is talk to you and explain things, when you don't agree what you need is more talking too, when that doesn't sway you there is need for more talking, when all that talking doesn't convince you of their genius and correctness. Then you are dismissed and just too dumb to get it.

In the case of so many things based on slogans, such as the JROTC thing, they keep trying to bully their way into getting what they want, then when they lose the vote they complain they were out spent and the idiots they claim to speak for were duped.

They couldn't possibly have lost based on any sort of facts, or even that people could possibly have opinions other than theirs.

Posted by meatlock on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 10:35 am

LOL......"it's mostly the poor who rent"???? surely yee jest.

65% of units are rented and average rent is at least 2K per month.

It's high time renters ponied up. They know that homeowners pay most of the bills.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

Although it's always worthless to try to engage honest discussion with the obsessives who feel compelled to post more than a couple times a day on a public chatboard, especially when they post on topics they obviously know nothing about, I'm not going to let your mistruths stand.

Rents are not based on costs. Period. Rents are based on local incomes and housing supply and demand factors. If there was a sudden 50% rent tax tomorrow the rents would stay exactly the same as yesterday, since that is the maximum rent amount landlords can currently charge the local population. If the landlords could charge more, they would. If they had to charge less to find a tenant, they would. A new tax would not change that dynamic whatsoever.

If costs had anything to do with what a landlord charges, we'd see a huge range of rent prices for similar units based on whether a building was fully paid off vs. had a high outstanding mortgage, or whether the building has a low or high Prop 13 value, which also have a broad range depending on when the building was last sold. Instead, rents are basically the same for similar units in the same neighborhoods even though the buildings have very different cost structures.

Your arguments against a gross receipts tax are equally wrong. First, a "high-margin" law firm doesn't compete against a "low-margin" grocery store, so your distinction is irrelevant. Second, every municipal gross receipts tax structure I've seen uses different rates for different business categories, with low tax rates for wholesalers and retailers, and higher tax rates for service and entertainment businesses, as examples. More importantly, the tax rates, whatever they are, apply to similar-sized businesses equally - all big grocery stores would have the same tax rate; all big law firms would have the same rates, etc. - so they are competing on price, service and quality. This is very different from today where one company can have a much lower tax structure by using aggressive tax planning.

As far as tax evasion by smaller businesses, it's a moot point since any ordinance the voters pass would set the small business minimum at $500K or $1million. If a larger sized business wants to risk audit, high penalties, interest and fees to save a few thousand tax dollars, that's no different from the current state or federal income tax system. A gross receipts tax covers a lot of economic activity so it's able to find all sorts of non-compliant taxpayers. Information sharing agreements with the state and federal government help enforcement as well. That's one reason why the business community hates it - it's almost impossible to avoid or evade. High penalties and interest can be a nice little revenue stream for the city, but I've found most business owners would rather pay their tax than face jail.

And the statement, "Oakland has a gross recepits tax; Oakland has some terrible problems; thus, SF also would have terrible problems if it adopted a GR tax" is so out-of-touch that I realized I'm wasting any time debating you about anything. Have you checked real esate or census information between SF and Oakland? You must not even live in the Bay Area if you'd try to compare the demographics, land values and job bases between Oakland and SF.

Your side has won. Companies have shifted most of their profits to offshore locations; the top 5% of a company's workers are making far more than the bottom 50% of its workers; massive devestment in the US and reinvestment into higher growth foreign economies is occuring at a rapid pace; most people are paying for a housing asset that is likely only worth 60% of its currrent value, meaning banks are making good money receiving interest on those oversized loans; the list goes on.

Until people start demanding shorter work weeks to absorb the 15-20% unemployed/underemployed; and until people start demanding a huge reduction in payroll and income taxes in exchange for high taxes on rents and business gross receipts; and until people start demanding far lower housing prices so that 30-50% of their income is not going towards rent or mortgage payments, the US will muddle along with unemployment slowly increasing, wealth concentrating even more, and far fewer economic opportunities for millions.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 30, 2011 @ 9:46 pm

Yee only got into politics in his forties, after he already built a successful career as a child psychologist. I could be missing someone, but I think he's actually the ONLY major candidate who's had a career outside of politics. This tendency on the part of some people to say the complete OPPOSITE of the truth and hope that the lie sticks... it's almost Rovian.

