You want a sense of what's happened to politics at City Hall? Here you go: the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce is thrilled.
The Chamber just released its 2011 voting scorecard on the Board of Supervisors (which it calls the "Paychecks and Pink Slips Scorecard," as if most of the stuff the Chamber supports had anything to do with actual job creation), and guess what? The board is more pro-downtown than it has been in a while:
The 2011 year-end scorecard reveals marked improvement in city’s efforts to create jobs and grow the economy. Overall, the Board of Supervisors received a score of 82 percent (equivalent to a B - grade), up from 60 percent (or a D - grade) in 2010. Individual rankings also improved, with five supervisors increasing their scores by at least 15 percent since last year. In 2011, a solid majority of supervisors voted in favor of jobs, the economy and government efficiency more than 75 percent of the time.
The top performer: Sup. Scott Wiener, who voted with the Chamber 88 percent of the time. Second best: Supervisor David Chiu (82%). The worst (or best, depending how you see downtown's agenda of low taxes, reduced public services and minimual regulations) was Sup. John Avalos, who scored 56%.
The reality is that some of the Chamber's key votes were relatively noncontroversial things that everone on the board supported -- for example, a law sponsored by Sups. Ross Mirkarimi, Eric Mar, David Campos and Wiener making it easier for small cafes and restaurants to host live music and a measure restricting restaurant waste, both of which passed unanimously. There were some votes where nearly everyone opposed the Chamber -- the cell phone disclosure requirements and the ban on yellow pages. And on a couple of them, even Chamber darlings Sean Elsbernd and Mark Farrell were on the wrong side -- they voted against a tax exclusion for stock options because they wanted even greater tax reductions.
But on the key votes, you can see where the majority of the board lies: Six, sometimes seven votes with downtown, five, sometimes four with the rest of us. Not exactly a progressive majority.