I can't say if the campaign contributions had anything to do with it (in fact, nobody seems to know when campaign contributions become bribery) but for whatever reason, Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom not only voted for 8 Washington on the State Lands Commission -- he pushed hard to make sure the project went through.
According to former City Attorney Louise Renne, who was at the hearing making the case against the project, the director of the governor's office of finance, Ana Matosantos, sent a proxy. So did state Controller John Chiang. Newsom appeared in person.
And when Matosantos's person reviewed the evidence, he decided that it wasn't appropriate for the panel to take any action -- thanks to a successful referendum effort, the whole matter is in legal limbo in San Francisco until Nov. 2013. But Newsom was having none of it.
"It was very close at first, the controller's representative went back and forth," Renne told me. "But the lieutenant governor was very clear that the matter should be addressed today, and he swayed the vote."
In the end, it was 2-0 to approve the deal, with Matosantos's rep abstaining.
So as if there were any doubt, we know where Newsom is when it comes to giving public land to a developer to build housing for the top sliver of the 1 percent.
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