I like him because he's one of the few politicians who will actually listen to you. He's not always on your side, but whatever, there are a lot of interests in the city and nobody is going to agree with me 100%. What do know is this: I can sit down and talk to the guy, and so can anyone else, and he'll listen to what you have to say, and if you can make a good argument you can win him over. And... he won't turn around and stab you in the back if he tells you he'll support something.

And frankly, that's a rare quality. I know a lot of politicians who I agree with. And they're with me on the issues and that's awesome -no convincing necessary. I know others who aren't with me on the issues -and talking to them is like talking to a wall. Guys like Dufty, Leno, Herrera... sometimes they happen to be on your side, but if they're not already there, you're pretty much wasting your breath. They must be influenced by SOMEONE... but who that someone is, I do not know. Maybe someone with a lot of green, but it sure isn't ordinary citizens like myself.

With Leland Yee, you actually have a chance of getting through, and I really respect that. Maybe it's precisely because he HASN'T been in politics all his life. He isn't right on every issue, but he's an example of everything that's RIGHT in our political system.

Posted by Greg on Sep. 27, 2011 @ 5:51 pm

Yee is probably still in the running despite this interview, namely because his last name is neither Brown nor Pak. Those are the two figures that real generate passion at the Guardian editorial board, along with the Central Subway. Had the Guardian devoted ink to this issue a couple years ago , as the SF Weekly in fairness did, then just maybe the project could be stopped and San Francisco could pursue more rational and cost effective surface transportation alternatives. In terms of funding the project is too mature.

Yee is a 23 year veteran of local politics. He has been in Sacramento for over 8 years but if you're looking for a candidate that is sharp and definitive in their approach to policy,Yee is not a four star performer.

He got out of this interview unscathed by difficult City financial questions. His answer to SFMTA funding was good populist red meat of no more Nat Ford's and $500,000 severance packages. The annual SFMTA deficit before Big Dig ranges from $80 million a year and up.

On the topic of affordable housing development, Yee goes back and forth on Tim Redmond's indexing proposal to set what new housing could be built in San Francisco. This appears at about minute 18:

Yee: "That waffling that was characterized in my response is an absolutely correct assessment."

On the segregationist urge to split the SFUSD in half which Yee proposed while a Member of the Board of Supervisors. This is at minute 48:

Yee: "Was I serious about it? No.. .come on this is San Francisco"

Ok, Yee did not really mean it.

Sadly these type of answers underscore the unflattering accounts both Matt Smith in the SF Weekly and Tim Redmond at the SFBG wrote about him over the summer.

Then on the loadstar of public power, Yee went some distance to explain what he described as a "misunderstanding." Thanks to his desire for a Greener world and the San Bruno debacle, Yee now gets it on PG&E.

Unfortunately in 1997, Yee did not. This was before his split and eventual reconciliation with Willie Brown. Only two Board members supported a feasibility study: Tom Ammiano and Sue Bierman.

link: http://articles.sfgate.com/1997-01-14/news/28563312_1

Toss in a flat response on the question of shared streets for bicyclists, and this was probably not the interview the candidate would wish for.

A consolation for Yee is that there have not been Mayoral interviews that have gone too well.

If SFBG interviews were not one of the few places pols are asked tough questions the candidates would do better. The SF public would have a much better idea of what kind of Mayor the candidates would turn out to be. San Francisco's public culture right now doesn't support candid or direct policy debates or discussions. That is not compatible with "changing the tone." The tone is now vanilla mush.

The supervisors no longer debate the big issues. That is gone. Question Time was effectively gutted. So the first time Mayoral candidates get a tough set of questions, they end up batting 150.

