Newsom votes for -- and pushes -- housing for the rich


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.




I appreciate his vote.

Posted by Troll II on Aug. 14, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

At the hearing, Ms. Renne was asked directly about the $11M funding for affordable housing that the 8 Washington project would deliver to the City. If the project were killed, she was asked, where would the City find similar funding as well as the many, many millions in payments the project would make to the City and Port of SF? She completely ducked the question.

Again, the SFBG seems to be saying that in order to serve justice to the "1 percent", we should kill a project that will provide enormous design and financial benefits to the City of SF. Worse, killing this project would preserve a 90-car surface parking lot on our waterfront for decades.

The opposition to 8 Washington is being funded by some plutocrats concerned about views from VERY expensive housing as well as 2 of the largest commercial real estate firms in the US. One of these firms, owns the parking business on Sea Wall Lot 351. This is really about protecting the interests of the few against the interests of the many. It's a shame the SFBG hasn't used its investigative skills to report this.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 14, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

Tim was just as adamant about 555 Washington, where a decrepit old building and a taco stand now sit. The affordable housing fee for that one was $13 million.

But there is no logic or commons sense doesn't matter how much money the affordable housing cause is deprived of. Tim Redmond just has a pathological, rabid hatred of boring rich people. It could be $200 million, he wouldn't care if it meant one more stinking rich person living (and voting) in SF.

Posted by Troll on Aug. 14, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

They're marching to Aaron Peskin's drumbeat on this issue and are vociferously defending the interests of the wealthy of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers Association.

Posted by Troll II on Aug. 14, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

It's really sort of sad. A wealthy couple pays $80K for paid signature gatherers, mercenaries, to protect the view from their $2.4 million condo. In doing so they hope to block significant funds going to affordable housing and the Port.

And Tim can not even try to contain his glee.

Posted by Troll on Aug. 14, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

Think about it...two terms as Mayor, nobody even bothered to oppose him for re-election. Then 72% of the city voted for him as Lt. Gov. His hand picked successor as Mayor wins election with a 60% landslide. Newsom truly speaks for, and fights for, the people of SF.

Of course Tim and the 20% Progressive minority would rather have a surface parking lot and a private health club rather than revenue producing land that would benefit all elements of the city. Because the people who would live in the housing aren't going to vote the way that they 'should'.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 14, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

Never build anything, anywhere, ever unless it is public and involves borrowing and taxation, rather than bringing in new revenue.

Posted by lillipublicans© on Aug. 14, 2012 @ 10:49 pm don't get rattled when Dems carry union water in exchange for cash. What the hell is the difference...?

Posted by Guest on Aug. 14, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

I believe everyone is missing the point. This project consists of a 300 stall commercial parking garage for the port district. This garage will create 1000+ additional car trips a day in one of the highest density neighborhoods in SF and in downtown SF that has the highest level of public transportation anywhere in CA. Why a garage here? Because it will give the port about $9000 a day in income. The developer will be building the garage and the port will be getting the money. This isn't about affordable housing--take away the garage and the port will run away faster than the blink of an eye.

Posted by Guest Carbonman on Aug. 16, 2012 @ 9:41 am

So disappointed in Gavin. There was no need to take this vote in such a rush and it seems peculiar that he did. An impressive 31,000 signatures from citizens from every district of San Francisco were collected to put a referendum on the ballot so that 8 Washington can not exceed the height limit along the waterfront in San Francisco.

Feels like this vote is just one more reminder of the far reaching impact that political money and Rose Pak can have on the votes of politicians. Thank God we can still go to the voters of this city and they can decide what is right without the influence of political pocket lining.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 16, 2012 @ 3:17 pm