It shouldn't be that way, and these Guardian Mayoral interviews should not be outlier events.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 27, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

In the last century, Yee didn't "get it" on a lot of things. I'll hand that much to the poster named "Guest" above. Incidentally, anonymity isn't a pet peeve of mine, but this is one time when I'm curious who "guest" is. Anyway... Yee's changed. Just as Adachi's changed. Sometimes people change. In Yee's case those changes have been positive.

And incidentally, I think those changes have a lot to do with that ability of his to listen and grow. It's an important quality in a leader. We could do a lot worse.

Posted by Greg on Sep. 27, 2011 @ 6:30 pm

I'm guessing Kamin,

Yee's, "evolved"? Two months ago he voted on the short end of a 37-3 vote in the California State Senate. He was in favor of putting a garbage dump in a suburban San Diego neighborhood and denied that the fact that the garbage company had given him over 8 grand in the months leading up to the vote had anything to do with it?

Oh yeah, he's got the Sierra Club backing and it has nothing to do with the fact that John Rizzo is dying to be D-5 supe if Mirk wins and he knows that's all he has to offer (betraying the environment for political gain - Rizzo is - hey who's to complain about the Sierra Club when past president, Adam Wehrbach has his own department at Wal-Mart?) ... the Sierra Club endorsement now has nothing to do with the environment and all about political career advancement.

Kinda like the Milk Club support of Prop C attempt by Gabriel Haaland tonite is about him trying to parlay giving Ed Lee both the 1021 and Milk Club endorsements in exchange for appointment to the same D-5 seat.

Some news.

Ross Mirkarimi is not going to win the Sheriff's race. It's a selfish and opportunistic move that exposes the bed rock Progressive D-5 seat to an appointment of London Breed by Ed Lee. Don't vote for Ross. Let him serve out his term and then run for Assembly or State Senate.

So, Leland is no longer the wheeling and dealing shoplifter/whoremonger/political prostitute he was yesterday? I'm thinking you're wrong.

Adachi for Mayor!

Baum for Mayor!

Avalos for Mayor!

Hall for Mayor!

Is Bumgarner the new ace of the Giants staff?


Posted by h. brown on Sep. 27, 2011 @ 9:44 pm

H, you speciously raised and falsified this issue before, and were corrected in your purposeful bs by the following comment:

Yee's vote

@h. brown. -- That bill was opposed by the head of local Sierra Club.

The alternative was to truck waste hundreds of miles away leading to further degredation of our environment.

The bill was simply to protect the interests of the Big Casinos who didn't want a dump near their precious moneymaker. In fact, they spent millions at the ballot box three times and lost every time. The voters of this community spoke and should be heard. Can you imagine the state coming into SF and telling us to disregard the will of our voters?

And one of the Legislature's most progressive members, Senator Christine Kehoe, who represents the area voted against the bill as well.

Seems to me Leland Yee was respecting the local Senator, the voters who already approved the project 3 times, and considering the alternate environmental impacts.

Next time, do a little homework, like the Sierra Club and San Francisco Tomorrow did before they endorsed Yee as their first choice.


Posted by Guest on Sep. 19, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 27, 2011 @ 11:00 pm

I didn't know about that specific case. I do know there have been times when Leland was either a sole dissenting vote among Democrats, or one of a few. And usually when this happens, he's totally right.

One time was back in 2008, when the entire Democratic leadership acquiesced to Schwarzenegger's version of Romneycare for California. Instead of going along with the leadership, he and Sheila Kuehl held out for single payer and stood up to kill the bill. The Republicans all opposed it from the right, so with Yee and Kuehl it was enough to kill it. But among Democrats, they were the only ones who had the guts to oppose it from the left. The rest of the spineless Democrats were ready to acquiesce to Romneycare. Well... we got Romneycare anyway because Obama sold us out, but Yee's action was not inconsequential; as a result, single payer is still alive in California.

Another example is his refusal to vote for an all-cuts budget. Again, he's right.

I haven't agreed with him on every single thing he's done, but for someone who's not known for being a progressive firebrand, he's shown a willingness to buck the establishment and do the right thing when it wasn't always easy.

Posted by Greg on Sep. 27, 2011 @ 11:41 pm

Mr. Brooks is a fine pugilist and apparently he likes to spar with men armed with bourbon and a mattress, but he gets a critical fact dead wrong about the Sierra Club's position on SB 833. Sen. Vargas' bill prohibits the operation of a solid waste landfill in San Diego County that is located within 1,000 feet of the San Luis Rey River and within 1,000 feet of a Native American sacred
site. It was fought by Waste Management which made a campaign contribution to Yee. Yee was one of only three Senators to oppose SB 833.

The California Sierra Club and the San Diego chapter both supported SB 833.

Source: http://www.aroundthecapitol.com/billtrack/analysis.html?aid=235881

Source: http://sandiego.sierraclub.org/northcounty/Coasters.asp

Here is a copy of the draft letter the San Diego Chapter circulated asking Sierra Club members to encourage Gov. Jerry Brown to sign the bill:

Ask Governor Brown to Sign SB 833
Protect Drinking Water in Northern San Diego County
Ask Governor Brown to Sign SB 833


The proposed 300-acre Gregory Canyon Landfill would be built on the banks of the San Luis Rey River, threatening a major drinking water source. These essential water supplies must be protected and preserved. The location is also an important sacred Tribal site. With waste diversion and recycling rates at an all-time high, and the potential to expand existing landfills, the County has no need for any new landfills at this time, much less one that would threaten critical water resources.

SB 833 (Vargas) would prohibit operation of a new landfill that is within 1,000 feet of the San Luis Rey River or its aquifer, and within 1,000 feet of a sacred site listed with the Native American Heritage Commission.

Action Requested

Please contact Governor Jerry Brown, asking him to sign the bill. This can be done by US Mail, fax, or through the Governor's web page. A sample letter that can be copied and pasted is below. Fax is (916) 558-3160. The web address is: http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php

~~~~~~~~~ Sample letter ~~~~~~
September 12, 2011

The Honorable Edmund "Jerry" Brown
Governor of California
State Capitol Building, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: SB 833 (Vargas) - SUPPORT

Dear Governor Brown:

SB 833 would protect drinking water sources and Native American sacred sites by preventing a new landfill planned in northern San Diego County. New technologies and increased recycling have made the landfill unnecessary. Please sign this legislation.


Your name here

Posted by Guest on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 12:08 am

"Guest' what you posted definitely throws a new light on this matter but it doesn't negate the point made in the previous post that I recopied.

A Sierra Club leader was opposed to the bill, as was a well respected Senator with solid environmental credentials.

I've known Sierra Club to take the wrong position on issues once in a while. David Brower himself routinely left the club in a huff for one reason or another.

The issue here is that this dump bill was a close judgment call with differing opinions, not a case of petty corruption, as H is trying to paint it.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 12:55 am

Also relevant:

Governor should veto Vargas’ end run: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/sep/02/governor-should-veto-varg...

Or simply look at the Big Gambling interests who pushed the bill:
Pala Band of Mission Indians (source)
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians
Barona Band of Mission Indians
California Tribal Business Alliance
Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake
Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians
Los Coyotes Band of Indians
Manzanita Band of the Kumeyaay Nation
Ramona Band of Cahuilla
Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians
San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians
San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of California
United Auburn Indian Community
Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians

Or call the local progressive Senator Christine Kehoe's office at 916-651-4039.

Yee and Kehoe are consistently 100% rated by all the environmental groups. In fact, last year, Yee was one of only two senators to receive perfect marks from Sierra Club, CLCV, and Clean Water Action.

Seems to me, Yee and Kehoe saw the larger environmental problem with this bill and wanted to respect the overwhelming will of the voters, rather than bow to the big money of the casinos.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 11:12 am

Seriously Greg,

You criticized 'Guest' and asked for their name. Cool, so which 'Greg' are you? We have a right to that information if you want to go after 'Guest's anonymity. I'm guessing you're trying to intimidate them because not only did they oppose your position on Yee but that they also write better than you.

So, are you Greg Kamen or Greg Dewar?

Just asking.


Posted by h. brown on Sep. 27, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

I merely said I'm curious about who this guest is. I didn't presume to be so self-entitled as to claim a "right" to know. To underscore the point, I deliberately stated that I'm not a stickler for anonymity. I thought about adding "like a certain self-entitled jackass on this board is," just to make it absolutely crystal clear that I wasn't associating myself with your ugly tactics.

But I didn't, because frankly I prefer to ignore said jackass. I've watched with disgust how you've managed to offend just about every woman on this board left, right and center. I didn't want to get into it because debating you is like mud-wrestling a pig -even when you win you still come out filthy. But now that you've decided to turn your drunken attacks on me, I'll dish it out right back.

Why on earth (some) progressives continue to tolerate this bigoted and sexist creep is beyond me. I think more and more people are onto your shit, but it's way past time that you became persona non-grata.

Frankly I'm GLAD that you're not supporting the same candidates I am! I'm thrilled that you're shilling for the likes of Miyamoto, Gascon, and Michael Moritz/Adachi these days. I don't even bother to respond to it, because your "endorsement" is something that most politicians are embarrassed to have.

The Moderates can have you, because with friends like you, they don't need enemies!

Posted by Greg on Sep. 27, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

Can't take the heat, Kamin?

You consider asking your name to be an ugly tactic when you've just asked another poster to ID themselves? You consider my questioning whether the 8 grand plus that Yee took could have been a factor in his vote to be an 'ugly tactic'?

You think when he defrauded the SFUSD student placement system and I questioned his integrity to be an 'ugly tactic'.

Face it Greg Kamin, what's 'ugly' to you is losing an argument and you lost this one.


To paraphrase Gore Vidal, "Once again words failed Greg Kamin.".

Thanks, 'Guest' (who is that masked poster?),

Adachi for Mayor!

Baum for Mayor!

Avalos for Mayor!

Hall for Mayor!


Posted by h. brown on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 5:07 am

As usual.

I have no problem with debating you on the merits of any issue. But you're incapable of holding a debate without resorting to McCarthyite ad hominem attacks. In particular, you have this inexplicable neurosis when it comes to someone using a handle (except when it comes to people you agree with, like The Commish, or "guest" above... then it's OK).

Had you asked me who I am in the same tone that I asked guest above -without immediately jumping to (false) conclusions as to my identity, I just might have answered you. But again, you're incapable of that. I use the handle that I do for a reason. What that reason is, is none of your business. So if it annoys you, I don't care. I'm not who you think I am, and if I were, I wouldn't tell you.


Posted by Greg on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 8:14 am

Not Greg Kamin,

Let's just concentrate on the times that Leland was stopped by the cops for cruising for crackhead prostitutes on Capp Street. Did you know that when the cops stopped him that Yee told them that his name was "Fred Lau"? Then let's get into the Weekly's description of how Yee used 'white-out' to change documents so's he could defraud the government. I believe he was with CCDC then? We could swing to his arrest for theft in Hawaii and move on to the fact that he changed his votes after-the-fact over 100 times in the Assembly (more than anyone in history). Don't forget his anti-renter stance over the last couple of decades and I've already reminded you of how he lied about where his children lived to get them into better public schools (private school for them would have cost 10's of thousands). Most outrageous thing about this last item was that Yee was on the School Board at the time! He should have been prosecuted.

Let's be real here, not only should Leland Yee not be Mayor, he should be one of Jeff Adachi's clients rather than one of his opponents.

My apologies to Greg's Kamin and Dewar. We'll call this one, 'Greg X'.

Brandon Belt 3 for 3 last night with a splash homer into McCovey Cove.


Posted by h. brown on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 9:58 am

As for throwing the kitchen sink at Leland Yee, all that tired stuff has been thrown at him before. None of it ever stuck because the public sees it either as a baseless smear without any evidence to support it, or simply doesn't care.

I could care less if he forgot to pay for something once in his life (confession: I've had brain farts too). If the cops had evidence of wrongdoing when they stopped him, they would've arrested him. And you know what, to be honest I could care less if the innuendo is true. I think it should be legal anyway. That kind of dirty politics doesn't even belong in this city. The school board stuff... who knows, who cares. Maybe the kid did live where he said he lived. If the DA had evidence, he should've prosecuted. Put up or shut up, I say. I know plenty of people who have their kids live with relatives in districts that segregate by neighborhood schools. That's why the lottery is a better system. Changed his votes? Whatever. There are a lot of legitimiate reasons why someone might change their vote in committee, in later incarnations of the bill, etc. It's inside baseball and legislators do it all the time. I don't think he's the only one, I don't think he did it more than anyone in history (do you have proof of that or are you just spouting?), and I could care less anyway.

The only part of that whole garbage dump that has any merit at all, is that once upon a time he cast some bad votes on tenants issues. But again, Leland has changed. Just as your boy Jeff Adachi has changed, and is now carrying water for multi-millionaires attacking unions, Leland Yee has changed too. Except in Leland's case, that change is positive. Give me something from this century, and then we can talk.

Posted by Greg on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 10:31 am

Yee wants a city income tax to pay for the ballooning pension payments the city is on the hook for. Note I say the city, not the taxpayer. Even if this was approved there would be no net gain in services to the taxpayer. Yee would give the money to the union employee pay/benefits. This is why he has union endorsements.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 10:39 am

Your argument fails to acknowledge that when we spend more to ensure strong pay and benefits for the working class, they -spend- more in the local economy, making everyone better off, and that economy stronger.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 11:01 am

those who actually produce in this society. So it is never true that increasing the deficit boosts the economy. Even Obama is starting to realise that you cannot tax, borrow and spend your way to prosperity. You can only earn real productivity and growth through hard work, sacrifice and accumulating real wealth.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

If only those lazy public sector workers would work as hard as the banksters inventing credit default swaps and other fairy tale fabrications the world would be a better place. Fantastic Paul. I hope the socialist fire department avoids putting out the fire at your place and the socialist police department avoid protecting you from the masses of unemployed or public sector psychopaths who are just out to get your "hard earned" money.

You are the most self absorbed corporate apologist on this web site, bar none!!


Posted by CanadianSocialist on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

Oh, and the SFPD aren't socialist. They are paid the big bucks to protect the winners from people like you.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

and you know so much about everything it is discumbobulating.

I am in Canada, as we type. Amazing isn't it? Its called the Internet, a collection of collaborative computer systems (kinda like socialism eh?) allowing worldwide communications.

So, your police force is not paid for by your tax dollars? Kinda like Blackwater is it? (Or is it Xe now?) I assume your roads are paid for by the large corporations who don't pay taxes are they? Crap, taxes are so worthless aren't they, as it appears you don't need them for anything there.
All you need are "hard working" people (winners!?) like you to tell everyone to get off their asses.

Up here in the dark and uninformed north, we allow our taxes to pay for our health care so nobody has to lose their home if they have the misfortune of getting very ill. Are we ever stupid. Look up the cost of health care in the States compared to most other industrialized countries. You people are getting ripped off, but hell, the H.M.O.'s aren't going to tell you that are they??!?!?!?!

I feel sorry for you, being so deluded and narrow minded. Look around, you have access to the world, but it seems that fact escapes you. MB

Posted by CanadianSocialist on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

restrict your travels to meaningless forays on the internet. Because you sure as hell wouldn't last 5 minutes here.

What next? SFBG will bring in a Bulgarian to advise us on local politics?

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 8:20 pm

Wow! Amazing! Your clever use of the dig 'eh?' with a Canadian. Whew! It doesn't get more original and brilliant than that.

Did you think of that all by yourself...?

We are not worthy.... We are not worthy....

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

Good one Eric!!! We are not worthy! (where was Mike Meyers from anyway?) ;-)

Paul sure has demolished my arguments hasn't he? MB

Posted by CanadianSocialist on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 8:21 pm

Dude... PaulT is like ... the debate god

you know...?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

As you have already learned to your cost.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 8:21 pm

behold.. Ozymandias...

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

Thanks Eric for introducing me to Ozymandias. I think I'll look up some Shelley. You should come up to "nanookland" someday, but you'd better hurry, as we've just elected a "Dubya" worshipper for P.M. and he's hot and heavy into the Capitalist mindset. Regards, MB

Posted by CanadianSocialist on Sep. 29, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

Indeed I should again. I visited Toronto long ago and was well pleased with the place and the people.

RUSH is my favorite band, and formed a cornerstone of the foundation of my philosophies; so I have something of a Canadian sensibility as it were.

(That little tidbit ought to keep the libertarians haunting this blog fascinated for a while - assuming they have any sort of well rounded education...)

What's your assessment of the NDP?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 29, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

I visited the Bay area in 2001 (May) for my wife's friend's wedding and had no complaints and found the place to be very progressive (sorry PaulT, I know you swoon for the dark ages) with many "No Smoking" areas and the like. She's a nurse and he a firefighter.

I'm a YES fan, but RUSH we're/are big YES fans as a co-worker of mine tells me (Geddy's brother in law!!). Rush espoused the "Ayn Rand" philosophy. Kind of right leaning for me, but they have a nice humanist bent also.

The NDP made great progress in the last election as you probably know (being parsecs more informed than "he who shall not be named") and I tend towards their social policies, but they are more centrist than they used to be. Seems we haven't managed to un-demonize the word socialist up here. I would hope they could lean a bit more to the left, but then the corporate machine would mobilize to discredit them. There is much work to be done.

P.S. I know nothing of the Yee guy for mayor, but hey if "Pauldemort" hates him then GO YEE!!!!!

Posted by CanadianSocialist on Sep. 29, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

Rest assured I am no Randian. I have evolved into structural anarchism.

As a wise fictional character once said..

"Logic, is the beginning of wisdom, not its end."

In the same way, libertarianism is the beginning of the personal evolution to a democratic ethic, not its end.

Peart himself evolved his views as well.

Although I speculate he still defends Rand... ;)

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 29, 2011 @ 7:50 pm

A la Noam Chomsky is something that really interests me, all the while being an advocate for government regulations regarding environmental and labour laws. (Sorry PaulT, it appears I've mispelt labour. Ooops, I've done it again. :-) )

In case you were wondering what brought me to the SFBG site, it was a Democracy Now piece on the "occupy Wall Street" which I googled and very few news services were saying anything about it (except for the pepper spray incident). SFBG was near the top of the list. Then I ran into PaulT's comment about public service jobs and I had to comment.


Posted by CanadianSocialist on Sep. 30, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

I too, but there is importance to calling libertarian socialism 'anarchism' (its true name) especially now that the public is less apt to fall for the demonization of the latter term.

Anarchism, named as anarchism, has been around for a very long time and has a deep and rich history, both troubled and powerful.

When we seek to solely use safer terms like 'direct democracy' and 'libertarian socialism' we deny to people who are new to anarchism the knowledge and understanding of that rich history; a history which it is vital for them to understand so that they can avoid making the same mistakes, and falling prey to the same attacks, as did previous anarchists in their organizing - such that they can learn from the history and build upon it, rather than simply start from scratch every generation from a baser libertarian and/or collectivist impulse. (Although it should be said that groups like the Zapatistas have succeeded beautifully without ever seeing themselves or understanding themselves as the anarchists which they so clearly are.)

Even still, those who are not allowed to learn from history can be doomed to repeat it. Hence, I seek to get everyone to start using the term, so that when neophytes learn it and look it up, they get the full history.

I tend to favor the term 'structural anarchism' to indicate to people that I am talking about a system of governance with guidelines (not just a loose personalized philosophy) thereby avoiding the picture in the listener's mind of simple spontaneous anti-state and anti-capitalist uprising, which, while important, is not the embodiment of true structural direct democracy, i.e. anarchism...

Posted by Guest on Sep. 30, 2011 @ 12:52 pm